The internet has dissolved the geographical barriers that used to constrain businesses, allowing them to create remote teams of contractors from around the world. In fact, nearly half of all global employees are part of a remote team according to Esna, a global communication solutions provider.
The rise of telecommuting has presented many opportunities for businesses that manage workers all over the world, but overseeing remote teams can also be very complex. At my digital marketing company, Louder Online, we rely on the services of talented contractors from different parts of the world to deliver top-tier services to clients in many different verticals.
While there are many benefits to having remote teams, we also face a variety of logistical challenges, including sourcing, hiring, and managing the writers that create content for our clients. So how do we build and manage our global workforce? Here’s a general overview of our process, which you may find helpful as you build your own remote teams.
The process of providing high quality content to our clients begins with hiring exceptional writers and other content creators that can live up to our customers’ expectations.
While finding quality writers can be a time-consuming process, we’ve found that the following guidelines streamline the process and help to reduce problems down the road:
After identifying potential candidates, we take the following steps to determine which writers will be a good fit for our clients:
All of this might sound time-consuming, but remember that hiring the right contractors from the start can easily cut the time we’re required to spend on these activities by half or more.
As you might expect, managing a remote team is very different than overseeing contractors in a traditional office setting, as we can’t always respond to questions immediately or offer feedback in real-time. To compensate, we’ve developed a set of internal processes and invested in tools that streamline efficiency and make sure that our workers can reliably produce high quality content.
Here’s an overview of the system we use to make sure workers have the resources they need and keep them on task.
From our past experiences, we’ve found that email alone is an inefficient medium for communication. Instead, we use a combination of Asana and Google Docs so that all team members can easily share information and communicate with each other.
In particular, we use Google Docs to share an internally-developed content strategy template with all of our writers that tracks expectations and guidelines for content creation on a per-client basis.
Currently, our strategy template includes the following information:
Essentially, our content strategy template is designed to be comprehensive enough for workers to understand our expectations, without overwhelming them with unnecessary details.
In addition to the content strategy pictured above, we provide our writers with additional resources, such as links to the client’s website, suggested topics from the client and any special client requests so that they can hit the ground running and create content without requiring our input every step of the way.
Overall, this process has helped us establish excellent working relationships with a vast network of contractors and ensure they meet our clients’ expectations — but there’s always room for improvement.
To refine our process, we’re constantly seeking feedback from our editors, writers, and other freelancers, as well as monitoring client outcomes on our end to find room for improvement.
In fact, the current strategy template we use is the result of suggestions made to us by past clients and freelancers. As an example, the specific project structure we use in Asana comes from one of our freelancers, who brought it with her from a previous employer:
It’s taken us time to develop all of these systems, but as a result, we’re able to produce exceptional content with minimal setbacks, due to our focus on consistency and continuous improvements.
Whether you use remote workers to produce client for your business or for any customers you serve, give the processes above a try. By focusing on building scalable systems and attracting high quality freelancers, you’ll be able to harness the power of a remote workforce to create great content in an affordable, efficient way.
Do you use freelancers to help create your content? If so, share any other tips or tricks you’ve developed in the comments section below.