From Freelancers to Founders with Andrea Wildt and Samantha Anderl

What would you do if you faced a problem that didn’t have a solution? According to Andrea Wildt and Samantha Anderl, you should create one.

When the two marketing execs started their own freelance consulting business, they were bogged down by the number of separate tools they had to use and disappointed by the lack of community.

That’s when they decided to launch Harlow - an all-inclusive platform for freelancers. Tune in (or read below) to hear about their journey, what was crucial to their success, and how they get more done while working less.

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Listen to episode 24

 


In the episode “Going from starting a freelance business to becoming a founder,” we discuss

  • Why clear communication, trust, and respect are the cornerstones of Andrea and Samantha’s professional and personal relationship
  • How Harlow helps freelancers save time and streamline their business
  • Samantha and Andrea’s top business advice: being very thorough and thoughtful in your planning
  • Why Harlow shies away from a typical 9-5 schedule 
  • How staying calm and flexible boosts productivity 
  • Andrea’s productivity hacks: weekly planning and time blocking
  • Samatha’s productivity hacks: ruthless prioritization and focus
  • Why you should build an environment in which you can be creative and try new things
  • The importance of understanding what your skillset is and what your gaps are
  • What Andrea and Samantha focus on when they hire freelancers: the gaps they fill, the cultural fit, and laying out clear guidelines
  • What’s next for Harlow: seeing where the road takes them and working on their product roadmap

Favorite quotes

“Try and get really clear on what you want. It's not to say that it's not going to change. We didn't know what Harlow was really going to look like. We had some big ideas, but we were really clear on what we wanted our relationship to be, our relationship with the business to be, and what we needed financially. And then obviously, things are going to change because that's life along the way. But we got really clear about what we wanted and set that intention. And that way, we're both working towards the same thing.” - Andrea Wildt

I think people are better at their jobs and in their lives and in their relationships, if they're not just focused on work from eight to six every day, nine to five every day, whatever most jobs typically ask from you. You need time to implement self-care. You need time to focus on yourself. You need time to focus on your family. We have all these other priorities outside of work. And that's why a lot of people actually go into freelancing as well. A lot of people go into freelancing because they want more autonomy. They want flexible schedules. They want to really own their life and that balance.” - Samantha Anderl

I get way more done in a focused, five-hour workday than I did in an unfocused, 10-hour workday. Feeling like I just had to sit at my desk because that's what's expected of me. Which was the old work culture that we used to be in. And so, I found that giving ourselves time to fill ourselves up, get some creative juices. And then when we're focused, we're really focused. We can get so much done.” - Andrea Wildt

“So Andrea and I had a very varied skill set. We can do a lot of things, but there are certain things that we just fully know that we are not good at, or it's going to be a huge burden or waste of time for us to try to figure something out, that we could hire somebody else who's an expert for. So it's like, ‘Okay, what are the things that really should be done by an expert?’ Because it doesn't make sense to spend our time there and we're not going to do a good job. What are the things that are falling off our list that we're just not getting to, that we know are important? And what are, straight up, the things that we can't do or don't know how to do.” - Samantha Anderl

Copy of Images for blog posts (1)

Meet today’s guests, Andrea Wildt and Samantha Anderl

My business partner Andrea and I are former marketing execs and freelancers turned SaaS founders at Harlow.

Before founding Harlow, we ran a boutique consulting shop called Interimly. On top of supporting our clients as freelancers, we were running a small business.

Even though we had a strong handle on the business and a growing client base, the day-to-day management wasn't streamlined.

We were using several tools to manage our business, none of which we loved.

We were watching other freelancers struggle with the same thing. After talking to a number of our freelancing friends, it became clear that there wasn't a fan favorite tool or solution out there specifically for the B2B freelancer.

So Andrea and I decided we'd create the solution.

In September 2021 we raised a non-traditional funding round and locked in 1.15M to build Harlow. We're focused on building a company that provides the resources freelancers need to run their business, one that magnifies their voices, advocates for them, and helps them build a network that supports and uplifts them.

