Episode 34: Should I Hire An Assistant To Do Marketing?
Episode 34: Should I Hire An Assistant To Do Marketing?
Should I Hire An Assistant To Do Marketing? (ep. 34)
Having your first assistant can be exciting! But are you ready for a marketing assistant? Or would another type of assistant be helpful? In this episode, Pamela shares all the secrets for hiring the right help to grow your business.
In this episode, you will:
- Discover the criteria for knowing when to hire an assistant.
- Identify the stages of business, and the help you need at each stage.
- Learn the 5 biggest mistakes people make when hiring.
- 01:44: Let’s talk about the criteria for knowing when to hire an assistant (because often as you start a business, it can feel overwhelming).
- 03:34: Discover the stages of business, and the help you need at each stage.
- 11:40: Learn the 5 biggest mistakes people make when hiring.
Episode 34: Should I Hire An Assistant To Do Marketing?
You’re listening to ‘A Profitable Impact.’
Are you ready for a marketing assistant or should you start with something else? Knowing how to get help is really important when you want to scale your business.
Welcome to ‘A Profitable Impact,’ where every single week we help experts like coaches, healers, course creators, and other online professionals to expand their reach, increase their impact in the world, and be well-paid for their extraordinary skills and talents. My name is Gene Monterastelli, and I am the lead coach in Pamela Bruner’s Impact Accelerator coaching program. And now please welcome my friend, my colleague, and the CEO of Attract Clients Online, Pamela Bruner. How are you doing today, Pamela?
Doing great, Gene. And today we get to talk about one of the things that is it’s the hallmark of success for many people, which is hiring help, hiring an assistant because having your first assistant can be so exciting. But one of the things people ask me all the time is, “Hey, can I just started?, and “Can I hire someone to help me with the marketing?” And so I want to unpack all of that today. So in this episode, we’re going to discover the criteria for knowing when to hire an assistant and identify the stages of business and the help you need at each stage, particularly when does the marketing help kick in, and then what are the five biggest mistakes people make when hiring?
As we’re having this conversation today, if you hear some information that makes sense that you want to implement, but you’re still struggling exactly how you should be doing it in your business today, we would love for you to have a conversation with one of our coaches, absolutely free. All you need to do is go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, that’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, get on the calendar of one of our coaches. And they will help you to look at your business and how you can figure out the best way to get team, to help you out.
Criteria to Help You Know When to Hire an Assistant
Let’s talk about this criteria for knowing when to hire an assistant, because often as you start a business, it can feel overwhelming. All of the many things you have to do, many of which are some of which might be outside of your realm of expertise, because you went into business to share a particular expertise, whether you’re a coach healer or other expert. So one of the things that I love to talk about is the difference between one-off tasks and repetitive tasks. So one off task might be something like getting your website set up, like formatting, a lead magnet, or free gift or something like that that you want to give. These are things that need to be done once. And then presumably, although you’ll update your website, you’re not going to redesign your website over and over. It’s a one-off task. And usually now it does not benefit you to learn a one-off task that is not in your area of expertise.
So hiring someone to help you with that. And it’s not going to be a full-time assistant or even a part-time assistant. It’s probably going to be a project based contractor, but in those kinds of one-offs scenarios, it can be very useful to hire help when you have a repetitive, tedious task and freeing up your time will bring in more revenue. So if you’re at the point where, you know what spending a couple of hours posting on social media every single week, then it might help you to hire someone to do that. Now here’s the caveat. And we’ll talk more about this. When we talk about the stages of business, I wouldn’t at that point, turn over writing all the social media posts to someone else. I would still have you write them, but I would have your assistant do the repetitive tedious job of posting them in the scheduler at the right time on the right platforms, because that is something that doesn’t require creativity.
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The Stages of Business (and Who to Hire!)
