AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there. Amy Porterfield here and welcome to another edition of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. This week we're diving into outsourcing and I've invited my very good friend, Chris Ducker, to come on the show and share with us some tips that will
help all of us streamline our business a little bit more and allow us to break away from that crazy addiction many of us suffer from regularly, which is trying to do it all ourselves. Can you relate?
At one point or another, if you're an entrepreneur starting a business, you have a local, a small business, whatever it might be, you probably have suffered from this crazy addiction once or twice in your life. So Chris is going to help us with some very specific actionable tips to outsource more and get the support that we need.
Now you'll hear me talk about having ice cream sundaes at a Denny's restaurant with Chris and let me tell you, that was a crazy night. Chris sent me on a wild goose chase all around San Diego at about 11:00 at night looking for a midnight snack. So to tell you the truth, not only did we get lost in San Diego, yes, I can get lost in my own back yard very easily, Chris also thinks that I'm a bad driver, which I do not agree with him. But to say the least, we had a really good time and at least we have a fun story that will make us laugh looking back years from now.
So again, Chris is a lot of fun. I think you are going to really enjoy this session so let's go ahead and dive in. So, Chris, thanks so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it.
Chris: Thanks for having me. It's awesome to be here.
Amy: Before we get to all of the good stuff, I do want you to tell everybody a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Chris: Sure. Okay. Well there's no sort of rosy story or anything, not really. I'm just a sales and marketing guy, that's my deal. Twenty-three-odd years in the sales, marketing, and branding world. Twelve years I came over, or almost 13 years ago I came over to the Philippines and I set up myself here. I was working for one of the banks over here initially.
Around eight years ago I started my first company, which I then sold a couple of years later.
So I took a bit of a hiatus, six months, realized I was spending too much money and had to get back to work, and so I decided to set up my second company which is now still very much thriving, and I have two additional businesses on top of that. So I have a call center, I have a recruitments company, and then I have a co-working space all here in the Philippines and around 250-odd staff to kind of look after.
Amy: Holy cow.
Chris: So that's my whole deal. That's what I'm all about.
Amy: Now, to say the least, you are a busy guy. I mean you've got a lot going on, but what I love is that, you and I got a chance to spend some time together not too long ago when you were in San Diego, and you told me a story, I won't even get into where we were and what we were doing because it was a little bit ridiculous.
Okay, I can't say that and not get into it. So Chris brings me to Denny's and for those of you who don't know Denny's, it's kind of a hole in the wall chain restaurant here. It's probably all around the world. And we are in Denny's eating a sundae, and he tells me this story about how business has changed for him over the years. And you had this really interesting outlook on business then and business now. Tell us a little bit about that story.
Chris: Sure. Okay. Well with all joking to one side, my background is all more B2B or business to business, right? So I was brought up in the business world by my mentors back in the U.K., I was in a publishing company for a long time, and I was taught the importance and the qualities of B2B and B2C, business to business, business to consumer. And I kind of lived and breathed that, right all the way up to when I was starting my own company and building my own company.
And it was a couple of years, my youngest son, I have three kids, my youngest son had just turned one-year-old, literally had his first birthday. I had realized, in his first year, I
hadn't really spent a whole lot of time with him. And it hit me like a ton of bricks, just before Christmas in 2009. You know, I went back and looked through the year and I realized I was averaging about 14 hours a day, six days a week.
Chris: I mean it was insane. Honestly speaking, I almost killed myself. I did genuinely go into burn-out mode. I was useless to everyone for about six weeks. And I came out of that and I thought to myself, ‘If I'm going to continue to build this business and be a husband and a father, I need to make some drastic changes in the way that I'm not only running my business, but also continue to focus on growing the business.
Because I'm a true blue entrepreneur. I get bored managing stuff. I'm not interested in managing, I want to grow. I want to build. That's what I'm all about. That's why I've got three different businesses. I can't stop starting new businesses. It's just one of those things.
But the ability to create those businesses would not have come about if late 2009 hadn't hit me around the face like a wet fish.
What happened was I devised a plan. It was a one-year goal that in 2010, I was going to start in January and my plan, my goal, was to try to replace myself or remove myself from my business as much as I possibly could day to day by the end of the year and become a full-time virtual CEO. That's what I was calling myself.
