Sharing the “high fives” and “oh shits” of running a content strategy agency

I’m on the plane home from Confab Central thinking about how much the conversation has evolved since the inaugural Confab back in 2011. My takeaway from the first Confab was that it was a super well-run event but largely preaching to the choir.

As the very first ever content strategy conference, it was necessary groundwork. But for those of us who were actively practicing content strategy (whether or not we called it that), were hungry to dig into details with other practitioners. We were ready to get our hands on real life results to help us convince clients to stop moving the dollars from our “content strategy” line items on proposals and redistributing the money into copy & design. (See: Taking Content Strategy out of the Proposal.) And most of all, we were ready to start seeing clients at these events—and seeing them as people who could contribute to the conversation vs. people who needed to be convinced or sold.

I’m happy to say that since the first Confab:

  • There are now people all over the country, from cities big and small, who hold the title Content Strategist.
  • (Most of them have super cute haircuts and big smiles.)
  • We now have clients parading success metrics on stage.
  • It’s clear that we are getting collectively smarter about content—at lighting speed.

So what do I hope for the coming years?

Something I think about all the time but don’t hear people talking about is the plight of the small agency owner.

I connected deeply with Kristina Halvorson’s article Good Intentions: How Not To Run a Business about the ups and downs her company has weathered over the past few years. She offered a level of transparency so many of us agency owners are terrified to reveal.

In his #ConfabMN closing keynote, Austin Kleon said, “Figure out a way to learn in public.”

An aha moment for me.

I don’t think we need another content strategist blogging about how to do a content audit. But the subject of running a content strategy company is a topic I get all fired up about. 

In the coming months, I’ll be writing more about our “high fives” and “oh shits” as one of the first content strategy agencies. In the interest of opening up the conversation with other small agency founders, freelancers, and future agency starters, I’ll share different paths we have taken, where we’ve failed, and where I’m taking the company now that my co-founder/partner Ian is working with the smart folks at Razorfish. (In case you missed that…)

I might even show you how I survived an IRS audit of our independent contractors.

Is there something you’d like to contribute? Is there something you’d like to know? Drop me a line: britta at

Till then,



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