[Please excuse any typing errors as this is a direct transcription.]
Well hi there everyone. This is Denise Oyston from Super Fast Recruitment with the recruitment, marketing, and sales podcast. And today’s subject is S.O.P.s. Now before I get into it, if you are listening to us on iTunes, I know it’s complex, but please leave us a review. We would absolutely love it because we’re on a mission. We’re on a mission to get the word out and really help recruitment business owners because, you know, Sharon and I both come from a training background and a people development background, and what is better than having someone help you get the role of your dreams.
And that’s exactly what recruitment and staffing organisations do for their candidates, and they also help their clients grow their organisations. Because we know what grows organisations. It’s not products; it’s people. So please give us a shout out, and let’s get this message out there. So that’s my soapbox message for today and a quickie.
This month we have launched a brand new programme, which means that anyone, wherever they are in the world can have an opportunity to work with us, it’s called Superfast Circle. So, if you are interested in working with us on a regular basis, in a really cost- effective way then send us an email, to me personally Denise@superfastrecruitment.co.uk and just put in the title, “Tell me about Superfast Circle Denise,” and we’ll get into a conversation about it.
So, let me get into this one first of all, and this is Standard Operating Procedures – SOPs. I’m not quite sure where the term came from, but I think it’s probably from the manufacturing industry, S.O.P.s … I have to give a shout out to a guy called James Schramko, who is one of my mentors, James shared the idea with me about this some time ago, and I think intuitively I already had an idea about it and hadn’t probably realised how powerful it could be when it came to marketing.
So, you know, let’s just be a bit frank about an S.O.P. It’s not just for the world of manufacturing; it’s for any process that you have in your business. Now, I would suspect that you already have a system in place for how you do your business development, how you follow up candidates, how you pull in clients, how you actually manage a candidate, the candidate process to sign up with you. I’m sure you have an exact process that you follow step by step, because obviously as a business, the way businesses scale is to systematise and have a process. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to your marketing, so there are six reasons why … (In fact, there’s two lots of six) why you would want to consider having an S.O.P. when it comes to your marketing.
1. Ensures Consistency
Now, a lot of people talk to us about how and why they’d like a system; they want clarity, they want some direction. They need to know what steps to follow. You know, let’s be frank about it, I’m a marketer. … Marketing is my big passion. I love marketing. However, I know that other people can get a little bit confused. There’s a lot of moving parts, “what do I do, and when Denise”? So, if you actually were to document the procedures that you have, then this would be something that would be of great value to you, to actually list down all of what you need to do. Because I think the one thing that we notice is, this is number one. Having an S.O.P. ensures consistency because when it comes to marketing, one of the things we notice with people is occasionally things go off the boil
People might post on social media for a while. They get really into it at first and then because obviously, it needs some traction to really start producing results, they get a bit bored. So they go off and start doing something else and think “Oh, that hasn’t quite worked,” or “oh dear, I forgot to post today or I should have posted yesterday,” or “oh gosh, that blog’s late we should have had that added on to the website.” Now if you had a process, you’d know exactly what to do and when and how often. And that really does help to maintain consistency.
2. Easy To Train People
Now, number two, which is incredibly useful is it’s easy to train people when you have an S.O.P. because it’s written out, and what we do in our business … Obviously, we have people that work with us, and we do this for clients as well where we’ll actually create an S.O.P. that they can follow, this is part of our training process in Superfast Circles. So we’ll have an S.O.P. that they can follow and we’ll create a video around it as well.
So a tailor-made S.O.P and supporting video, imagine if you had this for your consultants, for your marketeer or if it was just something your business was following. Because we always advocate for people, when it comes to marketing, though you may have a marketer, you do need to understand what goes on with marketing because you need to be able to direct people and tell them what they need to do. So, that’s the benefit; it’s very, very easy to train people.
3. ‘Things’ Don’t Get Missed
What can often happen, as I mentioned earlier is that things do get missed. If you don’t have a tick box to answer, then things will get missed. Now, I am notorious … I think when I go on holiday my head seems to disconnect from my brain sometimes to the point now where I’ve actually got … Sad women that I am … An Excel spreadsheet so that I know that I can tick off exactly what is going in the case at what time.
Because many a time I’ve landed at the airport and thought, “Oh gosh, I forgot this.” My normal stock answer is, “it’s fine, I’ve got a credit card, I can buy something.” However, it is much more useful if I have an S.O.P. about what needs to go on holiday now.
Okay. What books do I need to take? Because we often will work when we’re away, we’ll have the computers. What adapters do I need to take? What microphone do I need to take? Do I need to take any special apps? It’s like if you go camping and suddenly someone’s forgotten the tent pegs. So there needs to be that process and process map. And it’s the same in business because trust me, you will have so much going on in your head that if you do not have it all listed down, there’s chance that an important blog post won’t have got uploaded or something will be missed off it or something like that, so that’s the key thing.
4. Highlights What Works
The other thing as well that is good about S.O.P.s is that you can actually use them, so you know what works and what produces results. Because if you have an S.O.P. list written out and there are only like 4 or 5 things on it, the chances are it’s probably not going to be as successful as you want, let’s just say as if you’re doing your own social media.
