Episode 50 // Meet Edgar with Laura Roeder

December 15, 2015

Laura Roeder, founder of Edgar—a new social media automation tool designed to prevent updates from going to waste—is joining us today on the Being Boss podcast to talk about harnessing the power of social media marketing for creative entrepreneurs and giving your content the attention it deserves.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"You created this amazing library of content. Don't just send it out once."
- Laura Roeder

Discussed in this Episode

  • Making the leap and coming to terms with the worst case scenario
  • How motherhood changes business / daily life
  • Personal brand vs. business brand and making that transition
  • Bootstrapping your business / self-funded business and angel investing
  • Founding B-School with Marie Forleo
  • Coming up with Edgar and how Edgar works to recycle content
  • Scheduling posts and post library automation
  • Is LinkedIn important too?

Resources

More from Laura Roeder

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.

Transcript

Kathleen Shannon 0:04
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do and see it through

Emily Thompson 0:10
being bosses hard. Lending work in life is messy. Making a dream job of your own isn't easy,

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
but getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable if you do the work. being bossed is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. Brought to you by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon.

Emily Thompson 0:32
Hi, I'm Emily and I own indie shop agafay where I help passionate entrepreneurs establish and grow their business online. By helping them build brands that attract and websites that sell. I help my clients launch their business so they can do more of what they love, and make money doing it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:50
And I'm Kathleen, I'm the CO owner of brave creative where I specialize in branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs who want to blend who they are with what they do narrow in on their core genius and shape their content so they can position themselves as experts to attract more dream clients.

Emily Thompson 1:09
And being boss as a podcast where we're talking shop, giving you a peek behind the scenes of what it takes to build a business, interviewing other working creatives and figuring it out as we go right there with you.

Kathleen Shannon 1:21
Check out our archives at loving boss calm.

Emily Thompson 1:25
Welcome to episode number 50. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting. Today we're super excited to talk to Laura rotor, founder of lkr social media and Edgar.

Kathleen Shannon 1:40
Alright, one of the things that we're talking about later in this episode with Laura is taking some of the emotion out of sharing your content and feeling like you're sharing your content too much on social media, but I want to talk about taking the emotion out of asking for money. As a creative entrepreneur, it can be really hard to sometimes ask to get paid and to get paid well doing what you love. So what I love about freshbooks as soon as I started using it in my business is that it seemed to take the emotion out of asking for money because no it's no longer me like knocking on my clients door saying, hey, I need some money so I can pay my bills. Or what is this payment that you're paying me taking away from your life like I can just get so emotional instead it was like I gave you the service. Here's how much it was worth. And here's an invoice and it's coming directly from freshbooks So I love that aspect about freshbooks it's almost like having an assistant in a way do the work for me. freshbooks is easy to use online cloud accounting system designed specifically for creative entrepreneurs who do not get off on sending invoices and tracking their expenses. We get it freshbooks is there to help you run your business and make you look like a pro while doing it. Try fresh books for free today I use it myself I love it. Go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and select being boss in the How did you hear about us section? All right onto our show. Hey, bosses, we are so excited to have Laura rotor from the Edgar here today. She founded Edgar, a new social media automation tool, which is designed to prevent updates from going to waste. So we're going to be talking a little bit about social media. And since 2009, Laura has been teaching entrepreneurs how to harness the power of social media marketing, and create their own Fame at lkr. Social media. So we're really excited to talk to Laura today. A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about social media platforms that Emily and I are using, kind of like yea or nay different platforms and going over what we like, but we thought that we would bring on an expert to really talk about this sort of thing. But Laura, let's hear from you. First, a little bit about your background and your entrepreneurial journey and how you started. Edgar.

Laura Roeder 4:07
Yeah. So this has been a long, long road for me, I've been working for myself and in various companies for about nine years. I first started working for myself when I was 22. I was a junior graphic designer at an ad agency in Chicago. And I basically was very impatient, like a lot of entrepreneurs and I'm like, I want to be with the clients. I want to be doing a bigger strategy. But I don't want to wait for that art director level. So I figured, well, if I quit my job and I work for myself, I'll certainly have a lot to do and be involved in all parts of the business. So so that's what I did. So I quit my job with no clients. I didn't do the wise thing that most people do. I'm sort of freelancing on the side and then you know, you kind of get it built up and then you quit. I just quit and then I was like a butter, butter find some money. Um, so yeah, so I had to to sort of figure it all out from scratch, and I moved from doing web design, to social media consulting, to social media training courses to social media marketing software now.

Kathleen Shannon 5:09
So tell me a little bit more about that progression because I find that and I have an art director background as well. And it's funny because whenever you start working for yourself, it's kind of easy to follow a different path. That's not just design, or at least for me, it was it sounds like for you, it was as well, as my path that I ended up following a little bit more was content marketing and personal branding and kind of blending who you are with what you do. So I'm curious how once you started working for yourself, how social media started rising to the top?

Laura Roeder 5:40
Yeah, so I, I started my web design business, I guess it would be in 2007. And in 2008, that's when Twitter started to become well known. People start thinking maybe you could use Facebook for business, I don't think Facebook pages, maybe it was called fan pages, I guess, probably launched in like 2008 2009. So it was becoming this really hot topic. And it was something that I always helped my clients with, just because I was making them a website, I just kind of thought that's what web designers were supposed to do kind of help you get traffic to your site and figure out the strategy and how to collect email addresses. Like, in retrospect, I was actually doing a lot of online marketing stuff, but I just figured you, I just didn't know any better. I just figured,

Unknown Speaker 6:25
well, I'm making them a website,

Laura Roeder 6:26
I better make sure it's useful for them. And as social media started to become this really hot topic, people kept telling me, you know, you could get paid just to talk to people about social media. And I was

Unknown Speaker 6:39
like, What?

Kathleen Shannon 6:42
Like, some easy cash right there.

