Are you interested in hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) but don’t know where to start? Do you know how to hire and retain a VA? If you’re ready to scale your business using virtual assistants, Nathan Hirsch is your man. In this episode of the Seven Figure Agency, Nathan answers all of these questions—and so much more.
Nathan Hirsch founded FreeeUp (Now FreeUp) before selling it in 2019. Now, he is the co-founder of OutsourceSchool—a business designed to help entrepreneurs learn how to hire, retain, and grow their businesses with virtual assistants. He’s a master of the craft and I’d label his marketing strategies as genius—be sure to listen to this interview.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:10] How Nathan became an entrepreneur
- [4:30] The growth and acquisition of the business
- [11:22] Podcasting as a marketing tool
- [14:07] How do you become a guest on podcasts?
- [16:03] Forming relationships with the podcast host
- [19:01] Developing an affiliate program is key
- [24:25] Strategic alliances/joint ventures
- [28:38] 3 Entrepreneur conversations per day
- [30:45] Building and retaining virtual teams
- [34:57] Using the Philippines for virtual staff
- [39:00] Finding and training quality talent
- [42:32] Set up communication channels
- [45:35] What Nathan’s hiring process looks like
- [49:40] Cracking the VA Code course
- [54:44] Diversify your business within reason
How Nathan Hirsch made $12 million
Nathan Hirsch knew from a young age that he was going to take a different career path than his parents. He had always embraced an entrepreneurial spirit. In college, he launched a business where he sold textbooks. He was so successful that his college bookstore sent him a cease-and-desist letter because they couldn’t compete. So he switched gears and eventually landed on selling baby products on Amazon, making millions of dollars—while still in college.
Eventually, he and a business partner launched FreeUp—a business that vets virtual assistants, matches them to you, and offers 24/7 support to their customers. When they took it to market, people loved it. After building the business for 4 years and making close to $12 million the final year, they sold it for a profit. How did they become successful so quickly?
Nathan believes it was two reasons:
- They hired rockstar VAs to run the business and had extremely low turnover.
- They had a well documented and well-written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). It was easy for anyone to recreate exactly what they did for the business every single day.
So what did the acquisition process look like? How did they advertise? What systems and processes did they have in place that led to $12 million in revenue? Listen to hear details!
The Podcast Outreach Formula
I’m an advocate for creating a podcast for your business and believe they’re an excellent marketing tool. Nathan flipped the script—instead of launching a podcast for his business right away, he focused on getting featured on podcasts. He recommends you find podcasts in your niche (which he had a VA source) and reach out.
It’s a great way to build relationships, grow your network, and get in front of your target audience. It’s also great for SEO and backlinks. Start small, and try to be a guest on smaller shows. Eventually, a snowball effect will occur and you’ll be able to be featured on more well-known podcasts. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Being a guest on a podcast is a FREE revenue stream you don’t want to miss.
But how do you get ON podcasts? Nate recommends creating and sending a template of questions and responses to top questions you could be asked and including it with your bio. It shows you’re organized and makes you stand out from the crowd. You should also find a way to create value for the host. Keep listening as Nathan explains this process in detail!
Why Nathan uses the Philippines for Virtual Staff
Everyone assumes that businesses outsource to the Philippines because of the cost. After all, the minimum wage there is $12 a day. Nathan notes that while price is a factor—and helps you scale your business—it’s NOT why he hires VAs from the Philippines. In the US, if you pay someone $15 an hour, it will never be enough. They’ll always want another raise. In the Philippines, if you pay someone $5 an hour and give them a raise to $10 an hour they’ll stay with you for life.
Filipinos are also fluent in English and consume the same media as the US (movies, books, video games, etc.). Nathan’s last point is that Filipinos are a family-oriented culture and they often live in large family units. If you cultivate a culture in your business where you treat each other like family—and treat them well—they won’t want to leave.
Finding and training quality talent
During the process of hiring a new VA, Nathan assesses them based on the CARE method: Communication, Attitude, Red Flags, and Experience. If they match up in these core areas and are a good fit for the business, they move on to the next step (he talks about this in detail). Nathan then walks through the SICK method, which covers: Schedule, Issues, Communication, and Culture. At the end of the interview, he gives them a very clear and easy out if the VA doesn’t think they’d be a good fit. These simple 20-30 minute conversations can mean the difference between a good or a bad hire.
Nathan emphasizes that you MUST value your time at the highest possible level. That’s why you need a detailed and defined SOP. When you first hire a VA, you give them your SOP and make yourself available for questions instead of training them one-on-one for weeks. At the end of the week, you test them on the content. If they pass, you hire them. If they fail, you pay them for their time and part ways. It costs a little bit of money—but doesn’t waste any of your time.
How do you build a good SOP? How do you track VA performance? Nathan goes into these topics in detail. He also talks about building an amazing affiliate program, why he reaches out to 3 entrepreneurs a day, and the importance of the onboarding process. This episode is PACKED with useful information for agency owners. Don’t miss it!
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Nathan Hirsch
Connect With Josh Nelson
- Josh’s Coaching Page on Facebook
- The Agency Success Facebook Group
- Seven Figure Agency on YouTube
- Josh on Twitter: @joshnelsonimc
- Josh on LinkedIn
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This is the seven figure agency podcast discover the strategies and techniques to grow a highly successful and profitable digital marketing agency with your host, Josh Nelson.
What’s up guys? Hope you’re doing awesome. Thanks for joining me on this episode of the seven figure agency podcast. Today I am super excited to be joined by Nathan Hersh. Nathan, thanks so much for joining us today.
Yeah, thanks for having me. Excited to be here.
So if you don’t know Nathan, he he is the former founder, owner, CEO of free up calm one of the top virtual talent organizations on the market, right?
Yeah, we’re a marketplace for pre vetted virtual assistants and freelancers.
You’ll talk more about that and he has been able to grow that sell it had tremendous success. So I’m excited to learn more about that and kind of the journey along that path. And, you know, he’s one of the top leaders in terms of how to grow and build and manage a virtual team. And so I think we’re going to get some great insights out of out of Nathan today and could not be more excited to have you with us.
Yeah, should be fun. I love talking about scaling businesses hire remote virtual assistants should be a lot of fun.
Excellent. So let’s just start out kind of tell us a little bit about your background and kind of how you got to where you are today.
