47 min read

Episode 3: Marketing ops

Startups are starting to see the value in hiring operations pros for specific teams, creating new opportunities for ops specialists.
A cutout of a white guy on a teal background

A lot of operations pros are proud generalists—people who wear a lot of hats, and like it like that. But these days, more and more startups are seeing the value in hiring operations pros for specific teams.

These specialists have created whole fields for design ops, product ops... the list goes on!

Today, we're drilling down into arguably the most popular of these new specialties—marketing ops.

What exactly is marketing ops? What brought on the need for this new specialty? And how does one break into this kind of work?

We'll answer all of these questions and more in the third episode of the Opsy podcast. ✨

About Our Guest

Our guest is Brian Swanick, a consultant who specializes in fixing broken marketing programs with a—dare I say it—opsy touch.

Brian started his career in HR before pivoting to digital marketing and, ultimately, leaving his agency job to strike out on his own.

He's built a business helping startups build smarter marketing programs and he has a lot to teach us not just about marketing ops, but also about consulting in general and preventing burnout too.

About this Episode

In this episode, we chat about:

  • The industry changes and advanced tooling that created the need for marketing ops specialists
  • How Brian transitioned from HR to digital marketing in the first place, and then went from freelancer to consultant
  • The pros & cons of working independently versus in-house
  • Strategies for keeping up in an ever-changing industry

... and so much more!

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Show Notes

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Books Mentioned

Transcript

Caro Griffin 0:03
Welcome to Opsy, a podcast for people doing opsy work in tech. I'm your host, Caro Griffin. And every month I dig into what opsy work really is by talking to an operations pro who has something really cool to teach us in a traditional part of ops like HR or finance, or a newer specialty, like no-code ops or marketing ops. Thanks for listening!

Today, I'm here with Brian Swanick, a freelance marketing consultant who brings a little opsy magic to all of his projects.

Brian and I first met at a startup called Skillcrush, where I was leading operations and he was brought in to help with our paid ad strategy, and then eventually went on to help with all sorts of things.

We didn't overlap a whole lot, but I always really liked working with him when we did. He was a marketing guy and an operations guy, which felt like kind of a weird combo back then. Nowadays, marketing ops is one of the fastest growing specialties in operations, or at least I've decided it is based on how many job postings I see for it. And that's one of the many reasons that I knew I wanted to have Brian on the podcast as soon as I started planning it.

Brian knows his shit on both the marketing side and the operation side. And he's been doing this work for years. Plus, he's just a genuine joy to work with. He's one of those people that I'm always just waiting for an excuse to bring into any project. So I'm excited for all of us have a chance to learn from him today.

Welcome, Brian! We're officially recording. Super excited to dive into all things marketing ops, and ops and book recs—because you always have those—and whatever else you got for us today.

Brian Swanick  1:40
Thank you for having me. I feel like I'm learning a lot just by thinking about the podcast, you know what I mean? And of course listening to Episode One. I was like, "oh, yeah, I kind of think differently about that." Or I'm like, "oh, validation!" because that's exactly how I think about things. So it's been fun already, and we haven't even recorded.

Caro Griffin 1:57
Oh, great. We're 10 seconds in. And he's already said it's fine, y'all. We're on a great start. And yeah, I feel the same way. I think in talking to other operations people and really starting Opsy - that's like the only time I've ever really been forced to articulate a definition of what ops is and to really explore that for myself, even though I've been doing this work for years. So let's just dive right in!

You're a freelance marketing consultant now, but I scrolled pretty far back on your LinkedIn profile while prepping for this interview. And I was stunned, stunned! to see an HR role on there. So, clearly, I'm missing some backstory. Tell us a little bit about your career path so far, and how you got into marketing and marketing ops, specifically.

Brian Swanick 2:31
I feel like that's a classic, take what you can get job role, because I had originally been brought on just to basically work in the office. They're like, "Hey, he's young, he probably knows about computers." And then I didn't really know how to work. But I worked pretty hard. So I was willing to put in the hours and not be lazy. So they just kept giving me projects, which was great, because the original role was actually talking on the phone a lot, and I was deathly scared to like, call people I didn't know on the phone, even though they kind of worked for us because it was a staffing company. We had 300-400 contacts who had worked for us and I was supposed to call them and talk about their schedule and I'm just staring at that phone like... this is this is terrifying. I don't like this.

Caro Griffin 3:14
Talking on the phone is the worst.

Brian Swanick 3:17
Yeah. Which is funny, because now we're on a podcast. We're talking. Well, video calls are where it's at. Phone calls - very 2000.

Caro Griffin  3:24
Yeah, very different.

Brian Swanick 3:25
But the projects thing was interesting. And I think that's where I found some footing and operations. And I didn't realize that at the time. I was just thinking, "These people taught me this process, and it's pretty organized. I like that, like I like knowing what I'm going to do." And it wasn't high level work. And so you probably saw that I was a recruiting associate and I was like a payroll coordinator and an HR generalist. And these are kind of like, mini titles that I transitioned around to.

But the payroll coordinator, I was like 24, and running payroll for a company that had 200 employees and contractors getting paid every week, which is so strange, because I barely passed finance. Like 69.6, Caro. I needed a 69.50.

Caro Griffin 4:09
Wow. Okay, so you know what, we're gonna have like this... I feel like you've created a safe space here, Brian, where I will tell you I've never passed a math class on the first try. And so every time I see a Bachelor's Degree in like Finance or something required on a job posting that's for operations, I'm like... "Y'all, like... I was horrible in all math classes, and I run finances for like, multimillion dollar businesses now. It's wild." I'm totally with you on that.

Brian Swanick 4:32
Well, then the truth is, is that it's about process and figuring things out. It's not about T-Tables, or whatever we talked about in school. And cash flow is important, like knowing those concepts is important. But I feel like they're important as you get really big. Obviously, cash flow's important. You can't run out of cash. But those concepts are only important for bigger companies. They're not as relevant for someone who runs a SaaS business. You know, like, the numbers are kind of straightforward. Of course you when you receive money and when you build it is different. But you don't need to know all that stuff. I wish there was finance for... not finance for startups, but something like that.

Caro Griffin  5:08
Oh my god. Absolutely. I talked to so many Opsy people about this. It's like on the Opsy plan years from now, maybe at some point. So many of us want this because... yeah, I learned it on the job. Like, I think so many of us do, like, what was important? What wasn't? You figure it out as you go and that's like, what a smart, opsy person can do. You know, you don't need the whole textbook behind it.

