Is it time to outsource? with Gayla Scrivener
Release Date: 10/20/2020
Thinking Big Podcast
Jess is the managing partner of Red Direction, providing executive business consulting and producing the BOLD Business Podcast. She brings over 20 years of advising, consulting, and facilitation experience in operational excellence and growth management focusing on where values and goals intersect. Both practical and unexpected, her views tune into to the uniqueness of the organizations she works with. Companies working closely with Jess learn to ask the right questions and think effectively on their feet.info_outline Is it time to outsource? with Gayla Scrivener
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Welcome to the Thinking Big Podcast. Today we have a special guest Gayla Scrivener.
We have a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to the podcast, and at some point we have to make the decisions to start outsourcing US.
The time comes where we have to start working on our business and not in our businesses. One of those area’s is content marketing and that is one of the areas that Gayla’s company takes care of.
Gayla is a close friend with a great story and company, and like most successful entrepreneurs, she gave the proverbial FU to the traditional working life and created a career that she could do from anywhere in the world.
Today we are thinking big on how to let stuff go and start outsourcing yourself.
Connect with Gayla Scrivener at the following social media link:
Connect with Sean Osborn at Thinking Big Coaching
Until next week, remember to always think big
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Welcome to the thinking big podcast. Today, we have a special guest, gala Scrivener. Now we have a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to this podcast. And at some point, we have to make the decision to start outsourcing us and start outsourcing all the stuff that we do because as entrepreneurs, we start off doing everything. The time comes where we have to start working on our business, instead of in our business. And one of those key areas is content marketing. And this is one of the areas that galas company takes care of. Now gala is a close friend, she's got a great story and company. And like most successful entrepreneurs, she gave the proverbial f due to the traditional working life and created a career that she could do from anywhere in the world. So today, we are thinking big on how to let stuff go and start outsourcing ourselves.
Well, I want to welcome gala Scribner to the podcast today. I have been looking forward to this because I think we're in an environment. Now, you know, the biggest one of the biggest things I see is people starting a side gig, you know, and it's, it happened before, you know, before this COVID crap and before this pandemic crap, but I think it's going to be forced, and even more and more to where people have a side gig, you know, they have a side business that they're trying to do an online business that they're trying to do. And, to me, every household is going to have one and talking to people that I you know, that I work with. And then I know, the biggest complaint that I get from people is they don't know how they don't have time, they don't have the energy to be doing all the social media stuff, they just don't know, they don't have the tools they don't, and you get burned out. You know, I know people I don't want to post every day or I don't want to post every other day. And really, that's what you do, give me a little bit give us a little overview of how you kind of started what you did, and what drove you to kind of create what you're doing now?
Well, you'll have to remind me to get back to the social media part. And I want to first I guess, lead with that, that everything that we're doing in an online business, everything that we do in business period, is building relationships and nurturing relationships. And when you think of social media, and oh my gosh, I've got to post every day or I don't want to do this and we're getting the tasks kind of in the way and it fogs us that ultimately what we're doing is just needing to connect with people and and serve serve those folks. But it takes it took me a while to kind of understand that and circling way back in the Wayback years I I have been an entrepreneur for just a short amount of time, really. Back in 2012 is when I took the leap, left corporate life and jumped both feet in to start Scrivener solutions. And I had been in the medical management field for 20 years, right out of right out of high school my first year or so into college. I landed a job at an ophthalmology office. And believe it or not, I I was majoring in marketing at the time in college. This young 19 year old I'm going to be a marketing major. And I soon realized or told myself, I could never sell anything. I'm not a marketer. I'm going to change my degree to Business Administration and I stayed in medical management from this. I went in as this bright eyed fresh 19 year old in an ophthalmology office and was filing their charts and calling and confirming appointments. And then and then going to school part time or full time school part time job and then not three months later the A medical biller went on maternity leave. And why the office manager and the doctor decided to put this little 19 year old in the billing seat, I have no idea. But that's what happened. I, I, I did the medical billing, I learned that just by just by doing. And it was so many years ago, the only electronic claims we had was to Medicare. And I knew I was responsible for the backups. And we had backup tapes that looked like eight track cassette tapes. And we had seven of them, and I had to switch them out. And I took one home in my purse and everything like that I didn't really understand