Building High Performing Teams with Susan Marshall

Fine Point Grey

Building High Performing Teams with Susan Marshall

(33-minute podcast)

In this week’s Fine Point, we dig into how you can build a high performing marketing team, the changing freelance landscape, and how to effectively combine specialists with generalists. We’re joined by Susan Marshall, a technology veteran and CEO of Torchlite, which extends your marketing department by connecting expert freelance talent, campaigns, and existing marketing technology into one single campaign management platform. We also dig into Coke’s latest personalization tactics & Facebook taking analytics in-store.

Fine Point iTunes

Fine Point Stitcher

Fine Point Google Play

Featured Experts:

Susan Marshall, Founding Partner and CEO of Torchlite

Guests and Experts

EXPERTS:

Susan Marshall, Founding Partner and CEO of Torchlite

Bio: Susan Marshall is a 20-plus year technology veteran who’s been deeply involved in the rapid evolution of digital video, audio, mobile, social and data management technologies. Her professional background consists of product management and marketing for some of the most successful tech companies in the world – Apple, Adobe and Salesforce.

In 2015, Susan co-founded Torchlite, a software and services solution that helps marketers get more done by connecting expert freelance talent, campaigns, and existing marketing technology into one single campaign management platform.

HOST:

Maureen Jann, Director of Marketing, Point It Digital Marketing

Bio: Maureen Jann is a veteran B2B marketer whose career in Digital Media has grown up with the Internet. A self-described jill-of-all-trades, Maureen has elevated creative problem solving to an art form and enjoys the daily challenges of driving business results in unexpected ways. Her skills as an entrepreneur, content marketer, creative director and passionate people manager set her apart from the pack. Maureen has worked in every corner of marketing making her a skilled tactical resource as well as a strategic partner.  Recently, she was the captain of the marketing ship for an award-winning professional services firm and is currently creating a content marketing strategy for Point It, a digital marketing agency.

PRODUCER:

Tim Mohler, Sr. Marketing Manager, Point It Digital Marketing

Bio: Tim Mohler is a multichannel marketer with experience building campaigns for travel, CPG, food, beverage, and technology companies reaching both B2B and B2C customers. He’s passionate about building marketing experiences & partnerships that are relevant to a brand’s message, exciting for the customer, and most importantly deliver measurable results. At Point It, he develops digital, social and content campaigns as well as managing PointIt.com on a day to day basis.

Transcript

Maureen Jann: Welcome to Fine Point. A weekly digest of digital marketing updates. Each week we’ll feature industry experts to talk through what’s happening in digital marketing. I’m Maureen Jann, the director of marketing at Point It, a digital marketing agency here in Seattle, Washington and I’ll be your hostess. I’ve got Time Mohler, my co-host, senior marketing manager, and podcast engineer with me today. We’re both here in the Point It studios along with Riley Hasan, our marketing intern and we are delighted to have Susan Marshall the CEO, and co-founder of Torchlite here today. So, we’ll be chatting about building high performance marketing teams and biggest challenges that come with that. So, welcome Susan. It’s super nice to have you here. Thanks for your time.

 

Susan Marshall: Yes, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, it’s a delight. I’m looking forward to digging into building marketing teams. That’s a favorite topic of mine so it’ll be a fun conversation.

 

Susan Marshall: For sure.

 

Maureen Jann: So, before we get started with our interview let’s talk headlines. My network is talking about Coca-Cola, Facebook analytics, and the key to well rounded marketing teams which will bring us perfectly into the whole building marketing teams conversation, conveniently, or engineered. You be the judge. So, the first article we have we found out Advertising Age and it’s, Why Coke is Adding Last Names to Share A Coke. So, when I was reading through this it’s a reminder of in 2014, they have this whole first names thing on their Coca-Cola bottles, which I found confusing and a little pointless the first time. But now they’ve added last names. But they’ve said that they’re not going to put on first names and last names on them because it would be too narrow for people but how are you determining a last name versus a first name? What if it’s … I don’t know. Jones and your name is Jones, or Smith.