So the plan was basically, not obviously to work 14 hours a day anymore 6 days a week, but it was more than just that. It was about not having to go into the office every day. It was about being able to take extended trips with my family. I'm not going to get into the whole four-hour work week thing or anything like that. But it was about truly starting to live the kind of lifestyle that I really wanted because I was already making great money, but it was just that drive inside of me that kept forcing me to work longer and longer hours.
So I did, I took 2010 and I broke that one-year long goal down into mini-goals or 12 monthly goals, quite frankly. You know, the first month was like, removing myself from email hell. Okay? So that was all January was about. It was all about getting myself out of email hell, removing myself from all the stupid email threads that I was asking my staff to copy me into, cutting down from working with five different email addresses to just one, and all these other things that I did within January.
And I went from literally sitting in Outlook for seven hours a day, on and off, working via Gmail on three different devices where I was way more productive instead of having to be sat in front of my desktop all the time and getting my email into the cloud with Gmail. So that was massive change for me right out the gate.
And then it just went on from there. February, March, April, May, I was hiring. By the end of the year I hired I think eight or nine different people to replace myself in many different areas of the business and where I felt that one person wasn't good enough or enough in general, I would hire two people.
So recruitment and training for example or HR or operations or marketing, I did all these things myself, like any other micro-managing entrepreneur, and I eventually just clicked my fingers and said, ‘This is it. Enough is enough' and I just started removing myself slowly but surely out of the business. By the end of the year, I was that Virtual CEO, simple as that.
Amy: I love that story because so many people can relate if we really look at how many hours we are working each day. It's probably something we all don't want to brag about, for sure.
Chris: No, it's scary.
Amy: It is scary. And I remember you sitting down with me and saying, “Okay, Amy, how do you spend your day?” And we kind of talked a little bit about, here I'm thinking I'm being efficient in how I'm spending my day and instantly you saw two or three things that I could clean up or streamline or make easier. So you definitely have that locked in. You have this mindset of making things more productive and efficient and not wasting time and I love that you have this focus on family and spending time away from the computer, which is great.
While I was listening to this whole story, it was really like a life-changing event you went through and on your website, you talk a lot about this ‘new business' or ‘new economy.' Can you tell everyone what you mean by that?
Chris: Sure. Yeah. This all came out of that year so let me backtrack just a minute. So 2010, I started my first blog in January. It was virtualbusinesslifestyle.com and what I was basically was holding myself publically accountable, I had no online friends or anything. I was Billy Nomates, you know. I literally – –
Amy: Okay. That is not a term we use here in the States. Wait. What was it again?
Chris: It was Billy No Mates. So that's Billy Nomates. If you get any English tuning in, they'll know exactly what I mean. The thing, 2009 I started utilizing the Internet very heavily to market my business and it worked. It helped me grow my business. We went from 75 to literally almost 200 staff in the space of 12 months. So it was ridiculous.
Amy: Yeah, that's crazy.
Chris: And so I was aware of the Internet and blogging and YouTube and podcasts and all that stuff, but I didn't do any of it myself. And up until January 2010, the only reason I would personally get on the Internet would be to either check email or watch silly cat videos on YouTube or whatever. So that was when I started blogging and it just took off. And every month I would do a monthly report and I would tell people what I was doing within that month to remove myself from the business and people just resonated with it. Then it was halfway through the year I started a podcast. Then I launched a YouTube channel and I was doing all these different things. So it was crazy and it was that year that I really came up. And I didn't know it at the time, but it was literally 2012 I started calling it ‘the P2P,' way of doing business because I was used to the B2B and the B2C. So I started calling it the P2P or the people topeople way of doing business.
So I've noticed that through blogging and podcasting and all that stuff social media that people really want to do business with the people. They don't want to do business with brands. They buy Nike shoes because Michael Jordan wears them and they can relate to Michael because he's a person, he's a basketball player, he's an icon. They don't buy the shoes because of Nike. If Jordon was wearing Adidas, they'd be buying Adidas, right? That's just one example.
So people generally want to do business with other people and this is what I call the ‘new business mindset.' It's about applying smart social media strategies. It's about giving away massive amounts of free content. You know, I always say the best kind of opt-in to give away to your readers is to create something that you could sell for at least a couple ofhundred bucks and then give it away for free.
