With the first of what is planned to be a series, we talk with Anna Leary about her path to Marketing Ops and into consulting. Learn how a stint of work in Australia randomly led her to working with Marketo.
After her return to the United States, she moved away from MOPs but eventually found her way back.
Lessons from Anna’s story:
- Sometimes you have to be opportunistic
- Mentors and / or someone in your corner is key to any career
- Networking and connections can be valuable
If you are considering the jump from in-house to consulting, you can learn from Anna’s journey.
Hi, I’m Michael Hartmann, I’m Naomi Lou, and I’m Mike Rizzo. And this is ops cast, a podcast for marketing ops pros and rev ops pros created by the MO Pros. The number one community for marketing operations. As professionals tune into each episode as we chat with real professionals to help elevate you in your marketing operations career.
And welcome to another episode of ops cash brought to you by the MO Pros. I’m your host Michael Hartmann joined by cohost Naomi Lewin. Mike Rizzo, please say hello? Hello everybody. Oh, it’s another new one for Mike. All right. All right. So excited today. We are, uh, this is kind of the, I think the first of what we’re thinking of is a little bit of a mini series, but joining us today to talk about her journey into marketing ops.
Is ancillary. She is an independent marketing ops MarTech consultant. Uh, her company is called blaze co. Hopefully I pronounced that right. And correct me if I’m wrong. All right. Anna has also worked previously at other agencies and internally agreed. Procure Udo, Anna, thanks for joining us today. Yeah, thanks for having me.
I’m excited. Chat more about my journey in mops. All right. So this is one of the reasons I think, uh, we’ve had a lot of people actually interested in talking about their path into marketing operations, because really there’s not a standard path that I have heard of yet. There may be a few patterns, but really it’s a.
Free for all, actually. So maybe what we start with, like, what’s your, like, what’s your overall journey to kind of walk us through the big picture of your, your path into marketing operations? Yeah, well, um, I went to school for advertising and I got a degree at, which is actually in the journalism school.
So it really is not a marketing business degree. And I was like determined to work at one of the big magazines or something in New York city. Um, so moved there after college realized how expensive. To live there and how hard it is to land a job. So moved back home, um, worked for a small food company for a while, selling jams, which is a quite interesting, I got to know the grocery business with whole foods market and all that kind of stuff.
Um, which is really random experience that I’ll always have in my head forever. So if I’m ever on jeopardy and they ask a question about the grocery business, I will. I have an answer for them. See, I love that. I love that because I listened to that. Listen to how I built this. I guess the guy Roz, if he’s listening, but, uh, yeah, but I love the stories about the stuff like this.
Yeah. Anyway, sorry. What is yeah. I used to have to stand there and do food demos and whole foods. Next to the cheese section and like try to convince people to buy these jams. So it was a good intro into kind of the sales world, which I realized was not for me. So I tried to move more towards the marketing.
Um, but I had a travel bug, so I actually ended up moving to Australia. I’m on a working holiday visa. And the stipulation of the visa for Americans was that you could only hold one job for six months at a time. So essentially you could have two, six month jobs and then you had to get out of there and go back home.
Um, so I ended up working some random. Marketing job for like a few weeks on a contract. And then I worked in a juice shop, which is something that I never want to do again. And then I actually landed this job at an education company called Navitus. And originally the job was geared towards like a social media manager.
This is when. Social media was kind of blowing up at the time, you know, right around I, when I was graduating college. And so I took the job on thinking that I was going to be running their social media accounts and things like that. And the first day on the job, my manager asks, have you ever heard of Marquetto?
And I was like, no, never. I don’t know what that is. And she’s like, well, you’re going to get to learn it. So. Let’s dive right in and the rest is history from there. So that was my first intro into the marketing ops. Back in 2014, 2014. So how kind of, what’s the story from there into where you are now in consulting?
Yeah. So this is a pretty crazy journey. Um, so I actually give a lot of credit to Tamara Guravich, who is, who hired me at Navitus. Um, she really like saw something in me. And even though I was restricted to only being able to work six months, she was like, no, we have to hire this girl. So I give her a lot of credit, cause she actually took me under her wing and taught me everything she knew about Marquetto at that time Navitus was actually one of the largest Marquetto instances in the world because it had, it was one of the original instances that had over a million people in their database because we were marketing to students.
