We love hearing the origin stories of people who are working together, whether it’s a small collaboration or full-blown business. As most of you know, the two of us are in a mastermind group together, run this podcast, have a joint Facebook group, and co-own a WordPress theme shop.
Today we thought we’d do something fun and talk about how it all came to be, how we make it work, challenges we face, and how we balance everything with our own independent businesses.
You’ll have to listen in to the episode for all the juicy details (and to find out which one of us is usually the instigator), but here’s a quick timeline of what it has all looked like:
- October 2015: Krista approached Kory to be featured in a blog post
- October/November 2015: Mastermind group formed
- September 1, 2016: Coded Creative launched
- September 30, 2016: Facebook group launched
- April 11, 2017: Podcast launched
How we split up tasks
When you’re doing any type of collaboration, finding a fair way to split up tasks is important. You want to leverage the skills of each person while making sure no one feels like they’re stuck with more work.
For us, the sharing of tasks came pretty naturally, based on our skills. Anything design-related goes to Kory, while anything techy goes to Krista. However, there are a few things we split 50/50:
- Social media: Krista does social media management for Coded Creative, while Kory handles it for the podcast
- Inbox management: Whoever sees it first takes care of it and we’re both sure to check inboxes once per day
- Content: We’re each responsible for every-other podcast episode and every-other blog post for Coded Creative
This split has worked really well for us. We’re each doing our share of the work without feeling like the other one is slacking off.
There are a lot of challenges that come with collaborations. Sometimes they just don’t work out.
For us, we tend to act like sisters…which also means we fight like sisters. As you can probably imagine, it’s hard to deal with joint projects when you’re upset with someone. Luckily, we’ve gotten better at watching what we say and knowing what will set the other person off.
Our biggest challenge has come from making assumptions about what the other person is or isn’t going to do. In a few occasions this has led to something getting missed or left until the last minute. And in other occasions, we’ve both completed the same task. Oops.
Things that work well
To account for some of the challenges we’ve faced in working together, we’ve put a few extra processes in place that we recommend for any collaborative project, including:
- Regular meetings: We meet each week after our podcast recordings to go over what’s coming up for each project along with any questions, concerns, or frustrations we have.
- Agreements: We didn’t have any sort of agreement for a long time, but after a larger argument that came from having different understandings of how things should work, we decided it was time to put it all in writing.
- Easy communication: Being in a Slack group where we can quickly get feedback from the other person definitely helps us keep things moving along smoothly.
- Trello: Having shared Trello boards where we can break down and split up tasks helps us stay on track.
- Be open about our schedules: We’ve also gotten good at knowing the other person’s schedule and what to expect when.
How we juggle it all
Each of us juggles things a bit differently.
Krista here! What has worked best for me is to set aside parts of the week to deal with different things along with a lot of automation.
For example, I reserve Wednesday afternoons for the podcast. This includes recording, putting up Instagram stories, working on the website, and catching up on show notes.
For automation, all of my social media and blog post editing/publishing is handled by my assistant, which takes a lot off my plate.
The key for Kory is to watch how much work she takes on. She enjoys having a variety of tasks to focus on in one day, so she doesn’t mind switching between her own business and our ventures.
She does her best to stay ahead on content so it doesn’t end up being a last-minute rush job to publish a blog post or prepare show notes.
She’s also spent time streamlining things. For example, Instagram captions for the podcast are the same content from the beginning of the show notes and that also gets posted to Facebook.
Kory is also great at taking on extra responsibilities when work is a little quieter to lighten the load for both of us.
We don’t have much for action steps in this episode, but if you’re considering some sort of collaboration we’d encourage you to be very picky about who you team up with. While collaborations might look easy and sound like a great idea, things aren’t always what they seem and it can get a little tricky!