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Do Agile Marketing Right With Entrepreneur Andrea Fryrear

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Andrea Fryrear


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Agile Marketing Tips you'll learn today on The Sales Podcast...

  • "Just be agile." Really?
  • Rapid test and learn methodology
  • Agile comes from software development
  • We'd wait two years for a Windows update and we hated it
  • Take baby steps
  • Do minor releases and confirm you're on the right track
  • Digital marketing enables these same principles
  • Smaller businesses can leverage this as an advantage due to speed to market

SELL MORE OF EVERYTHING IN THIS GROUP

When there is a good reason to change, then we change.”
  • 4th Annual State of Agile Marketing Webinar
  • Agility is not just speed or responsiveness
  • How do you balance your planning with your action?
  • When there is a good reason to change, then we change.
  • What's the business case?
  • Have the right horizons for planning.
  • Managing work visually, Kanban
  • Kanban and Scrum are "flavors" of Agile
  • Kanban is a flow
  • Scrum is made up of small "sprints"
  • Structure sets you free
  • Trello forces prioritization
  • To-do, Doing, Done

Links Mentioned In The Sales Podcast

Order Wes's second book to think, market, and close like The Sales Whisperer.

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Wes Schaeffer: [00:00:01] Andrea Fryrear, all the way from Boulder, head of AgileSherpas.com, welcome to The Sales Podcast. How the heck are you?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:00:11] I am doing great. How are you, Wes?

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:00:13] I'm good. So our listeners appreciate you braving the COVID jab to be with us today. So if you feel a little drowsy, just I'll pause this, okay? Take a little nap. We'll just pick right up where we were, okay?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:00:29] Yeah, that sounds good. You can see me so you'll know if I nod off.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:00:34] Yeah. I didn't get the shot, but like we were talking earlier, I had the 'Rona. I had it the worst in the whole family, man. I was sleeping for a week and I was tired. It took me two months to fully recover, like training, jujitsu. I couldn't spar the normal six minutes. I couldn't do it straight for almost two months. So it was no joke. So thanks for braving it.

 

[00:01:02] You are the head of Agile Sherpas. You've got a survey out we're going to dive into. But can you dive into what is Agile, first of all, because it kind of gets thrown around kind of like Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma Black Belt and ISO 4001 certified. People throw it around; don't really know what that means. I mean, Agile is what, in your words?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:01:34] Yeah, you're totally right. It does get thrown around, I think, especially after last year in 2020 when there was all this change and fluctuation and uncertainty, people were like, well just be Agile and then it's somehow going to magically be okay. But it's really about more of a rapid test-and-learn mentality so that we can deliver customer value more frequently. So it comes from -- well, let's say like true pure Agile comes from software development.

 

[00:02:12] So back in the day, we probably all remember when we would wait like two years to get a Windows update and then it would come out and everyone hated it. We all went through those things. So the idea was, well, what if we can show people little pieces of this functionality quickly, get their feedback, and then use their feedback to inform the next round of work? So putting things out every few weeks instead of waiting for multiple quarters or years to go by. And so what really made that possible was the digital nature of software development. So we can make these little pieces of code and give them to people really quickly, and as other functions have started to move toward those more digital ways of working, including digital marketing, it's been possible for us to adopt and internalize those same principles and practices in order to get value to customers faster. So marketers can do it, salespeople can do it; HR people can do it. It's becoming more possible for everyone to make use of Agile ways of working and not just software developers now.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:03:22] Yeah. It's interesting, you know, I have been a HubSpot partner since 2014, Infusionsoft-Keap partner now since 2008, and I remember Infusionsoft was on about this several years ago. They would do like three or four major releases a year. And then it was pretty big news for them when they went away from that; like, hey, we're going to do like just good releases every month, and kind of getting shorter and shorter like you're talking about, and things improved. You know, software improved, didn't have the big glitches, because they'd do some big, major release and then things would break, especially with API, third party integrations and people would be all up in arms, like holy smokes. I mean, I'm not a developer. So I kind of learned that from the outside looking in. But as a user, I appreciated that.

