Local Search Consultants - How Do you Organize Client Project Management?


Linda Buquet

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I've often wondered, if I were still seeing clients and had an agency with numerous staff, all performing different duties for clients - how would I organize and stay on top of everything, to be sure every needed element was covered for clients?

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How the heck do you do all that and stay organized and be sure everything is followed through on?

Since ALL of you have this challenge - even if you are a one person shop - of having big to-do lists for each client and always having different clients in various stages of the process - how do you keep it all together???

I know Colan and Joy at Imprezzio Marketing have a really comprehensive internal system for staying on top of client management and I'm sure many of you do as well.

Let's share and discuss processes, tools, strategies, anything that helps you stay organized and get all the various tasks done.

Please share and we'll all benefit from each other!

Image credit: Indiana University?Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)
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DanLeibson

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We use LeanKit as a PM tool and I am a big believer in Agile/SCRUM. Everyone is always accountable to the rest of the team (and themselves). Everything is sprint based, and our sprints are generally a week long.

A quick caveat, this is specifically for SMBs (or what we refer to as "hyperlocal" clients). Our large, multi-location national clients are a different beast. Sprints for them can be a month or longer just due to the nature of the work.
 

Linda Buquet

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Interesting Dan. All those names are new to me.

Can you elaborate on what a sprint is? Sounds interesting and if I don't know, I assume others don't as well???
 

ToddB

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We tried out many different programs and landed on Podio and absolutely love it. You can customize "apps" to however you want so you can automate a lot of the process and track it throughout.

For instance we have apps for citations where everything can be properly logged for the site and everything can then be easily filtered to see what stages different sites are in. Have one for content where someone generates the content idea and adds it, which then auto creates the task for our writers to pick from, when they upload it as written it auto creates a task for another different writer to proof it, then when they do it creates a task to be uploaded, when it's uploaded a task is created for our social media manager to begin sharing it.

All the while I never see it until it's complete or one of those stages falls through.

There's A LOT more, you can use it for anything your creativity allows really.
 

DanLeibson

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Interesting Dan. All those names are new to me.

Can you elaborate on what a sprint is? Sounds interesting and if I don't know, I assume others don't as well???
Of course! A sprint is a short-repeatable work cycle, so it matches up really well to SEO. For instance if you are doing a site audit sprint, it's something that you will be doing lots of etc. The benefit/purpose is to be able to learn/iterate on processes a lot faster.

The resources that got me down this path are:

Agile Marketing - Get More Done. Adapt to Change. See Measurable Results.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous/dp/0307887898

But there are tons of resources out there on Agile/SCRUM as it's one of the most popular PM styles today (especially in tech/software)

*Edit

Here is a good Agile/SCRUM intro:
http://www.agilelearninglabs.com/resources/scrum-introduction/
 

Linda Buquet

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For instance we have apps for citations where everything can be properly logged for the site and everything can then be easily filtered to see what stages different sites are in. Have one for content where someone generates the content idea and adds it, which then auto creates the task for our writers to pick from, when they upload it as written it auto creates a task for another different writer to proof it, then when they do it creates a task to be uploaded, when it's uploaded a task is created for our social media manager to begin sharing it.
That sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing Todd!

One of the reasons I've never had an agency and never would is that my brain is just not wired to do project management and stay on top of everything with a team. I had a hard enough time doing it as a one woman show.

BUT I didn't have a ton of clients so it was easy for me to just manage with a spreadsheet. AND back when I still worked with clients it was so much easier to rank. Now there are so many different elements to work on, it just boggles this pea brain of mine. :p

Of course! A sprint is a short-repeatable work cycle, so it matches up really well to SEO. For instance if you are doing a site audit sprint, it's something that you will be doing lots of etc. The benefit/purpose is to be able to learn/iterate on processes a lot faster.

The resources that got me down this path are:

Agile Marketing - Get More Done. Adapt to Change. See Measurable Results.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous/dp/0307887898


But there are tons of resources out there on Agile/SCRUM as it's one of the most popular PM styles today (especially in tech/software)
Awesome Dan, that's what I was looking for. Thanks for those resources!
 

JoyHawkins

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There are 4 parts of our internal tool that keep me organized:

1. A time log so we can see where we're at with hours on the client for the month (time tracker)


2. A work log where we log everything as we do it that month (so we can tell the client)


3. A Google My Business (specifically) log so we can log the # of impressions, actions, views etc since Google doesn't store this data and you'll have no clue if you're improving it for the customer over time or not if you don't log it.


4. The Work Plan - which is basically an editable doc that I constantly keep updated so I know what items I'm working on and what to do next.

 

Colan Nielsen

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I'll add a 5th item to Joy's list. We built a maintenance checklist into the same tool that Joy shared screenshots from. We are continually updating the checklist with action items. As we complete certain tasks for a client we can check it off and add notes.

Joy, please share a screenshot if you are at a desktop :)

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Joy, that's incredible. Was hoping you would share screenshots.

Since you guys have a software division you should bundle that puppy up and sell it to other consultants. I think I know a few that may be interested. :p
 

Colan Nielsen

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Thanks Joy, that's incredible. Was hoping you would share screenshots.

Since you guys have a software division you should bundle that puppy up and sell it to other consultants. I think I know a few that may be interested. [emoji14]
We have plans for that Linda. It's on the horizon, but it won't be in the immediate future. Stay tuned though, it's coming.


Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

patrice

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You're all very organized, here we just play it by ear, we're very "artistic" in our approach, and all the team members know what they have to do, we don't wast time in logging information, we realized that logging takes too much time out of real work, which resulted in not as good positions for the customers, it was a lose lose situation really. Of course we kind of have the luxury to choose our customers, so we pick the one who agree to work on our terms.
 

mborgelt

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We use Trello for all of our project management. Basically everyone on the team is responsible for their own clients (with a few that we collaborate on). Each client has their own board where we can add tasks, check them off as they are completed and keep notes. I will say that this isn't the best tool if you go a while without updating but if you are "type A" I think the tool can make one a lot more productive.
 
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We started by keeping it simple with Basecamp and have since developed our own internal software that integrates with a client facing dashboard (coming soon). It's good to be able to track rankings, citations, reviews, project tasks, contacts, client communication, and deadlines all in one spot. It's still a bit of a new venture for us, but all of the other software out there never really did quite everything I wanted.
 

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