AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and today we are talking about building up your team.
In the last six months alone I have hired four of the full-time positions on my team. That’s right, I have four shiny new team members and they are all excellent. However, it has been a whirlwind.
I want to share exactly how I got here, the mistakes I’ve made, the big wins I’ve experienced, the feelings, and of course, the fears that creep in with hiring a team.
I’m actually going to share seven distinctions I’ve picked up along the way so you can learn from my victories and my stumbles.
Why am I doing this episode? I’m doing it because you must build a team. You must build a team if you want to scale your business, if you want to eliminate some of the stress and overwhelm you’re feeling right now, if you want to make a bigger impact, and ultimately, if you want to make more money.
Notice, I didn’t say “you need to build a team right now, right this minute.” I want you to take this entire process slowly, even slower than I did because that’s one of my possible mistakes. I’ll get into that as we get into those seven distinctions.
Right now, if you are just a solopreneur, it is just you and maybe your dog or cat sitting with you in the office then it’s time to at least think about hiring your first employee, possibly a virtual assistant.
You’ve got to start hiring because if it’s just you then you’re doing yourself and your audience a huge disservice.
By the way, I have a freebie for this episode. It’s called Seven Make Or Break Questions to Ask a Potential Candidate to Uncover if She/He Will Work Well Virtually.
That might not be the official title, it’s a little bit of a mouth full. But you get the point. I want to help you make sure that when you are hiring, and if you are hiring virtually, which is what I suggest when you’re just getting started, that the person will work well virtually.
Not everybody is a great virtual employee. You need to ask these seven make or break questions during your interview process. To get your hands on them go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/208download. These questions will make sure you’re not spending time, effort, and money on the wrong person, especially if you are hiring virtually.
Now, before we jump into today’s episode and explore the seven distinctions I’ve made as I’ve built my team I want to let you know that this episode is brought to you by Gravy.
If you are one of my students then you’ve already heard about the power of Gravy. Here it is. If you have a subscription model business or offer payment plans like I do for my online courses you’ve got to listen up.
Imagine having your own 24/7 US-based engagement team who contacts your customers within hours of their failed payments and captures updated billing information and saves the customer you worked so hard to acquire. That’s exactly what Gravy does for me.
On average, our failed payment recovery rate increased from 33% when we were trying to do it internally on our own to over 80%. That’s a lot of saved payments. If your revenue is currently at $250,000 or more a year and you know you’re losing money due to failed payments each month I encourage you to check out Gravy.
One more thing. Gravy does a lot to get all of the technology set up on your back end. They do a lot of work to make sure all of the automation is working well and they take time to get their team up to speed on your business so they can save your payments.
Because of that they usually have a set-up fee to get started. But, because we are great friends with Gravy over at Team Porterfield, they’ve created an Amy Only offer. When you go to https://www.AllGravy.io/Amy they will waive all of the set-up fees and costs to get started.
This is huge and it creates no barrier of entry for you to go ahead and start saving those failed payments.
I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s go ahead and jump in.
First, before we dive into the seven distinctions, I thought you would find it interesting to know who is on my team right now. I’m going to run through the list. However, remember what I said, I want you to hire slowly. It was only about three years ago that I hired my first full-time employee.
Before then I just had people working 20 hours, 25 hours a week. I worked with tons of contractors. Nobody was on full time and nobody was on payroll. That changed three years ago when I made my first full-time hire.
This past October 2017 I made my next full-time hire. From there I added a few more but notice I have been in business since 2009 so I definitely took this a lot slower than most.
I don’t think you need to take it as slowly as I did. I’m going to share some things with you today that will help you build your team faster. I know I sound like I’m crazy, “Go slow but I want you to go faster.”
Here’s what I mean. I want you to hire one person at a time. Work with them for at least three months to six months and then consider making the next hire.
If you go at that rate you won’t feel so overwhelmed with training people and paying for people and all that good stuff. Stick with contractors or part-time people until you’re ready to ease into that first full-time position. Then wait a little while before you do it again and then wait a little while before you do it again.
You learn so much about yourself and so much about the capability of your current team setup that you make smarter decisions if you go slowly. However, I don’t think I needed to wait this long in order to build the team I have.
With the distinctions I’m making, I could have done this a few years ago and still had the success I have today. I’m just saying not to hire all at once. That is kind of what I’ve recently done and that was one of the mistakes I’ve made.
