We couldn’t run our agency without ProcessKit,” says Sean. “That’s the bottom line. It is the single source of truth. It’s where everything happens. It’s the backbone of the agency.
Sean McCabe launched Daily Content Machine in the spring of 2020. Daily Content Machine is a productized service that turns your long-form video shows into short, engaging clips for social media.
“The goal is that you can be everywhere every day without actually having to be everywhere every day,” says Sean. “You just have to show up once a week.”
Sean adds, “Daily Content Machine is where we find the best moments from your long-form video show, like a video podcast or a webinar, and we turn it into short clips, and then we write engaging titles, captions, and an animated progress bar. You might’ve seen clips like these on social media. So, we edited it nice and tight and remove all the filler words and just make you look good, and post that on a bunch of social platforms for you. So the end result is you just show up to record your show once a week. And then on the other side of it, you’ve got clips going out on all the platforms for you.”
In this story, we’ll take a closer look at how Daily Content Machine uses ProcessKit to scale video content creation.
“One of the big problems that we had before we started using ProcessKit is our processes were, for lack of a better word, dumb. They weren’t smart, and they weren’t aware of context or a client’s particular need. We had these dumb processes that turned into dumb projects that didn’t reflect reality.”
While the concept sounds simple enough, the operations on the backend were anything but that.
“One of the big problems that we had before we started using ProcessKit is our processes were, for lack of a better word, dumb,” says Sean. “They weren’t smart, and they weren’t aware of context or a client’s particular need. We had these dumb processes that turned into dumb projects that didn’t reflect reality.
And, it basically trained our team to ignore certain steps, which is never good. We want them to always follow the steps, but they learned over time that, well, these steps aren’t always necessary in all cases because sometimes the client needs this or that. And it resulted in things slipping through the cracks because they would assume that the step shouldn’t be followed in the wrong circumstance. And, so it was never something we could truly rely on.”
The problems and dropped balls magnified as they took on more clients, and his team grew.
“With the Daily Content Machine, we have a writer,” says Sean. “They’re looking through transcripts. They’re editing titles. They’re coming up with those titles.
Then we have a producer. This is a video editor, and they’re doing animation on clips. They’re doing video cuts. They’re adding in titles and rendering progress bars. And they’re making all the different versions.
And, then we have a manager who is making sure everything’s going smoothly. People are communicating with each other. They have what they need, and we’re on track for a timely delivery. So, that’s kind of the core three people. And then we also have other people on the team for the random things that you need to reach out to. It’s kind of like the manager of the managers—someone who’s directing over everything.
“Then, there are multiple clients, and we’re also working on multiple client batches. So, there’s overlap, and it’s definitely a lot to keep track of.”
He was previously using another tool and was frustrated by the balls that were getting dropped and the fact that the tool wasn’t built for a productized agency with repeatable client deliverables and processes.
“We were previously using Asana, which I think is a popular project management system a lot of people are familiar with, but what we found is tools like Asana didn’t really feel like they were built for us,” says Sean. “A productized service agency where we’re delivering the same thing for clients each week, with some variables, everything felt like we had to shoehorn tools like Asana for working, to be able to get our work done.
You could create a project and turn that into a template. And then, you had to manually duplicate that template anytime you wanted a duplicate of that for the work. And it’s like, we want this every week, and we want this for every client.”
“I would say the biggest benefit to me as an owner is peace of mind, knowing that the work is going to get done.”
Sean was desperate for a better solution.
“We found ProcessKit does that for us automatically,” says Sean. “It just set it to recur, set a new project to be made every week at this time, for this client, or for this client and call it this. Pull that from the process that you made, and anytime you make a change to the process, you can propagate that to all of your projects.
And, we didn’t have that in Asana. You make a change, and it’s like, well, that’ll eventually make it to the new projects you make in a few weeks or a few months. And I would say the reason that ProcessKit appealed to us as well if it felt like Asana didn’t care. They were too big to care. And ProcessKit was made for us. It was made for us, as a small business, as an agency.
Everyone was always so responsive. We’d make a suggestion, and there was immediate feedback. It felt like ProcessKit was here for us. They actually cared about making this a good experience for a small business that’s running an agency, whereas Asana, I would write them… I would message them. It would be days before they get back with an unhelpful response that felt like they didn’t even read the message we sent. So we just felt really good about ProcessKit, being a good fit for us as an agency. And we’ve been really happy with that decision.”
