It’s finally time to take the plunge: I’m launching my own business.
That’s the name.
Starting on June 1, 2018, the real adventure begins.
And I’m doing it on my own. 100%.
This article contains the full story.
As open and transparent as possible.
The past few years I learned a lot from reading similar stories.
Books, blogs, vlogs.
Their stories inspired me. I started dreaming about my own content marketing business.
So I want to put my story out there as well.
And hopefully, inspire others to pursue their dreams by doing so.
This is the story.
My journal as the adventure unfolds.
Or at least, the place where I try to organize my thoughts in an attempt to continue learning.
- Update #1: June 1, 2018 – Officially launched
- Update #2: June 14, 2018 – First 2 weeks, all is great but…
Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with me.
I’d love to hear from you.
Don’t feel like reading this article? Listen to it below or grab the audio file for on the road.
Why ‘Great Scott!’?
The most frequently asked question so far?
“Where does that name come from?”
It’s inspired by my all-time favorite movie: Back To The Future.
“Doc” Emmett Brown, one the main characters of the trilogy, randomly blurts out these two words whenever he has a brand new insight.
As a strategist, I want my clients to have that “Doc Brown” experience.
My main goal is helping them to have that Aha! moment that helps them to grow their business.
And that’s not always easy…
“It’s 2018. It’s both the best and worse time to be in marketing.”
As a marketer, your options are endless.
Literally, anything is possible.
We can shoot cars to Mars. (and remember that guy who jumped in the other direction?)
There’s a social media platform for every potential niche.
And then we haven’t even started discussing software, tools and technology such as AI and VR.
There are just so many options out there.
That’s cool, but this can be a problem.
The famous research of Psychologist Barry Schwartz indicates that having too many options can have a paralyzing effect on people.
As a company, this paralyzing effect can be dangerous as you’ll probably start running behind on your competitors.
That’s where Great Scott! comes in.
I’ll help you to make choices and send your marketing back to the future. – see what I did there? –
What do you offer?
The easiest way is to look at Great Scott! as an extension of your current (marketing) team.
This means that I directly plug my knowledge and experience into your company.
Great Scott! primarily focusses on:
- Content marketing
- Inbound marketing as a modern marketing philosophy
- Social media marketing
- Strategic guidance of marketing automation/HubSpot projects
There are a lot of agencies, consultants and freelancers out there who claim to do the same.
Great Scott is different in three ways:
- The focus will be on making your team better
- By offering advanced agency quality without the usual hassle
- And by maximizing the potential of all your current assets
#1 Making your marketing team better.
Many online marketing agencies are actually competing with your marketing team.
They try to steal (a part of) their job because it means more billable hours and business for them.
Then your team starts to become more protective.
And instead of collaborating on growing your company, they’re making sure that the other one isn’t getting the job.
At Great Scott! I prefer to partner with your team.
This is the only way to grow your business in the long run.
Your people can make a difference every single day.
Because they are in your business. They ARE your business.
By continuously improving their knowledge and skills, we can always focus on the next challenge and look forward.
#2 The advanced agency quality without the usual hassle
There are a lot of great agencies out there. Really.
But for some companies, the agency model doesn’t really work.
- They don’t have the budget to pay the big fees. E.g. SME’s.
- They need a team that can almost act instantly. E.g. start-ups.
- Or they have a culture of organizing as much internally as possible.
Great Scott! has the agency experience, as you will read further in this article.
But as mentioned before, that experience needs to plug into your team in whatever way of working that suits your company culture.
This can be in many different forms:
- Online training module
- Education events
- One-on-one team coaching
- Workshops & brainstorming
- Public speaking
- Co-creation of content marketing strategy/campaign
- Outsourcing content & inbound marketing strategy
And if I had to put this all into one sentence it would be something like:
“Great Scott! grows your business by letting your team embrace the full potential of online content.”
#3 Maximizing the potential of your current assets
You’ve probably tried content marketing before.
You have a website.
You have a Facebook or Linkedin page.
You might even have some blog articles.
Why does every content marketing agency wants to charge you for creating tons of new content?
It’s about building on what you already have.
It’s about optimizing, combining and rewriting your existing content.
Great Scott! looks at what you already have.
