I’ve been extremely busy recently, and my blog has become a bit dusty, so it’s time to update it. I’ve always received many questions regarding teamwork: what do I think of it, how should novices organize it, where to start from, etc. That’s why I’ve decided to write a new post here on this very topic, because there’s abundance of newcomers, and it’s usually difficult for them to sort these things out.
I’ll start from the opposite.
Is It Possible Without a Team?
Yes, you can work without a team, I know many people who have achieved everything on their own, and there are guys who are steadily or swiftly moving forward without any help for several reasons: they don’t like social interactions of any kind; don’t want to depend on anyone or share anything at all, thinking that they’ll be cheated or their ideas will be stolen. By the way, it’s very typical for some geeks and IT guys, and even novices who have nothing to steal from are usually sure that they should hide everything otherwise they’re done. On the one hand, it’s funny, but on the other that’s life, so we just accept people as they are and leave them alone as they have nothing to do in a team.
So, here comes the question: is a team important or one can perfectly work solo? The answer is: yeah, we need one if we want to achieve everything faster, higher, stronger. Why?
Pros of Teamwork:
- save on budget. For novices, it’s usually a crucial factor.
- study, develop and build business by gathering and choosing future partners and colleagues, by communicating, sharing info and recommendations.
- create a knowledge base. There’s always someone who knows more than you in a certain area. There’s a lot of information, and any feedback is very valuable. A team with people who have different qualifications will allow learning new things and acquiring new skills.
- learn faster. A chat option helps getting fast responses from your colleagues, brainstorms and MM increase embracing knowledge and lead to exciting original ideas and decisions.
Who Needs Teamwork?
- for novices it’s vital as I can tell from my experience.
- for profs it’s a chance to become successful in difficult niches and to work with complicated traffic sources where both novices and profs need great working assets. It’s always painful to lose money, that’s why the first benefit of teamwork is that we save money and get experience much faster.
Is teamwork style the same for a novice and a prof? Not always, I’ve studied this issue from different sides and I’ve become sure that styles of work may be different and something that will work for a group of novices may not work in a group of profs. Here I’ll show a possible structure that works in both cases.
Let’s study it in detail.
I borrowed some info for this part of the post from experience of teams formed recently on a popular Russian forum, and added my thoughts on this topic. Teamwork of this type has proved itself to be effective judging by examples of many guys, so you can take it as a basis and try.
So, novices collaboration is the most popular variant of teamwork, when people gather to learn together and help each other. Pros: budget efficient, ability to test a great number of offers, fast learning. Cons: it’s difficult to choose suitable people and work without a leader who has experience and desire to control everything, but experience of many teams shows that there’s nothing impossible if you want something.
Having consolidated the information, I find the following plan the most effective:
1. Engage People
You can find your future teammates on professional forums like STM or similar, ask your friends, visit affiliate marketing groups and Fan pages in social networks.
There are no limits concerning the number of participants, there were groups even of 100+ members, no more than 50% reached the final, but it’s ok, it’s even a very good result, I should say. That’s why in our case the more members, the better, the least active and incidental ones are usually removed at the very start.
2. Appoint a Team Leader
A group organizer or any other responsible member can become a Team Leader – not a chief or boss, but a person who takes the responsibility to watch if other members meet the conditions of work. A Team Leader’s tasks are to watch that all the stipulated team rules are met by everyone in time, include members who made mistakes into special lists and remove members who don’t follow the rules. In Trello, everything’s spread before the eyes, so it won’t be a great deal. If a Team Leader himself is removed as the team works, his tasks should be taken by another member. No personal preferences should be taken into account, everyone’s equal. If someone hasn’t met the conditions, they should be immediately removed without extra discussions and talks. It also saves time for others and doesn’t allow useless gossips and fuss to distract people from work. Discipline in such group is a key to success.
A disciplined team of yours may look like this:
And this may be a team that lacks discipline:
3. Set up Start Conditions
People should know from the start how to use a tracker, be registered in the most widespread affiliate networks, have technical knowledge, at least, the basics, in other words, they should have everything required for work. That would reduce possible drags, and delays and slowdowns should be avoided by all possible means as they discourage team members, and a group starts moving to its gloomy final.
4. Set Up Work Preferences
Choose a vertical. Pick offers and geos, select one or two affiliate networks. Experience shows that it’s easier to start from Google play installs on redirect traffic, but other verticals and directions will also do.
A sharing sum is selected, let’s say, $50-100 a day from each member.
Once in a certain period of time (for example, once in three days) all members post their statistics, and detailed data concerning offers, landings and affiliate networks is highly welcomed as it’s more difficult to fake it. Moreover, in that case it’s more likely that people would work, not just post fabricated statistics in the team’s Trello/chat/blog. There are a lot of sly ones, but there’s not much use of them in the team.