It just requires implementation. So let’s talk through the stages of business and the help I believe that you need at each stage. So stage zero is what we would consider. Pre-Revenue, you know, you’re just starting, you’re creating your brand. Maybe you’re creating your signature system, what we call your high ticket offer. And as I mentioned before, it’s a great time to do the one-off tasks that you shouldn’t learn or, or you should outsource. So your website, your any formatting you have to do, perhaps getting a brand or a logo, those are one-off tasks you shouldn’t learn. And that’s a great stage of your business to get help in that area, marketing and sales. At that point at stage zero, isn’t necessarily to bring in clients as much as it is for information gathering. As you start marketing to people, you’re going to get feedback about the language that works, the approach that works. And while it’s important to start generating sales and bringing people in a lot of your marketing and sales at that point is going to be information gathering, which means you do not want to outsource
That. So one of the things I really love to do Pamela, at this particular point, when we’re doing these one-off tasks and we’re getting VA help, like when I’m working on branding or a logo or layout for a freebie is oftentimes I will. So my, my, when I’m getting this sort of one-off help, I use oDesk. And when I am posting something on oDesk to get help, oftentimes I will hire two or three people to do a logo for me, if I’m not paying a huge amount of money for it, because then I’m getting a couple of passes at it. And I get the opportunity to try out a couple of people to see if I want to use them multiple times in the future. But instead of hiring one person and they lay out the freebie and I’m not satisfied with it, therefore I have to go find someone else and I have to go through the process again. And again, oftentimes when we’re doing these sorts of tasks through a network like that, we’re spending less than a hundred dollars on the task. And for me, I find it really valuable to hire a couple of people and have them do the exact same task so that I’m getting some options, as well as getting the opportunity of learning information about folks that I want to use again and again and again, the future.
Hmm. Such a great point. Now, when you get into stage one and the revenue is starting to come in, then the, the need for help can. So this is where I said, when you have tasks that don’t require expertise, but require detail. So for example, posting on social media, sending emails that you write, but you don’t need to necessarily queue them up in your email management system and make sure they go out on time and test them and things like that, formatting a lead magnet. So whether it is processed tasks, things that are done over and over and over again, that don’t require expertise, but you think of as admin tasks and stage one, when revenue is starting, that can be a good time to start getting help. It might be part-time help. That is local to you, but more often it’s going to be a virtual assistant.
Someone you find online and usually the way that people like that work is while they can work per task. For example, if you say format this lead magnet for me, that’s going to be a one-off task that they’ll probably charge a fixed amount of money for, but you can also hire them on retainer for five hours a month. And over the course of a month, you probably have five hours worth of work for them to do that is an approach you want to take. When you know, you’re going to be in a repetitive situation with someone and it’s useful to share with them. This is how you do something, or this is how I want it done. And then know that it will be taken care of every single
Month. And when I am teaching someone to do a task like this, for me, what I like to do is I like to set up a screen recording, use a loom or something else, quick time where I’m recording my desktop and I go through and I do the entire process and I narrate the entire process. So I can instruct someone you can see here on my dashboard, I’m going to click on this link. This is where I’m going to paste the text. This is how I do stuff. And then after I have recorded the little video, what I then do is I rewatch the video and I start to write the recipe. Step one, this is what I did. Step two. This is what I did so that when I am giving someone instruction to take this task over for me, I have a video demonstration. So they can actually watch along inside of my systems to see what is going on. And they have something documented so that after they’ve watched the video, they now have a step-by-step recipe, which makes it really easy for them to be able to execute the tasks that we’ve asked them to do.
I love that. And you can use it even more when you get into stage two. So we talked about stage zero being pre-revenue and often one-off tasks. Stage one. When revenue starts, you start increasing the number of process tasks, the repetitive tasks in stage two, when your revenue is becoming more consistent at this point, people are often tempted to hire for creativity. I don’t think this is the place to hire for creativity yet, because real creativity is often fairly expensive to hire, but it is a great place to bring in more assistance with the day to day. Because at this point with stage two, you’re probably, you have an email list you’re sending regular nurture to that list. You might have a blog to maintain. You might a podcast that you do. You might have videos that need to be posted to YouTube. All of those things are things that it is wonderful to hire process assistants, virtual assistants to do repeatedly because that’s the way that your marketing stays consistent.
And stage three is when you’re ready to scale. It’s when you’re really ready to grow. And at this point, hiring for creativity can be great. So whether it’s a contractor or an employee, it’s people who can, for example, write emails for you potentially, or people who will come up with other creative social ideas, maybe people who can make the visual elements of your social posts for you. So you’re thinking this is someone who actually has a skillset and creativity, innovation, marketing, et cetera. The thing is by the time you get to stage three and you’re ready to scale, you almost certainly know a fair amount about how to market your business and you know, a fair amount about how to sell to your ideal clients. The reason that you do not want to outsource those until stage three is that if you outsource marketing, when you don’t know what works and what doesn’t, you may get someone who thinks that they know what they’re doing, and they really don’t.