So it was actually more of like a, B to C. Use of Marquetto as well, which was very interesting. They used it for student recruitment for their, um, college partners. So that was really interesting. Um, and so after about two months, they actually ended up sponsoring me to stay for longer on a temporary work visa.
So I got to stay in Australia a little bit longer than planned. Um, and then I ended up moving back to the U S because I was homesick. And I ended up working for a search agency, um, Bates. It was based out of New York, but they had an office here in Columbia, South Carolina. I worked in search for about six months managing major retail accounts.
I had to work one Thanksgiving black Friday weekend, and I was like, nah, I’m not doing this. This is crazy. It was all spreadsheets. Yeah. I was like, I’m not going to spend all Thanksgiving having to monitor your. The accounts on search. I had a similar experience. So when you say search, you mean like, like ads, like you were working for an ad?
Yeah. So I was working for an ad agency. Yeah. And so, um, one of the accounts that I was managing was Merrell shoes and Chaco and Sperry. And so they had a huge budget for. Thanksgiving holiday, obviously. Um, and so you’re constantly having to monitor and optimize their ads throughout the weekend to make sure they’re getting the best bang for their buck.
Um, and search is just not for me. Like I just really missed marketing ops, but I, or marketing automation at the time. It wasn’t. Known as marketing ops back then. Um, and I was just desperately looking for something to get me back into Marquetto, but I thought, oh, I’ll never find anything here in Columbia, South Carolina, because you have to go to one of the big cities to find something.
And that’s kind of where after about six months, um, an opportunity through a connection from Australia to someone in the us was looking, they were looking for another consultant to join. They’re very small team. Um, it was called rev engine marketing. I don’t know if you guys have heard of Jeff company, he owned revenue and marketing.
Yeah. Yeah. He just did a career fair session with us last Friday. Yeah. He led a session. Yeah, really good guy. He talked to. Do you, is it the right time for you to become a consultant or not? And all that stuff, obviously he’s, he’s doing. Yeah. So, um, he brought me on as one of his consultant, like original consultants.
So there was only about four or five of us at a time kind of learning the consulting ropes. Um, and they were actually acquired by digital PI. Um, after I was there for, I think like almost a year and a half, um, and at that time I actually was looking for something a little bit more senior and strategic.
So I made the move over to because they had a more senior position. Um, and I give a lot of credit to procure auto because they really helped skyrocket my career in marketing ops. They gave me experience across. Ton of different tools. Um, I got all of my visible experience there and that’s actually become really niche because there aren’t a lot of visible consultants out there right now.
And a lot of people are getting it. And so that’s actually been something within a niche. So that’s actually been really exciting, um, frustrating at times, because sometimes I want to shake that tool and say, why do you do things the way you do. But, yeah, that’s kind of how I got into consulting. Um, went in-house for a little while after I’d been at Perkuto for over two years, I just felt like I needed some in-house experience.
Um, that opportunity was just not for me. I really miss consulting. I missed working with clients and helping. I like, I like working with. People that want you to give them advice on, you know, how to set something up or how to help them, you know, fix their issues troubleshoot. And so I just really miss that.
I kind of left the corporate job that I was at and took a dive into consulting. And it was the perfect time because the demand has been insane. And this was back in April of this year. So yeah, it’s been a really fun time trying to navigate the consulting world and having to manage bandwidth and forecasting and all that fun stuff.
Oh, wow. That’s a. That’s a scary leap to make, like, did you, did you have stuff sort of lined up, like you were you’ve you’ve talked to your network and said, do you have anybody that needs some help? Cause I’m about to go do this. I had one, um, job lined up with a pretty big company, um, and that could be up to 40 hours a week.
So I knew that I had something that would hold me over for a little while. Um, and then. I guess people started hearing, you know, word of mouth, um, people that I know, you know, through networking started referring me there. And so I started getting messages from people. Uh, one of my really good friends who I worked with at Procura is also independent Carrie pickles.
SIMer I’m not sure if you guys know her. But she, yeah, so she we’re very close and, you know, if she, she was full, you know, within a few months of going independent and so she would also refer clients to me as well. So very thankful for Carrie as well. She’s been a huge mentor. You and, uh, you, and, and the example of Carey, like for all of our listeners out there, make it sound like, you know, maybe I, maybe I could just do this and then my plate will just get folded.
Truthfully probably could happen really fast, but it’s probably not that easy. I didn’t, you know, I will say like the one thing I don’t like about it is the sales side. Like I’ve never liked the sales side. So having to get on those, you know, initial calls and try to like put on my sales hat, I just, it, you know, I’m such like a marketing ops person deep down.
