[1:15] Andrea’s Life Story
[6:35] About Agile Sherpas
[8:54] Implementing Agile Marketing
[15:16] Andrea’s Agile Marketing Career
[16:58] About Andrea’s Book, “Death of a Marketer”
[20:30] Online Agile Courses
[28:10] Agile Marketing Training Materials
[33:11] Remote Team Management
[36:55] Case Studies
[42:40] Future of Content Marketing
[45:00] Andrea’s Favorite Vacation
[51:28] Fun Fact About Andrea
We see content all around us. Be it B2B or B2C, content marketing is used by brands all around the world to promote their products. However, as many as 23% of B2C marketers feel that their proficiency in content marketing is only novice. Additionally, 65% of companies claim that they find it challenging to create engaging content.
To help you figure out how to streamline your content marketing efforts and get the most out of it, I have Andrea Fryrear with me. She’s the president of Agile Sherpas and is an expert content strategist. Additionally, she runs a lot of training courses and has helped multiple organizations improve their campaign results.
Here are some of the most prominent and successful content marketing campaigns you can take inspiration from. They will help you come up with new and creative ways to market your brand.
Buffer is an amazing tool that allows you to schedule your posts on social media. However, when they were starting off, they used content marketing to grow their business. They started by publishing guest posts on multiple high-authority websites. This gave them their first 100k users.
On their own blog, they used a totally different strategy. They started writing blog posts for influencers who were reaching their target audiences. This tactic attracted a lot of traffic to their website.
Image via Buffer
Today, they have 4 blogs and even use email marketing to share their best content with their subscribers. And they have over 400,000 users thanks to content marketing.
Microsoft uses their blog to tell stories, and that’s perhaps the reason why they’ve named it “Stories” too. They write stories that consumers can connect with, and this helps them improve their brand trust. By showcasing the human side of their brand, they are able to earn customers through their content marketing on the blog.
Image via Microsoft
You need to concentrate on building a better connection with your audience. The better you can connect with them, the stronger will the relationship be.
HubSpot’s marketing blog is one of the best. They write in-depth posts on their blog about issues pertaining to their target audience. These posts are then upgraded by adding ebooks and other such high-authority content.
Image via HubSpot
They went on to create another hub for sharing content called Inbound.org (now known as Growth Hub). This website gets over 300k visitors every month, and through it, they are able to promote their certifications. They also create videos for social media platforms and generate engagement on them. All of this has allowed them to become a multi-million dollar organization.
4. General Electric
General Electric used content marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing to their advantage. They partnered with six Instagram influencers and many superfans as well for their campaign, which was called the #GEInstaWalk.
Image via Instagram
The campaign involved the influencers checking out the facilities of General Electric and taking photos. These were then uploaded on Instagram. Through the campaign, they managed to get over 8 million Instagram account views, and 3000 new followers.
GoPro, the revolutionary camera brand, came up with their own version of content marketing. They used the power of visual content to boost their presence and sales. By producing quality visual content through their cameras, they managed to get over 7.1 million subscribers on YouTube. Their following on Instagram grew to 15.7 million as well.
Image via YouTube
They decided to focus on their customers, and what they love, and the answer was simple – photos and videos. And their content marketing campaign helped them achieve their desired results.
Shutterstock, one of the most prominent websites for stock images, uses content marketing to promote their business. They used all of the data they had to create a creative trends report. This report used the fact that people love to read genuine and reliable data.
Image via Shutterstock
They created infographics for this report, and according to Content Marketing Institute, their 2017 infographic got more than 6 billion visits. In 2018, they came up with a report that had not only images but also music and videos. This too was extremely well-received by their target audience and got them tons of visits and shares.
Coca-Cola came up with one of the best content marketing campaigns out there called the “Share a Coke” campaign. They launched it in 2011 in Australia, and even today, you can spot traces of this campaign everywhere.
Through this campaign, their customers got the chance to personalize their drinks. Coca-Cola personalized their bottles based on the most common names of each country and put them out in the market.
Image via The Coca-Cola Company
People could either personalize the bottle from the website or look for their names on the bottles at stores. Many of the consumers started taking photos with these bottles and posted them on social media. Not only did the names grab the attention of the consumers but even gave Coca-Cola great publicity.
They further improved upon the campaign by coming up with videos that showed friends sharing a Coke. This pushed their campaign even further.
Blendtec marketed their blenders through content marketing. They came up with a new series called the “Will It Blend?” video series. During the campaign, they put various objects in their blenders and tried to blend them. One of the most prominent ones being the iPhone X. This particular video managed to get more than 490k views.
Image via Youtube
Through this series, they were able to get a 700% increase in sales in just a matter of 3 years. It also helped them increase their YouTube subscriber base to 885k.
If done right, content marketing can help you boost your brand awareness, lead generation, and sales. By following the examples above from some of the most prominent brands out there, you too can start your content marketing campaigns.
If you haven’t got the right expertise to develop a content marketing campaign from scratch, you can get in touch with me.
Shane Barker: Welcome to the podcast. I am Shane Barker. Your host for the Shane Barker Marketing Madness Podcast.
Really happy to have expert content strategist and president of Agile Sherpas, Andrea Fryrear with me here today.
She's a true agile marketing evangelist who runs a lot of training courses and she's helped many marketers boost their campaign results. Listen as she talks about the brands that are crushing their content marketing initiatives along with her favorite campaigns to learn from.
Also, discover what she predicted about the future of content marketing. You'll definitely find this podcast interesting [and of] value.
On a call here today with Andrea Fryrear. I'm super excited about the interview today. We've been trying to connect the last few months and because of just life, business, and everything else, it's been a little hard to connect, but here we are today. I'm excited about the interview.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, me too. Glad to be here.
Shane Barker: Absolutely, absolutely. So why don't you give... kind of tell the audience just a little bit about yourself and, you know, how you've gotten into the space and stuff like that where you live. I just want to get kind of a little background on you.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, sure. I live in Boulder, Colorado, so, it's pretty nice out here.
Shane Barker: Boulder. I've only been out there once and it's phenomenal.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, we moved here about 10 years ago and have not left. I grew up in Texas and I think I prefer Colorado quite a bit.
Shane Barker: Right. To all the Texas fans, no hard feelings, but I would have to say Colorado. It's like there's... I'm in Sacramento, California, and I'll tell you, Colorado was one of those states where I'm like... to me that would be an even... if not maybe a move up. I love California, but it's like Colorado is just, I don't know. Just everything about it is awesome.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes. No oceans. So if that's your jam, you can't be here. But, the mountains more than make up for it, I think.
Shane Barker: Well, and you, you can tell from my white skin that I'm not a huge beach fan. It's not that I don't enjoy the beach or enjoy the sun; it's that it doesn't enjoy me. Like, I can literally talk about the sun and potentially get burned. So that's about, you know, I'm Irish, so that's what happens sometimes.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, yes, let's see... what else? Marketing... I've been doing for 14, 15 years now. I sort of stumbled into it like a lot of people. I have an English degree and was at my first job and they realized that I kind of knew a little bit about the internet. And then before you know it, I'm in charge of the website and PPC and trying to figure out what this all means and how to do it. And [I’ve] been hooked ever since
Shane Barker: The good old default. Well and, you know, it's so funny cause I would've never thought about this when I was in college. But having that English background like, I mean it's so beneficial.
You wouldn't necessarily think of that in the beginning, especially when the content space, you know, that is huge cuz I'll be honest, like I am not an English major and you can tell like from my beginning posts that I wrote that. I'm like, well I would send it to my wife and my wife would go, oh my God, did you write this in Korean?