Amy: Yes, definitely, I totally agree with you and I'm glad you brought up content because my next question was going to be, how does content play in this new economy? And for you, you're saying give away as much great valuable content as possible and I know it's kind of a no-brainer, but tell us a little bit about what that does in this whole type of P2P economy.
Chris: Yeah. Well I mean it's a great question because a lot of people are doing this already. You know what I mean? I mean, this is the thing. They don't actually realize that they're doing it. There's a few reasons why we need to create content in today's economy.
The first thing is to get attention. There's so many people out there looking for answers and information on so many different topics, particularly online, more so today than ever in the history of the Western civilization. There's hundreds of thousands of people at any one time looking for that you've got to offer. So you create that content, that high -quality original content to get that attention, right?
Now once you've got that attention, because you're now into the realm of the P2P philosophy, that people to people way of doing business, you can instantly connect with that person because you've already answered the question or provided a solution to their problem through your content. So you get their attention, you connect and then through that content and through that P2P relationship that you built up, and it doesn't have to be a lot, it can just be replying to a blog comment or retweeting one of their own blog content pieces or something along those lines.
But because you've got that connection, that relationship is built up, you can then get to the point of inspiring and supporting people properly. And at that point, you can naturally open up the door to ultimately sell to them.
Because I believe, in the world of sales everyone always talks about the close, the closing techniques and all this sort of stuff, but I've never, as a salesperson myself, I've never focused on the close. I just believe that the close is simply the natural conclusion to the sales process up to that point. So if you've done all those other things up to that point, the close should happen all by itself.
So into the realm of P2P it's about creating the content, getting the attention, connecting with your readers or your listeners or your viewers, inspiring and supporting them and ultimately then being able to sell to them and make money.
Amy: I love that because I always say, ‘You've got to earn it, you've got to earn that opportunity to sell to them' and when you're creating this content, you're grabbing their attention, you're connecting with them, you're inspiring and supporting them, well then you've earned it and you should be putting out those promotions and sales opportunities.
So this makes perfect sense, especially to a lot of people that are listening that are starting to create a lot of content and they know they need to create it, but one thing that comes out of everything you've just said is, what do you think is the biggest challenge business owners face when it comes to content creation and content marketing?
Chris: It's actually got nothing to do . . .
Amy: What? It wasn't a trick question so explain. Chris: And I'm going to give you a trick answer. Amy: I like it.
Chris: I don't think the problem is actually creating the content or marketing the content for business owners. I think for business owners we are have an idea a second. I sometimes joke with people and I say, ‘When was the last time you jumped out of the shower to register a domain name?' Like we've all done that. And I wonder how much money GoDaddy's made from that one little activity there? Hundreds of thousands if not millions.
But anyway, the fact is I don't think the issue is actually coming up with the content or the ideas. I don't think the problem is necessarily researching and creating that content or marketing that content. I think the big problem is time, or rather the lack of time because business owners are ultimately, a lot of us, we're wearing, just like I was pre-2010, I was wearing all those different hats. And that's where working with virtual staff and building virtual teams and stuff, and that's probably a conversation for a whole different session entirely.
But I'm a big proponent of maximizing my time as an entrepreneur. I do that throughsystems and processes but mostly through the art of delegation. I always say I'm a shitty manager. I'm a very bad manager, but what I can do extremely effectively is delegate. It's got nothing to do with being lazy and not wanting to do the work myself just now.
It just clicked in me that I am not going to be doing this work anymore. There are other people out there that can do it better than me, that can do it cheaper than I'm worth, quite frankly, as the business owner himself, and the result is going to be far better. And whilst they're doing all that, I can focus on creating that content and making it the best as I possibly can.
Amy: Okay. So we have content creation or content development and then we've got content marketing. So when it comes to, like you just said, you can focus on creating that content, so when it comes to content marketing, talk a little bit about what pieces of that can you outsource?
Chris: Well there's a lot. You can actually outsource a very large majority of this entire process. So if we were to break it down in terms of each piece of content that you produce, I guess the first stage is research. The second stage is then actually creating the content and we'll come back to that in a minute. Then you've got probably the publishing of that content, so either uploading the video or publishing a blog post, whatever. Then there's that instant promotion of that new piece of content when it goes live.