At the same time, we're focused on building what we call a calm and flexible company. A company focused on humans above all else.

Productivity resources to explore

“From Freelancers to Founders” full transcript

This transcript has been slightly edited for clarity and readability.

 

Ben (00:00):

This is Get More Done. The blueprint for managers to lead happy and productive teams. My name is Ben Dlugiewicz, and my mission is to help you and your team save time and get more productive so you can work on things that will grow your business. Do you log into multiple tools to get your job done? What if you didn't have to? 

 

Ben (00:15):

On today's episode, I had the pleasure to talk with Samantha Anderl and Andrea Wildt. Sam and Andrea started out as freelancers, running their own consulting business. They grew frustrated with needing to jump around to so many tools and apps. They decided to build Harlow, an all-inclusive platform to help freelancers optimize how they work. During our discussion, they share how they got things started, what you should consider when working with freelancers, and what's next for their new platform. All that and more on Get More Done, starting now. 

 

Ben (00:57):

Excellent. Welcome back to the Get More Done Podcast, where we talk about all things productivity and helping your teams level up. And today we got a two for one. We're talking with the co-founders of Harlow, Andrea Wildt and Samantha Anderl. So welcome to the podcast.

Samantha (01:11):

Thank you for having us.

Andrea (01:13):

Yeah.

Ben (01:13):

Yeah. Super excited to dig into what Harlow has been in the last few weeks, just with the crazy launch and all that good stuff. So before we get into all of that, I want to start things off with an ice breaker question, and with you two being big foodies, I thought it'd be interesting to know what's the weirdest food that you've ever eaten.

Andrea (01:32):

Ooh, I want to know what yours is, Sam.

Samantha (01:34):

I have eaten a lot of weird things in my day. A couple of them just to throw out. So I will try mostly anything once, but I've had alligator, I've had shark, I've had escargot. I've eaten Rocky Mountain oysters. There are a lot of things. None of those things I necessarily love. I will throw that out there. They're not a staple in my diet now, but a lot of interesting things. And I like when I go to different places, to try what their specialty is. I was in New Orleans when I tried alligator and I was in Mexico when I tried shark. And so, I'm open to it.

Andrea (02:17):

All right. I would say mine is just a lot of bugs. So it's been traveling in Columbia as well as Mexico. Ants and caterpillars-

Samantha (02:34):

Ooh, caterpillars.

Andrea (02:35):

And just interesting bugs that are part of the local cuisine.

Ben (02:40):

Yeah. That is very weird. I love it though.

Samantha (02:45):

I will say, I have never eaten a bug, although my husband does call shrimp and lobsters and crabs, sea bugs. So, that does count.

Ben (02:54):

Yep. I can see that.

Andrea (02:55):

Yeah. The ants are good. They're just a little crunchy.

Ben (02:57):

Yeah, exactly. And it's just a different culture, a different part of the world where it's just a delicacy there and it's not your regular in and out over here or anything like that. Awesome.

Samantha (03:08):

Totally.

Ben (03:08):

So I want to take our audience back to the beginning of your relationship, because you two have been working together for over eight years and started at Campaign Monitor, and then ran your own boutique consulting firm. And now you are working on this whole new SAS product, this Harlow app. So what's the key to keeping your relationship thriving, because aren't you just sick of each other?

Andrea (03:32):

No. Are you kidding? I'm already planning our next company.

Samantha (03:41):

We are wildly lucky, I think, to have found one another, but I will say, at the core of our relationship is respect and transparency. Andrea and I are super open and honest with one another. And that is about our feelings on the business, what we think is the best next step, but also our schedules. We're just really, really honest with one another. And I think both of us appreciate very, very strong, clear communication. And we've had that since the very beginning when we were working together at Campaign Monitor, we established that very early. I was actually reporting to Andrea, I was actually Andrea's first hire at Campaign Monitor. She went on to be the Chief Marketing Officer there. I was the Head of Marketing. And even at that time, we just had really open, honest communication about what was best for the business, what was best for us personally, across the board.