 

[00:04:15] And in HubSpot, same thing. I'm not a Web designer. Like, I've learned it out of necessity, doing my own thing since 2006, so I can move around, navigate around the CMS. But they came out with their growth-driven design and people were like, this is so great. And I'm like, find your pillar pages, write your three or five main pages, redesign those, launch kind of like a baby redesign, see what you think and then go get the rest. Because, I guess, on a major site by the time you totally update it and launch it, it's out of date nowadays, huh?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:04:58] Yep. Yep. And then you got to start over. It's totally true. And consumers are so -- like you said, as a user or as a consumer, we're growing accustomed and we expect these kinds of quick, personalized, relevant things from us. We think about Netflix and Amazon, like giving us exactly what we want, exactly when we want it and this is the expectation, and we can either align to that or become irrelevant in the eyes of the people we're trying to talk to you.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:05:27] Mm-hmm. So, I mean, you've got some big-name clients on your site. How can the little guys do this? Is it viable for them or or is it a must really for them to exist and grow in this crazy world?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:05:47] Yeah, I think it actually becomes quite a competitive advantage for smaller players and for smaller teams, because the reason we end up working with a lot of big organizations, especially in more traditional industries like financial services, for instance, is because they feel the pinch of falling behind. Their super-regulated, super-slow moving apparatuses are no longer appropriate. They can't keep up to what's going on around them. But if you're a small team, if you're a small organization, hopefully you don't have that same level of bureaucracy and red tape and you can actually move really, really quickly. But again, it's about the rigorous and disciplined application of Agile ways of working and not just about moving fast without any plan or without any structure. That's definitely not what Agility entails.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:06:43] It's not ready-fire-aim.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:06:44] No, no. There's still the planning, right? You still got to know which direction you're trying to drive because just driving around you're moving, you're in motion, you're doing things; but you may not ever actually reach your destination if you don't take the time to sit down and figure out where you're trying to go and why you want to get there in the first place.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:07:06] I want to go to the bank more often with big deposits, so that's a planning, right? [chuckles]

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:07:13] That is planning. But we got to figure out like where are the checks coming from and what's the route to the bank. We got to we got to get a little more granular in the planning, too.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:07:24] Okay. I sell to humans. Is that better?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:07:30] [chuckles] We're getting there. We're getting there. I think we might have to figure out which specific humans and why do they want what you're selling and all that good stuff.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:07:37] I love talking to people. "Everyone's a prospect." "I sell water. Everybody drinks water. The human body is like 80 percent water. So everybody's a prospect." Like, oh, yeah. Speaking of water, I got to go wash my cat; I've got to end this call.

 

[00:07:56] So what is this -- you do a a survey, right? Third annual -- I'm on your home page -- your third annual State of Agile Marketing. How did you get into this? Because you said there's what, 600 businesses?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:08:10] Yeah. Yeah, our fourth one just came out this year.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:08:14] If I would look to the left -- all right, fourth annual State of Agile Marketing webinar and then a report. Okay, I got it.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:08:22] Yeah. So we surveyed several hundred marketers and we asked them whether they're using Agile; and then if they are, we ask more questions about how are they doing it, why did they make this shift, what other parts of the organization are also Agile? And really it's come about partially as a way of understanding from a really data-driven place what's really happening in terms of adopting Agile ways of working because we have some anecdotal or qualitative experience with our clients where we can say this seems to be growing or these types of organizations seem most interested; but this is a way where we can have a really statistically relevant place to say it's actually growing. These people are using it in this way.