And then ultimately you've got the ongoing marketing. Because once you publish your content, you don't want it to just be hot for a week. You want it to get people back there all the time. So there really are kind of like the four or five main parts of this entire process.
Now the research, all of that can be outsourced. All of it. Everything from utilizing Google Keyword Tool right the way down to, you name it. Your virtual staff can do everything there. The content creation however, I feel is not something that you can or should be outsourcing all that often.
It depends a little bit on what you're up to, but if we're talking about building our own brands and selling products and services and consultation and coaching services and all that stuff based upon our experience and our knowledge, you need to create that content yourself. You're the educator. You're the one that needs to connect and have that P2P connection with your perspective, which are, at this point, just your viewers or readers or your listeners.
So I feel that the content really comes down to creating stuff that's generally consumed, not just browsed. You want your stuff consumed from beginning to end. So when you create this podcast episode, you want your listeners to listen beginning to end. You don't want them skipping, you don't want them turning off 20 minutes in or ten minutes in. You truly want them to listen to the entire lot.
So by doing all that content creation yourself, you're really upping your game and you're really allowing people to get you and nothing but you. So that part of the process cannot and should not be outsourced.
The publishing side of it, the promotion, the ongoing marketing, that can all be outsourced.
Amy: Okay. So say that again, say those last three things again.
Chris: So the research can be outsourced. The creation of the content should not be. That should be all you. Then the publishing, the promotion, and the ongoing marketing should pretty much be handled by other people. And there's little things. So let's break down a couple little things on each point.
So publishing. When you talk about publishing, what are we talking about? We're talking about uploading video to YouTube, but it's not just as simple as uploading that video. You've got to type in the title. You've got to provide a link. You've got to use yourkeywords, which you've already got through the research. You've got to put together your categories and then maybe even insert some transcribed text from the video as well.
So it's not just about clicking ‘upload' and then waiting for the video to go live and that's it. It's over and done with. We're talking 20, 30 minutes' worth of work right here. Now if you do three videos a week, that's an hour and half. What's your time worth as a business owner?
When I consult, when I have coaching clients, I don't mind saying it publicly; I charge anything between seven hundred to a thousand dollars an hour. So that's what my time is worth right there. So that's potentially 1,500 bucks I've saved by getting someone else to do my three videos every week. So you see where I'm going here.
Amy: Such a great way to look at it mindset. It really comes back to the mindset around it.
Chris: Well that's why I call it, ‘the new business mindset.' And another thing that you can do, publishing, we'll stick with video for a minute. So YouTube playlists, oh my God, game changer. I hadn't even jumped onto this bandwagon until about seven or eight months ago where I got my VA to sign into my YouTube account and just group a lot of like-minded videos together.
So she did like one on entrepreneurship, she did another playlist on VAs, did another playlist on productivity, and she just did like literally four or five playlists. That was it. Instantly, overnight, I saw about a 25 to 30% increase on my video views.
Chris: Yes. Huge. Massive change. Huge game changer. And all it took was a little bit of work here and there. So there's things like that you can do. And then you've got the blog posts. So when you talk about publishing, let's say you've created a 1000-word blog post in a Word document. You put it into your Dropbox folder.
Your VA's have grabbed ahold of it. They've copy and pasted it and taken it into the WordPress platform into a draft post. It's boring. It looks boring. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it's boring. So what are they going to do? They're going to put the subtitles in there. They're going to bold some text. They're going to italic some. They're going to include some internal links for you from your past content. Boom. That's another 30 to 45 minutes right there for each post that you write. So that's just publishing.
Amy: Okay. That's like one piece of this whole puzzle. One thing I think a lot of us, and I am so guilty of this, I have to take the time to teach somebody to do something. And I'm always, not always, I've gotten better at this, but ‘Okay, it's going to take me 30 minutes to teach someone how to do this and it's going to take me 5 minutes to do it myself right now.
So I'm just going to do it myself right now.'
Well over three months, I'm well beyond that 30 minutes it would have taken just to teach somebody, a VA, how to do it. So taking that time, do you ever see entrepreneurs struggle saying, ‘But it's just going to take me so long to teach someone how to do something?'
