In today’s Meet The Team, we hear from Lucy Mitchell, Technical Content Strategist, about her role in getting into a “developer’s mindset” through planning, creating, editing, and publishing content for a developer audience. We hear about how she helps clients nurture their audiences to discover and get the most out of products and other offerings.

A double graduate of the School of Oriental & African Studies with a postgraduate degree from London’s South Bank University, Lucy grew up in London and Brighton, and now lives in Somerset, south-west England. As part of her responsibilities at Catchy, Lucy creates developer-friendly solutions for Catchy. Coordinating with our management and clients, she plans, researches, designs, and creates technical content that meets developer marketing objectives.

Which Catchy value do you strongly resonate with and why? (Collaborative, Fluid, Inclusive, Accountable)

Accountable. All the values are important to me, and I can point out examples of each and the difference they make to Catchy as a company, but accountability resonates really strongly with me. As an agency, we work with a lot of very different clients and Catchy excels at “meeting them where they are”, which takes an awareness of where we “are”, too, at any point in time. In addition, every individual works on multiple projects simultaneously, and we work within changeable timeframes and client parameters. Balancing staying accountable to each other as professionals and to our clients is how we manage to get so much done! 

Are there any other values or characteristics of Catchy that you particularly enjoy?

Fluid. As someone who’s worked across a lot of industries and roles in the past, I really appreciate the experience I’ve gained from unusual areas, and strive to learn more every day. One of my favorite things to talk about is understanding documentation as a product in its own right. I consider it a privilege that my role at Catchy sits across both creative and strategy, as I get to work on both content production and wider content landscapes for clients. This can be anything from technical blogs to developer portal copy to site copy to technical documentation and API reference sets, as well as technical content audits, industry-informed recommendations, analytics and content performance, and user research. I get to exercise a lot of mental muscles at Catchy, and the fluid nature of the work is super exciting.

How do you understand and strategize a clients’ desired tone of voice?

People often say they want a thing based on what their competitors are doing - the classic line of “we want to differentiate our brand!... Just as long as we differentiate in basically the same way as all our competitors”. It’s tempting to want to follow the logic of “X works, so we should try X… or riffing on X a little, but not too much deviation”. You see this “sea of sameness” in everything - graphics, typography, marketing copy - and especially tone and voice. 

That’s right, I said “tone and voice”, rather than “tone of voice” - as a linguistics nerd, this is my tiny soapbox, so hear me out. They’re semantically distinct, but often work together towards the same thing - expression. In some industries and situations, the phrase “tone of voice” combines them, but since you’re here, technically: “voice” doesn’t change. Think of it like the DNA or the personality of the brand - specific phrases that your brand uses or avoids, length of sentence. “Tone” can vary - it’s like the emotion or state of mind, or intent. Tone is often seen through punctuation - consider the difference between “OK. I’ve got it. Thanks.” and “OK… I’ve got it, thanks! :)”. Anyway - many brands conflate the two, and I’m happy to work with clients however they approach it, but… any excuse!

When strategizing with clients about expressing and communicating, I often get to work across both marketing content (showcasing how the product meets users’ needs) and technical content (much more focused on clarity and a didactic approach, things like docs and step-through instructions). Catchy works closely with clients to make sure we’re accurately capturing what makes them both outstanding and unique, and then able to express the same client voice in different tones depending on the context.

What is one important goal of effective content strategies?

I’m kind of going to cheat here and say the most important goal of an effective content strategy is meaningful content. It’s a hack because it covers a lot of bases: I believe content should meet users’ needs, serve a purpose rather than just create noise, demonstrably and measurably have a positive impact, and be open to iteration and improvement. The same as any product. An effective content strategy isn’t one that convinces users to do anything they don’t want to - it’s one that turbo boosts users to achieve even more than they were going to, with less friction. For that, clients need to be engaged with their developer communities and be creating content that serves, encourages, co-creates a better place. Good docs are the crucible of software adoption. Meaningful content elevates brands.

How does Catchy allow you to express your creativity and individuality?

I’m a heavily tattooed, neurodivergent, non-binary, super nerdy, multi-hyphenate millennial, and for many, many years I didn’t see or work with anyone like me in the workplace. I still hold a lot of privilege, but I’ve always felt a lack of representation and that’s hugely impacted my desire to express my creativity fully. Catchy has encouraged me from the get-go, and never made a big fuss about it. It’s a very comfortable place to work. I use my professional development stipend to attend conferences like Write The Docs and API The Docs, and learn from other professional areas.

What things do you wish you could have in your tool suite to enable you to do your job better?

What a great question! Well, I’ve always been a bookworm and words have been in my brain since before I can remember, and I love to read and learn, so I’m always trying to soak up new things. In terms of job-specific, I’ve long wished I had more experience in graphic design and things about communication that don’t rely on words, and data visualization and analytics to be able to easily show people why certain content decisions will drive the outcomes they’re looking for (I am a big fan of the “if you don’t have data, you’re making it up” school). There’s also a great Marty Cagan quote about how marketing people who are good at product are super powerful - having dabbled in both, I agree and I’m glad I work with experienced marketers here so I can build up both tool suites.

“There are few things as powerful as a marketing person who's also strong at product. The combination is amazing.” - Marty Cagan

Want to work with Lucy and the rest of the Catchy team? Well, you’re in luck - we’re hiring! Check out our Careers page for our current openings.