 

Tim Mohler: I think it matters as long as they buy a Coke.

 

Susan Marshall: And I think they’re trying to get into the whole personalization thing through physical objects and probably try and experiment with all kinds of different ideas, I would imagine. Like you said, just to buy a Coke.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah it’s surprising that this worked for them the first time well enough for them to do the last name thing as a next step. So, that was a little surprising to me. But, essentially, their idea is that the last names will appeal to a much larger audience and they think they’re going to pick up on things like family reunions which I though was, “Okay, yeah all right. that’s a legit. I can see that being a possibility.”

 

Susan Marshall: It seems like they just have such an enormous marketing budget that they can experiment with things that probably won’t work. I don’t know, it’s little bit of a stretch in my mind. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all have those kinds of budgets where we can experiment with all that crazy, out there, stuff?

 

Maureen Jann: Absolutely, and I appreciate their attempt at personalization but they really must have indicators that it was successful at the first round or else they wouldn’t bother with this, right?

 

Tim Mohler: You have to print. There’s no cost to them.

 

Susan Marshall: [inaudible 00:03:11] I would think so.

 

Tim Mohler: They’re printing the cans anyway so they’re going to be putting on something. So, I think it’s all about just maintaining excitement and holding ground for Coke because there’s no growth in Coca-Cola in this country. In fact, if I remember correctly, they’re sliding backwards just a little bit as they move over to other things, and forgive me if you hear this in your from Coke, but Vitamin Water, which I believe is not a Coke brand. But other there are other categories and I think it’s a real struggle for them. All their growth is coming from developing markets and how do you maintain some level of excitement, and fun, and joy to what’s a really great anchor brand here. So, it has to be something. They’ll keep playing and just doing something different each time.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, it’s really interesting. So, 200 popular last names were identified as a quarter of the population of people ages 13 through 34 in the US and that brings the total of first and last names up to 800 options. It’s good to know that we’re that homogenous, to a degree. because I imagine they’re picking some interesting spaces that are that overlap with, obviously, the most popular ones. So, customers want personalization options, which is the core of their campaign here. Coke is doing this for free and gaining loyal Coke drinkers in the process, which I find interesting considering the smear campaign against soda, which you referred to earlier. So, I’m not sure how that’s going to work out. Best of luck Coke, nice job. Keep experimenting.

 

Tim Mohler: They’re doing true mass personalization. If you think about how M&M’s did, you can order M&M’s that are specific.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, but that’s smart.

 

Tim Mohler: That’s smart, but you can do that on Coke’s website. You can go order in, they’ll send them to you. I just don’t see how Look at the family party, everyone’s Smith.

 

Maureen Jann: I don’t know.

 

Tim Mohler: I don’t know, it’s just … Yeah.

 

Maureen Jann: But with the M&M’s, that what’s cool about that is if you want to do things in your like wedding colors. That make sense.

 

Susan Marshall: Yeah.

 

Maureen Jann: Right.

 

Susan Marshall: Yeah that makes sense. Seems like they should pour money into digital personalization activity as opposed to trying to personalize the actual bottle, itself.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, I don’t know either.

 

Susan Marshall: I don’t know.

 

Tim Mohler: Augments reality. Augments of reality.

 

Maureen Jann: Oh gosh.

 

Susan Marshall: That’s not a bad idea.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, you’re right. I cringe at the thought of it but you’re right, it is not of that idea. So, our next article is from Marketing Landed. It’s Facebook’s Renamed Analytics Tool Now Tracks Pages, In Store Purchases. Facebook is renaming analytics for apps which is … Not apps. Analytics platform. As Facebook analytics has become a tool for over one million apps. So, it’s different gaining popularity and I imagine what they’re trying to do is make it that umbrella a little wider so that they can encompass more data. The new tool has support for website. Messenger chat bots, Facebook pages, and in-store sales which I imagine … I think chats bots are an actual add on, right? They’re an app. They’re a Facebook app. That makes sense. That’s why we’re talking about this. It’s all coming together now. That’s too funny. Facebook has also added a feature to let advertisers create target markets who will engage with the organization across all properties instead of pushing them along one.