Andrea (04:31):

Yep. And there's just a lot of trust, right?

Samantha (04:35):

Yep.

Andrea (04:35):

I think that trust and respect are just what make the best working relationship.

Ben (04:41):

So while you were at Campaign Monitor, were you two just in the break room, strategizing your world takeover? Or how did that go?

Andrea (04:50):

No, in fact, we weren't even in the same office.

Samantha (04:53):

Yeah. And when we both left Campaign Monitor, actually Andrea left about five months before me just to take some time off. She had a remodel, she was doing a bunch of personal things and I actually wasn't sure what my next move was going to be. So there had been a kind of a shake-up in the business. We had gone through some mergers and acquisitions and the team was changing and she had left. I was still there. I was trying to figure out my next steps. So we were staying in touch. I think we were doing happy hours once a week or once every other week, just to touch base on what was going on. And there was one happy hour where Andrew was like, "Hey, I don't want to push you in a certain direction, but if you're at all interested in forming a boutique consulting agency with me, I'm interested, let's do it." And I was like, "This is the best option. Yes, absolutely. I'll follow you there."

Ben (05:43):

So Andrea's the schemer, and then she got you onto her dream. I love it.

Samantha (05:47):

Yep.

Andrea (05:49):

Well, this was my third time freelancing. So I keep freelancing then going back to in-house, and then back to freelancing. And so, I think it was a benefit that I had done it before. And so, I knew that we would easily be able to get clients and how to start it.

Ben (06:09):

Yeah. And apropos to that, building Harlow, it's a platform strictly for freelancers. So how does that platform help freelancers save time?

Samantha (06:19):

Yeah. So Harlow, actually we call it an all-in-one freelance platform. So it actually helps with everything from the very beginning phases, sending proposals and contracts and actually locking clients in, managing those clients once you have them on board. So client management, task management, project management, tracking time associated with that. And then also, invoicing and getting paid and getting the money in the bank. So it was actually really interesting. My sister, just the other day, she's starting a virtual assisting business and she's actually using Harlow, which is really cool to see.

Samantha (06:51):

She's been giving me all this feedback, but one of the things that she told me, which I thought was really cool, and it's exactly why we're building Harlow is, "Hey, I just launched my business a couple months ago. I was already using four to five platforms to manage everything and was feeling so scattered and all over the place. And it almost made me not want to push this business forward, because it was starting to be really hard." And then she told me that she started using Harlow and she just, super transparently, was like, "Hey, what you guys have built is really cool. It is helping me streamline my business, and overall it's going to help me grow my business because it's easier to manage." Which was really, really cool to hear.

Ben (07:29):

Yeah, absolutely. And I guess you built this platform, just for the struggles that you all faced as freelancers. So what type of things does Harlow now solve for those struggling freelancers, other than just unifying everything together?

Andrea (07:44):

Yeah. So one of my favorite features that I like to talk about is actually, the proposal management piece, especially when you start off. We're not designers, we are marketing consultants and Harlow comes with pre-built, beautifully designed templates that you can then just pop in all of your information and automatically send to the client, and have them signed through Harlow. So it reduces the need for you to custom make a template and figure out what needs to be in it. A lot of people don't realize that a proposal is an opportunity to continue selling. So you would like to have a little bit more information about you, maybe some case studies and executive summary, that type of thing. And then also, a way to keep it on-brand. And so proposals are huge... That's a feature that I really like a lot as well as the contract piece.

Andrea (08:35):

And that's something that we struggled with. It took us a while to get a nice template figured out, that then we could just go back and customize. And then, of course, we were putting it into HelloSign to send, which was just another platform that we were paying for. So it just streamlines that. So proposals are a big one and then invoicing as well, just super easy invoicing and keeping it all in one place. Because one of the things we found is that, so many freelancers struggle to invoice.

Samantha (09:04):

It's wild.

