Ep 153 | Streamlining Your Team and Getting More Done
Finding employees right now can be difficult. So how can we streamline what we're doing and make the most of the employees we have. It comes to thinking outside of the box when it comes to job roles and thinking about who does what.
What you'll learn:
→ how to prioritze your tasks.
→ ways to think about what tasks each person does.
→ how to automate tasks to save time.
Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:
[5:40] Prioritizing Goals Make a list of the most critical goals you want to accomplish over certain periods of time. Prioritize what really needs to be done, and what can be moved down the list temporarily. Highlight the tasks only you can do, and delegate what tasks others can do based on their skill set.
[10:50] Automation Make a list of the tasks that can be done through automation rather than using individual time to complete each task. Use CRM to automate communication with donors. Delegate others to monitor these tasks so you can focus on the tasks only you can complete.
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[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, so tell me if you're in one of these scenarios, you are having to scale back a little bit on your team, but not really sure how to absorb the workload that some of those folks were handling. Or maybe you're growing out of your volunteer base and hiring people for the first time. Or maybe you're just scaling and you've got a lot of funding, and you need to add new people. But when it comes to the marketing side of your job, and the fundraising side, you're not quite sure how to adjust some of those tasks. Well, that's what we're going to talk about today. Because as we know, this is a big thing. Conversation that's taking place right now. We can't find enough employees, the employees we can find are not quite right. It's a struggle. It's always a struggle, but even more so right now. So I wanted to give you a couple of things to think about with regards to your marketing, and how that relates to your fundraising efforts. So you can figure out maybe how to move things around a little bit and figure out what roles you really truly need, and what tasks must be done and who's best to do those tasks. I'm Sami Bedell-Mulhern, and I am the host of the digital marketing therapy podcast. So thank you so much for listening today. I really appreciate it. And I'm excited for this conversation, because I just came back from a conference. And this was a topic that a lot of people were talking about, that they're struggling with. We ourselves are going to be hiring soon. And so it's something that's really top of mind for me as well. What are the things that we need to have done, who's best suited to do them. And I think that this is a perfect opportunity to really think about doing things a little bit differently. You know, we have the standard and the core flowcharts, and org charts that everybody's used to. But we have to remember that the people that we're hiring are individuals, and each person comes with its own set of skills. And so what I'm going to challenge you on today is, what are the things in your organization that must get done? How do we fill those roles? And then how do we kind of layer in like the nice to haves or the next things? How do we as leaders step up and maybe take on tasks that we wouldn't necessarily do? But how do we manage the things that only we can do so that the organization keeps moving forward. We don't want to overload ourselves with things so that we're not getting those income producing activities done. Right. So I'm gonna give you a few things to think about with regards to marketing. With regards to automation, and tasks that you might want to think about before you either hire somebody or if you are in the situation where you've let somebody go, how you can kind of absorb those tasks if you can't rehire somebody for that role. This is also just a good episode, if you kind of want to think about being more effective and more efficient in your organization. I am not an HR specialist or expert by any means. But I have worked in a lot of organizations and worked alongside a lot of organizations where well, this is how it's always been done. These are the rules that we've always had. And now is a great opportunity to take a look at those and change them and see how you might be able to do more and be more effective with less people. Okay, now, I'm not advocating for necessarily using this episode to automate all of your systems and let people go, because let's face it, we are in the relationship game, we need to have people that are building strong connections with our donors, with our sponsors, with our volunteers, it is still a person game. But if we can free up some of these admin tasks to make some of those things more effective, how much faster can we grow, and how much faster can we hit our goals. That's what we're going to discuss today. But before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our patrons, I hope you'll head on over to thefirstclick.net/Patreon. That's P A T R E O N and check out some of the perks that you can get to get an action on these episodes that you're listening to. For as little as $5 a month, you can get access to an incredible workbook that gives you worksheets on these episodes, and get more out of what you're hearing in these sessions. So again, that's thefirstclick.net/Patreon. But for now, let's get into the episode.
[INTRO] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.