Brian Swanick 5:29
I will say one thing is that I kind of like, the agony over not knowing something, like somebody hands me something, and they're like, "Listen, this project, it's complicated. There's a lot of people involved. Can you handle that?" And I don't give a physical eye roll, but sometimes I'm like, "Allllll right." But I secretly really like that. Like I want to be relied on and I want to feel like I'm doing something challenging. Because that's part of why I'm motivated by work. It's not to collect a paycheck. Otherwise, it's much easier to go in house and work at like a FANG company. Well, maybe not easier to work at a FANG company. But it's probably easier to work at like a Fortune 500 company being, like, a senior marketing analyst or something like that. I don't know.

Caro Griffin 6:09
Yeah, I can't picture you doing that.

Okay, so you started off in this HR path? And yeah, it sounds like really just found, like a love of operations. And I think you said, "I realized I like things organized," which I think a lot of us could really relate too.

So what was the first marketing task you took on? Was it at that company? Or was it in your next role?

Brian Swanick 6:30
So I realized that the HR side, especially at that company, just wasn't going to work because it was a small company and so you didn't have one role. You know, as you can see, I was there for a year and a half between three roles. So the projects that really kind of got me started were running payroll, and then we had all this paperwork that we need to get to stay compliant. And so I tackled that. And, you know, it took me like four months.

I had a really good HR Director, their name is Martin. He was fantastic as a mentor, and he used to be like, "Alright, Brian, come to my office." And that was code for, let's stand out back, he'll smoke a cigarette, and we'll talk about the project, you know. And it was fantastic. Because he just, like imparted so much wisdom in how to be organized that I could... I felt confident, and he believed in me, and I loved every aspect of that.

And then at some point, I was like, Well, I know I don't like this long term. It's just not right. And I really was interested in digital marketing. And this was 2011, I think. Social ads, which is a lot of what I do now, had not even started. I did get in early there, which was huge. But taking on a digital marketing project, when you're full up on this HR project where you had to get, you know, 400 (or however many people work there) contractors' paperwork up to date with the state... We're talking about, like 35 pieces of paper for every single person in the state was like, you have to have it faxed in. There was no, "Let me take a picture of this." DocuSign did exist, but they didn't allow us to do that.

Caro Griffin 7:58
Yes! The first time I had to get insurance from a remote team, like three days beforehand, I was like, "Okay, so like, can I put this in a Google Drive? Like, do you have a preference as to where I store this?" And she's like, "Oh, no, you have to you have to mail it in." And I will never forget standing at a FedEx with these, like 100 pieces of like, health insurance forms, trying to make sure that I had everything before I like overnighted it to New York.

Brian Swanick
Yeah, and you're like, what if it gets lost? Because that seems more realistic than with an email. An email is like, Oh, it got blocked because the attachments were too big.

Caro Griffin
Right? And it's like, this is 2016, y'all. What are we doing here?

Brian Swanick 8:27
Yeah, so I think that was part of the agony was, you know, we had to buy software that combined pages into a single PDF. That didn't exist and now there's so many apps for that.

So I forced myself onto Mark... I was kind of like, "Hey, we should send a newsletter to our team." Because part of the problem is that sometimes they don't pick up the phone, or they don't like hear from us for nine months. And then we call them and say, "Hey, do you want to work at this facility this weekend?" And they're like, "Hey, what happened to me?" Like, you're not doing anything for me. And so I did get buy-in to send, like, four marketing newsletters, just like a monthly thing - here's what's happening at the office.

They were pretty terrible, to be honest with you, but I did have a foundation in MailChimp now. You know, I edited a template. I wrote the email, we tested it. I learned how agonizing it can be to get internal write off on something. And we made it work.

Caro Griffin 9:17
You learn how to do it, you figured it out! What a transition.

Brian Swanick 9:20
Yeah. And then I also told the story the other day, I can't remember why, but how I just ran a Google Ads campaign because they sent me a free $150. And I was like, I don't know how to do this. And I don't really want to get buy in. So I just did it. And it was fine. You know, we got like 20 clicks on the ad or something like that. I might actually be able to find the account still.... And it didn't cost us a dime. And then I could talk about Google Ads too. "I ran a campaign! All on my own." And so interviews became a lot easier.

Caro Griffin 9:46
I love this because I definitely get those emails and I feel like that's a very Brian story. Like, you got that email and you were like, you know what? Yes, I'm gonna do this. Free Google Ad credit, why not?

Brian Swanick 9:57
Yeah. And that's it's kind of similar to operations. With operations, you're like, "how can I reverse engineer the process as I think it should work? And then what's that first step?" And that's it. I was like, how do I get a job being a marketing coordinator at a digital marketing company? Okay, well, what if I had experience in email and then Google Ads? That makes sense.

That's actually why my boss hired me. He told me, four to six months later, he was like, it showed some initiative, you knew the terms, you had studied and passed the Google Ads exam, or something like that. And so, yeah, like, that's why I hired you.

Caro Griffin 10:27
That's awesome. And I think I would have felt the same way about that story as a hiring manager. I would have been like, oh, okay, you know. So it just goes to show that it's not always this, like, big, huge certification thing. It's like, you know, just taking initiative and taking that first step.

So obviously, you transitioned to marketing roles, but you've been consulting as long as I've known you, in the marketing marketing space. So what made you make that switch from working in house at an agency?

Brian Swanick 10:49
I really disliked it. Yeah... I just didn't.

Caro Griffin 10:51
I mean, that's why I left my agency job way back in the day. I hear ya.

Brian Swanick 10:55
Yeah, I just didn't enjoy waking up and going to work.

Caro Griffin 10:59
Lol, Brian.

Brian Swanick 11:02
This is a very honest podcast, right?

Caro Griffin 11:04
Yeah, absolutely. [Laughs]

Brian Swanick 11:06
You know, I think, especially when you're young, and I can't remember how old I was... I guess it was eight years ago. I think I started freelancing eight years ago. I always forget, because my "anniversary" of starting the business is in April. April 16 is my first day of freedom. But I think it was 2014, 2015. I can't remember. So something around eight years. And, eight years ago, I didn't know if it was going to be.... I didn't really know what I liked and didn't like....

Or, I should say that I didn't know what I liked. I definitely knew what I didn't like. And I didn't like being in this open office environment, where anybody can interrupt you at any time. And the interesting thing is that your first guest... it was Megan that was your first guest, right?

Caro Griffin 11:47
Yeah.

Brian Swanick 11:48
Yes, she's awesome. And I like her record tastes. We were talking about that on Twitter.