Just wait for that. They’re coming. My mistakes are coming your way. But before I get there, let me run through the team I have today.
Chloe – Project Director – She was my first full-time employee. She’s been with me a little over three years and in many ways it feels like she runs the show. She runs all of my launches and she manages a few people on my team.
She’s also someone I would go to to bounce ideas off of, to make decisions with, she has all of the relationships with our contractors. She really is at a high level overseeing the team and overseeing everything we’re doing.
If she knows about it then I know about it. If I know about it she knows about it. We’re really attached at the hip in that respect.
Rechael – Marketing Assistant – Rechael works under Chloe and is starting to take some of the tasks off Chloe’s plate because it’s very normal inside of an online business to start giving someone really good all of the tasks.
That’s a bad thing to do but it’s very natural. Chloe can do this and she can do that and she can do this so I would give it to her and give it to her and give it to her. Then I realized Chloe is working until 9 o’clock every night, there’s a problem here.
We have to pull some of the things off her plate. One of the things we’re currently pulling off of Chloe’s plate and giving to our Marketing Assistant is affiliate promotions, whether I’m an affiliate for somebody else or somebody is an affiliate for me, we are going to have Rechael, our Marketing Assistant, manage all of those moving parts.
The great thing is I don’t do a lot of affiliate marketing and I don’t have a lot of affiliates marketing my stuff so she’s starting out with a really small list and then I would like to grow that.
I would like more people marketing my programs. I would like to market other people’s programs more. But we first have to get the infrastructure in place. That’s one thing Rechael is doing.
Toni – Digital Coordinator – She is full time. She runs the podcast, everything related to the podcast is Toni: Project management, all the moving parts, getting it edited, getting the show notes written. She manages all of the moving pieces.
She is also helping us plan our live event for my B-School bonus so if you are one of my B-School bonus members and are coming to San Diego in the summer Toni is managing that event.
She has managed events in the past. We needed somebody, I want to do it in house this year, so Toni’s taking it over.
Angie – Community Manager – Many of you already know her if you are inside any of my programs. She’s also full time. Each person I’m talking about has been full time already. Angie runs my Facebook groups.
Now I have a podcast community. Oh my gosh, are you part of it? It’s amazing. It’s been a lot of fun. Go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/podcastcommunity if you want to join my free Facebook group all about this podcast. You will never miss an episode and you will get a few behind-the-scenes videos in that group as well.
Angie manages that group plus my Insider’s Club, which is a private Facebook group for only my students. I do weekly live videos in that group so Angie helps me with all of those live videos as well.
Any other groups I have, like right now I have the B-School Bonus private Facebook group where I go live in that group every week as well, Angie manages that group. We’ve got a lot of moving parts with groups so I needed a community manager for that.
She also manages all of our testimonials and she’s taking that up a notch. I can’t wait to share with you our entire testimonial project plan that you can implement in your business and that’s going to be in the new program.
Jill – Content Manager – She is also full time. She is going to be my sidekick for all content, content I do on the podcast, which is usually Gina. I’ve talked about Gina before. Gina was a contractor. I wanted to pull that position in house full time so Jill is now helping me with all of the content with the podcasts.
She is helping me get the topics and outlines together and all of that good stuff. She’s also helping me with all other content. Inside the brand new program she’s helping me do research and building out modules. She’ s helping me with free content I create for freebies whether it be inside the podcast or just stand-alone freebies.
If it’s content Jill’s going to touch it. I’ll talk about the fear of hiring that position a little bit later.
Customer Support Manager – I have a Customer Support Manager which will be full time but that position is actually open right now. I’m going to talk about why it’s open but I will tell you that having a marketing assistant was a blessing in disguise because we were able to pull Rechael into the Customer Support Manager position for the time being until we get it filled.
That means she kind of had to stall her training with Chloe for a bit but it was really a great thing because now our Marketing Assistant could step into Customer Support whenever needed. She’s a pro now.
Once we hire somebody Rechael can go back to her job. But let’s say the customer support person is sick and they take a week off, we know that somebody on our team can step in if need be. That’s pretty cool.
Stacy – I also have Stacy. She is part time. I consider her our Operations Coordinator. Stacy was my personal assistant for many years and I also moved her into this position so now she does a little bit of both.
