10 Tips for Managers Leading Remote Teams for the First Time

This was originally posted on my LinkedIn profile.

During COVID-19, as organizations have been forced to move their teams to remote work.

I’ve led remote teams for 11+ years. And thought I’d share some tips for leaders, in particular, for how to make the most of it.

I’ve already heard sad stories about managers wanting to make sure their people are “working and not goofing off.”

So the first slide is about COMMUNICATION (that’s every leaders job to model) … and the second slide is about TRUST (a mindset, core value for every leader).

Download the PDF Slides Here

Please share this post with those who are trying to make the best of it.

By the way, my partner Jeff and I are here to help you.


A Couple of Free Live Q&As to Help You

I’m doing a couple of live conversations and Q&As to help small businesses and others this week …

Managing Finances Through A Crisis

I’m hosting a conversation with two financial experts — my partner Jeff Meziere and our friend David Novosad — on Friday, March 27 at 2:30 p.m. CST.

Register here

Digital Marketing Kitchen 2-Hour Q&A

Rebecca Gill and I are hosting a special two hour free version of our Office Hours Q&A for businesses looking to get some headway with their online marketing efforts (particularly organic marketing like SEO, content and email).

Register here

Taking Care Of Your Health During COVID-19 The Natural way

My mother in law Pam Owens offers naturopathic and homeopathic services and has helped me tremendously over the years with my own health. In particular I’ve got asthma and she’s got me on natural food supplements to bolster me during COVID-19 pandemic.

I did a whole podcast series with her here to learn more.

She does virtual consultations by the way.

Register here

Post Status Live: Client Work April 10

Post Status Live is focused on web professionals. Live: Client Work includes a half-day online conference geared on providing consultants and consulting agencies information to excel in their business on Friday, April 10.

Register here


Business Mental Health

Support for Fear, Worry, Anxiety in Uncertain Times + Ways Therapists Can Do More Online

For everyone …

I wanted to quickly share some resources on managing the emotions and our mental health around our world right now:

For my entrepreneur friends …

  • For entrepreneurs, I wrote about this piece on 8 Ways to Transform Fear and Uncertainty in 2016 but I still go back to it as a reminder for myself in dark times.
  • Take a moment and just check in with clients/customers …. ask how they are doing, especially those who might be severely hurt by it (think restaurants, etc), don’t pitch anything, just say you’re reaching out personally and get how tough this is and offer support, even if it’s an ear to listen and a virtual shoulder to cry on. Promote and support them and others as best you can.

For my therapist friends ….

This is an excellent opportunity for you to do what you do ONLINE and support your world:

  • Take In-Person Sessions Online with Zoom … get the Zoom Pro ($15 a month) so there’s not a 40-minute cap … you can use Calendly to streamline booking and connect your calendar and even take payment.
  • Start and Facilitate Virtual Support Groups … particularly among those who rely on in-person support groups. Can be done very easy with Zoom.
  • Do Facebook Lives and answer questions, offer resources … you can setup a Facebook Page and do a Live Broadcast from your Page. Do it on a set time … do it every day for a week … etc.
  • Do Instagram Lives and the same from your phone,
  • Start a podcast …. record on your phone or laptop in a quiet place … do 3-5 minute meditations or mindful exercises … or answer questions you might get … then look at Simplecast or Castos to host it then post to your social media and website.
  • Same for YouTube … in fact if you record on Facebook or Instagram, repost the video to YouTube if you have time.
  • Start or grow your email list … Mailchimp is free up to 2000 contacts. You need to have an email list. Then you can share to those who sign up for your awesome new supportive content. Point people in all your public social channels back to your email list, which should be prominent on your website.


What else? Got other ideas? Post in the commends. 


Want to Learn How I Do Digital Marketing?

I love marketing, particularly digital marketing.

We built a great business on organic digital marketing using two essential tools: SEO content and email marketing.

In 2008, I launched iThemes and spent the next 11 years focused on publishing great content and pushing that out to our prospects and customers for our key marketing activities, which, frankly, many in our industry ignored.

