Here at Tuff, we put a lot of time and energy into creating partnerships rooted in transparency and authenticity. The more informed, honest, and clear conversations we can have, the better work we will all do.
Kicking off a new partnership comes with getting really clear on ‘where’ we’ll work. We’ve been a remote team since Day 1 and this helps us be really thoughtful about ways we communicate with our clients. Aside from setting the growth strategy for each company, choosing the tools, and executing tactics, we’ve got to be master communicators.
That’s why, when we work together, we make sure it’s easy and clear where and how to communicate.
Channels we often use with clients to streamline communication include:
- Weekly Growth Marketing Meetings
- Shared Google Drive
- Slack Integration
Weekly Growth Marketing Meetings
Weekly growth marketing meetings give us a chance to come together on Zoom and align on the most important marketing priorities.
In these 30-minute sessions, we recap what was done the previous week, review corresponding metrics, and align on what we want to get done the following week as a team.
Here’s what a common agenda might look like:
- What are we working on this week?
- What do we think we can achieve this week?
- Who is doing what?
- What do we expect the results to look like?
- What does the data say?
Following this call, we have a specific game plan for the week that keeps us focused on executing tactics that influence revenue (vs. running around chasing ideas like a headless chicken).
Below is an example of our weekly marketing doc with one of our partners, Renogy. We’ve met every single Wednesday since August 2019 and this weekly marketing doc has a running record on everything we’ve collaborated on as a team.
The reason we like having weekly meetings is because it increases the visibility and accountability of each team member and tactic for that week. Short pockets of time (5 workdays) force us to make the most efficient use of our time because there isn’t an opportunity to push something down your to-do list or to do it later.
It allows us, as an agency, to make sure all of our attention goes toward our top priorities.
Shared Google Drive
Anytime we bring on a new client, we create a shared folder in Google Drive or Dropbox. During onboarding, we’ll ask our clients to drop in information like:
- Product description
- Historical data
- Value points
- Sales Data
- User Flow
Then, on an ongoing basis, everything we work on at Tuff goes into this shared folder. This keeps us organized and efficient. As a client of Tuff, you have access at any time to data, creative, strategy docs, and more.
With Slack’s “Shared Channels” feature, separate organizations can collaborate together in a Slack channel, each from within their own Slack workspace. Members can send direct messages, upload files, use apps and integrations, and start calls—all in a common space.
Opening up Slack with our clients is inline with the type of relationship we like to create with our clients, one that mimics the experience of having an internal growth marketer on your team.
Setting Ground Rules
Opening up Slack with clients is a very big step. It eliminates back and forth emails and helps remove that blocker question of ‘should I send this in an email? Or, wait till we meet in person?’.
But, it is important to set the right expectations on both sides. Deep and focused work is critical to the success of our clients and their campaigns so we don’t want clients or team members to constantly get pulled in by Slack notifications.
If we’re going to get meaningful results together we need the time and space to focus on strategy and execution (without pings!) which is why we work to protect this with specific Slack expectations.
- We don’t expect clients to immediately drop everything and answer our question, and neither should they.
- We can cut down on email by using Slack to share documents, ask questions, schedule meetings, update on goals, etc.
Open Communication Channels
These processes are part of what sets us apart as an agency and our goal to serve as true partners. By asking the right questions and being intentionally transparent about everything we’re working on, we’re able to build a relationship that’s grounded in authenticity and intention.
And this, more than anything else, enables us to get results.
Ellen is the founder at Tuff and one of the team’s core growth marketers. She is a versatile marketer with expertise in multiple channels – from ppc to seo to email to others – responsible for the experiments and testing. She is happiest when she’s on the ski hill or outside pointing her mountain bike downhill.