She manages some moving parts on the team that I wanted a focus on. When my bookkeeper sends in all of the reports, once a month we sit down in a financial meeting, and Stacy makes sure we are ready for that meeting and we’ve got all of the details to look at where we are, where we’re going, and if we’re hitting our financial goals.
She also pays all of our bills. She also manages the team in the sense of making sure everyone is properly on boarded. When we do team outings she plans all of those. She wears a few hats and I know that might feel a little bit weird but I don’t have all of the positions perfectly in place.
Once person, Stacy, does a few different things. Because I’ve known her so long I knew she could handle these moving parts and none of the things she does requires full time or tons of time so she’s able to juggle a few things at once.
I have a part-time programmer and I use an ad agency called Dominate Web Media. I also use contractors as needed: A designer, copywriter, podcast editor. Those are all contractor positions versus people on my team.
Two people are not local. Jill and Angie, my content manager and community manager, are not local. Everybody else that is full time on my team and Stacy, who is part time, are all local to the Carlsbad area. I just kind of wanted to run through that really quickly.
What I don’t have is an assistant. I might hire an assistant down the road, someone to look over my own business emails. I have a private business email and all of those emails still come to me.
I used to have someone manage those but I don’t anymore. We’re going to kind of look at that and see if we want to change it. We also have different people on the team scheduling different things for me.
Toni will schedule all of my interviews with my podcast. Chloe tends to schedule some meetings with me as they relate to different big tasks we’re working on. An assistant would usually schedule all of that stuff.
The team has kind of stepped in and taken the scheduling based on what they’re doing with me. Right now it’s working. We’ll look at it down the road.
Again, I just wanted to run through that list. I wanted to explain that I do have a lot of local people on my team. I’ve talked about that on this podcast before. I wanted to bring people a little bit closer to me and work with them a little bit more intimately.
I actually have a grand plan to have everybody that’s full time on my team local but then I found Angie and she was too good to pass up. She was in Nashville, which you all know is where Hobie and I want to move to, so I thought, “That’s a sign.”
She was so amazing I thought, “We’re going to make this work.” Then I met Jill for my Content Manager, who’s in Asheville, North Carolina, and she was just way too good to pass up as well.
I was a little bit more lenient with my goal of having everyone local and I actually like the mix of local and virtual. If everyone was local that might feel a little bit overwhelming.
Having a local team and managing a team through a co-working space adds another layer of stress, for sure. There’s great things about it and there is a little bit of a stressful feeling for me to make sure they are all okay, they’re here, I want to take care of them at a level that is different than virtual because they’re here.
Having two people not local kind of alleviates that for me. I manage Chloe, Angie, and Jill, the three people I work with every single day. Chloe manages the rest, including contractors.
With that, it’s kind of cool that Angie and Jill are the only two that are not local on the team and I manage them and I don’t go into the co-working space everyday like Chloe does or Rechael or Toni.
That kind of works out for me as well. We’re just making it work. You’ve got to make your own rules as well as following some tried and tested guidelines from people you trust.
Hopefully I’m the girl you trust so I’m going to give you some of those guidelines right now so let’s jump to it.
Distinction #1 – Don’t hire someone unless he or she is a “hell yes!”
I’ve made this mistake twice now and it’s brutal when you make it. I’m going to hope you do not make this. Here’s an example:
A little while ago I hired for a position on our team and the position required someone to be a massive go getter, take initiative, create new systems inside of their position, really just run with it; a take-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of person.
As I’m sitting there in the third interview with this person, in my gut I’m thinking I don’t know if this person is a go getter. They’re skilled, they’re really nice, they would fit well inside the team, they have the experience, but I can’t see the fire.
I have high expectations for each of my roles because 1) I pay well, and 2) They are full time so they are all in. I expect a lot from each person on my team and I just had a gut feeling they weren’t going to show up to the plate the way I wanted them to.
But then, in that moment, I just internally said, “Shh, shh, just quiet that. That’s not true. You’re just being nervous about the position. You’re being nitpicky. This person’s really qualified. They’re a great person. Just shush.”
This is what I was telling myself in my head. So we go ahead and hire the person. Within two weeks I had to let the person go. I knew instantly when I started to work with them one on one, “This ain’t gonna work.”