Or you’re creating a sales funnel and, you know, there are certain elements that have got missed. Well, it’s a great way to remember that your S.O.P needs a level of detail, if you want something to happen consistently you might need to add in more steps or check your S.O.P and say did we actually put that in? And you might find, as often people do, is that some steps in the process got missed because the S.O.P. hadn’t been sort of put together.
The other important thing is, if you have an S.O.P. then what you’re doing can be measured easily. So you can go through things, and you can start to measure what’s working. Because you think, “ah, when we actually have a 20 point S.O.P., it works better than when we didn’t.”
5. Helps You Measure Marketing
Marketing isn’t always easy to measure. However, when you actually look through and say you are creating a, let’s use some jargon term here, a landing page. All that means is there’s a page on your website or on a third- party application where you’re asking someone to give you their name and email address to download a free report that you might have.
Well if you could say, well we’re missing out two or three things here that will really impact the value of what you are doing. So we need to do this, and we need to make sure we have this part on the S.O.P. We need to make sure that, you know on the landing page, we need to put the date, we need to have a link to our website, so it’s all compliant for Google.” So all those things that you can think about too.
6. Provides a Structured Process That Is Easy To Train
And you know, I’m going to mention this again on number six, is it does make training so much easier. So, you know, a SOP would be something that you could have not just in marketing but in any part of your business. If you want key messages communicated to your customers, then if you had a procedure that your consultants could follow it would make a huge difference.
You know, Sharon and I come from a very structured environment. We were both in the pharmaceutical sales industry, which you know because we’ve mentioned it a number of times. And because obviously, that’s a analytical industry and everything’s process driven because you need to make sure that people weren’t saying outrageous things about your product because obviously it had been approved by NYSE or whatever.
Then there was always a varied sort of procedure where you would go through certain things with your customers, and it’s the same because it really helps people when they’re training.
If someone has an S.O.P. to follow, that can go through the step by step, you know, whether it’s a 20-page process or whatever, they go through it, and they make sure “Alright, Okay I’ve done this, and I’ve done that.” And yet even, sometimes with some of our clients, we say to them, “look, you know, put it a table or an Excel spreadsheet and get somebody to tick off, so you know that absolutely everything has got covered.” And that’s the difference an S.O.P will make.
Now, I mentioned James Schramko … A mentor of mine and one of the things he talks about is another one of the six things that are important. And that is to involve people that will use the process. Now when it comes to marketing, it might not be quite the same because often we find the business owner understands more than sometimes the consultants.
So it is good to talk to your consultants, think about, “Okay, so what do we actually need to have in this process, what is important?”
And then, you know, number two is defining exactly what it is that you want to achieve by having an S.O.P. What is it that the SOP needs to deliver for you? It is important as we say to get ideas … to brainstorm ideas yourself. You know, often what I will do when I’m creating something new is I’ll think about it and ask my subconscious the question when I go to bed at night. In the morning when I wake up often something is triggered there.
And then obviously you need to arrange things in a usable format. Very simply, I have a Word document, and often the Word document will be numbered from 1 to 58, or 1 to 40. So I know exactly what I’m covering when I go through it.
And you know, nothing’s perfect. So when it comes to S.O.P.s, you will need to refine them. So it might be … “Ah, you know what? If we actually did this first that would make a huge difference.” I remember when we first started creating S.O.P.s , that one of the things we noticed is that ideally we have a blog post and then we let the blog post sort of …
We call it mature, for a couple of days before we start sharing things because we want Google to find it. We want that blog page to get indexed in Google so that other people can find it, which is very important.
Before we start sharing and then say okay now we’ll put it onto LinkedIn; now we’ll put it onto Facebook and onto Twitter. Now we’ll create a PDF that we will upload to slideshare.net. Now we’ll make a PowerPoint presentation and record the video that we’ll then put onto YouTube.
So you can see there are all these different things that you can do, and you start to refine it. And then obviously, you know, it’s a great training medium. So, you know, it’s a way that you train people, obviously by using an S.O.P.
A little bit of a longer podcast today. However, I think it’s really important that if you want to scale and grow your marketing, which anyone that listens to this podcast absolutely does, then it is important that you follow consistent procedures that work. Because otherwise, you will miss them and sometimes it can just be that vital thing that happens that throws you off course because you thought, “ah, I forgot to do this.
I forgot to you know …” The number of times you get something through on email, and someone says, “Oh, really … Oops,” you’ll get another email from someone saying, “Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to put the link in there.” So it could be like, Okay, send an email out, test all links work with landing pages. You know, if you actually have an S.O.P. that is there, then that is useful.
I remember having a couple of disasters when we first started over 15 years ago, running our first tele seminars as they were then when we hadn’t got everything in place. Whereas now, we have our own S.O.P., so we know that when we go live online, we are certain things have been checked.
We know we’ve had a soundcheck, we know everything’s working, someone has tested it somewhere else in a different part of the country for us we know that people can log on and hear us. So there are all these sorts of things that you can do that really help to systematise your sales and marketing process and really help you scale.
This is Denise from Super Fast Recruitment talking about S.O.P.s saying bye for now.