The Convince and Convert team (C&C) get anywhere from 50–200 guest post submissions every week. They also schedule more than 48 posts, 5 podcasts, and 4 newsletters each month.
Since their beginning, they’ve been pushing out quality content and giving folks what they need—simple digital marketing advice.
Demand for their content grew at an insane rate and continues to grow. The need for a marketing project management software tool became quite apparent.
Let’s introduce Jess…
Before CoSchedule, Jess, the managing editor at Convince and Convert, worked through spreadsheets, email threads, and a less than stellar WordPress calendar. With their previous process, “… it was hard to wrangle all the content and get it onto a calendar that was actually up to date,” Jess said.
Now staying on top of content is seamless and has even saved them nearly 10 hours each month. Here’s a look at how a small team like Convince and Convert consistently produces exceptional content with the help of CoSchedule and how you can, too!
As marketers, we know staying organized is a huge pain point. When managing umptillion moving parts and a team of people, having the right marketing project management software is essential to keep everyone on the same page.
When C&C chose CoSchedule to manage their workflow, the impact was tremendous. And not only did it save them gobs of time, they were able to effectively manage their remote team and conquer a very content-heavy schedule!
“Most of us have our full-time jobs and then we also work for Convince and Convert; having the calendar empowers my team to quickly jump back into the process without needing to be in the calendar every day.” —Jess Ostroff
The best solution is to choose one tool to manage the process and refine the workflow. And that tool can be anything, from an old-school calendar to marketing project management software like CoSchedule. What’s important is that you adopt a system and stick to it.
Once you choose a tool, you must have a set workflow that keeps everything organized and moving in the right direction. With the calendar, Jess and her team work autonomously while still staying in sync. They’ve developed a workflow that’s associated with each piece of content, so there are no questions as to what each person is supposed to do or what their responsibilities are. They just know!
Develop The C&C Workflow With CoSchedule’s Marketing Project Management Software
1. Brainstorm With Your Team
Get your team involved early on. Folks will own it if they have a hand in the planning process.
Things to keep in mind when you plan a brainstorming meeting:
- Set a time and make a game plan for your workflow meeting.
- Add structure to the meeting by keeping it in a defined time frame. Time yourself if you have a tendency to lose track of time.
- Take breaks. 15-minute breaks are great for every hour you spend brainstorming.
- Conduct sessions that go no longer than three hours.
Next, create a one-sentence statement to help define the purpose of your meeting. This sentence will create a clear picture as to why and what needs to be accomplished.
During the meeting:
Create an environment that encourages ideas and minimizes groupthink. Not sure where to start?
2. Categorize And Prioritize Your List
Once you’ve got a list of all possible tasks in the workflow process, start prioritizing them.
Tips for going through your list:
- Go through every idea and categorize them by project phase. At C&C, there are a few categories: editing, social, writing, and planning.
- Eliminate duplicates and try to keep the process as simple as possible.
Recommended Reading: How To Choose The Perfect Blog Categories
After you’ve cleaned up the list and defined the purpose of the project, it’s time to implement a timeline with deadlines to accomplish your goal.
In order to figure out your timeline:
- Start with the end in mind. When do you want to have it finished? Choose your date.
- Work backwards from there and figure out how much time it will take you to finish those projects.
- Use the question: “At the end of this project, what should we have accomplished?” to create the framework for your task timeline.
- Now, do those things.
3. Define What “Done” Means For Every Task
This is where over-communication comes in handy because we all have our own definition of what “done” means.
Save your team hours of wasted time and miscommunication by clearly defining what complete means for each task in the process.
4. Who Does What?
Next, designate a specific person or role for each task.
Again, over-communication and clarification are crucial in the beginning. Make sure you have a clear framework and that you designate tasks to each person. It will empower your team and help them create a rhythm within the process.
5. Create A Task Template In CoSchedule
Now add the Super Mario effect to your already stellar task workflow.
Once you define your tasks, build a task template in CoSchedule. You’ll save an immense amount of time with this step.
Use this exercise to build your task template inside of CoSchedule:
- Open up a piece of stand-alone content inside of CoSchedule.
- Write out all of your tasks that you’d like to include into your task template.
- When you finish that, click on the button that says “Create New Task Template”.
- Name your new task template.
- Add each task and assign them to a person.
- Attach deadlines to each task via the dropdown.
- Save your template.
You can easily create a new project and add all the necessary tasks with your handy-dandy new task template. There’s no need to recreate the wheel each time you start a new project!
6. Test, Revise, Repeat
Lastly, test, revise, and test again. You won’t have the perfect process right out of the gate. It takes a little trial and error to find the perfect flow. Focusing on a couple success factors will make the revision process easier.
Review each person’s tasks and timeline: Like C&C, you can review each person’s tasks to see their progress toward 100% complete.
Anyone falling behind? Perhaps you estimated too little time, they’re getting sidetracked, or the current definition of done isn’t clear enough. Meet with your team, then edit your task template.
Working with huge levels of content always adds a level of complexity, but with CoSchedule’s workflow functionalities and all-in-one calendar, staying in sync and on schedule is easier than ever.
Since switching over to CoSchedule, the C&C team has saved nearly 10 hours every month! Managing all their content in one spot has eliminated endless hours of email hunts, and piecing together the details. Now, Jess and her team can focus on the important stuff—publishing exceptional content!