I felt terrible. If you’ve ever had to let go of somebody, especially a really nice person, you know it’s a horrible feeling. Then I felt really responsible because I kind of had that feeling in my gut that they were not the right person and I did not listen to my gut.
I was working with a good friend of mine who is in the HR industry. I told her what had happened. She said, “Amy, if it’s not a ‘hell yes’ it’s a ‘hell no.’”
I think this is a good lesson for everything in our life but when it comes to hiring you have to get yourself to that “hell yes”. The way you do it is to have multipole interviews.
Ask really good questions. Give the person an assignment before they’re hired and have them work through something so you can see how they work. And then you go with your gut.
There is way too much time, money, and emotion that goes into hiring on your end and their end. You cannot afford to waste any time and money or emotions on hiring. Really listen to your gut.
It’s easier said than done, I know, but the pain of having to let someone go quickly after you’ve worked with them for a few weeks and then starting all over…I don’t wish that on anyone. So really go with your gut.
Here’s how you know if you are being true to yourself in terms of thinking this person is the right person versus hiring them for other reasons, do you feel desperate about hiring them?
Do you feel like, “I’ve got to get it filled. I’ve got to get it filled”? That’s what happened to us with this position I’m talking about. We had to get it filled quickly because somebody else was moving out of the position.
With that we thought, “Oh my gosh, it can’t be open.” We wanted the other person to train them and we had to hurry, hurry, hurry because this was important. Boom! We made the wrong decision.
I would have rather taken my sweet time and came up with a different solution for the role in the meantime until I found someone that was a perfect fit. There you go. #1, you have to go with your gut.
Distinction #2 – Every new employee gets a 90-day trial period
This is something new for my team in terms of how I’ve built the team. I decided to do this because of some of those mistakes I made with not hiring smart. I wanted to test the person out for 90 days before I considered them a full-fledged full-time employee.
This really means that you are open and honest with the person you hire. You say, “We have a 90-day trial period around each of our positions.” You can put some language together for this. I offer that inside of the new program coming out this year, how to kind of word this.
It’s important that your new hire realizes that at any time if you feel this is not working that you can let them know that it’s not going to work. With that it allows you to step up to the plate if you need to.
Before, I didn’t have this in place and there was tons of guilt. No one needs that. Yes, the person got into the position and I realized they are not a right fit. I don’t ever want that to happen again so that’s why I say to go with your gut.
But, if it does happen again there is a little wiggle room and an easier conversation to be had when there’s a 90-day trial period and the person knows you are experimenting with them and they are experimenting with you.
You want to make sure you’re a good fit for them and they are a good fit for you as well.
Something that helps with this is that during the 90-day trial we do a 30/60/90 day check-in report. We do a review with the employee. I’ve done this with each of my employees. Chloe does it with the people she manages.
At the 30/60/90 day mark we have a report. It’s a two-page report that we fill out. We go through and evaluate their progress until that point. We make any notes of areas that we think they are excelling and areas where we would like to see them improve or focus on more.
We allow them to ask questions to let us know what they are struggling with, if they are, so there is an open dialogue. That has proven to be really, really helpful.
Once the person hits the 90-day mark we do something kind of fun for them because we know it’s official. That has helped a lot as well. If you’re in the new program, yes, I am going to give you that two-page review that we use inside of my team.
There are so many goodies in this new program. I am such a tease on this episode! I didn’t mean to be, but oh my gosh, the program’s not even out yet and I’m telling you that you will get “that” if you enroll in the new program.
Distinction #3 – Hire more for personality than skill set
This one feels weird for me to say because I actually never have hired this way before until the last six months. I’ve learned this the hard way. If I hire somebody and I don’t think I feel really comfortable with them or I don’t see them fitting well into the team that could be a huge morale buster.
It makes it really uncomfortable for me to work with them. For example, there was somebody we were going to possibly hire for one of the roles about three months ago. This person was really skilled and very professional and really organized.
Those are things I love. Their personality was so wildly different than everybody else on my team that they would feel like a fish out of water every single day. They would feel uncomfortable, actually, with my team.
We’re not all the same. Yes, we are all ladies. I didn’t mean it to be that way, it is just that way right now. We’re not all the same in terms of personality but we all jive together really well. We come together so well.