The formula was so simple I think I need to make it into rocket science …

  • Focus on email marketing as the core marketing engine, specifically growing your email lists every day.
  • Put epic content behind your email subscription, things like ebooks, videos, or a free course, to grow those.
  • Create regular “free” content your prospects want, optimizing it to be found by the search engines.
  • Then send emails with that great to your existing customers and prospects.
  • Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse and repeat.

I know this works because I could have point you to a graph of our sales days over a decade and say …  see those peaks …. that’s when we sent an email to our prospects and customers.

But about five years ago, we started falling behind with SEO content. So I pinged my good friend and SEO expert, Rebecca Gill, to help us keep up and grow. She taught us her rock-solid, white hat process to do so and we started seeing the graph tick back up again.

As I exited my company last year, and Rebecca became a free agent again last summer, we started talking about how to help others in this system … particularly getting help and support to keep up and stay ahead … and most importantly offering a path to follow for their digital marketing.

That became a great partnership called Digital Marketing Kitchen.

Today I’m pumped to announce we’ve launched our inaugural premiere course aka the 8-Course Meal on SEO, content and email marketing sharing all of our processes and approaches. It’s the foundation and the essentials for how we do digital marketing, including Rebecca’s process.

Here are the main components of that course, which includes 43 lessons in total:

  1. Clarify You and Your Audience
  2. Define Your Digital Marketing Strategy
  3. Set Your SEO Strategy
  4. Create Killer Content
  5. Optimize Your Content for SEO
  6. Build Your Email List
  7. Create Emails That Convert
  8. Reporting and Monitoring

To add even more value … you also get my recipe for using content and emphasizing community in a course called Transform Lives with Content and Community. It’s about building not just a brand, but a community. And it’s a deep dive on my philosophy, a way of life, a mindset, an approach of doing business that breaks the traditional mold of business as usual.

We’ve also got Rebecca’s Quick Bite mini courses which are 12 additional trainings on everything from using Google Search Console to Mailchimp and more.

Then each month we’re doing live virtual events to help you get out of quick sand through our Office Hours, where you can ask questions live with us (the first one is this Wednesday!) … and live virtual Training … the first one on March 11 is titled 15 Steps to Launch and Rank Your Website in Six Months where Rebecca will walk us an actual case study showing you what she did, why she did, and provide actual traffic results.

We’re offering a special launch discount through March 20, 2020 of $50 off.

Click here to join the Digital Marketing Kitchen and use KITCHENOPEN by March 20 to redeem your discount.

I hope you’ll join us in the Kitchen to take the next steps in your digital marketing journey!

Business Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs, Do You Have an Exit Plan? Get One Here

Early in my business someone asked me at a conference, “Do you have an exit plan?”

In my incredulousness, I answered quickly:

“No. I spent my whole career trying to find the perfect gig and I have it now. Why would I want that to ever end?!”

But fast forward to January 2018, and it did end.

For numerous reasons, I exited that decades-old business.

And today about two years after the acquisition of our company, and one year after I left, I’ve have an amended approach to business and starting again. 

I believe you should build a business for purpose AND profit. But I’ve added another: for the inevitable exit.

My partner and long-time friend Jeff Meziere (who had his own exit a couple years before me) have put together a one-day intensive to help prepare entrepreneur for their own inevitable exits.

It’s called Exit Exercise Bootcamp and it’ll be Feb. 27, 2020 in Oklahoma City.

Even if you’re not close to an exit event … this bootcamp is for you.

We believe the simple exercise of preparing for the inevitable exit is an investment in building a healthy, profitable company for the entrepreneur.

It’s an exercise of investing in your future that pays off today in a better company for you, your team and your customers.

I’d love for you to join us for an intimate small group of entrepreneurs as Jeff and I lead a discussion filled with lessons learned and takeaways.

When you leave, you’ll have a prioritized list of action items to increase the value of your company AND the health of it no matter when you plan to exit it.

As always if you have any questions, please let me know! And go check out the details of the Exit Exercise Bootcamp here.