Digital content success coaching firm Words First recently launched a one-of-a-kind course and community membership to help teams and professionals learn more human, intentional, and effective content practices for their digital products and communications.
Called the Words First Course & Community, the membership bases its training program and community discussions in user experience, content strategy, content design, and emotional intelligence principles. The goal: to transform members’ digital content mindset, practices, and outcomes by teaching them to put words and the people they serve first in key areas of digital decision-making.
The membership started because of an unmet need that digital content creators and leaders were bringing to Words First founder Bailey Lewis in early 2022.
Words First offers tiered coaching packages robust enough to offer organizations hands-on guidance and support for large digital projects. But many individuals and small teams were vocal in asking Bailey where they could find self-service resources to learn how to create more user-friendly, effective digital content without a full-scale coaching engagement. These professionals were looking for tools and training courses, but their searches were coming up next to empty.
“Think of your favorite sites, apps, and digital experiences in the entire world,” says Bailey. “They’re so wildly successful because they’re built according to a humans first, words first mindset. The organizations responsible for them make that mindset a central part of their digital processes and content practices. Yet, Words First is one of the only companies I know of that teaches other leaders, teams, and professionals how to do the same. Every individual who gains the knowledge and confidence to approach their digital content in this way makes the online world a better place, but they need training to show them how. So, I started to build it.”
Bailey, a long-time user experience, content strategy, and digital leadership expert, constructed a course outline in conjunction with direct input from those interested in being a part of it. In that research, it became clear that the people wanted something additional in their digital content learning journey: a community.
“They didn’t want to be thrown into an e-course and left to figure it out by themselves,” says Bailey. “They wanted a source of collaboration, support, and inspiration. And, I realized, I wanted that too. The digital content world is vast and always evolving. Content work can get lonely. And diverse perspectives make us all better at our jobs as communicators. So, community became an integral part of it all. Our membership was born.”
In August 2022, the Words First Course & Community launched with its full charter member roster in place. After testing the membership structure over a number of months, the membership is now open to the public.
“Bailey’s Words First course exceeds expectations,” says Amanda Cazzolla, Director of Marketing at North Carolina-based Reinvestment Partners and charter member of the Words First Course & Community. “Bailey’s lessons are humorous and practical and easy. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a video lesson of any kind and learned—and laughed—so much! Words First puts to shame the year-long certificate course I took in content strategy. I think it’s Bailey’s ‘human first’ approach. It’s something we can all relate to, as both practitioners and digital consumers. And she brings that approach to the community, too. It’s been a great experience!”
The Words First Course & Community operates on a self-paced monthly or annual subscription. The training program is example-rich with hands-on, thought-provoking exercises. At the end of the course, participants come away with a complete content deck full of their own real-world work to use as a portfolio, as a case study, or to spearhead a words and humans first approach in their own organizations.
“The Words First Course has made me a better writer and marketer,” says Ben Culbreth, founder and copywriter at Culbreth Copywriting and charter member of the Words First Course & Community. “Bailey’s practical teaching style and the ability to practice the concepts have helped apply what I’ve learned to projects I’m working on for clients. And the support from the community is icing on the cake. I’ve received support from other members on issues I’m facing and learned from their perspectives about content in the real world.”
Membership includes the full Words First Course, exclusive access to community discussion channels, participation in community challenges and experiments, and a monthly members only drop-in coaching session with Bailey. Plans to offer certification via the course are also motion.
“The goal is to help make your corner of the digital world a lot more human, joyful, and profitable for your team, clients, stakeholders, audiences, and everyone involved—on both sides of the screen,” says Bailey. “I’m so proud of the progress made by our incredible course and community members already. I’m looking forward to seeing what new opportunities unfold to support and learn from one another as our membership grows.”
Membership details and tours are available at www.wordsfirstcommunity.com.