For this one person, it would be so awkward for them and for us so I couldn’t hire them. I think that is really important. This is really silly, but I always ask myself if we have a long day at work with this person and we just killed it, we did everything we needed to do and had a great work day, would I want to grab some wine and cheese with this person after work?
If the answer is “no” then I am not hiring them. As an owner of an online business we have small, but mighty, teams. You are going to be working closely with this person and we’re not in a corporate environment.
There is a lot more feeling of comfort and connection in an online business like the one I have versus anything over at corporate. Because of that you’ve got to like the person’s personality.
You’ve got to want to hang out with them. I really do believe that. Some people are going to say I’m crazy, this is not true. For me, it is very true.
Let me give you two examples. I was talking to one of my friends. She has a mouth like a sailor. She said she hired somebody and this person was very offended by her foul mouth.
She’s the owner of the company and she can say whatever she wants to say. But she felt uncomfortable and that she was making somebody else squeamish every time an F-bomb left her mouth.
She said, “I just couldn’t relax.” That is not somebody that’s going to work on her team.
Another one of my friends takes this whole idea of being thoughtful really serious, which I love. She is looking for people that are very thoughtful, thinking of others, going out of their way for others. That’s how she wants to treat her clients and customers.
She wants to hire people in her business that are just naturally like that. It is part of their personality. So she does this thing called a Starbucks Test. After two or three interviews she will meet somebody at Starbucks for another interview or a quick check in or whatever it might be.
She purposely gets there a little bit later. She wants to see if the person she’s interviewing gets there first, maybe texts or offers to buy her a cup of coffee while they wait for her. She thinks that’s incredibly thoughtful.
She would do that for them and she wants people that would naturally think, “Hey, I’m here early. Let me grab the person I’m meeting with a cup of coffee. I’ll text them and see what they want.”
She’s looking for the thoughtfulness so she does what she calls the Starbucks Test. It might not make or break the fact that she hires the person or not. But she takes it into consideration, for sure.
One last example from my own team. I interviewed Rechael after Chloe had interviewed her a few times. Rechael is our Marketing Assistant. Rechael is young. She doesn’t have tons of experience under her belt.
To work under Chloe is a big deal. Chloe is someone that knows a lot about the business and she’s got her hands in a lot of things. The position, I would say, is a little bit high pressure in terms of having big shoes to fill if you’re going to take a few things off of Chloe’s plate.
I’m sitting in front of Rechael and she’s kind of quiet. She’s sweet as can be. She’s got some good experience for someone just getting out into the work world. She’s got a good education but she doesn’t have any of the experience I need for the team.
She’s never really worked in an online marketing world. She’s never worked for an online business the way we have ours set up. She didn’t have a lot of knowledge of opt ins or email lists or freebies or course creation.
However, I liked something about her. I thought she’s a go getter, she is hungry, she’s excited, she’s professional, she’s respectful. These are things I personally find incredibly valuable in my employees.
We hired her and it has been a great hire. One thing I’ll say is when you hire somebody for personality versus just skill set you’ve got to be ready for a long training ramp up. Rechael just hit her six-month mark and I feel like she is properly trained and knows her stuff.
If she doesn’t now she knows how to go get answers on her own versus having to come to me and Chloe. She’s right where we want her to be in terms of being properly trained but it took a long six months.
It took some trial and error because I’m not used to training people at that level and Chloe’s not used to stopping what she’s doing, walking through the process, showing Rechael how to do everything because she had to learn how to do everything.
Of course she did. Running an online business, what we do guys, is very weird to the average person coming in from a corporate environment. So we, as leaders, had to slow down and say, “This training process is going to take time.”
Rechael was a trooper. We didn’t know it would take six months. Now we know. With each of our employees that come in we’re not really expecting them to be fully up and running for probably a good six months. That doesn’t mean they can’t be valuable.
Angie’s not in her first six months. She’s incredibly valuable to me. But I need to slow down and make sure she’s properly trained. We just had a situation the other day. Angie pulled a link from a document and gave it to me on a live video.
I sent the link to everyone. It was the wrong link. I wondered how that happened. I was frustrated with my team. I realized Angie had never been properly trained on this special affiliate document that we have. Of course we do, right?
We have this process for all of our affiliate links with different tabs. She had never even been trained and probably had never even seen the document. She took the initiative and grabbed the link because I asked for it live and it was the wrong link.