Laura Roeder 6:45
Sign me up. That sounds a lot easier than building a website for someone like that. That was just what I did for free all the advice bits, you know, I never thought that you could charge for that. Because I thought, well, a website, I'm making them something this is just talking, you know, but once people kept telling me now people will pay for that. But I was like, Alright, sweet time me up. So I did another kind of big bold move. And I actually fired all my design clients, because I knew that it would be a crutch for me, I was I was tired of that model. And I wanted to move to something new. And I had one client in particular that paid me more per year than my old salary. I mean, my old salary was like 32,000, or something, it wasn't much they were, they were paying me more than that alone. And I knew that they would offer me more money, say, Oh, we only need a few hours. So I just, I just knew that I couldn't take that leap of faith to move into a whole new model. If I still just kept taking web design projects, so I told them and all my other clients, you can only hire me for social media consulting now. And I think that was a great way to force myself to really go all in on on the new business.

Emily Thompson 7:51
I love that I want to hear a little more about that leap of faith mentality, because that's something I know a lot of our bosses are side hustlers or you know, are thinking about becoming side hustlers, or want to leave their job. And so often Kathleen and I get asked about like, Well, how do I make the jump, and for me, or just like just do it or don't and we're not going to tell anyone to just leave their job or anything like that. But I want to hear more about your leap of faith mindset and how it is you sort of talk yourself into dressing your gut and doing that thing?

Laura Roeder 8:23
Well, I think, you know, a lot of it for me is just kind of thinking through the worst case scenario. So when I when I quit my job, the worst case scenario was that I wouldn't be able to find any clients, my business would fail. And I'd have to get another job. You know, that's like, that's literally the worst. Like, maybe I would have to work at a grocery store for a while while looks for a better job. You know, that's like, that's the worst that can happen. So it was basically the same of what I was doing already. And it's the same with taking that leap into a new business model. It's like, Okay, well, if I fire all my clients, and the social media thing doesn't work out. The worst thing that can happen is I go back to my clients, and I'm like, nevermind, guys.

Kathleen Shannon 9:06
No, and they'd be like, Yeah, great. We were thinking about what happened, you know, it's

Laura Roeder 9:10
not like you've like, you know, cut off every human in your life forever. And I think we sometimes make things more dramatic in in our heads or think, Oh, it's all over for me if I do this, or I'll never be able to find another job or, you know, I'll be the I'll ruin my career. You know, I'm a, I'm a new mom. So it's something you hear a lot with, with moms being really worried about this gap and employment and it is it is an issue, but it's not like no one ever like it's also common, you know, people have various gaps in their resumes for various reasons. It doesn't mean that no one's ever going to look at you again. But I think we tend to create these these bigger stories in our head out of fear and there's not realistic.

Kathleen Shannon 9:53
I think there's also this issue of thinking that every decision that you make is permanent. Yeah, and I started really encountering this whenever I became a new mom, so how old is your baby at nine months? Oh, Congrats.

Unknown Speaker 10:06
Thank you.

Kathleen Shannon 10:07
I feel like that's starting to where it gets really fun. Or at least for me, yeah, nine months was a turning point for sure. You guys,

Emily Thompson 10:13
wait.

Mine's seven, you got some good things to look forward to.

Kathleen Shannon 10:20
My baby is almost two in January. And I recently saw Jessica hische talk at designer vaycay. I don't know if you're familiar with her. But she's an amazing letter and designer and I just have such a design crush on her. She's really cool. And she was talking. She's a new mom as well. And she was talking about how she recently moved from New York to San Francisco. But actually, it's been a couple of years. And she has friends in New York saying, hey, do you want to grab lunch? And she was like, I'm in San Francisco. So her point was, if no one even noticed that you move for two years, I no one's gonna notice this gap in what you're doing. Um, but here's my question. Here's an especially kind of mom related for you. Um, and for myself? Yeah, no one else would notice. But it didn't becoming a mom didn't kill my drive. You know? So I'm curious how you're kind of juggling that I even know that we're going to be talking about mom and entrepreneurship. But like, what is the day in the life look like for you now? Or even like kind of your landscape of your work? home life? Yeah, yeah. So

Laura Roeder 11:25
my husband and I work together. He's the CTO of our company, Edgar. So he runs our development team. So we've definitely tried a few different configurations. You know, like he said, nothing's permanent. It's definitely always a learning process, which, which is so important for the baby to because, well, especially when they're new, and you have no idea what it's gonna be like. I mean, I think that's why those first three months are such a nightmare, because you're like, Is this my life forever? That sounds a horrible idea. So what we're doing now, which is working pretty well is we have a nanny who comes over from 8am to noon. And then Chris and I both work in the morning. And then we're both off the rest of the day. So we're both working just part time. We were kind of juggling, like one of us watched him while the other one worked. But we found it was kind of isolating to do that. And it felt like then we were split apart all the time, too. And something else we're trying now is we also have designated days where one of us is the primary parent. So like Tuesday, Thursday, he's the primary parent Monday, Wednesday, I am so that an app because we were finding, we felt like we had to ask permission or the other one all the time, like, I'm going to go run this errand. Is that okay? Can you watch him? And it just felt kind of annoying having to ask. So that's kind of the process that we're going through continuing to, like, set those boundaries and like, okay, who's in charge this day and that day, but you know, it's it's so cool that I get to work part time. And it definitely forces you to be more focused. I mean, I've seen this in employees, that that I've hired that are parents that some we have some part time parents working for the company, and they, they get their stuff done, because they're like, Alright, I've got two hours to do it. And I'm definitely finding that it's making me a lot more focus, knowing that I have these four hours every day to get everything done.

