4 Things you Need to Know Before Building a Remote Marketing Team in the Philippines
Are you a founder or CEO that’s looking to establish a remote marketing team in the Philippines? Building a remote team in the Philippines is a cost effective way to produce great content that’s part of your overall marketing strategy. There is an abundance of talented content creators from bloggers to editors to social media managers with very competitive rates.
But there are a few things you should know before setting up shop.
I have been working at BeLive for three years now. BeLive is a live streaming platform that helps content creators and business owners produce TV-quality live streams on YouTube and Facebook. My role has changed quite a bit since I joined. But for the past one year and a half, I have been the full-time Marketing Manager and have a remote team of 8 people in four countries: Philippines, Bangladesh, Belarus and Ukraine.
You need someone you can trust.
Before setting up your remote marketing shop in the Philippines, it’s important to have someone you can trust in the Philippines. Before I started working at BeLive, I met the founders in Israel while I was working in another startup, Veems. Veems was a social messaging app for millennials in the Philippines.
I started managing Veems’ social media remotely from the Philippines in 2014, but eventually, I ended up working in Israel and got promoted to Head of Communications. For most of 2016, I was flying back and forth to Israel. At one point, I lived there for a few months. You can learn more about my story here.
That’s when I met and built a good relationship with the BeLive founders.
From time to time, I would help them with their Facebook Page. I even got the chance to moderate comments on BeLive’s very first live show: BeLive Weekly. Back then, I was also using BeLive to go live.
Eventually, I went back to the Philippines after the startup I was working with closed up shop. Daniel, BeLive’s CEO, called me and said if I’d be interested in working at BeLive. It was one of the best calls I’ve ever gotten in my ten-year career as a remote digital marketer!
This part took longer to write than I thought, but I think it’s extremely important to tell the story of how the relationship started and grew. There is no other way to build trust than to spend time getting to know each other.
Whether you’re a founder in Israel or Singapore, it’s important to have someone who lives locally in the Philippines that you trust enough to run your remote marketing team.
Start Small and Don’t Commit Long Term
While you might not have the luxury to go in the Philippines and spend some time to get to know the people, there are a few ways that you can find people that you can trust:
- Ask other founders if they have experience working with someone in the Philippines. They might be able to recommend other marketers that can work with you.
- Start with a small project with specific milestones. The goal is to understand whether there is a good fit between you and the marketer. Do they submit their deliverables on time? Do they communicate clearly? Are they all talk and no results?
- If the small project becomes successful, you can work on another slightly bigger project, giving the marketer more responsibilities.
Starting with a project-based setup allows is the best way to build the relationship without the two sides committing to a long-term contract. And for early-stage startups, it’s the best setup budget-wise!
How My Team Started
I started working at BeLive as a part-time social media and community manager. We eventually added two more people working part time in the team: another writer and a designer. Three years later, we’re now a team of seven people working full time. My responsibilities have changed a lot since then. Mainly, my goal is to make sure that our team hits our KPIs. Luckily, for our team members in the Philippines, we get to meet from time to time.
Understand the work culture.
Working with someone on a part-time or project basis also allows you to better understand the Filipino work culture. I have worked with dozens of CEOs from around the world, and I know the differences between cultures.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about our work culture in the Philippines.
- Filipinos are sensitive people. While it’s important to be truthful, especially in providing feedback, please do take the time to communicate with care.
- Filipinos have the tendency to say yes all the time because we don’t like to disappoint or disagree. We are known as hospitable people, but sometimes, that means that we might accept deadlines even though it seems unrealistic.
- We avoid confrontation. Sometimes, when confronted with a challenge, instead of raising the issue, there are times that people choose to leave the company instead.
While this is not true for everyone, it is still safe to keep these traits in mind. This keeps everyone in the team happy, productive, and fulfilled.
Have a strong company culture.
Even if there’s just three people in your team right now, it’s important to establish a strong company culture. This is extremely important if your long-term goal is to build a global remote team. The founders usually influence the company culture, but as your team grows bigger, you need to incorporate everyone’s input as well.
One of the initiatives that I started when our BeLive team was growing bigger was the Watercooler channel in our Slack. It’s the place to share non-work related stuff. We share about our vacations, hobbies, and family milestones. This has made our connection stronger.
I have been working remotely for ten years now, and I have to say that BeLive is the strongest global remote team I have ever worked with.
Originally published at ItsIreneChan.Com on February 18.2020.