Andrea (09:04):

I honestly think people don't like talking about money and it makes them feel icky and they forget about it, because their invoicing system isn't, they're not in it every single day. And so, the fact that your invoicing is sitting inside Harlow, which is also where your proposals are and where your tasks are and all of that, it's just easier to keep it top of mind and get into that routine.

Samantha (09:29):

Yeah. So when Andrea and I first set out to build Harlow, we did a lot of freelance interviews, that's how we kicked things off. We knew what our pain points were, but we really wanted to fully understand other people's pain points, people that worked in different ways, people that offer different services. And so, we interviewed 20, 30 ish freelancers to really understand their pain points and what they struggled with. And you would be shocked at how many people... We would be having a conversation with them and we'd be like, "Yeah, do you ever forget to invoice?" And they're like, "Yeah, I actually, at this moment have not charged my clients for $10,000 worth of work."

Samantha (10:06):

We had somebody that we interviewed that had $30,000 that they had not sent through yet, that they realized when they were talking to us. So a lot of times it's just not on their mind. And so, that's one thing that Harlow does. One of the things, and it seems really small, but it was something that we felt very passionately about making it into this first rev, was this little notification that pops up on the first of the month that says, "Hey-

Andrea (10:29):

"Don't forget."

Samantha (10:30):

"It's the first of the month, don't forget to send your invoices." Something as simple as that can get money in freelancers' pockets.

Ben (10:37):

Exactly. And you're talking $30,000. That's a hefty chunk of change for somebody running their own business.

Andrea (10:41):

That's a lot of money.

Samantha (10:41):

Substantial.

Ben (10:43):

That's a quarter of a year, half of the year for some folks. That's wild.

Andrea (10:49):

Exactly.

Samantha (10:49):

Totally.

Ben (10:49):

And that's the cornerstone of any business of having that capital coming in or that influx of money coming in. So it's awesome that it's a cornerstone of Harlow. So some previous guests have been on and they've talked about their side hustles, and you two have been doing this now and it's your full-time gig. So what advice do you have for anybody thinking of starting a business? And most importantly, what should they avoid doing?

Samantha (11:13):

So when Andrea and I started Harlow, we were actually still running our boutique consulting firm, Interimly. So we actually started ideating on Harlow in January of 2021. We got really serious about it in the spring. That's when we developed our brand, what we wanted it to be, what we wanted it to do, outlining core functionality. We raised around in July, but it actually wasn't until October that Andrea and I stopped doing client work and went full-time. So we were actually, for the first...gosh, what is that? Seven to eight months of building this business and figuring out this next stage, it was half of our job. We were still doing full client work. We were working with three to four different clients, helping them manage their marketing, manage their business. And so, it's really interesting because Andrea and I had a lot of conversations during that time.

Samantha (12:08):

When is the right time for us to stop taking on clients and doing client work? When it's the right time for us to go full-on into Harlow? And the truth was that we needed to pay our bills. So Harlow's not going to make money for a while and that's fine, we understand that. That's why we went out and raised capital. We wanted to have some wiggle room. We raised a very small round from friends and family, but we knew we needed money to build the business.

Samantha (12:34):

And so, I think my piece of advice would just be, be really thorough in your planning. I think Andrea and I were really thoughtful in our approach and really thorough in our financial planning, for how we were going to take on clients, but also launch this business at the right time and how exactly we could do it. And I think a lot of people don't do that and all of a sudden they're in financial hardship or they're really stressed out because they've taken on too many clients and they can't actually push this thing forward. You have to be really thoughtful.

Samantha and Andrea Quote 1

Andrea (13:05):

Yeah. I would say, try and get really clear on what you want. It's not to say that it's not going to change. We didn't know what Harlow was really going to look like. We had some big ideas, but we were really clear on what we wanted our relationship to be, our relationship with the business to be, and what we needed financially. And then obviously, things are going to change because that's life along the way. But we got really clear about what we wanted and set that intention. And that way, we're both working towards the same thing.