Yeah, so growing up my parents were both teachers and I kind of grew up with the mentality that I would go to school, go to college, get a real job and, and work for 30 years and retire and that’s what they did. They retired right now they’re traveling the world. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I knew at a really young age that that’s not what I wanted to do. My parents always used to make me get these summer jobs, summer internships, I was working 15 to 20 hours a week and then eventually full time before college, learning everything about sales and business and managing people. But I learned that I just hated having a boss. So by the time I got to college, I kind of looked at college as a ticking clock. I had four years to start my own business or I was going to go into the real world and be miserable. I started off buying and selling people’s textbooks. Competing with my school bookstore giving people more money than the bookstore, I’d sell them to these online distributors, one of which was Amazon. And eventually my college sent me a cease and desist letter because I was competing with their bookstore. And that was I didn’t want to get out of school. So I pivoted, and I found Amazon. I thought it was cool that I could have this 24 seven storefront and I did a lot of experimenting with all different products before finally coming across baby products for whatever reason, I could get baby products to sell really well on Amazon. So I’m selling hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of dollars of baby products on Amazon scale this business really big. And I’m struggling, I’m working 20 hours a day. I’m balancing social life fraternity college, and I start hiring college kids to help me out and I quickly learned how unreliable college kids were. They were drinking and smoking weed on the job. I had to knock on their door to get them to show up for work. Besides one of them, Connor Gilligan who ended up being my partner, my business partner for the past 10 years. So we together tried to find other ways to hire and grow this business. So we turned to the remote hiring world, the Upwork the fibers, and we found some pretty good VA s a few v A’s that are still with me to this day. But we hated the process. We hated posting a job getting 50 people to apply, interviewing them one by one, and we kept looking for something faster, something better. And one day when we couldn’t find it, we said you know what, let’s build it ourselves. And that’s really when the idea of free up came about a platform that pre vetted vas and freelancers before they get on the platform, match it up quickly, so you didn’t have to go through a lot of applicants 24 seven support in case people had even the smallest issue and no turnover protection where if someone quits, they cover replacement costs, and we took this to market with $5,000 the crummiest software that you could possibly imagine. And people liked it. They liked the support, they liked the vas. They hated the software we eventually reinvested in that and and we scaled that from a $5,000 investment to a million to 5 million to 9 million to 12 million in year two and and we were acquired at the end of last year, which was a whole nother story. And now I’m working on my new venture with Connor outsource school teaching people how we did it because we really ran this eight figure business with me him and 35 VPS in the Philippines, no office, no us employees and we had really good systems and processes on how to interview onboard train and manage VA. So that’s the short long version of how I went from books to baby products to free up to now outsource cool.
That’s awesome, man. So congratulations on your success and kind of you know, figuring this stuff out. I don’t know about you guys, if you’re watching this live in the group, give a thumbs up if you’d like to figure out how you can run a $12 million business with 35 virtual employees. Imagine your overhead costs was was low and that’s why you were able to be attractive for a buyout.
Yeah, I think there are two things. Thank you first of all, but I there were two things that made us attractive. I mean, one was awesome people I mean, these are rock star vas. They weren’t all making five bucks an hour, some of them were but we had a few team leaders that were making 10 to 20 bucks an hour. And I mean, our slps were the other thing. I mean, we had 50, page slps for parts of our business. So when the buyers came around and they said, hey, how does customer service work? How does billing work? Not only did we say these people run it, run it, but we said, here’s exactly what they do every single day. And for every single situation, very well documented. And we also just had very low turnover, those same people that started with us in year one were with us through year four and beyond, we we took really good care of them, we gave them $500,000 from the sale that to make sure they were taken care of and we made sure their jobs are secure, and they get their bonus and the race program for still there. So it was all about treating them well while also having really good systems and processes.
That’s awesome. I definitely want to pick your brain. I’m sure everyone watching wants to pick your brain on how you were able to get that talent, train that talent recruit that you know, and retain all of those team members. But I do want to talk a little bit about the growth and acquisition of the business and we talked about that being an OK topic to go into a little bit. Was it your intent on the front end to grow this and sell it? Or how did that? How did that come about?
It’s funny. I mean, we didn’t go into 2019 saying, Hey, we need to unload this business by the end of the year. I think just because we’re logical people, there’s so much there’s only so many ways you run a business right? You either run it forever you run into the ground, you get investor which I personally don’t ever want to do, because I don’t like feeling like I’m working for someone else. Or you sell it like those are give or take those are really the only option. So I think it was always there. We always built the business to be sellable. We didn’t want the business to completely run by us for for a lot of different reasons. And I think that helped us but what ended up happening was one of our clients reached out to us I called the hot they’re actually a pretty big SEO agency. They’re located in Tampa like an hour and a half for me and they reached out they said, Hey, we love free out. We’ve been using free up for a year. We want to get into the VA and freelancers face, we Don’t want to start it from scratch, would you be interested in being acquired? And I think like any other thing that comes to our desk, we heard them out. They had a lot of questions. We had a lot of questions for them. And they ended up coming back with an offer that we felt like was more than fair, if not aggressive. And from there, the due diligence began. I mean, they had a million questions for us. And we had just as many questions for them. We wanted to know, every single company they had bought in the past success, the failure, we want to know how they treated people on their internal team, we got to go to their office and meet their team and and see all the awards that they’ve won for best Employee of the Year and Tampa. We want to know what their plans were for this business because we didn’t want to sell it to someone who’s going to drive it into the ground and how they were going to treat our partners and clients. We didn’t want them to ruin our relationship. So they were obviously happy with the due diligence. Due diligence on us. I mentioned the slps and the people and, and we were very happy with them. I mean, we we looked at it as someone who had a lot more experience growing businesses from 10 million to 30 million than we did, they would treat our team well and and really Free up even better. And I mentioned we took care of our internal team and made sure that they were taken care of because they were a big part of growing it. And we really at the end, before we sign on the dotted line, we said, was this a win win win for everyone? And because it was, it’s really tough to turn down a win for everyone, you know?
No doubt, that’s awesome. So in this case, it was just run a world class organization building successfully have the systems and procedures and you know, they kind of reached out to you saying, hey, this, you know, this looks like something we’d be interested in acquiring. You weren’t necessarily shopping out in the marketplace.
Yeah. And I think the other side of it is we did a really good job on the organic side. We really didn’t run ads for the four years that we did $1,000 a month retargeting ads, so nothing crazy. But we had a foundation. We had our affiliate program, so anyone that referred clients to us, you got 50 cents for every hour that we build to that client forever. Not only was it on the site, it was in our software. We mentioned it on every phone call when I had VA s that were taking phone calls. They still have now they would tell us At the end of every single call, we train them to do it. And then off of that we went on podcasts which are great for SEO. They’re evergreen. We network with lots of different entrepreneurs consistently every single day. It’s the first thing I do every morning is reach out to three new entrepreneurs. We form content partnerships with everyone in the spaces we want to go into, we want to go after Amazon sellers. We went to Amazon software companies, we said, Hey, you don’t offer VA, we don’t offer Amazon software. Let’s do some guest posts together some videos, some email blasts. Then we went after micro influencers and said, Hey, we’re going to take really good care of your community, will you promote us and it all kind of goes together the influencers might want to be affiliates, the partnerships might lead to the podcast and networking might lead to the affiliates or whatever. But we had this really good base really good SEO, the free up websites ranked really highly, which is not my expertise. It’s actually my business partners. But I think the organic fundamentals of the business, gave them a lot of room to say hey, if we run ads if we add them This marketing strategy on top of it, there’s a lot of potential.
That’s that’s killer. So just a couple things there that you said that I really kind of want to drill down on, because I think they have ramifications for, you know, the agencies that are listening. So again, it was just like zero to over 12 million and what period of time, four years? Four years phenomenal Thumbs Up Guys if that’s if that’s impressive. And only about $1,000 in ad spend most of it organically based if I heard that, right,
yeah, almost all of it and even the thousand dollars a month that was really just a year for the previous years before that. We probably weren’t even spending $1,000 a month.