I have to take ownership of that because I’m the one who’s training her. I had to actually apologize to her and the team saying, “I came down on you guys.”
I didn’t come down on them hard, I just told them, “guys, that was all messed up,” then I realized, oh my gosh, I’m the one who messed everyone up. I had to own it. That’s not fun. Not my favorite thing I’ve ever done but I’m pretty quick to admit when I’m wrong.
There you have it, hire more for personality than skill set but be ready to train your butt off with these people because that is what’s going to be needed. But now I have a team that I love to hang out with. I love how they talk to my customers and clients.
I love how they interact with all of you. It’s an extension of me as a personal brand so that is important to me. This personality versus skill set might be even more important to you if you are a personal brand and, again, you’ve got a small team that you’re working intimately with.
Distinction #4 – Find the right person and then adjust the role
This one goes hand in hand with #3 about hiring for personality. Let’s just say you found someone you really, really liked. However, they weren’t going to fit perfectly into the role you’re looking for but you just knew you could not pass up on them.
Then you’ve got to adjust the role. Let me give you an example. When I hired Angie, my Community Manager, who I just talked about, she didn’t have any knowledge whatsoever of Facebook ads.
One of the challenges is that inside of my communities, especially my Insider’s community for my students only, you will ask a lot of questions about Facebook ads. Although I can teach you the basics on ads, because I do that in all of my programs, I have an ad agency now.
I’m not in the trenches anymore with ads. In the past, if you’re one of my students, you all know Lindsay. Lindsay was my Community Manager and she knew ads well. It was just a really great coincidence.
When she would help you inside the Insider’s Club she could answer all of your ads questions. Angie cannot and I knew that when I hired her. Yes, I could get Angie trained but that is a whole other ballgame.
Training somebody to answer really in-depth questions around Facebook ads would take a lot of time and effort and that’s not really what Angie wants to be doing anyway. That’s not a focus that she’s super excited about nor do I want to take the time, money, and effort to train her in that. I don’t think it’s needed.
The reason I don’t think it’s needed is because I’ve got her working on a whole bunch of other things that are also adding value to the business. In addition to that I knew I could tweak the role.
What I did, I found one of the super stars in our Facebook group, and there were a few. It is something that I thought there were a few great people in this group that I could ask to help with the ads questions.
They are active, they are helpful, they are working in Facebook ads everyday with their clients. They are Facebook ads managers for other entrepreneurs. One of the ladies came to my live event. She spent some time with me and then she was a testimonial for one of my programs.
She had been in my program. She got success, which is always a big deal for me. She shared her success on video at one of my live events and then she made it a point to spend some time with me during the networking times when we were having wine and chatting with each other the night before the event started and all that good stuff.
I liked her instantly. Her name is Salome and I wanted to ask Salome if she would be our resident Facebook ads go-to person in the Facebook group. She doesn’t have to answer every single question. However, she is very helpful.
She said, “yes!” The thing is, I’m not paying her to do that. She’s doing it 1) out of the goodness of her heart, but 2) I let her know to tell me who her idea customer is and I will tell people about her.
I’ve got a lot of people asking who could do their Facebook ads. She was just starting to build her business more. She just quit her full-time gig as a pharmaceutical rep so she was doing Facebook ads full time now. She was looking for a few quality clients and I said I would help her find them.
There was a win-win for both of us. Now Salome jumps into the group a few hours each week and answers the Facebook ad questions. That was a win for me.
I love that I still got Angie. I didn’t overwhelm Angie learning something right out of the gate that really was going to be a beast and I found another solution. Look for the right person and, if you can, adjust the role a little bit to make it work for you and for them.
Distinction #5 – Use a personality test as a hiring tool
I learned this one from my friend, James Wedmore. He encouraged me to have all of my candidates take the Myers-Briggs test, the personality test that gives each person the results as to who they are, what they’re all about, how they process information, how they deal with stress, how they solve problems, and all that good stuff.
Myers-Briggs, if somebody were to take that personality test and give me their results, I can learn a lot about a person while they are in the hiring process with me. Now, is this the only criteria I use? No. But it does offer a lot of great insight.
I tend to ask the person, “Would you agree with these results?” The feedback they give me during the interview process, based on their Myers-Briggs results, says so much about them and how they see themselves as well.