[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So much like in a for profit or a corporate business, your sales and marketing teams would work hand in hand. Hopefully, just like in your nonprofit organization. Your fundraising and marketing team should work in tandem. Because you want to make sure that the messages are coming out clearly. The goals are communicated so the marketing team knows what it should be talking about, and what the biggest priorities are based off the organizational goals and how they can kind of key up people to be ready for those bigger fundraising conversations. This means that sometimes a fundraiser is going to wear multiple hats as a marketer and as a fundraiser, but your skills are going to be probably stronger in one side versus the other. So when we think about our organization as a whole, we want to think about our fundraising and marketing as a combined effort and figure out how we can streamline and create better systems to allow them to run seamlessly. So where I want you to start is by really paying attention to what are the goals of your organization? What are the biggest things that we're trying to accomplish? Do we have a big event that's coming up, or how many events are we running here? And I want you to think about this without regards of who your staff is, and what roles they play. We're really going to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch so that we can understand what we need to be doing to run more efficiently. And this can be very uncomfortable for a lot of people. That this is how we've always done it comes into mind, or these are the people we have, so this is just what we're going to do. It doesn't have to be that way. So I want you to make a list of the things that you know, are critical, and probably for the year. So how many fundraising events do you have? How many grants need to be written each year? What does your donor experience look like? And you know, what resources and things do you need to make that happen? Are you calling the donors? Are you sending handwritten cards, like what does that look like? And put that on paper. So you can really kind of start to figure out what it is that needs to be accomplished in order for you to reach your goals. Now, at this point, I also want you to get a little red marker. And I want you to really be honest with yourself. And I want you to line out in red, cross out the things that you think are not going to really get you to where you need to go. But it's something that you're spending time on. And doesn't mean we're not going to do them all the time. But when we're trying to get more efficient, let's double down on the things that we know are working and getting us towards our goals. And let's kind of stop doing the things that aren't, even if it's just temporarily. So we're going to strike through the things that we don't maybe need to be doing right now. Then I want you to take a highlighter, and I want you to highlight the things that only you can do. So this doesn't mean, this could be a good exercise for your entire team, right? This doesn't mean that this is just coming from the executive director down, like your whole team could do this. And it might be interesting to compare lists, because then you'll really see we'll hear some a bunch of things that these people are doing, that I didn't even realize that they were doing. So what are we writing down all the things that need to happen in order for the business to be successful for the organization to be successful. So you highlight all the things that only you can do. And let's say you're the development directors, so that could look like, I make phone calls to donors that we’re prospecting over a certain dollar amount. Could look like in person meetings with potential sponsors, maybe you are responsible for certain committees. And so only you can be at those meetings, right? So what are all the things that only you can be at? And I want you to take a look at that list and compare the lists with the rest of the team. See if there's overlap, where you guys are duplicating efforts, and see how, what gaps there might be in everybody having these are the only things that I can do. Here's the things that we crossed off, and where are there holes and gaps. And this doesn't have to be a long, lengthy assignment. But I think it will really shed some light on where you and your team are spending time. Another great way to kind of go about this is to have everybody track their time for a week. Now, this could be done in Toggl, it could be done with just regular pen and paper or whatever. But have everybody track their time when they're working in the office, whatever during work hours, and see where they're spending the bulk of their time. And same thing, right, like cross off the things that you're like, wait a minute, why am I spending all this time on social media? That's not part of my priority? Am I doing it because, because I just want to check in on my team or you know, am I just wasting time versus the person who's responsible for all the posting, right? So we want to take a look at how we're spending our time. That's a great way to go about it as well because you might be surprised at, kind of, where things are happening that maybe don't need, but maybe you have somebody who's responsible for email communication and follow up with your donors and they're spending three hours a week individually emailing all of those people. That's great, but Could we then take that activity and turn it into an automation in the back of our CRM, and save an hour and a half, because now these are already up, you know, going out automatically. And now the person just needs to go in and check and make sure that everything is running. Right? So we're gonna take a look at how everybody's spending our time. And then we're going to attach that to the, to the goals that we have to our organization. So what are the things that we have coming up that are really important in the next three months, six months? And how do we need to adjust our time and efforts in order to fit in with what we need to do, and what are ways that we can think of the team as creatively making things run a little bit more smoothly.
