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Successful Software

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How to hire a B2B content master?

My company is B2B SaaS ( www.lokad.com ) and so far, the most effective marketing technique has been to produce fairly technical content targeting my client verticals. Hence the content is "domain technical" not "software technical". This content generates inbound leads which is very good (sample page http://w3.lokad.com/eoq ).

As of today, I am still producing close to 100% of the content on the website, and I am trying to hire someone to takeover the bulk of the work. However, I don't exactly know where to start.

I am not even sure how such a position would be called:
- webmaster
- content master
- web marketing specialist
- domain expert with writing skills
- ...

How would you go about hiring such a person?
Joannes Vermorel - Lokad Sales Forecasting Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
Maybe search for academic papers on relevant topics and then contact the authors and ask them to write a summary for you? I'm guessing most academics wouldn't mind a bit of extra cash.
Andy Brice Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
Looking at your question again - are you looking to hire someone full time?
Andy Brice Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
Looking at your example, I don't think you can hire anyone from the marketing world who can study enough econometrics in a short amount of time to be able to write this sort of content. I think Andy's suggestion is good; or maybe you can hire econometrics students who write content, and then have it reviewed/rewritten by a copywriter for maximum impact (or have then work together, in a few cycles). I'm quite sure I would be able to find some students who'd love to do such work at my local economics faculty. Each post like the one you linked to is like a mini-paper at the bachelor's level, or a small literature study. I think looking in this direction will be more fruitful than looking for a copywriter whom you expect to learn about this matter.

Students would set you back about 15-20 € / hour, a post like this would be 3-4 days maybe? Plus a day for a professional copywriter, maybe 500€ per piece?

(while writing this post I was assuming you were still solo like a few years ago but now looking at your site it seems you have quite a big company - I'd guess that with your academic contacts and those of your staff, you should be able to locate content experts quite easily?)
Joske Vermeulen Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
My suggestion was students as well because they are hungry to prove themselves.

Attend a couple of meetups in your locality and see if you can get a conversation going.
Bring back anon Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
Andy, yes, I am looking for a full time position.
Joske, indeed, we are a lot more "corporate" than we used to be :-)

I have actually tried once the freelance student approach (coming up exactly with your ballpark figures concerning the cost of an article, btw). However, chasing after students was quite time consuming; that's why I am now more inclined into a full time employment.
Joannes Vermorel - Lokad Sales Forecasting Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
You could hire somebody to chase after the students for you :)
Joske Vermeulen Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
You don't need to explain the complex math behind supply chain management, leave that for in house debates.  If you want to grow your business you need to explain the value of mathematical forecasting to managers in charge of operations, not just supply management. That requires an accounting analysis, focusing on cost control.  Operations are a cost centre, not a profit centre, and even cash flow analysis is useless for this audience, because the cost of money, or the company's internal rate of return doesn't directly affect them.

Why go above the supply chain managers?  Because they are too conservative and don't know how to make the case for investment.  Their mandate is to drive out cost, not to look for new systems to manage their business.

You have two kinds of prospects, one, companies who are already looking for a software solution to control supply chain costs (either because their current system is broken or they are new and don't have any system with years of training and experience invested in) and two, companies who are looking for something new to give them a competitive advantage.  You seem to have mastered the market for the first group.  Reaching the second group requires more than a web master. 

You need a public relations master, who can reach CEO's and tweak their interest enough to pass along contact information for their operational heads.  Then a very good salesperson to start the slow process of developing a perceived need for your solutions, and when the time is right, to bring you and your math wizards in to prove that Lokad is indeed capable of boosting their business.
Howard Ness Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
+1  what Howard said

Yet another excellent response by Mr. Ness for all the B2B geeks like myself - thanks.
BI Baracus Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
You're welcome (how do you blush online?)  My other advice is to avoid overestimating the mathematical literacy of management.  Lots of companies (right up to 11 figure annual sales) talk about business intelligence, but don't understand the first thing about data analysis.  If they spend money on it, it is because the company beside them is doing it.
Howard Ness Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
Howard, thanks it's sound advice, then it's two probably two persons that need to be hired. :-)
Joannes Vermorel - Lokad Sales Forecasting Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
>it's two probably two persons that need to be hired.

At least. I think it is going to be tough to find one person:
-who has the domain knowledge
-who can write
-has the required web/SEO/analytics skills

As Joske said, you might be better to hire someone (full or part time) with some of those skills (e.g. web/SEO/analytics) who can  manage the outsourcing of the rest (e.g. find academics and students to do the writing).
Andy Brice Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
I don't know if they operate in Europe, but in the US APICS is the most prominent SCM-related professional organization. You could check to see if they have an active LinkedIn group or job board.

FYI - In the EOQ article, the first link to the Wilson Formula is broken and takes you to the home page.
Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
Nicholas, thanks for the US APICS tip! (also fixed the broken link)
Joannes Vermorel - Lokad Sales Forecasting Send private email
Friday, April 19, 2013
 
 

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