Chris: Every day. Every single day. There's not a day that goes by that I don't get an email, I get around 200 to 250 emails a day from people on the same subject of virtual assistants or outsourcing or productivity or the whole kind of kit and caboodle that I'm into. And I can give you guys a really good tip to managing that kind of amount of email in a minute.
But there's not a day that goes by that I don't see it and you right then just talked yourself around, but I guarantee you the chances are you're going to continue doing all the work yourself until you hit overwhelm. And then you're going to give me a call and say, ‘I need some help,' because everybody does. Everybody does. Some of the biggest Internet marketers on the planet have come to me and say, ‘Chris, I need help' and I've helped them. Big names. Mutual friends of you and I.
Amy: People that you would think have it all together and they're also struggling.
Chris: Right. Exactly.
Amy: The thing is, how do you get past that point, and again, this is another thing I've been guilty of, when you think, ‘I can't outsource all those areas of my business because nobody can do it as good as I can do it.'
Chris: This is dangerous. Now you're floating into the land of what I call ‘superhero syndrome.'
Amy: Ooh, tell me more.
Chris: Okay. So superhero syndrome is believing, you know, there's no kryptonite out there, not for you. You're awesome. You're better than anybody else in the universe at what you do. No one can do the job better than you do. No one is more experienced than you. And it's a terrible, horrible disease to inflict upon yourself and that's exactly what many entrepreneurs do. Superhero syndrome is, when you believe that you can save a couple of bucks doing it yourself, then you will do it. If you can teach yourself how to do something instead of passing it off and ‘letting go of it,' you're going to do that as well. And superhero syndrome is all about when the word ‘recharge' only actually applies to your iPhone. That's what superhero syndrome hero is.
And it's not that we want to micro-manage. It's not like we want to stress ourselves out and work 14 hours a day. We don't want to do that. I don't think we're all that kind of masochistic people in our heart of hearts. I don't think that's what we're about as entrepreneurs. But we do it because it's that urge to just get it done and do it now. Like you said, ‘It will take me 30 minutes to teach someone to do it. I can do it in five minutes. I'll do it myself.'
Chris: You know, it's just that mentality and it's a horrible situation. And I'm telling you, it's a downward spiral. It is the absolute easiest way to burn out and sooner or later you are going to have to make a choice. And that choice is going to be either A, breakdown and burn out and affect your business, your personal life, your relationships, everything; or, B, get smart and start building a team of people to help you do it. Simple as that.
Amy: Yeah. There really is no other way around it. I completely agree. And yeah, it's going to take more work up front to get things going, but then the rewards are just amazing once you get that team. I finally, this is the first time since I started my business three years ago that I do have a team. I have three other people working with me. They are amazing and they're constantly reminding me, ‘Amy, give that to me. Amy, give that up and let me figure it out.'
And it's nice to have a team like that because it's not my natural thing. I've worked in corporate forever and, as everyone knows, I worked with Tony Robbins, and I was behind the scenes and I was his worker bee. So to have somebody else to do some of that work for me has really been difficult. And I think a lot of people listening have probably had that experience.
So stepping up into that leadership role and knowing that your value is bigger than those tasks. It's hard to get past that. But I love what you said about that whole, what do you call it? The superhero syndrome? Is that what it's called?
Chris: That's what I call it.
Amy: I love it. It's so true.
Chris: It's called Virtual Freedom. That's the title.
Chris: It's actually, that particular term is the opening chapter of my book when it comes out next year. So that's a little preview for you guys.
Amy: Ooh, I like it. I like it. Can you at least give us a hint; tell us the name of this book so we can be looking out for it? I'll have you on the show when it comes out.
Amy: Say no more. Bring it on. I can't wait until this book goes live because it's going to save, it sounds dramatic, but it's true, it's going to save a lot of lives from that major burn out.
Chris: Well, you know, it's something that I've been wanting to put together for a while because the information on outsourcing and building virtual teams and becoming that more productive new age entrepreneur is so spread out. It's so fragmented all over the Internet. And I'm not the be-all and end-all of it. But I guess I've been blessed where I'm in a position where I am able, because where I am here in the Philippines that I can build these teams relatively easily.