Kathleen Shannon 13:15
Cool. So I want to rewind a little bit to taking the leap of faith to fire all your clients, basically. And I think that there's this myth that whenever you work for yourself that you're totally your own boss all the time. But sometimes what ends up happening, especially for those like high dollar retainer clients, is you begin feeling like they're your boss, instead of being your own boss. So um, I would like to talk about that a little bit more, and then how you transition from firing all them to now growing your team to build what is now Edgar. Yeah, I

Laura Roeder 13:51
mean, that was definitely a problem. For me. A big motivation for me in starting a business was having the freedom over my time. And, yeah, when you're in any sort of client business, you do have a boss to a small degree or a large degree. I mean, obviously, all businesses have customers. But in a business like Edgar, we have 1000s of customers, it's not like any one customer can tell me what to do all day, you know. So that was a very conscious evolution. So when I first did social media consulting, that was really just the same model, you know, it was still a services model. It was just, I guess, a service that I wanted to provide a little more. But that very, very quickly turned into the online training info product model, because it does get away from that client model. But I was still doing a very heavily personally branded business. So it was very much about you know, learn from me hear the update from me in the newsletter every week, which is more scalable than just providing the services myself, but is a business that it is difficult to, you know, say take three months for maternity You're just not in the business at all, and continue to see it grow without you. So, in my business now, Edgar, I absolutely love the model, you know, I operate as the CEO, and I, I'm a promotional person as well, to a degree doing podcasts like this, but it's not like all about me all about my face, I don't have to be there all the time. And, you know, it's software and Ruby on Rails, I don't know Ruby on Rails, so I can't, like, I can't even try to be the one who's fixing it, if it breaks, you know, we have to have a team of people to do that. So it's been very conscious for me, exploring these different business models to find one that's a really great fit for me.

Emily Thompson 15:39
I love that. This is one of those things that I am constantly coaching my clients on and coaching myself on and coaching Kathleen, on as we figure out, like what we're doing with being boss, and then the fact that we have these personal brands. And then we also have these businesses, because we talk a lot about the pros and cons of of personal branding. And you know, what are the good things and the good things are that you get to make a business out of yourself doing what you love, and you get to promote yourself in the way that feels true is to you and all that jazz. But the con is, you only go so far, Unless Unless you want to be Martha Stewart or Oprah Winfrey, in which case you high five,

Kathleen Shannon 16:21
I don't think but even then I think that their brand, their personal brand becomes something separate from a lot of weight.

Emily Thompson 16:28
I agree. I think that there are tons of personal brands that grow to a place where they're no longer personal brands, there are brands that are branded after a person and there is a breaking point that I think it's great for people to go in that direction. But I don't know, I love that you just want to bring that up, though, because that is it is something that we all sort of struggle with. And I get tons of people ask me all the time, how should I brand my company? Should I be like a business? Or should I be a personal brand? And that's a good? You've been a little further I think than most people who listen this like you've done, you've worked for yourself, or you've had clients you've built like a personal brand built on, on strategy and coaching. And then you got rid of that to

Laura Roeder 17:11
just cool, right? And yeah, I definitely I definitely see the the pros and cons there. And I still am glad that I built that personal brand, because it's definitely still something that I leverage. You know, I have this Twitter account under my name that has a big following. A lot of our Edgar customers obviously came from the business before and have some sort of know, like, and trust with me, you know, I can get public speaking gigs based on this kind of personal brand cachet that I've already built. So I definitely wouldn't. It is nuanced, you know, I wouldn't say Oh, don't build a personal brand, because you'll get stuck in it. I mean, I do think that it can be great to kind of build both directions. And your personal brand is something that really can't be taken away from you. You know, no matter what projects you do, then you have your name to lend to that project, which which is a really powerful thing.

Unknown Speaker 18:03
Hey, bosses,

Emily Thompson 18:04
did you have a case of FOMO that stands for the fear of missing out when

Kathleen Shannon 18:08
you saw all the being boss magic go down for our being boss vacation in New Orleans,

Emily Thompson 18:13
if you're not friends, because we are planning another boss vacation this spring in

Kathleen Shannon 18:19
Miami. So it was really hard to figure out what location to go to. But we've never been to Miami. And the reason why we do these boss vacations is to cultivate our creative pack, see different parts of the world, get some FaceTime with each other, connect with each other and live the boss life. So to learn more details about this boss vacation, just go to love being boss, calm slash Miami.

Emily Thompson 18:45
We hope to see you there.

Kathleen Shannon 18:53
This brings me to a question about social media and personal branding. So I built my entire career essentially off of blogging and building a personal brand first, because I loved interacting on social media, but it was all fun. And it was all on the side. So I had my ad agency job. And then all of this stuff just was kind of just for fun. But I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs now are approaching it from the other way where they want to start an online business model. And then they have to back into social media and it can be really overwhelming. And so I kind of want to talk about both sides of that, like how something like Edgar helps us. Grow that but then also how for me, what I struggle with is the more I start to systemize my social media, the more out of touch I actually feel with my roots of kind of building those relationships online.

Laura Roeder 19:47
Yes, yes. This is I think this is a really interesting topic that that we talk about a lot with Edgar because Edgar is all about automating all about recycling content. So for the type of people That one every single status update to be, you know, live and fresh and you know from you and what you're doing right now, we are not a fit for that that's not what we do at all, we you build a library, and then it gets cycled through. So it's an interesting, I see the struggle with a lot of people where they've started on social media as something that they use for fun, you know, to chat with friends to connect with people, but then they want to move towards using social media as a true marketing channel for their business. And those are two different things. And it's definitely there is some gray area because there can be an overlap. And obviously, even when you're using it as a marketing channel, you still want to build relationships, you know, it's

Kathleen Shannon 20:40
social media. It's

Laura Roeder 20:41
not just a broadcast channel. But I think the reason why a lot of people are uncomfortable with repeating content, for example, is it's like, oh, but then people will know, it's not just me, they're live all the time. But if you're viewing it as marketing, like no one's expecting, like, do they think, I don't know, do they care? They're like creating the Facebook ad live, like

Unknown Speaker 21:00
showing it to them right now. I

Laura Roeder 21:01
mean, that's just not what marketing is, right? It's okay for it to be pre planned and automated. That's what people expect. But social media is weird. Because Facebook, I used to, like, share pictures of my baby on my personal profile. And it's a huge marketing platform for my software business, but I'm logging in to the same site. And I think that can be a very weird experience for people because yeah, if I did automated marketing, on my personal profile, like, here's like, the baby picture of the day, and I'm like, psycho, like that would be really weird. You know. So I think it is sort of a mindset shift that you have to make, if you do want to really say, Okay, now I'm using social in a way that's a little bit different. And it can be a bit of a rocky transition, especially if you're taking an account that used to be a more personal account. And now it's grown to be more of a marketing account for your business.

