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7. Mastering Remote Work: Insights from a Jewelry Entrepreneur

mastering remote work

Laryssa Wirstiuk is the founder of Joy Joya, a highly specialized digital marketing agency catering exclusively to the jewelry industry. 

With nearly eight years of experience in the field, Laryssa’s journey into jewelry marketing stemmed from a lifelong fascination with the emotional and aesthetic allure of jewelry. Despite initially pursuing a career in various marketing roles across different industries, Laryssa found her true passion in serving the jewelry sector.

A seasoned entrepreneur and marketing expert, Laryssa’s expertise lies in crafting tailored digital marketing strategies for jewelry businesses, helping them thrive in an ever-evolving market landscape. Her agency offers a range of services, including email marketing, content marketing, and social media management, all designed to enhance brand visibility and drive sales in the competitive jewelry market.

Laryssa’s commitment to remote work and her innovative approach to client acquisition reflect her forward-thinking mindset and dedication to fostering growth opportunities for businesses worldwide. 

With a passion for creativity, a knack for strategic marketing, and a relentless drive for success, Larissa continues to make a significant impact in the jewelry industry and beyond.

Key Takeaways

  1. Niche Specialization: Laryssa’s success highlights the power of niche specialization in business, focusing exclusively on serving the jewelry industry with her digital marketing agency, Joy Joya.
  2. Remote Work Efficiency: Running a remote team, Laryssa emphasizes the efficiency and benefits of part-time remote workers, highlighting the flexibility and productivity they brings to her business.
  3. Content Creation: Laryssa’s approach to content creation, including her book “Jewelry Marketing Joy” and podcast, underscores the importance of consistent and value-driven content for brand building and thought leadership.
  4. Steady Business Growth: Laryssa’s journey showcases the value of steady business growth, emphasizing the importance of learning and adapting along the way to effectively scale her agency over the years.
  5. Global Expansion: Laryssa’s commitment to remote work extends to her vision for global expansion, with plans to continue building her remote team across different countries to further serve her clients’ needs.

Connect with Larissa

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawirstiuk/ 

Website – https://joyjoya.com/ 

 

Here is the full transcript:

Paul Urwin  0:00  

Welcome to remote business growth, your go to source for all things remote work and business growth. Join us as we delve deep into the strategies, insights and success stories that will help you thrive in the remote work landscape. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a remote team leader, or simply curious about how to grow your business, this podcast is your gateway to unlocking your full potential. So get ready to embark on a journey of innovation and success. Hey there, Paul here and welcome to episode seven of the remote Business Growth podcast. I hope you’re having a fantastic week so far today. I’ve got an amazing interview for you. It is with Larissa Wirstiuk Larissa is a jewelry marketing expert. She has a company that helps jewelry entrepreneurs with their marketing. So she is an entrepreneur helping other entrepreneurs, which I think is absolutely brilliant. We talk about content, we talk about marketing, we talk about running a team of remote workers, and in particular, we talk about some of the benefits of working with part time remote workers. So if you’re running a small or medium sized business, if you’re an entrepreneur, then stay tuned, I’m sure you’ll pick up some very useful insights from this episode. If you’d like to check out all of our episodes, then head on over to remotebusinessgrowth.com. And if you are interested in hiring a virtual assistant or remote worker to grow your business, then check out thereistalent.com. Now I think it’s time to hear from Larissa. Larissa Wirstiuk is the founder of Joy Joy is a digital marketing agency that serves the jewelry industry. She’s the author of the book, jewelry marketing, joy, and the host of the top rated Joy Joy jewelry Marketing podcast. Larissa has spoken on the topic of jewelry marketing globally, and she frequently contributes to Industry, Trade publications. Learn more at joyjoya.com. Larissa, welcome to the show!

Laryssa Wirstiuk  2:00  

Thanks, Paul. I’m really excited to be joining you today.