So I feel like I’m being this fake. Like fraud when I’m like, yeah. Let me tell you about, you know, why you should choose me over these agencies. Uh, so yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s been a good experience for me, learning wise and growth wise to kind of put myself out there and do something that definitely scared me at first, but now I’ve kind of gotten into my groove with it.
That’s really cool. I commend you for making that leap to. Tell me a little bit about, or like, just tell the listeners really a little bit about like your, your journey as an independent, like, um, you know, there’s a lot to learn, right? Like you’re setting up business entities. You don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of all of that necessarily.
Um, like how are you structured anything, but like, um, I think, you know, I think it’s interesting. Have you experimented. Different pricing models. Is it just fixed fee or is it hourly or do you do, but like stuff like that. Tell us about your practice. So when you are selling, how do you sell? Let me get a pen because yeah, I’ve definitely learned my lesson with a certain pricing models, for sure.
Um, and so what I’ve tried to, you know, I started with kind of like, okay, here’s an hourly rate. I’ll bill you at the end of the month. And then you kind of have to manage on their terms of like when they pay you. Um, then I tried, you know, here’s a set package for this many hours. Well, what always happens with that is they don’t use all the hours in the time that you’ve allotted, you get a new client and like, you don’t really have time to carry their hours over.
And, but you also don’t want to be that person. That’s like, I’m expiring your hours right now. Um, so that’s been, yeah, that’s been hard to navigate. So I actually. Um, for 2022, I’ve actually moved to a retainer only model. And I have it’s actually works out better. So you have like up to a certain amount of hours per month with me, but you also don’t have to like, feel like you’re not getting the support.
So like, even if we do go over a little bit, it’s kind of accounted for in the pricing structure. Uh, one thing that I’ve found is that. Every time. I kind of like, got it somewhat interested. I would maybe raise my rate just a little bit, you know, like a few dollars here and there. And no one has said no so far, I actually started with a career coach recently and she was like, that means you were probably pricing yourself too low, so maybe you should try a little bit higher.
Um, but yeah, that’s been really interesting. I met with an accountant for the first time. Last week to try to figure out, you know, the business taxes and you have to account for self-employment taxes and all that fun stuff. Um, so trying to navigate that were very interesting. Could you ever see yourself going.
I definitely could. Yeah. I, um, one thing that I still want is a management experience. So that’s something that I, I didn’t, I wasn’t a people manager, but I did manage teams for accounts when I was at Perkuto. So it was a little bit different because I wasn’t necessarily like their manager on the HR side, but I was helping them grow.
Um, and I really liked that. Didn’t have like the HR side of it. So I definitely would like to maybe eventually, you know, go in-house I feel like consulting for me right now is it’s working right now and when it’s not working anymore, I’ll kind of know. And maybe start looking again, you know, to go in-house, but it’s been nice having the flexibility.
I have a five-year-old son, so, you know, being able to pick them up from school and do stuff after school with him, it’s been good as well. Oh, that’s really cool. Uh, my, uh, I was working for another organization before I decided to sort of hone in and focus on, on MO Pros and, um, the person that I reported to actually ended up leaving right before I did.
And it was for very similar reasons, like, um, lots of money, making opportunities, lots of growth opportunities. Uh, but also had children. Right. And she was very like, adamant about like, I kind of want, I want to be able to spend some time with my kids. So the flexibility was like a huge win for her. Um, and so far I’ve experienced the same, you know, as a father of two.
I’m home and I get to spend a little bit more time with the kids and stuff. So it’s nice. Cause he’s on break for the next two weeks after tomorrow. And so I get to spend all a break with him. We’ll see how I am after the end of two weeks though. Yeah. Just enjoy this to Alex. I tell Mike all the time I enjoy this time because minor or the other sort of towards the other end.
They just want to be in their room, on their devices,
welfare, you know, to, to be fair. My, my almost four year old son was like, dad. I was like, what? He’s like, can I watch my iPad? Yeah. For a little bit.
This is not good. So funny. Yeah. That’s what our parents said about like the crazy music we listened to your television. I think we’re all. Okay. We’re all making it something. Yeah. So, okay. So, and I want to pick up on something and this is interesting. So I was going to ask you about sort of key people on the career journey.
