Interview with Tim Hartmann: A HeadStart Case Study
by Susan Varty, Managing Partner
Tim Hartmann is a marketing executive with extensive experience in the professional services world. In 2018, he worked with HeadStart Copywriting while at KPMG, and the firm remains a HeadStart client today. We asked him about his experience working with HeadStart Copywriting.
Why did you decide to sign on with HeadStart?
We found HeadStart through a referral, which was great. We don’t have in-house writers. Instead we deal with a plethora of freelancers. All of them provided different levels of quality and different models for payment, which caused a lot of confusion. In the end, I didn’t know whether we were getting value.
I also wanted to revisit how we were doing things. People are turning more to social media and the digital space, where you need quick, easy, digestible content. We had been producing big, 15- to 20-page booklets—everything-and-the-kitchen-sink kind of content—and doing it slowly. No one has the appetite for that anymore. We had to rethink our whole strategy and how we were going to market with our messaging.
For us, HeadStart’s value proposition, the value for money, and forcing us to rethink how we went to market, was a good push for us to move more into digital. What HeadStart provides is excellent content that can roll out across multiple formats and channels. Today people digest content in various ways, and we can’t do one-size-fits-all anymore.
We could leverage HeadStart’s ability to write anything from a post, to social media, to a one-page article to generate a lot of content from a single piece. That provided great value for money because we didn’t have to rewrite everything from scratch, we could just massage what we had from HeadStart.
How has HeadStart’s subscription model changed the way you work?
What we found was that thanks to HeadStart’s model it forced us to keep things short and to get messaging out more concisely. Working with HeadStart allowed our team to be out selling rather than sitting around writing.
Our subject matter experts were able to have brief phone conversations with one of the HeadStart writers who understood the business, could articulate what they wanted to say, and convey a message that gets traction. HeadStart only needed a little bit of time to get up to speed, and they were able to generate great content for us to use.
Less time in writing and less time in editing was a huge value for our team. It’s a better investment of their time, and we get better value for money and return on investment in the end.
What do you consider the top benefit of working with HeadStart and why?
Working with HeadStart allowed me, as a marketer, to build a better relationship with my stakeholders and to add higher value for them. I was getting real quality in the content HeadStart was producing. And that was true from the very first pieces HeadStart delivered.
What would you tell others about the client experience with HeadStart?
I look at it as an investor. Instead of investing time working with ten different writers, we were able to streamline our process and work with just one or two at HeadStart. The ease-of-use and the simplicity of working with one writer, connecting them with a subject matter expert, and having them have a dialogue was huge. And the ease of feedback was great. We would get a draft, request a few changes, get it back, and it would be good to go.
The responsiveness of the HeadStart team was excellent, too. If there were any questions or concerns, someone from HeadStart was on it right away to get us answers. That was hugely important for us.
And think about the costs. What does it cost to hire a great writer for one article? If you can get four or five items or more a month from HeadStart for the same price or less, that’s a huge win for you.
Have the conversation. Get HeadStart to create some content for you, work with one of your subject matter experts, and then compare it to what you’ve been doing. You will see a difference.
HeadStart has been a lifesaver in several occasions. Especially, when we can’t afford adding content staff resources to our budget.