Kathleen Shannon 21:54
Yeah, it's almost like an emotional and mental shift, even more so than like technical shift in a lot of ways because software like yours has made it really easy to make it more of a technical shift. It's kind of that like, letting go of control, which is actually a lot like hiring a team member. And what I love about software like yours is that it almost becomes another employee. Right? A lot of ways, right? Um, so one thing, this is kind of random, but I was curious if you're friends with the guys from Basecamp at all, no,

Laura Roeder 22:25
I wish I wish I was. We I read that that rant that he published the other day.

Kathleen Shannon 22:31
Oh, I haven't read that yet. But we recently interviewed David Heinemeier Hansson, and he was like, I now have the biggest crush on

Emily Thompson 22:40
it. Okay, so does my entire team.

Kathleen Shannon 22:45
But I guess what I was getting at with that is that there is software like Basecamp, and Edgar and even freshbooks, and acuity scheduling, and all these different things that we have available to us now that are tools to help us. Keep going. But I'm also curious about like, as you were building your team, what it was like to build a remote team and also bootstrapping. That's why he's bringing up Basecamp because they bootstrap their business. And I'm under the impression correct me if I'm wrong, but you guys boots. Yes. Edgar, like, how does that work?

Laura Roeder 23:16
Yeah. So I mean, I think for us, it's a little more accurate to say self funded than bootstrapped because we built Edgar off the proceeds of, of the training business of lkr. Social media. And I also started, a lot of people don't know that I co founded B school with with Marie Forleo, which is obviously a really profitable business, as I'm sure a lot of people listening now. So using the proceeds of both those things, we we had sort of the, I guess, like kickoff funding for Edgar. So it was bootstrap. But you know, a little different than if you're actually like, starting from zero not paying yourself. It wasn't really that situation. But I mean, I love bootstrapping. So yeah. So he recently published this mega rant about basically calling VCs and angel investors like evil and the whole, the whole industry evil,

Kathleen Shannon 24:08
which I wouldn't necessarily

Laura Roeder 24:09
agree with. But he brought up some really interesting points about how, you know, it's just all about this blind chase for growth. And it's gotten so much away from like, for example, are we building something that people actually find valuable enough to pay for, which is something that I love about bootstrapping, right? We have to prove our worth via customers. If customers don't think that we're providing $49 a month worth of value to them, our business doesn't exist anymore. And that's a great meter to set everything you do by like, are we are we worth it? are we are we earning our keep?

Emily Thompson 24:45
Interesting. I think VCs may be a little evil.

Kathleen Shannon 24:50
You know, for me, it's like a little bit of the opposite. I can't imagine I'm kind of on the side of a VC like and I have all this money, and I'm probably in this room. Cuz I just read Tony Robbins money book, and I'm thinking about investing and all of that. And then I think about, like, for me, I don't have a whole lot of money to invest. So every dollar matters. And then I love the idea of investing in a small startup, but at the same time, it's like, what am I really getting out of this? And I would want, I would rather invest in someone who's almost like bootstrapping it and giving them $5,000 that could go a really long way. And then really proving their worth versus investing into like, a bucket that's going into giving a company a million dollars a month to just do whatever they want. Yeah,

Laura Roeder 25:41
I mean, that's a whole other, you know, interesting, weird topic that we could, we could delve into. I mean, I've, like a lot of people now are interested in doing smaller scale angel investing. But, of course, you don't make any money unless the company sells, which is sort of an interesting thing for companies like Basecamp, who have said, we're not interested in selling, but the traditional model, that's the only, you know, quote, unquote, liquidity event for investors is if you sell the company, and they're really looking for you to flip the company, within a short amount of time is sort of the traditional expectation. So those of us that aren't really interested in like, building a company growing it as fast as possible, doesn't care if it's profitable, sell it in a year. I mean, that just doesn't appeal to me at all. You know, I love building a team. I love building something sustainable. So Well, yeah, that's all.

Kathleen Shannon 26:31
I'm, um, okay, so, uh, can we talk about Marie Forleo? A little bit and yeah. Okay, so at what point did you in your entrepreneurial journey? Did you hook up with Marie Forleo? Yeah, so I actually met Marie. And

Laura Roeder 26:45
I guess the first time I met her was like, late 2008, early 2009. And she, she was actually on stage at an an old Alli brown event, I went to this Alli brown event at the end of 2008. When I like first moved to LA, I remember it was November 2008. And that was definitely It was probably my first like online marketing event. And Marie had been in her mastermind program and she was on stage doing like a testimonial for like, this is like real internet history right

Kathleen Shannon 27:14
here.

Laura Roeder 27:17
And so I met Marie at the event, and I joined Marie's first ever mastermind program that she was hosting that year. So I met Marie as my coach, I first hired her as my coach. But then we just became really good friends, just through, you know, that process of hanging out via via her mastermind program. And we had this idea that we were, we were going to all these internet marketing events like these, like really, you know,

Kathleen Shannon 27:46
like,

Laura Roeder 27:46
often, like spammy scammy, you know, very masculine internet marketing events, and we love We totally loved them. And then there would be these women's events that were often like, we felt like the business information wasn't as solid because it would be so focused also on like, the spirituality, which is fine, but like, you don't need to do it every

Unknown Speaker 28:07
business event, you know, we bought.

Laura Roeder 28:11
So we're like, we want like the good the good stuff, like the good training about online marketing and online business, but we want to give it to women. And that was really the initial idea for B school. So we launched PA school together, in 2010, I guess, um, and it was just this little side project that that we thought would be fun, we just like had this vision of something we really wanted to create. And the reason that I love to be at school in 2012, was that it became more than a side project instantly. I mean, our second party, our second launch was a million dollar launch. Because I remember we went to Jeff Walker is like product launch event. And I remember someone told Murray, like we told him how we had done the first time. And Marie was like, but the next time we're gonna do seven figures, and he was like, No, there's no way there's it just it won't happen. And so Maria is just like, Oh, no, like, no. Fire enough for me from that. But like, I promise you, that is the only reason why we, when we got to seven figures so quickly. Um, and it got really complicated, where like, we both had our own teams. And so we would like try to combine them and then hire new people just for peaceful launch. And it just became this thing where it was like, Okay, this isn't, we can't do this as a side project. So we either need to make this, you know, we're partners, and this is our business is B school, or, or not. And I really decided that I had other projects that I wanted to pursue, you know, I didn't want to give up my own business. So Murray obviously took over the school. It's just grown an insane amount ever since. And that was, I mean, talking about like leaps of faith and stuff. That was an incredibly, incredibly scary decision because it was going so well. It's not Like, anything was a problem, I just kind of was looking at where I was going. And I'm like, I don't think this is really what I want. And now I have. And now Edgar is just such a better match for me because of course B school is is very much on that heavy personal branding, like we were talking about. So, in retrospect, it was it was absolutely the right call. But I mean, I had no idea at the time, like and then years later, I will start a software business. I know that.