Even if you haven’t started embracing content marketing already, there are dozens of great stories in your company, waiting to be told.
Together, we’ll identify those stories.
Great Scott! won’t waste your money on creating new blog articles every single day.
Your money should go to fueling your growth: distributing your content and optimizing your conversion.
Who’s behind all this?
At this point, Great Scott! is a one-man band, supported by a reliable network of like-minded freelancers and companies.
The one-man band, that’s me.
Thierry De Vynck.
I started my career in advertising in 2011 at Grey Brussels, the Belgian agency of the international renowned Grey network at the time.
For almost three years, I learned the ins and outs of crafting a digital strategy thanks to the wisdom, coaching and support of amazing people like Kris, Koen, Patrick, Jon, Thomas, Peter, Alemsah and many others.
In October 2013, I decided to join the team of Dallas Antwerp. Right before the important transformation into the first fully inbound marketing certified agency in Belgium (and in the meantime HubSpot Platinum Partner)
I was lucky to be at the forefront of this change. More importantly, my position as digital strategist suddenly became a part of the beating heart of the business.
This provided great new learning opportunities over the past few years such as working for amazing clients such as:
In the summer of 2016, I got promoted to ‘Head of Content & Strategy’ and joined the leadership team of the agency.
These years have been an amazing journey. But in January 2018 it was time to move on. After months of doubts, I finally made a hard – but necessary – decision. (and I also made this awkward video about it)
And so the story begins…
Update #1: It’s D-DAY!
It’s official, the business is launched!
Great Scott! is now officially an Antwerp-based content marketing business. – how cool is that?
The past few months have been heavy.
While working at Dallas Antwerp, and making sure all the clients were handed over the new team, I needed to get everything ready.
It’s basically combining two jobs at the same time.
But you have to hustle hard, right?
After my final day at Dallas Antwerp, it was time for a break.
We didn’t plan it that way, initially. But the timing turned out to be just perfect.
After 20 days in Japan with my amazing girlfriend, I could launch the business with fresh energy, new inspiration and a completed checklist.
Now it’s all set:
- Logo + branding
- First 2 blog articles:
- Marketing & sales software set-up & synced
- Updated Linkedin profile, Google MyBusiness and many more
- Important certifications:
- Google Analytics Certification
- Inbound Marketing Certification
- World Class Communication Certificate
- Behavioral Design Certificate
- And many many many more.
Everything can always be better, but it’s out there and I’m happy with it.
Now it really begins!
Update #2: Running a content marketing business for 2 weeks already!
A new update!
A brief one, because it’s starting to get busy.
After 2 weeks, the first clients, projects and partnerships are official.
I’ll add some of them later in this article.
But it’s going well.
I’m taking meetings almost every day, so the agenda – and the sales pipeline – is getting filled.
– if you want to set up a meeting yourself, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org –
The biggest challenge so far: putting pants on in the morning.
Working from home certainly has its perks.
But it’s not always easy.
There are a lot of distractions obviously.
The things you usually use in your free time, are only a few steps away.
And that goddamn World Cup 2018 is about to start! – GO Belgium! –
The home is now the office.
In between calls, I run into the kitchen and notice that we’re almost out of food. So it’s easy to go out and start doing all the household stuff. There are no colleagues (or boss) working around you and stimulating to do the same.
I underestimated that.
Since I’m a one-man band, I’m also a marketer, sales guy, owner, office manager etc. at the same time.
Juggling all the tasks – and in the right order – can be challenging as well.
So apart from working for my clients, I’m working hard on figuring out my daily routine.
– please feel free to share your tips if you have any –
And will be testing the co-working formula for a couple of days as well.
The formula for now is:
- Separate “work” and “home”-space with at least 1 door
- Wake up before 8:00 am and exercise
- Work on client projects until 1 PM
- 1 PM: lunch & follow the news
- The afternoon is for sales, meetings & admin
- One afternoon is blocked for Great Scott!’s marketing, side-hustles and events.
This formula also lives in my Google Calendar, with different “agendas” to organize it all.
It’s showing progress and increasing my productivity already.
But I’m not there yet.
Once I’ve found the right formula, I’ll write an article about it and link to it, right here.
If I find the right time to write that article, that is!
And now: pants off & quality time.