I can make all of the mistakes, and they don't cost me a lot of money. Whereas if I was in the United States or the U.K. or somewhere else, if I was hiring all these people and going through and making all these mistakes and tweaking all these systems and processes and the training and all the rest of it, it would cost me tens of thousands of dollars. So I'm lucky to be in the position I'm in right now. Now I just want to, you know the other thing is this, I get a lot of that email every single day. It's just going to be way easier to just say, ‘Buy my book.'
Amy: That is a really good point. It's all in there. Just go buy the book. That is perfect.
Chris: So I want to give you this tip. And this is a tip that, this is the way that I actuallyhandle that amount of email every day and I know you get a lot of email as well. I'm sure a lot of your listeners do so allow me to share this one thing with you because for me, it's been a game changer. What I do it is I start work at around 10:00 in the morning.
But prior to me waking up and having my first cup of coffee of the day and making some eggs with my youngest and having some fun and stuff like that, prior to me turning on the laptop and physically looking at my email for the first time, I have a VA that goes into my Gmail inbox at around 8:00 am, so around two hours before I get to work.
She goes in and she starts working that email with a list of FAQ answers that we have produced and created between the two of us, mostly for me in terms of like writing it word for word. But she sort of suggested things off of questions that we get more often and things like that.
And what we do is we actually go in and we will reply to those emails or she, rather, will go in and reply to those emails with the pre-written responses that I've already created to questions I get asked every single day, day in day out. And she will copy and paste those things and she will clear that email out.
And she's actually got so good now that if someone mentions, for example, that they're in New York in their email, she'll actually go onto the weather channel, see what the weather's like in New York and mention that as the sign off. Like, ‘Oh, so I hope that answers your question and I see New York's been having some storms recently. Make sure you keep yourself dry. All the best, Chris.'
Amy: Oh, come on.
Chris: So they've been getting a personal response from Chris. Now some people might say this might be a little dishonest. I call a massive of massive amount of BS on that reaction.
This has been productive. This is helping my followers, my subscribers, my listeners in the best way that I possibly can, in a time-sensitive manner. Instead of letting their email sit there and gather dust over weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks, we get back to everyone within a two-day period.
Amy: That is fantastic.
Chris: She will go in and she will clean 70% of that email before I will even turn my computer on in the morning, and I love it.
Amy: Not only does that make it so much better for the people emailing you. They get a response right away. But I can only imagine how much better your day is when you log in and see that you don't have a million emails waiting for you.
Chris: Oh my God, yeah. And the emails that are still there, genuinely need my attention. They're things like speaking invitation or prospective customers or JVs or business opportunities or proposals for this that and the other. They're genuine business opportunities for me.
Amy: So you know you're not wasting time.
Chris: I'm good and you did not prep me, so…
Amy: No, I did not.
Chris: This is scary stuff.
Amy: Oh I love that. Okay, Chris, I love that you're making this so actionable. One of the goals I had for this podcast was to make sure that people actually got off the podcast and took action. So I love when we give them steps or actions or ways to implement. So I thought for this final wrap-up, I'm going to ask you three questions and it's going to be like the lightning round. And I want you to give some really actionable solutions to these questions coming up. So you good with that?
Amy: Yeah. I could be throwing you for a loop, but we'll see. You've got this great post on your blog, ‘Ten-step process for what a VA should do to get a blog up and running,' so I thought a great question here to make it really actionable. How do you get a team member up to speed so that he or she can work without a lot of hand-holding?
Chris: Okay. So first things first is, when you hire somebody, you've got to hire for the role rather than the task. That's like the biggest thing right out of the gate. So stop thinking small fry and stop thinking about the task, but rather think about the role. What will that person be doing for you day to day on a role perspective.
If you do that, you're going to get someone with a little more experience out of the gate. They're going to be a little bit more of a self-starter and they're going to be able to really bring genuine value to your business a lot sooner on than someone that you're going to have to train per task, if you get me, right? So that's the first thing.
The other thing is most of the virtual assistants that I work with are very visual learners. So there's no need for you to spend hours and hours on Skype with them sharing screens and all this stuff. What you do is you just use some screen capture software such as ScreenFlow or Camtasia or Jing even, the five-minute wonder, whatever works, and you just walk them through visually on your screen, what you want done and how you want it done.