Paul Urwin  2:03  

Looking forward to talking through your entrepreneurial journey and a little bit about remote work as well. So tell us a little bit about your background, please, Larissa?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  2:12  

Sure. Well, I’m the founder of Joy Joya. And we’re a digital marketing agency that is super niche because we exclusively specialize in serving the jewelry industry. So we only work with jewelry business clients, and I’ve had my business for almost eight years now. And my entire career has been in marketing since I finished school more than 15 years ago. But I kind of bounced around aimlessly from marketing job to marketing job in a lot of different industries. I did a lot of freelancing. And I was never really in love with any of the industries I worked in. And for some reason, I always had this kind of pull toward jewelry, I’ve always been really captivated by it. I think there’s this emotional element to a jewelry purchase. But it’s also adjacent to fashion, which is kind of fun. And I don’t know, one day I just decided I want to do marketing for the jewelry industry. I have no idea where this came from. I even remember writing it down like a little napkin or something like this was the thing I wanted to do. And it coincided with a cross country move to Los Angeles for other reasons. And I thought, well, this is a good opportunity, LA’s kind of this style capital, there’s a really thriving jewelry industry there. So when I moved, I decided to kind of apply to some in house marketing positions at jewelry companies. And I got some experience that way. I also worked part time at a jewelry store in sales and customer service. And so I got to really immerse myself in the industry that way. And eventually I was just able to get some clients on the side while I was gaining this experience. And then I parlayed that into my full time business. Brilliant.

Paul Urwin  4:01  

And how long have you been going now with that? Eight years now? Right? Yes, amazing. It does sound quite niche. It is very niche. So I guess that would be a concern starting out potentially. But it obviously isn’t a concern. Now you’ve obviously made it work.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  4:20  

I mean, at the beginning of my business, I had doubts about being that niche, but I think from a marketing perspective, it has a lot of benefits because you know exactly who you’re talking to. I could do marketing for any kind of business, but other people don’t need to know that.

Paul Urwin  4:38  

And what type of services do you offer? Is it standardized? Is it different depending on the client, how does that work?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  4:45  

It’s individualized depending on the client because even within jewelry, they’re serving different kinds of clients. They have different types of products, but we’re primarily doing digital marketing support like email marketing, content, marketing and social media. Yeah. So

Paul Urwin  5:00  

Tell me a little bit about your team at the moment. So what does your team look like? And where are they based? Sure.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  5:07  

So it’s me and four other people. Two of them are US based and two of them are based in Colombia, everyone’s remote. So we all work virtually

Paul Urwin  5:18  

fantastic. And how do you find that? Has it always been like that? Right from the beginning? I guess, right. The beginning was just you, and then you started to build up. It was

Laryssa Wirstiuk  5:27  

just me from the beginning, I started with a US based marketing assistant, I did originally just hire within the US. And I think it was about a year ago when I started to branch out to looking outside of the US for team members. Excellent.

Paul Urwin  5:45  

But even with the first person that you worked with, based in the US, that was still a remote position, right? It’s

Laryssa Wirstiuk  5:52  

always been remote. And that worked out really well in COVID, actually, because that was just what people were doing for like, two years or whatever.

Paul Urwin  6:00  

So I guess if he’s always been like that, you just find it completely normal. And you haven’t transitioned from having a small team in an office? Exactly.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  6:07  

And I think that’s been a benefit, because there have been a lot of business owners that have had trouble getting used to that transition from office to remote. And for me, it’s just that’s what we do. And so it’s been totally normal.

Paul Urwin  6:20  

And do you find any particular challenges? Or do you get together sometimes all get together in one place? Or how do you find that,

Laryssa Wirstiuk  6:29  

with my first hire, that person was geographically closer to me. So I would meet up with them for lunch every once in a while, but it’s kind of hard now. Like, we’re all very spread out. I would love it if one day we could get together in person. But it’s kind of nice. I don’t find any challenges. I work from home, obviously. I love that. I’m a happy camper.

