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Friday, February 15, 2008

Killer content

What if my picture went on every website or piece of content I write? Whoa.

Most of my current projects involve collaborations with designers, programmers, project managers, and other writers and editors. I have a lot of responsibility, but not a huge amount of control. Sometimes, when things aren't turning out well, there's a temptation to say "Fine, you're happy with it this way, we'll do it this way," — even though I know that the product, as it stands, isn't very good.

Of course, this would be a pretty dim thing to do. Because I want both a final product I can show to prospective clients and a client and team members who would refer me to work on other projects (plus give me repeat business). So I take a deep breath and start the conversation to figure out how to advance things from "just OK" to "really great."

I was inspired tonight by something I saw when my husband and I went grocery shopping at the Ballard Market. He was headed off to the bread section, I was turning left at frozen foods, when I spotted a table of food samples in the distance.

"It's Dave!" I said. My husband stopped, looking around for someone we know named Dave, and not seeing anyone.

"Dave," I repeated. "From Dave's Killer Bread."

Dave, the fellow manning the food sample table, had been instantly recognizable to me even though I'd never met him. That's because a drawing of him — tanned, muscular, with a long hippie-style ponytail — is on every package of the whole grain bread we use.

We went over to meet Dave and taste some samples of his breads. I marveled at the confidence and risk that goes into putting your name and picture on every single product that you make — to say nothing of getting out there and calling your brand "Dave's Killer Bread."

I've seen people taken aback because my business cards say I'm a "web content guru" instead of a "web content writer and producer."

What do you supposed they'd think of "Karen's Killer Content?"

(Speaking of content, the story behind Dave's Killer Bread may make your head spin.)

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