Caro Griffin 11:53
I saw y'all talking on Twitter and I was just like... "Oh, my God I LOVE this." This is why Opsy exists - to connect my favorite Opsy people!!

Brian Swanick 11:58
"My heart is so full." [Laughs]

Yeah, I'll have to get in touch with her.... But she made the comment that she has a high executive function, and she can context switch like crazy. And I am the opposite. I have a very fixed amount. And so I thrive in asynchronous work.

I had worked in freelance before I joined an agency and I kind of liked it. I wasn't very good at it, like, I wasn't good at working asynchronously and at my own pace. They're just skills you have to learn, unless somebody is giving you work all the time. I was trying to find clients of my own, I was working with somebody who was starting an agency, but when I got to, like, a full agency, I just realized that I can't be interrupted all the time. I just can't do it. And that really was just a drag on my day.

I felt like I was living in some sort of alternate universe, you know, where like I couldn't decompress at night. And you know, relationships take a downturn when you do stuff like that, because you're just worried or zapped from work. And then you have nothing to give when you're hanging out with your friends or family or whoever. So, you know, enough of that... I worked there for about a year. And they were there were some awesome people there and actually stay in touch with some of them. Some of them turned into consultants and freelancers, too, and we work together every once in a while.

So it was a great experience but I just knew I had to get out. And it was one of those things to where I don't necessarily believe that positive thinking will get you everywhere. But I was so determined, when I left. I was like, "I'm never gonna work for anybody ever again." And that might not be true... but it was definitely going to be true for a couple years. I knew that I needed to explore this itch or scratch this itch, and kind of explore this new field.

So that's when I turned to what I would call freelancing, and then, eventually, I kind of went bottom up into consulting. I was a freelancer, hire me to run your ads, basic stuff. And then eventually that kind of grew into, "Oh, you know a lot about this. You should charge more." And that's the thing when clients tell you to charge more... that's when you're under priced.

Caro Griffin  14:05
As a frequent client of yours... You should charge more. [Laughs]

Well, so you often explain your role as "fixing broken marketing programs for growing companies." So, you've talked a little bit about how you are now this more 'bottom up' like consultant... but what are your projects usually look like? What kinds do usually take on?

Brian Swanick 14:22
That's a good question. There are tangible things that I look for, and intangible things that I look for in good projects. The tangible things are really... and I'll say... maybe more quantitative is the way to look at it. But I just want to work on the things that I know. I don't like working on things....

You know, a good example is SEO. So people know and you probably think like, "Oh, Brian knows a lot about keyword research. And he knows a lot about content." And I've actually taken that role in a project that we worked on, you know. I wasn't the head of SEO, but I was responsible for a project in SEO and I'm happy to do that with clients that I work with already. But I don't know that much about it, you know, I did it for a while previously, and I have some side projects I do it for and, you know, the big concepts haven't changed, but I don't like feeling responsible for that. So there's all these things that are SEO, email marketing, social media management that are just an automatic no. Automatically, no. So maybe there's a more qualitative than quantitative. [Laughs]

The other thing is the size of the company. You know, I love helping startups. I had this dream job realization one time where, if I could just sit in a desk in like downtown Tampa, or wherever I live, and people could just walk in with their problems and we could solve it, right there, or I could give them direction... I would take a low salary, and just do that for the rest of my life. Because I like helping people solve hard problems. And frequently, the way I put it is like, "I like helping good people do good things."

And, so, there is kind of this... well, you need to be big enough, because I can't just do charity work, and you need to have some other features. Like, if we're running social ads, you need to have an email list of a certain size. I can't consult on projects that have a low ad spend, but I can't manage things where we only spend $1,000 per month because you would have to pay me more than that, to do them. So, there are all these kind of crazy little features of things that make it easier to work with me either on search ads, or social ads.

But really, I just want somebody to come to me and say, "Hey, I have this really good business and there are a lot of good things going for it. Marketing is a little busted. It's just average, something's not right. And we had somebody doing it, and they were doing a good job, but it's not their bread and butter. So now we want to level it up a little bit."

And I think that's where I'm a great fit - identifying the roadmap between where we are now and where we want to be. Roadmap - great ops word - and so that's where it kind of becomes ops. Sometimes it happens where people approach me with that, especially if we worked together before. But, oftentimes, people will just say, "hey, we need somebody with experience integrating the CRMs to run our ads." Okay, great. I can do that. And then we talk more and more. And then we drill down on the problem and the problem isn't necessarily getting the data into the CRM, it's what we do with it. And that's when we kind of expand services.

So, I'm straddling this freelancer/consultant thing, because I still do provide services. However, you know, it used to be that I would be 10 to 20% consulting work, and now it's like 50 to 70%. Just depends on the month. That's kind of like the bottom up thing. I provide services, but, now, I just have that experience and I can close that gap too and fast forward those roadmaps. And that's probably why you get hired too is to—It's like, hey, we know where you need to go kind of, you flesh it out, and then make that happen in three months as opposed to twelve months.

Caro Griffin 17:46
Exactly. And that's exactly why I get hired. And then usually, you know, I make that roadmap, and they're like, "Okay, so can you like help on this marketing side, too?" And I'm like... kinda like you were talking about the SEO. It's like... I cannnn, but I don't think you want me to. Like, I don't think I'm the best bang for your buck here." And then I'm like, "Let me introduce you to my friend, Brian." [Both laugh] And this is how we keep working together!

Brian Swanick 18:07
Yeah, and, you know, going back to the other question, that's one of the things that I look for too, like good people. I don't want to harp on people to get things done. And the people we work with and have worked with in the past, have a desire to take pride in their work and to do good things and like build something of value. And I just like working with good people that have hard problems. And good people, building good companies, it's kind of like... you found something that you're interested and engaged in.

I don't want to have to work with people who are just kind of moping and trying to get through the day. That's just not fun to work with those kinds of people. I'd rather work with people who are excited, and gain energy from meetings, as opposed to having like that energy zap, which is... some meetings, they just zap you. That's just gonna happen. But I would rather work with people where I feel motivated and engaged and inspired to work hard. Like, we're actually building something, which can be challenging, but that's where I think that I'm Operator & COO, as opposed to a CEO, because I am attention to details. I can support big picture, but I like supporting. I like supporting somebody's big picture.

Caro Griffin 19:14
Spoken like a true ops person.

So what are the pros and cons of doing that work as a consultant versus you know, being in house full-time?

