I tend to think content managers are the smartest people in the world. And I’m not saying that because I am one — I know I tend to brag, but not so obviously. Content managers gather, in one brain, five different kinds of “smart” at the same time:
- they need to write really well: that’s verbal intelligence
- they need to back their content with data: that’s logical intelligence
- they need to make their content aesthetically appealing: that’s visual intelligence
- they need to build communities and understand their readership: that’s interpersonal intelligence
- they need to think ROI and lead generation: that’s business intelligence (this kind of intelligence does not exist per se, but you get it)
Pretty impressive, right? Yet among all those smart cookies, SaaS companies are still claiming they want only the best of the best. I have applied to content jobs myself, and then hired content people; I’d love to share some thoughts with you about that.
How can you show the best of yourself to apply to a content job?
I want to start with an example: me. I’m a pretty average person, therefore, I guess most people can identify with my situation. I also like to reach for the stars — as do many people in the SaaS industry: the ecosystem is at the same time promising, fascinating and highly challenging.
Lars Lofgren recently announced he’s recruiting copywriters for Kissmetrics’ blog, i.e, the Rolls Royce of SaaS blogs. Let’s say I want to apply.
I have been a content manager for only 5 months. Before that, I was a freelance copywriter, and before that, a marketing manager. Therefore I know a thing or two about content, but I am definitely no expert. Here’s how I would introduce myself.
Note: this is a fictional application. I actually have a lovely job at eFounders in Paris! This is merely my way to participate in the beautiful content ecosystem.
I hope Lars will take time to review this fake application to help you all.
General lessons to learn
- Exceed expectations
Rules to apply were clear: “send a resume, why you wanna work here, your best piece of content, and your Linkedin profile”. It seems pretty clear to me that a short email won’t do it for Lars, so I did slides. It could have been a podcast, a Youtube video, an infographics, or a Bunkr presentation: something “content-y” that show you’ve got other things to show in the future.
I didn’t put as much effort in theses slides as if I actually applied, of course. They’re here to give you an idea.
2. Show you love the product
SaaS is a particular industry in the sense that, although it’s B2B, it has a lot of B2C in it. I find a lot more emotion in SaaS communications and content marketing than in any other B2B products. You loving the product should be a strong motivation, and it should show in your application.
Here, I’m using Kissmetrics’ visual identity in the slides — that is not a super-original idea, but it’s better than a simple letter, right? I’m also telling the story of how I got to know the product. The story is actually true, but if you don’t have any particular anecdote to tell, remember: no one’s here to check (just saying).
3. Focus on your assets
I’m no Content super-star — yet. Therefore, I had to show my best asset: I learn fast and I like to learn a lot. I opted for an “illustrated example” of what I did wrong, better, somehow good, and what I hoped to learn in the future.
Note that the slides do not include ‘I’m no content superstar’: they don’t need to know that. They are the ones who need to focus on your qualities.
For instance, in my application, I use the example of an article I made. I do not mention the Podcast I made out of the article, which was a HUGE fail.
4. It’s also the little things…
You have to show you’ll fit instantly to the company. If you can, mention if you ever met someone from the inside. If you’ve heard of a company culture skydiving tradition, tell them you love to skydive.
Or like me, in your personal info, show that you hang around on the same social networks as them, GrowthHackers, Quibb, and so on (I didn’t add Hacker News because I have such a poor karma!)
The 5 types of intelligence you need to demonstrate
Express your inside Shakespeare.
Send links to content you’re proud of, it’s the first thing your future employer will look at.
I’ve scanned applicants who told me “I love copywriting! But, no, I have nothing to show you online”… Come on.
Prove your data-driven mindset
Content marketers and SaaS copywriters are, above all, marketers. In any case, if you apply to a position in a marketing department, you have to show you love data.
- Mention your successful “content moments” using KPIs marketers are used to.
- Tell a story about how A/B testing helped you out.
- Explain which analytics tools you use, and why (in that particular case, it better be Kissmetrics!)
Show you have an eye for design and data visualization
You don’t need to be a designer yourself, you mainly need to have an eye for good design and ability to tell a story with visuals — you will probably work along with designers that you’ll need to brief.
There are great chances you’ll work on data visualization (which is a very fascinating and complicated art!): send links to infographics you made / you love, to show you care.
Demonstrate your customer-love
Customers are the heart and soul of a SaaS company, you must love them already. Even before you apply.
- Show you’re a socially-adapted person: explain what you like about a specific online / offline community (a social platform, a meetup…) and how it nurtures your work.
- Tell inspiring stories about customers reading your content, reacting to it, etc.
Manifest your ROI-mindset
Nothing speaks better than figures. Back your application with data showing your content gets results. In other words, prove you can not only master words but also lead generation.
To dig a little deeper, show your ROI is smart: each product has a different strategy, show you can analyse your data in various ways.
By the way… We’re hiring!
I’m always looking to meet / talk to interesting people, especially if you’re a good SaaS copywriter / PR person / social media expert, for current or future positions at eFounders (remote OK). If it’s you, email me at email@example.com
The position at Mention mentioned (lol) below is no longer up to date. Yet, I know another great SaaS company looking for an Inbound marketer in Paris: Mailjet (ok, you might need to speak French for that).
I’ll keep you updated with any other job offers in our network!
OUTDATED: For a current position, I strongly recommend you check out Mention, my favorite media monitoring tool ever ever. They are looking for Content Marketers in Paris & NYC, a.k.a the best two cities in the world. Apply here.
PS: yes, I pretty much wrote this blogpost just to take the opportunity to share with you these job openings. But you knew it already, didn’t ya?