The COVID-19 outbreak has forced businesses and non-profits all over the world to reconfigure how they communicate with clients, customers, staff, suppliers … you name it.

Some professionals already had viable communication channels in place when the pandemic hit, however, and despite the disruption in other ways, these pros weren’t completely caught off guard. In fact, people like Serbia-based digital marketer Andjelka Ducic were already using many of the tools we hear about everyday now.

Check out Andjelka’s story, and feel free to comment below with any questions; I’ll pass them along to her. 

You can watch the video interview above with or without subtitles, or read this transcript:

CHUCK: Hey there, Chuck Moran here with Online Video Mastery™. I am fortunate to be joined today by a colleague and a friend, Andjelka, who hails from Serbia. And Andjelka is joining us to talk a little bit about her use of Zoom, and tell us a couple of her stories. So Andjelka, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Andjelka Ducic

International digital marketer Andjelka Ducic

ANDJELKA: Hello everyone, my name is Andjelka. I’m from Serbia and I do digital marketing. I’ve been in digital marketing for about 10 years now. And for four years now, I’ve been running my own digital marketing and web development agency with a co-founder from Serbia. And we mostly work for US clients, and with US partners, such as Chuck. So, that’s pretty much what I do.

I’ve been using Zoom before it was popular, and I’ve been doing remote work, and doing online meetings long before COVID, so I think I’m uniquely qualified to talk about this subject today.

CHUCK: Yeah, you certainly are. So, without video conferencing, I don’t know how you really could work with primarily US clients.

ANDJELKA: Well, I could travel all the time, and say it’s business expense, I guess.

CHUCK: Yeah, you certainly could. That brings up a funny story. Andjelka and I actually met at Social Media Marketing World in 2017. And I have to give her a hat tip for tracking me down on the conference web app, which we had on our phones. And she reached out to me and gave me a little introduction to her agency, and asked if we could grab coffee or something together. And we did. And I was very impressed with what I heard, and we’ve been working together ever since.

Then, she went back to Serbia and I came back to Virginia, and a couple of years passed. And I took a vacation day, or a little bit of a weekend, up to New York City. And my partner and I were walking up 6th Avenue, and we got to 42nd Street and I stepped off the curb and Andjelka was walking toward me carrying an arm load of coffee. And I just could not believe what I was seeing. We both stopped in the middle of the intersection, and here she was from Serbia, and me from Virginia, and we were meeting at this crazy intersection in New York City. That was nuts.

ANDJELKA: It was fate.

CHUCK: Yeah, exactly. So, we wound up having breakfast together the next day, and sketching out some new projects. So, that was a fortunate “bumping into” that we happened to have.

So, Andjelka tell me a little bit about how … I know you typically work later in the day than a lot of us here in the US, and I’ve often been impressed with how I can reach you at… I won’t say how late, so that people don’t start tagging you late at night. But what are your hours, basically? And how do you use Zoom to communicate with your clients here in the US and elsewhere around the world?

ANDJELKA: Well, having tools like Zoom, or any other tool for online conferencing, and online meetings, and online chat systems like Slack, or whatever, is really allowing us to work from any given place in the world. And before COVID, I used to use that also for traveling. So, I would travel a lot around the world because my work comes with me.

... we currently have 15 employees, and they all work remotely. They don't have to pay higher rent ... they don't have to commute. They can focus on their work, and I can choose from the best people out there. Click To Tweet

So, all of our company, which we currently have 15 employees, and they all work remotely. So, they don’t necessarily have to move to a bigger city, pay higher for rent or whatever, they don’t have to commute every day. They can focus on their work, and I can pick and choose from the best people out there. They don’t have to be in the city where my company’s based. And same goes for clients. I can find the best clients for me, and clients can find the best people for the job. So, it’s really a win-win. And we work in an industry where that’s entirely possible. So, that’s pretty much where Zoom helped me.

Of course, before Zoom, I mostly used … first I used Skype, I think everybody used Skype. They were the first big tool that was doing this. And, of course, Skype has its limits. And it’s very easy to use. It was designed for grannies, so they can talk to their grandchildren that live far away, or whatever. But using it for business had its limitations for sure. And I think I definitely decided to divorce Skype when I was in Tallinn so, it’s the birthplace of Skype and it was crashing. So, I was like, “I’m literally sitting like two minutes away from the place where Skype started, and their headquarters, and Skype is not working. So, yeah I’m finding something else.”

ANDJELKA: So, for awhile, I used Appear.in, which is also a really good tool. And the fact that I liked was the fact that they have their own like room, that you can basically brand. So, that was professional, it made sense. And they were quite okay, but again started crashing, had some issues, had some bugs. And started to look elsewhere. That’s where I found Zoom.

So, before the whole thing started and appeared to be working just fine. I had my concerns regarding the recording of the desktop and all that, like privacy laws, data protection, all that. But I did some digging. They seemed okay, they seemed fine, they seem on top of things. So, I started using it more and more for my business. And then, suddenly the whole thing exploded after, of course, COVID.

CHUCK: Yeah so, it’s good you were already on it before COVID hit. And how about the enhanced features of Zoom? Do you use webinars, or annotations, whiteboards and that kind of thing to do presentations?

ANDJELKA: I do because I also teach digital marketing. So, I have my students from across the globe, mostly from Europe, but I also have several students from the States. So, I use Zoom both as a teacher’s tool and as a business tool, and I also use it personally for like chatting, like I’m doing with you right now. So, I use it in all sorts of ways.

CHUCK: That’s great. And how about Zoom’s reliability in terms of, well, comparing it back to Skype. I pretty much divorced Skype for the same reason you did. It just wasn’t up to snuff, but I’ve been extremely pleased with Zoom. It’s not glitch free, but nothing is. So, what has your experience been?

ANDJELKA: Same. So, I also had some larger meetings, up to like 50 people and Skype would crash and burn. Appear.in Would do the same thing with like 50 people simultaneously doing something on the app. So, in that way, Zoom has really proven it’s reliability. I really love it.

CHUCK: Yeah, that’s really great. And how about the attendees that you work with, both your students internationally and your clients? Are they pretty up to speed on camera angle and lighting and audio and that kind of thing? Or are they still sort of in the trying-to-figure-it-out stage?

ANDJELKA: I think he really depends. People that were in digital before this, I think they’re more open to using this sort of stuff. They use different software before. So, they caught up to speed p