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It’s time to get to know North Star! 

Each month, we’ll introduce you to one of our amazing team members. Today you’ll meet Natalee Walker, one of our awesome content writers. 

Natalee’s love of writing {and good ‘ol fashioned detective work} has taken her from finding stories as a reporter, to crafting stories that matter to clients, brands, and their audience. She graduated from Ohio State University, where she majored in journalism, but decided early on to apply her writing abilities to a career in digital and content marketing. She’s created content for a variety of brands and business owners throughout her 7+ year career, transitioning from agency life to a three-year stint working on IBM’s social media team. 

A ‘proud Scorpio,’ Natalee joined North Star in 2019 and has worked with our clients on Brand Voice Intensives, website copy, social media copy and strategy, multimedia content, and more. In addition to her work with NSMS, Natalee is also currently a content marketing manager in the higher education industry — and moonlights as a poet.


Q: What are your early writing memories? 

Natalee: I’ve been writing since I was little. This is so nerdy, but I was in Power of the Pen in middle school, which was a group for gifted writers, and it was so not cool to be in it, but I still went because I loved it. You essentially just wrote creative writing prompts and workshopped with other writers, and you’d also go to writing competitions. I ended up winning a couple of them, and that was cool. But I was pretty shy about it, so I never talked about it with my classmates. I remember they would want to read my poems or stories on the announcements, and I wouldn’t let them. I’ve definitely come a long way on sharing my writing since then.


Q: When did you realize you wanted to turn writing into your career?

Natalee: A long time ago. I still have the same goal I did when I was young — to become a published writer. I knew senior year of high school I was going to major in journalism. I really thought I was going to be Erin Andrews, if we’re being honest. That was not in the cards for me. It’s harder than it looks!

Writing is my first love and although I do it every day for work, it’s still also a very personal outlet for me. I don’t think I’ll ever burn out of writing. I don’t think I could ever get sick of it.


Q: What led you to get into the marketing field?

Natalee: Writing is my first love, and it’s the foundation of my education and my skill set. But, after college I thought what was happening at the time with social media was really exciting, and I wanted in on it. I thought ‘there’s really something happening here’ in terms of content marketing and social media. I think I saw the potential of where it was going to grow, and how brands and entrepreneurs were going to be able to use that to help build their business. I thought it was a good opportunity to get in on a career path  that was exciting and growing and innovative, but ultimately required having strong writing skills.

I’m so grateful I studied journalism, because it pushed me and challenged me. Having that journalism background where I had to interview people, follow a certain writing format, meet hard deadlines, and learn photography and Photoshop, all of that still serves me in my career to this day.


Q: You’ve worked in social media and content marketing for IBM, one of the world’s largest corporations. What did you learn from working in that environment?

Natalee: So much. But ultimately, I think that no matter how big the company is, it’s still about finding personal stories. I would host video interviews with developers and IT architects, people who were a thousand times smarter than me, but I was able to use my journalism skills to  have conversations and create content that anyone in the audience would understand and resonate with. It definitely taught me about learning an audience and speaking a brand voice. I  also  learned how to craft messages that resonate and interest people, but are also relatable. Essentially it comes down to digging out the story. You might be launching a product, but products launch every day. How do you find the part of the story that’s going to resonate and stand out?


Q: How did you end up at North Star?

Natalee: I was looking for something to complement what I was doing with my 9-to-5, but also keep me challenged and keep my writing skills sharp. When you work in one industry for a long period, like tech or education, you can become a bit siloed in that industry.  It was refreshing to come to North Star and work with different clients. Especially because North Star has such unique, inspiring clients who are in industries I have a personal interest in, such as wellness, New Age, spirituality, even business coaching. I find myself learning so much from my clients.


Q: What sets apart North Star from your other jobs?

Natalee: North Star is different from any company I’ve ever worked for, in that it’s a very human-centered experience, both internally and with the clients. What Jessi and Marie have created is essentially how I believe every company should strive to be. They’re led by what they truly value and believe in, and you can see that reflected in everything. The culture they’ve built around being really intentional in their work also reflects in every single hire they make. That’s really what sets North Star apart, is that the culture they’ve created isn’t just internal, it’s reflected in every single client they bring on. I think as a client, that’s attractive because you’d want to choose an agency that resonates not only in their company values, but also in terms of the personalities of the individual writers.


Q: What do you think companies get wrong when it comes to content marketing?

Natalee: Most companies don’t do the due diligence of refining their voice before they go out and speak to the world.  It’s not as natural a process to get on social media and connect with your audience as most brands or business owners might think it is. It requires a  process of actually sitting down and being really intentional about who you’re connecting with, and what you’re trying to tell them.

Very few brands or businesses I’ve worked with in the past have given me a style guide or anywhere to start when they asked me to write for them. In my opinion, that’s the biggest mistake brands make on social media or when creating any type of content. They don’t take the very first step to refine exactly what it is they’re trying to say, how they want to say it, and who they want to say it to . Essentially the Brand Voice Guide piece is missing, and you can see it.

In social media today, it’s extremely difficult to stand out and be unique. For example, after one fast food chain went viral for witty and funny tweets, now all the fast food chains have a very similar witty, dry sense of humor (especially on Twitter.) But it takes time, reflection, and intention to actually be unique in your voice. And in today’s world, most brands want to be first, or to keep up with the trends. It’s understandable in today’s digital age. But it’s always worth the time to really make the message right.


Q: What’s your favorite part about working with the North Star team?

Natalee: The validation from a client that you captured what they’ve been trying to say for so long, but they couldn’t articulate it before. When they read a webpage or a piece of copy and they’re like ‘this is exactly what I’ve been trying to say.’ That’s my favorite kind of moment.

I’m invested in my clients from the Brand Voice Guide process on. Seeing that come to life and being the creator of that, I take a lot of pride in, because it’s a very personal experience. I love the creation process, but to know the client feels heard and recognized, that is always the goal.


Q: Are you still dreaming of being published?

Natalee: Of course. I’m working on my very first book of poems right now. I’ve probably been working on it for too long, if we’re being honest. I know the concept and the title, and I’m at over 400 poems right now. It’s basically the culmination of my 20s—all of the dramatics of course. Once it’s published, it will be like a release. I think it’ll be very cathartic to put that collection out and share it with the world.


Get to Know Natalee: Rapid Fire Edition

Last book you just couldn’t put down?

Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

First writing influence?

R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps. And I still to this day love paranormal stuff and ghosts and monsters, so that’s probably why.

TV show you watch when you can’t fall asleep?

I fall into an endless YouTube portal. If that doesn’t work, the Calmed By Nature channel is my go-to for sleep.

Go-to sushi roll? 

Spicy tuna

Most memorable interview?

The worst one, of course. Columbus, Ohio has a minor league baseball team, and I had to interview a player on the mound, and I just froze. As soon as the countdown started, I forgot everything I wanted to ask him. He was so nice, and he was trying to help me, but I was so nervous and I bombed it. It wasn’t on-air, thankfully, it was going to be edited and all that, but broadcast journalism was not for me. I was not meant to be in front of the camera.

And finally…O-H?


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