 

[00:09:09] And so the report sort of a it's a conversation starter and a lot of ways and it's also a good proof point to show that Agile is making its way into marketing and into other parts of the organization, too. We see places like sales, finance, HR starting to to adopt these ways of working, too, which is really exciting for the whole business, the whole organization to become Agile and then everybody's benefiting and not just a few little pockets of teams.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:09:42] So like, what are some pitfalls or what for small business owners listening to this right now, what are they typically doing wrong? And how can they start making some minor changes to get on this path?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:10:01] Yeah, I mean, I think, like what you said before, that it's the sort of ready-fire-aim kind of approach where we feel like agility is just about speed or just about reactivity and responding to what's going on around you. And responsiveness is definitely a piece of the puzzle, but it does need to be paired with some sort of balancing mechanism. Like in the Agile, more Agile manifesto, there's a a call out to say that when there's a good reason to change, then we change. It's not just change for change's sake; there needs to be a business case, customer value, some strong driver there, because otherwise we can think about it back to our driving around analogy. If we're going on a cross-country road trip and we started out trying to get to New York and we drive for a day and a half and then we decide we want to go to Florida instead, we've probably been driving in the wrong direction for a really long time.

 

[00:11:04] So there is a good case to be made for consistency at some level or we introduce a lot of waste into our activities. So we can be Agile in the short term and we're not going to follow a road if it's closed or there's a traffic jam or whatever. We're going to be Agile and react to what's going on around us. But the big goal, the big ultimate destination needs to stay the same or else our activities don't roll up into an ultimate objective. So there's that balance that needs to happen between short term agility and long term stability. And I think especially -- you know, I run a small business myself. Agile Sherpas is nine or 10 people, so we're small shop here, too. And there's this drive sometimes to always be doing the next thing, the next shiny object or solve the next problem, but if we don't stay the course and solve the first problem all the way to its completion, then it never gets truly done and we don't reap the benefits of getting all the way to that destination.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:12:10] So how how far out should they plan, though? You know, going from L.A. to New York is fine, but it's like -- I don't know. If there's a forest fire coming down the mountains into Malibu, maybe I just need to, I don't know, get to Burbank or whatever -- just get to Phoenix -- make it to Vegas, it'll all be okay. Can we bite off more than we can chew?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:12:41] Yeah. Yeah, you definitely can. And there is that need to have the right horizons for planning. Because we don't want to sit down in January and try to plan out every single thing that we're going to do for the next 12 months. I mean, 2020 taught us that that is a bad idea because we don't know what it's going to look like. And so getting really good at the highly specific activities that you want to do for the next three or four weeks is usually a predictable level.

 

[00:13:13] And so if we're thinking about Agile execution now, we're down to like a couple of sprints. So maybe we're planning one sprint of two weeks where we put our heads down and focus on high value activities and another sprint of two weeks after that. We can plan that pretty confidently. Usually we've got a really strong idea of what that's going to look like. And then we have a vague idea beyond that. So we might be at the quarterly horizon here. We can directionally know what that's going to look like.

 

[00:13:44] But after those couple of sprints, maybe there was a forest fire or maybe there was a traffic jam and we have to adjust and adapt. And so then our next sprint planning will do that. It'll take what happened in those first couple of sprints and incorporate it into our plan. So we have the big destination, we have the goal that we want to achieve; but we're also taking into account what's happened to us in the meantime and we can then blend those into constant adjustments to get where we want to go.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:14:16] Yeah. I tell people all the time, like, start planning, especially around -- plan around the holidays; plan around your slow times. I can't believe how often -- like, I had a guy on years ago, Brian Madden, the Mulch Brothers. They're up in Ohio. And they had -- you know, mulch is a spring and summer thing. They're like, well, hell, we get slow in the winter, right? So, I mean, they came up with firewood. And they came up with other things around snow to try to smooth out the peaks and valleys. I can't believe how many people just take it. You know, we were really busy at Christmas and then we're lall or, you know, everything dies off at the holidays because everybody, you know, they go back home, whatever the industry is. Can you -- is it hard to to smooth out these peaks and valleys, you know, talking to the Sherpas, or can everything just be a golden pasture, golden meadow with flowing streams and and everybody's just happy and productive? Do I have to have these these super-low lows and really-high highs?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:15:34] No. I don't think we have to. I do think, you know, it's going back to some of the other things we've touched on, of knowing who you're trying to talk to and what problems they have and how can you expand what's adjacent to what you're already doing. So maybe it's mulch to firewood or maybe it's homeowners to aspirational homeowners. Like, how can you expand to serve differently, either a different segment, a different product or service? There are ways to identify that.