Since he switched to ProcessKit, his business runs smoother. This gives him more peace of mind.
“I would say the biggest benefit to me as an owner is peace of mind, knowing that the work is going to get done,” says Sean. “And it’s not just that it’s going to get done, but it’s going to get done to my quality standards without me being there. So I’m freed up in terms of time. But it’s also that extra added peace of mind. And overall, it’s just more efficient to where we can take on more clients, with fewer people and fewer headaches, because everything’s so streamlined.
And you throw in the Zapier integration, and it’s like, you really can do anything.
You can create these projects automatically when a client purchases a product in your eCommerce.
You can ping someone in Slack when something happens in the project management. Everything’s there, everything you need. “
Using ProcessKit’s Zapier integration to create a single source of truth
One of the biggest ways that Daily Content Machine is using ProcessKit’s Zapier integration is to ensure that everyone on his team is on the same page. Side conversations and context around a particular account or project that is happening in Slack are automatically added into ProcessKit, so there is one single source of truth.
Sean adds, “The biggest way that we use ProcessKit’s Zapier integration is to connect to Slack. For us, we have different client channels with different contractors and team members that are working on different client projects. They’re talking about things, exchanging information, or asking questions about things.
So, a lot of the conversation just tends to happen in Slack, like it does for a lot of businesses. Without having to go check what the status is on things when certain key milestone tasks are completed, status update messages are posted in the respective client channel.
And then they mentioned the next person who the project’s being handed off to like, ‘Okay, it’s your turn. This is now waiting on you.’
Basically, anytime anything happens in ProcessKit that we want someone to know about, or we want other people on the team to know about, maybe that isn’t even involved, but they just need that insight. We can always automate a Slack message.”
Using conditional logic to create smarter processes
Before he started using ProcessKit, his team wasn’t regularly following processes, and balls got dropped because the processes were static. They didn’t account for any of the nuances that come up. Because of that, his team didn’t trust the processes in place. They went rogue and did what they thought was right.
Through conditional logic, they were able to create smarter processes.
For example, Sean says, “The biggest thing for us was conditional logic. You can set it so that someone on the team answers a question. You could say a yes or no radio button. You could have it automatically check a client attribute. So if the client has this particular package, show this step.
What was really cool is realizing you can input data, like say you’re writing a title for a blog post or a podcast or something like that. You can insert that into a text field and then reference that information elsewhere.
It’s good for managers to get that insight into key pieces of information. You can auto-populate it. But also, when there are handoffs between the team, there’s less manual communication that needs to happen because if the next person needs to know the title, well, you can just populate that title in their task if it’s already been entered in a task field somewhere else.
So conditional logic and then just auto-populating of information really minimizes the communication that’s necessary between team members. It’s all just automated. It’s all streamlined.”
Another thing that really helped his time was ProcessKit’s propagation feature.
“Propagating is so huge where you make a change to a process,” says Sean. “You propagate it everywhere else. It can go to your existing projects, not just new ones that you make in the future. So that’s huge. You can dynamically add task lists in the project.
So if something was needed and you’ve already got a process for that, you can have it to where a certain task is checked off. And that process is loaded in as a task list in your current project. I’ve said this before, but it feels like this was actually made for a service agency. It’s like you thought of everything.”
The Daily Content Machine team handles everything inside ProcessKit.
“We do lead tracking in there,” says Sean. “We keep track of the processes we want to make in there, and the different things we want to do in our business. And, it’s collaborative.”
For anyone running a productized agency that is unsure about what tool to use, Sean shared this advice.
“My advice for you would be to pick a tool that was designed for a certain purpose,” says Sean. “If you pick a generalized project management software that’s supposed to work for every kind of project for every team at every size, you’re going to find yourself wanting because they have to accommodate everyone.
And ProcessKit is made for you. It’s made for people who want to provide a service on a consistent basis that sometimes needs a little bit of a tweak here or there, but it’s all done smartly.
All of the use cases are thought through for you. It’s not a tool that’s also trying to be everything for everyone. And so I think you’ll feel that it’s like a well-tailored suit. It feels right.”
“I would say the biggest benefit to me as an owner is peace of mind, knowing that the work is going to get done,” says Sean. “And it’s not just that it’s going to get done, but it’s going to get done to my quality standards without me being there.”
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