Today, we’re going to talk about software and tools to manage remote teams. Now, we have had to do it remotely for a long time. So I’ve been doing this for 14 years, and I’ve never had an office outside of the house. Do you know what I mean? We’ve always just done it remotely.
When the pandemic and the lockdown and everything happened, my wife and I joked a little bit that we had been training our entire lives to do this very thing, which works out at the house, “be forced to work out of the house.” It’s just a different scenario than it is because I’ve never had an office to walk into and manage remote teams or walk into and get a status update.
Like everything we’ve done has always been online, using GoToMeeting, using Zoom, using Slack, using Basecamp and Trello and Asana, and like all of these tools have always just been how we’ve done it, and using things as simple as like a Google Drive or Dropbox to share documents and files back and forth. This week has been the tools and technology we’ve needed to manage remote teams.
The first thing I want to kind of talk about is some of the stuff you’re going to need. Every business has people and processes. Those people and processes, there are lots of tools that you can use.
The ones that we use, we use Basecamp for project management. We use Google Docs, Google Drive for spreadsheets, and processes like SOPs, standard operating procedures, like that kind of stuff. We make use of those tools.
In terms to manage remote teams, if we need to outsource something that we don’t necessarily have like in-house, like let’s say if we need a graphic designer or a banner designer or whatever, then we’ve gone to Upwork before.
Upwork is an outsourcing company that lets you manage remote teams. So basically any provider can go and put a profile up and then bid on jobs. And then we as employers, can go to Upwork and then post the job that we want help with. Do you know? So that is kind of how Upwork works. Ask Sunday is another one and so is Fiverr.
Let’s talk about the intricacies of each of the different platforms, how we find people, how we use tools to post jobs, how we use tools to manage remote teams, and all that other stuff.
Upwork and Fivver
We’re going to go to Upwork. We’re going to start with the outsourcing piece and Fiverr. In terms of finding people, the best person that you can hire is somebody you already know, somebody who is already proficient in something. Sometimes the budget doesn’t necessarily allow it.
If you are a startup and you’re looking for a graphic designer, sometimes you just have to go to Upwork. Every once in a while we’ll get a call, somebody will come in and say, “Hey, I want you to run our ads,” and they don’t have an offer up there. They don’t have any ads up.
I’m like, well, if it’s like literally just a startup and you’re not all that solvent if this is your last $500, then what you need to do is you need to spend $100 or $250 and have somebody go set up a campaign for you and then spend the other $300 in ads. You try to flip that $300 into more money, more leads, which brings you more money, and leads that you can work, and all of that stuff. In that scenario, the best way to find somebody is Upwork.
Outsourcing Team Members
Basically, you can just go to upwork.com and then just hit the get started or watch a demo and it’s going to show you how. In the early days, all of my team members came from Upwork. I still have programmers that originally came from Upwork. They were mobile and web development team members. We have found images, like banner designers on Upwork.
I’ve never hired copywriting on Upwork. For the most part, I’ve always just done design and programming on Upwork.
Posting Job Projects
You can find great bloggers on Upwork too. You post a project and then they bid on it. And what I will tell you is when you’re posting a project on Upwork, I always make sure to include three things whenever I’m posting a job or a job description.
The headline is exactly what I want, so bloggerfordoneforyou.com. Then what I did before I posted that project was I went through and wrote like an SOP almost, like a standard operating procedure or like things that I wanted every blog post to have. For instance, every blog post that somebody from Upwork writes for us has a great keyword-loaded headline.
It has the keyword phrase in the first line of the blog post, the last line of the blog post, and then it is roughly like a 1% keyword density throughout the rest of the blog post. It has images, nice prominent images, preferably multiple, and those images have the keyword phrase in them. There is internal linking. All of the blog posts are between 1,000 and 2,000 words because that is what Google likes right now.
I went through and kind of wrote up all these guidelines. And then inside the job posting, I posted a link to those guidelines and said, “This is what I’m expecting of you, and I need two articles a week, three articles a week, and I will give you the keyword phrases for those articles to write for.” I made it very, very simple for them to understand what the project was, and that’s the biggest thing. You want to make it simple when you’re outsourcing projects.