 

So, smacks of the data that we collect, or that we partner with one of our data partners on around the kinds of apps that you have in your phone. This sort of feels like it’s in the same family of information. Although, in that case, they’re happy to be very specific with using data that’s on your phone regarding apps. Facebook is looking to widen that umbrella and have more input from more tools across the Facebook ecosphere. Is “ecosphere” even a word?

 

Tim Mohler: Yeah, it is.

 

Maureen Jann: Maybe we call it an ecosystem. There we go, that’s probably [inaudible 00:07:02]. Have you ever used any of Facebook’s analytics tools, Susan?

 

Susan Marshall: We do use their analytics tools and a lot of our customers do. We have it integrated into our app but having … When did they announce the in store tracked? Is that just today? Yesterday? [inaudible 00:07:22] anything location based yet?

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah this is the 18th, this is from April 18th.

 

Susan Marshall: We have not used that yet yet. But Facebook analytics for sure really in alongside ever other social tools, Google Analytics to look at the whole picture to see what to do next, or what’s working, and how to optimize. But location based not too much.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, I feel like the impact here is giving more options to SMB’s and allowing them to have better insights which I know a lot of us rely, especially if you don’t have a lot of data sources you pull from. Facebook has been a pretty rich source of data that serves like persona building, targeting across programmatic, and to have this additional input for the apps I think it expands those data options very exponentially. There we go.

 

Tim Mohler: Yeah, you look at how much Facebook controls across the Internet at this point, and I think it’s all those places where you use a Facebook login, they’re trying to grow that whole analytics platform so it looks a little bit more like GA I think. Like Google Analytics. So, if you think Google Analytics has backdoor access to so much of the Internet because it’s installed inside every website behind the gate, and I think Facebook probably would like to get a little bit more of that. As well as, their conference is going on right now, and other than more Snapchat knock offs, of course, which is a big announcement. But they’re also looking to chat bots and so I think this idea that in store to on your phone, it’s like Google Analytics for real life and for your social sphere. I can see that been tremendously valuable for anybody who is local, or just just that location knowledge over time, I think. The question is how much that will we actually be able to access because GA it is pretty open with their data, whereas Facebook is much less.

 

Maureen Jann: That’s true.

 

Susan Marshall: Right, and how will they price access to it. What will that work like over time because we’ve seen come increases recently that we’re trying to explain to all of our customers how it works and what to expect. So, that’s one thing that we’re always keeping our eye on. Because I think the cost per click has gone up quite a bit over the last six months when it comes to trying fine targeting persona’s type across Facebook. So, the cost is something we’re always looking at closely.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, that makes sense. Back to something Tim said earlier. Facebook announces “We’re ripping off Snapchat.” We should have snuck that headline in here. Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. I knew that. they didn’t really have to announce that.

 

Tim Mohler: Again.

 

Maureen Jann: Saw it, check.

 

Tim Mohler: Again? Okay.

 

Maureen Jann: Too funny. Okay, so the last article that we have here is, let’s see, “Does your marketing team have these nine all star qualities?” Although, this is probably the worst title ever, it had some pretty legitimate information it it so we decided to go with it anyway. It was just very, as Riley put it, Buzz Feedy and as my love for adding y’s to things that don’t have y’s, that was felt very accurate to me. So, anyway, the high points of this article were definitely around a good marketing team needs a well balanced mix of generalists and specialists to have a good hold on each area of the marketing. That’s true, and I say, as in addition to that we would talk about how as a leader you should have experience in each of the areas that you’re managing, or at least be able to have a deep understanding of it so that way you can do it well. You can give good direction, you can be empathetic. There’s a lot of opportunity there. Communication and coordination are incredibly important. A team that communicates properly can de-silo generalists and specialists. This can lead coordinated effort moving forward.

