Rhiannon Payne
Trailblazing the future of work / life

(Author - Product Marketer - Startup Consultant)

I've been building bridges to the future of work since 2012 when I launched my first startup with a globally remote team. My experiences led me to write The Remote Work Era (2020), an essential guide to going remote. I'm currently leading GTM for major product launches at Remote. 70% in San Francisco / 30% traveling. 😎

Connect with me:
TL;DR:

Author & Speaker

I wrote The Remote Work Era (2020), helping women go remote and thrive. I've also spoken at events across the US and Europe, including at the United Nations (WSIS Forum, Geneva, 2018).

Product Marketer

In 2.5 years leading product marketing at Remote (for several key verticals) I've authored groundbreaking reports, launched viral social campaigns, and developed the company's most trafficked guides, tools, and resources.

Startup Consultant

In 2017 I launched a full-service agency to help startups tell their stories, build products, and engage investors. I led a team of 20+ global remote workers, which inspired my book.

AI Developer Tools GTM

Currently leading GTM and brand development for an open-source computer vision framework, named after Geordi La Forge's most iconic accessory. Watch this space.

The Remote Work Era

After interviewing nearly 100 remote workers globally, including leaders at the Wikimedia Foundation, Remote, Buffer, Doist, and Basecamp, I developed a step-by-step guide to help others find and grow on their remote paths. Whether one wants to become a top-earning remote employee, freelancer, entrepreneur, digital nomad, or simply work from home, readers will learn how to design more fulfilling, flexible lives in new age of work.

The inspiration

In 2018, I had the opportunity to speak at the European Women in Tech conference in Amsterdam, where I was asked to share my experiences and insights on leading a remote, global team.


For me, working remotely and running a business with colleagues across the US, Europe, and Asia was an everyday reality. Until this moment, I hadn’t realized how unique it was — it simply felt like the most intuitive way to work. Surprised and inspired by the enormous interest in the topic, I decided to use my talk as the foundation for a book.


Fast forward to March of 2020, when the world was suddenly gripped by the COVID pandemic. Offices turned into ghost towns overnight, and remote work went from being an emerging trend to an absolute necessity. I knew that the moment for my book had arrived and the information I had to share was not just timely but urgently needed. 

The process

I returned to my early manuscript with renewed energy, reframing it based on the new reality we were living in. I reached out and interviewed nearly 100 remote workers and business leaders across the globe — from high-profile executives like Katherine Maher, the then-CEO of Wikipedia, to remote workers with fledgling VA businesses. My goal was to share a variety of perspectives from people who have made it work since before the pandemic, using their insights to build a roadmap for how others can launch or grow in their own remote careers.


Beyond just writing and interviewing, I managed the entire publishing process. I hired editors, beta readers, designers, copywriters, and marketers to help bring my vision to life. With their support, The Remote Work Era was released in late 2020. 

The impact

I have since sold thousands of copies (in ebook and paperback) across dozens of countries, empowering people all over the world with the knowledge and resources needed to go remote and thrive. I also run a private Facebook community for readers to ask questions and share their stories (700+ members).


Every person I interviewed, every chapter I wrote, and every hurdle I overcame in publishing The Remote Work Era marked significant strides in my professional journey. It also led me to my next career chapter — accepting a role as a product marketing leader at Remote (whose then-VP of Growth I interviewed for the book). 

The Remote Work Era
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The Remote Work Era

Remote

In 2.5 years leading product marketing at Remote (for several key verticals) I've authored groundbreaking reports, launched viral social campaigns, and developed the company's most trafficked guides, tools, and resources. I also serve as a public-facing brand representative and thought leader for the company.

Joining the Remote team

I joined Remote as a product marketer in 2021. This move was inspired by my experiences writing my book and interviewing Remote’s then-VP of Growth, Elissa Rossi. 


Through my conversations with Elissa, I felt a strong connection with Remote’s mission of bridging the gap between global talent and opportunity. I was also inspired by the global and async-first work culture.

Joining a team focused on building the foundations for the future of work felt like a natural next step in my career. This was also my first time working at a larger tech company, something I was keen to experience. I joined as employee number 250 at Series A. Remote has since grown to become a Series C company with a $3B valuation and a team of 1,000+ employees across 60+ countries.