You want to make it simple and easily understood. And the simpler you can make it, the better quality you’re going to have and typically the cheaper you’re going to end up getting talent for because they don’t have to put a whole lot of thought into it. I found that to work well.
When I hired that particular role, I didn’t hire just one person. I hired three, and I wanted each of them to write at least two articles. I think it was two articles a week. Then one of them turned out to be good, so she ended up writing a lot more. That was kind of how that worked.
You can do the same thing with programming. One of the things that Patch and I talked about last week, or maybe it was Mars, talked about giving a very difficult first task. Making sure that the first task is not easy so that you know they’re with you for the long haul. I think that is a really good idea too, and it works well for developers, programmers. Writers are writers. Writing is just a pain in the ass anyway.
If they can bust out a 1,500-word blog post twice a week that is good, then that’s good. Also, in looking for talent on Upwork, I put a lot of emphasis on the way they’re responding to my job postings. So in the job posting, it has a good title, it has exactly what I want, and then the third thing it does is, I say, “Do not copy and paste a blanket reply to this job posting, and do not be part of a team.” I want one person to do this well, and it’s the same thing for the programmer. Moreover, I wanted one programmer to be able to do it all, as opposed to being part of a programming team and they use Upwork as a feeder system for leads into their agency. I didn’t want that.
I wanted one person to do it for me, so I included that in the job description, don’t reply, don’t be part of a team, don’t copy and paste a generic reply. These are the projects we worked on, and this is what we’re good at, and blah, blah, blah. Tell me exactly what you’re going to do for me. And then especially for writers, I make sure that their reply is grammatically correct.
It is as on point as it can be, and it’s conversational. There’s no broken English. I mean, if there’s ever like a microcosm of how they’re going to write for you, it is that reply, because that reply is going to be… That’s the thing that’s going to set them apart. They’re trying to impress you, and what I want is for them to try to impress the readers of done for you.
Do you know? So that’s how I find people on Upwork. I don’t ever take the cheapest. I don’t ever take the most expensive. There’s a way you can hide bids that you don’t want to see that you filtered out, so I always hide those. I narrow it down to five or six. I kind of communicate with those guys, and I’ll usually try to pick two or three depending on the project.
There’s like one that wins or two that win typically. I’ll give them a couple of weeks to just kind of test them out and then we’ll go from there. So that’s how I use Upwork.
The other one is Ask Sunday. Ask Sunday is a VA company. So basically you can hire a virtual assistant for lots and lots of different things.
Some of the services that they offer are they do data entry, research, tribal planning, customer service desk, outbound calling, like all of that stuff. This is a service that lets you do all that, as opposed to finding a person who can manage remote teams. And then Fiverr is a way to get something done cheap, really quick. Like if you want a logo, you can go in and just search for a logo and it’s going to pop up all the different people who are going to do logos, starting at $40, starting at $120, starting at $50.
There are lots of different prices. It was five, I mean, that’s why it’s called Fiverr, and then they went to 10, and now it’s not five anymore. You’re able to still get good work. There’s one that’s 1,500 bucks.
You can still get great work, and it’s a lot cheaper than if you were to hire a designer straight out. Those are the three resources for finding talent to extend your services or your, whatever, without necessarily having to hire somebody from scratch. Does that help? Do you like that? And then in the comments just say yes, no. Okay, cool. All right. Let’s see, we’re going to talk about next.
Those are my outsourcing. It used to be Elance and oDesk. I used to hire a lot on Elance, and then Elance and oDesk merged, and then they did an IPO. So now Fiverr, or not Fiverr but Upwork is a publicly-traded company, so they’re solid. Every once in a while, we do some stuff. I have a couple of open contracts on Upwork for programming and stuff.
I mean, it’s a good company to extend your team, and then they also do some monitoring on manage remote teams and all of that kind of stuff too. It works out nicely when you’re trying to find somebody.
In terms of project management, let’s go over to Basecamp. Basecamp is a project manager that we use internally for all of our stuff. Asana is another one.
Asana and Trello
We talked about Asana yesterday, and then Trello was another one. Each of them has its flavor, and there is about 70,000 other project management software out there. So really it’s just about finding one that makes the most sense for you. Trello is very… So you have your tasks and then you kind of go sideways.
