We made it our New Year’s Resolution to introduce more of our outstanding people to you, so outsiders can see what life’s really like at Evolved Search, in various roles across the business. Following her promotion in December 2018 to Senior, next up on the list was our Senior Content Manager, Danielle Pegg Mowbray.
Danielle joined the Evolved Search team back in June 2016, following an interesting career history, spent with companies such as Ringtons and Hotel Du Vin.
To find out more about the woman behind the words, we sat down for a cuppa with Danielle and set out to discover what a Senior Content Manager gets up to during the daily grind.
Without further ado, here’s the scoop…
So first of all, tell us what a typical day looks like for you.
I wouldn’t say there is a “typical day” for me, but that’s part of why I enjoy my job. No two pieces I work on are the same and I get to stretch my creative muscles in different ways every single day.
I usually get to work around 8ish (I’m an early riser!), grab myself a coffee and get going. I start by checking my emails and my to-do list. I’ll prioritise what I need to get done that day and in what order as deadlines and unforeseen issues can change things often and swiftly, so it’s imperative that I do this first to make sure I spend my day on the right things.
My work mostly consists of researching and writing pieces on a range of subjects, depending on the client. It might be a straight forward article, an infographic, a development piece or a blog post with multiple visual assets. I work closely with our outreach and design team to edit and refine the piece and see it through the process from initial idea to finished content, live on a website.
I also manage a small team of content writers and lead one of our “pods”, which consists of SEO and technical people, writers and outreach. As part of this, I oversee all work across the pod and make sure people are all up to date for their clients and everything is on track. I step in when people need help or guidance and liaise with the rest of the senior management team to ensure we’re supporting everyone as much as possible.
Finally, I also edit and proofread pieces from other members of the content team, run brainstorms, plan for training sessions and do a lot of project management.
Phew! Sounds like you’ve got your hands full! What are your favourite bits of working in Content Marketing?
I’m a writer at heart, so it fulfils the urge in me to write on a daily basis. I also love being creative and organised and in this job I get to do both.
It’s also great to work with a team of experienced, talented and passionate people, all full of ideas and determination every day. I also get to work with emerging Content Marketing talent, as we’ve welcomed a number of fresh graduates into the agency this past year. It’s a thrill to see them develop and progress and I’m always glad to play a part in that.
Any tips to share for those looking to get into your field?
I’ve taken a very meandering route to get to this point in my career. Everyone at Evolved jokes about how many jobs I’ve had and the wide range of them, but ultimately, I think that’s made me better at what I do now.
My advice to others would be;
- You have to have a genuine love for writing as it’s not always easy and you will need to do lots of it. I’ve written for fun since I learned to write. I do it in my spare time. I never get sick of it.
- You will need a naturally curious attitude – you’ll need to write about things you never knew existed or create content for clients that appear on the surface to be very 1 dimensional. Your job will be to turn detective and research ideas, push them as far as you can and find information on subjects you previously have had no knowledge of. Great for pub quizzes!
- Learn how to be adaptable. Both your working style and writing style will need to change depending on who you’re working with and what client and audience you’re creating for. Anything creative will always feel personal to a certain extent, but you have to learn how to let go and not be precious about your work. We go through multiple rewrites and ideas get picked apart. Which leads onto the next point…
- Learn how to give and receive criticism. Be tactful, but honest and wherever possible, come up with other suggestions or solutions.
- You won’t always have the perfect job and content marketing can be hard to get into, but take what you can from every role you hold and it will serve you well in the future. I’ve spent time as everything from a barmaid and waitress to a make-up artist, teaching assistant, TV crew, events manager, and eCommerce executive. Not every job I’ve had has been what I wanted, but I’ve learned something from every single one of them.
- Passion and attitude are key. You will learn as you go, and people can teach you new things, but if you aren’t willing to do this, and you prefer a more rigid working environment or a role where you know the boundaries all the time, then this is not the sector for you. You have to be willing to adapt and change, learn new things all the time and push yourself further with every piece you work on. Skill and knowledge will only get you so far, passion and a good attitude the rest.