 

Also important, don’t forget to have a communication platform. If any of you have office, so we just implemented Slack, and I am a Slack nerd because I have to Slack for a couple of the my other communities and I’m like, “We need Slack. This would be super handy.” And so I’m slowly convincing everybody it’s a good idea. I say “hopefully”.

 

Tim Mohler: Yes, absolutely phenomenal.

 

Susan Marshall: We love it.

 

Maureen Jann: Do you? See? It’s not just me, right?

 

Susan Marshall: Oh yeah. We have, I’ll go ahead, but we have a huge network of specialists that, as part of Torchlite, we have about 350 freelancers and we use Slack to chat here and share stuff. Yeah, we’re kind of addicted to it over here.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, I really like to threaded conversations. That’s a big part of it for us. You can collect … Instead of having say one chat line with one person in a private IM system, you have a public threaded, themed conversation that you can search that’s made a huge difference for me, at least. So, I’m just working on convincing everybody it’s a good idea. So, the last thing in this article that we highlighted was “goal orientation, determination, and passion lead to unified team that bases their ideas off the same values and planned outcomes. When obstacles arise a determine team will keep running on their passion for their work.” So, I don’t know. Yeah, I think that’s true enough. Tim is looking very doubtful and skeptical over here and I’d like to hear your thoughts.

 

Tim Mohler: That sounds very fru-fru to me. I’m trying to see how that applies in reality. Does it really? I don’t know. There were other things in this article that I really like, like the whole special teams idea and having to specialists in blending those with more generalists and that sort of thing. So, that spoke to me a little bit more then … I think values are all around hiring. If you hire the right people, the values will stay consistent as long as you are consistent as an organization and a leadership team, and I think you did bring out the leadership team as well in this article.

 

Maureen Jann: Sure, Susan what were you saying?

 

Susan Marshall: Yeah, I was actually going to agree. I think all … Organization views a lot of buzz word collaboration and communication. But I think putting it into practice is the hard part, and how do you do that, and what does that mean, and how do you reward good collaboration? Reinforce all of that? Is leadership exhibiting qualities? So, I actually think values are really important. But they need to be backed up with, “This is how you do it and these are some examples of how to execute against all that stuff.” So, oftentimes, lots of talk. How do you put it into action? [inaudible 00:14:31] where I’m coming from.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, and I think leadership has plays a really big role in that. If you come to the table as a leader and you set the tone. You set the style, you set the pace, and you set how important the values are. I think you you have to illustrate that. You have to role model that and if you don’t, then they’re probably going to die on the vine. But that last thing, “when obstacles arise, a determined team will keep running on the passion for the work” I actually agree with that statement because let’s think about yesterday. Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for everybody but because we have a common goal, and we’re working. Because every day isn’t like that and it made it easier for us to push through the hard day. So, I don’t know. This so is always a long … you can go on [inaudible 00:15:19] forever.

 

Tim Mohler: It’s a cultural thing. I think one of the really appreciated here is that if we’re looking at something … I don’t say ethical challenges but somewhere where there’s ethics at play, we discuss it. We discuss it openly, we discuss honestly, you can trust the people that you’re talking with to have the company’s best interest. To have your client’s best interest, have the customer’s best interest, and yours, and I think that culture, the doing is really the critical component to really living your ethic or living your values. So, I’ve appreciated that here and I appreciate that coming on the article. I think it was better stated in some places then others.

 

Maureen Jann: Agreed. Awesome. Well, that brings us perfectly into our next segment where we talked to Susan Marshall, who I introduced earlier, but we’ll talk a little bit more about her. Susan is a technology veteran, a passionate entrepreneur, and the co-founder of Torchlite. I would love for you to tell us a little bit about Torchlite in your own words because I was reading it and I felt like I wasn’t understanding the spirit of it, and I want to hear from you.