Ben (13:42):

Right. Having that clear foundation to build everything else on and connecting to that, I've heard the words just calm and empathetic come up a lot when describing your business and what you're trying to build. So as you grow Harlow, is that the type of culture you're hoping to curate and make it that calm place?

Samantha (14:00):

Absolutely. So Andrea and I are going into this business, really shying away from this typical nine to five approach. As we're building the business, because this is the type of business that Andrea and I also want to work at, we want to work with people who want to focus on personal growth. I think people are better at their jobs and in their lives and in their relationships, if they're not just focused on work from eight to six every day, nine to five every day, whatever most jobs typically ask from you. You need time to implement self-care. You need time to focus on yourself. You need time to focus on your family. We have all these other priorities outside of work. And that's why a lot of people actually go into freelancing as well. A lot of people go into freelancing because they want more autonomy. They want flexible schedules. They want to really own their life and that balance, and we're serving freelancers. 

Samantha and Andrea Quote 2

 

Samatha (14:52):

So we want to reflect that in our organization. It's why Andrea and I went into consulting originally. We left a corporate job where we were working really long hours. It was really burning us out. We were getting tired. We weren't feeling creative. So that's why we ended up freelancing. That's why a lot of people go into freelancing, and that's what we want our employees at Harlow and ourselves to experience.

Andrea (15:15):

Us.

Samantha (15:15):

Yeah. It's super important for Andrea and me that we remain flexible and calm in this environment.

Andrea (15:22):

Yep. And we've found for us, it makes us more productive.

Samantha (15:27):

Yes.

Andrea (15:27):

I get way more done in a focused, five-hour workday than I did in an unfocused, 10-hour workday. Feeling like I just had to sit at my desk because that's what's expected of me. Which was the old work culture that we used to be in. And so, I found that giving ourselves time to fill ourselves up, get some creative juices. And then when we're focused, we're really focused. We can get so much done.

Samantha and Andrea Quote 3

Samantha (15:56):

Totally.

Andrea (15:58):

And I think we're pretty passionate that we can have this balance and build a super-profitable growing business.

Samantha (16:06):

Yep.

Ben (16:08):

Yeah. That's awesome to hear that you're starting off with that spot and having that be part of your core, is really great as you scale. So with that limited capacity during the week, how do you stay productive? What are some processes you have in place to wrangle the chaos and to make sure that you're focusing on the right things?

Samantha (16:25):

So there is-

Andrea (16:26):

I'm actually hyper scheduled, which is funny because we talk about all of this flexibility, but for me, it needs to be scheduled flexibility. Because I have a toddler at home. And so, I have drop-offs and pickups and all of that stuff. So for me, I do it through scheduling my calendar and just time blocking things. So today I've got a couple of meetings, but I also have two hours blocked off this afternoon to brainstorm on a product road map, because I know that we're having a meeting about that tomorrow. So for me, I do a lot of weekly planning and then blocking out my calendar, to make sure that I can get everything done.

Samantha (17:04):

Yeah. And I will say on top, very much connected to that, is just ruthless prioritization and focus. Focus is one of my all-time favorite words, say it all the time, but Andrea and I meet every Monday and we say, "Okay, what are the things that we are trying to accomplish this week? What are the important things? What are the things that need to get done? What are the things that can slide? What are the things that we're thinking about, that we can talk about in three weeks?" So that goes back to our really open and honest communication. That we're really open and honest about our priorities and what we can realistically accomplish and feel good about.

Andrea (17:40):

Yeah. Having a flexible work organization doesn't mean that we don't work or work hard. It just means that we're really, really focused and have high intention about what it is that we're working on.

Samantha (17:58):

Totally. And to be super honest, there are some days where I'm just feeling inspired and I'll work a much longer workday. There are some days where I do work eight or nine hours because I'm feeling inspired and I'm on a roll and I just want to get things over the finish line. And then, there are other days that I'm like, "I'm tired. I'm not feeling inspired. It would actually be a lot better for me to get outside and go on a walk or meet up with a friend or do something different."