You know, kind of like this. It was English is, you know, obviously it's my first language. But it's not, I'm just not that I'm okay writer, I would say I can't compare to some of your stuff like that has a degree in that. I think it's such a nice foundation to have.
Andrea Fryrear: Yeah, it was really nice when content marketing started to become a thing. It was like, look, I can use this degree and actually get paid for it right now.
Shane Barker: Mom and dad, I told you. Yeah. That's awesome. That's cool. So you did. And what college did you go to?
Andrea Fryrear: I did my Undergrad at Austin College. There's a little liberal arts college in Texas and then I got my master's at Oxford.
Shane Barker: Nice. And then... And so when you say when you were in Texas, was it Austin, Texas?
Andrea Fryrear: No. So, it's named after Stephen F. Austin, which is, but then it's not Stephen F. Austin University because that would be too easy as well. Yes, it's north of Dallas.
Shane Barker: I liked the name because it leaves a little bit of mystery cause then I'm like from California, highly confused. But I, I get it though. It's, well the reason why I was asked about Austin because I've actually never been to Austin, which is crazy because I have startups I've worked with there.
I have a lot of friends that live there. And in fact one of the instructors that I, I teach a class at UCLA, she actually lives there and check, you've got to come out to Austin. So I didn't, I was going to ask you about Austin a little bit before you jumped in the content side of things but Dallas... I've been to Dallas a few times. I love Dallas
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, Dallas is nice, I think I prefer Austin, I've been there for clients and stuff too, but it has a little bit more of the like typical big city vibe. Whereas Dallas is just this like massive...
Shane Barker: Yes, yes and that's why I can't believe I haven't been to Austin anyways. I'm going to go up by the time this podcast goes live. I will be having visited Austin once. How about that? That'll cause me to get this live sooner. That also pushed me to go to Austin. So that's a good thing, so cool.
So wait, and when you were in college, you were obviously working on the English side of things and then you got into content marketing by default, right? Yes. Company companies just... hey she, you know, she seems to be, she's really intelligent.
We think we've... she does English side of things and now she can maybe start doing this PPC thing and it was kind of a thing of like, hey, this isn't your background, but your kind of grinded it out and looked online and kind of educated yourself.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes and then I, that was pre-content marketing days. So then it was like, okay, it all sort of, you know, rolled up together where it's like, okay, I run this website, how do I get people to come to this website?
So PPC and SEO and all that good stuff. And then content marketing started to come around and I was like, this feels a little bit less icky than some of the other stuff that we've been hearing and like it’s much, much better. We'll end this thing.
Shane Barker: It's funny. So, most of the people that I interview have been in the space for 10 plus years, and there's really nobody that has a background in content marketing because it wasn't even around for the most part.
Right, and weirdly, wasn't he, I mean, it was a concept, I guess, but now it's obviously become very popular with like seven, six, five years, whatever that is. But you know, so it's, that's what's funny about the evolution of us as marketers is... when I started doing marketing about 20 years ago, but it's like content marketing wasn't even, we were doing SEO when it wasn't even called SEO, right? And now with content marketing, now content marketing’s a thing.
You're like, thank God I got the English background! I've been writing some content. And it was just one of those things. We started investing on my website probably about seven or eight years ago on the, on the blogs just saying, hey, I was, I just wanted to write on the blog.
You know, even though, like I said, I wasn't a phenomenal writer and now it's because of those early days and doing that now, you know, content marketing obviously being a huge, a huge thing. And a lot of B2B and B2C companies want this as a service.
And so we have that background. No so it's, you know, once again, just not too many people that went to school for content marketing because that's more of a now thing, Right? In the last probably four or five years where somebody's like, I can go to... I don't even know if there's even a school that teaches content marketing necessarily.
Andrea Fryrear: I feel like there was one in, it was a random place like Australia or something where you could actually get a degree in content marketing. But I think they were the first.
Shane Barker: Yes, see down under, so that's what it is. Australia always has this stuff. That's awesome.
It's kind of interesting to me because like I said, it's just not, I kind of stumbled into it the same way that you have right. And it's like, okay, this is kind of awesome.
You have that background and now it makes sense to move forward without your clients. So tell me a little bit about your companies. What's the name of your company? And kind of give me a little background there because obviously you've been around for a while.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes. So I am the president and lead trainer for Agile Sherpas and we're actually not a content marketing specific company. We train people on how to apply agile principles and practices to marketing. So taking them from the world of software development and then tweaking them so they work better for marketers
Shane Barker: Now, that's awesome because that's a very, it's a really interesting angle. Because a lot of people don't understand that, right? Especially when it comes to creating and stuff.
Like, hey, there are efficiencies you can put in place and if you get to a certain point you have, this happens, this happens, this happens and you probably shouldn't go any further. Right?
But if you go this way, then hey, it makes sense to continue on. I talk a little bit more about that because I think that's probably a place a lot of people... First of all, it's hard enough for people to produce content, write or produce, I guess also have a company that that is like that, right?
I mean, I know that like Toyota or some other ones that they're, their methodology was like, hey, and we’d go to a certain point if it doesn't make sense. So we just cut it. And it was more, like I said, there was a system to, there are processes for that.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, yes, definitely. So that like minimum viable product type approach where you can get it out there and test it.
And I love that for content because the internet makes it so easy to put something out there that's small and low risk.
You get it done in a couple of days, get it out in front of an audience and then if they love it, great! Double down on it, more resources behind it but if they hate it, then no big deal. I only spent two days on it as opposed to the good old days.
Or we'd have our, you know, six-month massive campaign that we would sit on until it was 100% done and then you put it out and like, oh, I hope it works.
Shane Barker: Yes, yes, well that's interesting to me because I'll tell you, I mean, I'll be honest, my team doesn't do that. We don't do that. Right? And it's not... I really think that's someplace that we could improve because for us it's, you know?
We look at content, we look at keywords, we look at some, some people that put some stuff out there. We obviously look at like the, you know, the key, the kind of like how competitive that keyword is. Not every blog post we do is, is always keyword-driven.
But I think that is something that, that where we could improve upon us as an agency as I go in and testing some stuff ahead of time.
So that's interesting, so I'm going to have to talk to you off that off camera about that because that's, that's definitely an interesting thing as something that I think we need as an agency.
So tell me a little bit like, so how does that work? Like when you guys bring in clients and give me kind of a rundown of like who would be you guys' perfect client? Right?
And somebody that you guys can bring in and say, hey, this is the type of company work with here and what we look at as their processes and how does that like kind of give me a little more breakdown there.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, we work with teams of all sizes actually. The sweet spot if you're looking to like do a complete transformation relatively quickly, it's kind of a 20-person marketing team because that's not too complex.
Yeah we have a couple of groups that are like two, three, 400 marketers inside of a department and you've got to really carefully approach that kind of transformation.
But when we have a smaller team of, you know, twentyish folks, and then we can come in and really do a lot of work in two days.
And, as you can imagine, just thinking about the like minimum viable product type approach, a lot of times you have to go back to basics and change team structure and change the way you design campaigns and changed the way that you plan your work. All of that has to change in order for the practices to actually get into place. And so we spend a fair amount of time teaching people like what does agile really mean?
It's not just about being fast. There's other, you know, foundation elements there too. And before we ever tell you, okay now let's build a board and let's do daily stand up and get into the practices stuff.
So we start there but we definitely give people the, the nitty gritty stuff as well.
Shane Barker: And then do you guys actually meet with the client in person? Is it like a two-day intensive type thing or how do you guys run things?
Andrea Fryrear: Yeah, we definitely need to be onsite with people cause there's a lot of we do hands on like exercises to really, I can say agile things do all the time, but until you're like in there doing it, it's, those are when the light bulbs go off.
