How does a blogger say hello world? Certainly not with the stock “Hello world!” post that comes preloaded with every WordPress install, that’s for sure — but often with a post that does little more than memorialize the launch with a short but sweet how-do-you-do. Or sometimes by diving right in, as if they’ve been here all along, so nice of you to finally notice — which is exactly what I did when I started my first blog almost nine years ago. That seemed to work out just fine for me then.
But what if you’re not just launching a blog but actually launching a business? It’s an interesting question, because that’s exactly what we’re doing. And exactly what this post is about.
SO HELLO WORLD!
We’re VERDINO & CO. We’re a content consultancy. We also happen to be a husband-and-wife team. On the one hand, this is new for us — the company, working together, sharing a desk (OK, it’s actually our kitchen table, but still…) On the other hand, just like content marketing itself we’ve been here for years.
Content was hardly the only thing on my plate way back in 2007, but even then I recognized that it was no longer enough for brands to be the interruption; they had to become the actual thing that consumers would find interesting. This concept is hardly novel today, but at the time at least a few folks must have found it noteworthy. Joe Pulizzi asked me to endorse his 2009 book Get Content Get Customers, content (of the micro variety) became a key theme in my own book microMARKETING a year or so later, and I debuted my take on microcontent at the 2010 Custom Content Conference. Having built up a good head of steam as an evangelist for content marketing, I did what any self-respecting “expert” would do — I shifted my focus to different things. Now, don’t get me wrong (and this bit is important), content marketing and more broadly content strategy have often factored into my work during the five years since, but generally within the broader context of integrated marketing, social business design, innovation, digital transformation and even good old fashioned business strategy.
In the meantime, Amanda’s career followed something of an opposite path, from public relations and communications generalist to content specialist. She took the experience she gained working in the trenches at the PR agency generally credited with spearheading the push toward social media relations and parlayed it into a sweet client-side gig where she helped build an internal content marketing capability from scratch, transformed the company’s senior executives into industry opinion leaders, managed and measured the corporate blog and social media profiles, and oversaw content strategy and content creation for some cool programs that produced results for the business.
It wouldn’t take a genius to imagine what might happen if we joined forces and stenciled our name on the door. As a couple, we’re unstoppable. As a team, we’re equally comfortable talking strategy with the C-suite and turning content into an important part of the plan to bring that strategy to life. We can put our heads together to hatch creative content ideas that connect with consumers and roll up our sleeves to create content assets that convert customers. And we are building a company that does these things on a foundation of shared aspirations, shared business values and a shared commitment to doing great work for great clients.
It’s no accident that we’ve chosen an ampersand as the mark for our brand. We’re all about the ampersand. As we launch this business, we are launching as a Verdino & a Verdino. Amanda & Greg. And while the & CO in our name literally means & Company, in spirit it represents so much more: & collaborators, & colleagues, & conspirators, and of course & content.
Amanda and I are excited about building this business together, and we hope you’ll come along for the ride. We plan to use this blog to share our opinions, celebrate our successes, bring context to the world of content, and tell our story as it plays out. We’ll be doing the more of the same on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too — so be sure to connect with us wherever you go to get your social on. And the very best of what we’re reading and writing will make it into our monthly (for now) email newsletter, The Ampersand, so be sure to subscribe so we can stay in touch.
Last but not least, while I’m sure it goes without saying, if you’re interested in working with us — as a colleague, collaborator or client — we hope you’ll take a moment to say hello.