It’s that time again:
My first call of the day starts at 8am and now that Lockdown in the UK has ensued – the only journey I made outside was to grab a cup of tea from Gregg’s
Check me out – I even managed to look in the camera when I shot this as well (using Photo Booth on the Mac)
And I’ve managed to listen to Audible (2.10x speed) – around 10 minutes total listening time (which would be 20 minutes of the book ‘Never Split The Difference’ by Chriss Voss)
And took some notes which I keep here online
After that I switched to watching a Y-Combinator guide on how to do your OWN PR:
Which actually generated these two actions:
And those are the two most recent emails I’ve sent this morning – I’ve already sent around 30 emails (responses + actions)
Then we have an internal company Whatsapp:
Stuff is already kicking off.
Now this is very important as it keeps everyone publicly accountable (as much as is possible) in the Whatsapp group.
Furthermore, whatsapp gets such high and fast open rates that it’s the fastest way to relay information.
And by being able to see what everyone else is doing – it instills a sense of competition to keep getting things done.
Having a Whatsapp work group has been excellent for helping the team drive forward.
So I want to walk through some things that I do to ensure that I stay effective.
- I’ll try and respond as succinctly as I can to emails with 1-2 line answers
- I’ll also take that opportunity to prompt/ask others about follow up actions that are need
- Even as I write this blog post it’ll remind me of things I need to do and I’ll immediately try and action it –
(e.g sending kickoff details about a new client to the internal team):
The whole principle around my ‘GSD’ formula is ‘just-in-time’ thinking and generating immediate actions as a consequence of this.
The downside of this – is that there’s a significant amount of wastage that occurs when I ‘don’t think things through properly’ and it doesn’t quite work out.
So sometimes that can be frustrating.
The upside of it though is that there is such a volume of positive things that happen or big actions that are generated that much progress is made in a very short amount of time.
Get the Wheel Spinning
Processes, systems, and automation are key to this – and those being scrappy to start with is completely fine.
The most important thing is to make sure you get the wheel spinning.
An example of that is identifying big actions that you can ask others to take that fit within their skillset and therefore are quick wins.
For example – in about 9 minutes I’m going to go through some consulting with Craig Campbell – a good friend of mine and very direct SEO expert whose not afraid to tell anyone exactly what he thinks of their work (it’s generally bad lol)
I’ll record that call and share it with my team internally for them to watch and then for us to start tracking actions as against the comments that Craig will make throughout the video.
In fact – through discovering https://whereby.com/ (a video conferencing tool that’s web-only) and how straightforward it is to use and also record calls at the same time – it’s transformed our ability to record practically all calls.
This is powerful in several ways:
- Our weekly internal calls on Friday’s are recorded and can be watched by anyone who missed the meeting and actioned
- Our client onboarding calls are all recorded and shared with the internal team so they get a ‘sense’ of the client and we’re all in alignment
- Our sales team ask if it’s ok to record the call with a prospect to be used internally for the same reason as 2 but also as an opportunity to get some feedback
Looking for quick wins like this can lead to big gains.
You might have noticed above that there are some WhatsApp messages there – we use Whatsapp for all clients as well as internally:
From top to bottom –
- Kemistri LI outreach – client
- SEO internal team – the India office
- Amore – my partner
- Video Content Creation – a subset of an internal team
- Vasid – a linkbuilder we work with
- Skylar – an intern
- Internal team – the general company whatsapp
- Kaushal – my head of design
- Website Changeover – a client
- Wadah, Salim – my Plant Sumo co founder
There are all manner of conversations going on.
Now what’s interesting is that I’m often asked ‘what PM tool do you all use internally’ –
And the answer always falls back to ‘Whatsapp’.
That might actually be a weakness the team inherit from me because I’m not systems orientated and therefore the team internally use Trello, Clockify and Google Sheets.
I don’t use Trello or Clockify.
Every Time I’ve tried to use a PM tool I’ve just ended up ignoring it.
Whatsapp voice notes however – they have SPEED, and a lot can be done with that speed 🙂
I think being nimble is the biggest point here and being able to effectively communicate anything you learn through the team.
A good example is me learning how to use another LinkedIn automation tool in a bid to cater for some specific clients that we’ve got:
And I recorded me fumbling around by myself at 6.45-7.07pm (last night) whilst I was testing and building automations – and then immediately sent the finished video to the LinkedIn team.
In this way there’s no need for me to repeat it in another video, and someone from the Lead Generation team can watch it, try it themselves and go ahead and improve the process.
In this way – we’re able to scale learning quickly.
I.e the team will learn things almost as quickly as I do – and as I spend a significant amount of time learning – it means the general standard of the team continues to rise.
When you take that as a specific example of education – this is something we’re doing at scale:
We have a whole training programme for anyone who joins our team – and then as new things are learned – they’re added to the training.
Also as someone spots issues with the training – we go ahead and rebuild/modify the training appropriately. In this way the quality of the training keeps improving.
In this way output is always on the up and up because the team keep getting skilled up.
Employee/staff motivation is also a huge part of progress – and I have a work schedule which entails working 20+ hours a week in the time that any of the team wants across a 7-day week.
This means that work is getting done literally every day of the week.
Some people work for 1.5 hours on Wednesday and then 4 hours on a Saturday.
Our International Team
Having a very international team is also highly effective.
We have our team spread across the USA, Europe, Africa and India – and this means that work somewhere, is almost always happening because of the different time zones.
Put all of this together and you have a highly effective and motivated team who know almost as much as you do.
And that’s a fine thing.
Copy as much as is useful (ignore the rest). As I do – with any advice I take 😛