You talked about the person on Australia, I forgot her name, but you also mentioned that you’re, you’re getting a crew, you’ve got a career coach or executive coach or something right now. Um, and this is something, again, as we’ve talked to people, I found really interesting is that the people who I, like, I think there’s a lot of people underestimate the value of having those people who are in your corner or people who can be outside, like, like w.
What do you like? What prompted you to get a coach first? And then second, because he, that’s not a cheap thing. I’ve done that before and it’s commitment, right? They hold you accountable. Like what prompted you to do that? And then as you look back, right, were there other people that were beyond the person I’ll show you who were kind of key people in the career progression?
Yeah. Um, so I’ll start with the key people first. Um, cause I can think of those people right off the bat. So tomorrow Gurvich. Helped me. I mean, I give her credit for getting me into this crazy world. And, um, Adam Hodgdon at Perkuto was hands down the best manager I’ve ever had. He was supportive. He would block and tackle for you.
He would always stick up for you. You know, he had your back when. You know, it came time for annual review and all that kind of stuff. Um, and so he was definitely a very crucial person in my life that definitely helped me grow my career. He was all about me growing my personal brand on LinkedIn while I was there.
Um, so he was just a very supportive manager. I’m still very good friends with him. Uh, we were the only two consultants that lived in South Carolina, so that was our connection. Um, and then Carrie pickles SIMer has been a crucial person in the, um, the independent world. She, I mean, we were good friends when we were at per CUDA, but we’ve become even closer, obviously.
Um, we talked pretty much every single day, you know, we have. Uh, a problem with a client that we need someone to talk it through. And that’s the one thing about independent consulting is you don’t necessarily have a team, you have communities. Um, but having that go-to person, who’s kind of, she’s been kind of a mentor, bigger sister for me to kind of go to and, you know, vent to her about certain clients or certain things that are going, and she can give me really good advice.
So she’s been a very crucial person in this journey for me. The reason I decided to get a career coach. Cause I was, um, as you know, I’ve navigated the. Consulting worlds on my own. I kind of didn’t know which way I wanted to take it. Um, and you know, there are so many I’ve, I think I’ve talked to Mike before, you know, about like, Hey, maybe I want to develop like courses and, you know, have those for.
People to kind of like take my knowledge and help other people learn or something like that. But I just don’t know like, which way I want to go in my career. I’ve also thought about going to law school, like all of this crazy stuff. And so she’s Jamie Ellis is her name and she’s been helping me a lot.
Hone in on, you know, what’s what I really enjoy doing. Um, we’ve done a lot of like pain gain analysis on like in-house work versus consulting. Um, kind of, you know, I had to do this whole career assessment going through. Every job I’ve had. Um, what I liked about that job and what I didn’t like about that job, and that actually brought up things that I didn’t, I had probably pushed away in my mind, but, you know, there are definitely themes that you can see throughout different roles of like things you did like and things you didn’t like.
And so that’s been really helpful for me to kind of talk about that out loud with someone who can kind of help guide me on, you know, figuring out like where I want to hone in my. Time, I guess, you know, over the next year or so, and figure out which way I wanted. I love that. I mean, it just is, uh, just out of curiosity, cause I had to rapidly Google Jamie Ellis because you know, I, I too would love to have a career.
He’s our he’s our real time fact checker is, is, uh, is Jamie, is there a bullet point that says that she never forgets anything? She, um, she literally does. And like her email, her follow-ups to me, like have like I’m like, how did you remember that tiny detail that we talked about? Or like something we originally met through a mutual friend months ago and had like brief conversations here and there.
And she remembered like very minute details from those conversations. And I was like, wow, you’re amazing. That’s incredible. I just, I totally just fact checked our website, but it says I never forget anything literally. And I was like, no one would put that on their side if they weren’t really serious about that, like super detail oriented and super organized.
And I love it. That’s amazing fits well, did he take you a long time out just for those that are maybe thinking about looking for career coaches, um, in this kind of realm of whether you’re independent or not. Um, does it, did it take you a while to find someone or you were already friends with this person?
So, so this is going to be funny. So I found Jamie because of a podcast. She was on with grant Grigorian and Courtney MCARA on their podcast that they have, and they had Allie Widdick on there and Allie brought her career coach. And so I actually ended up reaching out to Allie because Allie went independent and Allie introduced me to Jamie, who was her career coach.
