In my consulting work, I use Google Drive to managed shared projects and documents.
When I begin with a client, I ask them to create their own Google Drive folder and invite me. I then move my key working documents into their folder so they “own” them should I ever get hit by the lottery.
It’s essential my clients own all the work we do and have the keys to the kingdom at all times.
Anyway, here are the documents I use in case you’re looking for inspiration to solidify your consulting project deliveries:
1. Onboarding questionnaire
This is a document I use that has over 117 questions to get started. Yes, it’s a lot. It takes a couple hours to complete and gives me the full rundown of their current situation, goals, and more.
I’ve shortened it in some cases to make the process easier for some clients.
2. KPI dashboard
This is a spreadsheet that allows me to do pro-forma budgets and financial planning, keep track of expenses, revenue, sales, leads, close ratios, and other key performance indicators.
I call it the place where results can’t hide.
3. Marketing notes
This is where we keep notes from all our consulting calls.
I end up being the one to record most of what we talk about and decide on as next steps. It serves as our agenda for future calls as well, as we’re able to look back and see if the work we agreed to got done.
This has been super important for developing case studies and reviewing what we accomplished in any given time. It also keeps the projects on track and keeps people accountable.
4. Marketing strategy and planning worksheet
This is a series of questions I ask to prompt answers that get to the heart of what makes their business tick. From this document, we know what makes them unique, what we should work on, and where we should focus our efforts.
5. Marketing summary document
This is a document that basically summarizes everything we do.
It includes who they are selling to, what they sell, how they are positioned, what the plan is, and the thought process behind each marketing channel we use. We review this every 6-12 months to ensure it’s up to date and accurate.
It also lets new employees and suppliers onboard quickly and get up to speed on all the moving parts and why they are in place.
6. Recurring tasks and standard operating procedures
Anything that gets done more than once (i.e. not a one-off project but something that should be done at some regular interval) gets documented according to frequency. It’s broken up into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually—fully customized to the reality of their projects.
The tasks get documented as a standard operating procedure so anybody could follow them. We use a combination of numbered steps and Loom videos to make it easy.
This process frees up the marketing manager to do things they must but later delegate responsibilities to new hires and outsourced support.
The goal is to create as much leverage around the in-house team as possible and rely on external as-needed specialists/assistants to perform specialized functions. Thus, the manager(s) can focus on what they do best and keep the big picture in mind.
For bigger clients, this all gets built into their project management software, like Asana.
7. Login credentials
We keep marketing-related login credentials in a Google Sheets document that is strictly shared with only the people who absolutely need it. All accounts must be kept in there and up to date each month.
There should be a standard firstname.lastname@example.org email address to keep company accounts neutral of any one individual.
8. Project agreement
I keep the agreement as a PDF in the drive somewhere so we can refer back to our initial goals and scope at any time.
It comes in handy when people are wondering when we started, what we agreed to, what I do or won’t do, and other similar questions.
And that’s it!
Occasionally, I will include things like a project management spreadsheet or a short-term CRM spreadsheet for clients not ready to move into something more robust.
We also build a folder structure inside Google Drive (or any shared drive) to keep everything organized and in one place.
All of this takes a bit of time and discipline to keep updated (not as much as you might think) but it’s the only way to run an efficient marketing consulting practice, in my opinion.
If you’re interested in these templates, I share the onboarding questionnaire, proposal template/agreement, and KPI dashboard in the mindshare.fm membership.
I might sell the rest soon as a complete package, so get on my mailing list if you want to hear about those first (unless you already are, in which case, hit reply and tell me you’re interested!).