Unbelievable. Wow. So what I observed that you did extremely well was, like you said, getting on podcasts and forming joint ventures and creating kind of like a flywheel method where every client you got then went out and helped you get more clients through affiliate strategies, right?
Yeah, even It was cool. People would be like, Oh, I heard about you in a conference in China and I’d never even been to China and people were talking about free up and then on the flip side, you get over All these partners who are just constantly promoting you every few months, however you set it up. And we actually have a have a partnership playbook that we’re coming out with that teaches people how to do it. But I think a lot of people get caught up and I need to go find leads, I need to go find leads instead of setting up systems and processes where people are constantly promoting you and leads are constantly coming in.
No doubt, powerful power. So I’d like to unpack that a little bit. The like the first piece being the podcast part, because a lot of us talk about let’s go start a podcast and let’s position ourselves as the expert and let’s interview people and let’s put out great content. I think on your front. A lot of times you figured out how to get as the guest on podcasts. Can you talk a little bit about that strategy and how you go about that?
Yeah, so I think that you’re 100% right. A lot of people are focused on having their own podcast and that’s great. I personally tend to do that a little bit later in the business not from day one. We started our podcast around the three, three and a half year mark and it was great. We got in with a lot of influencers that wouldn’t have talked to me otherwise that came on our show and To lead relationships, but our biggest thing was getting on podcasts. And we actually just launched a course on how we deal with VA is called the podcast outreach formula. And the idea is that there’s tons of podcasts, you have to find ones in your niche. Ideally, you’d wake up every morning to a VA providing you a list of podcasts for you to reach out to. And it’s a game of success and failure, right, just like sales, you’re gonna get rejected, you can’t take it personally. And you need to be able to show value, you need to be able to follow up and I had podcasts that it took me three years to eventually get on. But there are certain best practices from showing up with a story from being able to provide actual value and not sell. And then there’s other stuff that people don’t think about some people they’ll show up for a podcast, record the podcast and leave, instead of getting to know the podcast host and using that as an easy way to network and build a relationship and that could lead to a client a partnership, it could lead to them referring you to other podcasts. It’s good for SEO and backlinks like like we mentioned before, and you never know I’ve gone on huge podcasts that have been Haven’t resulted in any people signing up to free up. And I’ve gone on very small niche podcasts that for whatever reason, they were my target client and it led to a ton of great relationships. And there’s also that snowballing effect where Hey, if you want to go on the biggest podcasts in the world can’t just pitch them from day one, you have to have that snowball where you get on smaller smaller which leads to bigger and and go on and and you can use them to continue to pitch bigger and bigger podcasts. Or if you want to go speak on stages or go to virtual summits, you have those in your back pocket. So a lot of it’s taking advantage of opportunities that come up but having that consistent reaching out a podcast if you’re not going on a podcast a week, it’s such a free revenue stream that you’re missing out on.
I love it. Yeah, I love it and your program the the podcast. reforma, is that what it’s called?
Yeah, podcasters formula. It teaches you how to train a VA so that you wake up every day to a list of podcasts and we also go into my podcasts best strategies that I’ve learned over the past four years.
Yeah, I purchased that. I was like hey, that I think That’s kind of one of the places we started to interact with each other. I was like, that sounds pretty cool. I want to learn more about that. And it is a great, great program. Can you give like the cliff notes? Like, what are some, like one or two, like really good tips somebody could take to figure out how to get themselves placed on these podcasts.
Yeah, so my biggest tip is you create a canned response in a notepad with all your canned responses on it your bio, every single social media like the answer to top questions I have, what are the questions that hosts will like want to ask? Or they’ll say, hey, what are like the top five questions I can ask you. So you have all this on a notepad and we lay it out there for a cheat sheet. And as you’re going through and you’re pitching podcasts, you’re going to get all these different questions thrown at you, and you just have them ready to go. And not only do you make these better over time, depending on road responses, you get it. It shows how organized you are. And that’s what a lot of hosts want to get. I want to see a lot of them they get pitched all the time. They get pitched constantly. So you need that way to stand out having things ready to go showing that you’ve been there before and you’ve done that. A lot of it is training the virtual system And giving them feedback on say, hey, that podcast is a good fit for XYZ, that podcast doesn’t even have guests like we shouldn’t be pitching those types of podcasts. So really going through and spending that first week with your VA and we’re not talking a killer amount of time, we have a good SLP that you can give them to get them started. But you got to give them feedback. If you are finding success with agency podcasts and not with Amazon podcasts, they have to know that so you’re working as a team with your virtual assistant to point them in the right direction. So over time, you just wake up every day to find podcasts and you either pitch them yourself or have your VA do it depending on your preference. I love it. Yeah.
So if that sounds interesting to you, I mean this this training that he’s put together I think is unlike anything I’ve seen, it’s very step by step. Basically you can hand it off to it to a VA to go help you find the right podcasts and then helps you get together the the right. The right messaging, to position yourself even gives tips on how to how to show up to the podcast and add value and kindness. out of the park. So I highly, highly recommend that as it relates to the forming of the relationship aspect, because I think you’re right, I think getting on the podcast is one part of the equation. But trying to figure out how to you parlay that into a strategic alliance into a long term business relationship takes a little bit more thought it takes a little bit more energy. Can you talk about some tips on that front? Like, how do you how do you make that work, whether you’re the guest, or you’re actually bringing on somebody that you want to form a relationship with on your podcast?
Yeah. And it’s very similar to my networking strategy. So every day I wake up to and I reach out to three new entrepreneurs, and I’m not trying to pitch them. I’m not trying to sell them and I’m trying to learn more about them, learn about their story, learn about their business, very similar. On the podcast side, every podcast host has a business, find out who their ideal client is find out what you can do to help them. It could be a connection you made. I’ve had podcasts I’ve went on and I’ve said they say hey, I go on podcasts, you know, any podcasts and I say what if I give you a list of 300 podcasts I’ve been on in the people’s contact information and boom, huge value add right there. And they’re going to remember that so I think a podcast, we get so sucked into, like, what can what can they do for me, for me, me, me. But when you turn that attention either before or after, and make sure that you show up a little earlier, stick around a little late to have those conversations. That’s how you build those relationships. And if you’re someone that goes to conferences, or, or as part of different mastermind groups, like you’re gonna run into the same people again, and those relationships are going to matter, and they’re going to lead to better and better things.
Amazing insight, guys. I mean, hopefully, you’re taking notes here, you kind of got the concept here, like don’t just have guests don’t just do the interview, that’s probably 20% of the time, maybe more, but the relationship that you can have with that influencer that’s putting on a podcast, or that’s high enough status that you want to have them on your podcast. That’s really where the money can be made. So amazing tips. Thank you so much for sharing some of those those cool insights.
Yeah, no, no problem. I have one more is that just amazing? Make make sure that you take really good care of people’s communities. I mean, that’s how we were able to work with really high level influencers that sometimes took me years to pitch is because I came up with creative ways to show them that we were going to add value, or that we were already taking care to their community. There was one person who had a podcast and he wouldn’t have me on. And I eventually found out that a bunch of people who listen to his podcasts or in his community, were on free up. So I got testimonials from all of them. And I said, Hey, here are people that are already listening, your podcasts are already in your community, they’re already using my service. Like You have my word, I’m going to take really good care of all the people that you send me, and you’re going with that message instead of just, Hey, I’ll give you affiliate money. That’s a lot more powerful.