It’s proved to be a great tool. Taking it to another level, what we like to do internally, we have studied Myers-Briggs, we’ve studied each of the different letters and what they mean, and we determine the right Myers-Briggs personality for each of the roles.
We can say, “for this role we’re looking for an ENTJ and for this role we’re looking for whatever it might be.”
The person might not be a perfect fit but at least we have somewhere to start. If they are way far away from it then it’s kind of like a red flag for us to look into their personality a little bit more to see what they are missing or talk to the person about their results and see if they are true to who they think they are.
I love using personality tests for each of the positions I’ve hired for and, again, determine the personality you’re looking for based on the test in advance and then have each of your candidates take the test, send you their results, and then during the interview process ask them if they feel the results are true. Why or why not?
There is so much you can learn from that, so much. That was one of the mistakes I made early on. The person I hired when I didn’t go with my gut actually wasn’t the right personality. I didn’t have them take the test.
Looking back, they were so far from what I was looking for it wasn’t even funny. I didn’t know that at the time though so this is one more tool that can definitely keep you on track with hiring.
Distinction #6 – Referrals work best
I personally prefer hiring someone who is a referral. Someone I know recommended this person and they can vouch for them. These days I will hold out for a referral versus posting on Craigslist and LinkedIn and all of the other places you can post a job description.
The problem is it takes massive patience because it is way quicker to put out a job description and hire from Craigslist. I have just found that I get the best candidates that are referred to me.
This is a no brainer. I think the key here is that you have to know you’ve got to be patient.
I always write a job description and then I email all of my friends, my friends in the industry and my friends that are totally out of the industry that I trust and I say, “I’m looking for a new person. Here’s all the details. Can you please let me know if you have someone in mind.”
Every single person on my team, except one person right now, is a referral. I mean all of my full-time team members. The only one that is not a referral is Jill, my Content Manager.
However, Jill was part of my community and she came to my live event. She sought me out, took the time to introduce herself, we got to talk for a little bit, she let me know she was interested in the content position, so I carved out a little bit of time. And, she knew my content.
She was a consumer of what I was already putting out there but she wasn’t like a raving fan. I do think there is a distinction there. When someone is a raving fan they might just want to work with you because they like you and want to be in your proximity.
There was none of that with Jill. She genuinely was interested in the content and she was a little bit more quiet, behind the scenes, which is perfect for the role she is on, and she was incredibly intelligent.
But she was in my community and I like that because it proved that she was genuinely interested in the content and she was going to be working on the content so, hopefully, that was true, right? She was the only one that wasn’t a referral but she was in the community.
I want to just put that out there that if you can be patient and go with referrals I do believe that the people you hire will be in it for the long term and you won’t have some of those missteps that I made along the way.
The two people that I had to let go quickly, I told you one story but I didn’t tell you the other (I’ll save you the hardship of that one), the two people I didn’t go with my gut were also off of ads and nobody on my team and none of my friends knew them already.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Yes, you can hire from an ad. Yes, it works for many people. I’m just saying this is a surefire bet.
We’re in the home stretch now.
Distinction #7 – Get over the fear of hiring
This one was a big one for me. Remember in the beginning I told you not to hire all at once? Well, things just fell into place on my team. We were letting a few people go. A few people decided to leave based on different life situations they were in.
Then I had some open positions that I had never hired for that I knew I wanted to hire for. I got this crazy idea that we were just going to do it all at once. Rip the Band-Aid off and do it. Don’t ever do that!
The stress of that is that everyone needs trained, everyone needs your attention, and it’s not fair to the new employees to be stretched so thin across so many people and it’s easy to get frustrated with people because they don’t know what they’re doing.
That’s your fault because they’re not properly trained. But, you’re going, going, going. I wish I didn’t hire everybody as quickly as I did. Like I said, I’ve got four full-time people that haven’t even been on my team for six months right now and then a part-time person that hasn’t been on my team more than 60 days.
It is very hard to add all of those people at once. We got through it. I really can talk about it now because we are through the storm. I think the last three months have been really challenging. But now I feel we got through it and we’re good and I can talk about it and say, “Don’t do that. Don’t do what I did. Slow down. One person at a time.”
Also, with that comes fear. Whether you hire them all at once like I did or you go slower, which I’m recommending, there is still fear. To be honest, the fear is, “Oh my goodness, I am paying for somebody’s livelihood.” At least that is what it is for me.