 

Susan Marshall: Sure, sure. So, I have been talking to marketers for, gosh, 15 years. Mostly from the product and technology side after working at a company called Exacttarget, the email service provider, and then we were acquired by a Salesforce. So, when they acquired us, the product markers, product management, people were sent out on the road talking to people and marketers who come up to me and they would say, “I’ve spent sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars, on my MarTech stack but I still can’t get my work done. I can’t find people to help me.” And I couldn’t help them at my last job because we had an internal services team but they only had so many things that they could offer. Sometimes the average agency didn’t fit. So, how could I help these marketers? So, that was the spirit of it was how do we help them do their job? How do we become the advocate for marketers? [inaudible 00:17:28] have this growing [inaudible 00:17:29] economy and you have all these great, talented people who want to maintain their own personal brand, work from wherever, become a specialist in their field. So, whether that’s online advertising, or writing, or design.

 

So, let’s build a platform to help organize them, make them accountable, give marketers visibility into what they’re doing, so Torchlite was born. So, that that was the spirit of it, just to help marketers get more of their work done, and leverage a lot of the technology that they had already invested in.

 

Maureen Jann: Perfect. That’s an exciting idea for me as a marketer so I can definitely get behind that idea. That’s fabulous. So, I’m going …

 

Susan Marshall: Cool.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, and it looks you guys have Software as a Solution, correct?

 

Susan Marshall: We do, we do. So, it’s a campaign manager of a platform that sits on top of your existing martech stack. So, we’re not trying to replace your email product. Maybe your social media management publishing tool that’s on top and manages the entire campaign, helps you visualize your marketing plan, shows how campaigns roll up to business objectives, and then within the platform you can also see who’s working out what, and access our marketplace at any time, and assign either people who are already on your bench ,as we call it. Or say you need a one up project, so you can then go search through our marketplace, find an expert in email, assign them to a task, all within one platform.

 

Maureen Jann: That is super convenient. It’s always nice to have it all in on spot. Don’t want to add new systems where new systems aren’t necessary, and I think that’s that’s a challenge we all run into. Another password, another user name, oh gosh, please kill me yeah. So, nice to have it all consolidated into one spot.

 

Susan Marshall: Yeah. Well, I think there was something like, I think, there’s 36,000 marketing technology tools now, on the market. So, you kind of virtually anything. A predictive analytics tool, a retargeting tool. So, I think the average marketer in a mid size business might have 15 or 16 marketing products that they have to log in to. So, we’re trying to avoid … We didn’t want to create another very specialized niche tool. We wanted to bring it all together into one place, make it easier to the marketer.

 

Maureen Jann: Your marketers thank you, I’m sure. I’m sure that’s got to be beneficial. Celebrating Torchlite, “Yay, thank you for not trying to kill us.”

 

Susan Marshall: Give us another tool, and we give you the people that help you get stuff done which you don’t see that. You don’t see the people integrated back in the tech. There are lots the freelance network outside of the marketing tech stack but not integrated into one, collaborative campaign management, project management platform. The fun part, the people part.

 

Maureen Jann: Yes, it seems a really powerful tool that way where you … And it’s unusual, you’re right, to see the people part involved and I think that probably increases the complexity of trying to message it to. It’s like, how do you really have people understand what you’re doing, and the power that you’re handing them. That’s got to be a fun …

 

Susan Marshall: It’s a challenge.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, a challenge. Exactly. Well, when we were talking before we talked a lot about how you’re passionate about building marketing teams, and so I’d love to dig into that a little bit more and learn about your perspective with your with your experience. Tell me a little bit about what the biggest challenges you see marketers running into when they’re building their marketing teams.

 

Susan Marshall: So, I think there are a couple things. One thing that sort of surprised me when I started the company was I assumed every marketer, experienced marketers, professional marketers, already knew exactly what they wanted to do they just couldn’t find the people to get it then. It turns out there are a lot of marketers who are still struggling with, what do I do? What did I prioritize? Because there’s just so much information being thrown at them right now. We’re just talking about Facebook, all the changes and what they’re doing, and so where should I be putting my dollars? What should I be doing? So, that’s one thing and then the other thing is they just can’t … Oftentimes they’ll hire generalist because that’s what their budget affords, so I think I can get more out of this person and get more done. But sometimes if they don’t staff with the specialist alongside the generalist, sort of with articles just talking about. Again they can’t execute because they just don’t have anybody really truly knows how to manage and run a market [inaudible 00:22:17] platform, for example. So there’s just so much complexity in some of these tools and the capabilities that they really do need a specialist to get stuff done.