Yeah, no doubt find the find the value add, like most most people, they want to influence their community and want to help their community. And so if you can align to that mission, even more than just helping them make a couple extra bucks. That’s the that’s the place to focus. Great, great insight. Okay, so so the organic piece of getting on podcasts Powerful play, the only thing you talked about was the referral program and trying to figure out how you can get other people to be incentivized to bring your services to their local community or to the people they already know and have relationships with. Can you talk a little bit about that? And more importantly, how it might apply to a digital marketing agency?
Yeah, and every marketing agency can can take advantage of that. And and I almost like cringed a little bit sometimes when people tell me about their referral programs. And not that they’re, they might be good programs, but it’s either not clear or there’s no easy way to track it. Or it’s clear, they haven’t told a lot of people about it, or it’s kind of just like this mentioned here or there that you can tell that they’re not consistently saying, and it’s one of the easy things to do. I mean, it’s probably one of the better business decisions I ever made in the first three months of starting a business and we not only had the website, we had it inside the software, we would tell every single person about it, like I said, and we had like cam scripted lines of how to describe the affiliate program that we were able to taught the VA so it’s a big Big thing to continue to have a good place for people to reference it to make it clear to make it something enticing. I think some people, they do it a little bit too low. I mean, we paid out $250,000 last year in affiliate money, that’s a lot of 50 cents. Does that add up over time? And that’s because we were very consistent. Not one person talked to me over the past four years unless I’d already talked to them before that didn’t hear about our affiliate program. And that consistency is key. And making sure you actually pay the people when you say that you will.
Yeah, so I’m 50 cents on every on every hour. What as a percentage, like if you were an agency, what would you suggest an agency give us a percentage of like a monthly retainer? That would be comparable? Let’s say?
Yeah, great question. I’ve never run an agency. So I’m not sure how my input is valuable there. And I think every business model is a little bit different, but I think somewhere in that 10 to 40%. I think that when you get more towards courses from what and I’m new to that space as well, but more than that, 30 to 50% is normal. I have to imagine the agency is slightly below that. But I would imagine that people might not find the five to 10, or five to 15%. too attractive. And the reoccurring is really the key, hey, you bring me a client, you’re going to get 20% every month that I build them going forward. And you might think, oh, man, I’m going to lose 20%. But you’re getting all these people who are sending you business that’s really, really valuable. And again, creating that system where you’re just getting leads coming to you, when you don’t have to wake up every day and just Hustle, Hustle, Hustle unless you want to.
Yeah, I think it’s an important thing to think about how you can put together a referral strategy of some sort. You know, I think in an agency space, you might not want to go that high, maybe somewhere in like the 5%. If you’re going to do monthly residual, just because the margins are different. But, you know, the idea of having some type of reason for your clients, the people you interact with, to be able to refer you and bring clients into your world is an extremely powerful concept.
Yeah, I agree. I mean, it There’s really no reason not to have an affiliate program that really needs to be the basis for everything. And you’re going to get podcast hosts and influencers that don’t care about affiliates. And that’s fine, too. I have worked with plenty of them. And you add value in different ways, or you donate the affiliate money to charity, or whatever you want to do. But there’s going to be a significant amount of people that care about that affiliate money, and even some of your best clients that they’ll go out and they’ll tell their mastermind, no tell their community about you. Just because they’re getting that 5%, kickback.
Right? And so to the agency, or to even to the business owners thinking, Man, man that that will add up and that’s a lot of money. Um, how do you how do you justify that?
Yeah, I mean, you need to do the math up front and make sure like, if we had if we had made it, so 50 cents an hour is gonna absolutely kill us, then it probably would have been one of the worst business decisions I ever made. So you have to spend a little bit of that time making sure it makes sense, but you have to think of this is new revenue, new clients that you wouldn’t otherwise get. I wasn’t going to go to China and go to that conference and get that person to sign up. Free up. So you have to be looking at as new business, what will you pay for new business? And if you’re gonna run a Facebook ad, or you’re gonna pay for sponsorship, or even pay to get on a podcast those exists to, then you have to factor that into, hey, would it be cheaper to just have an affiliate? Would it be less effort? Would it be even less risky because you can go to a conference and sponsor it and get zero people to sign up? I’ve done that before too. When the affiliate money you’re only paying if you’re making money, so do the math, make sure it makes sense, but you should be able to set it up. So it’s a win win win for everyone.
No doubt. Yeah, I think if you if you just consider your client acquisition costs, right, and you start to say, if we were advertising via Facebook, to get people to opt in to get them to schedule a strategy session, you know, you’re looking at your direct mail call or whatever the other advertising costs you have, you know, that amount that you pay out in, in an affiliate program or in a referral strategy is going to wind up usually being less than what you would spend an advertising expense.
Yeah, and there’s that personal relationship factor of I mean, you run a Facebook ad, someone just comes to your site, maybe you build a relationship with them over time. But if you’re working with Bob, and Bob’s a good customer of yours, and he knows about your affiliate program, and he goes and refers Joe and sends a personal email saying, Hey, Joe, meet Nate, he takes really good care of me running Facebook ads, will you hook him up? I have that personal relationship that I can play off to land that client which we did a really good job at free up, and yeah, you pay out that affiliate money, but if you assume you treat them well, both Bob and Joe are probably gonna be pretty loyal to your business going forward, then you can tell Joe about your affiliate program and continue to snowball it
hundred percent your close rates gonna be higher because it came from a personal reference and your the rotation of that client because it was someone that came from a trusted source is probably going to wind up being better as well. So some really cool insights on on that front. So that’s that’s kind of the the client referral play. I think you’ve done a lot in terms of strategic alliances or joint ventures as well. Can you talk a little bit about those and kind of how you’ve approached getting those types of JV relationships.
Yeah, so we use a virtual assistant to do lead generation for different people in our space. And we really look for people that don’t overlap at all. It’s always awkward and you reach out to someone and they have some kind of competing product or anything like that, even though I build relationships with other so called competitors in the space, but you want people who have that same target market, that same target customer. And ideally, you want to cause a company that’s bigger than you are, are the same size as you are. Because you can only handle so many partnerships, you also want to set it up. So it’s very organized and easy for them. The work should be on your end. And that’s why I love having an organized VA running everything because you reach out to someone, let’s say you set up a networking call or you’ve been on their podcast, and then you can be like, oh, by the way, I have this partnership program. It’s already there. You’re already set up, you’re already showing that you’re organized. I have this partnership program. I think you’d be a good fit. We have the same customers. This is how it works. Every six months, I’m going to reach out to you my VA is going to reach out to you and we’re going to decide what we want to do together. And if you’re too busy, no big deal. There’s no contract. We’re going to, we can always push it back a month if things are going well and you want to do more than every six months, we can always increase the frequency. But we’ll reach out and we’ll say, Hey, what did we do last time? Okay, we did a blog post, let’s do a special email blast with a coupon off to your customers or let’s do a podcast together. Let’s do a YouTube video, let’s do a webinar could be a conference or I’ve done meetups with partners at at different conferences where we sponsor a happy hour together. Once we once we knew that, hey, like this is actually converting really well when we’re emailing each other’s lists. So you can start off small with just those blog posts and those backlinks and build it up from there and then tweak with the frequency. It also comes down to how many how much manpower woman power you have on your team to produce this content. If you’re a little bit smaller, and you only have one blog writer, and one person does your emails or whatever, maybe you do it once a year, maybe you only have five partners, maybe you’re a little bit picky. With free up we were fortunate enough where we were making good amount of money. We had a whole marketplace at our disposal of freelancers to write content so anyone that that seemed like a good thing. Partner within reason, we could just add them to the list and every six months every quarter, depending on the frequency of their sides, we’d reach out to them. And that is just a fantastic way to just keep those leads coming in. It also shows that you work with other people in your space. If you’re in the Facebook ad space, and people on your list are getting emails like, Hey, we just partnered with this company, we just partnered with this company, that’s going to add a lot to your reputation and your brand.
