The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Tamara Marie Johnson

A linguistics major, I dabbled in everything from Quechua to Sanskrit. After my Master’s, I was fortunate enough to land an internship at a tech magazine. That got the ball rolling and from that point onwards, my career would always have to do with writing. At Smallpdf, I collaborate strategically and work cross-functionally with different teams to develop user-centered content that is clear, concise, and useful as well as consistent and on-brand in all 20+ languages we offer.

Implement a Multilingual Style Guide Across Departments

Smallpdf hired Tamara Marie to professionalize the way we write copy across departments and languages. In less than two months, she has successfully created and implemented an English Content Style Guide, as well as several Addenda. She has also improved the quality of their non-English copy by switching from working with translators to transcreators. It’s a lot of work, but with the right tools, anyone can do it. This talk provides the audience with actionable, step-by-step instructions based on our experiences at Smallpdf.

  • Learn how to get started by researching what’s already there in terms of content, content guidelines and rules, content-related processes such as translations, and content people such as UX writers and copywriters.
  • Understand what’s already there by talking to the right people within the business.
  • Fill in the blanks by adopting and adapting elements of others’ style guides, such as Microsoft and MailChimp.
  • Implement an MVP: Your content style guide is a living document that will grow and change as your company does (e.g., if you’re a B2C company that later decides to enter the B2B space). This is the iterating and testing portion of the content style guide journey.
  • Discover how creating addenda for other languages helps to implement a scalable content creation process without quality and/or consistency issues.
  • Get a recap of the most important steps and terms.