 

[00:15:34] Agile is beautifully positioned to help you test that. So rather than pouring tens of thousands of dollars into new campaigns and new printed collateral and a brand new website and paid media and all this stuff, to say we don't do mulch now, we do fire- -- and we do firewood also. "We do this, and" -- you would historically throw a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of time and a whole bunch of resources into this new shiny product. Well, what if nobody wants that? What if you thought they did and they don't?

 

[00:16:37] You can use Agile to test. So buy some ads in an area that you're interested in. Test it out for a couple of weeks and see what happens. If you get no conversions, you get no interest, you get no clicks, you got nothing, well, then maybe this was not the right expansion point. So maybe you still have the same goal of smoothing out your annual service offerings, but maybe this wasn't the right place for you to go. But now you know because you were able to test and learn instead of throwing a whole bunch of time and money and resources at it and it turning out to be not the right way to smooth things out.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:17:17] When is it a personality thing? Because maybe business is just good enough in those six months of the year, you can either coast or just enjoy the peace and quiet to plan all of your campaigns for the next season? I mean, is it just personality-driven? Like, how much does one really want to grow? Or is it too risky? I mean, maybe because if you wait six months, you know, tastes can change. Things can change. I mean, before -- COVID, right? Heaven forbid. "You know, oh, here comes the busy season for cruises and okay, no cruises for a little while." Obviously that's a major example. But recessions come and go. Fads come and go. Is it just listen to your little voice? You know if you're uncomfortable, like I need to address -- I need to scratch this itch because it's telling me something might not quite be right?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:18:21] Yeah, I do think it's a personality thing, you know, in terms of do you want to grow? Is there a drive for that or are we happy with where we're at? And in any case, whether you are striving to focus on the work when it's there and then kind of chill when it's not there or whether you're trying to drive, always forward, always higher, always better, you can use Agile ways of working. In either case, you can minimize the risk and recognize that we plan at the moment of maximum uncertainty. We plan. We know the least about what's going to happen. So we should plan in such a way that will allow us to pivot and adapt based on what actually happens.

 

[00:19:07] So when you want to grow, when you want to expand, you can plan in a way -- use these Agile systems to do that, or even if you just want to make it through your crazy busy season and then coast. Agile does also talk about moving at a sustainable pace, so it should be able to create focus on the highest value, most impactful activities and allow you to get those done first before you move on to some of the other things that are going to give you less value. So even when you're super-busy and crazy, you can prioritize, you can focus your energies and then get that important stuff done before you move on.

 

[00:19:47] So, I mean, we we're not dissimilar to that or historically haven't been at Agile Sherpas. People go on vacation in the summer. They're not as interested in doing a bunch of trainings and things. And so we have have worked to kind of smooth out some of that seasonality over time by experimenting with different selling methods, different campaigns and so forth and so on, through small little test-and-learn components over the years.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:20:17] You talk about these Agile systems, Agile ways. Is it like the Miller Heiman blue sheet pink sheet like specifics, or is it just is it more generic or broader, like just chunking things down and and having goals and measuring to those goals before you take the next step?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:20:41] It's highly specific. There's multiple -- there's multiple frameworks out there. Scrum tends to be the most well-known and the one that people tend to encounter the most. But for smaller teams, and especially if you're just looking for kind of being a team of one and managing your own personal workload, I like Kanban as as a more lightweight and easy to implement system.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:21:10] Kanban?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:21:11] Mm-hmm. K-a-n-b-a-n. It comes from the Japanese word for signal card. It's basically focus on managing work visually. So getting everything out in the open and in the manufacturing world, not making a component until you need that component. So signaling to the people on the assembly line that make cars or excuse me, make tires that we need tires by putting a signal card up and saying, hey, we're running low on tires then and only then do they start making tires instead of constantly making them all the time, even if there's not a car ready to receive them. So it's the same kind of thing where we do things like build a backlog, which is our prioritized to-do list -- everything we could possibly be working on as an individual or as a team; and then work on only a couple of things from that list.

