Let’s be honest – not everyone wants to think about their content all the time. And if this is you, you’re going to love this interview with Jordan Gill of Systems Saved Me where she gives us the REAL scoop on how to design a content batch week that’s soaking in self-care and gets your content off your to-do list for 6 months at a time.
Operations Consultant and Host of the Systems Saved Me Podcast, Jordan Gill takes pride in saving hours (even days) around time-sucking technology decisions and an untrained team.
She has been on the stages of She's Building Her Empire, Creative CEO Conference, Success Without Sacrifice, Blog Like a Boss Brunch, and Vision Casting while also being featured in Belong Magazine!
She’s also had the pleasure of being interviewed on Creative Empire Podcast, Profit Planner, The Real Female Entrepreneur, Business Building Rockstars, Kickass Masterminds, and CEO Stories.
Jordan lives in Dallas with her cavapoo Vivienne and loves to indulge in some true southern BBQ.
Key Takeaways from this Episode
What has your business journey looked like from when you first hung out that digital “come in, we’re open sign” to where you are today?
- I feel like everyone feels like their story's unique, so I'm going to be cliché and say that mine is unique as well. It's interesting because I entered this kind of online space through actually working for one of the bigwigs in the space for about two years as an employee. I kind of got the behind the scenes of how the online entrepreneurship world worked from a really cool vantage point. I was able to see how a multi million dollar business ran through figuring out what list building was, and figuring out, “Oh. Online courses. What are those?”. For those two years I just soaked in as much as possible.
- Then I really had kind of a moment, a bad moment, of being like, “All right. It's time to go”, when I didn't really think it was my time to go. But when you get that urging in your stomach, you follow it. I put in my six weeks and put up my, “We're open”, sign. I literally had an email address, and LLC, and a bank account. I didn't have a website. Barely had an Instagram. It was a personal Instagram. Had nothing to do with business. I was like, “Well, this is interesting”.
- I actually was able to in the six weeks notice that I had given at my position, I was able to start month one of my business with $12,000. Which was kind of insane. It was really all based on relationships that I had built in those two years of being in the industry and going to events, and just giving giving giving for two years. Then when I was asking for help, then they were like, “Sure. You literally haven't asked for anything in so long, so I'm more than happy to help network and help you find clients for your business”.
- Then I just kind of started doing operational work for people when it came to systems building and content systems actually and stuff like that when I first launched my business. That was two and almost a half years ago.
In terms of legacy – what is the big mission you’re here to accomplish with your business?
- I'm not one of those people that it's, “Everyone must have systems in their business. Systems above marketing, or above sales, or above content, or above everything”. I believe that systems are the thing in your business if you want to have more space. If you're feeling like you are having to do everything in your business but you aren't at the capacity to start hiring people. It's more about your experience as well as your client's experience in your business than it is the geeking out about integrations and stuff. I geek out about that stuff. But it's way more about not what you're doing to build your business, but how are you building it? Does it feel good? Do you enjoy it? Are you stressed out all the time? If so, you probably need to take a look at your systems and your automations and all that good stuff.
- My biggest mission when it comes to the Systems Saved Me brand is really, it's growing and kind of in this weird awkward teenage phase. But I am wanting to build better teams oddly enough through helping elevate the operations people in people's businesses. Virtual assistants. Online business managers. Project managers. Elevate them to really step into their zone of genius, while also being able to communicate what business owners are looking for with them and vice versa. How can business owners help make their operations people on their team feel loved and appreciated and led and fulfilled? It's this kind of weird middle ground where I'm wanting to help merge these two groups of people together in a more meaningful way.
What's the #1 burning question you get from your community about contingency and what-if business planning and what do you tell them?
- The number one burning question I usually get from my community is centered around kind of the, it tends to be, “What is the one system I need?”. That question is so, it's such a personalized answer. I don't really believe in blanket systems. It's really hard for me to teach from a point of view that is super broad, because I feel like that's just putting a bandaid on something that we could stitch up and actually heal.
- I think that when it comes to what system it is that you need in your business, really looking at what it is that you don't like and you don't like or enjoy, but then also you're not good at, what are the things in that area? That's probably where you need to start building systems so you can get it off your plate as soon as possible. It also will help you not only obviously get that off your plate, but it will help you stay in your zone of genius and be in a more positive place in your business.
- Because if we have to do, for example if I have to do Facebook ads in my business, I'm going to pluck my eyeballs out and I'm going to hate it every single day. That's something that maybe I need to put a system around or hire around or whatever it is. The number one burning question, it's difficult for me to answer. But the biggest thing is, look at what you don't enjoy or like and are terrible at. That's probably where you need to start building a system in your business.
What is one piece of advice you have for online business owners who see what you’ve built and all the success you’ve had doing it – and want to create their own version of it but have no idea where to start?
- I think that my biggest thing about creating your own version of whatever it is that I've built is really looking at your own makeup. I even still struggle with this literally still today. But when you see the online world and you see everybody doing things a certain way, that it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. If you want to tweak and play. For example, I am big on the fact that I don't want to do ongoing work with people. There's opportunities where I could go back and be a part of people's teams on an operation basis. I don't want to do that, and so I'm not going to. It is based solely out of what my strengths are and how I best work.
