Improve Your Workflow Episode 09 with Anu Ramani

26 September, 2019

Anu Ramani is the Founder and Managing Director of Isoline, a B2B Content Marketing agency based in London.

Improve Your Workflow is sponsored by Digital Pigeon. For an extra long free trial, visit https://www.digitalpigeon.com/workflow/ and use the coupon code: WORKFLOW.

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Transcript of Improve Your Workflow podcast with Anu Ramani of Isoline

Voiceover:

Welcome to the Improve Your Workflow podcast, brought to you by Digital Pigeon. Learn from other creative and media businesses about attracting more work, delivering projects efficiently, getting paid on time and everything in between.

Paul Evans:

Hi there and welcome to episode nine of Improve Your Workflow. My name is Paul Evans and I'm excited today to be interviewing our first guest from the UK, Anu Ramani from Isoline Communications. Welcome to the show, Anu.

Anu Ramani:

Hi Paul. Thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here.

Paul Evans:

Great. Yeah. Could you tell the listeners what you do and who you do it for?

Anu Ramani:

Sure. I run Isoline Communications. We help companies who are in the tech B2B space to sell better and engage with their audiences better, through content creation and content marketing and social.

Paul Evans:

Fantastic. And what kind of content do you produce?

Anu Ramani:

Oh my God, that's a short question that requires a very long answer. I kind of divide, I like to divide it into three types of content. Short form, long form and social.

So the thing is that as technology accelerates in the way it develops, companies and their audiences find it harder and harder to keep up just organically. So a lot of marketing these days is educational. So not only are you selling a solution to your clients, you're also explaining to them how it works. How we can integrate with their systems. What this means to the future of technology and so on.

And so when you're trying to convey so many things through your communications, you sometimes need to do a long form piece of content, like a white paper or a case study. You might need to do an AVP, like an animated video. A comic book, maybe. Short form pieces like, I don't know, a quick blog or a Q & A. And of course, a lot of social where you keep amplifying the reach of what you produce. So it's a real range of what we do. That's what makes it fun.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Interesting. Awesome. What would you say is your number one productivity hack?

Anu Ramani:

Okay. I think what makes me most productive? And the answer to that is last minute panic. I try not to be, but I have a very old fashioned approach to ensuring I deliver what I need to on time. And it's just writing lists. I write lists in great detail, exactly what I need to do. I even break it down into time when things are getting a bit stressful. But in the company generally we use Trello boards, which is a really neat software that allows people to keep track of projects and exactly where it's going, share with clients and so on. So they use Trello because they're smart. I use lists.

Paul Evans:

That's very funny. So my team use Trello as well, and I use handwritten lists.

Anu Ramani:

You shouldn't speak of it. It shows how old you are.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. And I actually, in the last episode I think I got found out how old I am. I started referring to Microsoft Access.

Anu Ramani:

Oh.

Paul Evans:

But yeah. Okay. So in terms of those lists, what kind of information are you putting on there? You mentioned dates. Are you talking like how long something should take you or when it's due, or do you categorise it in any way?

Anu Ramani:

I do. I categorise usually by client, and then by new business, and then I break it down into tasks that I... I just tend to write everything that I need to do. Then I prioritise tasks that need to be delivered sooner or tasks which are more important. I tend to do tasks that are easier to do and get out of the way very quickly.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, in the morning, or...

Anu Ramani:

Even though I'm told that that's not the optimal way of doing it. But I just feel that, okay, just get it out of the way because then it's just going to accumulate.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, to ask. Yeah. Okay. So you mentioned Trello as being part of your stack. Your tech stack. Is there any other tools that help you get the job done?

Anu Ramani:

Well, with content creation, it's so diverse, right?

Paul Evans:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, of course.

Anu Ramani:

So we use a whole bunch of stuff. We use the entire, the Microsoft Suite because Microsoft Word is the easiest way to create and edit content and keep it local to you. For some clients we use Google Sheets. We use Adobe a lot because we do a lot of photo editing.

Paul Evans:

Yeah.

Anu Ramani:

We use Zoom, which I know you use too for conferencing. We use a whole range of softwares that, based on what our clients prefer to use. So it's a, and then we use WordPress. We use a whole range of marketing automation software, whether it's Marketo or Pardot or HubSpot. The whole range.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, it's really dependent on the client's needs.

Anu Ramani:

Yeah, it's a real range because we do it on behalf of so many individual campaigns. We just have to be really good at picking up clients environment.

