From solo freelancer to global CEO in a year. Georgia Austin shares her secrets for start up success

Business

In March 2020, Georgia Austin was freelancing from her home in Rio de Janeiro, armed with a laptop and a freelance marketplace account. Under two years later, she is the CEO of a content agency on track to become a multi-million dollar business, managing a team of over 50 writers worldwide. Her secret for success? A non-corporate approach to business and a fundamental belief in the power of the written word.

Georgia Austin says, “I’m on a mission to make Wizard of Content a cutting-edge company that defies traditional norms. We really strive to take the non-traditional route in business; speaking like friends to our clients, hiring digital nomads, and supporting freelancers’ outside projects.”

Instead of restricting her services to one sector, Georgia leverages a fully remote business model to connect companies with specialist writers. It means she has access to expertise on a specific subject without being limited by a writer’s location. Brands value the service of writers with a passion for their industry – which leads to more compelling, emotionally engaging content. She says, “We pair clients with specialist writers who don’t just have the most experience in their field, but share a genuine love and interest for it too.”

Georgia believes employing digital nomads has also given Wizard of Content the edge over more traditional agencies in terms of the quality of content being generated. She adds, “Creativity flourishes when you are in new settings, places that you love and that energize you. It shines through in our work.”

Clearly, a non-traditional approach is working. Georgia Austin says, “We grew astronomically based on referrals and positive feedback, with not a penny spent on marketing.” Her advice to other start-ups in the content world is simple – focus on quality and emotional connection. “Great content marketing is when you read words and feel something.”

Her rapid rise from freelancer to CEO has not come without its challenges. Georgia has had to learn to coordinate a team of writers based on four different continents, working with an executive team based in three. She encourages other company founders to embrace the challenge but not to be afraid to hand over the reins where necessary. With growth comes the need to delegate and trust. For Georgia, this came in bringing Sam Kohn and Amanda Jones on board to head up the company’s SEO and marketing strategy, and operations.

They both exemplify the value that additional passion and expertise can add to a growing enterprise. As Sam Kohn says, “My mission is to add value to every client experience. That means solving problems clients didn’t even know they had and communicating their brands in new and exciting ways.” Amanda Jones adds, “The business is in an important phase of growth and it’s important that we incorporate the processes and procedures that are going to work best for our clients and our team while staying true to the company culture we are building.” The three are now working on building a roadmap to scale Wizard of Content into a communications agency offering a wide range of marketing, advertising, and communications services.

For Georgia Austin, the rise from freelancer to global CEO has been meteoric. But she believes that there is capacity for anyone with passion and dedication to scale their own business. Her advice on getting started? “Simply put, try everything. If you know what you want to do, start small, contact clients where you genuinely think you can offer value, and build up your client base over time. Use freelancing tools like LinkedIn or Upwork to find warm leads who need your help.”

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