Being a team member of a remote startup can definitely be challenging. We all know how difficult it can be to have a successful startup. So, when the element of being completely remote is involved, there is the chance of having a lot of miscommunication.
Between all the moving components, time zones, and everything else in between, finding the time to meet, that works for everyone, can be a battle of its own. Once you do find the time to meet, how do you make the conversation really count? Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there that can help a team communicate. There are the obvious answers like email and chat, but video is the true MVP in this matter.
Video really allows a team to have a natural conversation about the task at hand. Explaining a project can be really cumbersome when done by chat messaging. So, when a team utilizes video and screen sharing, the main idea can be made a lot easier for the person on the receiving end. Actually showing someone what you’re talking about, prevents a lot of project mishaps.
At Referral Rock, we use a few tools that make our remote life so much better. Not only does it help us with communicating on tasks, it helps us with team building, and keeping everyone in the know about company updates. Here are some of the video tools we use along with how we use them.
Zoom is a cloud video conferencing software that allows our team to meet with customers. It’s important to our sales department because it allows them to do live demos. Live demos provide us with a way to really drill into each customer’s specific needs and answer questions quickly. This has proven to be the easiest way for us to educate a new or potential customer of our product and showcase how they can utilize it for their referral program.
The cool thing about Zoom is that it provides each member of our sales team with their own Zoom meeting room. Zoom has a lot of perks, including mobile capability, group messaging, telephone dial-in, one touch meeting start, and good quality video. It also has a ton of integration options, so keeping track of meetings and client details is made easy. Our sales team can now easily do a demo with a client, record the entire demo and share it with the team or save it for training purposes.
Aside from demos, we use Zoom as our team meeting place. It’s great for team meetings because we can all share our screens, see each other, and of course talk. We also use Zoom video meetings for training purposes as the recording option is very convenient. Working at a remote company doesn’t mean you can’t see or talk to your team members. Zoom has allowed us to have better team meetings and team bonding experiences.
Top Zoom Features We Use:
- HD video
- Dual stream for dual screen share
- Group Messaging
- Share documents, photos, video clips
- Personal meeting ID and URL name
Another video option we use is Google Hangouts. To be honest we have quite a few channels of communication. We use Hangouts for less informal things, like day to day chat messaging and video calls. Hangouts is used for all of our impromptu calls, although there is the option to schedule if necessary.
Hangouts makes it easier to get the point across by actually asking or showing by video. Communication can sometimes go haywire via chat, between misspellings, punctuation, and long inquiries, it’s easy to become confused. Which is exactly why videos in Hangouts is awesome. It definitely helps us ease the factors of miscommunication and second guessing.
The one downside is that Hangouts doesn’t have a recording option. So if something needs to be recorded, you have to use another video capturing software. Thankfully, we hardly ever run into this issue. When we do, we have the necessary tools – we’ll go over that next.
There are a few awesome perks to using Hangouts. The first thing is that it’s easy to add other people to your video chats or calls. So it’s incredibly easy to use for group collaboration. The second thing is that you can stay connected no matter what device you may be on.
We have used Google Hangouts for one-on-one interviews in the past. You see how essential video is to our remote company?
The Hangouts Features We Use:
- HD video
- Hangouts can host up to 10 people
- Screen sharing
- Call a phone from your computer
- Can connect with non-Google users
Snagit is seriously one of the best tools ever. It allows you to capture your screen, whether it be a quick screenshot or a video. We use Snagit quite a bit, between sharing information with each other or even helping a customer out. We also use Snagit to capture those ‘need to record’ moments while using Google Hangouts.
The original reason we started to use Snagit, was to take screenshots of our product to use in our Knowledge Base articles. We’ve since found so many other ways to use it. Being a startup company we have gone through quite a few changes. When we have new updates, or when things decide to move around, we capture the experience to share. We take a quick video of the update and discuss all the essentials. It’s a very easy way to inform the entire team of the update, without having to schedule a specific time to talk about. One recent example is a recent video that was shared with the team. It discussed something new and exciting that the marketing team was diving into, Facebook ads! The marketing team shared a quick video of the new ads that were running just to fill the whole team in.
Similarly, we use Snagit to help us answer customer questions. Sometimes, it’s just easier to show someone where to find something, rather than to explain over messaging. We take a quick screenshot or video and our customers can easily see what to do or find the specific piece of information they were looking for. We think of them as mini instructional videos. Which then makes it easier for our customers to learn how to use the software, which results in our customers having awesome referral programs to share with their customers.
Snagit Features Our Team Uses:
- Records audio
- Video trimming
- Easy sharing options
- GIF creator
- Panoramic & scrolling capture
Video is important for remote businesses
Our remote team is pretty spread out, so we rely heavily on video to communicate. Using video is great for discussing our everyday tasks, but it’s also awesome for sharing fun stuff too. It’s hard to get to know everyone on the team when you’re in a remote setting. But through the use of video and video sharing, we have the opportunity to get to know each other.
We often share pictures or short videos with each other of the fun things we are doing. I can see us having virtual happy hours in the future, or using video to do birthday videos for each other. Just because we are a remote team we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves from creating opportunities and memories with each other.