Finding A Right Hand For Your Web Strategy Project

It’s a fact

Upper Management have assigned you the small task of leading the company’s web strategy and take over the world (maybe?). You now need to put the team together.

You soon realise that The Team could entail:

  • A web agency
  • A branding consultant
  • A social media consultant
  • An independent graphic designer
  • An in-house web developer
  • A freelance translator
  • That “SEO guy” you met recently
  • The PPC chap from the marketing department next door
  • Someone to take on e-mail marketing
  • And the list goes on…

You’ve been given a secret budget (and The Powers have told you to never share the figure with the suppliers and force them to quote).

You’ve been told early in the game that “diversification works” and that each stakeholder should only do what they do best (although you start doubting whether you want to baby-sit all these people)

You may or you may not feel up for the challenge, but you know you will pick up things along the way (You’ll have no choice)

Now what?

Well, put together a brief. Yes, sort out all the ideas and main goals. Ensure it’s decent enough to be shared afterwards.

Once you panic for a minute simply accept that you’ll need allies to achieve all this.

After all, “The powers” don’t understand the gravity of the small task they assigned to you.

Yes, you can look for allies in-house, just ensure they feel that the project is in their job description.

If you are unlucky and cannot find them around you, look outside…

Finding the ally

An obvious idea is to find an independent web project manager who will coordinate it all and give direction to the initiative. In reality, this is hard. Besides, the project is yours and you still feel like running it.
But hey! You have no budget for this external manager anyway, so let’s forget it, OK?

Here’s another idea: From the preliminary pool of people (agency, consultants, designers, etc),  sense who in theory would have the skills to coordinate most of the tasks and provide direction. More likely the agency or the independent consultants. Try to determine their strong areas (they may be good at social media but not at PPC, and so on), ask them. If they can’t specify what their core is, keep looking.

Once you are happy with someone’s profile, tell them about a tentative green light for their specific work and tie that in with your bigger problem (coordination for all the other aspects). Explain but let them talk, you may be surprised with hidden skills.

Gain their trust and give them yours, ask them to confirm if they can back you up with the coordination & decision making (oh, that’ll cost you a bit, we’ll get there now).

By the way, a note on Budget: You have to be clear with your ally. Forget The Powers’ advice. No need for specific figures, but there’s a difference between 7K, 30K or 100K available for your project. Your ally needs to know it in order to help you better.

Explain what you want to achieve and start shaping together the list of people required.

This extra consultancy time by the ally will cost a bit and you may already start thinking about pushing for arbitrary discounts from the to-be-suppliers. This may compromise quality unless the discount-giver can clearly articulate what exactly they are removing from the equation to justify a lower price, so hold on for a second…

You got this far

You are such a good sport that you never went back to The Powers

Before you even think about it, ask your ally to first put an estimate together for the tentative costs of the pool of talent.

Go back to the bosses and re-sell them the idea of the small project as what it really is.

Then come back with more money 🙂 or with a “good luck” 🙁

Regardless, everyone is now aware of the scope of the project!

Now Take action

You have your ally, you know the tentative costs, a picture of the outcome and you may even have some more budget.

You are ready to re-visit the idea of who will be part of your Team.

Once everyone is on-board and you are happy with your team, leading the project should feel easier and you can all together show The Powers what you are made of.

Photo credits: US National archives

Comments ( 5 )
  • Christina Giliberti says:

    Hi guys,

    You just discussed my job in a nutshell (web project manager). Trust is crucial. You will be leaning on this person and depending on their experience to guide you.

    I’m glad you mentioned budget, because its the one thing that is difficult to prise out of a business. I always ask budget – not because I want to know how much I can raise my quote to, but because my recommendations are custom. With a budget in mind, I can find the right taskforce, establish the possibilities and boundaries of a project and provide options that are a perfect fit.

    Its important to note good talent is worth paying for. Investing in a knowledgeable and trustworthy source will give you peace of mind and the assurance that your online needs are taken care of. They know the market inside-out, they know the people in the trade that cover what you need, they know what options you have to play with and can support you at every step.

  • Barney Austen says:

    Hi folks. Good post Facundo – and some very useful information in it. I would agree with Christina – paying that extra bit more for a solid pair of hands is worth its weight in gold. Take that extra little bit of time to convince “the powers” that this is a good idea 🙂

  • Facundo says:

    Glad you enjoyed the post. I guess I wrote it from a PM perspective too and was looking to help people trying to put a project together. I agree with what you say about paying for knowledge, sometimes it is hard though because you may get the advice but then have no money to pay for what you’ve been adviced to buy 🙂 That’s why I insist on trying to re-sell the big picture to the funders (not to blow it but to milk it with the right help)

  • Facundo says:

    Thanks Barney, not an easy one convincing “the powers” indeed. I put it down as simple on the post to encourage people, but I know it’s a hard one (I have to sell our services to them too and some are tough cookies).

    Come back to the blog soon!

  • Christina Giliberti says:

    Here’s where some unethical marketing tactics come into play – overly sell an idea that is out of their budget. That’s why I like to have a good idea first. Saves the tears later. Its also why I steer away from expensive fashion outlets. lol

    Sell the big picture – I like it….!

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