Here at Zen Media, we operate in our virtual offices all over the United States, and all over the world. Not being in an office space is great. There’s no one standing over our shoulder dictating what we’re working on, when. This also means though, that we have to be especially good at managing our time and making sure that the work we do is quality and gets great results for our clients.
So, how do we ensure we deliver quality work that receives those great results? It’d be easy to say that we all keep our heads down and focus on our own work. And sure, this is important because we have several departments that have a long list of tasks to accomplish. But that’s actually not what gets the best results. In fact, what we find works best is when three teams specifically, find the time to collaborate: content, social media, and search.
How Do We Put Our Heads Together?
Naturally, the content teams, social media teams, and search teams, all have different agendas and thoughts on priority. Because of this, it’s easy to butt heads and lose track of what is going on with a project. Is everyone on the same page? I’m sure you can think of an instance where someone from one team says “we’re here” when really, after talking to someone else, you find out the project is at a completely different stage. We’ve been there, too, and we’ve revamped the way we work together to make our workflow more efficient.
We Teach Each Other
We are all good at what we do (not to brag, but have you seen our work?), but that doesn’t mean that a member of the content team can outdo someone on the search team, or that the search team members are experts at social media—that’s why we all have our areas. But over time we’ve all found that it’s important to understand what makes each of us good at what we do.
We have started taking the time to teach each other what it is we do and how we manage to do it so well. We take the time to do Google Hangouts, send each other articles, and host specific meetings to certain topics. For example, the search team has taken both the content and social media teams under their wing to teach us about better ways to optimize our content on various platforms for a number of clients.
These meetings are great and they help us see the work from the perspective of other team members. But remember, if you only meet once in a while, the payoff will not be as lucrative. Meeting once a month to go over best practices for your team won’t help to get each other thinking from different perspectives the way you need to be. When the content team is writing, they should be thinking of how the search and social media teams will be able to use their content and visa versa with the search and social media teams. Meeting now and then will not help your team members to learn these sorts of habits.
Make meetings between teams a weekly occurrence and put them on a calendar so that from the beginning of each week, team members know to plan around these blocks of time and it isn’t easy to cancel or reschedule. It’s time to make this teamwork a priority.
Everyone Should Have the Same Priorities
Making teamwork a priority should have the effect of streamlining everyone’s priorities. Whereas it may have been easy at one point to say that our teams had different goals, it’s now much easier to say we all have the same goal, and we hope that one day your team members all do also.
Remember those weekly meetings we suggested? Add to the teaching aspect and start incorporating strategy, also. Your team should have its own strategy sure, but you should also have a strategy that involves all three teams and their shared goals.
Are You Ready to Break Down the Barriers?
Breaking down the barriers which surround each team and combining efforts really isn’t as hard as you may think. You may have to learn some new habits, but once you get used to doing things a different way, you may feel it’s actually a refreshing change of pace. Think of it like this: your team is a circle within a Venn Diagram. There are three circles—content, social media, and search. The part that intersects in the middle which includes all three? That is the strategic key to your success as an online marketing company.
Are you and your team members already working together to combine strategies and turn out the highest quality content? We want to hear what you’re doing to get there! Feel free to comment here on our blog or reach out to brag about it to us directly!