Ben (18:20):

Yeah. That's awesome. Now coupled with that, your decision-making process, because I've heard you specifically, Andrea, talk about the one-way door decisions, versus two-way door decisions. So let's talk a little bit about what that means and how that impacts your decision-making process.

Andrea (18:36):

So we had a boss that used to talk about this and it was very freeing for me when I started to think about our decisions in this way. The one-way door decision is something that, in theory, you can't go back through the door or it's really hard and expensive. So these are some basic things of the actual structure of our company, the tech stack that we're using, some strategic decisions, partnership decisions, things like that. That once you're in, you're going to invest a lot of time and money into this. It's very hard to go back and redo that decision.

Andrea (19:13):

But then there's a lot of decisions in business that are two-way doors. It's like, yes, we could do A, we could do B. If A doesn't work, we can always go back and try B. And I think that is part of how Samantha and I work really well together, is that when we do get to these moments of maybe disagreement or we have a different perspective on things. We hash it out and then we decide, "Well, is this a one-way door or a two-way door?" If it's a two-way door, we usually defer to the person that's most passionate about it. And that person then gets to make the final call.

Samantha (19:47):

And I will say, it also opens up an environment where you allow people to test things and fail and not be afraid to do that. That's a big thing is, you don't want everyone to feel like, especially as we're building up the organization, we're going to be hiring more. And we're in the infancy stage. Harlow just launched last week, there are so many things that we can do and so many things that might be successful, but in reality, we don't know what those things are. Nobody knows what those things are. So we want to build an environment in which people are able to test things. Try things. Be creative. Run with their inspiration and know that, "Hey, if it doesn't work out, we can try something else. And that's okay."

Ben (20:23):

Yeah. The freedom to fail, being in the fabric of everything, I think that's only going to be great for your scalability because then people are more able to take those risks and take those challenges for potential exponential growth and exponential awesomeness that will happen. So how have things been for you on the other side of you, now hiring freelancers to help get your business started? How has that gone with you delegating and working with freelancers?

Andrea (20:51):

It's so much fun.

Samantha (20:53):

Yeah. And it's interesting though because, at Campaign Monitor, it was probably the first time that I really hired freelancers hands-on and worked really closely with freelancers. And we had a core team of freelancers that were very important to the business, and I hope they felt that way because we had writers and designers who really helped move us ahead a lot when Andrea and I first started Campaign Monitor. And then, we obviously went and became freelancers ourselves. We're on the other side of it. But I feel like we've always had this understanding because we've been in and out of either being the freelancers that are being hired or being the people, hiring the freelancers, that we really understand how to work with freelancers, and listening to the individuals and figuring out how they work best.

Ben (21:35):

Yeah. And with somebody that's looking to delegate and bring on some freelancers, how should they be navigating that process?

Samantha (21:43):

So I think the way that Andrea and I look at it is, we always talk about our gaps and the things that are on our to-do list, that keep falling or the things that we actually... So we think about what are the things on our to-do list that keep falling. But also what are the things that we literally can't do? So Andrea and I had a very varied skill set. We can do a lot of things, but there are certain things that we just fully know that we are not good at, or it's going to be a huge burden or waste of time for us to try to figure something out, that we could hire somebody else who's an expert for. So it's like, "Okay, what are the things that really should be done by an expert?" Because it doesn't make sense to spend our time there and we're not going to do a good job. What are the things that are falling off our list that we're just not getting to, that we know are important? And what are, straight up, the things that we can't do or don't know how to do. It's write long-form content. Andrea and I are not writers. We are not going to do that. We are not designers. We are not going to do that. So of course, we need designers. We need writers. So that's how we go about thinking about it.

Samantha and Andrea Quote 4

Andrea (22:47):

Yeah. And I will say,, when we think about hiring them, a couple of things that we do, one, we really look at their communication style and make sure that's going to work with us. Is this a freelancer that needs or wants a lot of meetings? Do they only communicate, async? Do we have weekly check-ins, things like that, depending on the project? Does that work with how we want to work on this particular project? And then, setting super clear expectations upfront. This is why statement works are so important for everybody involved. Here's exactly what we're going to do. Here are the deliverables. Here are the dates. And then, it's easy.

