Managing a remote team can be tough, especially if you’ve been thrust into doing so because of the COVID-19 Crisis. When you manage a remote team, some of the challenges can include a lack accountability and a decrease in productivity when compared to an in-house team. There are ways around this. We spoke to a number of experts who manage remote teams to find out how to do it successfully.
Software is key when you manage a remote team
With some great technologies, you can still connect with your remote team as well as you did when you were face to face. Zoom, Google apps (like Docs, Photos, etc.), and other project management tools are great for keeping your employees accountable and connected.
“Use software that works for you and your team– Google suite apps have been key for the virtual collaboration on projects and keeping our team constantly connected.” – Georgette Pascale of Pascale Communications.
“The best way to keep everyone on the same page – literally – is to utilize a project-management app like Asana, Trello, Podio, or Teamwork. In doing so, you can assign tasks, upload and download documents, check in on due dates and completions, and leave a few words of encouragement when things get a little hectic. While you can leave messages on any of these platforms, Slack is also great for quick instant chats. Think about your favorite social messenger, and then add a few features to make it work perfectly for your business needs. That’s Slack.” Blake Sutton of Electrical Knowledge
Overall, you need trust to manage a remote team
Not trusting your employees and micro-managing them will have the opposite effect by making them less productive. Plus, hovering wastes your valuable time. Hire people you trust and who produce the results you want to see without you having to watch their every move.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to trust. We don’t keep tabs on our teammates who’ve proven themselves year over year. It’s mostly the first 6 months that require trust-building, and during that time frame we always establish concrete time-tracking rules with new employees.” – Tyler Weitzman of BlackSMS.
“The first big struggle is that you can’t see your team. There’s a low-level fear that if you aren’t watching them, then they aren’t working. It’s a false fear, totally groundless and productivity reports show that. It is still there when you first change, and doesn’t go away until you have tested it for yourself.” – Morgan Taylor of LetMeBank
Give tools to help them be productive
“We also encourage our remote team members to follow the 1 – 3 – 5 rule. That is, do 1 big thing, 3 medium things, and 5 small things. At the end of the day, this simple approach translates to fantastic productivity. It minimises the risk of wasted time on unnecessary tasks and ensures we all move forward together, even while apart.” – Alexander Porter of SearchitLocal
Your remote team may be lacking the direction they get from being in the office. Speaking regularly and having brainstorming sessions and other meetings is one of the keys to ensuring everyone has what they need.
“We realized things weren’t operating quite right pretty quickly. The team seemed less energized and there were inefficiencies happening due to miscommunications. In response, we increased our scheduled meeting time per week by 300%. Sounds insane, right? It worked wonders. We’ve always had one 1-hour Monday meeting every single week, but we added in 45 minutes of huddles every week, Tuesday through Friday. These are a series of short morning meetings where functional and cross-functional groups get aligned on priorities and roadblocks. I would estimate this has increased productivity by at least 30%. Plus, it’s kept the team integrated on a personal level, which is immeasurable.” – Maddi Salmon of ReviewHomeWarranties
“There is a certain amount of inspiration and brainstorming that benefits from working together, and bouncing ideas of each other. It’s hard to bounce an idea off a Zoom webcam. That being said, we’re working on overcoming that by coordinating smaller meetings and group calls, so that everyone has a chance to speak, and have their voice and ideas be heard.” Flynn Zaiger of Online Optimism.
“Everyone will feel much more connected if they can see their co-workers discuss projects or even engage in a little impromptu brainstorming. It will make each team member feel more comfortable when collaborating together or reaching out for questions in these uncertain times.” Angela Ash of Mailbird.
Do you have to manage a remote team, but you want to find a way out while still needing expert writing advice and content? Contact us. We manage our team of writers, so you don’t have to!
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
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