And so I have a few ideas that I want you to think about. Now, when it comes to activities that are repeated. This is usually the great spot to think about automation. Now, we're not going to automate our one on one phone calls with our larger donors, right? There's certain things that we just don't automate. But there's a lot that we can. So let's take a look at our donor experience. When they give to us, what are the things that happen? They get a phone call? Do they get a email? Do they get a tax receipt? Like what does that look like? And then let's think about how we can automate that whole process. And then let's think about other things like our CRM and our tech stack. So what are we currently using in our organization that maybe we aren't using all the features of. Nonprofit CRMs are very robust. And now is a perfect time to really jump in, maybe have another demo with your company and say, Hey, these are the things that we're looking to do, we need to increase our retention of our donors, that's one of our goals. So instead of picking up the phone and calling all of them one on one, or emailing them all individually, is there a way that in our CRM, we can pull this information and shoot out a quick email right? Now, we're just spending maybe 30 minutes to draft with that communication links, and then putting that in the system. And then our team is having to just follow up with those that are interested. So have a conversation with your CRM, bring them some of these pain points that you're having, and see if there's a way that they can help you streamline and automate, because then that's one more thing that you can just check off your list like this is happening in the background, I don't even have to worry about it. That's a way to save hours. And maybe you have an admin person or a volunteer that's doing that task that then you can move to something that's a little bit more hands on and strategic and helping you hit your goals. We really want to make sure that all of our humans in the office are focusing on income producing activities. And this is critical with marketing and figuring out are we doing this just because we need to do it? Or are we doing it because it's generating leads. So at this point, you might have somebody who's working full time or part time specifically on social media, you might have somebody who's working on content, who's doing your Google ads, who is doing your email marketing, maybe they're the same person, maybe they’re combination. But if you're not quite sure what's going on, before you're hiring somebody, or before you're kind of reassessing tasks and what people are doing, it's a great time to check in with your data and see what's happening. Check in with your analytics, check in with your email marketing analytics, check in with your CRM, take a look at your retention rates, take a look at your lifetime value for your donors, figure out what metrics you can increase that's going to help you drive to your fundraising goals. That's really going to help you when it comes to the staff and the team that you have, and the tasks that are put on each person. So I know that this is a lot. But it's a really good activity to take part in, especially if you haven't done it in a while, you've had a lot of turnover in your board. If you've had a lot of turnover in your staff. If you're growing, if you're switching from volunteers. A lot of times when we have a mostly volunteer organization, we're just doing the things that we know we have people with expertise in. So then as we go into hiring, it can be really tricky to figure out. Okay, well, now that we have the funds to hire, what activities, you know, do we want to be looking for somebody to do. So let me just do a quick recap. So make sure that you have everybody on your team time track and or write down the whole list of tasks that they think need to be done in order to be successful. You could do this by individual role. And you could do this by organization wide or combination just depending on the size. Put a red mark through the things that you think that maybe don't need to be happening right now. Highlight the things that only you can do and come together as a team to see where you have gaps and where you might need to create some work around. Figure out what you can automate, so take a look at all those repeated tasks. What can you automate? And then reach out to your tech stack people and figure out, what can we do better? Do I need to do another training with my email software? Do I need to do another training with my CRM? What can I do better to automate these repeated tasks? Do I need to get on with my project management system? Then you can figure out exactly what needs to be done moving forward. Once everybody kind of has their tasks, we feel good about the job roles we have, we feel good about what we're hiring for, we feel good about what we're looking for. Now it's a time for each individual person to even streamline a little bit further. So what do I need to do on a daily basis? And how can I batch? I'm a huge fan of batching. Batching means I'm going to take a bunch of like tasks and do them all at once. So today, I'm recording at least two episodes of my podcast. I'm in the mode of talking your ear off right now, so I'm going to do that. It also helps my editor, he can batch the podcast together, that means I can get a group of podcast episodes to the rest of my team who does the show notes and helps pull all that stuff together. So we're not just kind of doing one here, one here, one here. I also like to batch if I'm writing blog posts for clients, or if I'm doing a specific type of work. Often, when we're working on client website, I wait for a big bulk of edits to come in before that goes down the line for additional work. Because when you're in that client website, it's easier to just finish everything all at once, much faster than coming in and out and in and out and in and out. So what are the tasks that you can do? And how can you put those things together so that you can be more effective and more efficient. I've talked about this a lot in other episodes. It's also been about communicating to your team, hey, I only take donor visits in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or I only do it on the second week of the month, whatever that looks like. So you're not getting derailed and interrupted, that's going to also save you more time in your day. Now, the reason why all of these things are important is you might find that you can absorb a few more tasks than you originally thought. And so might some of your other team members. And because now you've done all this work on the front end, understand what activities are going to be most impactful for your organization. When it comes to adding responsibility and adding things to people's plate, you can say hey, you know, we really have seen that when we add a weekly newsletter versus a monthly newsletter, our donations increase. So we need to add that in. So you know now who is the person on your team that can maybe take that on based off of their current workload and their skill set or you know, we need to find a volunteer or hire somebody to take this on. But you know the data behind it, and you know why you're adding that activity. Okay, so I hope this makes sense. I hope this is helpful. You know where to find me. If you have questions. You can email me at Sami@thefirstclick.net. Otherwise, I'm on Instagram and Facebook, you can message me at the first click marketing. But I just am really passionate about organizations not just doing things the way they've been and now that the workplace and workforce is in this state of chaos. I think now's the perfect time to be having these conversations about what roles do we have on our team and why? I hope that you'll subscribe wherever you listen to this episode and watch the video versions at thefirstclick.net/YouTube. I thank you so much for letting me come into your ears every week, and I hope you have a great day. I'll see you at the next one.