authentic productivity interview

Keeping Up With Rapid Growth And The Best Slack Feature – Interview With Chelsea Scholz

Chelsea Scholz is the Marketing Campaign Strategist at Unbounce, marketing software focused on improving the landing page experience. She’s been working for the company for over two years now, and seen her team grow from seven people to over thirty. How do they handle daily collaboration and how to keep up with the speed of change? Tune in and enjoy an inspiring story!

We’re so glad to have you as the first interviewee of this series! Tell us a bit about yourself and your daily work – do you work alone or in a team, what are your daily tasks?

Hi! I’m Chelsea, and I’m a marketing Campaign Strategist at Unbounce, focused on our top of the funnel efforts. I’ve been at Unbounce for just over two years and absolutely love my work. I originally started here as a project manager when our marketing team was only seven people. Now, our marketing team has grown to over 30 people, and I’ve worked my way into a more strategic role with our department.

We have modelled our team based on the Spotify squad structure, so there are mini teams within marketing for each stage of our customer journey. I work on the “Awareness Squad,” a team of 7 hustlers who focus on driving traffic and generating new leads for Unbounce. Every day is a new challenge and an opportunity for growth, and I have a lot of fun problem-solving and campaign planning with my squad and with the other squads in marketing.

Is there something about your job that you particularly like?

The thing I like most about my work at Unbounce is campaign planning. I really like being presented with a problem or opportunity and designing a creative and strategic plan around it to solve the problem. I’ve learned to be more data-driven (as all good marketers nowadays are) with my strategy and that allows me to be more creative with my work, believe it or not. Another part of my job that I love is that I get to be a public face for Unbounce in a lot of our productions.

I recently co-hosted our annual Call To Action Conference and film videos monthly for campaigns at Unbounce. This job has really given me the opportunity to use my public speaking and strategic marketing skills all at once!

How are you managing teams and projects in your company? Do you use specific tools to handle your work?

We’ve always used project management tools at Unbounce to manage our teamwork/projects, but we’ve used quite a few over the last two years as we’ve gotten bigger and bigger. However, we do not currently track time at Unbounce.

Read on: Basecamp Alternative for Project Management and Collaboration

How can you tell which projects are profitable and which ones aren’t?

We have a pretty data-driven team so we measure the success of our projects in many ways. We use a formula consisting of whether or not we had hit our goal (i.e., 500 leads or 7000 unique users to a page, etc.) as well as the effort it took to get the campaign done and the time in which it took to do so, to decide whether or not the campaign was profitable and if we would do it again. It’s been a long time in the works, but actually helps us quite a bit!

Your team’s grown a lot in the past years. Congrats! What are the main challenges of such a fast scaling process? How has it affected the way you collaborate?

“The main challenge for such hyper-growth for the company has been communication for sure.”

There are so many more people to keep in the loop now and involve at various steps of projects, so good communication has been a constant work in progress. That, and keeping our culture alive as we’ve had to implement more process for the organization. We don’t want that to die because our culture is how we got here. We now rely on our wiki (we use Crystal) to record things like process documents, meeting notes, quarterly objectives, and key results – you name it, it’s in Crystal and everyone can access it.

Alright, enough of the business talk. Let’s come back to your personal productivity habits. Do you consider yourself a productive person? Are you the type to listen to podcasts or read about productivity?

Absolutely. Ever since I was little, I can remember organizing and scheduling everything around me to be as efficient as possible – it was just so satisfying for me! So now, I do the same in my professional career. I don’t know if everyone can relate, but I really want to feel like I’ve earned my money at the end of each day, so I try to start each morning with a productivity plan of attack.

I occasionally read/listen about productivity (check out Wrike’s emails and articles on productivity and project management), but one of the most stand-out presentations I heard about productivity was from last year’s Mozcon in Seattle.

You mentioned that you plan ahead for each day – do you have a specific framework, are you using a notebook or tool to keep track of your daily plan?

I’ll check in on my list of priorities at the end of each day, and at the beginning of each morning, to make sure I’m where I need to be. Then I’ll usually write down my main priorities for the day in my handy dandy notebook (because I still can’t give up my relationship with pen and paper). Throughout the day, I go into the granular in my project management tool and hoards of Google Docs.

Here’s what we’ve all been dying to find out – what are your TOP3 productivity hacks?

“Oh, man. The first productivity hack I use is a feature that I love in our chat client at work, Slack. I use the “/remind” feature for everything.”

You can /remind yourself or a team member, or even an entire channel, to do something at any time and it is oh so handy. I have to use pen and paper a lot less to remind myself about those little to-dos or quick drive-by task assignments from my peers. This way I plug it into Slack and forget about it until it reminds me at the time I set!

The second productivity hack (which isn’t really a hack at all but more of a work lifestyle choice) is to use a project management tool to manage your campaigns and day-to-day work. I cannot live without one, and it makes executing a project (especially with many people) a breeze. I personally love Wrike, but there are many PM tools out there.

Read more: Workplace Chat Is Killing Our Productivity

Pro-tip: take the time to actually assess which tool is right for you. I’ve made the mistake of just going on someone else’s recommendation, but you really need to set out your needs and expectations and find a tool that fits.

The third productivity hack is to use project templates! If you do the same campaigns multiple times a year (or even month) create templates for your projects in your project management tool. This is a huge time and energy saver because you can simply duplicate a recurring project, assign tasks to the same people, and get right to bringing in the results.

Read on: How to Apply the Grit Psychology to Your Work

I can’t help but mention that you’ve achieved a lot for your young age. What career advice would you give to someone looking to work for a company like Unbounce?

What are you talking about – I’m 65! Just kidding. I am very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had at Unbounce to grow and learn at a rapid pace. I was empowered right from the moment I joined our 6-person marketing team to go beyond what I thought I was capable of.

So my advice to someone looking to work at a place like Unbounce is to make sure you find a company that embodies the same values you do and soak it all in.

“As much as you might be impatient for that next raise or the next position you can jump into, take the time to really learn your craft and be grateful to those around you. It will pay you back tenfold one day.”

More about Chelsea: As Unbounce’s Campaign Strategist, Chelsea is one of the greatest landing page producers on her team. Her days are filled with brainstorming sessions, project mapping, and marketing campaign execution. Her passion lies in focusing on human-centered marketing and treating her audience like people, not clicks. When she’s not strategizing the day away, you can find her on stage in local Vancouver theater productions or cooking up a dinner party for too many people in her tiny apartment. Connect to her on Twitter @ChelseaScholz.