Paul Urwin  6:56  

That’s good. I think one of the challenges that a lot of people face or a lot of people fear, who perhaps haven’t ventured into working with Remote Staff is, how are you going to ensure that someone is actually working? How do you manage that? That’s

Laryssa Wirstiuk  7:14  

a great question. It’s not a worry that I have a lot. And I think part of it comes from everyone I work with right now is part time. And so in a way, that’s good, we’re very efficient. So everyone knows what needs to be done in a day, they only have a certain amount of hours to do it. And if the work wasn’t done, it would be very obvious that somebody was not doing their job. I think when you have a full time employee, unless your business is constantly busy all the time, there is a lot of sitting around and surfing the internet and just waiting for the next thing. But I don’t want people to just feel like they have to sit there from nine to five and fill their time. So the part time job for me is not just what my business needs right now. It’s almost I feel like we could get more done that way. Because there’s a constraint on everyone’s time.

Paul Urwin  8:07  

This sounds very efficient. I love how you’ve made this work. And I love the fact that it’s in this really specialist area as well. You’ve even written a book on jewelry marketing, right? Yes, jewelry, marketing, joy, jewelry, marketing. 

Paul Urwin  8:20  

Tell us a little bit about that, please.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  8:22  

That was my COVID project that I wrote in 2020. Because I had so much free time on my hands. I mean, it was something I’d wanted to do for a little while. And also, because I have a podcast, a lot of the episodes I have produced lend themselves very well to just becoming literally chapters of a book. So I was almost repurposing content that I had already made. And I had this whole library of things that I could organize into a book format. So that came out, I think at the end of 2020.

Paul Urwin  8:53  

Tell us a little bit about that experience. So you had the content or some of the content. How hard was it to put together the book,

Laryssa Wirstiuk  9:01  

It was hard because I have so much content, I put out videos, podcasts, etc, etc. But then it’s like, I have to take all this and put it in a format that someone can follow in a way that logically makes sense to them. So it was a lot of outlining and rewriting and just rethinking how I can present this information to a beginner really, because that’s who the book is targeted toward.

Paul Urwin  9:24  

And did that help you that helped your business? And what was the impact of the book compared to perhaps your expectation?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  9:32  

I’ve actually self published before I have a master’s degree in creative writing, actually. So I have a background in that. And so I did not have any delusions about what self publishing a book is like. It’s really hard to market it and the profit margin is basically nothing. So once you have a book, people suddenly respect you more and you become like a subject matter expert even though you probably Holy war before you put the book out. And so it’s just like a nice badge in a way that I can have like, Oh, this is my book.

Paul Urwin  10:10  

I think it does really help in terms of profile. And, as you said, being perhaps as you were before, and then becoming in everyone else’s eyes, that subject matter expert, I think that’s really important.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  10:21  

And it’s been three and a half years now. And people are still buying it or even just now finding out about it. And it kind of astounds me, because in my mind, I’m like, I probably should be thinking about a more updated book or something else. And it’s funny how it just keeps being relevant to other people.

Paul Urwin  10:40  

Great. And how do you get your clients nowadays, Larissa, primarily

Laryssa Wirstiuk  10:44  

through my podcast, that’s how most people find out about me, because it’s so niche. And I’m on YouTube and on all the podcast platforms. So a lot of times when someone is Googling something that is so specific to that topic, my content is pretty much the first thing that comes up. And so people feel like they can kind of get to know me through the podcast and feel comfortable with me. And that’s typically what leads them to reaching out to me. But I also speak, industry conferences and trade shows, and I make a lot of connections that way, or it’s through word of mouth. I do some direct sales outreach. But that’s probably the lowest converting thing, as opposed to just the organic thought leadership stuff that comes to me.

Paul Urwin  11:32  

And how’s your growth experience been over the last eight years, if you’re able to talk to that it’s

Laryssa Wirstiuk  11:38  

been slow, but steady. And I think that that kind of has worked for me, because this is my first real business. And the whole experience of being a business owner is just a huge learning curve. So I feel like it has grown at a pace that I can expand into also. And even just learning how to hire and grow my team and how to delegate and what positions to even have. If I was growing exponentially super fast, I don’t even think I’d be able to keep up with what it would take to run a business like that.

Paul Urwin  12:13  

I think steady growth is underrated. Actually, I think a lot of people are talking about 10 axing things and exponential growth.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  12:20  

Oh, my God, I roll my eyes at that.