 

[00:22:01] So just take the top couple of priorities, work on them, spend all your time and energy on just a couple of things till they're done and then bring those other things in. So it's smoothing out your own personal workload, much in the same way we were talking about trying to smooth out kind of demand over the course of a year instead of starting. It's Monday and I have my giant to-do list and I try to start on 15 things and then somehow by Friday, none of those things are done. The paradox is that if I only worked on one of those things on Monday afternoon, it would already be done. And then I work on another two things on Tuesday and they're done right. And I bring things on Wednesday, so forth and so on. So by the end of the week, I'm actually done with eight or nine high value things instead of zero because I tried to do everything at the same time.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:22:53] Outback Steakhouse needed that this Mother's Day. They ran out of potatoes. [chuckles] You're a steak and seafood place, right? Potatoes? [chuckles] But I digress. So I looked this up, Kanban. It's interesting. It's like everybody has these pipelines now, the dashboards, and you drag your deals through the stages.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:23:21] Yep. That's a Kanban Board.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:23:22] Right here is an example of a Kanban board. So as I typed in Kanban, one of the things that popped up was Kanban versus Scrum. So what the heck is Scrum and how is that different from Agile?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:23:34] Yeah. So Kanban and Scrum are both flavors of Agile. They're different styles of implementation. So Kanban is like continuous flow. We've always got our board, whether it's full of deals or tasks or whatever, and it's always flowing and things are always coming in and moving out of it and it's just constant. With Scrum, the focus is on small time boxes called sprints. So we sit down at the start of a two-week period -- two weeks is like the average; sometimes it's three or four but two is the average -- and say, okay, what are we going to accomplish over the next two weeks? And it's a mini planning session and we bring in a certain amount of tasks from our to-do list, and we leave everything else out and we say only these things. These items are the most important for us to do over the next two weeks and we're going to ignore everything else and only focus on these things. And then we do that right, the sprint begins, we focus on the work; and then at the end of those two weeks, we sit down and go, how do we do? Did we get them all done? Was there a big problem that came in and blew up our plan? And we look back -- we call it a retrospective -- and decide what worked and what didn't, make adjustments, and then we start again on our next two weeks. So it's more like little tiny -- they call them sprints. You sprint to the finish line for that two weeks and then they run in a continuous cycle. But Kanban is more like right now. What's important right now, today, this very moment, do that thing until it's done and then the next thing. So it's more of a just-in-time kind of system, whereas Scrum is looking in the two-week time horizon.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:25:18] So my wife is Kanban and I am barely Scrum. She always, "Guys, ya'll just focus on one thing and then everything else falls away. I can't do that." You're right. Like, we would all be dead if my wife wasn't in the flow and sprinting and I don't even look back. At least she looks back. So she's both. And I'm like a partial of Scrum; would that be accurate?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:25:41] That could be. That could be.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:25:44] [chuckles] She just flows with it. Interesting. Hmm, because I know -- I mean, businesses, they struggle with so many things. But people are surprised. I have this long-term nurture sequence that just runs eternally. And so at a minimum, people hear from me once a month with a non-sales-y email message. So at a minimum, at least, they're hearing from me and people are surprised that it's evergreen. It doesn't change. I might -- look, they're not going to remember the Mother's Day message I sent them a year from now. You know, like, how dramatic do the changes need to be? How long can we stick with a campaign? You know, granted, stylistically things might change a little bit here and there. But, you know, if it's working, can we stick with that offer for even years, depending on the business?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:26:53] I think depending on the business and what you're selling and so forth and so on. I think, two, one of the great things about like a sprint, for instance, is you can say every sprint, we're including at least one experiment. And so maybe it's your evergreen nurture is up for experimentation now. So we're going to try some things. It's working great, but maybe it could work better. So let's run some A-B tests on the subject line or let's test the call to action at the end of it. So you can use these focused periods of effort to optimize what's already working, in addition to maybe testing new things or implementing new campaigns or what have you.

