Trust Battery, Writing is Thinking, No. #1 Tip for Writing SEO Tickets
3-2-1 Monday - Edition #6
Welcome to the 3-2-1 Monday newsletter.
Every Monday morning, start your week with the following:
💡 3 short ideas about working with devs and product teams.
📰 Two articles to explore to help be more effective with product and dev teams.
❓ One question for you to think about this week while working.
To receive articles like this, please subscribe to The SEO Sprint 👇.
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💡 3 Short Ideas
Short ideas on how to improve working with devs and product teams.
1) Self-interest depletes trust
When you work across multi-disciplinary teams, it is important to be a team player.
The reason is simple: trust is the energy that powers team collaboration.
When you engage in behaviour that reduces trust between you and other team members, then decisions and collaboration take longer as they don’t trust you 📉.
If you engage in behaviour that increases the trust between you and other team members, the decisions and collaboration are much faster 📈.
This concept of depleting and charging is called The Trust Battery. A mental model created by Shopify founder and CEO Tobi Lütke. It is a mental model for how to think about relationships with people.
How can you ensure you’re investing in the behaviour that helps charge developers, product managers, and business stakeholders trust batteries?
I’ve been using a framework to help me build trust within teams called The Trust Equation. it was created by Charles H. Green, who founded TrustAdvisor.
The trust equation is broken down into four variables to measure trustworthiness:
💳 Credibility - How credible are you when you suggest recommendations?
🦾 Reliability - How reliable are you when you say you will deliver something?
🦺 Intimacy - How safe does a person feel about speaking their mind in front of you?
🤳 Self-orientation - Are you focused on their interests or just your own?
I use the mental models of the Trust Battery and The Trust Equation to help me ensure I’m behaving in a way that helps charge everyone’s batteries. This helps allows decisions to be made quickly and collaboration to be smoother when I work with different teams.
As a product manager at DeepCrawl, it is critical to charge the trust batteries of other teams, or everything would take a lot longer.
If you’re wondering how to charge people's batteries when you engage with them, ask yourself these questions:
💳 Credibility - Are the SEO recommendations you’re putting forward feasible and viable? Do you have evidence they will drive more SEO traffic or revenue? Did you also take into account the target audience and buyers’ journey? Are these recommendations solving a business problem?
🦾 Reliability - Do you show up for meetings on time and with an agenda? Do you send around actions after a meeting? Do the projects you work on get results? Do you clarify work when it is asked for?
🦺 Intimacy - Do you learn to sh*t the fuck up and listen in meetings? Do you schedule regular calls and listen to others’ problems and how SEO can help solve them? Do you help others in your team?
🤳 Self-orientation - Do you align SEO projects with other team roadmaps or projects? Do you submit SEO recommendations or tickets? Do you help set up processes or documents that help make other teammates’ lives easier?
2) Writing is thinking
Do you want to know a cheat code for working in tech teams?
Learn the habit of writing because writing is thinking.
The act of writing helps you structure ideas and crystallise your thinking around a topic. When you write it forces you to properly structure your ideas, think them through and communicate them to an audience.
This is actually one of the reasons I created The SEO Sprint newsletter. It forces me to write down and communicate what is already rattling around in my head.
When you work on solving business problems, writing helps you take raw data and then them through. This is especially important when you are working with developers, or planning a big release. You need to make sure that your idea is thought through.
I use three writing templates to level up my writing when communicating with tech and business stakeholders:
⚠️ Problem statements: I use problem statements to think through business problems, identify key issues, and align SEO initiatives or tasks with the wider business strategy.
💼 PRDs / 1-pagers: I use Product Requirement Documents (PRDs) / 1-pagers to create briefs around SEO features before talking them through with the development team.
📝 Memos: I use memos to think through a problem and communicate ideas quickly to stakeholders, who can then quickly understand a recommendation or piece of information.
3) No. 1 Tip for Writing SEO Tickets
Nobody likes writing developer tickets, but they're a critical hand-off point.
If you provide abstract tickets, then developers can misunderstand them or not have the same mental model of what is needed when the work is completed.
A little trick I use to write effective SEO tickets is to start at the bottom and work my way up.
When writing dev tickets I always do them in this order:
🤨 Scenarios: I create concrete examples and use scenarios to showcase the outcome once the ticket is implemented.
✅ Acceptance Criteria: The pass or fail statements will be used to judge if the work can be marked as “done”, and a lot easier to write based on concrete examples.
👑 Title: The ticket title will appear in the dev backlog, and it is important to make it clear when scanning a list of tickets in a Jira backlog.
📚 Resources: The links to designs, data or 1-pagers that help the developer complete the task (I don’t link to further reading material.
🗒️ Description: The traditional As a….I want to….So that… statement is written at the start of every Jira ticket and becomes easier once you ground yourself in examples.
This goes against the grain of writing traditional user stories starting with the Connextra card template (As a….I want to….So that…) but does mean that I ground myself in reality.
Instead of starting with abstract statements (Description → Acceptance Criteria), I write concrete examples defining “success” (Scenario → Acceptance Criteria → Title → Description).
So, if you’re struggling when writing tickets, start by grounding yourself in examples and start from the bottom up.
I’ve written more about writing effective SEO tickets in more detail 👇
📰 2 Articles to Explore
Articles to explore to help be more effective with product and dev teams.
Why product pitches fail
by Linda Z
“Even if your audience isn’t as colorful as Jobs, persuading skeptical leadership, and getting your team excited is tricky business. Let’s expose three fatal mistakes, and what to do instead.”
The top 5 things PMs should know about engineering
by Lenny Rachitsky, Justin Gage
“There’s an old debate about how technically minded product managers should be. On the one hand, understanding your developers, their process, and their work is part and parcel of shipping products effectively.”
❓ 1 Question For You
A question for you to think about this week while working.
How do you charge the trust batteries of people you work with?
Do you have trouble getting SEO projects executed?
Then check out my course designed for SEO professionals to think like product managers and use tried-and-tested techniques to get projects executed 👇.
How did I do this week?
If you enjoyed reading this article, then consider the following:
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