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Meet Christie Nichols of Content Clarity in East Cobb

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christie Nichols.

Christie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been doing content strategy and content marketing in different forms for more than ten years and running Content Clarity for a little over three. I arrived in this niche partially out of passion, with a little bit of serendipity (you might even call it dumb luck). Let me explain.

I always knew I wanted to write for a living. I went to journalism school at UGA, hoping to land a job in the field when I graduated. But I graduated right smack into the worst job market ever. This was in December 2008. The closest thing I could find was a job writing marketing articles and product descriptions for an eCommerce startup company. Because we were so small, I was soon responsible for all-things-content, including managing updates in the platform. I didn’t realize this was “content strategy” at the time, but that’s what I was doing: content strategy is part editorial (optimizing content for your audience) and part technical (optimizing content for SEO, scalability, etc.)

I came across an interesting job opening for a “content strategist” at one of the big agencies in town, and it sounded a lot like what I did. I applied for the job, and couldn’t believe my luck when I got an offer. I spent the next few years working on big, juicy projects for brands like Publix, Mohawk Flooring, and Duke Energy. I also spent some time client-side for a manufacturing company, overseeing all branded content and a successful website redesign.

But part of me always wanted to be my own boss and have more control over my own destiny. As terrifying as it was, I made that leap in 2016 and haven’t looked back.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’d love to meet a business owner who has had nothing but smooth sailing (and learn their secrets!) There are almost always bumps in the road, and they’re certainly have been for me. The first struggle was the decision to leave my full-time job in the first place. It was a leap of faith in a lot of ways. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband and network.

After you’ve made that leap, you find yourself wearing many hats. Suddenly, you’re your own accountant. There’s no IT person to turn to when your website or email goes down! You’re managing all projects and client relationships on your own. And somewhere in between, you’ve got to find time to get out there and network and grow the business. It’s all been challenging—in a good way, as most fellow business owners will also tell you.

Please tell us about Content Clarity. What should we know?
My company, Content Clarity, is a niche agency that specializes in content strategy, content marketing and copywriting. I partner with clients on everything from large product launches (like website redesigns) to ongoing content development needs (think case studies, whitepapers, email marketing, etc.). Most agencies can “do” content at some level, but few can execute with the strategic mindset that comes from years and years of focused experience. My ideal clients are looking for a true partner who will dive into the weeds, really get to know their business, and consistently deliver work that’s spot-on. At larger agencies, it could be an intern working on your brand’s content.

What makes me most proud is when I earn business through referrals—when someone’s looking for a great content partner to help them execute their marketing strategy and a colleague says, “I’ve got someone for you.”

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I wouldn’t be here without the help of my amazing network. I’ve been fortunate to work with and for some wonderful people, many of whom are still my clients today.

This year I partnered with a business coach, Shelly Brockman, who has really helped me solidify my vision and strategy. I also joined a group of fellow entrepreneur ladies who have been an awesome resource and sounding board. We meet regularly at The Nook, a cozy, female-focused co-working space in Roswell Square.

I recommend all of these things to anyone else who’s just starting out. Get plugged in and find your “squad”!

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