Rethinking Online Collaboration: Here’s How You Can Involve Everyone

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It’s important to make sure that online collaboration is a smooth process for both you and your clients, as it’s such a large part of marketing work.

As you work on various marketing projects, you also need to respond to any communication from your team and clients. You might get emails from different clients and chat messages from someone on your team asking where a design asset is located. To find that, you have to flip through apps, platforms, and tools, which is stressful and hard to manage. You might be weighed down by juggling too many of these tools. Or you might be having a hard time keeping everything organized for your team and partners. 

We need to reassess how we approach online collaboration because working with a variety of people is stressful and time-consuming—whether you’re a marketing freelancer or part of an agency.

Even though many of us changed our work routines over the past year, some marketing agencies and freelancers haven’t changed how they work. They rely on traditional tools built around the idea that most people would only use them in an office setting. These kinds of tools were intended to supplement in-office workflows. 

Reconsidering how we collaborate online means taking a look at our workflows and our tools. Instead of single-purpose platforms and apps, multimodal tools enable you to get more done and focus on what matters. These tools, like Rock, Notion, and Figma, offer a solution to your online collaboration burnout by centralizing and simplifying the way you work. They’re built for how we’re working today and flexible enough to adjust for how you work in the future. 

The current way we collaborate isn’t working

Tools and workflows that weren’t made for our current remote work environments, make online collaboration difficult and stressful.

Unfortunately, many marketing agencies and freelancers still treat collaboration and communication the same as before the pandemic. They haven’t adapted how they work with their teams and partners to our new online reality. 

Most marketing freelancers and agencies face the challenge of working with tools that weren’t made for streamlined collaboration with external partners. These tools were made for environments that were supplemented by in-office or in-person dynamics. Information that would’ve been shared during a casual conversation can fall through the cracks and cause gaps in communication. With traditional tools, it can be hard to make sure the right people are included on the right email strings and that your team and clients don’t miss important details.

The nature of marketing work—and the many people involved—makes online collaboration especially tricky for marketing agencies and freelancers. You’re often working with clients, freelancers, and agencies.

Without the right platforms or tools to help you manage all the things you’re juggling, information can get siloed. Your team can run into roadblocks that slow down progress on projects or client communication. Because marketing agencies and freelancers work with so many different people, it’s critical that their tools are up to the task. 

Traditional tools miss the mark

To deliver for their clients, most marketing agencies and freelancers can end up with a bunch of traditional platforms that are disorganized, and inefficient.

Most communications tools only focus on either synchronous or asynchronous communication – both are vital to working together with your team and external partners. Asynchronous communication, like an email, doesn’t require instant feedback, whereas synchronous communication, like a Zoom meeting, relies on direct interaction with other team members.

With communications that don’t offer flexibility, you have to cobble together a bunch of different platforms to share updates and information. If you get new information, you might wonder, should I email this? Slack someone? Update my Trello board? Use Google Docs? All of the above? Jumping from app to app slows you down, makes it easy to lose track of information, and stresses everyone out

When you use traditional platforms, you’re forced to update the same things in different places. It’s time-consuming and repetitive, not to mention that it’s easy for someone to be left out of the loop.

You might get client feedback on a project, since there’s not an accessible or centralized place for client responses, your team members might not get the new information. That could end up affecting the project and your client’s happiness with your work.

Without an organized hub of information, your team can get stressed trying to find the latest details on a project. Traditional platforms are unwieldy and time-consuming. It’s no surprise that a recent Slack survey found that a large percentage of remote workers would rather use collaboration tools instead of email.

When you rely heavily on traditional work platforms, since they’re inefficient, you can end up investing more time and money. Since those platforms and apps have limited functionalities, you’re forced to work with a lot of them just to get things done. Instead of paying for a platform that can do more, you might lose money and make your workflows more complicated by using more tools. 

Better tools can help make online collaboration smoother

Multimodal tools can help us rethink the way we work together online because they let you communicate your way, centralize your information, and streamline the collaboration process.

You’re also not forced to choose between asynchronous or synchronous communication. You can communicate asynchronously with features like built-in task boards and comments. For synchronous communication, there are features like built-in video conferencing and messaging. Whatever you need, multimodal platforms can get more done with less. 

Since marketing agencies and freelancers need to work with so many people and moving parts, multimodal tools help them stay organized by centralizing everything in one hub. That makes information and updates more easily accessible for everyone—whether they’re a freelancer, team member, or client. If someone wasn’t able to join a client meeting, they can access meeting notes and new information without leaving the tool. There’s no need to dig through your email inbox or message a team member for meeting notes. 

With Rock you can keep everything project-related in a specific place so everyone can find what they need when they need it. You can give your team access to the details that they need. Clients can also access real-time updates on projects that your team is tracking with a task board. Your partners, clients, and team members can comment on tasks, update a task’s status, and edit the workflow to reflect the most current needs.

On a big marketing project, the task board feature helps make sure all of the pieces come together when they need to. Instead of emailing back and forth for status updates, everyone can track progress and leave comments right in Rock. Since Zoom is integrated with Rock, jumping on a meeting is quick and easy when you need to have a more involved conversation with your team. To help centralize your work, you can also link your Google Drive folders to Rock—no more flipping through different apps and platforms to find what you need. 

Best of all, multimodal tools make everyday stuff easier. Working together shouldn’t be hard, and in marketing, smooth collaboration is essential. With different projects, partners, and team members, flexibility is key—and that’s what these tools offer.

Instead of platforms designed for teams working in the same place, multimodal tools offer many of the same functions in an adaptable and centralized platform that works wherever (and however) you do. 

Make the most of multimodal tools

Switching to using more efficient tools isn’t a cure for everything, you also need to make sure you’re optimizing your workflows to get the most out of the tools.

Set yourself up for success by factoring in your environment and your team members. It’s important to find what works for your team and eliminate what doesn’t. Good workflows ensure that teams stay productive and stress-free – that means making the most of your tools. 

With tools like Rock, marketing agencies and freelancers can organize their workflows by using the task boards and notes for organizing, documenting, and reporting daily activities.

Rock also helps marketing agencies and freelancers make the most of built-in messaging and comments to organize discussions and update information. For complex conversations, take advantage of video-conferencing features. That way, your brainstorming sessions and meetings can be seamless.

Multimodal Tools streamline and centralize your work, solving the issue of online collaboration exhaustion. 

Rock

Rock

Rock is an all-in-one productivity app for teams, combining messaging and video calls with tasks, notes and files with seamless integrations with Google Drive & Zoom. Synchronous when needed, asynchronous by default -- you can minimize distractions and take control of your work by cutting out unproductive meetings while shifting towards more productive ways of communicating. Create spaces to work with your team and external partners and work more productively on growth & marketing projects.