I’m going to start this article in reverse order. I’ll tell you what we did most recently and then work backwards with some productivity tips.
Just recently we had what I call a workday. Sure, we work every day, but this was a different kind of working day.
Let me explain.
On a typical day my team and I have a schedule for the day. We start with a morning staff call then each do our job for the day. Typically, we’re each working on our own for the good of the company. That’s how I run my companies. At any given time, I may have a dozen or more projects that we are in some stage of developing.
I inform my staff, in advance, that we will spend the entire day working together on some projects that I want to launch.
So, just what makes it a workday?
First of all…
- Everyone works together at the same time on the same project.
- We do this using a program like Slack or Zoom where we are live and interacting with each other via audio and video. It’s as if we were all working together in the same office.
- We then work on the plan that I lay out for the day.
To start with I made a list of the current 15 products I had in my pipeline. We then put them in chronological order with the products nearest to completion listed at the top. We then chose the two projects that were nearest to completion and concentrated on them.
We started on the first project by making a chronological list of everything that needed to be worked on for the product itself and also the website for it.
We started with the landing page, then the sales page, welcome page, autoresponders, etc. We looked at the good and the bad and made a list of what needed to be done to fix it.
We looked at it from the way a customer would see and react to the page. In other words what would a customer see and what steps would they take when they came to this page. We wanted to get a feel for the customer experience.
Then we corrected and tested everything. Some of the corrections could be made as we put them on the list. Those we still added to the list but put them as “completed.” The rest were added to be worked on once we started working on the list items.
We tested each item once it was completed so that we knew what worked and what didn’t work. When we found something that didn’t work, we immediately looked into why it didn’t work.
Once we figured out why it didn’t work, we set about to determine if it should be fixed or should it be replaced with something else that worked better. This was fairly simple unless the piece was developed by a third party. In that case we had to see if we could contact them to fix it or should it be replaced by something else.
This workday was used to work on a couple of products to give them the extra boost to get them launched. As we worked on them, in real time, everyone was able to see my screen and, when needed, we could see each other’s screens.
If one of us tested something and it didn’t work, we could look at their screen to see exactly what wasn’t working. If we changed the look and feel of something we could view it on the different browsers that my staff uses. We could go through the payment process and see what it looked like on each staff member’s screen.
Some staff members had issues with the simplicity or the flow of things. We were able to correct everything, on the fly, in order to ensure a good customer experience.
Once an item, on the list, is completed I write the word “DONE” in front of it. I put the word in red and in caps so that it’s easy to see which items are completed.
During the testing of this project, we ran into a major error that drove home how important it is to test all aspects of the product and the sale of it. The error turned up in a place that we would never have expected it. If we had not done extensive testing of every aspect of that project, we would have launched with this issue, and it would have made the launch a disaster.
So again, I make a list of everything that’s needed to complete the project. We then go through the list with everyone listening. First, I mark all the things that I, personally will do. Then we do a second run through the list and decide who’s going to do the other items.
Then we start working. We test and monitor everything from the opt-in pages through ordering and product delivery. We not only look for glitches but also look to see how each step can be made easier for the customer.
We don’t stop once everything on the list has been completed. At this point we run through the process once more from beginning to end. Why? Because, while we now have each individual component working, we need to be sure that our changes didn’t affect the interaction between them.
This step can be compared to the “walkthrough” you do before signing the final closing papers when you buy a house. You want to do one last check to make everything is okay before you launch.
At this point, I’m ready to launch the product and move on to do the same thing with the next project.
Just as with the first project, there were some issues on the second project we could fix as we were going through and others were assigned to each of us to go through and take care of.
Why did I go through this with you? Because I feel some of my students may be in the same situation as I was with multiple projects and becoming overwhelmed trying to make progress. This process enables you to concentrate on the two most likely projects and finish them off.
You need to have an end in sight and concentrating of just a couple of products not only brings the end in sight, but it also actually completes the projects.
The list concept, even if you don’t spend a full workday on it is the secret to successful product creation. I have talked about lists until I am blue in the face, but they really work!
With a comprehensive list you know exactly what needs to be done and the order it needs to be done in. Without the list, the project will take longer, cause frustration and, in some cases, may never be finished.
Adding a workday to your list adds an important element. Let me explain.
Working on your projects day after day is like a string of rainy days. The days just run together and drain you. You feel like nothing is getting accomplished. You may not even feel like working.
But by incorporating a workday, you just changed everything. You added sunshine to the project. You feel invigorated and things start to fall in place.
Could you do this by yourself if you don’t have a team? Sure, make the detailed list and dedicate a day to it. Having a team is synergistic, but it can be done by yourself.
Silver, Gold and Platinum members can log into the, Marketing University, member’s area, and search for the weekly training called Workday Productivity Tips if you’d like to listen to the training this article was created from. Start from the beginning to “hear” the training this article was created from.