Lauren Lutz is a content strategist for Cleriti, an inbound marketing agency in Cincinnati. She graduated in 2014 from Ball State with a degree in English Studies. She’s passionate about her career, national parks, traveling, and food.
How would you describe your job?
I’m a content strategist for an inbound marketing agency, so I’m responsible for generating ideas for digital content (think blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers) and then actually producing and publishing it on clients’ websites. The whole goal of producing that content is to gear it towards their target buyer persona (the customers they’d like to reach). So, the content has to be highly relevant to that target person so they’ll actually read and engage with it, and then engage with other elements on my clients’ websites. If we can hook that persona with great, relevant content and get them to provide their email address, etc, to download the content, then our clients can work on selling their products/services to them. It’s “inbound” because we want our clients’ content to show up in Google searches as their target buyer personas look for answers to their questions or try to solve their problems. It’d be “outbound” marketing if we were producing direct mailers or cold calling. Instead, we engage our clients’ buyer personas naturally — they find us.
How did your English major lead to your job/what skills did you learn as an English major that helped you transition into that job?
I actually met the person who hired me at Cleriti at the Ball State Writing Center. We worked together there for a year, and right after I graduated she reached out to me about a job opening at her marketing agency, Cleriti. I was hesitant to apply because I thought, “I’m not in marketing, I’m an English major!” But, I trusted her recommendation and took a long, hard look at my skill set. I realized that I had the research, writing, organization, and storytelling skills necessary to perform the role of content strategist. Not to mention all the courses I took in rhetoric! Being able to change the tone/feel of my writing for different clients was a must, and I had picked up that skill (or knew something about it) from studying rhetoric. And, I felt like I was a versatile writer because I knew how to be academic and creative, or a mash-up of both when necessary. And, I can’t stress enough the importance of my critical thinking skills when I started working here! English majors thrive on thinking outside of the box, and that is VERY appreciated in the workplace.
What’s a typical day like for you?
My day consists of: communicating with clients on the quality of the content I produce for them; making appropriate edits before publishing said content; working with/managing other writers who help me out; coming up with ideas to share content on social media; working with my team to make sure our campaigns are on time and that we’re delivering work to our clients consistently; learning marketing best practices from my boss, who’s an inbound marketing guru and inspiration!
Is there a particular class or professional opportunity that helped guide you into your job field?
I’d say that my professional writing classes really helped me out. The intro course is all about rhetoric and the digital landscape, and the rest teach you skills to use your writing in various ways within that digital environment. Those classes made me realize that my writing interests were transferrable outside of academia, so I pursued other projects, as well.
I started working for the Digital Literature Review during its first and second year. I also worked as a public relations intern for the BSU English Department. I even did an immersive learning project where we all went out into the community, did research and conducted interviews, and produced radio stories for IPR. Plus, I got an internship at Angie’s List so I had professional experience on my resume when it came time to job hunt (and I wouldn’t have gotten that internship without all of my other experience). Basically, I really went out of my way to use my English major skills in a variety of contexts so I could show future employers that I was versatile even though I was an English major.
What’s your advice to current English majors?
My advice to current English majors is pretty simple: work hard in your English classes to develop strong critical thinking and writing skills; practice using those skills in other contexts besides class; and build up your resume with internships and big projects outside of classes to show that your English skills are transferrable. Most of all, don’t wait to start building your resume during your senior year! I started during the 2nd semester of my sophomore year, which made getting my pretty-serious Angie’s List internship the summer before my senior year easier to do. But, if you have waited, don’t be discouraged! There’s always a project at Ball State you can get involved in to start building up your experience. Sometimes the things that scare you most are the best experiences you can have.
Update: Lauren has moved on to a new job at Everything But the House. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.