 

[00:27:39] So they're nice -- they're a nice system of discipline to force us to kind of come back around to those things. I know teams that will require or set aside a certain amount of their capacity for these kinds of conversion optimization experiments, because if we improve our nurture campaign results by something small, right, like five or 10 percent, this might trickle down to a really big impact on the bottom line if we can convert better. So having a few of these experiments running can compound and really cool ways. And Agile can be a good tool for forcing us to do that, because it's easy to put things on autopilot and kind of forget about them, and if we don't have to keep coming back.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:28:27] How does an entrepreneur, a business owner balance this? Because on the one hand, you always tell them whatever you measure, you can improve. But a lot of times, entrepreneurs, they either just ignore the numbers or they get too in the weeds and then they become frozen. You know, the true entrepreneur is a dreamer. They're the creative type. They're the visionary. You know, they're leading the charge, but they are not the technicians. They're not the operators. How how do they balance that? Do they need to bring someone in from the outside to be looking at these numbers so they can keep dreaming? You know, how how much do you do you pull them back down to earth to get their input, to get the "look at this," versus hey, look, just go. We'll follow. We'll clean up behind you; just keep dreaming big and let's go to Mars and we'll figure out the rocket ship.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:29:34] Yeah, I think it depends on the size of the business and the personality of your entrepreneur. I'm a co-founder of Agile Sherpas, and I've found that I do need to be a bit of both, a bit of the I want to go to Mars, and I also have to be looking at the numbers of how are we getting there and how are we getting there. I mean, again, so in terms of, like entrepreneurs using this, there's a great book called "Personal Kanban", which is all about using this stuff for yourself. And I've used it religiously for years and years now. So I used Trello. That's my project management tool of choice.

 

[00:30:16] And I have a recurring card that shows up in my weekly backlog automatically every week that tells me that I have to sit down on Thursday afternoon for an hour and look at our numbers. It just shows up and it's non-negotiable. This time's locked on my calendar, a to-do item automatically appears on my calendar and must be done. So it keeps me from getting too far ahead and for thinking too far in the future and keeps me a little bit grounded. But there's also time set aside for visioning and strategic thinking and stuff so you can balance.

 

[00:30:53] But I do think there's a lot to be said for structure set you free. By putting these kinds of structured activities, holding yourself accountable to visualize your own work and holding your teams accountable to visualize their work, you actually set up the the scenarios. You create the right environment for some of this more free thinking and forward-looking activity. But if you're always putting up the most recent fire, then you don't have any of that capability.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:31:28] Well, you have a personal Kanba, I have a personal Cinnabon; is that okay?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:31:35] [chuckles] Both I think we need both. I think we definitely need both things. Yeah.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:31:38] All right. Hoo. Like I'm not that technical. I like that; those structures set you free. This guy Jocko Willink, talks about discipline equals freedom.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:31:51] Totally.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:31:52] And it's true. People -- oh, it's too restrictive. I feel -- yeah, but you're not facing the boogeyman. I mean, you got the gremlins, you got to stare them down in and identify them, scope them out, and you know how to handle them, how to tackle them.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:32:12] Yeah.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:32:14] You've got a course, right? "Introduction to Agile Marketing."

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:32:19] Yeah. So we have a course that if you're interested in some of the stuff that I've touched on super-briefly here, it's prerecorded. It's a little under an hour. So you can go in and dive deeper into this whole Kanban versus Scrum thing or what's a Kanban board and how do I set one up? It's all in that course, which is normally a paid class, but I'll shoot you a code that we can put in the notes so you can get in for free and get started using some of the things that we've talked about today.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:32:49] Okay, cool. Yeah, I'll mention that in the post-production and I'm linking to it already in the show notes. I'll include that the promo code. And I mean, not only is it doable, but I mean, regardless of your personality type, they need to focus on this, make it -- like I said, whatever you measure, you can improve. You know, it's the old accountants, they're swamped in business and it's like, dude, why don't you go buy a calculator -- you know, doing everything longhand. It's like, can't you see, I'm too busy. I don't have time to get up from my desk and even sharpen my pencil, let alone buy a calculator. It's like, dude, make the time.