No doubt, like amazing insights. Guys, give me a thumbs up if you’re watching this live and like you took away at least a couple things that you can go back and implement in your agency. You know, the whole concept of having a referral strategy, the concept of getting placed on podcasts, the concept of looking for joint ventures and getting clients to come to you. I think it’s pretty, pretty amazing that you were able to grow to 12 million in four years with a primarily those three strategies, right?
Yeah, and networking was a big part of it. I continue to this day, just networking to Renu are reaching out to three new entrepreneurs every single day. It’s just consistent. It’s easy. And yeah, the influencers, the podcasts, and just putting out content, anyone that follows me on Facebook or LinkedIn, put out three pieces of content every day, morning, afternoon, night, I plan it out on Sundays, doesn’t take five hours of my time, it probably takes an hour of me writing in and then posting and making sure the content is consistent, and it’s in line with your message. And again, all these things feed in with each other. You might connect with a podcast host and then they follow you on Facebook or LinkedIn and they start consuming your content, then you’re on top of mind when they go and talk to someone at a conference and they refer you and they get the affiliate money like it all. It all really plays together.
Hundred percent. Can you talk about the three entrepreneur conversations per day a little bit?
Yeah, so I reached out two to three new people. I try to not make it like super random it for example, I might go and have a VA look at who else has been on your podcast and I’ll reach out to them. I’ll say hey, I was just on this podcast Do you want to do I’d love to set up a networking call. And I mean, you’re only going to get so many kinds of responses. Most Entrepreneurs are super nice. And they’re gonna say, Yeah, I would love to assume you didn’t pitch them, some are going to be too busy and you follow up later, other than will be mean and rude. And you just got to be more professional and move on. And that happens. So again, if you try to pitch them, if you try to do those LinkedIn messages where it’s like clear sale, that’s not gonna work. But my approach is, Hey, this is my business would love to connect. And if they ask, why are we connecting about I just tell them, Hey, no agenda, would love to hear more about you and what you’re working on would love to tell you more about me and what I’m working on. And if there’s some way to work together, help each other. I’m all about it. And if not, it’s always good meeting other people in the space. And most people are going to respond well to that. And yeah, you talk to them. And if you realize they would be a good partner, or they’d be a good fit for your podcast, or you have a good connection for them. You do that you try to add value and other times you just talk to someone for 1015 minutes, they’re not long phone calls, and you move on and maybe you connect with them on social media and it leads to something down the line and it’s one of those things that you don’t feel it right away. You don’t you don’t like wake up a week later and you’re like oh, Wow, like I made all these connections. But then two years later, all of a sudden your network has exploded. And you’re always like one or two connections away from partners or influencers that you really want to work with.
Very cool, very, very cool stuff. I mean, takes consistency. It takes follow through, but I can definitely see how that snowballs over time. And it’s clearly worked well for you in your business.
Yeah. And honestly, it takes me 10 minutes every single day. It’s not like a five hour thing. I mean, and the phone calls are scattered too. It’s not like I reach out to three new entrepreneurs and they set up immediate phone calls with me, we’ll schedule them a week later or whatever. So we’re talking small amounts of time consistently every single day or five or six days a week, however you want to structure.
Yeah, awesome. So I noticed as you were talking basically, everything you said there revolves around the use of a virtual assistant, right to help you do that research to follow up with that stuff. Let’s talk a little bit about your superpower now here building virtual teams, and kind of Having the horsepower you need to get this type of stuff done.
Yeah, so I’m a big proponent of not having a VA pretend to be me in any way. Like, if anyone talks to me on Facebook, it’s always me. It’s never a VA. But I make the VA I make it. So everything has a system that makes it as easy as possible for me to do so every day I wake up to a list of people to network with and I’ve given them direction already on on who would be a good fit. And then same thing with going on podcast, the partnership thing it’s set up when I get off the phone with a partner, I shoot an email over my VA they reach out and get everything set up. Same thing with people booking me on podcast or booking me on virtual summits or whatever it is I put them in touch with my VA. My VA has strict rules. Hey, Nate can’t do more than one podcast today. They only does podcasts between x time and x time. He works out at from nine to 10 we can’t put anything there. So we’ve gone over the rules and she keeps me organized going forward. So every little thing that it seems like I do a lot but if you think of every system is like zero to 100% I do the last 10 years. And then the VA is doing that first 90%
Mm hmm. I love it. I love it. So I think you mentioned you had like 35 virtual assistants? What before you exited the free up organization? Is that right?
Yes. 35 full time and 10 part time.
So talk to me a little bit about how you find that kind of kind of talent and how you keep track because that’s always been my challenge in my agency is I love the idea of virtual talent. I love the idea of international we are paying less on an hourly basis and getting you know, good quality workout, but finding them and then keeping track of what they’re doing and holding them accountable was always a challenge for me. So if you have any insights on that front, that’d be wonderful.
Yeah, and important thing to keep in mind is I didn’t just wake up one day and hire 35 people. It was a slow gradual effort that I built up over time. And with free up, my first hire was a 10 hour week VA for two hours a day, she would work from 5am to 7am. And she would just clear my inbox every single morning. So I would wake up she would say hey, I left these two emails for you. They were important. We went over what’s lead for me and whatnot. And that just gave me a head start to every single day and she got to prove herself then take ownership, my inbox. Eventually I increased her hours and added a second VA and made her a team leader. And we did the same thing. In billing, we did the same thing in recruitment. And eventually, we took those initial VA s and we form the three core teams of free up which is billing, recruitment and customer service. So we have these team leaders there full time and then everything’s a balancing act when you’re running a marketplace. Same thing with agency two, you’re you’re kind of balancing between customers and people that can meet that supply. So hey, recruitment needs more people will add in to assistance underneath them, customer services blowing up, we’re going to add more people we’re going to add an assistant team leader in there or someone to work weekend, so you’re kind of building up from there. And same thing applies with outsource school. Before we even did anything. We hired a bookkeeper for five hours a month. I just booked her hours. I said your mind five hours a month. I made sure she was good with that agreement, even though I don’t have five hours. hours of work, I’m going to pay you for five hours. But you can’t come to me in three months saying, Hey, I don’t have five hours for you, because those are my hours, I’m reserving them. So I’m on top of my books from day one, I get monthly reports, which means I can make better decisions on my numbers from day one. And then I hired my morning VA, I just hired a VA for 10 hours a week, clear my inbox every morning. And as we grow, and as the revenue comes in, I’m going to either increase her hours if she can, or if she’s too busy with other clients, I’m going to get that second VA and get them to handle the partnership program and our social media and lead generation. So it’s a constant building from there and and then it becomes how good are you at the fundamentals of hiring VA is interviewing, onboarding, training and managing
Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s, there’s a lot to it right? And you’ve got this great program called outsource school. I’ve dove into it. I’m super impressed with the step by step nature of it. in there, you talk a lot about the like the budget benefit of the Philippines for your virtual staff. Can you talk a little bit about why the Philippines and con that you know why you lean that direction?
