Well folks, every week since January we’ve showcased one of our attendees, and this is our final one before Content Marketing World 2016. Thanks for taking time read about our attendees, many of whom are in the same positions, same industries, and same towns (or countries!) as you. We hope you’ve found one new connection that you’re looking forward to meeting or seeing again this week.
We’re thankful Leslie will be with us, as many other American Society of Journalists and Authors members.
Please be sure to find Leslie online now, and say hello when you see her in Cleveland!
Name: Leslie Lang
Title: Freelance Content Marketing Writer
Company: Leslie Lang Communications
Is this your first CMWorld?
What made you decide to attend this year?
I learned about the conference because some writing colleagues (we all belong to the professional writer’s organization American Society of Journalists and Authors) are giving a session Wednesday afternoon called “Hunting the Unicorn: Five Ways to Rope in Highly Qualified Freelancers.” As a “highly qualified freelancer” I decided to attend in order to continue my education on content marketing trends, what’s working and not, what content marketers are looking for these days, and such.
How did your career lead you to content marketing?
I have a degree in journalism and a master’s in cultural anthropology, and when I started out in freelancing writing 18 years ago I mostly wrote articles and books about Hawaii. It was an exciting merging of my two strong interests — writing, and Hawaii’s culture and traditions. My first writing sale was to NPR’s All Things Considered, a story I voiced at my local public radio station. Over the years, my writing business has evolved with the times, which keeps things interesting. For awhile I had a business helping people write memoirs and family history books. In addition to writing for radio, newspapers and magazines I started working with corporations and agencies. As content marketing became a thing, I was intrigued, studied what was going on and found myself doing more and more of it.
If you switched careers today, what would you be doing?
I’d love to be writing books, which I am working on currently but never have as much time for as I’d like. I have two books in the works right now. One is a middle grades novel (for ages 9-12) about a girl for whom time is a little bit slippery. There’s a ribbon of trouble that runs through her family, and she doesn’t know how it happens but she keeps traveling back and forth within the family’s history to help when things get interesting. I have two more books drafted out in that series, but right now I’m getting the first one polished up and ready to seek an agent.
The other is a nonfiction book about researching my family’s history and focuses on two interesting teenagers in my family’s past. Benjamin Duffield sailed from England to Philadelphia in 1678 when he was 17 (if he lived today he would have just been starting his senior year in high school). He became the progenitor of a huge, interesting Duffield family in America (one of his grandsons was a friend to Benjamin Franklin and executor of his will). The other was Walter Henry Bradley, who left England in about 1885 at age 15. He traveled all over Europe, Asia and Australia, supporting himself by tuning pianos. He ended up in Hawaii where he married a Hawaiian-Chinese woman. Both were true adventurers and I’ve had a blast learning more about and writing about their journeys. For instance, family lore says Walter Bradley lived in Afghanistan long enough that he became fluent in the language there, and I recently discovered an academic in London wrote about a small group of Westerners in Afghanistan in the late 19th century, “even a piano tuner!” Research continues!
What is your biggest content marketing challenge?
I’m always interesting in meeting content marketers looking for the type of writing I do. I specialize in writing about non-profits, hospitality and hospitality technology, travel and tourism, luxury hotels, small business, op-eds, ancestry/family history and more. I’m also a destination expert on Hawaii, where I live.
Where is one place in the world you’d like to visit? Why?
How about a leisurely cruise around the world where I could alternate between sitting with a book on the deck, writing, watching amazing sunrises and sunsets, eating great food and visiting various cities that interest me? Yeah. I want to do that now.
If you could sit down with one person in our industry, who would it be? What would you want to ask?
I don’t know the answer to this one yet. Ask me again after the conference!
What is one orange item in your life you can’t live without?
I never realized how little orange I have in my life until I signed up for Content Marketing World. The significant orangeness in my life is my cat, Kai, who is white with orange and black spots. I’m not a weird cat lady but I do like this cat. She has a lot of personality but it’s definitely cat personality, which I respect. She doesn’t aim to please unless she wants treats. She wouldn’t care one way or another if she knew I was writing about her. I exist on the periphery of her cat-oriented life and she seems to think of me merely as an extremely big cat who is able to use a can opener. But I like her anyway.
Why do you think it’s important for someone from your industry to attend CMWorld?
As a content marketing writer, I can’t think of a better way to learn about what’s happening in content marketing and the direction things are moving. I think this conference is actually a great match for a writer who does what I do.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Please introduce yourself if you see me at the conference! I’d love to meet people who might need a good, reliable writer to work with. I’ll have a flower in my hair (which is a little longer now) and I’m bringing some orange packets of honey-roasted macadamia nuts as gifts — come say hi and see if I have any left. There are different types of mac nut packages and it’s great they chose orange for the honey-roasted ones, because those are the best.
Thank you for such a great final attendee interview, Leslie! We look forward too seeing you!
To meet Leslie and other members of our #CMWorld community in person, we are still accepting in-person registrations at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, Tuesday – Friday this week. Walk on in and we’ll get you in!
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