Doing the Web Stuff So You Don't Have To: Who Am I?
February 28, 2011 7:22 AM   Subscribe

Content manager? Social media consultant? Help me find this job title, so I can (most efficiently) learn more about this job.

You own a small business. You have a website, but you know it probably sucks. Social media, forget about it--you're way too busy to keep up, let alone maintain your business's presence in that arena.

I'm the "bridge" between you/your staff and the web world, a one-stop contract/freelance person who keeps up with the internets so you don't have to, and makes sure you're on it, in the best places, in the best format.

I am not, per se, a web developer/designer, copywriter, or marketing/pr/advertising consultant, although all of those roles come into play. I maintain a relationship with you that allows me to coordinate content--on your (now newly designed, thanks to the new designer I hooked you up with) website, blog, social media sites, etc. I help you strategize about things you can do that I can create content from--events, news, etc., and make the best choices about the services attached to your web presence (good designers, best bulk e-mail companies, etc.).

I'm just familiar enough with web programming, graphic design, and marketing/pr to be good (I think) at this niche, but not experienced enough in any of them to do them exclusively. What I can't do, I subcontract out, which means I also maintain a network of talented people to whom I can refer.

"Freelance content manager," "social media consultant," and "internet marketing strategist" all return decent hits on Google, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something. Is there a more specific term for this kind of thing? Any decent resources out there for somebody who wants to break in?

Bonus points if you do this job, and can offer some tips.
posted by Rykey to Work & Money (19 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Content strategist
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:34 AM on February 28, 2011

Something to do with community engagement would cover most, if not all, of your bases. To me, "content strategist" includes copywriting.
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:38 AM on February 28, 2011

I'd try web strategist, web consultant, or something similarly high-level. Social media, community, marketing, content, these are all key buzz terms, but they're only part of what you're offering.

Plugging into some of the key networking groups for this profession on LinkedIn or similar might give you some inspiration, but I think it's more about how you market yourself than what you call yourelf.
posted by londonmark at 7:44 AM on February 28, 2011

If you're "just familiar enough ... to be good" chances are you are not good enough. I wouldn't want to hire someone "just familiar enough".
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:49 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding "content strategist - I've met people with that job title who seem to do more or less what you're describing. In my experience "content manager" is generally a junior role that revolves around the day-to-day management of content.
posted by iivix at 7:50 AM on February 28, 2011

Most business are just going to think of you as "the web guy." Although that may not work well as a title! And really, the title isn't going to matter much. You aren't going to build your business on incoming SEOed web leads, you will build your business getting out and meeting small business owners. Pick a title and go with. Much more important to your success will be your ability to make a compelling pitch for your services in about 20 seconds, and then follow up that initial interest with some penetrating questions that will cause the small business owner to realize he needs your services. If you can't do that 2nd part, your title is likely to end up as barista ;)
posted by COD at 7:52 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

> To me, "content strategist" includes copywriting

Not to me. Strategists in an agency environment don't get their hands dirty producing the actual thing they're creating strategy for, there are other professionals for that. But then there's always more specialisation within agencies.
posted by iivix at 7:53 AM on February 28, 2011

Response by poster: Great suggestions so far, thanks!

If you're "just familiar enough ... to be good" chances are you are not good enough. I wouldn't want to hire someone "just familiar enough".

I'd be a little more savvy than to make that part of my pitch :-)
posted by Rykey at 7:58 AM on February 28, 2011

Strategic Communications __________ (director, consultant, etc.)
posted by Fuzzy Dog at 8:04 AM on February 28, 2011

If you're "just familiar enough ... to be good" chances are you are not good enough. I wouldn't want to hire someone "just familiar enough".

The OP sounds a bit like my bucket o' skilz, so I'm following this with interest. I think he's saying (of course, he can speak for himself) that he's not an advanced coder, but that he understands web sites and their architecture well enough to speak intelligently with a user about what code he needs, and to speak intelligently to a coder about the client's requirements. I think this is a legit area of expertise, especially since most coders would rather have burning bamboo shoved under their fingernails than to talk to clients who don't understand coding at all, and most would-be clients don't know what they want or what it's going to look like when they get there.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:10 AM on February 28, 2011 [5 favorites]

I'm seeing "digital" as a common buzzword in these kinds of roles, for example: Digital Communications (or Content) Strategist. I think it's important to indicate that you are talking about the online/web-based/digital world. (FWIW I'm a "Senior Manager, Online Communities", but I'm not in the freelance/consulting world and I focus primarily on blogs and social media. We have other marketing and PR staff for copywriting and traditional PR, as well as web designers/developers for web site stuff.)
posted by misskaz at 8:13 AM on February 28, 2011

"social media consultant" and "internet marketing strategist" sound made up to me, and they sound more narrow than what I think you are offering - plus I don't know how much you want to be tied to "social media" as that buzzphrase fades. They both also sound vaguely SEO, which I equate with spammy.

I like digital content strategist - I get from that the basic idea of what you do, it sounds like it encompasses most of what I would need, and it sounds like an actual thing - i.e., not a kid I'm paying to tweet for me. (Not at all to imply that's what you do, just trying to convey what the different titles say to me.)
posted by mrs. taters at 8:28 AM on February 28, 2011

Response by poster: Just to clarify: the impetus for my question is that, after reading books like
Content Rules
The New Rules of Marketing and PR
How to Say It
...I'm realizing that 1)I already know how to do most of this stuff pretty well, 2)I know lots of small business owners who are aware of its value, but are behind on its implementation, and 3)this kind of niche, in its freelance variety, matches my personality and interests pretty well. Now I'm just trying to see whether this is worth trying, and how to go about it best.
posted by Rykey at 8:33 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I do this a few hours per week. The company I work for calls me their "Social Media Guru." I like "Digital Content Strategist."
posted by sabh at 9:06 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Website manager.
posted by junger at 10:46 AM on February 28, 2011

I could have asked this same question. I'm trying to figure out how to go about this in my small community. I like "Website Manager" as a title. :)
posted by luckynerd at 11:21 AM on February 28, 2011

Similar job category here and my current title means nothing.

So...resume can say 'content manager', 'content strategist/web strategist', or even "internet producer" because there are a lot of PMing to my job.

In the past it was primarily copywriting but as the position evolved--actual contact with clients/vendors more and more PM came into play so it's a 50% copywriting/strategy and 50% vendor management/project management.
posted by stormpooper at 11:26 AM on February 28, 2011

Digital Marketing Strategist
posted by blazingunicorn at 3:40 PM on February 28, 2011

I think web strategist, because it seems like everyone is calling themselves a social media consultant. When my org was thinking of doing more through its online presence, the sister of our accountant came in (she works at a PR firm that does social media), and she didn't know anything about web development or content management platforms or HTML or web design, just FB, Twitter, and stuff like that. Her title at her real job was Social Media Associate or Analyst and she was supposed to be a pro bono consultant to our nonprofit.
posted by anniecat at 3:42 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

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