Team Management 101: How to Hire – and Keep Employees
“You’re only as good as the people you hire.”
- Ray Kroc
If you’ve been running your affiliate marketing sites by yourself for a while, you’ve likely become an expert in the following: building websites, finding new operators to work with, creating content, driving traffic to your sites, working with affiliate managers, bookkeeping, managing freelancers, graphic design, site building, HTML, and more.
It’s also likely you’re on the verge of burnout. While long hours and hard work are key to success in affiliate marketing, burning the candle at both ends for too long will add to your stress and put your business at risk when you risk burnout.
If you’re making good money from your sites, it’s the right time to consider putting together a team of people who can help you take your business to the next level.
In today’s post, we’re going to cover the kind of team you need to put together and how you can successfully manage that team.
The great thing about building your own team is that you can build it in a way that complements your personal strengths. If you’re a great copywriter, focus on hiring people to do graphic design and programming. If you’re a people person, you can focus on building relationships with affiliate managers and site visitors, and hire other people to handle the back of house activities such as development or bookkeeping.
In addition, we recommend hiring a virtual team. A virtual team saves you the expense of renting an office and may possibly allow you to hire for some positions at a much lower rate than you’d pay in your local market.
So as you assess your skills and the needs of your business, here are some positions you should think about bringing on to your team.
Copywriter – If you’re trying to attract natural search results, you’ll want a great copywriter who can create multiple posts each day. Advertise for a Journalism or English student on Craigslist. In some markets, ex-newspaper journalists might be a good fit.
Graphic Designer — Your designer is essential for creating the look and feel of your affiliate websites as well as helping with the visual aspects of daily content production.
IT Developer — If you’re running multiple websites and working with multiple affiliate programs, you’ll need a developer who can build sites quickly and keep them running without issues. In addition to needing skills in WordPress, HTML and CSS, you’ll also want someone who knows enough about hosting and servers to keep your sites running quickly.
Bookkeeper — Running multiple sites and offering multiple programs can be a challenge for any bookkeeper. When you add in the complexity of working with operators and ensuring payments come in on time, this is an important position.
SEO — You’ll definitely want to have an SEO consultant to work with. This person will be able to guide your natural search efforts and provide a structure for your copywriter to follow.
Social Media — In some cases, your copywriter may be able to handle the content creation for your social media channels. However, it’s often more effective to have a person dedicated to creating content for social media, linking back to your site, and participating in online discussions relevant to your niche and promoting your brand.
Community Manager — If you’re running a forum on your site, a community manager is an essential position that can help lead discussions among your forum users while protecting the forum against potential abuse.
Now that you know the positions you should include on your team, here are some tips for managing your team in a way that keeps them productive, unlocks their creativity and ensures their job satisfaction:
Tip #1: Establish team objectives
Make sure your team members know and understand what they’re doing together. If they only understand their own role and their own work, it will limit their ability to collaborate and communicate with others.
Tip #2: Remind your team they’re a team
If you allow your team members to think they’re all working independently, they will act independent. Try keeping them on task with common objectives and deliverables. You’ll find that they’ll feel better about their work and be better collaborators.
Tip #3: Encourage your team to play by the rules
Make sure your team exhibits a common and acceptable set of behaviors. An important ground rule to establish is to set the hours during which the team members are expected to be working, so that it’s easy for your team to communicate.
#4: Use the right technology
Make sure you’re all using the same software for basic tasks such as word processing and spreadsheets. And to support your virtual team, make sure you have good file sharing, project management and communication tools. We like Dropbox, Basecamp and Skype at Casino Affiliate Programs.
Tip #5: Be social
Make sure your virtual team has an opportunity to socialize throughout the day. This is an important way to allow them to bond. You should also look for opportunities for occasional face-to-face meetings — perhaps when you kick off a project.
Tip #6: Be a good communicator
Make sure you’re telling your team members what you expect and when you expect it. Using a good project management tool such as Basecamp can significantly improve your communications.
Tip #7: Manage workload effectively
Make sure your team members understand exactly what’s due and when it is due. Again, if you’re using Basecamp or a similar tool, you’ll be able to use that to ensure alignment and timeliness.
Tip #8: Give people shorter assignments
Since you won’t be able to check in with everyone on a daily basis, you’ll want to make sure projects can move along without micromanagement. A good tip for this is to break the assignments into smaller chunks. Breaking down a three-week assignment into three one-week assignments will allow you to see how the work is progressing and whether the project remains on track.
Overall, hiring and managing a virtual team can take your affiliate business to the next level. You’ll free yourself up from enough of the day to day so you can focus on the growth of your business, finding new opportunities and growing your business in ways you couldn’t image doing it yourself.
The below video will show you how easy it is to get started in Basecamp, an essential tool for managing your virtual team.
Are you running your business yourself, or do you have a team working for you? Share your tips and advice in the comments below!