So yeah, onsite staff is key.
Shane Barker: Yes. I was going to say, because I can only imagine if you did something remote, how difficult that would be. Cause eight people are going to be kicking and screaming a little bit because of change. Right?
So that's never right. So if you're not in there, you know, whipping them, not really whipping them but you know, in there like saying, “Hey, you got to do this.” Showing them how to do it and educating them.
I think that's really the key to this whole thing because it is, it's, you're really going in and revamping everything that they've done right: revaluate and redoing it so that change is not always comfortable for people.
Usually it's uncomfortable for people, right? So that's interesting. Do you guys usually do, it's usually a two-day thing? I'm going to guess... depends on the size of the company?
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, it really does, we have a two-day class. That's our usual kind of introduction to, you know, what is agile marketing and all of that.
And you get certified in agile marketing if you do the two days. So people like to start there and then we'll come back and do, you know, coaching. And we'll do the like actual kick-off stuff. We'll train leadership sometimes because they kind of get in the way if they don't know what's going on and how their behavior has to change too.
Shane Barker: Yes. Well that's the thing... is that it is a behavioral thing, right? It's only a process, but it's the idea of like, hey, when you come in on Monday, this is going to be totally different than what you were doing on Friday, right?
Andrea Fryrear: Yes and...
Shane Barker: They’re getting...
Andrea Fryrear: No, go ahead.
Shane Barker: Well, I was going to say, and I just think that's always a, that's always a difficult for people because you know, they, every, the, the, everybody wants to stay, not everybody, but a good amount of people want to stay complacent.
Like, hey, this is okay. Even if results aren't as favorable because it's easy to come in on a Monday and just do the same stuff you do when you're, when you're, you know, disrupting that.
I think it becomes a situation where people are like, oh, this is uncomfortable. Obviously, I'm sure after a few weeks, a few months, they started to see that chain and start to see the difference, you know, whatever it is... The processes being in place and, and improving things. I think that's when the, obviously, the value happens.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes and you can see it in the people who track it. Well, you know, it's, it's, an improvement in traditional marketing KPIs better ROI and time spent and things like that. But then also just sheer productivity and morale increases as well. But the problem a lot of times too is that when you…
When people hear, “We're going to change the process because our process isn't working,” what they hear is, “The way I do my work isn't working,” and they take it really personally.
So again, it's so important to be in the room because you can feel that energy change when you start to say those words and you've got to be able to get out in front of those kinds of things. Cause people can sabotage it. I mean, it's like with, with any process change, people can sabotage.
Shane Barker: Well, and that's, I think that's a great point because that's the thing... a lot of people, because they do take their work personally, right? But it's what they're, what they feel like is it, you guys are coming in and saying, “Hey... this thing's all messed up and we have to revamp it because of what you've done, right?
Which is really not that? It's like, “Hey, maybe there were some processes and maybe some things that we can help to make things more efficient,” and it's not something to be taken personally.
It's like the whole idea at the end of the day is we just want to improve things. Isn't that what everybody can agree on? Yeah. We all want to make things better. Okay?
So we're going to look at is that some of these process that can be tweaked and that's what we're here to do. Not necessarily say this was wrong, don't take it personal It's that kind of thing.
So I totally get that. But it is that, you know, I see that a lot of times if we do, sometimes your joint ventures sometimes the other marketing companies when we were a younger agency, and it was like always kind of like always at, you know, you don't really want to step on anybody's toes.
You want to tell them that is wrong. But we've seen this is a little better and it's been, we don't do that anymore. Now it's like, hey, we have to have the reigns because it's not, I can't really have, you can't have two chefs, you know, cooking the meal, right?
You got to have a Sou Chef. You're going to have some people doing desserts and stuff. So it's the same kind of, I was rested, raised in the restaurant industry and service industry. It's always thinking of, it's like, no, it doesn't make sense to have that many people in. It's like, really, who's in charge of this?
And, and you guys coming in and saying, “Hey, I'm going to give you guys the reins for a few days and then help educate you guys just knowing that what we all care about is this process being better, that we have more sales of the efficiencies are there.”
And I think everybody should agree to that. I mean at the end of the day it's like your bonus just might be higher. You can increase productivity and there are all kinds of benefits from this thing if we work on this thing together.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, and we, I mean, I was an individual, you know, content contributor before I was ever an agile coach. And so I can speak to that and say like, look, I have that experience and this makes your life better, makes your life easier.
You're not stressed out as much and there's fewer fire drills and like it's, it's good for everybody, not just kind of like do it for the organization, like it makes your life better too.
Shane Barker: Yes and I think you would think if they can't take it personally, the idea of that is that you're also growing as an individual, right?
So you can take this on to any company and that's obviously a valuable resource to have to know that, hey, we worked in these kinds of conditions and this is what I learned and be able to take that.
I mean really, you'd have to think of it as, hey, this is huge value. It's like the company's investing in me to be a better person for this company and maybe for a future company as well. Which, you know, if they can think about it the right way, there's too, there's, that's beautiful. That's awesome if somebody wants to do that.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes. And there's actually a lot more job postings even out there that are asking for agile marketing experience. Like they want to hire people who know how to do this and so to be able to know how to do it makes you a more valuable employee too.
Shane Barker: How long have you been doing it for?
Andrea Fryrear: So I've been using agile marketing in one form or another. It's like four years, I want to say, been training full time for almost two years.
Shane Barker: Wow, that's awesome because I, once again, I understand the, the value in it. Now I understand like what you guys are doing, but I don't know if I've heard about it that much. And, obviously, you said it's up and coming, but I think this was really cool as you, you obviously got in a long time ago and one of the first people doing it. Or at least that I've heard about doing it, which is awesome.
So, that's cool. Is there a lot of other companies are doing things like this when it comes to like the agile type of the methodology?
Andrea Fryrear: There's, quite a few folks using it. We do, Agile Sherpas does, this is our second year doing a state of agile marketing report.
And so last year when we did it, we saw about 37% of our respondents saying they're using agile in some form or fashion. There's obviously a pretty big spectrum thereof, you know, super agile or just a little bit.
So it's, you know, about a third of the marketing teams out there are trying it and from what we've seen this here, I think it's, the numbers for 2019 will be, quite a bit higher.
It's just people are... it's not optional anymore to fix your process and try to do more with less and be more productive. And all of those things are really just table stakes kind of now.
Shane Barker: Yes, that's awesome. So that's cool, I once again, I think that side of things, it's, it's interesting for me because once again, there's always, you know, processes that when you're on processes in place where we get bad processes in place, it's obviously it affects everything, right?
So now the fact to be able to go in there and, and recognize that and be able to change that is interesting to me. I mean, that's, you know, it makes me want to re-evaluate my processes.
Like I said, we'll probably talk offline about that. So, tell me a little bit about your book? So, you know, the book was, “Death of a Marketer” was the title. I got took that very personally because I was like, oh, I didn't know if there was something I didn't know about or that I wasn't in the know.
But anyways, tell us a little bit about that. Your inspiration, what the book's about? Give us some intel there?
Andrea Fryrear: Yes so, when I wrote the book, about two years ago, and at that point, there were a lot of people who were starting to talk about how to do agile marketing.
Like that was kind of becoming the, the discussion, but there weren't too many people really explaining why we should be doing it. And so, I thought that that was really important to figure out like where marketing, what marketing's sort of journey has been like and why have we arrived at this place where our process is so broken? And it's, it sort of sucks to be a marketer sometimes, which is the, “death of the marketer.”
And so, I spent a lot of time researching and kind of going back through history of, of what did traditional marketing look like? Then why agile has become more of a necessity in the way that we work.