all of that. But I learned just by doing and the lady never came back for from her maternity. So I, I was their medical biller, and then I was recruited to be in another office and, and then my, my I, I worked in the industry for 20 years. And then my daughter was graduating high school. And honestly, I just became burnt out burnt out with the whole industry, just tired of all the red tape and you want to help patients. But every one of them has different insurance. And there's it's such a game. And I became I guess, jaded by the whole process. And I wanted something different. And I was tired of being tethered to a particular location. And the but that's all I knew. And that's all my whole family knows, we've only known that you go work for somebody. And no one in my family was really an entrepreneur, no one. And I was like, I don't know what I'm doing. And the company that I was working for my last, my last corporate gig was managed managing medical imaging company, and we had MRI centers in different parts of the country. And that company was closing. And so I'm like, Okay, I need to find another job. But see, I was director of operations and the, the head guy said, Hey, stay, help clean up this mess or close things down. So I stayed to the very bitter end. And that was a horrendous type of
process. Because you have to let people go, you have to talk with vendors that the company can't pay, you have to sell MRI equipment that you have no idea how it got into the building to begin with higher cranes, higher construction, and it's just, it was such a big job of closing the company down and it was emotionally hard. But I knew that I did not want to find another job. I wanted something different. And we I had decided like maybe it's time, maybe it's time to do something different. Well, my husband and I we love to camp and we like to, to just explore. And that's just what we do. We we can drive aimlessly, we can just like to go to all these little nooks and crannies. And about that time in about 2011 he was saying let's get a little camper so we can camp and do little weekend things and I looked at him and I said why not be cool if we could just live in an RV, like full time and just meander around and have a job or we could just work from anywhere. It did not take him but two seconds for him to start researching and we because we still had that corporate job our intent was Alright, we're gonna find a place to go we we ended up selling everything we had. So that we downsized and we bought a 38 foot motorhome and Alfa see diesel pusher. And in 2011 we moved into that vehicle full time. And that was like okay, the safety net type thing is is breaking because I was still working for that company. And I needed to go to different parts of the country to close down right where I centered well Instead of me flying back and forth from the home office to, you know, to another part of the country, Monday through Friday, then go back for the weekends, like my husband's a musician and, and his schedule is very flexible. It's like, you know what I'd rather us be together and let's just go to take the RV. And we were renting in Florida at the time. And it's like, I have no, I have no desire to stay or buy property in Florida. So we have our RV, like, we sold everything. We're living in the RV, let's just go. And that last few months that I was with the corporate life, we were in the RV. But then I was like, Okay, what am I going to do? Like, what kind of job Can I have? And I, I found in research because I had been in an industry for 20 years. That's all I knew. I didn't know, I had no idea of the wonderful ways people can earn a living and have freedom and have just love what they do. And I, in research on what kind of company can I create? What can I do? I came across the word virtual assistant. And I was like, Huh, what is this, and reading the job description and all of that it was like, Well, I do all of that stuff. Now anyway. And I haven't really seen my boss in the years that I worked for him, maybe five or six times in person. So I'm kind of like his virtual manager, right? So I can do this, I can do this. So I should have in hindsight, I started growing my side business. Before I like, jumped off. And that is the biggest thing. But seeing that I had this, I had this weird mindset. I had this mindset that if I were to, if I were to work on my business, even though the company I was working for the time involved, was hard, but it wasn't as long.
I had the time to get started on it, I could make the time, right, I can make it a priority. But somehow if I was working on something for myself, I was cheating. The company I was working for weird, the weird thing. And I had never known to like, work on something and build something for myself. But I waited until the job was completely done. Before I really really hit the ball rolling and I started networking, when just getting my, my my face out there because the only people that I knew were in the medical industry. And I I didn't know what kind of businesses were out there. So in we went back to Missouri to be our home base. That's where my husband and I had grown up. And we we went to start start our business. And at first it was a virtual assistant business because I would work on practically anything that small business would need. And it was just me and freelancing. And then I soon realized that most folks need help talking with their clients, their prospects, and just the cold communication. And all of that entails on what does your website look like? Well, I like working on websites, so I helped him with that. Then social media and being consistent in that email publications, direct mail newsletters, all