Ben (23:29):

Right, yeah. It makes total sense to just find the gaps where you need some extra firepower to come in and lay out those clear guidelines and ground rules. And most importantly, that culture fit too, that they fit with your style and your calm and empathetic work environment.

Samantha (23:46):

Totally.

Ben (23:48):

So, one thing I'm keen to learn a little bit more on, because being a freelancer can be a bit lonely because you're maybe isolated by yourself a lot. So how are you hoping to help freelancers find and build supportive connections through Harlow or a broader community?

Samantha (24:05):

So I will say, we've talked a lot today about Harlow as a product and how it helps, but there is this entire other piece of it that we haven't really touched on, which is exactly what you're asking about, which is this community aspect. Community is wildly important to us. It is one of our main focuses as we're building Harlow. We actually started building the community back in August, September before we even launched the product, because Andrea and I truly believe in the power of community and the power of really connecting with your audience and providing for them and being helpful and magnifying their voice.

Samantha (24:38):

So that's constantly at the core of what we're doing with Harlow, whether it's on social or through events or through the product or through our content on the site. We have this list of priorities, and when we're creating new things, we're saying, "Okay, does it help freelancers? Is it truly helpful? Does it magnify a freelancer's voice? Does it bring attention to their struggles? Is it empathetic and relatable to them? Can they really, really relate to this issue that we're talking about?" If it doesn't check one of those boxes, we're not doing it. We're not creating it. It's all about focusing on them and making sure that we are being really genuine in that.

Andrea (25:21):

Yeah. We just want to be a trusted resource for this audience also, whether they use the product or not. We want them to be able to come to our website and if they're struggling with how to price their services or how to get rid of a bad client, because we've all had them, things like that. We'd like to be able to help them solve those problems through content, videos, or through the product.

Ben (25:48):

Right. And having that clear voice or making sure it's checking all those boxes. I think that's really great advice for everybody. So then any piece of content, if it's not meeting those goals, be like "We're not creating it. We're not writing it."

Andrea (26:00):

Yep.

Ben (26:00):

It's really awesome.

Andrea (26:01):

Comes back to ruthless prioritization.

Ben (26:04):

Exactly. Right. Skim all the back, get right to the good stuff. Exactly. So we talked a little bit about the difference between your time at Campaign Monitor, but I'm curious to know, running your own business now and scaling this up, how does that differ from helping out that $200 million company? What do you see the big difference is and are you hoping to become a $200 million company? Where do you see Harlow growing into?

Andrea (26:31):

That's a big question.

Samantha (26:32):

Go ahead and answer. It's a big question.

Andrea (26:36):

Wouldn't it be cool if Harlow became a $200 million company? Absolutely. Yes. We totally want to help freelancers. And there are millions and millions of freelancers out there that need this help. So yes, we absolutely have big aspirations for the product and for bringing people into the product. And where it exactly goes? Who knows. We'll see where the road takes us, but in terms of just the difference between working at a large organization like that, versus where we are with Harlow. I was spending most of my time managing up and sitting in meetings all day. And so, I think this is also why Sam and I are so passionate about having freedom and flexibility. Because I would go into work and literally be sitting in a conference room from 7:30 in the morning until 6:30 in the evening. And that's not super fun. So I think we both enjoy actually doing, we love strategy, but we also really like execution. And so, I think no matter how things play out, we want to make sure that we still have the ability to actually be practitioners, while we're driving the business.

Samantha (27:58):

All of that. I don't even have anything to add. Exactly what she said.

Ben (28:02):

Right. Yeah. That's the difference between needing to wear all the hats and being in the background, maybe at larger companies, you have to be involved in so much and be at the helm and guiding things through. So, talk to me a little bit about how the launch went last week and the early feedback from your... I guess it's not really beta users now, because it's live and it's ready to go.

