EP 258: Managing Multi-Layer Projects With Kaye Publicity Founder Dana Kaye

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • How Kaye Publicity founder Dana Kaye plans and manages multi-layer book publicity projects
  • The tools she uses to track progress, run reports, and organize the information that goes into every project
  • How her team members take ownership of different areas of each project
  • Why she’s learning to take a more top-level role in each project they manage

One of my most important personal commitments from last year was to “work the system.”

In other words, I wanted to stop constantly reinventing the wheel, breaking things that weren’t broken, and looking for new novel things to add to my plate.

I wanted to take the systems that we had as a company and work them. No more pretending that I didn’t have to follow the procedure or document my work just because I was the boss. No more excuses for why my tasks weren’t getting checked off or the process wasn’t getting completed.

Just working the systems we had, making them better, and following through until every last item was crossed off the list.

By and large, I was pretty successful! I confirmed this with my team to make sure I wasn’t blowing smoke up my own butt.

What I’ve discovered as I’ve embraced working the system is that—against all odds—I actually love it. In fact, now that I’ve been working the systems for a year, I see systems everywhere. I see how they make things better, how they make me better.

And I relish getting those set up and figuring out how they can become more effective.

Since I’ve decided to finally embrace not only having systems in my business but actually using them myself, I thought it would be fun to kick off the new year at What Works by focusing on project management.

In other words, what does it take to make sure that the projects we start are projects we can finish?

And how do different kinds of projects take on different forms as we use tools to track and complete them? And… how do different kinds of business owners approach managing projects differently?

This month, we’re going to take a look at how a book coach manages the creative process for her clients. We’ll examine why communication and expectation is so important in complex projects with an on-demand CFO and cashflow analyst. And we’ll find out how a conference planner sees his events from vision to final invoice paid.

Plus, we’ve also asked a panel of small business owners to share the tools they use to manage their projects and why they love them. You’ll hear about software like ClickUp, Asana, Trello, and Notion so you can make a more informed decision about what will work for you.

But today, we’re starting with a look at managing massive multi-layer projects.

Dana Kaye is the founder of Kaye Publicity, a publicity agency specializing in helping authors get media coverage for their books. As you’ll hear, publicity projects aren’t exactly linear. It’s not just a list of tasks that need to be completed step by step.

There’s traditional media to go after. There are influencers to reach out to. There is content the team needs from authors and there are conversations that need to be had with the publisher.

Each type of media is another layer in the project. Each layer is owned by a different member of the team. Each has a different time frame and a different database to work from.

I wanted to know exactly how she keeps it straight and manages each project.

Dana and I talk about the tools she uses to manage their multi-layer projects, how she works with team members to facilitate how each project is executed, and how she tracks progress on each project.

Now, let’s find out what works for Dana Kaye!

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By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Jan 7, 2020

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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support