When you’re running your own social media marketing agency, one of the most important things you need to remember in order to make your agency a success, is that you can’t be wasting time on the little things. It might sound simple, but truly, the biggest key to being successful is being organized.
That’s why finding a good project management tool can make a huge difference when it comes to optimizing your business process and scaling your agency for better results. After using a couple different tools, I finally settled on Asana, which has helped me run my business more efficiently.
Using a great project management tool like Asana helps you:
- save time and money
- collaborate and communicate with your team
- organize and perfect your process
- cut back on micro-managing
- deliver a quality product
In this blog I’m going to go over how I use Asana to manage my team at Cereal Entrepreneur to keep my digital marketing agency running smoothly.
With Asana, I’m able to create a content calendar, manage new projects, create ad calendars, assign roles, assign tasks, and stay in constant communication with my time—all in one place.
One of the things I appreciate most about Asana is that is have a very intuitive layout where you can quickly access everything you need.
There are 3 main parts to the layout—the side bar, the top bar, and the header section where you can see your tasks. With Asana, you have an organized place where you can manage content and know what you have to do.
The sidebar is where you’ll most often be navigating. Here, there are three areas you can click into—tasks, inbox, and dashboard. The sidebar lets you easily view your tasks, click into your inbox where you can message other team members, or head to the dashboard where you’ll be able to see reports on how people are performing.
From the sidebar, a little below the Tasks, Inbox, and Dashboard buttons, you can also see your different Teams and Projects that you have created. When you click onto a Project, you will be able to see a list of all tasks associated with the project, your timeline, calendar, conversations, progress, and files you’ve uploaded for the project.
Asana is such a helpful tool because it gives you one place where you’re able to organize everything you have on the go, so your whole team can see what you’re doing, what you’re working on, and access the files they need.
Create a Project
To really get started with using Asana, you’re going to need to create different Projects. These Projects can essentially be the main tasks that keep your company moving. For example, at Cereal Entrepreneur, I have different Projects dedicated to Content Creation, Ad Campaigns, Email Automations and Campaigns, and more.
Within the Project you create, you can easily organize and outline what tasks needs to be completed per day, and even add helpful color coding to keep you and your team organized even at a glance.
To create a Project, click the plus sign beside the team name on your sidebar, and then select New Project. Name the project, assign it to a specific team if you have more than one, and select which type of layout you want—either List or Board. You can also choose whether you want the project to be public, so the whole team can see it, or only visible to specific project members, who you can invite once the project is created.
One great thing about Asana is that they have pre-made Templates that you can choose from for your Projects. Some of the templates they offer include:
- Meeting Agenda
- Company Goals and Milestones
- New Employee Onboarding
- Event Planning
These templates make it easier for new team members to quickly familiarize themselves with your company and their role within it.
Once you’ve created a project you can start mapping out your processes, which helps you manage your team. In the long run this helps keep everything running smoothly and will allow your business to constantly be moving forward. Remember, one of the keys to success is to ensure that you’re always moving the needle forward.
Creating a Task
Creating a Task is just as simple as creating a Project. Simply click into the Project you’ve created and click on the Add Task button at the top, or you can just click into one of the blank spaces in the list of tasks. From there you can even backspace to delete a Task, or hit enter to create a new one.
Once the Task is created, you just have to name it. Within this task you’re then able to add files, create subtasks, copy the task URL if you need to share it with your team, or tag it, add it to a specific project (if you’ve created it outside of the Project you’ve just created), and even mark it as dependent on another task.
Marking one task as dependent on another can be very helpful if there are other tasks in the process that must be completed first in order to move forward. For instance, if the task is shooting a YouTube video, that task might be dependent on creating a script for the video. This is just one more way Asana helps you keep your pipeline organized.
Assign the Task
The first thing I like to do when I create a task is to assign it to a specific member of my team. You can do this by clicking the Assign To spot just below the task name. This will bring a drop down menu of the different members of your team, who you can then click on.
Beside the Assign To spot is the option for you to assign a Due Date, and you can even get as specific as adding in a time for the task to be due. You can also set the task to repeat, if this is going to be a recurring task.
You can then add in a description for the task in the spot just underneath the Assign To and Due Date bar. In this area you can be as vague or specific as you need to be. Sometime the title of the task alone might suffice and no description will be necessary, while others might need more detailed outlines of what you require from your team for the task to be performed satisfactorily.
For instance, a task called “Schedule Instagram Post” is pretty self-explanatory, while a task for creating a blog post might require a full outline of what that blog post will contain.
To make it even easier for your team members to navigate their projects and to further organize the tasks, you can then tag your Task. You can create tags at any time, and when you start typing in the Tags section of the Task, a drop down menu will appear showing old tags you’ve used in the past. You can even assign tags different colors.
Within the Task you can then create subtasks—for example, a task about a blog post might require a first draft and revision process before the final submission, each of which can be their own subtask. You can also assign these subtasks by hovering your mouse over the subtasks and click on the icon that looks like a person to select the people who will be involved with any given subtask.
Once you click into a subtask you can use all of the same tools you just used to create the primary task—add a description, add a due date, or you can even add followers to the task. Adding followers might come in handy when you’re working on a task that is dependent on another. For instance, the person who is in charge of the shooting the YouTube video should be a follower on the task about the script writing.
By using Tasks and Subtasks, you’ll be able to assign duties to your members and follow along with the progress of your projects as team members mark Tasks as Complete.
Collaborate and Communicate
Asana is a great tool because it helps you collaborate and communicate with your team while clearly setting out your expectations. You’re able to manage not only the content that is coming out, but also the team.
When you click over to the Inbox at the top of the sidebar, you`ll be able to see all of the communications and messages between your team members. This is one of my favorite things about Asana, because you can ensure that everyone is on the same page about the tasks that you’re creating, then content you’re putting out, and the work that you’re doing.
Bonus Tool to Track Time
If you weren’t already sold on Asana, Toggl teamed up with the project management tool to have built in integration that allows you to track time within Asana. That way the team members, and you as the project manager, know exactly how much time is being spent on what task. Team members can click the Toggl button when they start a task, pause it when they take a break, and stop it when they’re done that specific task or project.
If you’re looking for a project management tool that will help you plan, create, and execute your projects, then Asana is the app for you.