- Objectives and key metrics for each team member
- Asynchronous daily huddles make meetings unnecessary
- SOP and checklist library for getting everything out of your head
- Monthly commits – 3 projects each team member delivers every month
- Backlogs and sprints to keep track of, and do, everything that needs doing
You ever gotten chewed out by a client before?
To be fair to him, I deserved it.
And I think he only spoke to me the way he did because he knew I could handle it.
Anyway, I took it on the chin.
I’m a copywriter and having a thick skin comes with the territory.
So here’s what happened.
A while ago, this client promoted me to “marketing director.”
And for the first 3-6 months, I failed at the job.
The thing about managerial roles…
You can’t see the effects for 3-6 months.
There’s a time lag between cause and effect that’s role-dependent.
For frontline employees, the feedback loop is daily or weekly, so they see results instantly.
For managers, this feedback loop is quarterly.
For executives, it’s yearly.
CEOs may wait several years to see their decisions play out.
What was it I did wrong as marketing director?
Well, I went from being a copywriter, a frontline employee, to managing a team.
Dropkick Copy is a two-man boutique.
Now, I was managing a team of 3 and a few contractors.
And I had never managed a marketing team before.
My instinct was not to micro-manage when, in this particular situation, I had to do it until everyone was working according to plan.
I expected everyone to be self-starters, resourceful, multi-talented, fast executors, all that shit…
I expected them to be me.
But they weren’t me.
So everyone was kind of doing their own thing.
Going through the motions without supervision.
And not working like a team.
After getting yelled at by my client, though, I decided think like a manager.
Lucky for me, my client knows a lot about managing teams so he showed me what I needed to do.
Here are the 5 tools I got from him to manage my marketing team.
5 Tools to Manage Your Marketing Team
1. Objectives and key metrics
For each role, this document lists:
- Tasks and responsibilities
- How performance is measured
- What good and bad performance look like
That’s the jist of it, though I’m sure there are variations.
The key is being specific and detailed.
Employees need to know what good work looks like to the company or they’ll do whatever.
This document should be reviewed quarterly at one-on-ones.
Maybe more often that if an employee is falling behind.
2. Asynchronous daily huddles
This client had a fully-remote team doing daily huddles on Zoom.
Not just that, but weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings too.
We had people in the Philippines, China, Dubai, England, France, Mexico and the USA.
There’s no point working remotely unless you’re also going to work asynchronously.
And everyone was using the company Slack, so for my team we did our daily huddles in our channel.
In a daily huddle you mention:
- Wins from yesterday
- Goals for today
- Whether you’re stuck with anything
Depending on the size of the team, huddles take 5-20 minutes on a video call.
Or each team member can type a comment in less than 60 seconds and post it in their channel at their convenience.
3. SOP and checklist library
If what you do is in your head, it’s useless to everyone else.
Write it down or record it on video.
The SOP library helped me show my team exactly how I wanted things done and train new team members.
4. Monthly commits
These are larger projects that’ll take more than a few days to complete.
Each team member has to commit to delivering 3 of these projects every month.
At the end of the month, we see whether they delivered and if not, why not.
This helps the team make progress on the big stuff that moves the needle.
5. Backlogs and sprints
In any team there’s always more work than manpower or resources.
You have to be able to prioritize which projects you’re gonna work on.
The backlog keeps track of everything that needs to get done.
And you pick projects based on how important they are to the business.
Sprints get everyone working on one project at the same time.
The alignment and focus mean projects complete faster and that more projects are completed.
That’s essential for clearing the backlog.
6. Bonus tool: Creative library
Over the 3 years I worked for this client we must have produced 3000-5000 pieces of content.
- Social media
- Landing pages
- Sales pages
- Web design/copy
All saved on a Google Drive.
You need a way to catalogue, organize and retrieve it all.
Good folder structure and file naming is important.
I had real a real problem with team members naming files and folders in disorganized ways.
And to catalogue and retrieve them all, a spreadsheet is fine.
But you can use fancier tools like Airtable, Roam, Notion, etc.
Wish I’d known to catalogue sooner
There are hundreds, maybe thousands of pieces of copy I’ve written for clients that I didn’t save for my own records.
Those archives are worth a lot of money
Do you use any of these tools?
Have I missed any that you’ve used and found helpful?
Let me know by replying.
I might pick up a few new managerial skills from you 😉
P.S. Whenever you’re ready here are 3 ways I can help:
- If you’re a business owner, work with my copywriting agency, Dropkick Copy. Book a 15-minute discovery call.
- If you’re a copywriter who wants to master your craft and work with better clients, join CopySkills™ for as low as $20/month. Individual | Teams | Read the Manifesto
- If you’re a man who cares about self-improvement, buy my new book 40 Hadith on Masculinity: How to Be a Good Man. Get instant access.
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