Kathleen Shannon 30:26
So do so I don't know if this is appropriate to ask or not. But do you still have shares in B school? or How did that work? Like getting out of it? Yeah,

Laura Roeder 30:35
I did. I don't anymore. We had, we had sort of an agreement where I was sort of phased out basically. So over a while.

Kathleen Shannon 30:43
All right, cool. That's, that's really interesting. And I feel like it's something that Emily and I are kind of dealing with now between because we both have our own businesses. We're sharing staff right now to be running being boss. But being bosses podcast is starting to become much more than just a side project for us as well. So there's lots of different decision making, and not just between the two of us, but with our other business partners. So it's just kind of a fascinating, again, balance and leaps of faith. And where you start is one place, and you never imagine where your business is actually right and take you right, so I'm curious if you can talk about that a little bit more. It's like being open to the evolution, how you kind of make those decisions? Are you like you said, some of the business conferences are very much spiritual, and probably about intuition. And some of them are more about, like, here's the hard facts, how do you balance the two of those to get in the right mindset to make really good decisions for yourself? Um,

Laura Roeder 31:43
yeah, I mean, it's definitely a balance I am, I am a hugely intuitive decision maker. Definitely. That's, that's really, really important to me. And I'm trying to think what the balances, I mean, the most important part is just that I feel I feel good about it. Like, my husband and I were talking to the other day about, like, we have to make this technical decision that it just has been, there's been no good path. It's like, here's the pros and cons of this. And here's the pros and cons of that, but none of them feel right. And I was like, let's, let's just leave it alone for a week, you know, because I've just found that when you're in that mode of when it feels like a struggle, and you feel like you're sort of just repeating yourself over and over again, and you're like, kind of bumping your head against the wall and none of the options feel good. That it's actually best to just let it let it lie, if you can, which you usually can write, I mean, we run our own businesses, our deadlines are pretty self self imposed, or even if you have to change something that's not the end of the world. So I mean, that's one way that I'm a very intuitive decision maker. It's not like you are always 100% about everything. But if a decision is ever feeling like this just doesn't feel good. None of the options feel good. I'm always just like, let's let's just let it chill and and figure it out later because I find a usually later, it can just be something you've talked about before, but for now, for whatever reason, it's just like, okay, yeah, let's this one just feels like the right one. Let's do it or maybe something new emerges.

Emily Thompson 33:16
Emily here to interject again, about taking a bit of unnecessary emotion out of doing business. having meetings hijack my calendar has been a pain point for me for a very long time. And it wasn't until I created some sincere boundaries about when I would be available to meet with clients, check in with my team or talk to older new friends, that I stopped her sending another colored block on my iCal and started understanding that face to face time is one of the better parts about doing business. And acuity scheduling has helped me take that to another level by offering software that allows me to physically block off two full days a week to focus on people who make my business happen, leaving three days of clear, unadulterated time to get shoved down. No one can hijack my calendar ever again, which allows me to be more happily present when it's time for a chat. Schedule clients without sacrificing yourself. Sign up for your free 60 day trial of scheduling the sanity at acuity scheduling.com slash being boss. Now let's get back at it.

Kathleen Shannon 34:28
Well, I want to I want to sorry, we're like skipping around on topics but I want to talk a little bit about social media. And Edgar is it Meet Edgar is the actual software and then Edgar is your company. Work?

Laura Roeder 34:43
We call this software? Edgar the URL is Meet Edgar so a lot of

Kathleen Shannon 34:46
Oh, hey Edgar. So Oh God,

Laura Roeder 34:48
we just call so we call him Edgar.

Kathleen Shannon 34:51
Oh, gotcha. So how did you come up with the name? Let's start there.

Laura Roeder 34:55
So the name was just this, like internal code name because my office When I will have different ideas for projects that will sort of like pursue or talk about to different degrees. And we always named them old people names, no offense to anyone listening has called. And so we were calling it that just to give it a name. And I noticed when I would chat to friends about it that they would remember, like, what next time I talk to them, they'd be like, how's that going? And

Kathleen Shannon 35:22
I'd be like, well, that's

Laura Roeder 35:23
not like, that's not what it's called, obviously. But I kind of thought like, that's interesting that that that is stuck in their head. And then when we were ready to launch it, we went through kind of like a more formal branding process as a company. And we brainstormed a ton of names. And we just didn't like any of them. And then we're like, what if we just called it Edgar?

Unknown Speaker 35:46
Like, are we allowed to do that? And what would happen?

Laura Roeder 35:51
Because we're like, people seem to sort of remember it and seem to like it. And we just couldn't come up with anything better. So we just called it Edgar. And it turned out to be really fun. Because we do like we always call Edgar he. And Edgar is an octopus that helps you with your social media. And it's just been really fun in our marketing and our branding, like telling these weird little stories about Edgar. And our customers have latched on to it so much. In all the reviews, people always call them call him he which cracks me up and not always be like, I've got this new guy in my life called Edgar, I need to tell you about him and what he can do. And people just write that on their own. So it was it was a good call to call him Edgar.

Kathleen Shannon 36:34
Well, and it fits in with the way that we can use software like this as another employee, right. All right. So let's talk a little bit about recycling content. Emily and I are both years into our business. We both blog, we do a lot of content marketing. So right now I have five years worth of blog posts and really good stuff. And sometimes I'll go back four years ago, and I'm like, that's so good. Like, shall I rewrite this? Should I republish it? And it sounds like Edgar is all about that sort of thing. So let's talk about like, your philosophy behind starting it and what it actually does.