Paul Urwin  12:25  

It’s not for everyone. It’s not easy. It doesn’t usually happen like that. And I think a business that does grow steadily is just hugely valuable. And it can become something that’s very powerful over time. And as you rightly said, because it’s your first real business, but I think anyone in any business that business is new to them. And I think that growing and learning along the way is so important that it makes sense to have that steady growth. And it just becomes something wonderful over time when you look back as you must do now, and look at your team. And you realize how it all started on that napkin. And that’s quite an amazing journey.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  13:01  

And I would say I mean, I don’t know how many people listening to this are actually already business owners versus aspiring. But if you’re looking for something to challenge and push you to grow in a way, nothing else having a business will do that.

Paul Urwin  13:17  

Totally. And you mentioned that you’ve got some people in Colombia, you’ve got some people in the US. Do you have any cultural challenges when you get together? Or any cultural challenges in managing that team at all?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  13:27  

Actually, not. I’m always so impressed. My two Colombian team members speak immaculate English, which I’m so impressed by. I used to be fluent in Spanish. And I’m trying to actually come back to it because I’m inspired by how them being native Spanish speakers are so good at English that I’m like, I should really be better at knowing other languages, because it’s just so cool how they’re able to work that way.

Paul Urwin  13:56  

Brilliant. And any apps or tools that you use specifically for collaboration,

Laryssa Wirstiuk  14:00  

We primarily use Slack to communicate with each other throughout the workday. And that works really well.

Paul Urwin  14:08  

It’s great, isn’t it very easy. And just things that I think, even a few years ago would have seemed difficult just now, just everyday things that people are accustomed to and very used to using so brilliantly. And where do you see your business going? or so and where do you see your journey with remote work? Do you ever see yourself having an office? Do you see yourself having a bigger remote team? Are you happy with the remote landscape? How do you see that?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  14:33  

I love the remote landscape. And I feel like that helps me attract employees and other team members who want that as well. And I like that I can create that opportunity for other people who want that flexibility and who want to be able to kind of work from anywhere and so that’s a really important value in my business. And I could definitely see myself bringing on other team members from a Other countries, different parts of the world. And I think that that’s just an important part of what I do.

Paul Urwin  15:06  

And in terms of helping other people with their businesses, that’s very exciting as well to see. I mean, you must have had a number of successes over the years, where you’re really helping people, that must be very satisfying. I imagine,

Laryssa Wirstiuk  15:22  

It’s so satisfying when one of my clients gets a win, or we look at their reporting, and they increase their revenue, or whatever it is, I mean, that’s what keeps us going. A lot of our clients are small to medium business size owners. So there are people just like me with these budding dreams and aspirations. And so being able to relate to that and help them in return is so satisfying. Excellent.

Paul Urwin  15:47  

And what would you say are one of the biggest things that move the needle in terms of sales for you or for your clients? Would that be? I know, you talk a lot about encouraging people to record video, you have your podcast, other things, email newsletters, what would be your main sort of go to things, perhaps for your clients that you feel that make the difference? I

Laryssa Wirstiuk  16:09  

i think it’s about exactly what you said, being able to create and share interesting value driven content. So be a little bit outside of the norm, and show your brand personality. And then also cultivating relationships with those people who do find and connect with you through email marketing. I think that pairing together is just unstoppable.

Paul Urwin  16:33  

And how do you feel as a creator? Do you consider yourself as a creator?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  16:38  

I do. It’s not glamorous, because it’s all like b2b. I mean, it doesn’t feel super creative, but it is. And I’m really committed to it. I mean, I’ve been doing it since 2018, every week, and so it’s a chance to share and express my voice and feel like I can give back to the community.