 

[00:33:37] You talk about this Trello board. How long did it take you to make that a standard part of your week of your your business process? Because I know I've put goals, I put things on my calendar, delete it, move it; I'll do it next week. How long did it take to be regular and committed and consistent to that type of planning?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:34:03] You know, it worked so well for me that I was kind of hooked and I could see the the impact that it had really quickly. I think if you can set aside an hour to 90 minutes for your first setup, because the hardest thing is getting everything out of your brain or out of all the, like, sticky notes or notebooks or whatever it all lives and into your backlog, your prioritized to-do list. That's the biggest lift out the gate. And then once you have it all there and you start, "Oh, crap, I forgot that I've got to do that thing" -- any time you have that idea or that thought, instead of writing it down on a random piece of paper somewhere, you put it -- like I have the Trello app. I put it in my phone and it becomes a card. So then on Monday mornings, first thing I do is sit down and say, here's my list that always is running, that always has everything and it's always prioritized.

 

[00:34:57] So I only look at the top of it because that's where the important stuff is. And I look at my week and I say, oh, this is a crazy week where I actually have meetings all day, every day. So I have maybe an hour every day when I can actually do work. So I'm going to be realistic and only pull like four cards in this week because I don't have much time. Or maybe this week is light and I have lots of beautiful, empty space on my calendar. Let's be ambitious. Let's get 10 cards into that week. And then I work that list systematically every day and try to move it across to my little "done, hurray, I finished it" column, but it's just that visual -- and once you get it done right, I spend maybe 15 minutes at the start of every week looking at my calendar, looking at my list and pulling the work for the week. Once you have it going, it's really much -- it's a pretty light lift every week and every day to look at that.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:35:56] How did you settle on Trello versus Evernote or Apple Notes or whatever?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:36:02] So the great thing about Trello is it forces prioritization because when you're -- it makes a little card with everything and you can't have them sitting side by side in a column. You cannot have two number one priorities. It's not possible in the way the system works. So it forces you to make tradeoffs with everything. And it's a Kanban tool. I have my to-do, doing, done. It's very visually obvious what needs to be done, what is being done, and what has been completed. And it has an app on my phone. It's really lightweight and easy to use. There's a free version of it. So it's just really a nice entry point. Like for my team at Agile Sherpas, we use Monday.com, which is a more official project management style tool. We have interlinking boards and there's work capacity management and all kinds of more complicated functionality. But I've been on Chulo for ages and I can't let my personal Trello board go.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:37:05] Nice. All right, I'll check that out. I always tell people you do not have multiple priorities. It's impossible.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:37:13] It shouldn't be a plural. Like, it's priority -- singular.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:37:17] It's singular. What is prior? [chuckles] You're like -- oh my gosh, very nice. I will, I will check that out. I've used Trello for one of my businesses to assign tasks and whatnot to the team, but I haven't used it individually so I will check that out.

 

[00:37:40] Well very cool, Ms. Andrea, with the COVID jab. You notice a little tinge here and there but you braved it out and I only noticed it because you told me earlier. So I was maybe looking for it, but making sure you weren't falling asleep. But I mean, this was like nothing. You're like the champ.

 

[00:38:01] Where do we send people? Should we send them just to get the course? You want them to go visit your website?

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:38:08] Yeah. The course is a great place. If you're interested in more in-depth on the marketing piece, AgileSherpas.com is going to have tons of free resources -- what is Agile marketing? How do you get started? We have tons of free stuff out there. Certification classes, all sorts if you want to dig deeper into the marketing piece of all of this.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:38:30] All right, very cool. I'm linking to that and I will mention the promo code in the post production and link to it in the show notes.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:38:42] Awesome.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:38:42] Well, thanks for coming on the show. It's been great.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:38:44] Thank you, Wes.

 

Wes Schaeffer: [00:38:45] All right. Have a great day.

 

Andrea Fryrear: [00:38:47] You too. Bye-bye.