Laura Roeder 37:07
Yeah, I mean, so content content marketers is really who Edgar was made for. And we actually just did a big survey of our customers. And when we asked them the industry that they were in, and we did let people check multiple boxes, but half of our customers identified as a content creator as their as their industry, which was very interesting to me, and much higher than I thought. So even our customers who have, you know, there's some type of consultant, they also say, but I'm also a content creator, because that is such a big part of what they do. So yeah, it's very common now, for people to have this five year history of content that they worked really hard to create. And most of it is still relevant. I mean, obviously, it depends on your industry, how much of it is but but most of it is, and what most people see when they look at their when they look at their traffic on a blog post is you have you know, the day it goes live when it gets the most traffic, and then you have that first week where it's like declining. And then you have the long tail after that, you know, where it just gets very little to no traffic forever. And this is also what most people do is social, a lot of people write a new post, a lot of people send it out literally once, which just makes me so sad. Like you work so hard on that blog post, and you're gonna send one tweet that like 5% of your audience sees, you know, they only see it if they happen to be online, right? When they send you send that one tweet, it's so it's so sad for your blog posts, like, give it a little more love. So with Edgar, you just load up your library with all your old blog posts, Edgar, Edgar just cycles through them, you say, okay, I'd go send a blog post, you know, every day at this time. And it's so cool, because the traffic patterns look totally different. You know, we obviously use Edgar, for our blog, the traffic doesn't look like that peak and then trail off forever, the traffic looks like peak peak peak, because every time I'd throw something out on social, it obviously gets traffic, it gets shares. And sometimes you'll have a post that does better later, just because, you know, maybe an influencer shared it or it resonated, then for whatever reason, and it just makes you feel like wow, I just would have missed that opportunity entirely to drive all that traffic to my site.

Kathleen Shannon 39:14
Yeah, and if you have a call to action at the end of your posts, like buy my product or whatever, you just have that much more opportunity to sell yourself. So Emily, you use Edgar right?

Emily Thompson 39:25
Yes, we love at your we've been using Edgar for the past couple of months and that what you were just explaining is exactly what we're seeing. So we have a couple of different libraries. We have a library for like being boss quotes, which you know, we pull from episodes, we have a library for like pushing the podcast, and for doing old blog post because I mean, I've been blogging for I guess for business for about six years now. And so just like being able to reason now old, old content or inspiration like it's those inspirational quotes and those sorts of things like I have loved Edgar and have definitely seen the impact that it Add on my business and like a my site traffic after after spending years you know sharing a blog post for the first three or four days and the Nevers mentioned, right ever again, being able to see all these old posts, like come up and get traction again. It's pretty rad. And my numbers have definitely been much happier since we've been using it.

Kathleen Shannon 40:21
That I'm sold. Yeah, good.

I know. And I have a virtual assistant. And she's been helping us with a lot of it, but she could and I know Emily, you have your assistant and plug everything in. And it's funny, because just recently, I was like, Emily, how are you tweeting all the time? I'm just doing it.

Emily Thompson 40:42
Yeah, and Christy. So yes, I have Chris, load up my libraries. And whenever we got Edgar, we sat down. And we were like, Okay, what libraries do we need? And so I was like, we need being boss quotes. And we need one that just pushes the podcast and ones that do like promotional stuff, like those sorts of things. And so we create these library ideas. And then she just went in and loaded in tons of content. And then actually, even earlier this week, we sat down for a meeting just like an Edgar update. Like let's just go through all the stuff that's in Edgar like what what needs to be retired for a while, right? What needs to be added and freshened up. And so we have like a whole new library of content that we'll save and we won't visit again for the next like month or two,

Kathleen Shannon 41:25
which is I love that you had a status meeting with Edgar.

Emily Thompson 41:30
Edgar, we sat down together, we had a good long chat, and now everything's good to go. Yeah,

Laura Roeder 41:36
that's I mean, that's I'm obviously so happy to hear that Emily. And that's exactly what we recommend, like we have a blog post about how to do a content audit. And I mean, what's so cool about Edgar is you have your library of content, right? So you can go through like, Yeah, what's has it become outdated? Or do we just not like it, or it didn't really get much traction, you can also add in images, you know, maybe you didn't really have time to add an image as the first time. But now you're gonna make things better. And this is something that drove me insane about the other tools before we created. Edgar is like, why is my library of content not in the social media tool? It just seems so weird to me, like, why do we have this spreadsheet when I'm already paying for a tool to send it out? Like, if you can send it out? Why can't you hold on to it, so I can go through it and improve it and make it better. And you know, the increased traffic, basically, all of our customers see more traffic. And it's not because we do anything magical. It's because if you send out updates, linking to your site, twice, as often, you will see it twice the traffic back to your website. And like, it sounds really basic, but it works for everyone. If you were sending out a link once a day, so not only twice a day, you you will see double the traffic because you're just giving people more opportunities to click.

Emily Thompson 42:47
Yeah, it's genius. That's like, that's how you that's social media marketing right there. Automated.

Kathleen Shannon 42:53
So right now, Edgar works with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and like that, yeah. Okay. So, um, do you guys have any plans on like bringing in Instagram?

Laura Roeder 43:06
Well, so as I'm sure a lot of your listeners know, you can't actually automate on Instagram. You can, there's tools where you can kind of preload it, but you have to go in and push a button on your phone, not even on your computer when you want the post to go live. Which is just what Instagrams API allows. So it just doesn't really fit in with our workflow. And Edgar Edgar is all about just, you know, putting in the library and let it go. Something that would require people to push a button on their phone five times a day just doesn't really tie into our whole philosophy of how we handle social. So Instagram, probably not on the radar unless they decide to change that.

Kathleen Shannon 43:45
Have you guys talked to them? I mean,

Unknown Speaker 43:48
this is this is this is

Kathleen Shannon 43:51
like an industry wide.

Emily Thompson 43:52
Yeah. And every platform thing, it's Right,

Laura Roeder 43:55
right. Yeah. And actually, there is some confusion because a lot of like Hootsuite recently added Instagram, and they had this big marketing campaign like schedule on Hootsuite, and like it's not quite true. Like I like you

Unknown Speaker 44:05
guys, Hootsuite, but you were like

Laura Roeder 44:06
a little bit misleading with that marketing campaign because all of our customers were being like, Oh, you can automate on Hootsuite. So can you add it to Edgar now? But yeah, you can again, you can like preload it with Hootsuite or later Graham. And they're good tools, but they don't actually allow you to like truly schedule it and have it go out at a certain time.

