Liz Murphy

Liz Murphy

As Quintain’s resident content manager and AP Stylebook devotee, I spend most of my days crafting engaging content, helping clients develop style guides for their brands and wrangling wayward commas. I originally joined as a marketing manager back in the summer of 2014. And a few months later, I was promoted to senior marketing manager.

Over time, however, the undeniable relationship between Quintain’s goal to become an industry leader in content creation and my extensive editorial and inbound marketing background manifested itself. And thus my charge as our content manager was born. Before hopping onboard the Quintain train, I worked for over 10 years in various editorial, marketing and client relations roles for brands including LivingSocial, CQ Press, MultiView and myTaxi.

I’m a Washington, D.C., native, but I currently live in Annapolis with my husband, Patrick, and our two dogs, Horatio and Nugget. When I’m not at the office, I’m writing the beer column for the Capital Gazette (owned by the Baltimore Sun), running my personal beer blog and studying for the Certified Cicerone exam – the beer equivalent of a sommelier. I am also an enthusiastic, albiet unbalanced, yoga nerd, and I consider myself emotionally allergic to olives.

P.S. Since my two favorite words are “challenge” and “accepted,” I hold six of the seven HubSpot certifications; that is until they add new certifications. Sigh.

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Recent Posts

As Quintain's dedicated content manager, I spend as much time creating content as I do reviewing content created by others. That means I have a front row seat to all of the editorial quirks and idiosyncracies of my fellow Quintain team members, our clients and... well, myself. (Alas, I am not perfect.)

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that almost everyone was doing - once again, including yours truly.

Most content creators - whether you're a marketer, or you're burning the midnight content oil for your own business - make wimpy word choices when framing their ideas or offering advice based on what is often years of experience. They play it safe and use apologetic language that undermines their authority and the power of their content. 

For those of you sitting there saying, "I'm not 100 percent sure what you mean, but I am not the kind of person to be a wimp about anything," I get it. In person, you stand behind your ideas. In meetings, you speak with conviction and confidence. But who are you once you get behind a keyboard?

You'd be surprised by how many seasoned industry pros succumb to apologetic writing, no matter how much of a rockstar they are face-to-face. What's worse, they don't even realize they're doing it. 

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We are no stranger to talking about blogging on the Creator's Block podcast. (We've talked about why people hate it so much, as well as three quick strategies for writing killer blog introductions.) Why do we talk about it so much? Because while we can all agree that blogging is an essential part of any successful inbound marketing strategy, it's also the marketing activity people tend to complain about the most. 

Specifically, there are two excuses that crop up in conversations both internally at Quintain and with our own clients time and time again. First, "I don't know what to write about." Second, "But I don't have any time to write a blog - I am so busy!"

So, on today's episode of Creator's Block, Shelby and I aren't just complaining and commiserating - we're providing you with tested strategies and tips for picking great topics and finding the time to blog. (Spoiler alert: You have more to say than you think, and guess what? We're all busy.) Enjoy!

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I'm a bit of a junkie when it comes to NPR podcasts - especially since a lot of their best radio content airs when I'm busy here at the Quintain office, working on content for our clients. So the fact that I can catch up on what I missed on live radio after it airs makes me happy. 

But I'm not here to wax poetic about podcasts or NPR. Instead, I want to share a specific episode of Fresh Air, during which Craig Silverman of Buzzfeed Media was interviewed regarding what he learned about the fake news that plagued the recent election. (It's approximately 36 minutes long, but there is a transcript at the link.)

I tuned in as a politics nerd. But to my surprise, I found myself riveted as a marketer

By the conclusion of the interview, I had to admit that while I find the idea of fake news utterly repugnant, those behind it weren't successful by accident. In fact, when you push the heaping mess of politics aside, there is a lot us marketers can glean from what they were able to accomplish. 

So in this week's episode of Creator's Block, Shelby (in her first week as my full-time co-host!) and I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of fake news. Because while you may want to roll your eyes and dismiss fake news, there is plenty to be learned.

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Welcome to the first episode of Creator's Block of 2017! To kick off the new year, we brought Shelby Clarke (our amazing graphic designer) back to the recording studio to discuss a blog post she wrote some time ago: "7 Things a Graphic Designer Isn't." 

Not only does she make a lot of great points in the original article - seriously, go read it, if you haven't already - this post opens up a much larger discussion around the unspoken friction that often exists between marketers and the creatives that work with them. 

On the one hand, marketers have a clear vision or idea that they want to execute - but then a project they thought would be "simple" turns into something needlessly complex. Or the final product delivered is nowhere near what they wanted, and they don't know why or where things went wrong.

On the other hand, designers and content creators want to deliver the best product possible for those marketers - whether that be a logo or a blog post - but sometimes feel willfully misunderstood or treated like order takers, instead of the creative problem solvers they are.

So this week, we made it our mission to answer three questions: Why does this kind of dysfunction happen? What can you do to fix it? And finally, what big changes lay on the horizon for Creator's Block? Enjoy!

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out? Simple, make it mind blowing.

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

It seems like we blinked and another fruitful, exciting year at Quintain flashed before our eyes - and as we shared in the past, we had a lot to be thankful for in 2016. However, as we look ahead to 2017, we find ourselves prepping for the embrace of new ideas, strategies and opportunies.

(And we all know the best way to figure out where you want to go is to first reflect on where you've been.)

So, before we say goodbye to this year, we're taking this moment to share with you what our professional resolutions are for ourselves, as well as our advice to others looking to make the most of their upcoming marketing and sales goals in the coming year. Enjoy! 

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Welcome to our second minisode! This week, our graphic designer, Shelby Clarke, joins me as co-host in Jessie-Lee's absence. (Long-time listeners will remember her from our episode about brand style guides.)

But this time, our topic wasn't one of our choosing. Instead, it came from one our awesome Creator's Block listeners, Frances (Hi, Frances!), who writes:

"How about a minisode on how to pick stock photography? I listened to the episode about why you prefer not to use stock photos but there are times when there aren't other options. I have one of those projects coming up. We need to 'refresh' the HR section of our website but our employees scatter whenever they see a camera. It's like everyone is in the witness protection program!"

As someone who prefers being behind the camera, I empathize with her employees. But as a content manager and marketer who leverages stock photos every single day as part of my job, I also understand her challenge - and so does Shelby.

So tune in to hear us unpack this topic. We share our best practices, pro tips, favorite tools and absolute no-no's, when it comes to stock photography.

And if you have a question you'd like us to tackle on a future episode, let us know in the comments!

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We're back with one of our full-length discussion episodes. And if you can believe it, a brand new year - 2017! - is only a few short weeks away. 

But before we say goodbye to 2016, we're pausing to reflect. Jessie-Lee and I - in addition to starting this podcast - have learned a lot this year, through projects, conferences and experiences, within our walls, with our clients and beyond. 

So this week, we're taking a deep dive into what content and design trends you should be focusing on in your marketing efforts, as we look ahead to the New Year. From video and the importance of having a "context mix," to flat design and mobile-first approaches, we've got all of the insights you need to start the year off right.

...and there may be a rant or three, thrown in for good measure. 

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As we spend Thanksgiving with our loved ones, we wanted to take a moment to share with all of you what we're most thankful for this year. Our Quintain family has had a very big 2016 - and between helping our clients win and welcoming new team members, we have so many reasons to express our gratitude today.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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