Brian Swanick 19:24
There are definitely easy pros and easy cons on both sides. Like, the older I get, the more I see it. I think cons are clearly getting work, especially in my role, because I don't have a desire to grow my consulting business as it stands right now. I actually run a really bad business, like a bad technical business from an operations standpoint.

Caro Griffin 19:43
You do... even just from the outside I can tell, but like in a way that I so admire [laughs] and really like.

Brian Swanick 19:48
Well, yeah. And it's bad because business is actually really good. And this past year was so good, just from operating more like a business and less like a freelancer, I was very excited about it. You got me like really excited.

Caro Griffin  20:00
Oh, I love it. I hope you celebrated. I hope you, like, bought yourself a donut or I don't know, a nice beer or whatever you use to celebrate...

Brian Swanick 20:06
I'm really bad at that so I should probably... if I did, I forgot and I should do it again.

Caro Griffin 20:10
Oh my god, you should absolutely do it again! I'm really big about this. Everybody listening, you need to celebrate your wins. Pick a thing that feels celebratory and every little win you should celebrate. Mine is cinnamon rolls. Highly recommend.

Brian Swanick 20:21
[Laughs] Yeah, I am diabetic too so we got to keep it easy on the sugar...

Caro Griffin 20:26
[Laughs] Okay, yeah, so you know, maybe something else... I don't know, you're like a big athletic person, gonna go to the gym or something. That's not a reward for me.

Brian Swanick 20:35
I'll buy, like, a nice... like another Dry-Fit shirt for myself.

Caro Griffin 20:39
And see, and then you get to look at your closet of Dry-Fit shirts that all represent celebrations. Doesn't that sound nice? Like the Dry-Fit Wins? I don't know. There's something there...

Brian Swanick 20:49
Every day is Wins-Day.

Caro Griffin 20:50
Wow.... wow, I both love and hate that. Okay.... Pros and cons!

Brian Swanick 20:55
Oh, pros and cons. Yeah, yeah. So you definitely will work less and make more money if you are in-house at a big company like McKinsey or Accenture or something like that, like a big consultancy. You do get benefits of working with other smart people as well. I think it depends on if you want to cultivate that kind of smart. Do you want to get into, you know, creating really big reports and presenting them to clients? Is that what you want to do? The other side of it is that I do a lot of research and do a lot of pre-work and then I do have to present that to clients, but it's much more practical, and it's much more hands-on. And I'm not at the mercy of somebody else slowing me down. So they're very clear pros and cons there.

I think, for me, having this touch of—it's not ADHD, but it's like... I like ownership of my time. And sometimes I'm feeling very motivated. And I will just work through things. And sometimes I'm feeling less motivated and I have to move tasks. And so, if I was in-house, I would be at the liberty of somebody else telling me what to do, for the most part. That's not true for everybody, but for the most part. And I think that it's really nice to work asynchronously. So, if I could find an in-house, asynchronous position, that's totally doable.

But the pros of being a consultant are great, because you can just take time off. And I think working with good clients is part of it too. Because, you could be a consultant, but they might treat you like an employee. And so you have to set those boundaries very early on. Because, if you don't, then you end up being the person that answers emails at six or seven o'clock. And I'm notorious for like... you can text me and, if we're meeting up for a meeting or something like that, I might respond to you. But there is 0% chance I will respond at other times. I don't text clients. That's just not part of my protocol. That's not how I get things done. Where do you put a text? You can't like star it?

Caro Griffin 22:47
Yes, I hate working via text. I'm like, "No, can't do this."

Brian Swanick 22:50
Yeah, it just doesn't work.

Caro Griffin 22:52
I feel like you've given me the perfect segue to my next question, which was that... you have some of the best work boundaries I've ever seen. [Brian laughs] And that's something I've always really admired about you when we worked together, especially when I was still kind of like, you know, earlier in my career, at my first startup, like hustling all the time, and feeling like I need to do all these things.

And Brian was like, "Okay, cool. I got my thing done. I will do the rest tomorrow. I will see you tomorrow." And like, you still like got everything done, but just in a way that felt so much more calm. So how do you structure your work? How do you decide what your day looks like? And what projects you're going to work on?

Brian Swanick 23:27
I feel like this could be a podcast episode.

Caro Griffin 23:30
It absolutely could be but now I'm like, "Now Brian, answer it in less than a minute."

Brian Swanick 23:34
We only have one minute. Yeah, you know, I definitely subscribe to this... And it's kind of funny talking about it with you, because Basecamp had this whole issue in the last year about how they talk about things and treat their employees and, so I understand they're not seen in a positive light right now, but I will channel a little bit of their philosophy... Not that part, not that part! But the part where they talk about working as a calm company, and It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work was their most recent book. I was reading it, just thinking, "This is kind of how I work right now. And I want to be more like this."

So, in 2017, I was working a lot. And that was the first time that I had reached, as a consultant, this kind of like, income level where I was like, "Whoa." This is why I did this. I mean, a little bit, you know, I was a little bit more motivated by money when I was younger. It's not that I'm not now, but I'm much calmer about finances than I was.

Caro Griffin  24:25
Same, and you like reach a certain point where you're not... It's enough, you know, you're not struggling, like maybe probably making than you thought you would make as a young person, like when you were young.

Brian Swanick  24:32
Yeah, exactly.

Caro Griffin 24:33
Or, more than you'd ever seen and you're like, "Okay, this is fine."

Brian Swanick  24:34
Yeah, there's that point that you reach where, you know, you're confident that you can make ends meet and you don't have to live paycheck to paycheck and you can pay down your debt, if you have some and all that stuff. So that was... I think leading up to 2017, and it kind of went really fast for me. It was hectic. I was like, "Oh, I'm gonna grow this business. Everything's gonna be great." I didn't have like the hustle mentality, but I really liked the projects I was working on.

And come November, one of those products was ending basically like this.... We had decided that the only path forward was to pivot. And I used that word - this was a like a literal pivot. This wasn't like, oh, pivot startup pivot, you know. It was we really aren't going to make money, and we either have to get money back to investors or we have to pivot.

And so, when we reached that point, and we decided to give money back to investors, I feel like, I felt that burnout hit me. And I was like, "What am I even? What am I doing here? What was what is happening?" Because I was working seven to seven, Monday through Thursday, and then I was just burnt out all weekend. That's not sustainable. I don't like that. That's not calm.

Caro Griffin 25:33
Yeah, and that feels very antithesis to what I know about you. Okay, so that was kind of your moment where you were like, no more. So what do you do to prevent that in the future?

Brian Swanick 25:41
I have this philosophy, where I try and live every day at like a seven or eight out of 10. It's simple. It's really simple.