And so that’s kind of how the connection having, and that just shows you like the importance of networking and, and podcasts. That’s especially podcasts. Yes. I’m talking isn’t is this is Simon involved in that one? I can’t remember. I can’t remember. I’m talking to somebody anyway. I’m curious now, man, I’m going to put you on the spot in a second.
So, but I’m curious, Mike, it sounds like you’ve never, or maybe you have, but you aren’t currently using a career coach or an executive coach. I have, I think has been super valuable. Naomi, I’m curious if you’ve ever. Got it done. Anything like that? Yeah, I definitely have. And for a short time, like before, like before COVID or in the before times, um, the previous day, the previous exactly.
I wouldn’t say that it was, um, like one individual, uh, person that was necessarily like, that was their, their job or expertise, I guess you could say. But there was definitely like a tribe that I like to surround myself with. Um, a group of about three or four women that I just felt like we all brought something different to the table.
Um, and we really. Supported and lifted each other up when we came from very different backgrounds and, you know, COVID definitely put a damper on, you know, the get togethers, but we’re starting to pick that back up. And it’s something that, you know, I really enjoyed those moments because it really gave me a perspective on, you know, despite, despite the fact that we all work in different industry.
Some of the challenges that we have all have underlying tones to them. And we’re able to kind of provide insight and guidance to each other through that. Right. I think a career coach can come in the form of, you know, cause at the end of the day, what you want is someone who’s going to give you advice and give you insight and feedback and be a sounding board.
Right. And that can take the form. I think of a few different, it could be a mentor. It could be. I mean, I’ve because I’ve done that before. I’ve kind of built. I’ve had done that with both approaches. I’ve done a coach that I paid and I’ve also done kind of very intentionally chosen people to be mentors and ask them to be mentors.
And specifically at it looks for people who I didn’t think were like they would understand the challenges I might be facing or something, or could give me advice. Um, but we’re so invested in me, right. It doesn’t work if it’s a relative or spouse or right. Um, or someone you work with always just because there’s.
Yeah, they sugarcoat it sometimes. Right. And sometimes you need that hard truth. Yeah. There’s a bias there, you know, unintentionally probably, but they’re always going to try to make it seem like okay. You know, so that’s what I’ve really enjoyed about Jamie is she asked me really tough questions that I have to like really think through.
Um, and some that I’m probably. Had thoughts about previously, but never have said out loud and you know how it’s different saying certain things out loud and you’re like, wow, I can’t believe I just said that. Um, but that’s actually been really helpful to actually talk through certain career points with her as well.
That’s. Yeah, I love that. Um, okay. So speaking of, you mentioned also in that you talked about certain things that you remember that you remember fondly and not so far, but I’ll put it that way, right? I’m curious, I’m curious. Like, so. Maybe not going into specifics, but you know, as he kind of look back, maybe that exercise helped, like, are there certain parts of the role of marketing ops that you really like and certain, some parts that you have to tolerate that you’re not so fun.
Are you fond of, like, what would you put, how would you classify those? Yeah. Um, I think with marketing ops, uh, what I’ve found, especially, um, in-house is that. People almost view you as there. And I don’t know if this was just how the team was kind of portrayed unintentionally by leadership, but it was almost like.
Task minions in a way. So like, oh, we put this ticket in, we expect you to do it for us. And there was so much strategy that goes on behind the scenes that these people don’t understand or grasp necessarily there wasn’t good, um, training or education around, you know, lead flow, how things tie to Salesforce, that kind of stuff.
And I think that can be a downside sometimes to marketing ops is that people don’t fully understand, like what’s going on in the background. Like I’ve actually heard. A marketing manager say about another marketing ops manager, like, oh, he does nothing during the day. Like, and I’m like, you have no idea what we’re doing behind the scenes.
Like, I can’t believe you would even say that. And so. Yeah. I mean, I’m sure. It seems like sometimes we have, if we haven’t built your campaign or your program or something like that in the tool. Yeah. It might not seem like we’ve done anything for that, but I can guarantee you there’s a ton of other projects going on in the background that are trying to be worked through.
So that’s kind of the downside, I think, to market. The upside to marketing ops. And what I really enjoy is the exposure to different tech. Um, sometimes that can be a bad thing, you know, when you get too much tech involved, but, you know, being exposed to different lead routing, marketing, attribution tools, marketing automation platforms, um, I think, you know, having that expertise.
