Sonja Nisson

Valuable content coach and business development strategist

Sonja Nisson (previously Jefferson) founded Valuable Content in 1999 and ran this business for 20 years. She now works as an independent valuable content coach and listening partner for leaders with big ideas to share. Sonja helps you to unlock what it is you really want to say to the world and create valuable, customer-focused content to get the word out. You can find her thoughts, ideas and writing on this website. 

Sonja is co-author of the award-winning Valuable Content Marketing book, now in its second edition. She set up and runs the Bristol Content Group and the Valuable Content Awards, recognising content excellence from businesses around the world.

The work Sonja loves and the value it brings

Using an approach rooted in deep listening and client research, Sonja helps founders and leaders to position what they do and unlock valuable content that pulls people towards them, driving a business to reach its full potential.

With a knack for going beyond the nitty-gritty to see the big picture, Sonja shows you how to get to the heart of your message and join up your content and marketing efforts for success. Her work helps good businesses to become more customer-focused and so strengthen and grow. The outcome of her work is more inbound leads and an easier, more joined up sales process.

Sonja gets businesses marketing and communicating what they do – consistently and effectively – in a way they enjoy. Alongside a growing stack of truly valuable content, she leaves people with clarity and confidence in their ideas, and renewed pride and excitement for what they do.

Sonja’s valuable content story

“With a degree in Sociology from Bristol University, I started my career as a salesperson for professional services firms, selling to corporates across Europe. It didn’t take me long to work out that cold-calling and traditional sales tactics often led to dead ends. I quickly realised that the marketing material I was given to help me sell didn’t do much to open doors either: prospective clients just chucked it in the bin! I wanted a more natural way to start conversations.

I changed tack, sending out copies of articles my MD had written for the trade press to open conversations. It worked! The people I wanted to do business with appreciated the helpful, thought-provoking information. This realisation coincided with the arrival of blogs and social media, which I could see cut out the middleman and allowed companies to reach their audience directly and tell their own stories.

These early experiences ignited my interest in an approach that has become known as content marketing – engaging prospects and motivating action with valuable content.

Experience has shown me that if you continually focus on producing valuable content for your customers, then good things happen for your business. Over the last 20 years, I’ve been on a mission to help organisations large and small to create meaningful content for their customers and transform their businesses as a result.

I now work as a consultant, speaker and content evangelist, using research and collaboration to get internal teams onside for content-led experiences that make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Skills and interests

Content strategy, content marketing, digital marketing, people change, strategic listening and research, customer-focused content and brand design, purpose-led business, training, consultative trust-based selling, new forms of collaborative and agile working.

Get in touch with Sonja:

  • If you want to get clear on your message and proposition.
  • If you want to understand how to transform your website and online marketing so it drives results.
  • If you’re struggling to know what to say with your content.
  • If you’re looking for a better way to launch or build a business. 
  • If you want help to make a valuable content marketing approach work across your business.
  • If you want to put together a working content marketing strategy.

Life outside work

Sonja lives with two teenage sons in Bristol, UK. She loves the water, the colder the better. She swims all year round in sea, lakes and rivers and has competed in several World Cold Water Swimming Championships. She dreams about a house in a cove on the rugged west coast.

Sonja Jefferson Instagram

Get in touch with Sonja

Tel: +44 (0) 7974 398906

Get help from Sonja

Find out about her coaching and courses at the School of Valuable Content

Sonja’s latest articles

You can find Sonja’s writing on Medium too

I worked with Sonja to help develop key messages and content to reposition cxpartners’ brand. From first contact it was clear that she had a refreshing, clear-sighted, and powerful approach to the task. Sonja engaged brilliantly with stakeholders and clients to develop a deep understanding and powerful insights into the company. We trusted her to speak to our most senior clients – board-level contacts at blue-chip companies, knowing that she would create an excellent impression and gain valuable insights. She helped us to understand ourselves better. The energy that she brought to the task was infectious and she constantly found ways to inspire, and go further. Her work was thoughtful, timely, and well crafted – the result of careful engagement with stakeholders. I am delighted to recommend her.
Giles Colborne

Founder, Business Mentor, Author, cxpartners

More than ever, organisations big or small need re-assurance, insights and a direction to help navigate through the markets they operate and reach their audiences. Sonja has a unique ability to articulate and provide clarity as to the right direction an organisation needs to go.