podcasts, there's videos, there's all this the publications that we do and content marketing and the more I studied on marketing my own business and making connections and how I could scale my communication I'm already doing face to face networking, well, how do I What are effective ways to stay in contact right with folks and that was through social media and through through emails and in some of my clients do direct mail, newsletters and things like that. And I soon grew a team to lead a virtual team and I recently just Shout out, it's like, you know, we don't do general virtual assistant where we do content marketing tasks, we take the burden off of the the hundreds of details that are involved in getting our getting seen out in the virtual world out in the digital world. So what my team and I do with Scrivener solutions, we take that burden off. And a lot of our clients have to do everything themselves. I relate to that I did everything myself at first. And, but there's stages, it's like, okay, I want to implement a social media plan, for example, right and go back to to where we first started, oh, my goodness, it's such a pain to be talking or to be out there on social media, I can relate social media, we do that. And we do it a lot in Scrivener solutions. But for me personally, there's one platform that I like to be in, because it's fun. The other platforms I'm in, and I do engage in, but I have helped with that. But it wasn't always that way. Right. And at first, when it was just me, myself and I, in my company, what I would do is schedule time to just block off time and spend an hour. And think of what I'm going to post for the next week or two, just pre think, you know, what am I What am I want to say? And is there something that inspires me? And? And is there a cute post, and I would just get into the habit of I need a post, excuse me a post today, right? And that just worked that muscle, it's like, Okay, I have the consistency, people are seeing me out there. And I had I was involved in in that local networking group. And I also would post into there that group on a consistent basis. And even though and it was mainly Facebook, I did have a LinkedIn, I thought of LinkedIn at the time as simply an online resume. Right. And I wasn't there at first. And I think that I mean, we see folks that have been doing it a long time, and they're everywhere, literally everywhere. But they didn't start that way. So when you're first starting out, or if it's just an office of you, it's okay to be active in one place, find something that that you can be active in and then think ahead, train yourself to think ahead and, and schedule to use a scheduling tool in Facebook, we just schedule right there on on the on the page. And then you can use other other tools buffer Hootsuite or any other third party tools for other things. And so I started with Facebook, and then I would add in at the time, Twitter and then LinkedIn and I did similar posts, but I scheduled them out. And so then I was on three platforms. And at the time was five days a week I at that time, I chose not to post on the weekends in that manner. I would do like organic ones or scheduled ones.
And not long after that I hired Sharon to be on my team. And she is my social media manager. She She leads all of our social media and I got her into the routine and training her like this is what I want on that. And we soon we're doing the same thing for clients and helping them find their voice and everything like that, to get that baseline and see for my social media, my baseline being out there that branding part of it to be present. My team does that for me. Thank heavens, you know, like for for my blog posts for my podcast for any video or whatever that needs to be publicized. I'm not worrying about Okay, I got to get it on social media. My team already knows that. So that's, that's something to where I found that the value of the details of what am I going to say when I can hire Sharon, who's literally she was a cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Rays years ago. So she is my cheerleader on my team and she is fantastic. Stick of, you know, cheering me on. And I love how she does our social posts. And my clients. I mean, our clients, they love that because it's like, we're on our client side, and we draw things out that our clients are to maybe bashful, right? Are they? posting on social media? I think sometimes we feel boastful.
Now do you? Do you think it takes some time to get used to either the client what you're posting, or you're getting comfortable posting for a client, knowing how they think and knowing how, because everyone kind of has their feel their, you know, their, their, how they talk? Is it? How long does it take you to kind of really meld with a customer to start posting in their behalf? Because I know, that's a scary thing for me to think about.
Well, the the thing is, and what I had found is, you know, we we learn from, and I don't want to call this a mistake, but what I've had a lot of learning opportunities, and there are I have been too anxious maybe to take on a social media client, because that's where they're at is only social media, they're not creating what I call a core piece of content, a core piece of content is either a blog post, a podcast, or a video, what is that main message that you're going to be right? You know, expressing. And without that, see, with that main message, let's say, I have a life coach for a client, for example, and she does a weekly video. Well, for us, we can help her work up that video to get on her podcast. And then we would disseminate that out through email and through social, but we can draw things out,
right? So you're you're actually she says, right, so you're actually taking content from someone that they have something that they've done and reusing that same stuff on multiple platforms, multiple technology, from blogs, to, you know, post to this.
