I had a dream.
When we first started With Content in 2018, our dream was to raise the bar of content marketing in Southeast Asia.
How? By providing end-to-end content marketing services. From audit to strategy to production to promotion to analysis to refining to do it all over again.
We were confident in our marketing philosophy and approach. That’s how proper content marketing worked, and that’s how we wanted to do it for companies here.
Long story short, we were too early to market. But things changed drastically during the Covid years, leading to a sharp uptick in demand for our services.
Here’s our annual revenue from 2018 to the present:
Many factors contributed to this, but the bottom line is that companies realized they needed to have an online presence, and take it seriously.
Most also quickly realized that they had no idea how to cultivate a lasting, high-quality, and profitable online presence. Many old-school practices still lingered e.g. keyword spamming, mass buying links, big-budget content creation with no distribution strategy, and so on.
We were once a solution looking for a problem. Survival was our primary goal.
Now, the problem is staring us in the face. But with great opportunity comes great responsibility.
For instance, we hit a crunch period in the middle of 2023. Thankfully, the processes and workflows we’ve developed over five years helped us to tide through. It was a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.
This year, we’re focusing on optimization.
All the pieces are in place:
- A compassionate, passionate, and talented team ready to take on any challenge that comes our way.
- Solid, battle-tested processes and workflows that produce top-notch, revenue-generating results.
- A strong belief in our content marketing philosophy and approach.
Allow me to take a moment to indulge a bit and take it all in.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was in the valley of despair, and ready to throw in the towel on this company. Never did I imagine that everything would eventually come together so wonderfully. It is humbling to look back and see how little I had to do with it in the end – all we could do was to have faith and keep going – all glory to God!
Now, we’re ready to lean into our strengths and become the best version of With Content we’ve ever been.
In 2023, we produced over 600 strategic and production deliverables.
The projects we worked on ranged from pure content creation to end-to-end strategic plays. As long as they were a good fit with our strengths, we took them up.
This year, we want to be intentional about prioritizing clients and projects where we can have the biggest impact. This would include projects where:
- we are engaged from the beginning and can set a clear strategy and direction from the get-go, or
- the client has a clear end goal in mind, and has the budget and capacity to back up our plan to meet it.
Like any other human being, we only have so many work hours per day, and we want to direct our precious capacity towards work that we – and our clients – know we can excel in and be proud of at the end of the day.
Fewer but deeper client relationships
In 2023, we worked with 36 clients.
Here’s the interesting part: that’s one less client than the year before.
Yet we’re on track to end the financial year with 60+% more revenue than the previous one.
Why? Basically, our key clients did a lot more work with us. Some even doubled or tripled the value of their projects with us. And through this process, we gained a better understanding of what our best client-fit profile looked like.
Ok, so that isn’t really groundbreaking. But realizing this was a pivotal turning point for me.
All these years, I had been operating in survival mode i.e. win any and all clients regardless of project size because you never know when the next famine will hit.
To finally be able to focus on clients who were the best fit for our strengths and culture – what a privilege! – was massive.
So this year, we will continue to pour our hearts and souls into cultivating win-win, long-term, close relationships with our key clients, and developing new ones as well.
Not all growth is good (I share my thoughts on this here). We’re not in the churn-and-burn business – we’re here to stay.
Have (more) fun!
When you do something as a profession, you gradually and inevitably stop doing it “for fun”.
Just ask any writer when they intend to publish their own novel.
But as it turns out, doing something for the heck of it – otherwise known as “learning through play” – is actually how we learn best.
Not to mention the myriad of successful businesses that started out as side projects (think Twitter, Buffer, or ProductHunt)! Doing fun projects might turn out to be really good business.
That’s why we intend to do something of our own for fun this year.
For now, we will be relaunching Deeper, a newsletter offering an in-depth analysis of the biggest happenings and trends in technology across Southeast Asia and their impact on society.
Here’s an example of a hot topic we covered previously:
We had gotten very positive feedback and traction for this back in 2020, but eventually had to put a pause on it due to limited capacity. Now, we plan to invest some resources into helping Deeper reach its fullest potential. Expect more hard-hitting and insightful content from us very soon!
We also have plans to give back to the freelance community that has supported our work so much over the years. Watch this space 🙂
200+ industry-leading tech companies in Southeast Asia are happy clients of With Content. Join them and start delivering valuable content to your potential customers today.