 

Maureen Jann: That’s a great point and I can definitely see that from my perspective as well because we run a small team, and we do staff with them generalist to help cover more bases. But the nice part is we get to pair our team with specialists that are contractors, and I imagine the same concept kind of applies in this particular case to, right?

 

Susan Marshall: Yep.

 

Maureen Jann: So, where do you see … Walk me through the role of the specialist in a team and the importance of having a specialist.

 

Susan Marshall: The role, oftentimes, it’s a very technical role. So, as an example, I am a B2B company, I’m trying to nurture inbound leads that are coming from various sources, like trade shows and from content download. How do I am build a nurture track that may have different weight states or decision points that will lead me into a different track based on interaction with my site and that kind of thing? So, you need a specialist who not only understand the tool but can understand how to build a customer journey, and then map the technology to that. So, that would be an example of a specialist that you would need to come in and really operate that, and then optimize it. So, not just set it and forget it, but constantly looking at how do we make those interactions better.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah that sounds pretty much the dream right there. To have somebody constantly looking at it, and that’s a pretty exciting concept, and I always felt like having specialist on your team was reserved for the larger company, is that true?

 

Susan Marshall: I don’t think. So, that’s why our model was created. Of 10 times, you need a specialist but you don’t need 100% of their time. So, you may need that marketing automation specialist 20 hours a week, for example. But then you also need a retargeting specialist 20 hours a week. So, we help build teams that have a fraction of those specialists that give your smaller teams everything they need so they can get real specialized without hiring a huge team. Does that makes sense?

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, absolutely.

 

Susan Marshall: So, 20% of the retargeting person. But then you need a platform because now you have multiple people working on your behalf and you have internal teams to. Maybe a mix of generalist and specialists, so they need a platform for keeping track of all the tasks, making sure everybody’s collaborating and communicating. So, that’s where our software comes in.

 

Maureen Jann: Fabulous. Well, speaking of that model of 20% of somebody’s time, 40% of somebody else’s time, it really begs the question …. You’re building a, basically, a big posse of awesome marketers, marketing specialist. How is that freelance economy impacting the way that marketers do business now?

 

Susan Marshall: In a big way. So, we talk about the broader [inaudible 00:25:37] economy, oftentimes it’s spans from the Uber type network to, what I call in our world, it’s more of a higher payed professional network. In our world, in the marketing world, there’s always been freelance writers, designers, that kind of thing. It’s just expanding exponentially now to include a lot of these marketing specialist who are certified on different technologies like Hub Spot, or PartOPS, or Marketo, or name one of those thousands of tools, and it provides enormous opportunity for marketing teams. So, they don’t have to have a full time PartOPS specialists. But they can go into the network and find somebody who’s really good and just make that rock for them. So, it’s this untapped resource that we’re tapping into. I think what happens oftentimes is marketers will go to a real broad, general freelancer network and start searching, and might have a bad experience because there’s no quality control. There’s no vetting that says, “Here are the best PartOPS.” In our case, we only take 10% of the applicants that we get.

 

So, we don’t take every freelancer that wants to be a freelancer. We make sure that they are, indeed, certified. That they really know stuff and then we make them available and that extra controls really important. But to answer your question, marketers I think now really can accelerate their marketing plan to get more done because there are so many great, smart experts out there that are willing to help. So, it’s a good thing.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, absolutely, and what I find is interesting about this we’ve been using freelancers forever as marketers. This is just from graphic designers, to illustrators, to programmers etc.[inaudible 00:27:28]

 

Susan Marshall: Video.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, exactly. So, how do you feel that freelance economy shifting to make them more important today than they were 10 years ago, perhaps?