Remember, I’ve got full-time people. Putting food on the table and gas in their car and paying their mortgage, they are getting that money from working in my business, the essentials. That makes me so nervous when I think of it that way.
The reason for that is I just don’t want to mess up anybody’s life, if we’re being really dramatic. Also, I think this business had better continue to be good because I’m paying them every single month.
The truth is I would have never hired these people if I didn’t have consistent revenue coming in that could cover their costs and then everything else. The reason I waited so long to do what I did is because I wanted to make sure this revenue was consistent and enough.
It’s more than enough so I can financially afford this team and then some. However, there is still the fear. I’m thinking about you and maybe you’re not making as much money as I am making just yet and you’re thinking of hiring your first virtual assistant and are wondering, “Oh my gosh, if I lose this client am I not going to be able to afford my virtual assistant?”
That is a very real fear, kind of. I say “kind of” because that could be very true. You do need to look at your finances and question if you could really push yourself to make sure the revenue is consistent. Can you put some different factors in place to make sure the money is coming in and still pay for this person?
It might be tight. It’s always going to be scary in the beginning. But get real with yourself. Can you afford this person? Most of you, yes, can afford a virtual assistant. You’re just living in fear because you’re afraid to pay for somebody.
Start out slow, five hours a week. Then go to ten hours, then go to 15 and then go to 20. Then finally make that leap to full time when you’re ready. Don’t pay someone 20 hours a week if you’re not sure that you can afford them yet.
Ease into it. Start out slow. Start out steady. You likely can afford a VA, maybe not full time, but you could afford a VA. When we’re looking at these other positions I want you to have some things in place.
I want you to be launching on a consistent basis or have enough clients that you can pay for them. Then I want you to tell yourself there will never be the perfect time to add to the team.
What I mean by that is that it’s always going to feel a little bit scary to take that leap. Napoleon Hill says, “Do not wait. The time will never be just right.” Do not wait. The time will never be just right. I believe that.
When you’re building your team that is 100% true. You will always be scared to do it. Do it anyway. I’m so, so glad of the team I’ve created. I’m so proud of these ladies that have been kicking butt and taking names.
At the same time, when that fear creeps in and you think, “Oh my gosh, my payroll is higher than it’s ever been, ever of course, because this is the first time I have a full-fledged full-time team like I do,” when I look at that number I think that they are the reason why I eventually will be able to step away a little bit.
We’re still in that phase that I’m very hands on because they’re still new. But I know I can step away and not work as much because I have this team. I know this team will contribute to me making more money and a bigger impact.
I’m looking to this team. I’m paying them to help me make a bigger impact with all of you, support all of you at a level you never expected from us, and also allow me to step away a little bit more and still make more money than we’ve ever made before.
That’s a lot, right? But I’ve got to put money down to make that happen. You’ve got to have skin in the game if you want to scale your business, if you want to make a bigger impact, if you want to make more money.
It takes money to make money. That, I know for sure, is true for any business but, for sure, for the business that you’re building online. But go slowly. Be patient and do not compare yourself to me or anybody else because that’s not going to get you anywhere.
Like Oprah says, “Run your own race. Blinders on. Run your own race,” one person at a time.
There you have it. I hope you found these seven distinctions valuable. And don’t forget to grab the freebie for today’s episode. I’m going to give you seven make-or-break interview questions that you want to be asking if you’re hiring someone virtually.
Not everybody is a good fit for a virtual position so I’m going to help you ask the questions that will help you really decide if this person’s going to work well independently when you’re not around looking at what they’re doing, clocking their hours, and checking in all the time.
Definitely, get these questions at https://www.amyporterfield.com/208download.
Before you go I wanted to remind you that this episode is brought to you by Gravy. If you have a subscription model business or offer payment plans like I do you’ve got to check out Gravy.
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Go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/Gravy to get their special discount where they will not charge you a start-up fee to get going.
Okay guys, I cannot wait to connect with you again next week. Next week we’re actually talking about a topic I have never discussed before. That is, Should I Launch A Physical Product?
Have you ever asked yourself that? Have you ever thought about launching something physical and supplementing that within your online business? We are exploring that topic. I have a special guest you are going to love so meet me here again next week for Episode #209. Again, it’s all about launching a physical product to add into your online business.
I’ll see you then. Bye for now.