And then did my own little sort of take on, on what does it actually look like to practice in marketing? And it was a big deal for me too because a lot of the folks who, I'm trying to think of the diplomatic way to say this, who haven't necessarily done marketing and agile, get very fixated on scrum as the only option for making it work.
When in fact marketers need a lot more variety of practices for us. And so I wanted to make sure that that was clear and available for marketers to have good access to that information.
Shane Barker: Got you, and so just to confirm, but no marketers were killed in the making of this book, right?
Andrea Fryrear: No marketers were harmed, no.
Shane Barker: At all. I mean, I just don't want, like, there's like, you know, there's like PETA for animals. I just don't know if there's like marketers, like if they're going to get some people picketing at your house or something. I just am trying to keep you safe on that side.
Andrea Fryrear: No, I think I'm okay. Yeah I appreciate that.
Shane Barker: All right. Yeah, that's good. That's good. Okay, just want to make sure, that's awesome.
So you, I mean, and you, you did the book we did about two years ago, which is interesting to me, because that was, you'd only been in the space for about two years at that point, right?
So you're like saying, hey, listen, there's obviously a need for this, right? And there's, hey, we're doing this. But also I think, let me explain why that... the death of the marketer is and why we need these processes to be put in place.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, yes, definitely because like I said, I've been there and I've been that that person who has 47 email requests to create some content for one reason or another and felt like I'm drowning.
So, agile was awesome. Like it came in and really just kind of saved my butt. And so I want to make sure that as many people as possible have the ability to, to try it out.
Shane Barker: All right, well my butt needs to be saved. I, I'm with you on that. I guess if I had a dollar for every email that I got that had to do, hey, you're going to do content together and, which I appreciate, like anybody sends me with that.
I love it, but it is like this. I look at it, I'm like wow, that's cool. 500 emails on a Monday Yes, this is awesome and I put some efficiency in place. Nowhere close to what you guys create by any means.
But I've got VAs and all that fun stuff where it's because, you know, I've had a little less, I guess, stress when it comes to that. But that's definitely something that I think I need to look at in regards to that because there's processes that are in place that, that are, that could be improved.
I think that's with anything you do though. I mean, it's like always have, especially to have an outside source or you know, there's set of eyeballs to take a look at your process because you always, well I don't always feel this, but other people might... Oh I think it's a good process. It's like, well, but it never hurts to have a third party to take a look at it.
Andrea Fryrear: Yeah, for sure.
Shane Barker: So let's, let's talk about your courses here. So you say that you do a lot of courses, like what are some of the, like how many courses do you have right now?
Andrea Fryrear: So we have, the Agile Marketing Fundamentals that I mentioned, which is two days long. And then most of the other stuff we do ends up being custom, after we've visited clients and figured out exactly what they need.
Things after that tend to be pretty customized. We have an online course as well, which is the super basic kind of introduction. What is agile? What is marketing? How do they work together? Those kinds of things.
Yeah, so those are a couple of them, we have some fun like half day ones that we've done, for local clients that are, are interesting. My favorite one is, about the theory of constraints. I don't know if you're familiar, but it's from Eli Goldratt’s book, “The Goal,” which is very, very cool. Cool. Good reading if anybody's looking for some good reading options.
But the idea is every system has a bottleneck and we have to be able to identify it. We can't necessarily make it go away, but we've got to be able to optimize the system despite the bottleneck being there.
And so, we have a fun little origami folding exercise that teaches you how to identify the bottleneck and then what to do about it. So lots of ways to improve the system that don't involve just hiring a bunch of more people.
Shane Barker: Yes, well it's funny so I, where I had my office, there's obviously other people in the office space, but one of them was KAI Partners and they do a lot of this video for the state of California. But they do some Scrum stuff.
And some stuff and I've always been really intrigued by what they do. But I'll tell you that like they put up these crazy whiteboard things and I look at…. Instantly, like, I think I get like my brain hurts like a little anxiety.
I'm not even in the meeting and I'm looking at that going, oh my God. Like I think it's, you know, to be able to, to make it palatable and a little bite size needs. So you have a course that's one thing.
It's kind of like that beginner like, “Hey, let's get you some, some framework or some foundation on what are some of the different things we have going…”
I think it’s a good idea because it can be daunting. I mean, I don't know your guys' process, but here when I look at it and they're working with the state of California, so there are hundreds of people, thousands of people.
I mean there's a lot of different stuff, but I look at that and go, that looks like that it was going to hurt my brain. But I do, I like the, I understand the value in it.
And I'm like, hey, once you really, really figure this whole thing out and really deal drill down deep, I think the origami thing is a great example of like... Because then it's real hands on and then people go, “Oh, I see. Oh that makes sense.” Because a lot of these things we don't know, right?
We don't know if there's a bottleneck, or maybe you do. But you don't understand how it happens or how to get out of it even better. Like| “There's a bottleneck. What do I do?” instead of like, “Do we just fire Larry or do we give Larry a system?” Like what do you do? It is like, “How do we take care of that?”
Like, um, for you guys, when you guys do the, those types of systems you guys are looking at like, hey, let's once again... the efficiencies, right? Of saying, hey listen, you have a 10-person team. You don't necessarily need to get 15 people.
What you need to do is figure out how we can, you know, cut down on what people are doing or like how, what are the, what, like what would you recommend for something like that I guess is kind of what I'm asking?
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, I mean for the most part, most of the teams that we work with need to find a way to say no. And that's, that's really what strategy is. Choosing the things that you don't do very intelligently.
One of my favorite lines from the agile manifesto is simplicity. Maximizing the amount of work not done is essential.
And so allowing people to visualize all the work, get it out there somehow so you can see everything that you could be doing and then to intelligently choose from among that what the most valuable and important work really is.
And then to allow people to go off and do it without being interrupted every five minutes, by some other, you know, some emergency because you know, everybody has got something going on all the time.
But to give people that space and that mental, you know, opportunity to focus and get the thing done before you move onto the next one is really, really crucial.
Shane Barker: Yes, and once again was, we talked about this, I just think about our processes and some of that stuff because it's, you know, we've, we were, when you're, I think, you know, and just always changes, right?
Each year, every few years it changes. Like, Hey, you know, being in a, having ADHD, which is super awesome for me because I was like, oh look, I can put up 1500 windows and two 1500 things and now you're realizing like, hey, maybe it's a little better to focus a little bit on some stuff getting done.
You know, we, back in the day I would have, you know, 10 projects going and we were at 20% and 25% and nothing was really getting done because we were, you know, we would, we would chip away at them and that was great.
But it's like there was just so many different things that would have to happen there instead of focusing on one project, finishing that project. I mean, unless it's clients obviously, because then there are always different levels.
But for our own internal projects we had, it's like saying, hey, we need to like, let's just finish this one because this is a real high priority. Put all the team on this one get this thing to where it needs to be and then go move on to another project.
So I think that is in allowing that time. So I mean, when I was, when I was younger, I mean I was working, you know, 18 hours, 19, I mean long, long, way long hours, seven days a week. And I was killing myself, literally because I didn't have processes in place, right.
Where I was just grinding, grinding, grinding, and I was making great money. But who cares about the money if you can't ever use it?
I'm like, this is great. My son's going to, you know, have money in the bank and I'm going to be dead at 40 years old or something.
So that's obviously not the goal here in life. So I think that's, you know, when you look at those efficiencies in what you need to do to be able to cut that down. And I work smarter, not harder, right?
Of like, of being able to do that. So instead is really interesting to me because like I said, I think of that transition of my agency, myself as an individual from, you know, 20 plus years ago and say we're out today.