And that's really what social media is, is, is sharing our ideas and beliefs. And if you don't have it on your website, or in your videos, then, you know, how can you hire somebody to share what you have, right? So and it does take time, though we do have different types of clients, we have an association where we want to make sure and we don't know, the association leader will review the social posts before we publish them. Because sometimes we may I say something not not not disrespectful, but we may highlight a non member not knowingly, right, or something like that, whatever the rules were laid. But we also want to make sure that our clients have a look and feel, but we have an approval process. And a lot of times within three months, there is a level of comfort that they say, you know what, I don't even want to look at these anymore. I want to focus on this other stuff. Because if something comes out, and they say, you know, I don't really like that image, or I really don't like that. We can delete it. Yeah, you know, but that it does take communication. And I am really big on having that communication with our clients. I've had some early on clients that wanted us to take care of their social platform of choice. And we struggled so much because it was like they they just dump the work. You know, they said here, do it. And then they disappeared. It's like, we don't even know you very well. And then you look at their website. And they're so inactive. So I won't even take a client anymore unless they believe in the power of content marketing and want to want to want to go through that process of sticking their neck out for other people to get to know them because they know that if they set you know broadcast their message in one way, whether it's video audio, or the written word that they will attract followers. And then what we do in the in the in the back office, you know behind the scenes, is we help hold up their platform, because we're taking care of all of those little tiny details. Write, so that they can focus on their message. And that we can push their buttons, I like to say we like to push our clients, but
that is so big and also multiple platforms it's so for me, for instance, I don't get a lot of information, I don't do a lot of blogs, I don't. I don't go to blogs, to learn stuff many people do. And that's why I think it's so important to do things on multiple platforms, because I get my stuff from from podcasts, I do a lot of stuff with podcast and, but I know a lot of people that don't listen to podcasts, they will, they would rather go to a blog, they would rather go to these other platforms. And if you can affect efficiently, get content out on multiple, the same content, reuse the same stuff on multiple platforms. That is that is absolutely huge. And the thing is, I'm not good at blogs, I would need to hire you to go and do stuff like that, because that's just not where I'm, that's not my forte, that's not where I'm at. But it's very critical that that platform gets used as well.
And there's what I like to do for podcasts, what I do for my podcast is I record it, and then I summarize it for the show notes. And then it's also on my website as a blog post with an embedded, you know, an embedded recorder or audio player. So it helps with also with SEO, and sometimes sometimes I'll draw out, it's like, I had this content that if I did it a little bit different way. And like did a tutorial, that's another piece of content, it's basically the same thing, but I did a video of showing something on let's say MailChimp, and I just dove right in and, and showed on MailChimp and I had like a tutorial video.
I posted that on YouTube, then I also posted a little brief description on my website, embedded the video, but then I had off of that video another piece of content, which was some people really like checklist instead of watching the video they want to go through. And so it's like, all I have to do is make a blog post with a little images of the exact steps. And that's a separate one with a little downloadable printable, you know, print pretty version of the steps, right? It's basically an operating procedure of how to do whatever. So for me, I'm, and that's just duplicating it, and you have a little bit different titles, and then you can do some things with your key words, on the blog post. But also from the social media standpoint. It we like it that we can have a an audio piece. And we can direct people to the podcast to if it's a libsyn link, if it is an iTunes link, something like that, and say, Hey, that just broadcasts that a new episode, then we can go in a little deeper and then and draw something out of the episode that would appear on the blog post and point the person to the blog post with the embedded audio player. So that's more than one opportunity to say the same thing in different ways. And you're drawing out the ideas and and that's what we like to do is take that core piece of content and dissect it, I guess you can say
and God that is so important in it. And I didn't even realize that until maybe a year or so ago that how you can reuse the same content in different ways to absolutely hit a much bigger, bigger audience. Absolutely. That's that is a that's probably one of the biggest learnings I've had in the last couple years is to reuse that because it's hard to come up with content. Good core content is for me is hard to come out with. So it's like, man, if I can reuse that, especially if I can have someone else do that because I'm just not adept at that. That is that is absolutely fantastic.
And another tool that we just started using it's called headliner. And are you familiar with?
Yeah, love headline. Yeah,
I like that, that you know, you just have an image it does a pull out a little clip. And that's a different type of social posts. And it makes your social feed. Interesting, right. And we use you wear all the time experiment and I love what we do because we have different our different clients. You different tools. So we are introduced to different things. And a lot of our clients come to us and they, they use our systems, you know, they, that's what they come to. And that's why I shifted from being a virtual assistant company, as more general administrative stuff, to focus on content marketing, because we have created systems in our company, we've experimented and we actually use, I let my staff loose on my website on my stuff for Scrivener solutions website, and for the gala, scrivener.com website. For both of those, that's our playground, to where if you break it, that's okay. But you know, we're in and following a lot of content marketing news, and what's trending and what should we do? And sometimes our clients are not ready for that, you know, or they feel terrible, because they're not in that, that space, it's like, you know, you don't have to be you need to it all, all. Content Marketing is and another word for it is, is relationship marketing. Yeah, we just need to take a deep breath and just say, How do I communicate to folks? And how can I communicate to whoever you hire, whatever team you build, to help you communicate your message. So that you can be more effective and have more reach, you know,
and I, you know, going back to your story, and that's one of the things that I, you know, from, from an entrepreneur standpoint, that I absolutely love about your story, and all the stuff that you're doing is, you didn't have a huge grand plan, you didn't have a huge grand idea of your ultimate goal of where you are today, you know, had you tried to think of back then of what you're doing today, you would have not, would have not started you have not going it's that I just love the story of you making the decision. Moving forward, what's the next thing I can do to progress to my dream, which is the freedom which that that is, and to me, that is so, so big that so many people want is that freedom. And what's funny is now, not only have you done that, and you've created that, you know that the true entrepreneur, you started your company, you did this, but what you're doing is actually helping other entrepreneurs, kind of do the same thing. Because we don't understand a lot of that stuff. We don't we're not doing that stuff. We're not the expert to that stuff. But you actually use the system develop the system to help other people use the system.