Not only does Sonja provide the strategy, but she also takes a practical approach as to what needs to happen day to day and how it meets the needs of an organisation, its employees and winning over the wider requirements and objectives.

Simon Swan

Digital Transformation Leader, Met Office

Effective business communications is a “Must Have” in today’s competitive connected work environment. Sonja’s ability to empathise with potential clients, know where they reside and how to best communicate to them and through what channels. She is pro-active and understands how best to achieve business objectives through digital marketing.

Sonja is a leader in this field, her calm and friendly manner makes her an ideal team player. I’d recommend Sonja without hesitation. She’s got the talent and she’s a seasoned pro…a real asset for any team.

John Beckley

Digital Marketing Specialist

If you are scratching your head about how to market your business in this topsy turvy world of digital, then Sonja is definitely someone you should talk to.

First of all, you’ll get on; she’s one of those people who lights up a room and radiates positive energy every time you meet her. And second, she will talk to you in language you understand about how to kick start content for all those online channels that are embarrassingly inactive and unengaging at the moment.

So if you are looking to finally get to grips with your digital strategy and start getting a return on your website, I’d thoroughly recommend you contact Sonja.

Chris Thurling

Director of Bristol Media, Armadillo

I was so pleased to have Sonja join us at the HOW Interactive Conference. Her insight into content strategy is invaluable, but what strikes me as her greatest strength is her keen sense of context. She truly understands what it means for an organization to redefine itself, and her unique blend of warmth, empathy, wit, and intelligence make her the perfect guide through what is often a disorienting, difficult, and discouraging paradigm shift. Sonja’s finely-crafted talk deftly won her the hearts and minds of the discerning designers in our audience. I would recommend her in an instant to any event or organization needing a perspective on content and digital marketing.

Chris Butler

Program Director, HOW Interactive Design Conference, Chicago

I hired Sonja and her team to help me develop the new website for The Get Real Project–one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Sonja is thoughtful, conscientious, resourceful, and insightful. I’m absolutely thrilled with what we created together and look forward to a long-lasting partnership.

Andrea P. Howe

Founder, The Get Real Project

“I hired Sonja Jefferson of Valuable Content as a consultant to lead the design and development of the University’s first content strategy. We wanted to understand how we could use content to better support the student journey around applicant engagement and conversion, and so meet our strategic international student recruitment goals. Sonja brought deep content strategy and content marketing expertise and an outside-in view, which meant she could ask awkward but very salient questions, which, in a university context, is what is needed to make real change. The work facilitated an improved collaboration between offices, for a joined up strategy that cut across internal silos, delivering an approach to our content which was truly student-first.”

Urfan Ali

Web and New Media Manager, University of Bristol

Sonja is the person you want at the table, working at a strategic level to help a business understand and embrace content marketing. She can look at MD in eye and make strategic recommendations that will take that business forward. And, what’s more – she’s a pleasure to work with!

Bryony Thomas

Founder and Author, Watertight Marketing

I always look forward to meeting with Sonja. Not only does she bring deep level expertise in all things ‘content’ related, but she always comes into a room with energy and a can do attitude. She is easy to get on with, clear in her advice, and has a knack of empathising with everyone she meets. That is an important quality in an advisor, as we are usually grappling with a multitude of colleagues and a variety of views. Sonja makes everyone feel listened to and important, and then draws the threads together into a single solution.

Terri Lucas

UK Client Growth Leader, Mercer

Sonja has a great knack for helping you take a step back, away from the nitty gritty details, to revisit what it is that you’re trying to achieve with your content marketing. It was a real pleasure working with her on building out our content strategy at Moonfruit and I do hope we can work together again some time – I’ll certainly recommend Valuable Content to anyone looking for an outside perspective on their content efforts.

Vicki Shiel

Head of Content, Moonfruit

Get in touch with Sonja

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