Finding who has the best workflow software depends on the scope of your business. Repetitive workflows should be like a ride that everyone lines up for, right?
This is a four-part series, where I research which is the best workflow software. I am looking for the best solution for coordinating writing tasks. Here's what to expect:
- The scope of work, especially the work requirements (this article)
- A comparison of three workflow software systems
- Testing alternatives to workflow software
- Summarizing working with or without workflow software
Coordinating a Group of Writers
My Scope Of Work (SOW) ranges from writing for ad agencies to writing for businesses.
Typically, I work as a sole trader. I refer fellow writers I trust to my clients. My fellow writers work in parallel with me on busy jobs. Each writer has a contract with the client (the agency or the business). This means each writer sends their invoices to the client. The client pays each of writer.
I coordinate the writing assignments in the group.
The agency retains both the creative control and the financial control of the work. The agency's account manager or the creative director lob writing briefs “over the wall”.I do the creative planning (topics, keywords, and timing) for the business clients. With a business, I take on a small portion of the creative work.
Managing Production of Content
This quarter, I caught a big fish. One of the agencies asked me to switch roles to become the team lead for a group of writers.
The first iteration of the idea -- I would manage a team of writers and bill a management fee. This takes me from flying to fishing. My work would be catching administrative tasks instead of writing.
I become the gatekeeper balancing the assignments between the writers. My work moves into providing quality assurance and paying the writers. The writers would work under a standardized contract with me. The contract is flat-rate per deliverable. There would be no timesheets. The writers would invoice me.
My work consists of sorting the information from the agency. There would be 4 to 7 accounts with blogs, email, and social. The agency will load content into the social media channels, email marketing, and websites.
What is the simplest method for tracking the creative assignments related to the billing? The goal is to be efficient. How do I spend the least amount of time with data entry, bookkeeping, and banking?
Agency and Writer Benefits
Why would the agency and the writers want to organize content production?
The writers like the idea of having a regular flow of assignments. The flow might vary slightly over time. For example, there is more content to produce when a new project is started. Extra content is written before the holidays. The writers have no assignments during the holiday break.
The agency gets the ease of not having to recruit and manage writers. The billing is consolidated for each client’s deadline. They can focus on client-facing work. The agency doesn’t have to employ another manager or give up their time to manage. The arrangement also reduces their risk with paying a number of individual writers.
The Best Wings for the Workflow
Watch the upcoming articles, as I fly over several workflow solutions:
- A customizable online database - KissFlow https://kissflow.com/
- A creative management tool - CoSchedule https://coschedule.com/
- An account management tool – WorkFlow Max http://www.workflowmax.com/
- An existing freelance marketplace – UpWork https://www.upwork.com/
- A shared spreadsheet – Google Sheets or Excel
- Existing functions in a bookkeeping tool - Xero https://www.xero.com/
Did you catch the visual pun of promoting the book “Scaling Up” and the picture of me next to the oversized fish?