5. Removal Conditions
If a member hasn’t done required work within appointed time without any significant reasons, he/she gets 1 warning. If the member hasn’t done their work the second time – they’re excluded from the group. No justifications for the second fault are accepted, even significant ones, because if a person can’t work even having weighty reasons for that, it means that they should solve their problems first and not take part in teams. It may also be that they don’t actually have problems and simply try to find excuses in order not to work, at the same time getting info for free from the others.
6. Tips on Organizing
For me, the most convenient variant of collaborative work is Trello + you can additionally create a chat in Skype/whatsapp/other messenger. However, work routine is mainly done with Trello. It’s a unique tool that has become indispensable for my daily work, and I’ll surely tell how exactly I use it one day. For now you can google articles about this service as there are plenty of them. There’s a whole lot of ways to use it, and you’ll still need to adjust Trello to yourselves, making it as much effective for your team as possible.
So, a Team Leader registers a new mail, creates a totally new Trello (these steps are important, leader shouldn’t use his personal trello and I’ll tell you why later) and board, then invites everyone to this team board. Inside the board, a Team Leader makes lists with members’ nicknames. Each member posts statistics into these lists once in 3 days (or any other stipulated period). Every member makes a new card for each date. Each card contains full statistics with comments.
Finally, we get something like this:
What do we see here?
1. Stats are posted on every reporting day, and they should include the following details: offers, landings, affiliate networks. It’s clear who has posted their reports and who has missed the due days. If someone has missed a day, a Team Leader can mark this day on the member’s board, for example, yellow and write a comment that this member is caught for not meeting conditions once or twice (for the second time the Team Leader should leave a comment and remove the member).
2. Results of each reporting day may be accompanied with comments of other member, attachments, to-do’s, checklists and so on.
3. It’s recommended to make a consolidated list with information about offers and affiliate networks, links to landings from spying tools, screenshots of landings and offers. You can even create an informal chat where you can talk on any topics – for some people such chillout is vital, otherwise they’ll flood in the work chat.
4. Besides that, Trello has many extra functions, such as: deadlines setting, color marking (plus-minus results in stats, appointing a special color for each member, etc.), email notifications adjustment (you will get a notification each time a new report is posted and so on).
Here I won’t describe the whole wide range of Trello functions in detail, so read manuals and watch guides. This is such an exciting and powerful tool that I don’t want to deprive you of a pleasure of adjusting it for your needs, I only suggest some core features and the rest is up to you.
7. Members Removal
If someone leaves the team, the Team Leader should exclude them from the team’s Trello, so the member loses access to all the info posted there. If the Team Leader is removed, they should give away their access data including that new email that was created specially for the team. The new Team Leader changes password, so team members can be sure that the former Team Leader won’t spy on their further tests without doing anything. Moreover, members that haven’t met expectations are removed from the group skype chat as well. This is the simplest way of removing members while using Trello, and the way you’ll choose to work is up to you.
Tutor – Novices Collaboration
The first question is: why does a tutor need it? There are several possible reasons.
1. A tutor gets paid for it.
2. A tutor teaches future staff who will then become his professional employees. This is particularly true in a case when a tutor involves different unknown people who have required skills.
3. A tutor teaches his future staff, friends who they trust and with who they are going to work together.
In this variant all responsibilities go to a tutor, and novices are only responsible for working and learning. If a tutor works with friends, his or her greatest challenge will be not to go too far and build a wrong strategy of interacting with staff, in other words – not to go to extremes with leadership otherwise novices will have a feeling that they are just slaves/speechless workers and all decisions are made only by the tutor. I saw such work organization several times, when people’s relations were spoiled because of such complications.
Based on all I’ve written above, the plan should be the same as in the first case when only novices work together, but with some peculiarities:
1. The tutor is also obliged to work with the same offers and post stats on due days.
2. The tutor comments and directs the team, prompts and educates members during work.
3. If the tutor is removed, the group falls apart or continues working in the framework of the first type collaboration of novices.
That’s all. The basis of the workflow is created, then every Team Leader/team members can adjust it, tailor to particular needs, write special scripts and so on. It’s way easier to become successful when different people work as a team, that’s why I recommend all novices choosing partnership over solo work.
In this article I’ve described opportunities of teamwork for novices, but this workflow type is also good for profs. Actually, the article about group work for professionals is likely to appear here soon, but it would mostly consist of different views on group work based on feedback of my experienced colleagues. I sent messages to all of them and I’m still waiting for response from some. In general, their opinions are quite similar, and there will surely be lots of interesting and wise thoughts. And, of course, there will be my own opinion and experience.
Good luck in teamwork!