In the last 3 years, I've lived in 3 different continents, over 30 countries and am closing in on over 75 different cities.
I'm not saying this to brag (well, OK, maybe a little). I'm saying this because I'm hoping to shine light on a way of life that anyone can have. I'm doing this while running my own company (ContentFly), prior to which I was running growth & marketing for dozens of different companies, including Toggl and Zapier.
If you've had the dream of building a marketing agency while seeing the world (or transitioning your current one into a fully remote agency), I've outlined the key tips that'll get you there.
- Automate everything.
Automation is your lifeblood. With tools like Zapier and Segment you can automate damn near everything. If you aren't digging into every aspect of your professional life and building automation around it, you're missing out on the compound interest of efficiency that it brings.
When I first built ContentFly, I didn't write a single line of code. It was a simple patchwork of Zapier, Airtable & Typeform. I just set it up and left it there, generating passive income for me and adding immense value for my clients.
As a marketer in particular, stop relying on your own skills to bring results for your clients. Your goal is to add efficiency into their lives - and the easiest way to do that is to automate everything.
- Outsource everything
We built ContentFly because I was tired of how much time I was spending searching for great writers to keep in house or on contract. It was a nightmare constantly managing writers, negotiating payments project to project etc.
So we built ContentFly for ourselves, an AI-powered writer network that lets agencies outsource all of their content needs without having to worry about it.
And we're only for content. There are so many fantastic tools out there to automate & outsource your work intelligently. Virtual assistants are surprisingly talented even at the nitty gritty - I once had a virtual assistant from the Philippines who was running CRO campaigns for a client.
- Engage your tools
Running a remote company requires one main thing: tools. Slack needs to become your command center - especially when combined with Zapier, it can literally become the place you control your entire business.
Communication is key, especially when you have teammates & employees that cover multiple timezones. Teleport is a great way of figuring out where to hire, and Quip is a weapon of choice for managing your team communications.
Keep a lookout for burgeoning tools like Kipwise to automate your internal knowledge base/communications as well. It's absolutely crucial that all lines of communication are hyper-present, and that hand-offs are done with ease. You don't have the luxury of "just walking over" to ask a question anymore.
- Learn your rhythms
One of the greatest parts of remote work is the flexibility it offers you - particularly when it's your own agency/business you're running. You can work when you want.
To really take advantage of this, take the time to learn and understand your internal clock. Evernote calls it the ultradian cycle - learning the cycles where you're the most productive. Use tools like Toggl to figure it out.
Remote work gives you the flexibility to learn your cycles and play within them - maximizing your overall productivity. You'll quickly find you can take on more clients than you ever thought possible, if done right.
Here's an example ultradian cycle:
Owning & running a marketing agency or consultancy can be a deeply rewarding practise - now imagine you could do it out of anywhere in the world. It sounds cliche, but the fact is you could be setting up your next acquisition campaign out of a small mountainside village in Costa Rica.
It's up to you to get started.