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Lessons from an editorial consultancy project

Working for an editorial consultancy project requires you to think about audiences needs which might possibly be very different than yours.

Especially, if it’s your first time undertaking this kind of project you can feel lost and will not know where to start.

However, I can reassure you that there is always a way to move forward. By putting in the research and working closely with your team members you can easily gain insights into publications and markets that you knew nothing about.

In the end, you will learn that this is how an editorial consultancy project works and that you don’t have to be an expert on a publication to be able to consult them.

There are people who do this as a career and of course they can’t be familiar with all the publications they are asked to work with. They just know what and how to research.

Here are five tips to get you started:

Get to know who your target market is

The first thing that editors will do is to give you a challenge. They will identify an area that they want to improve and will ask for your help.

At this point, you might be inclined to start brainstorming and coming out with ideas. However, this is not the way to go.

The first thing you should do is to start researching to find out who your target market really is. After this research all the ideas that you will be proposing will be much refined.

To learn about your target market you have to go out and talk to them. In our case, we had to talk to new or expecting mothers.

We researched and found out social groups of mothers, created surveys and asked questions to mothers we knew.

Photo by Joshua Rodriguez on Unsplash

Photo by Joshua Rodriguez on Unsplash

Find out what the audience needs

Our challenge was to increase magazine subscriptions through creating an online community. The thing that gave a direction to the strategy that we followed was the answers that mothers gave us.

In our surveys and meetings with them, we asked them what kind of support they would like to have in this period of their lives and about aspects of parenthood that they are anxious about and they would need some support.

Then we started thinking about ways in which we could address our target market’s needs and how to tie them with our brand.

At first, you’ll come up with a lot of ideas. But as you go along, more research, experience and teamwork will help you polish your ideas.

Presenting your ideas

We used the Story, Opportunity, Ideas structure to present our ideas to the client.

First, we introduced them to our work with a story. We gave our target market a name. She was a young mother named Meghan. We talked about her background and her needs.

Then we identified the gap that existed in the market for addressing these needs or we looked at examples of how other brands successfully addressed these needs.

Finally, we presented our best ideas to the client and offered practical ways on how they could be implemented.

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