And the beautiful thing about having a video recorded and ready to go is that you can leave that in Dropbox or you can upload it to your company Wiki or whatever and once you've got that, over a period of time, with all the videos that you'll shoot, you'll then actually have an entire internal training encyclopedia that you can then hand off to additional team members as of when they join. You're only dong it once, which is great.
So there's a couple things right there. Make sure you hire for the role, not the task and use visual training aids when you're getting people up to speed nice and quick because they can genuinely understand it a lot easier than just reading a bullet point email or looking at you sort of doing it live via Skype on the screen sharing side of things.
Amy: Okay. Really cool. And this one might be, I don't know if I'm going to throw you for a loop with this one, but if I'm looking to hire someone, is there some kind of trait or characteristic or behavior that I can instantly see to find out if they are more of that go-getter, they can work independently kind of person versus if someone's going to need tons of hand holding and a lot of direction?
Chris: That's a great question. And I don't think there's a short, fast answer for it, but I can give you one tip that I have my recruitment people use when they're conversing with people. So we will not just interview anyone. If we post a job or if we're looking to hire somebody, We're not going to interview every single person that sends us a resume. It's just not going to happen. We'll get hundreds, literally, for a job post.
So what we do is we actually have a number of different procedures within the recruiting process to weed out the weaklings before we get to the more solid players, and then we'll start getting on the Skype and interviewing them. But the one thing that works really, really well, and we do this around mid-recruitment procedure. So maybe after the first email and the cover letter and the resume comes in, we'll go back and we'll ask them two or three quick questions. And we'll actually embed a sentence that will say something along the lines of, ‘In your reply, please mention the sport, football.'
Amy: Oh, I love this.
Chris: Right? Because the real attention of people is always in the details. So have I got your attention? If I have, then when you send me this reply, whether it be in the subject line, whether it be in the P.S. or in the middle of the content, whatever, the body of the email, you're going to mention football if I've got your attention.
If you're paying attention, if you're smart, if you're savvy, you're going to mention what I've asked you to mention in that email. And that right there, I can tell you, cuts out about 80% of the applicants, that one little thing right there.
Amy: Oh, I'm so glad I asked that question. I wasn't going to ask because I thought, ‘I know it's not an easy, quick answer,' but that is brilliant, fantastic. I'm so glad you threw that out there. So I've got two more for you. Is it better to have a team of people who specialize in different things? Or are we looking for a VA that's kind of like the jack-of-all-trades?
Chris: Okay. Doesn't exist. That's the problem. The Super-VA is what I call it and it's a myth that I've debunked over and over and over again.
Amy: Good to know.
Amy: I'm with you.
Chris: Does it happen in the real world?
Chris: You know I get emails like this all the time: “Hey Chris, I'm thinking about hiring my first VA and I need them to do this” and then I'll get a long list of everything from SEO to web development to graphic design to admin tasks to video editing to podcasts, you know, Just everything and anything. That's the jack-of-all-trades VA you're talking about. Think about it logically. Just very logically, go real world with me for a minute.
Chris: Okay. So why the hell would it happen virtually?
Amy: I was just hoping that maybe it could, but it makes sense that it's not going to happen.
Chris: You know why you're hoping. You're hoping for two reasons. First and foremost, you're being, like most business owners, you're being a bit of a tight-ass. You don't want to have to pay three people if one person can do everything. Right? That's the first thing. The second thing is that you want an easy life so you only want to manage one person instead of a team of people. But here's the thing, once you do start hiring for that role instead of the tasks and you develop your team of people, so let's say you've got a general VA, which by the way, your GVA, every single entrepreneur on the planet should have this person. Everyone.
Oh and if you want a list of all the different types of tasks that virtual staff can have for you, you can go to my blog, chrisducker.com/101, and that 101 tasks that you can outsource to all these different types of people. All right?
Amy: Brilliant. Everybody should have a blog post like that. 101 whatever it is. That was really smart, Chris, I love that. Okay. We'll go there. I'll link to it.
Chris: So you should totally do that. So the GVA will handle your admin, your flight itinerary, your updating of your social network, your online research, your calendar management, all that stuff. This person ultimately becomes your right arm. Like you can't live without this person. It's huge. Then you've got your web developer.
