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Interviews

How Founders Stay Productive: Andrew Rogoff of Resource Guru

April 5, 2019

This week we feature Andrew Rogoff, Co-Founder of Resource Guru. Resource Guru is resource management software. A fast, simple way to schedule people, equipment and other resources. It is a cloud-based resource scheduling application suitable for organizations of all sizes.

In this interview, you can read more about his work at Resource Guru, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.

Your location: I'm in London but our company is remote.

Your favorite gadget: Jabra Elite 65t wireless earbuds.

You start your day with: A delicious bowl of home-made bircher muesli (if I'm organised enough)

Your favorite time-saving trick:Work from home - commuting is a huge waste of time!

Your top 3 blogs you read daily: I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I'm walking instead.

Describe an average day at Resource Guru?

I would love to say I start my day by meditating or going to the gym but I value my sleep too much to get up early for anything like that. So, it usually just starts with checking Slack messages and email at around 9 am. Then, at 9.30am every day, I'm on a video standup call with the engineers. We work remotely so we have a policy that everyone should be on at least one video call per day. We think it's really important to have "face time" with other people every day. I'm also religious about getting out of the house every day so I often work from local cafes.

I then try and prioritize the rest of my day using a combination of Things (a GTD app), Google Inbox and Clubhouse (which tracks our product development). As a joint-CEO, I wear a lot of different hats so, depending on the day, I can be found designing new features, doing QA, writing copy, communicating with shareholders etc etc. There's no way I could ever complain that I do the same thing day in, day out!

Cofounding a business is a marathon, not a sprint, so I try to log off at around 5.30pm every day. I almost never succeed in doing that but I am trying! Especially now that I have a daughter in my life :)

As a founder/ marketer, what is your favorite productivity hack?

For me, prioritization and focus is essential. I mentioned Things earlier and I use it every day to prioritize the stuff on my plate. It also helps prevent tasks falling through the cracks because I can just whack something onto the list and get to it another day. My todo list is pretty huge but Things makes it easy to stay focused on the most important things.

As a person who is well-versed with online marketing, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3 tools you use?

I'm not that involved in the marketing anymore but I asked my colleague David and he said we use Intercom to automate our new user on-boarding through in-app and email messages, Zapier to make sure our leads status are kept up to date within our CRM and marketing automation tools, and AskNicely to automate our review requests via NPS (net promoter score) surveys.

Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?

We look at the types of people that are purchasing our software and use that information to decide on the channels and messaging we should use to target those groups. We also use NPS analysis to encourage advocates of our tool to spread the word via reviews. Lastly, we're trying to encourage word of mouth via an affiliate reward scheme but results have been a bit disappointing so far.

Ultimately, I think the most effective way to power your marketing via your customers is to build something they love. If you can do that successfully, they will naturally spread the word about how great you are.

What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?

David oversees this here and he tells me that we acquire new leads through a mix of organic, paid and existing customer referral channels. Once on our site, we encourage people to start a free trial of our product and use our on-boarding messaging to guide them towards taking the primary actions that show them the problems our product solves and the value it can offer.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?

I think one of the biggest barriers to productivity is the vast range of things that can distract you every day. There is so much information out there and so many incoming messages. It's really important to control it, rather than be controlled by it. How do you do that? Turn off all notifications that you don't need. Stop all emails that you blindly file or delete anyway. Stop aimlessly browsing the web. Get off social media. And ask colleagues not to @mention you on Slack unless they need an immediate answer or want to chat.

There also comes a time when you have to stop consuming information and start producing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting anyone stops learning. I'm just saying that you can absorb smaller quantities of information from high-quality sources rather than sift through large quantities of junk. This means being highly selective about what you pay attention to.

When it comes to lifestyle, don't underestimate the importance of sleep. It's vital for your health and makes you much more productive. Closely related is exercise. I believe it also makes you a more productive person by improving mental health. At the risk of sounding like a goody-two-shoes, eating healthily also does wonders for your mind and body - all leading to higher productivity. I really do need to practice more of what I preach! :)

A big thanks to Andrew for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out Resource Guru.

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