Has been something that I’ve really enjoyed. Um, and I love learning the tech side of it. I love working with sales ops teams that really want to collaborate and make sure everything’s working well. And I think marketing ops also gets to work with a lot of different teams, which I really like. I just want to touch on something you talked about around, like, if there’s not projects that are actively being worked on customer facing that, you know, folks tend to think, what are you guys doing?
You know, there’s all this like backend stuff that needs, you know, you gotta maintain your car, I guess you could say. Right. And, you know, One of the big things is at least for my team is the whole data hygiene projects that we have going on around. You know, it’s, it’s such an important topic because it’s something that nobody who, if you’re not directly impacted by it, people don’t think or care about it.
Right. It’s kind of like you have that expectation now that your website’s just going to work on mobile. It’s everything’s just going to be fine. Right. It’s you know, it’s. The data piece is important because where it’s something that we’re constantly doing all the time and we’re trying to get a handle on it before it gets out of control.
We’re trying to merge duplicates. We’re trying to eliminate bad data, eliminate bots and all of that stuff. But because like, I guess our, our, our business partners, if they’re not necessarily seeing that because they end, they shouldn’t because it’s working well, hopefully, um, it’s not something that you necessarily without kind of that education.
I understand that. Yeah. It takes work, you know? Yeah. Um, well, and it’s funny too, because it’s like, you don’t see the marketing ops team saying, what are you doing with the time that you’re not working on this one particular campaign? Like you’re probably having calls with vendors, you know, getting events set up, like things like that.
I’m not questioning that. So why are you questioning us? It’s probably because marketing ops is relied on so heavily by multiple teams. Well, our listeners need to know that we’re all nodding our heads. Very brief. We’re all smiling and nodding your heads. Yeah. I can say the same. I’ve definitely worked with some teams where.
Uh, you know, I’ve been questioned myself and then there’s moments where I’m like, well, aren’t you just like setting a bid on a, on a campaign, like demand gen, right? Like aren’t you just setting a bid and then like watching YouTube videos and then checking back in 30 minutes to see how it’s going. And then all the demand gen people who listen to this are like, Ooh, obviously that’s not the case, but yeah, come on.
We’re all doing, we’re all doing stuff. Yeah. I think there’s so much stuff that’s under. Like, I think it’d be like the tip of the iceberg is what they see that like the real job is all the stuff that’s underneath or it’s, you know, it’s, I’ve always thought that. Yeah,
yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s why I went to my boss recently and I was like, we need to do, like, we need to, we’ve got old data in our database and we have to have an audience that, um, It’s a significant portion of his retail, right. So it’s heavily hit by code by COVID. And so there’s probably been a lot, like we’ve got a lot of stale stuff.
The where I’d like the email just served probably no, no longer good. Like it’s like, we need to do, we need to run it through an email validation service, and it’s not really sexy, but like, it will help us clean up our database. That’s pretty darn sexy. I was like, great. So I’m going to go do that because it’s actually, that’s the other thing, like there’s so many small, like that’s a relatively small effort, right?
It doesn’t take a lot of lift, but it doesn’t have immediate like, oh, we’re putting an ad in the market. Right. Or, or something like that, but it’s, it definitely has. It has a lot of downstream impacts that are not always obvious. And I think that’s what people struggle with, um, with the role. Totally.
Interesting. Okay. So curious, um, you kinda touched on this a little bit. Um, there’s like a certain aspect, like maybe we’ve sort of talked around it about what are, what do you think the perceptions are of people that they think. That they think, oh my gosh, I can’t believe you guys do that. That you’re like, oh, this is actually not a big deal and vice versa.
Right. Right. That seems like it’s so easy to create that email. Right. That’s going to work on every, every email reader, but you’re like, no, that’s actually really hard. Yeah. That’s my favorite. Like they misunder, they misunderstand it. They misunderstand what’s actually hard was actually not. Yeah. My favorite is, um, when someone says, oh, this it’s just, it’s just building an email.
So it’ll be really easy. I’m like, okay, thank you for telling me, my job is easy. Why don’t you go do it? Um, Yeah. I, I find things like that. People just don’t understand. I think there’s just a lack of education around, but on different teams, you know, when you’re working, cross-functionally. They don’t understand, you know, the little elements that go into building an email or if some portion of the code isn’t right.
And you can see that, you know, spacing, I mean, all the time when making emails, you always get feedback about spacing. I always seem to have like some random feedback about spacing on emails. And it’s like, do you know how hard it is to figure out spacing sometimes in these emails and making sure this is what it needs to be?