 

Susan Marshall: I think more important today because of the specialization and the work that that needs to get done, and most of the folks that I find that are really really good are the ones that have the ability to make a lot of money in this freelance economy. they have the ability to set their own terms and when they work, how they work, where they work from. So, I think it’s just opened up a whole new world, and I think there’s a shift in that, as a market, we’ve always enjoyed, or appreciated, working with freelancers but we’re seeing that go beyond just the marketing team. So, executives who may manage the marketing team, who aren’t used to working with freelancers are starting to accept that as just a way to do business across the organization, whether it’s marketing, or HR, or other types of services. So, It’s opening up more opportunities, I think, for the really good freelancers, for sure.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, and I wonder if maybe there isn’t a shift in the way that we’re working today and there’s a desire for more autonomy. We’re going to talk about, personal branding next. But the desire to own your own destiny, I think is stronger than it’s probably been in the past. Where if you were the company person and you stayed at the company forever, whereas there is a desire for flexibility, and the desire to travel, and od finer points on experiences for people as human beings, and less on the cash, and I wonder if we’ve got a lot of excellent talent, extra excellent talent or maybe more of the excellent talent then we did before.

 

Susan Marshall: I think so, I think so, and it’s those people that recognize how important it is to have this balance, rich life that goes beyond work that tend to be the most talented people, that’s what we’re finding. So, they have confidence that they’re really good at their craft, whether it’s writing, or database marketing, or marketing automation, or whatever it is, and they know what it’s worth and what they should get for it, and then they spend a good chunk of their time, like you said, traveling or spending time with family or gardening, or whatever it is they like doing. So, for me, I think it’s a great thing for our society as a whole and just want to see it continue to grow and explode and give these people opportunity to really follow their passion, that enjoy the work they do, and then provide great services to businesses when they need it.

 

Maureen Jann: yeah, that makes a ton of sense. So, we’re talking about people leading richer lives, and being able to cross-pollinate their non-work experiences with their work experiences, making them better at what they do. How does personal branding figure into that whole freelance economy?

 

Susan Marshall: I think just speaks to the sense of confidence that I’m seeing, particularly, some of the younger experts. They believe that they have something that’s incredibly valuable that could be leveraged across different companies, not just one company for many many years, and so they want to put their brand on that. So, whether that’s Melissa Smith, LLC, Or Blue Ocean Design, whatever it might be. I think that that’s really important for, at least, the really good freelancers who want to stay freelancing. Who’ve chosen that as a career, and what shifted I think, what happened in with the recession back in 2008 a lot of people had to become freelancers and take whatever work they could in order to just make money and make it through that hard time and now we’ve found that it’s no longer the case. That freelancing, or being an independent contractor, is plan B. It’s Plan A. This is my career. Just like somebody wants to be a doctor, or somebody wants to be a musician. I want to be a professional independent contractor, and this is my brand, and those people really good at what they do.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah and it helps them hone the message about the value they bring to, if they add a personal branding level of professionalism to that conversation. I could definitely see that being of value.

 

Susan Marshall: Right, good point. So, I don’t do everything. I’m not going to be your social media person. my specialty is X, and it falls under my brand, yeah.

 

Maureen Jann: Yeah, awesome. That’s a really interesting. this is an interesting conversation. It’s one of my favorites so I’m delighted that we could have you on to chat about it.

 

Susan Marshall: Sure.

 

Maureen Jann: So, we’re headed towards the end of our time here. So, I’m just going to wrap this up, but thank you again for coming. We really appreciated having you stop by, and for you out there in podcast land, if you have a chance make sure stop by Torchlite’s website to explore the services they offer, and thank you, guys, for joining us. We’ll be including any links in the show notes for your reference. If you have any suggestions on guests, or topics you’d like to see us cover let us know about by  emailing us at marketing@pointit.com. Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye. I’m Maureen Jann with my crew signing off from Fine Point Digital Marketing updates. Find us on Twitter for our latest content, podcasts, and more. Subscribe to our podcast via your favorite podcast distribution source including the iTunes store. If you like our podcast and you want to see it stick around, make sure to rate it on your favorite blog platform, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all next week. But for now, Stay On Point.

 

Additional Resources