I, I am so what lights me up is the ability to work from anywhere. And I find that just an awesome opportunity that each and every one of us have. And you were saying, you know, I think that there's going to be there's more and more people trying to do this side gig, right, you know, from and, and they wish that they could do it full time, or they don't have enough time to do this. They don't have enough time, you know, we we will find enough time to do the things that we really want to do. And and it will it shifts, but there is uncertainty. And there will be something that happens that you say no more. And I'll have to be honest. I mean, the more years that I'm in this, it's like there is no I jokingly say, the more years that I'm an entrepreneur, the less employable I am. I mean, I am so unemployable I just nobody will want me to hire me for their company and I don't want to go Yeah, because I want to have I want to be able to have my office anywhere in the world that I want. If I wanted to move to Colorado for three months, just because I want to and or if I want to have I mean what's big for for my husband and I is that we have nomadic stents. We may be going for four to six weeks and we will now we don't drive around our our big beast is what we call it the 38 foot diesel pusher. We travel even smaller. We travel in our 98 Jeep Cherokee with a rooftop tent. We have solar we have a little refrigerator. And we live out of that for four to six weeks at a time. And we are nomadic. And we, we want to go on roads, where that 38 foot RV will not go, right. And we have gone on so many adventures. And we get so excited. And it's a challenge for us. We're in the middle of, of nowhere. And it's like, oh my gosh, we've got 4g, oh, stay right here. Let's
Don't move, don't move.
We're gonna stay here for three days. All right. And we'll we'll work or we were in hot springs, North Carolina, just outside of, of they're just a tiny little town. Beautiful, beautiful. And we're we're going across to a little area in Tennessee, we've stayed there for almost a week. And we had absolutely no service. So we had to pack up every day, go to the little tiny library in town, and we'd work and then we drive back and in pop up the the rooftop tent. And doing that we could stay home and do the same routine and be really stressful about how our business is going. But each time because every time we would go, I'd be stressed out, oh my gosh, we're gonna be going on this, this thing and I'm not prepared. Well, we're never prepared fully for anything in life. So we just we had our deadline, we were gonna go. And we learn more from what we want to do and how we want to grow our business. On those trips, right, and our business has grown every time that we've done that we found what our priorities are, what, what makes us more passionate, and, you know, it shaped our decisions, but in roughing it for four to six weeks. And and we are it takes a little while but we are preparing for a bigger nomadic trip. And so we're laying that foundation now on how our business should run. And we challenge ourselves to say, Okay, we've got to shake things up. There's a and, and challenge ourselves and get out of our regular routine. Otherwise, we're going to be the woulda, coulda, shoulda, people, right. And so I get fired up that I love that we have the opportunity to work from anywhere. And it bothers me that you have to clock in people, so many people, I just have to clock in and, and they're I don't know, I have these, these reflections of the old Dunkin Donuts commercials of the guy hunched over shoulders like time to make the donuts, you know, and I'm used to feel that way when I'd go to work. And now I don't it's an adventure every day. And I love to hope to have the, you know, help my clients to where they can have the freedom that they want whatever they they want. And if helping them with the details of social media and website updates and, and sending out emails, helps them achieve their goals. I love being behind the scenes to make them look good. And in being in you know, sometimes it's hard and sometimes I've had these fleeting thoughts of, Okay, I want to go back I it's just too hard. You know, this build is has come and this payment has not come so. And it's I think sometimes I feel like I'm on a I don't know if this is a thing, but it's their entrepreneurial bipolarism that's one day I can be on top of the world the other day, it's just like Dang. But it's every year it gets better and better. And it just things are are so great. And I had a moment of I am so glad I am and free of working the corporate life because I was about almost three years ago. So my, my older brother he he was very, very ill. He's been very ill for a long time. But it was at a point that family needed to come and I could drop everything and take my parents to Chicago and we were there with my brother We were there with him in the hospital and my 70 year old parents from, from the country to that, when they're worried about their son, right to drive in Chicago traffic, that's just terrible. So I had an email, I was able to