Journalism is changing. Established publishers are struggling with losses in reach and turnover, while at the same time the demand for relevant content is greater than ever, for example in content marketing. The startup SCRIBERS[HUB] places text professionals for a variety of media and industries and relies on professional competence and personal consulting.
2014, the year of the Football World Cup in Brazil. At that time, almost all the media were darting for this topic. The women’s magazine Für Sie wanted to use the sporting event as an opportunity to report on the Brazilian beauty market, one of the world’s most successful and dazzling. But who should write about it, who was familiar with it? For sending someone from their own editorial office to South America and doing research there was not enough money. And it wasn’t possible to find an expert on the spot either. That’s why this story was never published.
The founder brings a lot of experience from the publishing world with her
In this situation she lacked a “hotline for text magicians”, as the then editor-in-chief Sabine Fäth puts it. At any rate, she did not lack professional experience, as by then she had already had a long and successful career in publishing houses and editorial offices. After studiesfocussing on English, Spanish and Business Administration, she initially aspired to a career in the commercial sector at Bauer Verlag, but then discovered her passion for editorial work. She worked as a guest editor for several daily newspapers and returned to Bauer in 2000.
There she became editor-in-chief of the women’s magazine Laura in her early 30s. Women’s magazines became her speciality, also later at the Jahreszeiten Verlag, where she, as already mentioned, headed the editorial department of Für Sie. In the course of time, the print crisis became clearer and clearer with declining circulation and advertising revenues. Everywhere savings had to be made, even in editorial offices that reduced permanent positions and increasingly worked with freelancers. Meanwhile, Sabine had arrived at a point where she wondered how she should continue her career and what was really important to her.
A platform for the placement of text professionals was missing
In 2015 she left Für Sie and took a break in Australia, India and Brazil. Back in Hamburg, she immersed herself in the startup scene with the motivation to found her own business. She also knew from her own experience how great the demand for text professionals was, but she also met many freelance journalists who were looking for assignments. But there was no platform to bring together supply and demand in this area. Sabine wanted to close this gap with her startup SCRIBERS[HUB].
In autumn 2015 she started establishing the platform, in March 2016 there was a first beta version and in October was the official start of SCRIBERS[HUB]. At that time the database already contained 400 people. All professionals, because anyone who wants to register has to meet some criteria and have solid work samples and references. Hobby bloggers, instagram influencers and occasional writers have no place there. Self-proclaimed generalists don’t either, because all authors have to name their areas of expertise.
The placement happens within 24 hours
This makes sense not least because the customers of SCRIBERS[HUB] are often in a hurry, and knowledge of the subject is a decisive filter criterion in the needs analysis in order to find the right writer as quickly as possible. Within 24 hours, the clients receive a maximum of three proposals that correspond to their specifications. These include questions about the budget, urgency, whether someone needs to be available personally, and more. In the final analysis, the selection is not made by some clever algorithm, but by the SCRIBERS[HUB] team. This includes Sabine and three other people, two of them in Berlin and one in Hamburg. There is no joint office, the work is done from home.Initially, Sabine had expected her customers to come mainly from established publishers. In fact, agencies and companies now account for the lion’s share. The trend is towards content marketing, professionally designed editorial content where an advertising message is present but not in the foreground. For freelance journalists, this is often more lucrative than working for traditional editorial offices, which is why even top writers are increasingly concerned with content marketing.
For SCRIBERS[HUB] this is good news, the startup can quickly and competently advise and place in this confusing market. By the end of 2018, more than 1,100 copywriters, authors and journalists were already members of the community. So that they don’t become non-active members, they are regularly encouraged to maintain their profiles and appointment calendars. This makes it easier for SCRIBERS[HUB] to find the perfect text partner for its customers. Last year, this was achieved more than 150 times, and the fastest placement took only 25 minutes.
SCRIBERS[HUB] is present at SXSW
Although the business is concentrated on the German-speaking countries, the demand for native speakers of the English language is increasing. Maybe Sabine will find them in Austin, Texas, because she has joined our delegation that visits the South by Southwest Festival in March.
Traditionally, Hamburg startups have made an excellent impression at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. Hamburg Startups is an official partner of the event and reports about the SXSW adventures of the largest delegation we have accompanied so far, which we actively support on site. Our grandiose partners from Deutschen Bank, Hamburg Invest, Beiersdorf , Sutor Bank, Lufthansa Industries Solutions as well as EY and Vast Forward make this possible and we would like to thank them very much!
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