Yeah, I think the the thing that everyone thinks about is price and price is a factor. I mean, the minimum wage in the Philippines is 12 bucks a day. So it’s not that tough to beat that. That doesn’t mean that you have to lowball people I like I mentioned I had VA s that were making 1020 bucks an hour, we paid out that $500,000 when we sold the company, we treat our VA s very well with bonuses, but it allows you flexibility to scale your business if you hire someone for a follower role. And I’ll actually take a step back. There’s three levels of people that you can hire followers, doers, and experts. So followers think five to 10 bucks an hour non us they’re there to follow your systems, your processes. If you don’t have a system, if you don’t know how to do something, you can’t hire the follower, the doers. They’re specialists like graphic designers, writers, video editors. You’re not teaching a graphic designer how to be a graphic designer, but they’re not consulting with you either. They’re there to do that. one specific task at a high level 10 to 40 bucks an hour could be project based. And then you got the high level, the high level freelancers, coaches, consultants, agencies, they could be 100 bucks an hour, they could be 2000 bucks an hour, but they’re there for the strategy. They’re there to bring their own systems, their own processes. And just like you wouldn’t hire a follower and say, Hey, I don’t know how to run Facebook ads, go run my Facebook ads, you wouldn’t hire an expert and say, or an expert that’s had success doing their way with other clients and say, Hey, I’m hiring you, but you need to follow my directions. So you have to hire the levels correctly and most of our school is talking about VA is when I’m talking about VA s, I’m talking about the followers and they’re the integral parts of your business. The problem with hiring us followers is you hire someone in the US for 15 bucks an hour, let’s say pretty good rate, not the highest rate but you train them they they’re an integral part of your business. How long are they really going to be happy with 15 bucks an hour for eventually you’re gonna have to pay them 18 2025 whatever, and then you run into trouble. decision or do you want to overpay for what that role is? Or do you want to start over and retrain? Where if you hire from someone from the VA, from the Philippines, and they’re a rock star, and you got them at five bucks an hour, increase them to 10 bucks an hour, they’re going to be with you for life, they’re going to love you. So that longevity that reducing turnover is key. Now, they speak English at a high level, which is incredibly important for people like me that only speak one language. They also consume a lot of the same media. So the same movies, the same video games, the same book. So when you’re selling us products, US services, that becomes very, very helpful. The last thing that I think is very underrated is their sense of family. And this doesn’t apply for everyone. You can’t put everyone in a country in the same bucket but from my experience, family is so key they they live with large families, they live with their families longer than we do. They have a family at church and other things that they’re a part of outside and inside your business. If you can create a family which we teach you how to do it. We’re big proponent of that’s going to reduce turnover to the extreme, because there’s always going to be that client out there that can offer more money than you can or offer opportunity that you can’t. But when they become part of your family, and you treat them well, and they like the other people on your team, they don’t want to leave their family. So I think a combination of those things, and I could keep going on and on, but I’ve just had such great success with people in the Philippines. I’m the godfather of one of my VA kids. Like you don’t have to go that far. But you can build really good relationships with them and have them work with you long term.
I love it. I think the key thing is it’s not just the lower rates, like you said, Nobody aspires to retire from whatever that redundant position in your company is. Right? And whether it’s bookkeeping, whether it’s certain administrative roles, like you said, they’ll they’ll do it for a period, but then they’ll want to take that and go to a higher level, do something different, where when you hire in the Philippines, you can hire someone that’s going to stick around for the long term. I think that’s a powerful insight for sure.
So, talk to me a little bit about how you how you find good quality talent and how you get them like trained up, because that’s kind of the hard part, right? It’s like, Okay, I get it, I kind of have an idea what I need to have done. Well, how do I find somebody? And then how do I get them to the place where they’re capable in their role?
Yeah, so I’m obviously biased. I hired from free up when I was building free up, we got all the internal vas from free up. And now I’m a client of free up, which is a little bit weird, but we were partners with them, I refer them there’s lots of places you can go and find ways but they’re preventing and the turnover protection and all that goes a long way. When you’re talking about training. There’s two main mistakes that I see people make. The first is not valuing their time at the highest possible level the business owners time. So what I see a lot of is from day one, you do one on one training and then at the end of let’s say the week or the five days, whatever it is, the VA is doing an okay job and you’re you’re kind of stuck because you’re like alright, do I give them another week and then I’m two weeks in and then Do I give them another week after that? Or do I just start over and that’s a week that I’ll never get back. And you can always make more money, but you can never get your time back. So a much better way is I come up with an SLP. And it can be a rough draft and an SLP, my, my 15, page SLP started somewhere, it was very small and, and I eventually made it bigger. But you give it to the VA. And if you could give them an hour human day, I would give them like a week to read my 50 pages up. And during that week, I’m paying them because I believe in paying for their time. And I’m there to support them. I’m there to answer their questions. So it’s my team. And at the end of the week, I’m going to test them and one of two things is going to happen if they get 80% of it. Great. I’ll invest by one on one time and getting them that last 20%. If they get 30% of it, I’m going to be nice to them. I’m going to pay them for their time and I’m going to part ways I’m going to get someone else and yeah, it costs me a little bit of money, not that much money, but it didn’t waste any of my time and my time as the entrepreneur is the most important thing in my business. Now the second thing is actually building Really good slps and I’m pretty pumped, we’re launching this SLP building software in the next 30 days that I think is going to be a game changer. But the average person they understand the middle part of the SLP, right like the the steps so one the two, the three ABC, but they forget the top and the bottom and the top of my slps I spend a lot of time on the why why I started this business who we’re trying to serve, how this task actually impacts the bigger picture. So I’m not just giving them a task and getting it back and giving them another task. They understand it I’ll even go into past hires and why they worked out and and why they didn’t work out when I hired my bookkeeper from free app who’s a rockstar. I’d fired three bookkeepers before him and I didn’t mention them by name, but I said hey, here’s what happened with the last three bookkeepers. This is what I’m looking for for you. So before he even got started with the steps, he understood the why my business the why of the task and what success and what failure looks like. Then he goes to the steps and then I have my important reminders. My do not do list for anyone. Because a lot of entrepreneurs, they’ll hide the important stuff in like step 10, Part B, like just hidden in there. So for the person monitor my inbox, hey, if my accountant emails me, if my lawyer knows me, don’t respond to those emails, leave them for me. So all those important reminders of the bottom and if you structure your SOPs with those three parts, a lot of people that that struggle with that with us, oh, PS will quickly have a lot more success.