Then you've got your graphic designer because they are two completely different people. Right? That's the two roles that everybody always wants to combine. It doesn't
happen. It's like a roofer and a plumber. They both help build houses, but they're totally different. And then you've got things like the video editor or maybe the SEO or the marketing VA, that sort of type of thing.
So once you've built that team up, let's say you've got the three to four people, at that point you're going to either, A, bring on board a project manager, or you're going to maybe promote your GVA into that project manager role because once you've got three or four people, you're not a business owner anymore, you're a manager. And you don't want to be a manager. You want to be a business owner.
So once you've got three or four people in place, you want to stop managing them, work with one person as a project manager and get them to manage the rest of the team for you.
Amy: Oh. That's brilliant. So now you can step out of that role as well, of that manager role. Okay. This is good stuff. I knew you'd have good stuff for us, Chris. So to wrap it all up, the final question. A lot of people listening have not really delegated much of anything. They haven't really jumped into the VA world at all. So if you're just starting out, what one or two tips do you have to get people maybe starting with baby steps?
Chris: Okay. Well I mean, you know, the majority of the people that listen to your podcast do what exactly? What realm are they in?
Amy: Coaches, consultants, maybe some are doing local businesses, they have service, online programs to sell. So it runs the gamut, but there's a lot of people that are doing business online.
Chris: Okay. So online entrepreneurs, maybe speakers, coaches, people that are out there building their brands, offers, that sort of thing, right?
Chris: Okay. So the simple of things that they can get going with immediately are things such as email and schedule management, like calendar management. They can get involved with getting more organized so thing like their storage, you know, Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Docs, setting up and preparing PowerPoint and Keynote presentations for them, things like that.
Perfect example, I just came back from a trip to the U.S. where we did meet and eat ice cream at Denny's, which was scary. The journey there was scary. That's for another
podcast completely. But whilst we were out and about having fun and everything, I was preparing, as you will remember from our conversation, I was preparing for my first ever speaking opportunity with the National Speaker's Association of America at their annual convention in Philadelphia.
Amy: Yes. Big time. This is big-time stuff.
Chris: For me, huge. Particularly as I am a non-member and just generally they don't invite a whole lot of non-members to present. Right? So even a bigger deal for me personally. So if you think I'm going to sit in front of my computer as a business owner, as a busy speaker myself, if you think I'm going to sit in front of my computer and create a 93-slide, presentation, you are mental. You need to go and see a doctor. one- hour What I did was write down or give instructions on my 93 slides via Word, I did three or four slides as a template design in terms of the way I wanted it to look. And while you and me were out having dinner and ice cream, my VA in the Philippines was busy putting that PowerPoint presentation together for me.
Amy: That's what I love to hear. That's how it should be working.
Chris: So they're the little things that you can do and it really, and you've got to let go. This is where that superhero syndrome comes into play. You've got to let go. You've got to let go of these things because people don't want to let go, and you'll find that the sooner you do start letting go and the sooner you do start giving more and more opportunity for other people to handle this stuff for you, the more and more productive you're going to become and the more and more online courses you can create, the more speaking you can do, the more coaching clients you can pick up and work with, the more traveling you can do, the more content creation you can do and the more money you'll make as a result of it. Simple as that.
Amy: Simple as that. It definitely changes your business. I know it has for me and you truly are my go-to source when it comes to outsourcing and learning how to do it smart and do it the right way. So I want everybody to go check out chrisducker.com. I'll link to some great articles you've already written Chris, especially that 101 article and ‘Ten Ways To Get Your VA Started' and all those great things that you've written on your blog posts. So I will send tons of traffic your way because I think people need to know what you know. So I cannot thank you enough for being on the show.
Chris: It was absolutely my pleasure and I'm more than welcome to answer any questions, if anybody's got any questions or whatever to drop them in your show note comment box or whatever. I'm always available.
Amy: Perfect. Thanks a bunch and you have a wonderful day. Chris: You too. Take good care.
Amy: Take care. I hope you enjoyed hearing all of Chris' tips and strategies. I know I sure did. And hopefully you're walking away with some new ideas and solid action items you can implement right away. All the links we talked about in this show can be found at amyporterfield.com/16, just the number 16. Also, if you liked this podcast I would really love for you to tell your friends. Just go to amyporterfield.com/love and you can tweet about it to help me spread the word. Until next time, make it a great week.