I feel like we're definitely better for sure. But we're not; we're nowhere close to the, the, the thought process and how you guys put things together, so once again, very intrigued by it for sure.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, it's really fantastic. And it's, it's been good, like, I'm an entrepreneur myself. But having the agile kind of like agile angel on my shoulder telling me like sustainable pace limit work in progress like has been really nice because I have small kids as well and you don't want to spend 20 hours a day away and, and grinding it out.
And really that we, I think we are, we're out of that world where business was the... status, right? It's more about being effective now and, and you know, if that takes you three hours a day, then great! Work three hours a day, So...
Shane Barker: And that's the way we run my teams. Like I, so my whole team, I have a 31, 32-person team now and we're all remote. And I, that is the way I run things is I guess not, I'm not here to micromanage anybody.
I'm not here to, that's just not the way I do things, right? Because I don't want to, I don't have time to go say, hey, what are you doing here? What's going on here?
Like, if you are more efficient, you can get your stuff done in three hours and it should have taken eight. I don't have a problem with that. I mean as long as the work is getting done.
I think another thing is, I don't know if you've thought about selling this, is that the agile angels, do you think those are and you buy those? Because I, I mean I would probably take two right now because I probably I'd want to angel ones cause the, the devil one always seems to get mine there. Yes.
The devil one is always like, hey no, do more. Come on man and show him what you got. I'm like dude, leave me alone. I'm talking to the other angel really quick like call me later or something is doing you guys sell those angels or anything or
Andrea Fryrear: I'm going to go ahead and copyright that right now after we get off and, we'll have them with, for our little workshop attendees and it'll say like, “Limit work in progress,” every five minutes or so.
Shane Barker: Why not? Everybody needs that a little. Like what is that? I was like, oh, it's my angel. I forgot about that, you know. Awesome!
Well let me know if that works out because I'd like, I don't really care about a cut because it was a little bit of my idea, but I mean you brought it up originally, but if you could send me a free angel I guess, or two or whatever. Maybe they can help me out throughout my day.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes. Can do.
Shane Barker: Thank you. Then I’ll look for, to the angel coming in the mail.
So tell us a little bit, so when we talk about like, you know, like let's say I'm an aspiring marketer and, and I say, “Hey, I want to jump in the marketing space.”
Like, I mean obviously I think the first step would be, hey, you're... obviously... your course, right? You're your baseline, your foundational course where they could go take a look at what are some other books or some other things that you've read that you might recommend.
I mean is, if I'm a marketer, like for me there's a lot of things that we would have to change and I get that. But if I was starting off and said, “Hey, I really want to jump into this, I know there's training and stuff that you can go through as well,” like touch on that a little bit as well.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, I mean I think it's so great to be able to self-educate these days and I think diversification is just so important for marketers. Like, don't pigeonhole you.
I mean, even content marketing is amazing, but I think that it's not going to be content marketing forever. There's going to be something else that comes along and we've got to be ready to pivot however that looks.
And so I think reading a good variety of different books. So let's see some other good ones. I just finished “10x Marketing [Formula],” which I really liked.
They touch on agile a lot there, by the, the CEO of CoSchedule talking about kind of how they've grown as a company and I love it when people do that... kind of share their real stories of this is what we did and this is what worked and didn't work.
I find that really helpful instead of the abstract ideas. And then I think probably the like extreme opposite of that would be, Jay Cuonzo and his book, “Break the Wheel,” which is very like don't follow at what other people have done. Like forge your own path and think critically for yourself. And so, the balance between those two is probably a nice one.
Shane Barker: Somewhere in the middle. Well that's, and I think this way, the conversation I was excited about today's because the agile side of things we don't necessarily do, but we should.
And that's where I love these kinds of like... the podcasts and this kind of stuff because it's, you can start to learn about it, right? I mean, I feel like there's always... these days it's hard because you have, there's so much information, right?
And you got, you're... trying to like make it palatable. And so for entrepreneurs, like ourselves, or we... content. And so people consume that content, which is good, but it is difficult… and even the people that follow us, it's like... to be able to have people come in and take a look at like, like what do us, like how do you filter through all that information that's coming through, right?
And I think this is something that's why I buy... I always try to figure out some books that we can recommend to somebody because if they can go through and read a little bit, and once again, not mean maybe they go full blown agile but maybe, you know, as a piece or I guess a some in your toolbox, right? That you can use.
And so we talked about these different books that like I just give you a little bit of a better idea so you can at least talk fluidly about it. Maybe not be totally, you know, you know, like... not be an instructor by any means, but at least have enough information to be dangerous.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, definitely, and if people are listening and interested in, in trying agile just for themselves, there is a fantastic book called, “Personal Kanban,” which I just reread as my like re-commitment for the New Year to kind of get back on track with things.
But it really talks about, designing systems for your whole life so you can manage your personal stuff and your work staff and your workout stuff and your kids’ stuff all kind of together. So you're really making sure that you're doing the right the right thing at the right time.
Shane Barker: And who was the author? Do you-- if you don't remember, I'm just, as you can see, every time you'd say a book I go to write it down. So you see that duck out for a second. So I'm just trying to own up. I'm going to add on my list.
Andrea Fryrear: There are two authors and I can't remember, I can't remember their names.
Shane Barker: That's all right. I'll look it up. I'll look it up and we'll put it at the bottom of the podcast or something like that.
["Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life" by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry]
So what are the things, so let's talk about this? So like over the years of like, obviously you've been building up efficiencies and doing that kind of stuff. So what are your, what do you think your strengths and your weaknesses are as maybe as a marketer, but I guess also as an agency. Like what have you guys had to improve upon that to talk about the bad things?
But I was at one time with the good stuff. Obviously there are a lot of good things there, but like what have you guys had to, what have you guys had to change, I guess from, from an agile perspective and your guys’ agency because obviously you're teaching other people how to do it and there's always usually what happens is you go and teach everybody else.
Like for me, I teach everybody else how to do stuff like I just started optimizing my blog like a year ago. I've done it for everybody else and they all got great results and everything was awesome.
And I was looking at mine, I'm like, I'm getting like a hundred people a day. Like this is ridiculous. Like I should and now we're now we're, we're going get to 3,000 people a day.
But you know, like tell me a little bit about that process. Like what did it take for you guys to go and take a look at your processes and say, hey, we have to make some improvements here as well?
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, I mean, I'm like personally really good at the execution side of things. Like give me my backlog and I'll go through and like churn through things. And I'm really good at that.
But we're a remote group as well. And so finding opportunities for effective collaboration is probably our biggest challenge because, I'm a firm believer in the face to face, even if it's just like what we're doing right now, like being able to see you and your body language clues is so important.
And so that's been something we've had to really commit to, like, we're not just going to get on the phone, we're going to get on video and we're going to actually like communicate with one another and collaborate because it's easy when not in the same time zone to let that sort of stuff just slide and be like, yeah, we'll catch up later.
Shane Barker: Yes, and so what do you, and so I'm going to switch gears on you a little bit. So you guys have a full remote team. What do you guys, cause obviously I have a remote team too, right? And it’s taken a long time to get it to a point where it's... but now I feel like it's very efficient.
Well I'm very efficient until I talk to somebody like you and you're going to look at... and go, you're like 30% buddy. And I'm like, okay. I thought it was maybe closer to 70, but that's okay.
With the remote side of things, like what do you, what software do you guys use and stuff like that? People who have remote teams or... are looking at developing a remote team?
Andrea Fryrear: Yes. I'm a big Trello fan and so we have a shared Trello board and that's like the source of truth for everything.
So we tag each other in there like, “Hey, I need your feedback on this thing.” Documents are attached there and then I'll geek, geek out on agile and for just a second, but we have epics, which are like the big, you know, this is a quarter long project.
