Behind the Scenes: A Strategic Path to Content and Connection

My name is Lynn Winter, and I'm a Digital Strategist here at TEN7.

My role as the Digital Strategist is to work with our clients to outline the project strategy, and then think through the content needs, the modeling and the layout. So, anything around architecture, how things go on the page, and kind of the long term plan for the content.

For our projects, we do things differently for every client and scope. There's not a one-step project, even though we have system-standard things. But we look at our toolbox to determine the best needs for the client, the project and the budget.

So, I could involve a lot of things like stakeholder interviews, or click testing, reviewing analytics, and really doing a full content inventory. And that's what we'll bring to that first meeting is a better understanding of who they are, their marketplace and their users.

From there, we really get into the content planning

And then also into the user flows, personas and sitemap and how someone goes through a page with the layout.

My background originally was in television, and I was a project manager. And so, I did mostly things around managing people, projects and timelines in the television space. I moved over into the agency world in 2008 and started working at a Drupal agency.

As anyone that's worked at a small place knows you get to do all of the things you have interest in, and so that really took off. And so, a couple of years back, I went freelance, and I've been really able to just dig into the strategy and content work.

A good content strategist is different depending on who your client is and what vertical you're working in. For me, and with TEN7’s mission, Make Things That Matter, we're often working with either nonprofits or people that need to be responsible for either their dollars or their outcomes. And so really being able to listen to the client and finding the right process and scope and steps to not only get our team from A to B, but also get the client. A lot of my work involves helping the client get through the process, writing content or making approvals. And so really understanding what their needs are and helping them with those.

When visiting other sites, I focus more around the space and the user experience. I'm always looking for that. How easy is it to scan and digest and pull in content, and then the extra icing on the cake when someone can delight you and provide a cool interaction or something to make you think further.

We like to think that the internet and making websites has been around for a long time, but it really hasn't compared to other mediums like television and radio. We're really in infancy. So, when I started working at an agency in 2008, it was still folks working out of basements and pulling things together. And the places that went from individual solopreneurs into agencies, they went on their strength. So maybe someone was a designer, and that's how they started and grew from there, and so maybe that agency started really strong in strategy and design, where another place maybe was started by someone that was a developer, and so their strength is having great development chops.

So, I think it's just an evolution honestly of the industry. And as teams have grown, they've seen where we're really good over here and we need to strengthen that.

I think that's just a kudos to a team that realizes I need all of these pieces to come together. Lots of folks don't prioritize project managers for example, and it's agencies like TEN7 that really are looking at that full picture to come together to put their best foot forward.

A good meeting to me is when everyone's on zoom, all their cameras are on, we've got virtual poster notes on the screen, and people are throwing out ideas left and right. So, I often come into my meetings that I'm leading with some sort of document to review, and when I get tons of feedback, and interactivity, that means we're figuring it out together.

There's also ways to provide more fun engagement. I'm not looking to log on and just be like, “Alright, let's go.” I really like to spend time chatting and learning about lives, and do they go to the pumpkin patch? And how are their kids? And kind of building that relationship, not only because I'm interested in it, but it also brings a lot more positivity around a project.

It's been great to see the evolution of the mission statement for TEN7 grow over the last couple years. The statement of Make Things Matter not only resonates with me, but it's something that's used within the team often. So, it's not just a mission statement tucked away in a corner. It's something that's being talked about and making decisions about for the employees and clients and projects. So, it's been nice to be part of an organization that is trying to live the mission out loud.

That's what feels good. Because we can all just turn things out and churn it but it's about whether it's an impactful project, impactful connection with someone that makes you want to get up and do it again every day.

Ivan Stegic

CEO
 
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Ivan Stegic

Words that describe Ivan: Relentlessly optimistic. Kind. Equally concerned with client and employee happiness. Physicist. Ethical. Lighthearted and cheerful. Finds joy in the technical stuff. Inspiring. Loyal. Hires smart, curious and kind employees who want to create more good in the world.