So across different browsers or my favorite is when, um, we would send test emails to clients and they use outlook and they’re like, oh, this button isn’t, it’s a S it’s not round it’s, uh, it’s got sharp corners on the CTA button and I’m like, that’s because you’re using outlook. So nothing is going to look right.
And it’s like an outdated version. Although I have to say like Bulletproof buttons, have you ever used that buttons, Google, Bulletproof, do yourself a favor and Google Bulletproof buttons. And it’s like a free little tool that does like a, a code output for you to try to render buttons across different, you know, clients.
Consistently I’d loved, definitely email on acid. I use that so heavily at Perkuto testing emails for clients. Cause I was like looking through every single browser. I’m like, what are they going to point out? I’m going to get ahead of the game.
For sure. I’m curious on, um, for your, for the clients that you’re working with. Um, and, and those that kind of are in the client facing role. Um, maybe even internally, but, um, there was a question that Michael Tucker had asked a little while ago in our, in our forum. We have a forum channel for consultants and agencies only.
Um, and inside of that channel, he was asking about how everyone handles client reporting. And he says, Hey, I get asked like for a weekly report on some projects, They’re associated deliverables and billable hours for some groups than others. One monthly roll-up. Um, so he’s sort of asking like how others are keeping track of all that and what you actually provide back to clients and what you might be admitting.
Um, so just any, any part of that, that you have insight can lend a hand on for the listeners and for Michael auto-immune. Always view transparency as best with clients and giving them more information than they need is probably best sometimes. Cause I’ve seen it go awry when the opposite is done. Um, so what I actually use, I, Carrie actually recommended this tool called , which is how I keep track of my different projects and time.
Um, and it’s like, it was like a free tool. So I was like, cool. Yeah, I’ll use this. It actually gives me these like nice PDF reports for like, however, if I want to do it monthly, I can choose the timeframe that I wanna use. Um, and I actually, I tell clients from the beginning, I’m going to provide this to you on a weekly basis, just so you can kind of see like what was worked on in the previous week.
Um, and, and I do very high level. Tasks. So I don’t get into the nitty-gritty of like everything that was done. It just as a summary of the amount of time. And it’s like, uh, it’s basically like support and then it lists like what the support was for. So was it like that support question that you asked or is it, um, like a project.
That we’re working on. So like I have some that we’re working on lead scoring, so it’s like a, a build portion of the lead scoring project or something like that. Very high level tasks. But I, I just go ahead and give that to clients every week. Um, just so that they know. So there’s never, I don’t know if some of them read them, maybe not like, but I can always say, Hey, I sent you the email, you I’m providing you all of this.
So there’s never a question of like, what are you using my time for? Um, cause I, I had been in select some really awkward situations with that with clients previously where it was anything that I did, but it was just that they hadn’t been provided a breakdown. So they had no idea like what their client time was being spent on.
And so lesson learned from that is to always just be. More transparent, upfront. Totally. That’s one of those hidden costs as a service provider, right? Where like that’s sunk time, right? You’re not like maybe you’re, maybe you’re building it into your pricing model. Now, when you first get started, you realize like shoo time spending, you know, whatever 15 hours a week.
Doing reporting and that’s not billable. So I need to pass. I know I learned that the hard way this year, for sure, because I did not put that in a contract with a client, but I was spending time every single week pulling these reports for them. And I was like, I don’t feel like I can build them for this.
So I just let it slide that contract. And then I definitely have added in from there. I used to use a tool called and co they got bought out by Fiverr. Um, but the, the platform itself is actually really cool and does similar things. So for those looking for tools, and you’re kind of thinking of the consultant stuff, like sounds like, you know, would you say it was clock.
Clock. Okay. So clarify, and now if you type and co into your browser, it’ll redirect you. Uh, but it’s, it’s a fiber product. Um, the thing I liked about that product was that they had, um, Couldn’t be a surprise, surprise. They had community generated, um, legal contracts for you to send across. So like they were kind of peer reviewed, um, agreements that you could send to your clients and, you know, get the kind of NDA sign and all that other stuff.
So I appreciated the sort of peer reviewed aspect of, of that. Um, and that I didn’t have to go figure out how to write a contract or, yeah. So I actually found this website, I think Carrie told me about it called my legal bff.com and she has, she’s a lawyer and she, I wonder what, and she just has like all of these templates and contracts that she sells on her website for that.
