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Dropbox OK, you’ve just signed the contract with your small business client and your team is chomping at the bit to launch your marketing strategy. Everyone is excited and enthusiastic and wants to start strong out of the gates. It’s a wonderful time. But there are a couple of fundamental rules I make with my team and clients that are not negotiable.

1. E-mail Communications: The first sounds easy but frequently is not and needs to be monitored carefully: Email communications. Even small business projects can require communications between several people. It’s important to set up email communication protocol so that everyone is kept in the loop. A primary contact for each segment of the strategy (i.e. social marketing, SEO, web design), and a “Grand Poobah” who oversees everything on the marketing strategy side, needs to be identified. In communications to the primary contact the rest of the team should be Cc’d so they are kept in the loop. There should never be a need for Bcc’ing anyone on small teams. If there is, there’s something wrong with your strategy.

2. Online Content Sharing: The second sounds difficult but once implemented turns out to be fairly easy: Content sharing. “Hub” and “spokes” (website and social media channels) require a great deal of original content in the form of images and videos. Some of that content may be provided by the web designer, some by the social marketer. But most of the content needs to be provided by the client and needs to be distributed to the rest of the team for implementation. I’ve found that a FREE Dropbox for file sharing is the easiest and best solution for small teams (we can talk about Basecamp and even Dropbox for Teams – other more robust collaboration tools for larger teams – in a future post).

DropboxDropbox allows you to create a folder on your computer hard drive and invite people via email to access the folder. Any files uploaded are automatically synchronized to the computers of those who have been invited to the folder and have installed Dropbox on their machine. The files can also be accessed via web browser by logging in to a Dropbox account. And there’s even a mobile app that allows the team to access their Dropbox files and folders via smart phone (iPhone, Android).

Dropbox link shareDropbox recently introduced a nice new feature that allows Dropbox members to share their Dropbox folders directly with anyone via hyperlink – even those who do not have a Dropbox account! Just copy the link to your clipboard and send it to someone via email or text message (mobile) – or Facebook or Twitter. Voila! Now they can access your folder and its contents! This is a powerful tool, but it can be dangerous too. If a disgruntled team member has privileges to “Allow members to invite others”, they can share private information with people you may not want them to share with.

Clearly, there are many more robust team collaboration tools available. But for small teams (2-7 people) a good email communication policy and a FREE Dropbox is really all you need. So why spend more if you don’t have to? Keep it simple. Get results.

+Mike Poynton

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