- For me, I work really really well in short focused bursts. I based my entire business model on that particular area of strength for me. Because again, I noticed that for me, and this isn't wrong of me or i guess bad in any sort, it's just a weakness, is that once I'm on someone's team for a little while, my work tends to decline. Again, it's just an observation. I don't have to beat myself up about it. Instead I can notice that I'm actually really great in a four hour capacity, or up to three months. That's pretty much my sweet spot. After that it's really hard for me to, I'm not a maintainer.
So shifting gears to marketing – How do you stay motivated and inspired when it comes to content creation (especially after all this time)?
- How I stay motivated is by batching. Which, you and I share a love of batching. I think it just, it's so underrated. People talk about it, but then nobody actually either knows how to do it, or feels like it's scarier than actually just doing it on a weekly basis. The content that I really focus on is my podcast.
- I actually plan, and I've done this since the very beginning of my podcast, was every year in October and April I block out an entire week and I batch my podcast. Which looks like I do all of my interviews. I do all my intros, outros. Any of that sort of stuff. Then I send it off to my podcast team, who pretty much does all of the work for it in about a two to three week span of doing all the editing, the show notes, the graphics. Stuff like that. Then I just schedule it all out and I don't have to think about it until April, or until the next October, or whenever.
- It makes it really, it makes it a lot easier. Because I can be motivated for a week. Again, I am not good long term and so I have to think of ways that I can build my content in short bursts. Those are some of my favorite weeks, because you just literally get to sit and talk with a bunch of people who are super dope and fun, and you get to learn. People are like, “Oh, that sounds super tiring”, and at times it can be an energetic pull a little bit. But you put things in place. Like making sure that you have your food all prepped and ready to go so you're not having to worry about that in between takes. Making sure that your favorite candle is burning. If you're somebody that's cold, have a blanket with you. Making this a really cool environment to create your content is a really big thing for me too. That's how I stay motivated.
Can you walk us through a typical content creation day for you? What’s your process for creating new content look like?
- What that looks like, again usually in a batch day capacity, is there's a lot of pre-work. I make sure again that I have some crock-pot meals that have been cooked, and I just make them in a little container so that in between takes I can have snacks or a few bites here and there. I always make sure that I have my water and my green tea. Again, candles burning. Stuff like that.
- My typical day looks like, I wake up. I'm not a morning person. I don't do anything before like 11:00. My podcast interviews actually start at noon and go until 6:00, because that's actually when I have more energy. That way I can get, I say get through, but it's actually more enjoyable than that. But get through the actual podcast day with as much energy as possible. Then at night I completely shut down. Because again I have integrations and systems working for me, once I record an episode it automatically can go to Dropbox. Then from Dropbox it goes to Click Up, and then my editor gets pinged.
- Click Up is my project management software. Dropbox if you've never heard of it is a file storage software. Then my editor basically takes it from there, who then pings the show notes gal, who pings the graphics gal. The train just keeps going. Because this will be my sixth season of my Systems Saved Me podcast, it's basically clockwork at this point. It doesn't have to … There's polishes here and there. But it helps because then at 6:00 I'm able to shut off and watch something funny like Superstore or whatever else and kick it for the rest of the day. I have six hours where I have to be on, and then the entire rest of the day I'm not talking to anybody.
How would you define a content empire as it relates to your own business and what you’ve built?
- One, I think the fact that your name is Content Empire is amazing. When I think of just banging out content like a boss, your name always pops up. I wouldn't say I have a content empire, because I compare myself to you. But I think that I have, I would define content empire as making sure that you are connecting with people in a very consistent way and relating it back to them.
- Again, for example, I know my people are podcast listeners. Audiobook listeners. It makes sense for me to be doing a podcast versus maybe blog or videos or stuff like that. Really just getting comfortable with expressing yourself with your own voice as well. Defining content empire would be finding the medium that works to connect you to your future clients, or even your future fans. I have people who haven't necessarily bought from me, but listen to every podcast and share it on Instagram or do write-ups about them or stuff like that.
- I think a lot of people downplay that, which is a little crazy to me because I get it. We're all in business. We're here to make money. I need to pay the bills. But also I think that having people who will share and be your evangelists are also really great. I think that there is a place for them in your business. That's kind of what I would say as far as a content empire and what I've been able to build.
- I think that I would say generally speaking, the people who are my clients actually are not my podcast listeners. My clients are a completely different client base. But my podcast listeners are some of the best evangelists. They tag me in Facebook groups. They're sharing stuff on Instagram Stories. All of that. That helps me, right? That helps build my authority, my know, like, and trust. All of that stuff. That's probably what I would say.
Latest content or marketing tool discovery? GoViral
Most profound business book you’ve read? Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
What is one marketing trend that you're passing on for now? I have let go of Pinterest for now.
2018 or 2019 planner of choice? I really like Amber McCue's Fresh Start Planner.
Where would you invest $5,000 in your business today? My customer support person. Then also potentially Instagram ad strategy.