Rob Bettis specializes in meaningfully & measurably connecting you with your customers online. Since the inception of ‘digital marketing,’ Rob has been helping businesses and nonprofits win online. And he prides himself on providing data-driven, quantifiable results, leaning heavily on empathy and analytics.
Before going solo two years ago, Rob ran Tennessee’s first Google-Certified AdWords agency. There he guided clients through all manners of online advertising, including conversion optimization, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising - where he managed PPC accounts with ad spend budgets in excess of $100,000 per month.
Rob is Google-Certified in both AdWords and Analytics. Additionally, he earned a Bachelor's in Marketing and a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. As an undergrad, he was recognized by the College of Business as a Wright-Bentley Scholar. While pursuing his MBA, he received the Distinguished Graduate Student award.
In addition to his professional pursuits, Rob has co-founded two nonprofits in Chattanooga and hosts a weekly podcast where he explores the intersection of humanity and business.
With its vibrant startup community and the country’s fastest internet, Rob, along with his wife and daughter, are proud to call Chattanooga, Tennessee home. Follow along with Rob on Twitter - @robbettis.
Episode | October 2nd, 2018 | 44 mins 33 secs
Rob and Sara discuss hitting the high points of days 2-10 of finding yourself in an unexpected freelancing position. Continuing to sow seeds with your village, avoiding putting yourself out there if you're not in a place of strength, taking time to feel angry, etc. Also, getting a phone number and then business cards from moo.com in a small quantity. They caution against falling into making a website too early and instead focus on a higher level of branding strategy.
Episode | September 25th, 2018 | 45 mins 12 secs
Rob and Sara discuss the emergency steps you should take on day one if you're fired or other circumstances result in you suddenly finding yourself needing to freelance. First set up your choice of entity at your state's secretary of state, without letting a name choice slow you down. Then obtain an EIN, open a bank account. They discuss pros and cons of business bank account options and complain about Spark CapitalOne, which sucks now. Then set up a business email address. Do this by creating a Squarespace account which will help you build out a landing page and an email address domain. Squarespace has templates specifically classified as landing pages, that way you only need a couple photos and a few paragraphs of information. Avoiding wasting time on a full-fledge website is essential.
Episode | September 18th, 2018 | 46 mins 44 secs
Rob and Sara discuss the pros and cons of having clients who are also your friends. Navigating the waters of doing favors versus setting up a client relationship with a friend is tricky and can negatively affect your personal relationships. They discuss the importance of having a discussion about fees, costs, and boundaries at the outset to set expectations early. They also discuss the best solution which is probably to charge regular prices up front and implement a friends and family discount on the end when invoicing.
Episode 12: Live From Chattanooga Q&A: When to Trade Clients like Pogs, How to Fire a Client, Using Data to Direct Your Business
Episode | September 11th, 2018 | 30 mins 20 secs
Rob and Sara conduct a live recording at the Society of Work in Chattanooga. The Unfederated community weighs in with their most pressing questions about firing clients, the ways in which they track data and use it to make decisions and direct their businesses.
Episode | September 4th, 2018 | 1 hr 1 min
This Episode is the first part of a three-part mini-series: (1) the hardware we use, (2) the software we use (3) special resources we use when we travel. Rob and Sara discuss exactly what hardware they've chosen to invest in, the importance of using the right hardware for a stream-lined freelancer set up. It's a business expense and write-off, but still should be carefully considered, especially at the beginning. They discuss data privacy and the importance of disposing of old hardware securely and safely.
Episode 10: Q&A: Impractical client requests, the lack of maternity leave as a solo business, partners who don't have an income changes the freelancer equation, mentors
Episode | August 28th, 2018 | 40 mins 11 secs
Rob discusses a client request to print and mail invoices when it disrupts his dearly-held streamlined freelancer systems. When freelancing, whether to accommodate a client request that undermines your efficiencies is a question to be debated and mulled over. They then take a listener question about stay-at-home partners and how the considerations about freelancing change in the context of having only one spouse bringing in traditional income. Rob explains how having a wife who is also a freelancer worked financially when they had their daughter. They discuss how having a supportive spouse managing the family's life can be productive and helpful when running a business. They touch on the importance of having your partner's support of your plans to freelance and finding a good mentor. They discuss how they would approach employment differently after their experience running their own businesses.
Episode 9: Staying Inspired As Freelancers: Staying Engaged, Ideal Clients, Treating your brain like a Tesla, and preparing for Artificial Intelligence and an Economic Downturn
Episode | August 21st, 2018 | 44 mins 20 secs
Rob and Sara discuss how they manage to stay inspired and engaged during the day-to-day of freelancing. Freelancing is the purest form of business. Sara explains her elaborate systems for staying engaged through the day. Rob discusses his efforts to make his time with his wife and daughter more intentional and the allure of continuously working when you're a freelancer. They discuss the importance of staying aware of bigger picture trends in marketing and in law with technology changing rapidly and with the possibility of a future economic downturn.
Episode 8: Money: The Nitty Gritty of Cash Flow, Billing Software and Retirement Savings for Self-employed
Episode | August 14th, 2018 | 57 mins 48 secs
Rob and Sara discuss each of their approaches to managing cash flow as a freelancer. Both discuss the benefits of keeping your finances separate as early as possible, saving all along for taxes, and how to prioritize saving for retirement when you're self-employed. Then the co-hosts give their unbiased reviews of the most popular accounting software options on the market.
Episode | August 7th, 2018 | 42 mins 17 secs
Rob and Sara both experienced early failures and mistakes that helped them learn how to be better freelancers. They discuss some of their shared experiences with mistakes when they first started out and what they learned from them. Both have found the importance of pivoting when something isn’t working and remaining open to good opportunities. Many freelancers will find that the initial version of their business may look very different from the one that ultimately finds success. Both have reluctantly decided to stop hiding behind company names and have found the most success in marketing themselves as individuals.
Episode | July 31st, 2018 | 46 mins 5 secs
Rob and Sara discuss tips and tricks for managing the panic that can accompany a slow day when you’re freelancing.
Episode | July 24th, 2018 | 51 mins 14 secs
It wouldn't be freelancing without the hustle. Even if cold calls and networking sound like your worst nightmare, you can still be a successful solo practitioner by forming deep and meaningful connections with like-minded professionals in your industry. Rob and Sara discuss how they've found a surprising amount of success by just being genuine and being themselves.
Episode | July 17th, 2018 | 47 mins 26 secs
You’ve taken charge of your career, but now what? The #freelancerlife can be a rocky transition and the freedom can be overwhelming. Rob and Sara discuss avoiding the key freelancer traps that derail many new freelancers.
Episode | July 10th, 2018 | 36 mins 53 secs
In this episode, Rob and Sara compare and contrast the perception of freelancing in their respective fields. They discuss office, colleagues perception, ideal optics for clients, and the ways in which they market themselves at dinner parties.
Episode | July 3rd, 2018 | 33 mins 12 secs
Rob & Sara discuss the main pros and cons to the freelancer life without sugar coating the bad.
Episode | June 26th, 2018 | 1 hr 1 min
Rob & Sara discuss the slow-build of certainty they each experienced in the decision to go solo, including what advice they would give their previous selves.
Episode | June 18th, 2018 | 8 mins 49 secs
Sara & Rob share their hopes for the Unfederated podcast - outlining their own experiences as freelancers and providing the framework for how community among freelancers can empower success.