PMM leader for the future of work

My role as a product marketing leader perfectly blends my diverse experience as a product manager, marketer, and entrepreneur. Since joining the company, I’ve had the opportunity to build and execute on GTM strategies for all things related to employee benefits and global knowledge (among other exciting launches yet to be announced). My day-to-day work is focused around leading cross-functional efforts to develop essential product features, public tools, and integrated marketing campaigns. 


The tools and guides I’ve worked on (such as our Employee Cost Calculator, Country Hiring Considerations Guide, Global Employment Country Selector, Benefits Guides, Benefits Directory, Global Benefits Report, and Choose Remote Toolkit) are all among the most utilized resources in the company and have directly contributed to millions in revenue. I also launched the viral #IChooseRemote campaign in 2021, featuring top remote work thought leaders and influencers, reaching over 50K people globally.


One project I’m particularly proud of is Remote’s Global Benefits Report. This report is an in-depth study of 2,500+ global employees and company decision-makers to better understand what benefits matter to employees across different regions and what role benefits play in recruitment, retention, and more.

Remote thought leadership

In addition to product marketing, my role at Remote extends to attending global events (such as SXSW and TechCrunch Disrupt), creating thought leadership in the form of blog posts and videos, hosting company webinars, and leading segments for our annual company conference, Remote Connect.

I am proud that the value I bring to Remote goes beyond my role as a PMM and that I can serve as a public-facing representative for the brand, embodying what it means to thrive in the new age of work.

You can see some highlights of my blog posts, guides, and other content I've created here:


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Sea Foam Media & Tech

I founded Sea Foam Media & Tech in 2017 to help early-stage startups tell their stories, build their products, and engage investors. We were a full-service consulting agency with a team of 20+ global remote workers.

Building a global consulting agency

After co-founding and launching a SaaS startup in Japan from 2016-2017 (Pinstop), I unfortunately found myself in a position where I needed to walk away from that company for personal reasons. 


But it was was from that experience that Sea Foam Media & Tech, my global startup consulting agency, was born. Named as an obscure allusion to a line from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, Sea Foam was a full-service agency helping early-stage startups tell their stories, build their products, and engage investors. 

My first client was Cainthus, an agtech AI company in Ireland that needed help with data curation to close their Series B. I quickly hired, onboarded, and trained a team of 20 curators to help them meet their goal — culminating in a successful $12M raise with Cargill Animal Nutrition. This data curation project, while exciting, ended up being a one-off and I moved toward more creative work.

In early 2018, I started writing technical and marketing white papers for startups. I saw a huge amount of demand very quickly and scaled my team accordingly (20+ contractors globally). I then started offering pitch deck creation services, branding packages, website packages, and eventually brought my now-husband into the company to help architect, design, and develop MVPs for our clients. We ran the agency together until 2021.

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Pinstop

As a co-founder and Director of Product, I worked with a global team of designers and engineers to develop a web app for hotel concierge teams, with the Grand Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo as our first users.

Building a SaaS product for 5-star hotels

On a trip to Japan in 2016, a former colleague introduced me to a group of hospitality veterans who had previously worked in high-level roles at the Tokyo Grand Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton hotels. They saw a need for a new SaaS platform to help luxury hotel concierge teams more efficiently provide recommendations to guests. This was particularly crucial in the run up to the (ultimately ill-fated) 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 


As a co-founder and Director of Product, I worked with a global team of designers and engineers to develop a web app for concierge teams, which we launched with the Grand Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton as our first users. I also played a key role in helping sell the product to other hotel groups in Japan. 

What we launched

You can see a product walkthrough of what we launched here. As I described it back in 2016:


“The work of a hotel concierge is never done, even when a guest leaves their hotel. That's where Digby (parent company) comes in. With a team of hospitality industry veterans from Japan and tech gurus from Silicon Valley, Digby seeks to disrupt and transform an industry that has long been neglected when it comes to innovative software.


Our first product offering, PINSTOP, brings a modern service to hotels that still desire a classic touch when serving their guests.