Caro Griffin 25:48
I think I've heard you say this before. Okay, tell us more.

Brian Swanick 25:50
Yeah. And it's not that I can't have a good... I'm not like, whoa, having too good of a time here. Let's take it down a notch.

Caro Griffin 25:57
Oh, no, Brian, you've laughed quite a few times on this episode. Should we like scale it back?

Brian Swanick 26:03
Yeah, I'll make it boring later. I'll do really boring, awful work. And then it'll even out, enough, yeah....

I think trying not to do too much every day. And trying to find that, you know, 5pm, 4pm, 6pm whatever time works. It really depends on timezone, because some client meetings end up going later when timezones hit, it's nuts. So really just like marking out that schedule, and I'm very prolific with my calendar. I feel like we might have talked about this... I had to start scheduling lunch because I kept forgetting to eat it. And, you know, casually mentioned that I have diabetes. That's not good! You gotta eat! [Laughs]

So I'm prolific with my calendar. And it's the place I go, you know, at the beginning of my day, and I'm like, What am I going to get done today? I look what's on the calendar already. I check my Trello board or my Asana board, whatever I'm working in at the time because I have one project I'm heavy in Asana with, and then my personal projects, and all my clients are on another one. So then I kind of mix and match things and decide what what needs to get done today, or what needs to get done this week. And I basically block out work sessions. And that's the only way that I've been able to say, "Hey, I can't meet, because I have a full day and then some."

And people respect that, actually. Especially because you get work done. If you say that, and then you don't get your work done, you're probably gonna get fired. "We've been through this. We've fallen for that one too many times."

But yeah, so I carve out things like going to the gym, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And, when it's nice weather, I'll ride my bike at five o'clock. So I'll race and be like, I have to get out there. And it gets dark early so I have to do it before it gets dark.

Caro Griffin 27:44
I am religious about my calendar as well. I think I need those bookends, or I just will start working the minute I get up or work all night or whatever it is. And so it's, I love that yours is such a like, go to the gym, ride your bike. But mine is... I do a friend call most mornings, and I do Spanish at the end of every day. And so there's been those times where I'm like, caught up in a spreadsheet and I'm working, you know, right up until like four or five or whenever the lesson is, and I'm like ugggh I gotta stop. And it's a thing that like, would take me another hour, but I have to stop. And it's a hard stop. And, um, you know, sometimes I do show up late to that lesson and my Spanish teacher is like, "You were in a spreadsheet, weren't you?" Yes. Yes, I was. Sorry, Wilmer.

Brian Swanick 28:26
Yeah, I think there is... You know, you have to make those calls. And we're worse at it when we're younger. And, after a while, you can kind of say like, you know, I made that excuse yesterday. I can't make that same excuse today because, otherwise, you know...

I love this idea. It's in this book called How will you measure your life? It talks about like the marginal cost versus the total cost. The marginal cost of working late one day is like nothing, you might get more done. That might be great. But the marginal cost of working every day late, you miss your child growing up. Yeah, you miss plays, you miss spending quality time with your partner, you miss going to the gym and feeling healthy, you know?

So you have to figure out—it kind of is like a vision experiment, like, you know, big picture things. What do you want your life to look like? And then work backwards from there.

Caro Griffin 29:14
Yeah, it's like that excuse versus reason thing to like, if you find yourself making the same excuse every day, maybe that's not an excuse. Maybe it's the reason that you're never gonna do the thing. And maybe you need to reconcile what you think you want and what you actually want. Which is something I feel like every year I have to relearn sometimes...

Brian Swanick 29:32
I do quarterly retros and that's exactly where it comes up. I started doing...

Caro Griffin
Yeah, we've definitely talked about this!

Yeah, so I started doing them in 2015 and so I have like 30 retros or something at this point. It seemed ridiculous when I looked at the folder. I was like, do I still need to improve that much? And when I write it out, I'm like, yeah, you... there are some holes. More retros needed.

Caro Griffin 29:53
Have I peaked?

Brian Swanick 29:54
Yeah, exactly. Is this it?

Caro Griffin 29:55
Oh, man. Okay, we might need to do like a whole other mini episode or like a blog post about your retros.

Brian Swanick 30:01
Yeah, we definitely glossed over how I organize my life. But we did a good job glossing.

Caro Grifin 30:07
Okay, okay, well, we'll take the gloss, everybody.

Okay, so I want to talk about ops and marketing ops now that we have a little bit of context about your background. So, you know, I ask everyone what they think operations is - can you give me your definition?

Brian Swanick 30:20
You know, I have a very practical definition, which is like the engineers definition, which I will probably butcher and an engineer is like, that's not what it is. But every business has a business model, of course. And operations is really how you take whatever raw materials you have and turn it into something of value for your customers. And in my head, I'm kind of thinking of the business model canvas. It's just kind of like organizing these parts. And everybody has a different business model and a different way that they do that.

Even within the same business model, you might have people who are customer service focused versus product focused, and so you can kind of organize those things. So operations to me is really just the processes with which you move things around your business, and then eventually deliver value to customers.

Caro Griffin 31:03
I feel like this is also such a definition of someone who works in marketing operations. And and one of these kind of more like subsets of ops where it's not like traditional operations, like its operations for like a specific part of the business. Because you said moving things around. And like it's like the process that you use to do that.

How do you think marketing operations fits into that in the work that you do in the marketing space?

Brian Swanick 31:25
I think it might be easiest to translate it to an agency setting, since a lot of people have experience with that. And I do work with an agency exclusively like—not... it's a complicated situation. But I'm the COO and head of paid media at this agency. And so I work on special projects, and then I do a lot of the advertising. And so I have this view... And also, I have so many friends who work in agencies or own agencies around here. So I think about that model a lot. It's all marketing operations. That's the entire business - marketing operations. It's about how do you take this request from a client, translate that into something that aligns with their strategy, and then have people fulfill that work in a timely manner.

I think, in a great situation, in a great agency, you're perfectly aligned with the strategy, you're perfectly clear on what needs to get done, the client is clear on expectations, and things will just go smoothly because we're running a pretty straightforward campaign. I think the problem is that that's not always the case. Things aren't always clear, the client doesn't always have the perfect expectations, we didn't set them up, or maybe they were talking to another agency that was like a growth hacker and ruined their brain with all this growth hacking performance marketing jargon.