And then we break it down into the tasks and things that go with it and they're all color coded. So it's like I can see if I'm overspending time on this one project and neglecting the other. So my Trello board is kind of intense, but it's really effective for us.
Shane Barker: That's awesome. So we use Trello as well. We do a little bit of Slack obviously. It’ll be on Google Drive Docs for stuff then Dropbox obviously for profiles.
Yes, we like Trello. I mean it's funny because we've used a lot of different things. Basecamp and Trello and Asana and I think it's, so, I haven't really, I haven't really felt that there's anything that really like is just not perfect.
I mean, because everybody has kind of a different system, but it's always like I'd be like, oh, this one's good to here. This one's good. There’s another one that we actually just started trying is called Griffin.
It’s a friend of mine, Marcella that that actually put the... she's working on for about three years. I did this thing with her with SEMrush, an actual live workshop with her.
And she was one of the speakers, and came... and she's like, I've got this software, let me check it out. And so I looked at us like, wow, it's really... so it's just a talk about the processes.
Like, you know, once again, it's like, hey, you have this to do; somebody's ordered some content from you, like here goes to... 15 things that needed to be done. And then it's done.
Like they've like... process... and there's some other ones like that, right? That you can go and hey, this happens and then this email gets sent out and stuff like that.
So I'm trying that right now. We're just kind of putting the processes in place to kind of streamline some of those, and, you know? To better... and make more transparency for the client and for us as well, internally.
Because there's, you know, there's just a lot of moving pieces when it comes to the stuff that we do and anyways, it's always, it's always interesting. The process side of things. Like I said, it can always be improved.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, yes. We use CoSchedule a lot too, I should say for social and, and scheduling and, blog posts and all that good stuff.
So I've been finding that to be really helpful this year too. Like as kind of a one woman show sometimes. It's, it's nice to, to look like I have more people working on my social media than I really do. Yes.
Shane Barker: That's the beauty of it all. Yes, I've used CoSchedule and back... I just was on the podcast with Eric and those guys over there at CoSchedule.
It's awesome... awesome team over there. We do a few different things. We use another thing just for you and maybe people out there that we use a company called Quuu.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, like in the Quuu. Yes.
Shane Barker: Yes and then Quuu Promote is another one that we do. So and what they do is it's just they do two different sides of the thing they want is like where you go and you can put, you know, some content that you want to get promoted and you pay monthly for that and your content for the distribution side.
And then the other side of it is like, hey, you're a marketer. This is the type of content you went out there and they had read everything and they curate the content for your, for your audience, which is interesting because once again, we're always looking for time savers, right?
Like, I mean, I could spend all day long reading articles and doing this and sharing them and now I haven't done the 5,000 other things that I was supposed to do. So yeah, so I think that's… CoSchedule review… and we've also I like them as well, they’re obviously a great company.
Andrea Fryrear: Yeah. Oh cool. I'll have to look into Quuu. That's an interesting one. Yeah.
Shane Barker: Quuu so there's Quuu and then there's Quuu Promote. These two sides of the company. Yeah. Yeah so I don't know. I don't know what Quuu is. So I just want make sure you don't go there and it sounds like it is pretty safe there, but, well cool.
So let me see, let like, so what I like to give us some to, talk to us a little bit of some of the brands that you guys have worked with. I mean it can be big or small and some of the, you know, some of the results you guys have seen them, cause I'm kind of be interested, I know everybody's results are different, right?
It depends on the organization, depends on how the process is that people are hired there, how they will adapt the processes and all that kind of stuff. But kind of give me some rundown of and maybe some case studies or some stuff that you guys have done.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, so one of my favorites is actually, a little agency. Out in California, out where you are, but they started with just about five people on their first team and we're really helping them kind of coaching them through the process.
And they were remote for the most part and so they had like all the typical kind of marketing challenges plus they have clients and internal work and all that good stuff.
But they did a really good job of, of committing, like they had somebody who was running the team. A scrum master running the team and running the process and that was hugely important for them.
And they were able to basically double their team size in a year or so. They brought on a whole another scrum team of like five to seven people because they were seeing such good efficiencies and they're able to bring on more clients and all those good things basically paid for itself, through the process improvement.
So that was… I love that because it's just like those little like powerhouse team coming in and like kicking butt that one's great.
And then kind of the other like super extreme end from that is we've been working with a pharmaceutical company who has like 300 marketers in their department and so they're really focused on education first.
So like get everybody understanding what agile marketing means for you. How's this going to change your job?
Of course there was a huge restructure that happened in conjunction with it all. Everyone's freaking out about their roles and who's my boss and how am I going to be evaluated?
And so really like level setting everybody, before they jumped too heavily into like, here exactly how this is going to work? Like here's where… daily stand up happens and here's your board. And, and all those specifics. Um, which I think has set them up.
That's, they've been a little over a year into it. So they've, they've got some more work to do, with a team that size. But they are a great story in terms of like, education is important. You've, you've got to lay the groundwork, especially in a group that size to really reap the benefits over the long term.
Shane Barker: I'm just like instantly... 300 markers? And I, I instantly wanted to duck out and start crying. I mean I just can only imagine because you have 300 sites... used to own a company where we had 130 employees, right? And I know running and that was 130 people.
And if any of those people listen to this podcast, I love you guys all. So don't take this personally, but there, you know, I always felt like I was like the fireman, right? Putting stuff out and doings... I couldn't really, really work on the business and I'm going to have great people in place and my management team.
But there were probably more processes, probably weren't all perfect, right? By any means, I mean what process is? But when I think about 300 people and getting all those people to a buy into it and to view it, and obviously the education side of it is important.
Everybody wants to keep their jobs so there, but I just think, man, that's like, just to be able to put something like that together for 300 people, is really mind blowing to me because I see I haven't, I don't do it.
So I don't, I look and I go, I don't need it. I'll put it on a whiteboard and I go, I don't even know where to start with this thing. Like obviously you guys have been doing it for a while, so you guys get that. But I just think like the movement, like five person team all day long.
Like, I feel like I could, hey, we can figure some stuff out. 300 because, you know, I mean you, you get whatever the percentages, you get 60% or let's say 40% that are excited, 60% this is, or 40% of they love it, 40% says, Hey, I'm not worried about… and 20% of like, this is ridiculous, like I hate this.
It is like, how do you like, and then being able to, because you're obviously not going be able to be there for the whole year. and then being able to like, I mean it's really, I almost feel like you're like a PR company for like something bad that happens for a client and you got to get it out to the media and then you change perception of what's going on.
I mean, it really has to, like, you got to get people to buy in, and you have to get them to start making those changes.
It's just... 300 people. That's just, yes, that's like moving a herd of like drunk elephants, which I don't even know how elephants get drunk, but I just feel like that's like how slow the process could be.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes and in those sites groups, it's really important to pilot intelligently. They're like, you're not going to split the switch on 300 people overnight, but to get one group of those people that you mentioned that are like, “Yes, this is awesome and I'm excited.”
Like... put them on a team and let them process and projects and like show how awesome this is and how much more effective they are. And then if everyone else is like, “Oh, that was cool, I want to do that too.”
Shane Barker: Find the evangelists. Yeah, that makes total sense. I just, you know, I just look at that, I go man, 300 people. That's just, that is quite a feat to take on.
Andrea Fryrear: It's a big ship to turn and it doesn't happen quickly at all.
Shane Barker: No, I mean there's just... but I understand that it does make sense of like, hey, those small wins, and for those people to go tell other people about small wins. Because it's easy for you to come in and say, “Hey, this is the best thing since sliced bread.”
They're like, “Well, obviously you're going to say that like you're getting paid to be here,” right? It's like you want to get some of the people internally that are saying, “Wow, this is really awesome. We started using this. We had some small wins. This is what we're looking at.”