PINSTOP gives five-star hotels the ability to service guests in a way that takes them beyond their doors and into the best dining, shopping, and sightseeing a city has to offer. A PINSTOP Feed serves as a guest's guiding light, with detailed maps, taxi directions, concierge notes, and multi-language support. Digby believes that the light touch of a hotel concierge should never be out of reach, and with PINSTOP, it doesn't have to be.


Easy to build, print, email and text, a hotel concierge can now curate and deliver recommendations to guests like never before with a PINSTOP Feed.”


I was proud to unveil the product in-person to the concierge teams at the Grand Hyatt and RItz-Carlton, during the sakura full bloom in Tokyo. I also got to work closely with their teams pre- and post-launch to collect user feedback and iterate accordingly.

I had to leave the company a few months post-launch for personal reasons. 

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Feminspire

My first company, an online magazine with original content by and for women, where I grew a team of 60+ writers and editors across the world, published 2K+ long-form content pieces, and grew our social channels to 10K+ on FB and thousands on Twitter and Tumblr. The mag also made an impact in the broader media landscape, with our articles featured in places like The Atlantic, TIME, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Refinery29, and many others. 

An unconventional career start

Like many of us at age 20, I had no idea yet what I was doing with my life or career. I was working retail jobs and as an office manager for an acupuncturist, where I occasionally helped with digital marketing and events. 


After dropping out of both high school and community college due to health and personal challenges, I realized I needed to figure out an unconventional path to build the career I wanted. So in 2012, I decided to launch my first business — an online magazine with original content by and for women. 

Proving myself

Over the course of three years I brought together a team of 60+ writers and editors across the world. We published 2,000+ long-form content pieces. I built our social media channels organically to 10K+ on FB (this was mostly pre-Instagram) and thousands of followers on Twitter and Tumblr. We also made an impact in the broader media landscape, with our articles quoted and linked to in places like The Atlantic, TIME, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Refinery29 (with whom we built a partnership), and more.

Closing the chapter

My goal was to monetize the site through advertising and affiliate revenue, which never transpired in a meaningful way. The online publishing space was already trending downward at the time, and I was too focused on working on out content and social media (in addition to a full-time job) to give monetization the focus it required.


I ultimately shut down the site in 2015 but am grateful for the experiences and relationships that propelled me to where I am today.

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Global Events

I have experience planning global events/retreats in locations like Crete and France. I am open to more opportunities to do this, either for fun or on behalf of an organization.

Crete

Since 2021, I’ve provided myself with two opportunities to plan global events. One was my 30th birthday retreat on the island of Crete, where I brought together other women remote workers and business leaders to celebrate life and new opportunities shortly after getting vaccinated and leaving our COVID quarantines. 


We enjoyed a week at a villa in Chania, with activities I organized such as a private boat tour, hiking Samaria Gorge, and more. We connected over our career goals and new partnerships were formed. Several of the women I invited on the trip were those who I had met online during COVID but had never met in person until they arrived in Greece. We plan to organize a larger version of this trip in the summer of 2024. 

France

The second big event I planned was my destination wedding in the Loire Valley of France in 2023. I spent over a year planning a luxury 4 day, 3 night event for 50 family members and friends at a beautiful gothic chateau. I also planned a pre-wedding weekend full of events in Paris for our family and bridal party, complete with apartments for everyone and private boat rides down the Seine. I am delighted to say that everything worked out beautifully and everyone had the experience of a lifetime (particularly myself and my husband, Justin!)

The future

One thing I excel at is creating unforgettable experiences at competitive costs. Our week in Crete, including the stay at the villa, food, and activities cost just upward of $1,000 per person. I also kept our week of wedding events in France under six-figures, including luxury accommodations at our chateau for 50 people, multiple gourmet meals for our guests, and activities/accommodations in Paris prior to arriving at our chateau. 


I am open to more opportunities for global event/retreat planning, either retreats I plan for fun to bring together people in my network or on behalf of another organization. I would love to get my hands dirty planning team bonding retreats, off-sites, community retreats, company events surrounding international conferences, and any other fun things you can think of. Get in touch to inquire! 

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