$250 each. So I just bought one of her contracts that I just use for everyone. I mean, she has one for consultants. Um, and so I was like this, what a great business model, you know, just come up with all these legal contracts. And it says on there, like don’t share these because you’re dealing with a lawyer’s contract.
So that scared me enough to not share it.
So, um, uh, we’ve covered a lot of ground on your career kind of key things and what you’re doing. I think we’ve shared now a bunch of resources for, uh, for folks who are wanting to get into consulting or think about any, anything that we wanted to make sure that our listeners heard about, about your career and lessons learned that you’d want to share that we didn’t cover.
Oh gosh. I mean, we could go on forever probably. Um, about lessons learned, um, Well, like I mentioned with, um, the client question that Mike asks I transparency is like a huge value that I like to make sure that I, you know, keep with clients. And I think being up for. Um, and that allows me to be able to set better boundaries with clients as well, and be able to say no, which is really hard, obviously.
Um, but like learning that from the beginning, um, I’ve learned that, you know, the hard way over the years and, um, you know, watching other people on teams, you know, maybe not be as transparent and things like that, and things go awry. So. That quality is something that I like to keep as an independent consultant, very front of mind when I’m dealing with clients.
And then it kind of, you know, has a trickle effect on the relationship and make, you know, they understand, you know, Hey, she’s going to put these boundaries down. So I think that’s something I’ve learned, especially over the past years. It’s very important to do in your professional career. Totally agree.
All right. So one last question, and this is be, I think this could be interesting because you mentioned that you thought about doing training. So one of the things that, you know, that. MO Pros community is, is about as providing resources for people in the profession. And, um, as we know, right, there’s not a lot of standard kind of training and stuff out there.
So if you were going to be helping to prevailed out a certificate program for marketing ops pros, right. What would like if you could, like, what’s the one non-negotiable you got to have this as part of the, part of the program. Okay. Topic or, or, uh, uh, uh, This is controversial because I’ve put poles up about this before, but I, I am a big proponent of attribution and I know people disagree and say that it’s not worth your time, but attribution doesn’t have to be a tool.
It’s just understanding how to set up something to see like where your leads are coming from and know where to put your budget. Um, and so I actually think attribution is a huge part of marketing ops and understanding, you know, How, how lead flow works really? And like where people are coming from. So that’s something that I would definitely recommend for any sort of certification program.
Love it. No, I don’t, I don’t think that second controversial we’ve had, I don’t know how many episodes this is episode 41 and probably five to 10 of them have had either been specifically on attribution and reporting or touched on it at least to a significant degree. So people have like there’s any. Oh, yeah, we’ve heard some, like, I mean, Carrie put up a post last week and I was just like, my jaw dropped at some of the comments that she got on there.
She was like, I was not expecting this. Everybody has their own way of thinking about it. Yeah. You should see what happens when you ask about what type of, what values you put in UTM. Oh gosh. Don’t even get me started on that. I’m working on a project with that right now and it’s like driving me to the brink.
Yeah. It’s medium versus source yet. Ongoing debate. All right, Anna, this has been really fun. It’s been, I’ve learned a whole bunch about you and, um, what to do and what not to do for consulting if you’re interested. So this is going to be, I think, really helpful for those people who are thinking about it, uh, or even those who are doing it.
So if people wanted to kind of connect with you or follow you or keep up with you, what’s the best way for them to do that. I’m definitely on LinkedIn. That’s where. Do most of my professional posting, I like to do polls. I’ve been experimenting with polls. So I just posted one today about whether you should send marketing emails during the last two weeks of the year.
So that’s been a heated this morning. I brought it. I said, yes, just as just to say us, I have a friend that all those holiday cards, I have friends that like, know nothing about marketing ops, so they just take the poll just. Joke around with me, buddy. Hey, and you know what, uh, for all the listeners stay tuned.
Cause Anna’s moops episode will come out sometime in the near future. So yeah, we got to get that published. That’s on me. I just pulled it up right here and I’m like, oh yep. Gotta get that out. The doors come back. That was a fun MOOCs. Yeah. There you go. That’s funny. Well, and again, thank you for joining us.
Thanks. Thanks for this as well. It’s always fun. Thanks to your listeners, to continue to give us ideas on people and topics and everything else, and continue to, to listen and share subscribe. We appreciate it. This is all for you. So definitely want your feedback. All right. Bye everyone. Bye. Thank you. Bye everybody.