Andrea (28:22):

Yeah.

Ben (28:22):

So these are the little legit users. So, tell me a little bit about how the launch went.

Andrea (28:28):

It was great.

Samantha (28:29):

It was. It was a really, really wild week, but it was so fulfilling. I think one of the really cool things for me is, we launched and what we saw was that there was this freelance community on our social platforms that saw us launch, that were so ready to share our message and help support us and put us in front of a larger audience. And that was so cool. Every single time that a freelancer shared Harlow and talked about getting into the product and how much they loved it. And I was getting DMs across social from freelancers. You expect that from your friends and your family. You expect for them to support you and send you nice things. But there were all these people that I'd either only met on social media or I had never met, that were sending over nice encouraging notes talking about how much they loved Harlow, and that was so cool.

Andrea (29:19):

Yeah. It was really cool to see because in a way, we've been building in public. As Sam said, we wanted to focus on community early on. And so we started engaging with the community at the beginning like, "Hey, we're building this, will you talk to us, give us your feedback, tell us your struggles, how can we help?" And so, a lot of these people have watched us from day one. And so, it felt really good to know that they were rooting us on.

Ben (29:44):

Yeah. That's awesome to hear that you got such good support and it's only just the stepping stone of more things. So what's next for you all, now that the launch is behind you? What's next on the horizon?

Andrea (29:55):

We're working on our product roadmap.

Samantha (30:00):

Yeah. The product is ongoing. We really did release what we consider to be our V1 of the product. And so, there are so many other things that we're talking about building and creating and adding, in a focused way, making the things that we have, better. We're doubling down on community. So really figuring out how we could engage with this community through different mediums, how to expand that, how to be there for them more often and in different places. We're really thinking through our content moving forward and what else we can help them with and how we can help, and how that manifests itself. So there is a never-ending list of things to continue doing.

Samantha (30:43):

It's funny. I had a friend this past weekend who's like, "Well, great, you guys launched. You guys can relax now. It's just going to keep going." And I was like, "No, not quite." This week isn't as stressful as launch week, but there are a lot of things to do. And I think another one of those things is, hiring and figuring out how we continue to build the team from here too. We actually just brought on our first full-time employee, which we're really stoked about. Her name's Madi, she's going to totally kill it. But all of those things, we have a lot to think about.

Ben (31:16):

Absolutely. Those early hires. They have to be more generalists and be able to help with all the stuff. And then you can build the team to get the specialization and everything moving forward. Where can people stay up to date with everything that you're working on?

Samantha (31:30):

Yeah. So the website is meetharlow.com. You go there to sign up for the product, see our resources, get more information. We're also all across social. So Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook. All Of our handles are MeetHarlow. And then, we actually just recently, also launched our TikTok, because another thing that we're doing is doubling down on video as a medium, but TikTok's a little bit sad right now.

Andrea (31:56):

We got some work to do.

Samantha (31:58):

We'd love some more followers there.

Ben (32:00):

Yeah. TikTok is a whole different world and you got to know the game, know the dance, no pun intended, but-

Samantha (32:07):

Totally.

Ben (32:07):

Know that, but that's really awesome that you're trying new things and not scared to dig into that. So really awesome. And we'll be sure to put up the links on our blog post so everybody can check it out. But Andrea and Samantha, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule, to share with our audience, what you're working on and how you're helping people save a ton of time and just optimize their workflows and everything. Really great to see with Harlow. So wish you all the best in your success and I'll be sure to follow along and hope everybody else does too. So thanks for being on Get More Done.

Andrea (32:38):

Awesome. Thanks for having us.

Samantha (32:39):

Yeah. Thank you so much.

Ben (32:40):

All right. Cheers. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Get More Done. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform to get updates of future episodes. Want to be a guest? Reach out to community@youcanbook.me or visit getmoredone.youcanbook.me if you or your team want to automate your scheduling, sign up for a free two-week trial at YouCanBook.me. What will you do with all the time that you save?

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