Then people kind of get intrigued and start asking some questions instead of being opposed to change. Which is, you know, I would think in the beginning of that's a lot of people are that way, right? I mean, it's just kind of human nature.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes and people have to believe it's going to stick to. Like, they have to see leadership changing and, and actually taking on these agile ways of working.
Or they're going to say, “Oh, this is one more thing that you're trying to get me to do. And if I just wait it out long enough, you'll change your mind and then the next thing will come along.”
Shane Barker: Yes, the buy in, right? It's trickle down. That's definitely it, yeah. That's where it's a tricky. And you said it's, if that's a big ship to move for sure.
So what do you like... let's, let's talk about content marking a little more. So what's, what do you think about the future of content marketing? Like what do you see? Where do you see this thing going?
I mean you've already, you already killed all the marketers two years ago in your book. So now that those people are out of the way, where do... I mean I want to know what's next. Because I, I missed that first wave of, of deaths and stuff like that.
Which I think is good but I'm just trying to figure out for that second wave of like, what do you see, cause your kind of master dominance in this. So I want to know about, okay... I'm trying to survive here in this land of milk and honey.
I mean it's 2019... I just want to keep going. So kind of what do you see in regards to the future of content marketing?
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, I mean really and truly, I think that agile has got to be the way forward. Because it allows us to stay strategic and continue to like see the big picture, focus on the audience, all of those important kinds of foundational things.
But then to still execute in a really rapid fashion. Because people don't care who you are or what brand you're with or what kind of budget or, or team size you have. They expect you to respond to them just like Amazon or Netflix or Google or any of these other places that are, are like, you know, responding and changing in, in minutes or seconds.
So there's none of this like, oh, it takes me two weeks to get back around to you. And so we've, we've got to be able to have, have systems in place that allow us to do that.
So it's, it's a difficult balance of like great, amazing, personalized, beneficial content plus the ability to do it really, really quickly.
Shane Barker: Yes. I think that is the key because people always want things faster, right? Everybody wants... seven seconds [done in] three seconds.
And because you have these bigger companies that are able to do that, right? And they were able to adapt and they have these processes. And these people are looking at the processes on daily basis.
How do we use the smaller, the smaller, you know, the, the smaller fish to be able to go and put some kind of officials and police? We don't have to respond and you know, two minutes, but maybe it is two hours, maybe it's three hours.
So you're not missing that opportunity because people are very quick to go... with the other guy or… the other person if you don't respond quickly or say something about it on social media or whatever. That is... right? To mitigate that.
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, yes so they don't, they don't differentiate between smaller or big, and they just want good experiences.
Shane Barker: Yes man so selfish customers everywhere in there and they're having kids. So their kids are going to be the same way. So we're going to have to learn, learn to adjust.
So let's, I'm going to totally flip this on your limits. So tell me a little bit about your favorite vacation.
I know we've been talking about in the agile thing, which I'm really intrigued about, but tell me a little bit like your favorite vacation. I know this is a total switch of gears, but, I'm a huge traveller. Like I was just in, I just was in Sri Lanka for a keynote and some other stuff.
And now I've been bit by the bug. So I've been asking everybody this on the podcast, like, where has you gone? I think it's mainly just from me being selfish because I want to know like a cool place you've been to so that I can go there other than Austin, which is absolutely on my list with my other three books that I'll be reading here soon.
Tell me about a cool vacation you went on recently or maybe not recently. It can be whenever.
Andrea Fryrear: So I think probably my best like traveling vacation was, to the Loire Valley in France. My husband and I just rented a car and we drove around and we, we rented a little house like in the middle of a sunflower field and then every day we take the car to like an old castle and, and you can just, you can get like a huge, like... wine for like 99 cents and so much wine and, and uh, fog... and just traveling around.
And it was so nice to be in a little place that was out in the middle of where we were traveling, like as opposed to being in, in Paris or somewhere big. Yeah… and I realized that my Paris French does not translate to the countryside, like at all.
But that was really nice. That was one of my favorite traveling vacations. Although, last week, I unplugged completely and just spent time at my house with my husband without my cell phone and that was pretty special. Yes.
Shane Barker: As well on purpose. So my, yes, yes. You didn't like disconnect the internet or anything or sabotage it and cut any wires or anything? It’s just straight... you said, “I want to spend some time with my hubby.”
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, Well, December kind of kicked my butt so I needed some the recharge time.
Shane Barker: I hear you. That's awesome. My wife and I, we try to do some stuff like that, but it is the... the total. Actually, let me take that back. I am leaving for Lake Tahoe in seven days, six days, so that's what should be my total disconnect.
That's going to be my, like... if my wife sees me on my phone or trying to pull my laptop up, she's going to slap it on my hand. The funny part about that is my laptop; my wife actually calls it my girlfriend, so we'll go on vacation.
She's like, are you bringing your girlfriend? Is anybody around us? What do you mean? Are you bringing your girlfriend? Like I thought you guys were, I guess swingers or something.
I'm like, no. And so my laptop... and so usually I bring my girlfriend, right? Not all the time. I used to be really bad. I told you before I was 18, 19 hours. It was like really; I mean I was 30 pounds heavier.
I was, you know, just wasn't mentally right. Now I have a better balance when it comes to work life balance. You know that doesn't sound like it when I explain it here because I bring my girlfriend everywhere.
But yeah that's, it's always been, it's, it's this, this next trip is supposed to be three days off, and I shouldn't say that because we were going to email me, I'm emailing back and like you lied. Like you said you were my wife probably.
We'll set up a few people to do that to see if I do it. We got to, this is going to get tricky so I got to maybe I do need to totally disconnect me this,
Andrea Fryrear: Well maybe this won't have come out by then so nobody would know.
Shane Barker: Yeah. Hey that's a good one because it probably won't. Maybe I'll have the team push it out a little bit and so I can still be bad, not disconnect. And then that will...
Andrea Fryrear: Yes, I am going to have to send you another angel on your shoulder.
Shane Barker: Probably send two cause one is that one is kind of like, I mean I think it's kind of committee, but I need to... like I'm the guy, I'm the management that you're like need to like tell his people that, “Hey, this is what you're supposed to do,” and I'm already looking for a way out of not love, right?
You're responding to people. So I'm like, I'm that guy already. Like damn, I just realize I'm that guy that sucks. Oh well it's a lot of reality there, so that's okay. I'm okay with that.
So, okay, so France, so it sounds like that was like, I mean it sounds like it was like an influencer. Like that's where all influencers want to be. Like with fields in wine and in a running around, except you're not documented, which is fine too. Or maybe you did. I don't know, but...
Andrea Fryrear: No I was at, I was poor and a broke grad student at that point.
Shane Barker: Yes, yes, yes... the poor vacations sometimes those are good too, you know… ?
I like I said, I was just in Sri Lanka for a little keynote thing that I did and I'll tell you right now... And so this, all my people from Sherlock in the West are going to love this.
It was the best vacation because of they, it was like a, because I was a keynote there. They're like, “Hey, do you want to come one week early and, and you know, and travel the country.”
And I'm like, “Yes. Hell yes, I do.” So that was me disconnecting because only because the internet was in... But anyway, so I went out there and it was like the craziest trip that I've ever been on. Now it was all paid for VIP.
And I'm only saying this not because I'm used to this, but it was like the hospitality and they want to show you a good time because it was 52 influencers from all over the world that flew out there for this.
And it was the largest hotel chain, Cinnamon Hotels and so it was just, I mean, this experience was like kind of sounds like yours was, I mean yours was awesome as well, but this was just like, I didn't, I mean I barely spent any money on the whole thing and just the people were so nice and food and drink.
