Our network of 65-plus contributors includes practitioners from all over the world, with different backgrounds. Because of this, it can be easy for group members to get lost in the mix. But keeping contributors engaged is an important part of getting great content. And it all starts with how they are onboarded.
In a recent post, we talked about the criteria we use to vet our contributors. After they are approved, we have to set them up for success. We do this with a well-established onboarding process.
One key aspect of onboarding is getting contributors integrated into the content pipeline. To achieve this, they have to be linked to all of our tools. Tool overload is something we all face in the modern environment, so we try to make it simple. The tools we use are:
- UberConference: We use UberConference to stay in contact with our contributors overseas. It also allows us to record all of our monthly contributor meetings.
- Slack: Fortunately, most of our contributors are familiar with and love Slack. All of our contributors are added as guest users, to only one channel for the market they represent.
- Trello: This is where the content creation process is managed. Many of our contributors have already used Trello. When you onboard them, it’s VERY important to make sure you use their existing Trello ID if they already have one, so that there is no confusion with multiple IDs.
- Bill.com: This is how our contributors located in the U.S. get paid. If contributors are located outside the United States, then we use PayPal as the primary payment method.
When someone emails us, showing interest in becoming a contributor, we have the person set up a standard 30-minute meeting with our president, Chris Riley, to learn about our company and what being a content practitioner entails.
After a successful half-hour meeting, an email goes out to the Fixate core team introducing the new practitioner. This also alerts our staff that we have a new contributor that needs to be onboarded. Once onboarding is triggered, the new contributor receives a welcome email which includes a presentation explaining what Fixate does, the onboarding process itself, contributor guidelines, and a contributor onboarding checklist (which tells them what email invites to keep an eye out for).
The following are the steps of our onboarding process:
- Sending them the contributor agreement via Docusign.
- Once the agreement is signed, we then send an invite to Slack. We use Slack more then we use emails. Slack allows us to easily reach out to our contributors as a group, along with the Fixate core team.
- We add contributors to our Trello team boards. Trello is where we manage our monthly vendor blog content, and is a simple user-based application that makes it easy to use and manage team-generated content. Trello allows you to create a team, and have viewable private team boards. It is a straightforward way to keep track of our content and see if our Influencers have started writing their content, without having to ask.
- Our U.S. contributors get an invite to Bill.com, which we use to pay them at the end of each month.
Because our network of practitioners comes from all over the world, from different backgrounds, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone in our network. We make it a priority to keep our contributors engaged because we believe it is an important part of helping them deliver great content.
We also believe that the strength of our contributors lies in their unique perspectives as practitioners. After each contributor is approved, we set them up for success. We do this with a well-established onboarding process that uses several different tools, including UberConference, Trello, Slack, and Bill.com. In using these tools, along with establishing a complete process and clear process responsibilities for our Fixate core team, we have thoroughly integrated onboarding into how we do business to create efficiency from start to finish.