Paul Evans:

Yeah. Fantastic. All right, we're just going to take a few seconds now to hear from our sponsor.

Voiceover:

This episode is brought to you by Digital Pigeon. Digital Pigeon is the leading file sharing service for creative and media businesses that can't afford to miss deadlines. With a focus on moving large files from A to B quickly and reliably, Digital Pigeon is a tool you can count on where others fail to deliver. Try Digital Pigeon out for free today at www.digitalpigeon.com/workflow for an extra long 90 day trial. Now back to the show.

Paul Evans:

If you could work with one brand that you don't already work with, who would that be and why?

Anu Ramani:

Oh, okay. Well I have an answer to that. I did think about this one. It would be, so let me just provide the context.

Paul Evans:

Sure.

Anu Ramani:

I really love Blockchain.

Paul Evans:

Okay.

Anu Ramani:

So in the first place you can't be in tech B2B content marketing without developing a real passion for knowing how things work. And I really like Blockchain. I think Blockchain has huge potential to transform certain aspects of business. I think the jury is still out on Crypto Currency. Let's leave that aside.

Paul Evans:

Sure.

Anu Ramani:

But if you want to track how things are moving from place to place, if you want to track how transactions move from one place to another, what currently needs a lot of sign offs and POs, etc., Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise. And there is a company called Interledger that does, that uses Blockchain to track diamonds from the mine all the way to-

Paul Evans:

A ring or jewelry.

Yeah.

Anu Ramani:

And they are, and I would really, really love to work with them. We've got a few Blockchain clients in the past, but if you want the name of a company that would be the one. I would love to work...

Paul Evans:

What was the name, sorry, again?

Anu Ramani:

Interledger.

Paul Evans:

Okay. Interledger, if you're listening.

Anu Ramani:

The best company

Paul Evans:

Digital marketing agency. Awesome. Okay. So second last question. How do you go about solving problems that you don't know the answer to? And you're not allowed to say Google because that's too obvious. So is there any specific blogs that you turn to, any resources that you can share with our listeners that help you?

Anu Ramani:

Well, I do have a couple of mentors that I... I have absolutely no shame or qualm about just picking up the phone and saying, "Can you please help me? I don't know how to do this. I don't know what to think on this one. I don't know how to progress." And these are the bigger questions that I would reach out to them. Not in terms of-

Paul Evans:

Day-to-day work. This is more-

Anu Ramani:

That doesn't make sense to go...

Paul Evans:

This is really the running the business, your business?

Anu Ramani:

Things I don't know the answer to maybe. Things that I am just wavering. Shall I do this, shall I do that?

Paul Evans:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Same as mine.

Anu Ramani:

Those kinds of things. And I've been lucky enough to meet and become friends with some very inspirational, very kind and generous people.

Paul Evans:

Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Anu Ramani:

So I would advise, I mean, I would advise everybody to find people like that.

Paul Evans:

And can I ask, how did you go about finding mentors?

Anu Ramani:

I have two people that I speak to very regularly and they were both old bosses of mine.

Paul Evans:

Oh, that's funny. I've got mentors as well.

Anu Ramani:

Which I admire hugely.

Paul Evans:

And same thing, old bosses. Yeah.

Anu Ramani:

Yeah. And they're just great, aren't they? I mean, you can just, they're very generous, very kind. And I think they genuinely care about what you're doing. They get excited about your progress and it's really great.

Paul Evans:

A hundred percent. Cool. So finally, where can our listeners connect with you?

Anu Ramani:

Oh, the site is www.isiloncomms.com. I-S-O-L-I-N-E-C-O-M-M-S.com. And we are @IsolineComms on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Paul Evans:

Fantastic. Thanks for being on the show, Anu.

Anu Ramani:

You're welcome. It was my pleasure.

Paul Evans:

Well, it sounds like Anu and I have a lot in common. We both hand write notes. Both our teams use Trello as a way of tracking projects, and we both like getting the easy stuff done at the start of the day. I tend to be more of a night owl, so I wonder if that's why I prefer tackling the more difficult tasks later in the day. Anyway, thanks again for listening and until next time, keep on delivering.

Anu Ramani:

Thanks for listening to the Improve Your Workflow podcast. If you enjoyed the podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes. Go to www.digitalpigeon.com/reviewpodcast/ for more info. And we'll add you into our monthly draw to win a Digital Pigeon T-shirt. Bye for now.


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