You can see here, you have your tasks and they’re set up as cards, and then you move those cards depending on where they need to be in the project flow. Then you have Asana, which still does have some card-like functionality. Asana has changed a lot, largely I think because Trello was so popular. And then we have Basecamp and Basecamp is kind of a very… It’s very extensible. I mean, you can do a lot with Basecamp, and Basecamp has some great client-side functionality and manage remote teams.
Now, we just started using it more with clients, and it is working a lot better now for what we need. I’m going to be moving away from using Dropbox because we can use Basecamp for file storage. Some things are just a lot more seamless now with Basecamp. It’s very much the industry standard.
I think they have 20 or 30,000 people who use it, 20 or 30,000 companies. So yeah, it works out pretty nice, and everything will manage remote teams. You can create your templates, and this is how I do it. For all the major services and stuff that we sell, I have templates for each of those services. For instance, when we build a sales funnel, then there is going to be…
Here, let me see if I can do this. I’m going to show you how I have my template set up, I think, which will help you understand kind of how to templatize this stuff for yourself. I just need to remember what my login is here. All right, here we go. Okay. If I want to manage templates… So I’m going to manage my templates. What do you want to talk about…
Let’s look at a base webinar funnel. Okay, cool. All right. Now, I’m going to move and I share this new screen. There we go. All right. Basically how I have Basecamp set up is we have our templates. Whenever a new project, a new client comes on board, I have a template. Let’s say a webinar funnel. A new webinar funnel client comes in, then I just deploy this webinar funnel template, and then I modify it based on what we’re doing for the client.
I assign my team to the different pieces of it. Inside Basecamp, there is a Campfire, which a Campfire is just a… It’s a chat. I mean, there’s nothing more than that.
We use Slack for chat, and we invite our clients into Slack, and then we have some partners and stuff in Slack too.
We use Slack for all of that. I have a paid Slack account that does video and audio and all that. There’s the message board, which our clients use every once in a while. They’ll drop messages here and then we’ll figure out where to put it inside the to-dos. Then we have the schedule, which is all of the dripped out tasks or all to do’s.
They arrange themselves in the schedule, so you can at a glance see what your schedule is, what your team’s schedule is, and all of the other stuff. There are automatic check-ins. So on Monday or Friday, you can send a notification to your team members that have them reply. What did you do this week? What are your blockers? Like a status update kind of thing. What are the results of this campaign? Like whatever which makes it easier to manage remote teams.
Your team responds. The client sees that. You see that. So it’s a way for you to keep on track. Then you have docs and files, which docs and files are kind of like a Dropbox. Do you know? It’s a common folder that everybody in your team gets to have, and then your clients can also have access to the parts that you want them to have access to.
If you want them to have access to a folder so they can upload their stuff there, then you would just give them access. Also, if you want them to have access to the document that shares where they give you the logins, then you can do that here. If they update a password, then they can just log in and change it themselves without having to like go back and forth with email.
I will tell you that since we started implementing this for clients, our emails have drastically dropped, which is a lovely thing. I don’t fear email as much. It used to be when I sit down and I check my email and it’s like whoa, bam, you got 150 emails, like 80 of them need to be answered from clients, because they’re not sure where they are in the process and you can’t fault them for that. Because so much of what we do, it’s done for you.
When we’re writing a webinar, I don’t need your involvement in writing the webinar. We do an onboarding call. I figure out what the offer is. We write the webinar. We send you a revision one. There isn’t a lot to go back and forth between it. We’ve done this so many times and for so long that manage remote teams is easier to do.
Then revision one hits, we make the modifications. We do the final, the finishing touches, then I’m going to record the webinar. It’s a very seamless process. I just was told this yesterday. For people that have worked with a lot of other marketing agencies, there’s always go back and forth and there’s always an agency. Give me this. Give me that. They’re just wasting time. The fact that we don’t do that, sometimes it’s unnerving from a client standpoint.
This helps everybody stay on track, in the process, everything’s good to go. Then docs and files, we’ll throw logos up here, video files, any kind of press releases, logins, whatever. As you can see in this template, basically whenever this template is deployed, there is an example proposal.