Powerful insight, yeah, as you start with why, and then give them the detail, right? And that kind of really helps with getting them to understand and to embrace it. Exactly. How do they so how do you keep a pulse on what the what the VA s are doing? Like, it’s one thing to have somebody in your office, I’ve got a team of 30 full time employees in my company in Miami and I can see them face to face and kind of, you know, know, other than to be productive or not. How do you how do you manage that kind of productivity from a virtual person that’s working basically from home somewhere, you know, across the country, across the world?
Yeah, so it’s two things and I’m not a big proponent of the time, doctor. And the hubs of the world, I think it, it breaks a lot of trust, and it does a lot more damage than it actually helps. That’s just my personal opinion. But first of all, you have communication channels. And for me, I have three communication channels, I have Slack, I have email, and I have Viber. And not only do I have those channels, I quickly lay out what each channel is for for slack. When you’re working, you’re on Slack, you’re responding quickly, we’re having meetings on Slack, when you’re working, you check in and you check out when you go to take a break, you post that you’re going and you post it, you came back. So all the communication is there. For email, you respond to emails within a business day, that’s a hard rule for Viber. That’s for emergencies. So if I hire a developer and my software goes down on the weekend, and I I’m not gonna email them, they’re not gonna be on I’m not gonna slack them, they’re not gonna be on, I can’t send them a Viber message and get a response back saying this person doesn’t have Viber on their phone they require they have it on their phone. So establishing those communication channels and holding them to it. If they’re not on slack when they’re supposed to be working. You have a meeting about it. If they’re very I bring you at eight o’clock at night over something very simple that they could just send you an email about or slack you about you correct it and you correct it early on. So that’s one part of it. And the other part of it is setting up meetings and eventually team leaders as you have a bigger team. So we have a Monday morning meeting with all our VA. So today’s Monday, we had that this morning, and we go through what happened last week, what’s going on in the future projects, everyone gives updates, and then one team meeting each week. So with free up, we had one billing meeting on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday, we’d have the recruitment meeting. So everyone meets there and you eventually get the team leaders that hold people accountable and and instead of me having to go in and check their screens on Time Doctor every single day, which I really don’t want to spend time doing. Eventually you have team leaders who will tell me pretty quick if someone is pulling their weight or not. And even if I don’t have team leaders, if I have to VA is and I’m meeting with them and we’re setting Hey, this needs to get done and this is how you communicate. It doesn’t take very long for you to figure out whether stuffs getting better Or whether it’s not and give you a chance to address it or get someone else. And yeah, you might catch it slightly earlier on Time Doctor and and save yourself a tiny bit amount of money. But long term you checking the screens all the time going forward is going to cost you way more time and way more money.
Yeah, no doubt, great, great insight there. And, you know, it’s kind of a trust factor more than anything else. So if you’ve got to be checking those time, you know, screenshots and stuff, it’s gonna take more time to double check that then Just have faith in what the person is doing and have the right accountability mechanisms in place in terms of communication and things like that.
that I mean, I think that’s extremely helpful and some great insights there. Like as it relates to hiring Do you give any type of assessments to help qualify whether someone’s going to be a good fit on the front end?
Yeah, on the front, so we do performance reviews on the back end, once a quarter we meet with them, we give them a bonus. On the front end. We’re vetting people for scaling. attitude and communication. And we have an interview process we call our care method where we go through that communication, attitude experience or skills and then the RS red flags. And I think what a lot of people do wrong during the interview process is they’re they’re looking for the right answers they’re looking for what is VA saying that’s telling me what I want to hear, instead of looking for the red flags? What is this VA telling me that shows they don’t have the experience that they have that they say they have, that they don’t have, that they can’t communicate the level I want, or that they don’t have the right attitude that I’m looking for in my company. So we have a breakdown on that, and I’m not 100% sure we have time to go through all of that. But more importantly, or just as important, I should say, is the onboarding and what we call our sick method. Because a lot of entrepreneurs they know, you have to interview people, they know that you have to train them, and they know on some level that you have to manage them. But it’s the onboarding that everyone messes up or skips all together. And I’ll give you an example of that. Let’s say you interview three VHS tapes. J Do you want to hire Jane, you want to hire Jane at five bucks an hour, the average entrepreneur will say, Jane, that was great interview, you’re hired at five bucks an hour, let’s get started on training. Whereas me and what we teach is Jane, that was a great interview, I want to hire you at five bucks an hour. First, let’s make sure you’re really good with five bucks an hour because who knows what’s changed from the interview to now you might have got another job offer. Then let’s talk about bonuses and raises. So there’s no surprises going on later, hey, we give bonuses X amount of time raises X amount of time. And then I’m going to take you through my sick method, which is schedule issues communication and culture and I want you to ask questions, if anything is not a fit. I’d rather you back out now then. Then us figure out two months down the line. It’s not a fit and for schedule, we’re going to go over schedule with me or other clients, how many hours she’s working what what time she works for the other clients, make sure she’s not working 100 hours a week already. Make sure that there’s no overlapping times. For issues we’re going to talk about power internet computer. personal issues, we’re going to go through expectations that personal issues can’t interfere with work, we’re going to go through Hey, do you have a backup internet? Do you have someplace to go? If there’s no COVID, and you can actually travel and go and work and or if you lose it power, can you just not work for four days? So we were going to get on the same page with that upfront communication. I mentioned the three channels, maybe use Skype and they hate Skype, maybe you knew you want Time Doctor and I’ve seen this where the client will train a VA and then say, oh, by the way, I need us Time Doctor and the VA. Like I never agreed to that that wasn’t in the job posting I don’t want to use Time Doctor so whatever you however, you can communicate, however you organize people, you go through there, and then your culture. What do you believe in I believe in ideas and feedback and treating people well and and being the bigger woman the bigger man, because we both know that not every client is rainbows and butterflies and you don’t want your VA to to say something to a client because they said something to them. So we go through schedule issues communication culture, now is obviously the short version. Then, and then I give them a chance to back out legitimate nice chance to back out because I would really rather than they back out now then down the line, and if you spend time during the interview going through going towards skill, attitude and communication, and then you spend that extra time to onboard them. And we’re talking about 20 to 30 minute conversation, we’re not talking five hours, that’s what’s going to reduce your risk of a bad hire down the line.
powerful, powerful stuff. And, you know, I’ve gotten some of this stuff from your from your training. And it’s, it’s, I think, the best training I’ve seen on how to build and scale a virtual team and really put all the mechanisms in place to hire, to train to onboard and to retain. Talk to me a little bit about that, that program, kind of what what it entails and how somebody can learn more about it.