Kathleen Shannon 44:23
Gotcha.

Emily Thompson 44:24
I I'm taking this one cackling I want to talk about LinkedIn because I know that you are a little bit of a LinkedIn Maven. And it's one of those platforms. I know Kathleen, you don't give a shit.

Kathleen Shannon 44:37
I joined because I was like, Okay, I need to join LinkedIn. Right? And then I quit because I was really sick of getting emails every day. And I was like, delete my account. And even then it didn't delete it. It was like, which I'm always suspicious of whenever I go to delete my account and then there's an error, which I put in air quotes as

Emily Thompson 44:57
well. So I know Kathleen doesn't care about LinkedIn, but I know I get lots of questions about LinkedIn. And I would just love to hear your little spill of like, who it's for how you use it and why people should use it?

Laura Roeder 45:09
Well, yeah, I mean, LinkedIn is interesting. For most people, it's not going to drive nearly as much traffic as Twitter and Facebook, which is definitely what we see for our business. And although we recently created a company page on LinkedIn, and started updating that, and we got a lot more traffic from LinkedIn since we started doing that. So I don't know if they're just like favoring those, because they're trying desperately to like knock off Facebook. And then like Facebook pages, do something like them. But so I mean, what's so cool about Edgar? Or are other automation tools as well, that let you send out to multiple networks? It's just kind of like why not, you know, LinkedIn, we don't get a ton of traffic. But we also literally don't have to do anything. We load up updates into Edgar, we click the LinkedIn button, and now they're sent out on LinkedIn as well. So there's just no downside on on being on the platform if you're using an automation tool like that. And I don't know, it's, it's a tough one. I mean, if you have a professional services business, and you sell more, kind of high end b2b that way, I've seen a lot of people have success, networking on LinkedIn and using LinkedIn, for approaching people with a good offer, obviously, like there's also a lot of people that just spam everyone on LinkedIn. But if you actually have a targeted offer for someone who might be interested, you can get some some traction there. But yeah, my short tip would just be to check out company pages. It's something you can automate with Edgar or with other tools. And it's just kind of like, Yeah, why not? Why not put it up there?

Emily Thompson 46:37
I agree. I've been thinking about LinkedIn a lot for being boss, Kathleen, and I just haven't brought it up. Because I know that you make that face when I bring up

Kathleen Shannon 46:45
a lot. My thing is, is that I'm never trying to target people to buy me, like I'm never targeting with the offer of people who don't already know me or follow me. So I only want to work with customers who are already familiar with my work and are already fans because those seem to be the best engagements. And I feel like everyone on LinkedIn, for me, it just feels like going to a conference where you're just randomly handing out business cards, and then you just go home with like a pile of business cards, and you're throwing them in the trashcan, like you don't make any real relationships. And it's probably not anything wrong with LinkedIn. It's just my own personal engagement with it is yeah.

Laura Roeder 47:29
Well, because it's not I mean, it's it is it is still all opt in. I mean, unless you're using LinkedIn advertising. Everyone who sees your messages on LinkedIn has either you know connected with you, or, Oh, God, I actually don't even know my terminology for a company page, if it's like a like, or a connector or whatever. But so it's not strangers, it is people who've chosen to be there. But yeah, I definitely see what you mean, where there's less, where there's less connection. I mean, what I like about like, on LinkedIn, I just accept all requests. I mean, I don't know how many connections I have on LinkedIn, I definitely don't know them. But they seem to know me, because they requested to connect with me on LinkedIn. So you also, you know, you don't want to underestimate Well, just because I don't have a relationship with them, they might have formed a relationship with me and maybe on other platforms. And LinkedIn is one of the places they're spending their time. So they want to keep up with me there.

Emily Thompson 48:20
I agree. And LinkedIn is also a platform for like, for companies like a lot of companies and people who are trying to find jobs and things they go to write in. And so for me, being boss, especially because we bring in so many side hustlers like that would be a place for us, like people who are looking for jobs where maybe being their own boss would be a really great avenue for them. I feel like it'd be a really great place for us to share our content. And now I'm going to have to go to have a chat with Edgar, you

Kathleen Shannon 48:51
know, and I get it and I feel a lot more comfortable thinking about using LinkedIn as a business versus a personal brand. I agree. probably agree. Um, alright, so one last question, if you have time is just what some of your favorite you said that you had quite a Twitter follower, but are following. I'm curious, like what your favorite social media platforms are and why

Laura Roeder 49:14
I definitely love Twitter. I feel like Twitter is it's like tried and true. You know, like, I've been on it for so long. And it's had so many changes, and they're doing so many dumb things. Now, like I don't know if you've clicked on the mentions, but they're just like terrible advertisements where you're like, I don't care about this Twitter and like you weren't very coy with your ad they're

Unknown Speaker 49:36
rolling.

Laura Roeder 49:38
But just I just made some of their missteps. I mean, what's so great about Twitter is that you can still actually connect with people you can still actually talk to people you know, you can't really making new connections on Facebook is very difficult. Getting in front of new people on Facebook is very difficult. But something fun about launching Edgar is we had to launch a whole new you know, campaign of social media. from scratch, right for a new business and a new brand, so I really got to practice what I preach. Like, it's easy to talk about social media strategies when you have 30,000 followers because like, anything works, you just you have enough mass that you can send out a horrible tweet and like someone's gonna click on it. But it's different when you're brand new. So with Edgar, we started on LinkedIn before we started on the other platforms, because sorry, Twitter, I found LinkedIn, but I meant Twitter. Because you can still reach out to new people, you know, you can send a message to someone on Twitter saying, like, Hey, I love your social media blog, hey, we're a new social media tool, if you ever want to check us out, or check out this blog post that we published, we mentioned your company in it, you can still do those things on Twitter, and people will still see it right. People look at their at replies, and people engage. And that's just not really an option on on the other networks. So that's how we started with Edgar we like looked for social media and online marketers, and content marketers, you know, influencers and people in that industry. And we started following them and started talking to them. And we built up a following on Twitter first, and then we moved over to Facebook and to LinkedIn. So we'd have sort of a little traction already to say, hey, here we are on Facebook. Here we are on LinkedIn. So for business, I still love Twitter. Pinterest is definitely really fun just for personal usage, like building a house right now. So interior design, Penang is just a lovely way to spend an afternoon for me. Um, we don't really use it for business so much. I think we maybe just started an Edgar Pinterest account. We have a few things on there. But it hasn't been a huge strategy for Edgar. I know, especially for like e commerce. Pinterest can be really, really massive. So for me, that's more of a fun one.

