Since the COVID pandemic hit full force in early 2020, remote working has boomed worldwide. Whether it has become a fundamental shift in global working behavior or is a temporary response to a unique global challenge remains to be seen. For CEO Georgia Austin, however, a business model based on remote working has helped her start-up grow exponentially. But, without any in-person interaction, how does a fully remote business engage its staff and create a productive, cohesive culture?
Georgia Emily Austin is the visionary entrepreneur behind the copywriting agency, Wizard of Content. Started just under two years ago from her laptop in Rio de Janeiro, the company has since grown to become a global business employing over 50 writers worldwide. Its clients include Heal’s Furniture, Office Freedom, and Stakester, among other leading brands. For Georgia, a remote business model has allowed her to leverage the benefits of employing staff for their talent over their location. But it is an approach that is not without challenge.
As her business has grown, Georgia Austin has had to learn to manage writers based on four different continents and coordinate an executive team based in three. According to Georgia, however, the problems posed by a disparate team are solvable with some innovative ideas. She says, “I’m on a mission to make Wizard of Content a cutting-edge company that defies traditional norms.” It’s a mindset that allows her to think outside the box when developing a company culture that spans continents.
Georgia explains, “We recently implemented a new house tournament initiative for our team of Wizards. Each quarter prizes like flight vouchers, gym membership, and Spotify vouchers are up for grabs for the team with the most points. Points are earned by doing things like sharing posts on LinkedIn, having no revisions on a piece of content, or taking a break to do an activity with mental health benefits.” The focus is on sharing these activities company-wide through platforms like Slack, creating a continual social and business dialogue that unites her team.
Recognizing that she employs a team of freelance digital nomads, Georgia also takes an understanding approach to outside work. She understands the value other opportunities offer to help develop her staff’s skills and writing acumen. She says, “We strive to take the non-traditional route in business. Things like supporting our freelancers’ projects that aren’t Wizard of Content related. Essentially, you can work for us, disappear for a few months, then come back. We’ll support that.”
A remote working business model has been hugely successful for Georgia Austin. She has created a culture that unites a disparate team and can consequently leverage the expertise and skill of writers based worldwide. The result has been more creative, engaging content for her clients. She says, “I love that my writers live all over the world – after all, your creativity flourishes when you are in new settings, places that you love, and that energize you.”
Coupled with up-to-the-minute SEO knowledge, Georgia’s model – with its focus on ensuring a productive, supportive remote corporate culture – has led to productive staff, satisfied clients, increased referrals, and more repeat business.