There was one day, this is, this is how much fun we had and how, and this is terrible to some say out loud for the podcast is, there was one day that we had, we had lobster all day long. This is terrible. I sound like a diva right now.
And by the end of it, when it was dinnertime and then we had, they serve lobster again and we're like, Oh God, not lobster again. Like, literally, I said, it was like, because it was, I mean it was just, the food was phenomenal and then everybody there, but it was just like, lobster? I don't even know if I can finish this. And I'm like, who are we right now?
Like I get lost-- you're like, we get usually with my family, like twice a year we'll have it, you know, and there's some, Chris... actually, New Year's Eve is when we usually do it.
And so I just was like, so I gained weight and all this kind of stuff. But it was a phenomenal trip. It was just like... that just; I think it was because somebody else just footing the bill and the people were just so nice.
It was just such a good trip. But, and then I went to India, had an awesome time there and blah, blah, blah. So anyways, it was, it was a good trip for sure.
But that you were... sounds like a lot more like a personal trip, like just you and your husband being able to connect. I think those are always good.
My wife and I try to do those like seriously where I'm not bringing my girlfriend at least one to two times a year where it's like, hey, let's just go spend a weekend or go do whatever and go hiking or whatever that is. And just kind of have some fun too, to revamp the relationship, you know.
How long have you been married for if I may ask.
Andrea Fryrear: Let's see. It was 16 years in June.
Shane Barker: Okay. See we're right about 13, right about 13, 14. So by the, you know, close to the same, close to the same. It's always, you know, anyways, my wife's an absolute angel and I, I mean other than the agile angels that you're going to be sending me, she's like a real angel, like puts up with me and deals with me. So if my wife...
Andrea Fryrear: Partners of entrepreneurs have a special place in heaven, I think.
Shane Barker: Pray for them; give them three angels, little agile angels they can take with them. Well cool. Well good.
I just, I think what we'll end on here am there anything that the world doesn't know about you? Like give me kind of a fun fact. Like, one of the fun facts that I gave was that I didn't, and I've done this before it's taken me 10 years to finish college, not because I've liked failed out and was on drugs or in prison or anything. I can't say that... whether that was true or not true.
But anyways, my point of telling you this is there was 10 years and it took me to finish college because I was traveling and doing all this fun stuff and I didn't want to be a full blown adult, you know, I was trying to like evade that whole thing.
So give me like one fun fact. It doesn't have to be anything too crazy, but the crazier than, you know, obviously we'll use that as a clip and send that around the world so everybody can hear it. But, like give me a little fun fact about yourself.
Andrea Fryrear: Fun fact? So last year I got into triathlons here in Boulder, Colorado but I did not do a good job of balancing that with the rest of my life.
And so one, one weekend I got back from London on a Friday night and then Saturday morning I got up to go and do a triathlon. And it was 45 degrees and it was very bad life choices.
And so the water was so cold and I was so jet lagged that I couldn't breathe and they had to pull me out of the water about a third of the way through the swim.
Shane Barker: Oh, man. I'll tell you. So Spartan used to be one of my clients, the Spartan Races. And I'll tell you we did. And we went to the one in Tahoe and I saw those people running up that hill.
And now I'd obviously... you're doing triathlon, which is like, you know, the, the preparation, if anybody understood, if you don't understand what the preparation is for that.
It's like insane. It's like all the people, whom I think from a mental standpoint as in, “Hey, I can do this,” but jet lag, I can't imagine doing it without jet lag.
And with jet lag is like at your odds of making it or like, I don't care if you're an athlete, athlete as the athlete is like 1% or something like it's...
Andrea Fryrear: It was bad. It was not a good idea. Yeah. And it was actually warmer in the water than it was outside of the water. So then you, you swam in, you're all wet and then you'll, you'll get on the bike and so you're like frozen to the bike. It was, it was bad. It was bad. You get another thing.
Shane Barker: What people don't realize, or maybe they do is when... so one of the guys that I was working with on the whole Spartan thing, he was from California and... but it wasn't from the mountainous areas.
So it was more of a valley type thing and you call and you know, obviously… in Boulder, for example, like running, running a mile in Sacramento, nice little flat valley compared to Boulder.
Like not even on the same page like that. Those aren't even like, we can't even, and we can't even put up and design in the same category. So a lot of these people that were going up and doing the… thing, which is obviously up in the mountains, they weren't... they didn't train for that, they weren't acclimated to that.
And it's like; it's a whole different deal. Like I, there was guys going up that mountain, now mind you, I was, you know, doing content, do that stuff. So I was down at the bottom of the valley safe, you know, for what it was.
But you see people that were coming down, I mean, and look like they got attacked by wolves. Which, not really, but it's just like the mental, just everything that strain on your body and, and not really being prepared for that, that elevation change.
I mean, they were literally, these are the Spartan Elite Champions, you know, they're like I said, these are the guys that like fight like wild wolves on the weekend and you know, would love to fight a bear of an opportunity.
Not really, but kind of, and they're going up this hill and I'm looking at a thing, I'm like, I'm tired of watching them. Like I literally had to use my inhaler watching them go up that hill. So I can only imagine.
But so they pulled you out and obviously you were, let me see, you're safe because we're on the podcast today, but so no other triathlons in the future? Or what are we looking at here if you...
Andrea Fryrear: No, I have not signed up for any races this year. I'm trying to do the balance thing and yeah, so it was, it was too much.
Shane Barker: Yes. I hear you. But you know, the thing is and I know this is, but at least you tried to do it. I don't know if it was the jet lag thing.
We could probably talk about our screen and say, hey, you know, but the, the idea that you at least still tried to do it right, because we're always looking to push ourselves.
I think it's awesome. I think it's awesome that you tried it and then you, even though you did get pulled out in, you're still alive and be able to talk about it. That's awesome for your kids and your husband and all that other stuff.
So we do appreciate you staying alive so that we do thank you for that. Yes the easy wins.
So, okay, so let's talk about the... Let's, I mean this is where we're at the end of this thing. This has been an awesome interview. So if anybody wants to get in contact with you, why don't you give us your, the email, the website, how they can get in contact with you, a little description, anything else you want to give at the end of this thing?
Andrea Fryrear: Yeah, sure so AgileSherpas.com is our website. All the courses that I talked about are on there as well as all the content for free out there in the world.
If you need a free place to start, I'm Andrea@AgileSherpas.com. Very easy to find me via email. Andrea Fryrear at Twitter. There are not a lot of people with the Fryrear last name. So, I'm pretty easy to find there too.
Shane Barker: That's awesome. I have one last thing so Fryrear... how many people in the US have that last name? Do you know?
Andrea Fryrear: I don't know exactly but not a lot. No, we're very... a very small group.
Shane Barker: Yes, yes, you guys are going to be taking over the world. I heard.
So this is what's funny. So my wife's original, original last name was Padlock and no, the only Padlocks in the world because when they came over from Ellis Island they changed it from Paddlefish to Padlock for whatever reason… the spelling wasn't good.
And so I'm just telling you that I didn't know if there was a story behind your last name because like I said, there's only, there's literally two Padlocks in the world.
Like we've looked it up but you guys are a little bit, you guys have grown a little bit and you guys are obviously going to take over the world, so that's, yeah, that's good.
Well, that's awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking the time. I know you're real busy with your schedule and everything and, and once again, we've already passed the holidays, but have an awesome 2019. And I'll let you know when the podcast [goes live].
Andrea Fryrear: Sounds good. Great! Thanks so much.
Shane Barker: Awesome, have a good day.
Andrea Fryrear: You too.Shane Barker: Bye. Bye.