Kathleen Shannon 51:47
Do you find that as you become more interested personally, in a social media platform? Does your do your gear start spinning around turning that into a business or hooking Edgar into it or creating something new around it?

Laura Roeder 52:00
It sometimes I mean, it's definitely something that I think about, you know, because Edgar also isn't on Pinterest, and which we're definitely asked for a lot. But Pinterest is a very different beast, you know, a status update on on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn are very, very similar. Obviously, on Twitter, maybe it's shorter. But Pinterest is totally is just totally different. I mean, one, you need a website source. If you just uploaded your own image, that would be sort of a waste, right? It needs to be linking back to somewhere. Obviously, shared boards, and repainting, and all that stuff. And that would it would be a very different interface and a very different tool. So if we were to add it all into Eiger, it wouldn't just be like glommed on, it would almost need to be its own Pinterest tool. And I just know, I don't really know if that's the direction where we're going to go. So it is important, I think, to be using these platforms, even if it's just for fun, just so that I can have an understanding of kind of the nuances of how they work. And yeah, I am always thinking about, okay, how do I see businesses using these? What types of businesses are having success with it? What kinds of strategies are they using? It's definitely interesting to me.

Kathleen Shannon 53:09
I love how just thoughtful and focused you really are in your business, but also passionate, and, you know, having those gut checks and taking those leaps of faith. And it's been just really great talking to you. Thanks for joining us on being boss. Yeah, it's

Unknown Speaker 53:26
been fun.

Kathleen Shannon 53:28
Any other questions? Emily, before we go have one more question. And

Emily Thompson 53:32
this is this, you can make this an shortest path or as short as you possibly want to. But I would love a tip for all of our creatives out there who are whining about social media. Yeah, they're in their little creative bubble. And they don't want to get out and actually do the social media thing. So I have one tip for those people who are struggling with getting on social media to grow their business.

Laura Roeder 53:56
I mean, my one tip is is going back to what we said before you created this amazing library of content, don't just send it out once you know whether you're using Edgar or whether you're you're using another tool, like making a point to go through your library, send out a link once a day to something amazing that you've published that that people haven't seen yet. And it can be. Yeah, if you're an illustrator, it can just literally be like a link to an image on dribble. It doesn't even have to be a whole blog post. You know, if you make jewelry on Etsy, it can be a link to an individual piece that you've made. It doesn't have to be really complicated, but show people what you do. You know, this is something that I hear so much as people are like, well, I'm worried about posting too much. And I'm worried about bothering people. And it's like, well, no one is there unless they want to hear about your business. Like why would someone follow you on Twitter, and then be like, This lady is always posting stuff on Twitter, like

Unknown Speaker 54:54
they want to hear from you.

Laura Roeder 54:56
Like why would they connect with you on LinkedIn if they don't want to see your messages, you know, and if They change their mind, then they unfollow, then they disconnect. I mean, that's what's so cool about these platforms. So you really don't have to. Yeah, if you start sending out like random spam about something totally unrelated, they'll probably be like, I didn't think I was gonna learn about horse farms that Okay, that's weird, but I guess I'll just follow that person. But they're there to hear from you and to learn about you. So I just find that so many creatives are so worried about that about like, writing too much and about bothering people. You know, I love to look at if you look at any retail store, if you sign up for like, Pottery Barn or something, those mofos send you an email every day,

Unknown Speaker 55:36
every single day, they are sending you something

Laura Roeder 55:39
because they know that it works. And you know what, you don't open them all. But then you do and you're like, like the other day Pottery Barn got me like Christmas. I was like, I do need Christmas stocking. Thank you promotional email, I will go buy a Christmas stocking from Pottery Barn, right? Because they know they have to hit you every day for you to like open lawn and find something that you want. And if you don't want to hear from them, you unsubscribe. But a lot of us are on a lot of these marketing lists for a lot of these stores. And like they're not sending me valuable blog posts, right. They're not sending me like valuable content. They're just sending me promos, and I'm still on the last. So it just goes to show like you can go a lot farther than you than you think you can and being promotional. When people are asking to hear from you.

Emily Thompson 56:19
Agreed, yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 56:22
Amen to that like just unapologetically posts, because most of the time, most of the creatives that are listening to this podcasts are posting really helpful stuff. So you're doing your potential audience a disservice by not sharing your gifts of knowledge. So I love what you just said there. It's a great note to end on.

Emily Thompson 56:43
I agree in like one more grazie plug for Edgar to one of my favorite things about that platform is that because you just plug in your library of content and it recycles. It takes out the emotion. And so instead of sitting there every day going, I already tweeted twice a day. Should I do it again, it's scheduled, you don't have to think about it. So it's not an emotional attachment to what you're sending out on Twitter. You're just scheduling it and hitting go and it goes.

Kathleen Shannon 57:11
Maybe Edgar could start responding to emails to the next version. All right, thanks again. Laura. Where can people find Edgar?

Laura Roeder 57:21
Yeah, so check out meet edgar.com and Meet Edgar on Twitter and on Facebook and you can find me on Twitter at L kr.

Kathleen Shannon 57:30
Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Show Notes for this episode at love being boss calm. Listen to past episodes and subscribe to new episodes on our website on iTunes, SoundCloud

Emily Thompson 57:42
or Stitcher. Did you like this episode? Head on over to our Facebook group by searching being boss on facebook and join in on the conversation with other bosses or share it with a friend. Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week. You're good to go. Actually the eyebrow waggling made me forget what I was gonna ask.

Kathleen Shannon 58:21
I don't remember