So I think, you know, it's kind of funny... because I think part of part of marketing operations is really getting people on the right page. It's not even the work. It's the clarity and using the same language and, and having the right expectations so that you can fulfill things and fulfill the actual operations or fulfill the campaign requirements. And if you would have told me that when I was 24, I was like, "Oh, everybody who's, you know, 35 and older, and they'll just get it." And that's just not true. Like we all have different definitions of it. And, if you work in SaaS versus you work in, you know, professional services, you have different names for things, and then you clash... And it's just really complicated. And so I think that's part of operations. It's clarifying the process, and what we call things and all those little details.

Caro Griffin 33:25
Yeah, it's like setting that framework from the beginning of "Wait, let's go back. What exactly are we walking away with here? What really is the goal? We're talking about a lot of things in circles." So yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

I always think of you as a marketing ops guy, or at least I have, since I knew what marketing ops was, but like, would you describe yourself that way?

Brian Swanick 33:43
Not to other people. [Caro laughs] Not to clients, because I don't think that they understand operations.

I actually think you and your community are way forward thinking and people will catch up eventually.

However, you know, it's kind of like... when you're talking to potential new clients, or even just to new people, and if I were to say, "Hey, I'm Brian, I'm a marketing consultant." You can just see–they turn into like a zombie. They're just like, "Oh, my God, I'm tired. All of a sudden, I need to lie down." Like it's so boring.

But if you use terms like advertising or, "Oh, I work on like paid search and paid social and help run a marketing agency and things like that," then that's more compelling. I think I would, for our community, say that I think 50 to 70% of my work is operations. And so I absolutely would identify with that. And I think people are getting it. I see a lot of jobs for email ops, and things like that. And I think social media management is essentially just operations. There is a creative element, but it's operations, you know, you need to do things efficiently. And especially because there's pressure from clients that, "Hey, we're only reaching 2% of people with every post. We need to make these work more for our budget" or, you know, you can't pay somebody $50 an hour if 100 people see their posts, so you have to do things more efficiently.

And I think the other part of it is that tools are getting really robust. And so, in the wild west of the internet, in digital marketing 10 years ago, you just needed somebody who could actually execute on something. It didn't even have to be efficient. If you sent an email newsletter once per month, you were doing really well. Very low bar. If you were just on Google Ads, you were great. But the platforms themselves have grown. The knowledge and integration into, you know... as these things mature, you need people to be very specific with what they do.

It's no longer, "Oh, you sent an email." We actually need the links to work. [Caro laughs]

We need do it more efficiently. Because we're going to be sending automated emails through active campaign or MailChimp or HubSpot, or Pardot, or something like that. And you have these really robust, complicated workflows. And I'm working on one right now with Salesforce and Pardot. You need those to work perfectly, because if you're selling million dollar contracts, you can't afford to just have somebody back there just like winging it, and hoping that—

Caro Griffin 36:11
And hoping that the links work!

Yeah, no, I've hired and worked with marketing ops people who, you know, I see their Airtable checklist on the backend for QA of emails, and workflows, and lists and all this. And I'm like, "Oh, yeah, this is, this is a job for an ops person, for sure." It's not that one newsletter a month anymore.

There's been a big rise in these team-specific ops—marketing ops, but also revenue ops, design ops, and so on. And part of me is like, is this just rebranding? And then part of me is like, no, like, there's also these very real things that have changed in the industry where you you need a QA of these newsletters and of these workflows. And so it's interesting to see how those roles are going to change over the next couple years.

But I guess, to go back to marketing ops, specifically. You know, you've worked with a bunch of teams. Do you think every marketing team of a certain size should have like a dedicated ops person who sees things this way and thinks this way? When do you think like a marketing ops person is helpful to a team?

Brian Swanick 37:06
Well, that is a very tough question. Because you need to make enough money to pay for this person and also pay for yourself. I'm thinking bootstrapped companies right now in my head—either bootstrapped or maybe raise a seed round or something like that. You can gain the most leverage, like your time has the most leverage. So you need to keep that time precious.

However, if you hire too early, then you don't have anything to do and there is no opportunity cost, because there's nothing else that you can do. So, it's kind of like this weird question. Or this weird position that is very unique to where you are and who you are, and what your businesses is... but I do think that you should hire early. You know, make sure you're profitable, of course, but hire early to get somebody who's a freelancer who—there are tons of freelancers, and tons of great marketing freelancers out there, who will work for, like, you know, a good wage, but they will work just their set hours. They want to work 10 hours a month with a client, you know, so that's what you should look for. I do see the mistake being that people want to hire full time, too early.

Caro Griffin 38:05
Yeah, I see this too. And I'm like, why? I'm a big fan of fractional work for a lot of those reasons, too. For both like the business and for myself. Like, I like doing it. But I'm also, you know, someone who runs a business and I'm like, this is just so much more efficient. You can give someone work that they want too.

You know, I think sometimes, especially coming from an ethical standpoint, I was like, I want to hire someone full time. I want to give them health insurance! We're in the US—they need health insurance! And then realizing that like, not everyone wants their schedule to be that way. Right?

Brian Swanick 38:34
That's exactly it. And I think there are plenty—you need to find somebody who's aligned with the position, especially when you hire full time. You might say, "Hey, this is a marketing coordinator role," which is basically the entry level position, being a marketing coordinator or a Marketing Associate. And you'll often have many things in that role—email marketing, social media, maybe some pay per click, maybe some SEO. It's really hard to find somebody who wants to do all of those things. And so they're gonna find it agonizing to do part of that. So, why not hire somebody who wants to invest in themselves and become a consultant one day?

Like, I was the perfect person to hire for social ads and for search ads for many years, because I wanted to invest my time in that. And all my reading was in that. I was good at it because I spend my time there. It's not wise to hire somebody to get good at social ads if they manage six other things, because it's hard to keep up with everything that's changing.

And so how do you do that if you're spread thin across, you know, 10 different marketing topics? You're just going to be kind of okay, as many of them.

Caro Griffin 39:33
Yeah. So how do you balance doing the work with staying up to date with all the changes that Google and these other providers are constantly making especially as a freelancer.

Brian Swanick 39:41
I have to two parts to this answer. The first one is that, once all advertising moves towards the next platform, maybe TikTok, I'm gonna retire from social ads. [Laughs]

Caro Griffin 39:52
So this is why you're moving to the consultancy/COO stuff! It's just a long play to get out of ads, okay.

Brian Swanick 39:57
Exactly. [Laughs] Yeah, it's hard to leave something you're really good at. And I really do enjoy search and social ads. I think there's just a lot of room for the clients I work with to grow. And there's plenty of good work to be done. There's plenty of people who aren't doing very good work. And it's more complicated now, because you're trying to integrate with databases, and you're trying to use different reporting software. So it's still super interesting. But once we move to that next platform, I'm gonna check out. And please, somebody tweet me in five years, when that happens to make sure that I'm gone.