What do you hope to achieve in your career in 2019?
I hope to really flourish in my senior role as it’s quite a recent promotion, and also learn more about leadership. I was the first female at Evolved in the beginning and over the past 3 years we’ve grown massively and seen huge changes. It’s been great to witness as a member of staff from “the early days”, which seem like so long ago now!
I’m really excited to see where we go from here and to be a part of all that’s to come.
2018 was a great year for us as an agency, but also as a Content team, with some amazing results coming from our work, for example, the piece we created for Money Guru about how personal data is sold on the dark web, which ended up being featured on Fox News, the New York Post, Daily Mail, Metro and more, which was phenomenal brand awareness for the client from a lot of ideation, research, production and outreach here at Evolved HQ.
I’m hoping for more of the same in this year and beyond!
What’s been your proudest moment so far in your career?
Probably my promotion here at Evolved before the New Year. From a personal perspective, it’s been a long time coming. As I said earlier, I’ve worked in a lot of places and been made redundant several times, so it’s sometimes felt a bit like a game of snakes and ladders.
Here at Evolved I finally feel I’ve met my perfect match and I’m invested in the company and really care about the people within it. I lost my dad a few years ago and he would have absolutely loved to see me where I am now, so I like to think I’m making him proud.
I was told after I got the job that one of the reasons my CV stuck out was because I’d set up a poetry blog in my spare time – which I’d created in memory of my dad, so it feels like he helped me to get here.
Are there any content marketers out there in the industry that you admire and are inspired by?
I think “content marketer” is one of those job titles that’s quite open to interpretation across the industry, so I tend to look towards people who are just very creative and passionate, no matter what their job title is.
You never know where inspiration is going to come from, so on social media, I follow a lot of designers, writers, photographers, poets, journalists, entrepreneurs and people who are specialists in their fields.
People that have really made an impact on me in the past year are;
Sue Black: An anthropologist and author of “All that remains”, who I heard speak at a writing conference. She was fascinating and I told everyone I met about her for weeks after.
Jessie Burton: Author of “The Miniaturist”, “The Muse” and “The Restless Girls”. I met her a few years ago at a book talk and signing and she was so engaging and eclectic. I recently won a copy of The Restless Girls from her over Instagram and it’s a reimagining of The Twelve Dancing Princesses with a more feminist take. She’s a great fan of Frida Kahlo and her Instagram stories show her life as a writer, explorer, adventurer and feminist. A true creative.
Patrick Ness: Author of YA books, including “A Monster Calls” (which was made into a movie), The “Chaos Walking” Trilogy (also being turned into a movie), “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” and more.
Again, this is another author I’ve met and he is passionate and writes from the heart. He has suffered from depression and anxiety and his social media posts are always honest and very humble. I find his writing always hits a nerve with me.
Stack Magazines: Not a person, but a subscription service for magazines that are outside of the mainstream. A great way to learn something new and see different design approaches.
Amy Dover: A local artist and illustrator who focuses on animals, birds and mythology. Beautiful illustrations that evoke an emotional response.
Mary Portas: Just brilliant at what she does. Feisty and honest without being rude. #worklikeawoman
Michelle Pegg: A local designer – and my sister! I may be biased but I’ve grown up with this woman and seen her work through the night to perfect handwritten type skills, (does anyone even do that anymore?!) travel across the country meeting clients, give talks, create strong brands and start her own business. She’s an inspiration to me because she has always been passionate about design from a young age. There’s no half-heartedness with her. She strives for the best in every piece she works on, her attention to details is amazing and her standards are impeccable.
So there you have it – a whistlestop tour through the day-to-day of our Senior Content Manager!
Unfortunately, we’re not recruiting in our Content team right now, but if Content Marketing sounds like your thing, make sure you keep a close eye on our Careers page. There will no doubt be another vacancy popping up soon as we continue to thrive and expand!