Tim Sprinkle: Content Marketing and Thought Leadership Strategy Services to Clients in Venture Capital, Fintech and Financial Services

Layup Content offers content marketing and thought leadership strategy services to clients in venture capital, fintech and financial services. We help our clients stand out from the (digital) crowd.

Tell us about yourself?

I was a journalist for more than 20 years, starting in Washington DC and eventually moving out to Colorado, covering everything from outdoor sports, to spot news, to small business. In Colorado, I eventually found my way to the editorial staff of Yahoo Finance, which at the time was building out its original content program, and began covering financial services and asset management exclusively. That led me to write a book — “Screw the Valley: A Coast to Coast Tour of America’s New Startup Landscape” — in 2015 about the evolving world of startup ecosystems. Through the research for that project I got a front row seat to the venture capital and startup funding world and realized that there was a need there for VCs and others to tell better stories about the work they were doing, and Layup was born.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Get help! I ran this business as a one-person show for several years before even finding a virtual assistant to help me. Now I have a small staff of specialists and writers who can help me manage not only the day to day but provide an even higher level of service to my clients, which is always my goal at the end of the day.

What problem does your business solve?

We help finance companies stand out from the crowd, which is even more important in today’s (almost) post-Covid world.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Covering the financial services industry for many years, I received endless communications every day from banks, hedge funds, analysts, etc trying to explain their thoughts and feelings on the markets.

Honestly, it all went in one ear and out the other because it was all the same. It was dry, it was boring, and it was repetitive.

As a writer and editor, I knew that there are a lot of interesting things happening in “boring” finance, but the industry has never done a good job of communicating that to the world.

By bringing that journalist’s mentality to the problem, I figured we could help clients in this space uncover the interesting, engaging topics that they’re working on and simply support them by telling better stories.

What is your magic sauce?

We’re journalists, first and foremost, so our north star is quality, engaging content. It has to be interesting.

A lot of “content marketing” out there these days is focused on attracting SEO attention or checking off a digital marketing box without much care for the overall quality. That’s how the internet has become littered with junk.

We’re working to solve that for finance, in particular, because the need for high quality communications and thought leadership is acute in this industry.

There’s a high bar when working with people to the level that they trust their money with you, and that’s where our type of content comes into play.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We want to become the premiere content and digital marketing partner in finance. There is a lot of institutional knowledge that comes with this space, which we have built up over decades, and we want to take that and redefine what financial services communications can look like overall.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Our biggest challenge is growing to meet our clients’ needs while also remaining anchored to our commitment to quality. I simply refuse to give an inch when it comes to the product we put out, so that can make scaling difficult. Not impossible, but it’s called for new types of processes that aren’t typical in the agency world.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We want to hear from VCs and fintech CEOs who understand the value that content marketing can bring to their firms and want to do it at a higher level. The best way to start the conversation is to visit and reach out.

Written by Mark Smith

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