Yeah, so when we sold free app, we we helped with the transition there and made sure that they were set up to be successful. And as we were going through that, we had people reaching out to us saying, hey, how did you do it? Can you teach me how to run a remote team either I’ve never done it before. I’ve had issues or I just want to become better at it. So we had the idea to launch this course called cracking the VBA code. And it really goes through in depth on our exact process for interviewing, onboarding, training and managing and, and the real systems that we use to run meetings to fire people to, to stay organized everything, and we took it to market and like any new business, you have no idea whether people are gonna like it or not. And we were fortunate enough that people really liked it. So from there, people started asking about, Hey, can you teach us how to use the SEO on podcast to do lead generation, a lot of the stuff that we talked about that organic, so we started launching these mini courses. And the way we set it up based on a lot of feedback is you can buy the mini courses separate if you want, or if you buy our course cracking the VA code, you get a one year membership to outdoor school, so you get access to all the other courses we come out with for a year included in that and we’re not sure what its gonna look like after that. I mean, then it’s kind of up to us to add value and make sure that we’re continuing to do it, but that’s how we have it set up right Now and we’re going to be bringing in a lot of top experts to teach you how to hire VA s for things that that we don’t even know how to do. So we want to make this the best education platform for teaching people how to implement VA s in their business. And we also have that software and a few other ideas for software that we want to, to add in as well to really make it all come together. So that’s what outdoor school is, and I’m really excited about it. That’s amazing. So I mean,
how many of you as you’re listening to this think you could learn a thing or two from Nathan on how to train and manage your virtual team? 100% you’re nodding your head or you’re saying yes, as you’re listening to this. How many of you think if you could have a completely virtual staff, in other words, the team is in the Philippines working from home as opposed to under an office that you get to pay benefits you get to pay us dollars that would save you money and make you more profitable as you grow and scale your digital marketing agency. Every every single one of us myself included, so I mean, I I don’t have The skill, right I don’t run a virtual team. That’s why I went into this course. That’s why I started learning it. That’s why I’m actually bringing Nathan to train our seven figure agency membership on this exact process as opposed to trying to do it myself. How can someone learn more if they want to get access to this? And how much does this cost at this point?
Yeah, so first of all, I’m very easy to contact Nathan Hersh on Facebook or LinkedIn, feel free to reach out or follow me real Nate Hirsch on Instagram or Twitter. If you go to outdoor school if you cracking the VA code is 997. I know Josh will have some different offers for for his community, though. I’ll let him share later. And yeah, we’re gonna come with a year support. I mean, the cool thing about getting in early is we want to hear what would benefit you What can we teach you to hire VA for that would help you scale your business and I think that that’s a big part of it as well. And um, yeah, I think that’s where people can go just outsource school and I know you’ll have your offer.
Yeah, so so 997 that gets them access to the cracking the VA code in addition to the office. stuff that you’re rolling out.
Yeah, so they get cracking NBA code, they get one year of support off of that. So if you’re interviewing a VA, you run into issues you want our advice were there, you get access to our community. And then you also get every single course that we come out with for the next year included,
including the podcast outreach and the JV strategy. So there’s stuff going up.
Yep, podcast, average formula is out. The partnership playbook actually comes out tomorrow. So by the time people watch this, it’ll be out and lead generation formula is that right? After that, we have a course on hiring a bookkeeper, which is key. If you’re paying a lot for an account right now, you can supplement that account with an affordable bookkeeper in the Philippines. And it’s going to keep you really organized. So we have a lot of ideas and a lot of courses plan that we’re going to continue to come out with and you’re going to get access to all of those. And the cool thing that I forgot to mention is not every course you just have to sit there and take the whole thing. A lot of these courses are designed for you to either give to your team or they have slps in there that you can give to your virtual assistant to train them for you, saving you a lot of time. So yeah, you might want to watch the first Our associate have a good idea of what’s going on and what to look for in the VA for podcasting, but then you can give the VA that hour to watch that and and have them implement it from there. So it’s designed to really save you time.
Very, very, very cool stuff. It seems to me like a complete no brainer, right? I mean, if you’re gonna hire anybody to run your business, This training will shortcut the process and it will give you insights and you get additional layers of support. So you can go to seven figure agency comm slash outsource school that takes you basically to my my portal where you can access it or you can just run a Google search for outsource school and get plugged into Nathan’s training. It’s I think it’s a it’s a no brainer, and it’s really powerful stuff. They thank you so much for the amazing insights. I’d love to ask, you know, before we wrap up, like Do you have any additional nuggets or pieces of wisdom you’d share with that digital marketing agency owner that’s you trying to get to the next level?
Yeah, the biggest advice and I learned this the hard way because I put All my eggs in one basket with this one hire that I trained for six months, and I went on vacation and he quit on me and I was devastated is, is to diversify your business because a lot of people, they’ll fall into this trap. And I’ve seen this with agency owners where you make some bad hires, you get frustrated you finally find someone you like. And then you have the tendency to just load that person up with everything and you don’t realize how risky that makes your business and you don’t have to go crazy. If you get 10 customer service emails a day, you don’t have to go hire five customer service reps. But within reason, if you’re thinking about hiring a full time VA hire to 20 hours a week VA s hire people for different tasks and and yeah, as people prove themselves and become more reliable, you can give them more and more work but don’t make it so that if one person your business quits or gets sick or gets pregnant, whatever it is, that’s going to set your business back six months.
So multiple layers of redundancy, hire two instead of one and kind of diversify your talent pool.
Exactly. And you can also give the ownership of tasks. I know a lot of people they hate writing PS, I don’t really write S o PS anymore. I write the rough draft for it. And then I teach the VA and then I give them ownership of it, and then they’re responsible for it going forward. So when we went to sell free up, we didn’t just scramble and fix up all our SRP is they had been kept up to date not by Connor and I, but by these VA. So there’s a lot of advanced stuff like that, that hopefully we can share with our school that’ll just make your life easier. It’s all about easier. It’s all about spending less time. It’s all about getting people to do stuff repetitively every single day to grow your business.
Love it. So if you want to learn more about Nathan’s program, go to seven figure agency comm slash outsource school there, you can get access to all the stuff he talked about here. Um, Nathan, it’s been an honor. Thank you so much for coming on. Thank you so much for sharing. Now. I’m going to be doing a special webinar with Nathan later this month for our seven figure agency members. So stay tuned for that. And I’ll let you have the last word Nathan, anything you want to say as we wrap up?
Yeah, I just want to say that if you are having if you’ve had success for the past five to 10 years and now is the best time to show the people that work for you, whether they’re employees, whether their VA is how much you care about them. And obviously, if you can’t afford to keep people around, if you have to follow them, or whatever it is, make sure you’re communicating with them, make sure that you’re checking in on them, seeing how they’re doing, how their families are. And if you can afford it, keep people around, keep people on payroll, talk to them about their options, whether it’s reducing pay, reducing hours, and from there, I think this is going to be a really deciding time for future people looking for jobs. If I was looking for a job in the future. The question I’m going to ask every single employer, every single client is how did you treat you your other people during COVID? Did you delay everyone off? Did you keep paying them even though your revenue went down? That’s gonna be a huge selling point going forward. Not to mention, it’s just the right thing to do. If you can afford it. I know a lot of people are going through difficult times and have to make difficult decisions. So that’s my overall message for entrepreneurs out there.
Good stuff when they think congratulations on your success. Thank you for all the tremendous insights. Thank you. Put together outsource school I think it’s going to help a lot of entrepreneurs be more efficient serve their clients better scale their businesses more efficiently become more profitable. So thank you for that. If you’d like to listen to more interviews like this with highly successful entrepreneurs and digital marketing agencies that are taking things to the next level, be sure to subscribe at seven figure agency.com and we’ll catch you on the next episode. Talk to you guys later.
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