Caro Griffin 40:26
I think you're very optimistic that it's gonna take five years, but I will I will set that reminder.

Brian Swanick 40:31
Yeah, exactly. But the real answer to the question is that it's hard. It's just really hard. And you have to carve out some time to do that. And this is kind of going back to how I work. I make time—I'm really good at making time to do the things that I think, need to keep me on track. And those things are quarterly retros, for me—spending a couple hours over the course of a week thinking about things that I've done, how am I spending my time? Am I fulfilling the life or the work life that I want? 

And then some really tactical things like... it should be Friday morning, between 7-11. We're gonna push it back today... I have an hour where I invest time into one of my side projects, which is basically learning Python, but for marketing ops. So we will talk about that in a second... But that hour is really set aside for that. I have my calendar pulled up, I don't know if I might have moved it or deleted it, because this week is a little crazy. But I have things like a COO work session. So it's just like time to think about my role with that company. And then I have a time to reach out to new people or to invest in my learning. And so that's when I try and stay on top of things, and read those emails from Facebook that I've been starring or from Google where things are getting updated. But there is a point where I feel like you have to focus and that's part of operations is really focusing on the most important thing. 

Sometimes clients will send emails and they'll say, hey, is this important? And I just want to work? Nope, that's it. Because like, that's part of your job for them is to help filter your priorities for them, because they're gonna be like, Oh, my gosh, Google said, they're gonna shut down their ads. And I'm like, well, we don't actually have those ads, we're good to go, or that's happening in 2022. So we're good to go. And so being kind of ruthless with your time and saying I only have 40 hours a week. And so I can only focus on the highest leverage things for you. 

That's when you stop thinking about, Oh, that's really tactical, like Twitter doubled their character count on on posts last year? Like, I don't care about that, that doesn't impact me at all. You have to filter those things yourself.

Caro Griffin 42:38
Yeah. One, I think it's so tempted with so much noise out there to get sucked down those rabbit holes of those emails, or those announcements or where people are talking about on Twitter about a change in a platform and finding your ways to, to avoid context switching between them constantly, right? Like I set myself up to passively receive a lot of those like news by email, and then I autotag them to read. And they're like, hidden from my inbox, and I have a calendar thing or like, go read all your newsletters.

Brian Swanick 43:00
That's perfect. Yeah, that's exactly it, you know, and everyone you have to sometimes it's not in my calendar to take time to read my pocket, because I say things to pocket that I find, you know, on social or an email or something like that. And so there are starred things and frequently I'll scroll through them and skim it and be like, star that saved for later that is valuable, just not at this moment. 

And so there is a little process there. But to your point, you know, you have I think I think the best thing is to only subscribe to emails that are reliable. Only follow people on Twitter who are reliable, because the world is falling every single day. And you can't get sucked into those details. Even on the small scale, like marketing operations or social ads. Everyday somebody is complaining that Facebook is screwing them over or something. Yeah.

Caro Griffin 43:45
Well, since you subscribe to both the Opsy newsletter and follow me on Twitter, I will take that as a high compliment that we make your inbox.

Brian Swanick 43:52
Yeah, check that - lead score is probably pretty good.

Caro Griffin 43:56
Oh, I will I'll be checking your open right after this.

Brian Swanick 43:59
Oh, shoot better open them all. While we're—

Caro Griffin 44:01
... gonna say you'd like to send me to like a like a filter where you never look at them. Okay, well, so maybe we kind of one last question here, which is what advice would you give to someone who wants to do the kind of work that you do?

Brian Swanick 44:12
The work I do is really just special projects. That's the stuff that is the most interesting and the most opsy. And the best way to do that is to become known for somebody who works on hard projects, and somebody who finishes things and delivers things on time. So, if you're reliable and trustworthy, and you're a good teammate, and you're versatile... If you want to be a consultant, you need to be like, first of all, be able to adapt to different teams and personalities. 

Consulting is a great way to do that. And I think just take on hard projects, wherever you are. For me, that was in-house at every company. People would frequently bombard me with opportunities for projects. Sometimes a little more than I would like, but I got to choose some things and some things were chosen for me and I had this big, kind of like repository of work that I could look back on. And when people were talking about the challenges that they're running into. I was like, "oh, yeah, I migrated a 1200 page site from one CMS to another, it was terrible. Let me share with you the template that I created to make it less terrible." You can rely on those things. And the only way to do that is to take on our projects. And I think that's the easiest way to do it, especially if you're young. 

The other way to do it is to just go work for a big consultancy and go top down. And, you know, I knew a consultant who consulted with Amazon at McKinsey or something. And then he went to work for Amazon. And now he's a consultant for Amazon. That's great. But that's not the route that I chose.

Caro Griffin 45:37
Yeah, so knowing your knowing your route, well, I like to wrap up every episode with a little bit of a showcase, because I think it can be hard to show off your work as an operations person, at least in like a concrete way. And you gave me again, like a perfect segue, because you're talking about this repository of like projects that you have. And so I would love to dig into one that you're really proud of, or one that you recently had that, you know, maybe it was worthy of a Dri-Fit Wednesday. And so, you know, it's not going away. 

So yeah, set the stage for us, what was the problem you were trying to solve? And let's talk about how you approached it, what went right and wrong, and all the juicy details?

Brian Swanick 46:16
I have a small project, I have a medium project, they have a big project. Which one? Would you like to hear about?

Caro Griffin 46:21
Such an Opsy response. Let's go medium. Let's go in the middle, knowing no other details and like, let's go with that one.

Brian Swanick 46:28
Yeah, the small project was essentially I can detail them a little bit small project was, I couldn't find time to analyze the social ads that it's a big, lots of campaigns big account. And I couldn't find time to analyze them. So I wrote that ran the analysis, and dumped it into Excel with some conditional formatting.

Caro Griffin 46:49
This is a small project, Brian?

Brian Swanick 46:52
Yeah, I would say it probably took me 40 or 50 hours.

Caro Griffin 46:54
Okay, we have different definitions of small. How big is the medium project?

Brian Swanick 46:59
The medium project was only a little bit bigger, but it's something that gets used often.

Caro Griffin 47:06
Okay, let's just—I'm gonna commit, I'm still gonna commit to the medium project. So let's just let's just do that. And, you know, we'll get Brian to talk about these other things, another time in another format at some point.