Paul Urwin  16:59  

The reason I ask is I think there’s a lot of entrepreneurs out there, a lot of business owners who have successful businesses, and they may not have sort of taken that step to becoming a creator. And I think that’s a really nice step to take. Because I think it allows business owners to express themselves. And I think they have really good stories and things to share. And as you say, give back and provide information. And I would just encourage people to use that freedom sometimes that an entrepreneur or business owner has to try different things, whether it is a podcast, or whether it is video. But really using that creative side, I think that’s fascinating. And you obviously do it very well.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  17:36  

I think it’s tough. I mean, it’s hard to commit to. I see a lot of other business owners who are like, I want to try that. And then they get initially excited by the idea. And then it fizzles out after like a month or two, and they can’t stay consistent with it. So it’s also about reminding yourself of why you’re doing it and your motivation and trying to keep it fun for you too. It’s

Paul Urwin  17:57  

definitely not easy. Sometimes I think you’ve got to set yourself up with something that is achievable. I mean, just thinking of podcasts. I mean, I always run ongoing series and ongoing shows. But I think that some people have a podcast series. And I think that’s great. So you can say, well, I’m going to commit to doing 10 episodes. And then I’m gonna see where I am at the end of that. And I think that’s nice, then you’re not entering into this unending commitment that sooner or later you feel you probably going to fail. Brilliant. I love business. I think it’s fascinating what you do, how you help people, and also how you’ve integrated remote work into that. And I think you’re just an example of how people can succeed at this. It doesn’t need to be a business with 100 employees. But also you don’t need to struggle on your own perhaps. I mean, do you remember those days when you were doing absolutely everything yourself? How did that feel?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  18:51  

I wouldn’t want to go back to that. Because it’s so hard to be the only one doing all the things.

Paul Urwin  18:58  

Is there someone on your team that has skills that perhaps you don’t have? Or do you feel that you could do everything if required?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  19:07  

Well, that’s a good question. I feel like I’m kind of a generalist, so I have an understanding of all the things and I could do them to some degree, but then there are people who are just better at it than I am. And I would rather them do those things.

Paul Urwin  19:21  

Brilliant. Well, tell us about the future, the rest of where do you see your business going over the next couple of years?

Laryssa Wirstiuk  19:26  

Well, I’m trying something really exciting right now that I’m just going to put out into the world because it’s something I haven’t tried before. So typically, marketing agencies charge retainer fees for their clients, and they have like a certain minimum that they’ll work with clients on. But I want to try something different. I’m running this experiment right now where I’m doing a name your price for a limited time to try to gain interest from clients that probably wouldn’t normally approach my agency because they think they can’t afford it. And obviously, their name, their price is probably much lower than my typical retainer. But I want to try it as a way to bring people in to understand the value of marketing and how we can really help them. I think people just can’t see the other side, what my business could actually be like if I had someone professional helping me eliminate that hurdle so that we can achieve results for people who couldn’t normally afford it, for them to see that and also to be amazing case studies for our business. So this is a totally new experiment that I’m doing.

Paul Urwin  20:41  

I love that you’re trying something completely different. And you clearly got that within you. Just that it comes through in this conversation, how much you care about helping people and helping people achieve their goals. And I think that’s absolutely fantastic. Thanks. Brilliant. Well, it’s been wonderful talking to you. Really nice to get that sort of flavor of your business, and also how you’ve set up your remote team, which You’ve obviously done very successfully. I’ll leave you with the last word now. So if there’s anything else you’d like to mention, and of course, please do mention your book, again mentioned your URLs and any way that people can contact you or so

Laryssa Wirstiuk  21:21  

Well, thanks Paul for having me. This was very fun, despite it being 7am here and me being a little bit sleepy. I mean, of course all my content is very niche, so I don’t know how much it will apply to people listening but if you want to see an example of how I’m doing my thought leadership content, you can check out my book jewelry marketing joy, and my podcast the joy Joya jewelry marketing podcasts pretty much everywhere you want to see and or hear that and you can visit Joy Joy a.com For more information

Paul Urwin  21:53  

there as well. Thank you so much. All the very best and wish you every success with that.

Laryssa Wirstiuk  22:00  

Thanks again.

Paul Urwin  22:07  

Really wonderful talking to Larissa. She just has such a passion for what she does and it really shines through in that interview. If you’d like to find out more about hiring a virtual assistant or remote worker for your business to scale and grow your business. Then head on over to thereistalent.com That’s www.thereistalent.com. Thanks so much for tuning in. All the very best, and until next time, bye bye.

 

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