Client demands continue to increase – and it’s no surprise that many marketing agencies choose to partner with another agency or contractor to help them lighten their workloads.
A LinkedIn survey reports that 51% of marketers cite a lack of time to create content as one of their top marketing challenges. Furthermore, 30% of marketers say an external agency or consultant is one of the top resources for content creation for their organizations.
If your team is struggling to keep up with its workload, hiring an outside agency or contractor can help ease the pressure. They’ll be able to offer more ideas, help you focus on other areas, and guide your brand.
However, partnering with external workers isn’t as simple as handing off the workload and forgetting about it. While you might be familiar with how to manage workloads internally, you’ll need to take a different approach with another agency and/or contractor.
Here are five tips for transitioning workloads to a new outside team successfully.
1. Build a relationship
The relationship between your team and your consultant, or agency, is crucial. You’ll find that the more effort you put forth into building a relationship with them, the better results you’ll get.
Instead of keeping it strictly business, get to know the people with whom you’re forming a partnership. Ask them questions about their interests outside of work, their family, and any other projects they might be undertaking. Likewise, spend time communicating the culture, values, and processes of your company so that external workers understand your “world.”
A good rapport builds trust, which will be critical if you plan on working together in the future.
2. Communicate your needs
According to a Clutch survey, communication is the top challenge of working with an external contractor or agency.
All too often, teams get overwhelmed and tired and don’t want to do any of the work, or they don’t know how to best use their creative agency, leaving the agency or contractor to figure it out on their own. Giving external workers complete control can lead to frustration or resentment. You’ll need to find the right balance.
Create a fair and balanced work relationship by communicating your needs upfront. Do you require your agency or contractor to take the lead? Or do you need a more collaborative partnership? Perhaps you already have a vision, but need someone to help you execute it?
While it’s essential to be clear about roles and responsibilities, both parties should interact with respect and be open to feedback.
3. Don’t micromanage
If your team normally manages workloads without any outside help, it can be challenging to give up some control. As a result, you can become prone to micromanaging agencies or contractors. Nobody likes working for a micromanager, especially those who are in creative fields such as content creation.
As difficult as it may be, resist the urge to micromanage. Give external workers the space to do their work. Also, be flexible with their schedules and deadlines as it’s likely that you aren’t their only client.
Take advantage of your outsourcing partnerships, and together, you can achieve excellent results.
4. Set clearly defined goals
While you should steer clear of micromanaging external workers, it’s okay to discuss your goals. For instance, maybe you have the objective to generate X more leads each month or improve your organic search ranking. Not only can agencies and contractors lighten your workload, but they can help you implement more efficient processes or tactics to help meet those goals.
Sharing your list of goals will help ensure you are both on the same page and pave the way for collaborative, strategic thinking.
5. Use a collaboration tool
When handing off responsibilities to another team, both parties will need to contact each other regularly. However, you don’t want to spend most of the day going back and forth via email. You also don’t want to use messy spreadsheets to keep up with the workload. It becomes easy to forget who has approved what.
Consider using an all-in-one content collaboration tool like Gain to help manage your workflow. Gain helps your team as well as external workers review, approve, and deliver quality content on time, eliminating endless email chains and cluttered content calendar spreadsheets.
The goal of partnering with an agency or contractor is to produce the best work possible while lightening your team’s workload. Transitioning workloads to a new team isn’t a simple process – but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. There are several things to keep in mind, such as building a good relationship, communicating your needs, and setting goals and expectations, that will help make handing over your workload more manageable.