Brian Swanick 47:17
Yeah, so the medium project is really—I thought it was interesting, because we were coming across a very classic marketing agency problem, which is mistakes. You know, you frequently... the business model and marketing agency, it's not always like this, but unfortunately, a lot of agencies do this is that they give the juniors work. So they're like, "Hey, I'm a consultant, I'm so experienced, I'm gonna sell you on this project." And then they give it to interns. And I love in terms of paid internships, like, that's great. I think, you know, practical experience is awesome. And having the ability to make mistakes and all that, that's amazing. However, there are still going to be mistakes, you need to catch those mistakes, you need to QA them need to have a process. 

So what was happening is, we had a client who had a weekly update to their ads, where they essentially had, let's say they were a big box retailer, and they had 35 stores who had a sale on the weekend. And that information changed every weekend. So I wrote this program to take the spreadsheet that already existed, strip it all down, and then take that information and put it onto Photoshop image ads, and automatically dump out an ad for each of those 35 locations. The snap of a finger. Pretty cool.

Caro Griffin 48:35
Wow. Yeah. Okay. Pretty cool. Brian, pretty cool. I'll give you that.

Brian Swanick 48:37
Yeah, definitely a humble brag. But the cool part, what I took a lot of pride in that I'm still really proud of from that quarter, is that we haven't had any errors. And we were catching two to three errors per week, at two different points in the process before because somebody was manually copying and pasting information from a Google Sheet into Photoshop, and then exporting it as JPG. And when you copy and paste, things don't always come out how you want in between two programs. And then sometimes, you know, the spelling would be wrong in the Google Sheet... and then it became wrong in this Photoshop file. And so we have a way to kind of check on these things. 

There were just all these little complex little details, it would make things so complicated. We'd spend probably 6-8 hours a week on this process and now we're spending an hour and a half, maybe. I love to hear that, "oh, it's so perfect." And it frees up time from the designer, like he doesn't want to get harassed about, you know, changing little details on a Photoshop ad. 

Yeah, and I don't know, there were just so many little wins from that. And the client has not had any problems. We probably have one every two months or three months, where we have a mistake. That was from the source spreadsheet that we have to fix immediately.

Caro Griffin 49:48
Wow. Okay, so how did you build that thing?

Brian Swanick 49:51
Well, I think diagnosing the problem is really part of it and diagnosing the weak points, right. So I'm pretty good about it... I love doing this—

Caro Griffin 50:10
You just visibility sat forward in excitement and I had to name that because people can't see you.

Brian Swanick 50:10
Yeah, yeah, I love putting together kind of like these problem docs where you diagnose the problem. And you really write things out. It's similar to a developer who talks to the rubber ducky. I overview the problem, I talk about what impacts it and what doesn't, you know, kind of like the constraints you have and the assumptions, and then kind of identify the perfect solution. And often, that's things that are important things that are not important.

For us, we had an option to use a dynamic image on each of them. I could write the program so that it could grab a random image from a file, but that's too much work. And we had an option to export it to a zip, and it's automatically downloaded through like this pipeline model... that's too much work. We just need something that works. And that reduces the errors. 

And so that was what I would call the bronze medal version was that I first would manually copy and paste into or download the sheet, and then I would do something to validate the addresses. And so it was 20 minutes of manual work, then the program, and then we eventually got that down. 

But I think finding that, you know, identifying the problem, and identifying the potential solution. That is what I would call a bronze metal version, not something that's going to blow everybody away. But something that's going to really tackle the root of the problem, which for us, it wasn't necessarily the time. It was the errors and the client not trusting us.

Caro Griffin 51:31
Yeah, I think a lot of times when people talk about streamlining, they think about automating, they think about the time, but I always go back to those errors, too. And also just like reducing annoyances, or like sometimes those little things where I'm like... I'm so annoyed by this typo that I have to go, it only takes me five minutes to fix, but like to remove those from my day, you know... are you talking about like being 7 or 8 out of 10? Like, that helps me stay at a seven out of 10. And so not having to deal with those things. So that's such an under-appreciated win, absolutely.

Brian Swanick 51:59
And it's identifying those things that a robot can do that we don't need somebody to manually copy and paste. Yeah, his time is more valuable in that he's a good designer. And so I think that's one of the things... 

I read a couple books about leverage and understanding how important that is to get those seven hours back. And it's not just the hours, like you said, it's the agony that it puts you through and the stress that it puts you through that is that changed how I think and that's probably where I leveled up my operation skills, where I'm known as the no guy. 

Like, people come to me with ideas. I'm like, "No, that doesn't." Because I'm really good at kind of identifying like, well, is this gonna impact more than the things that we're doing already? And if the answer's no, I don't wanna do it. Let's not create more work. We don't need to be working till seven... Yeah, I stopped myself on a rant, because I was ready to go.

Caro Griffin 52:45
Ready to go. Thanks so much for chatting with me today. Brian, this was great. Like, obviously, we have lots to follow up on at some point in the future. Tell us where people can find you on the internet, if they want to stay in touch and hear your record recommendations.

Brian Swanick 52:59
Oh, record recommendations, book recommendations, all of them. You know, if you want to get in touch with me, and you're like, we have something to talk about, then you should probably just add me on LinkedIn or email me, you can find my email somewhere. But a good place to find me is Twitter. I'm not on there very often, much like Megan, your first guest, a bunch of people who just aren't interested in social, but I am on there. And I do share some interesting bits about those programs I wrote in about the ops journey and the marketing journey. So that's a good place to find me. Because otherwise, you know, I have notifications muted. I'm working. I'm busy. I'm not going to respond.

Caro Griffin 53:33
Oh my God, because Brian, don't text me this time. Don't text him, we will not be sharing his phone number. 

Okay, great. Well, and if you haven't picked up on this either, Brian is also an avid reader who makes me want to read better books.

Brian Swanick 53:49
Better books.

Caro Griffin 53:51
Or I'm sorry, more serious, less embarrassing books. And so you know, I've been trying to convince him to start an Opsy Book Club. So we'll see. We'll see what happens.

Brian Swanick 54:01
Yeah, that'd be good. No feedback on that. Do we want to have a book club? That'd be cool.

Caro Griffin 54:05
Yeah, very cool. Well, thanks again, Brian. And thanks, everybody, for listening.

Thanks for listening to Opsy. You can find resources and links from this episode in the show notes at Opsy.work. And, while you're there, I hope you'll take a second to join our free community where we share resources and opportunities that help us all level up in our ops careers. Until next time, stay opsy, friends.

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