Last month I was asked to be a guest on Remotive’s Ask Me Anything (AMA). If you aren’t familiar with Remotive, it’s a really great networking (and job posting/seeking) space for remote workers. Vic Boano who leads Customer Success at Remotive facilitates the AMA sessions.
Below is the Q&A from my session. The session primarily consisted of questions from Vic and answers from me, but there were a couple of other who chimed in as well. I mention their names along with their questions below.
Vic: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional background?
Me: You bet! I’m currently the Marketing Manager at Summit CPA Group. I’ve been with Summit for a couple of years now. Previously I was in the publishing industry — mainly operations and marketing. I’ve worked remotely for 12 years now!
Vic: Do you find that your current industry is very different from your previous one, in terms of your role? What was the biggest adjustment for you, if any?
Me: Yes, it’s very different!
The publishing company was more focused on sales. I have really enjoyed being more on the inbound marketing side now.
Vic: Could you talk about the job search process that led you to land a job with your current company? Dos and don’ts? What tools helped you, which didn’t?
Me: This might be a long one…
I’ll be completely honest here…I had a really hard time finding a new job. I applied for jobs for two years before I finally decided to take a plunge into freelance work. I was with my previous company for 10 years and feeling like I was failing at the job search was humbling and really depressing. I’m curious if anyone else has felt that way?
I started freelancing on September 1st (two years ago). In mid-October I went to a remote work conference and met the CEO of Summit CPA Group. A month or two later he asked me to join the team as an independent contractor doing a little bit of marketing work and my role grew and grew until he asked me to come on full-time.
There is SO much competition for remote jobs. It’s tough! I think my biggest piece of advice for job seekers is to network as much as possible. Remotive is a great place to do that, and seek out other opportunities for meeting people and networking.
Rohan Smith: As a remote company, what has been your most reliable marketing avenue/method?
Me: That’s a great question! I’ve worked in both B2C and B2B companies. What worked well for each of them has been very different. Currently with Summit CPA (which is B2B), thought leadership and inbound marketing are the most effective. We do a lot of speaking engagements and networking events, podcast interviews, article writing, etc.
Vic: What does a Marketing Manager’s workday look like?
Me: This will differ depending on the industry and marketing strategy. For me, Summit CPA is in the accounting and finance industry and our marketing approach is inbound.
A typical day (for me) includes:
• Content, content, content!
• Reviewing HARO emails for media opportunities
• Collaborating with strategic partners on podcast and article opportunities
• Writing articles
• Preparing social media posts
• Planning out podcast topics
• Fine-tuning our presentation materials
Vic: What is a unique thing your remote team does to stay connected, organized, or productive?
We use a virtual office software program called Sococo. I’m curious if anyone else here has heard of it or uses it?
I’d never heard of it before joining Summit. It’s really great! We each have our own office and there are also meeting rooms. We can see who’s in the office, knock on their door any time, conduct video meetings and screenshare. It makes you feel more connected as a team when everyone’s distributed.
Vic: Never heard of it! Will investigate!
Mindi Rosser: How do you balance everyday life with your remote work schedule – especially when you have a family and are trying to manage it all?
Well…sometimes not so great. Haha! No, actually, I think remote work has been a big reason why I’ve been able to build a great career AND juggle the schedules of 3 super active kids.
I’m very disciplined with my schedule, which helps a lot. I start work as soon as the kids are off to school and I try to work very regular business hours.
This summer was really challenging for me but I wouldn’t want it any other way!!!
Vic: Do you think that anybody can work remotely? Why yes/no?
Nope! It’s a really great fit for me and I couldn’t imagine working any other way, but my husband tried working from home a few years ago and it was not a good fit for him! He would get bored at the computer and decide to go ski for the day instead. He needs the social interaction and the discipline of physically going in to work every day.
Vic: Are you in charge of hiring new employees? What do you value in a prospective employee if you are?
Yes, but only for my department. I recently created a new role for my department and got to hire my first employee at Summit CPA. Because our environment does allow for a lot of flexibility and autonomy, I value people who can get stuff done. “Showing up for work” doesn’t matter so much in a remote environment, it’s what you can deliver that matters.
Vic: Could you recommend us a podcast and/or a book (given that you run Remotive’s book club!) that has inspired you recently? Work-related or not!
Oh, you just asked me about books… how much time do we have!?! 😂
I recently finished Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. That was definitely my favorite fiction book recently.
For non-fiction, I really love Drive by Daniel H. Pink. I got to see him speak at the Digital Marketing Summit in Denver this summer and he’s amazing!
I’ve been reading a lot of fiction books lately. I think it’s a nice way to disconnect and get your head into something completely separate from work.
Vic: Last question from me! What has it been like to run Remotive’s monthly book club?
The Remotive Book Club has been fun and a really great learning experience for me! I’ve been running it for a couple of years now but did take a break for a few months because I realized the way I had originally approached it wasn’t working.
At first we’d pick a book to read together. I’d post a poll in the #readings channel and we’d vote on the book we all wanted to read. Then we’d vote on a day/time to meet. Usually about 10 people would vote.
The first meetup had maybe two people besides me and neither of them had finished the book. The second had one person, and after that no one would show up. Everyone would say they hadn’t had time to finish the book. I put a lot of work into reading the book and preparing discussion questions so it was frustrating.
When I started the Book Club back up a few months ago, I decided not to have everyone select one book to read and set a deadline on it. Instead, we approach our monthly meetups as a time to get together and talk about books — whatever we’re reading at the time. It has worked a lot better! We typically have about 5-6 people each month, and we all get to know each other and share reading recommendations.
If you’re interested in meeting up with us, it’s the first Friday of every month at 1pm ET. I share a link in the #readings channel at the time of the meeting. 📚
The AMA session was a lot of fun!
If you’re interested in learning move about the Remotive community, visit www.remotive.io.