This backs up everything that the client saw, and then we always drop the real proposal, the signed contract in here too, so that it’s here. But the real magic is here in the to-dos. Whenever this project is deployed, all of these to-do’s or automatically deployed as well. As for us, for our onboarding, our onboarding is four steps. Well, three steps for the client.
We send a welcome email, and in here, so my account manager, there’s a copy here for the welcome email. There’s the copy for the welcome email, and what they can do is they can just copy that, drop it in an email, and then send it. It’s ready to go. Then we set up software accounts for all of our software that they’re going to need.
Then we set up a Dropbox folder, which is going to be going away because we’re using Basecamp now, and then I record a project walkthrough, or whoever sold the project records a project walkthrough for the team. This is what we’re doing. This is a website. These are the assets they have.
This is the type of sales funnel we’re building. This is the call to action, the offer, all of that stuff. And then I go through and I just start assigning all the tasks. The tasks: write webinar copy, write webinar promo email sequence, write webinar replay email sequence, write lead magnet, write, lead magnet promo email. As I said, we’ve done this so many times.
You can have sub-tasks in here, but typically, I just record a video, some explanation, some memos on what we need here, and then we just manage remote teams iteratively. We go through and it’s version one, version two, version three, that kind of thing. So that’s how we use Basecamp in project management software in general. It works out nicely. It’s a nice seamless process. You can do the same thing in Trello or Asana or whatever.
It’s totally up to you. Let’s see. And then Google Docs. Google Docs is pretty easy to explain. There’s one thing I kind of want to show you, and I just set this up this morning, but I think it might be an interesting example. Inside Google Docs, I mean, as you know, these live streams have become…
My GSDdailies have become something that I do quite a bit. I do them every day, but I’m leveraging them through blog posts and whatever. And I just put together a procedure for having one of my team members adding these MP4 files, the transcripts for the MP4 files, as blog posts, because I’m 10 days behind right now. I was pretty well able to keep up, but I just haven’t been able to recently.
What I did was I recorded a video on how I do this. The video is about 30 minutes long, and then I put together this little spreadsheet. The spreadsheet says, okay, the date published is 5:18, so that was last Monday I published this podcast. It was episode 46. And today, this one is 54, so that’s how far behind I am.
Published it at 10:00 AM. This is the URL that is currently sitting on Amazon S3 because I uploaded it there. Then I had it transcribed. And what I need for my team member to do is log in, grab the transcript, put it on Done For You, on the blog, the way that you know that I do, go through Grammarly, keyword load it, optimize it, all that stuff, all stuff that she knows how to do. And then all she has to do when she’s done is just mark it off.
This is the date that it was added. So this morning, in my example, it was 5:28 is when it was added. Then we also have a second podcast that we’re starting. And once this process is good and dialed in, I mean, there’s going to be weirdness at first. There always is whenever you deploy a new like SOP or a new procedure.
There are always things that you forget because you know the process, you forget to communicate them. So I expect that the same will happen here, but we can always improve on something like this and it will get better in time. So whether we’re doing one show, two shows, three shows, four shows, writing a bunch of transcripts, then this is the way. And all I did was recorded this procedure in Snagit.
We talked about Snagit I think yesterday, right? I mean, the day before. Snagit is a screen capture software, so I recorded a 30-minute video on how to do this in Snagit. I exported it as an MP4 file. And then from there, I put this spreadsheet together and I put the whole thing on Basecamp and assigned it to her.
If you want to go look at Basecamp, yeah, and I assigned it to her. That was it. Other than that, that was kind of how we used Google Drive, that was how we used Basecamp.
For Questions and Guide
If you have any questions at all, just go to doneforyou.com/blog. Did you guys like today’s presentation? Did you get stuff out of it?
Now, if you would like to go through, if you would like to have an Action Plan Call on how to build your sales funnel and how to start your business online, on how to get traffic for your business, go to doneforyou.com/start, fill out the little form, and then the next thing after that is you will be scheduling a call on my calendar.
We will go through, we’ll talk about your business, we’ll talk about what your goals are, and then basically what you need to be done, and then we’ll figure out if there’s a way that we can work together. If so, then that’s awesome. If not, that’s awesome too. And tomorrow is Friday, so we have two shows. We have the GSD Daily at 10:00 AM, and then we have Sales System Experts at 11:00 AM with Aaron Parkinson.