The biggest fear I had when I began working for Russell Brunson was…how to stay in touch and in the flow with the company culture and events while living thousands of miles away. How would I be able to write for and as Russell if I wasn’t at the epicenter of his genius everyday?
I came onto the Clickfunnels team as a funnel coach and writer in December 2017, right about the time Russell hired James P. Friel, a project management wizard, to create some new workflows and systems for the growing company.
It’s been epic.
I’ve watched the birth of an internal agency, with people all over the globe, able to quickly and seamlessly push out complicated funnels in mere days.
Here are a few of the things Russell and James have implemented to optimize a remote team.
#1 Set up a Zoom room for quick access and accountability
At Clickfunnels HQ, it’s not just a zoom room. It’s….THE BAT CAVE.
The bat cave is the zoom room that Russell created to help bring the remote team closer. Russell will get into work in the morning, open up the bat cave zoom room and we’ll all trickle in. Sometimes it’s only four or five people. Other times it’s 10 or 12.
Russell talked about The Batcave in a recent podcast you can listen to here.
We just work with our audio on mute and un-mute ourselves if we have a question.
The bat cave is really fun because you can scare the crap out of Russell by simply un-muting yourself and yelling, “Hey Russell!” right when he’s concentrating.
You can totally tell when he’s writing or thinking because we get a VERY clear zoomed in shot of Russell’s face on zoom all day.
You’ll know because he’ll be playing with one of the 15 gadgets on his desk. Or he’ll just pace back and forth behind his desk and talk to himself.
The other day I forgot to turn the bat cave off and I left my house to go out to dinner and had a message from my husband an hour later that said, “Julie – I’m not sure what’s going on, but there are voices in your office and they are asking for you!!”
I also got a lovely notice from my cable Internet company telling me I chewed up too much wi-fi and I’m being charged for an overage.
So those are the cautionary tales if you plan to set up a bat cave for your business as well.
Overall, it’s incredible.
It’s amazing how something as simple as a bat cave can create such camaraderie when you’re working remotely. If you have team members scattered all over the world, try it.
#2 Create an airtight project management system and templates to help complicated projects get done more quickly
I think I’m going to have James talk more about his project management wizardry in a future blog post because it needs more than just a paragraph. But one of the most effective systems I’ve seen are these things called… Relay cards.
Relay cards are Trello cards that have multiple checklists and multiple people assigned. The idea is that the first checklist is for Person A, and when they are finished with their list, Person B is now in charge of the card and goes to complete checklist two. On and on it goes with as many people are needed to complete the card.
In this way, the card is handed off to each subsequent person through a checklist.
You can do it manually, or you can use something like Butler Bot to automate it.
#3 Do a weekly company-wide meeting so you can check in with all the different teams (sales, billing, customer support, etc.)
Every Monday, the whole company hops on Zoom in the conference room. And all the remote folks watch via FB live (we have a company-wide Facebook group) and each head of the team gives an update.
We hear from…
- Brent about new team members
- Dave about affiliates and other business developments
- Ryan and Todd regarding app developments and updates
- Russell about new funnels and products
- Mark about customer support
It gives both local and remote people the chance to ask questions and get up to speed on what’s happening in the company. The bigger you are, the more important this meeting is because there’s so much going on.
#4 Use a team-wide communication app like Slack with segmented conversations
If you haven’t used Slack yet for your team, you need to! Slack can virtually REPLACE email communication. It’s faster, more efficient, and you can create topic-wide channels. Here are a few ideas…
- Create a channel for support questions
- Create a channel for billing discussion
- Create a channel for marketing
- Create a channel for product development
- Create a channel for social media discussions
- Create a channel to keep track of testimonials out in groups
In addition to faster communication, Slack has an INSANE number of options for integrations and plugins to connect to virtually every other software app you use.
#5 Voxer Group Channels for easy and quick on-the-go updates
The last communication channel we’re using is Voxer. We have a marketing Voxer channel that Russell uses to “call” a meeting. He’ll send out a bat signal that pushes to our phones, and it’s hilarious. We all know when we see that signal that Russell has had an epic lightbulb moment and if we want to catch the momentum, we need to stop what we’re doing and hop in the zoom call as quickly as possible.
Voxer is voice to voice (like a walkie talkie) so it’s one of the fastest ways to communicate.
A lot of you might be thinking, how is it that you need ALL those channels of communication?
When your team is remote, it’s important to create an environment that makes it as easy as possible to get the information you need to keep moving and stay productive.
- The Zoom room allows you to visually SEE if someone is at their desk, super concentrated or not.
- Trello allows you to keep all your tasks and assets and ideas organized so you can KNOW where you’re at on a project instantly.
- Slack is great for sharing quick ideas and links. Sometimes something isn’t QUITE ready for the Trello card yet because you need a bit of feedback. Slack makes sharing those videos and images really simple.
- Voxer is voice to voice. When you aren’t at your desk on Zoom, Voxer makes it easy to brainstorm and follow up without having to type everything out.
Even thousands of miles away, with these systems in place, I get the information I need, as fast as I need it, to be able to do my job from two timezones away. For those of you who run agencies or companies with complicated projects and remote teams, try to implement these five tips and see if productivity soars!