And I’m not saying that you’ll get someone who is being malicious or underhanded. It just may be that they have an exaggerated belief in their own confidence and in their own abilities. And so what we want to do is we want to say, you know what, I know what works, and I want to be able to see in what you’re doing, that, you know, what works too. So don’t hire marketing until, you know, marketing don’t hire sales until, you know, sales. You don’t have to be a master at sales in order to hire a good salesperson, but she needed to be competent
Top 5 Hiring Mistakes
At it. I mean, as you’re navigating this and you’re trying to figure out which tasks to handoff and when to hand them off. I think one thing that’s also really important to remember is that when we are teaching someone to do something for us, particularly one of those repetitive tasks, because they don’t have the experience inside of our business in the beginning, it can feel as if it is taking longer for me to teach someone to do this than for me to do it myself and in a one-off experience. That is exactly right. You know, it is easier for me to do all of this stuff this week than it is to teach someone else how to do that. But the reason why we’re handing this off is because once they know how to do it, we are liberating ourselves for all of that time, moving forward, because we’re now managing the task and not doing the task. And so as you step into this and you start having people do things for you to remember that there is going to be a larger time investment on the front end for you to find, hire and instruct the person. But the payoff comes over time, not when we start.
So let’s talk about the five biggest mistakes people make when hiring the first one to me is just not thinking through what you need, because if you’re looking at getting an assistant to do process based tasks, repetitive, tedious for you, there’s probably a lot that feels repetitive and tedious that you want to have taken off your plate. And, you know, gene, I know we’ve called people like this unicorns. I want a unicorn in my business. I want someone who can write my blog and post it for me and make coffee. And, you know, and if you think through what you need often, you’ll be able to identify one or maybe two skillsets that are really critical. And other skill sets might be a nice to have, but sit down and think through what you need, not just for the sake of getting this done, but also what do I want, what do I need in terms of a personality to work with
Me, do this. And as you’re thinking through what you need, once you identify those tasks that you want to hand off, oftentimes I find it easiest, not to hand off a whole bunch of things all at once, because if you have not hired and brought on virtual assistants in the past, this is a new skill that you’re going to be learning as well. And so when I am bringing people on, not only do I want them try them out with a task that is manageable to see what their quality is, but I also want to make sure it’s something that I can manage as well. Mm,
Yeah. Such a good point. If you’re going to take the time to train someone, how to do something repetitive, you can’t train them in everything at once. The second mistake is hiring a friend. If that person really doesn’t have the skillset, oh, my friend wants to work with me. They want to help me in my business. They’re going to come cheap. They’re not very good with computers, but I really need somebody who can post on social. That’s not a good fit. So hiring a friend comes with some, some dangers and some challenges. If the friendship is more important to you than the relationship you have in your business, just make sure you’re super clear on that and be willing to, to either not bring that person on or let that person go gently. If it’s not working out and just say, look, I’d rather remain friends and I’m not really getting what, what I want here. And that’s okay. No harm, no foul. For the most part, I wouldn’t look to hire a friend. But if you’re considering it, just make sure that person does have the skillset and that you prioritize the friendship.
And I’ve also found when working with friends and communicating in that particular way, that I find it really, really useful when I’m communicating with them to flag. We are now having a conversation about the tasks that you are helping me with. So like this is a business conversation, business conversation it’s done. And we’re now back to just being friends and talking about what is going on, just so that inside of that communication, there’s a real clarity about what I need, how I need it. I’m talking to you in the context of the business, in this relationship we have. Then when we’re done with that, then we can continue on interacting. However we want. But having clarity of that conversation is also gonna make it great
Distinction. So let’s talk about bartering because to me, that’s the third mistake now, does that mean that you should never birder in your business? No, but most people go into bartering when they’re looking help with their business, with the approach that if I barter, then it’s free. Except that what you give up in a barter situation is almost never free. And it’s almost always your time. And so if you start valuing your time appropriately, you’re almost certainly paying more in the barter than you would. If you use that time to grow your business, and you just hired somebody on the side, I’m not telling you never to barter, but I am telling you that if you value your time, even at two, $300 an hour, and somebody is doing something for you and you’re paying them back with an hour or two of your time, that’s something that you might get 10 hours of VA time for. It’s not necessarily the trade. And the
Other problem that comes in with bartering, particularly when we are bartering, we’re oftentimes bartering with people. We have a good relationship with that. Their friends who are friendly with them, that’s the reason why we’re able to do that transaction. And when we are bartering, oftentimes it is significantly harder to have clear boundaries about scope of a task. So let’s say I’m in a situation where I have graphic design help, and I’ve bartered my graphic design help to get something else from my business, from someone else. When someone hires me to do graphic design work, I have a really clear sense of I am going to do two revisions. And then you get the deliverable inside of a bartering situation. It can be really easy to have poorest boundaries. And so I end up doing multiple versions of the revisions because I’m doing this in exchange and they’re helping me out. And so I need to help them out. And those blinds about what scope can get a lot blurrier. And so if you are going to end up bartering, make sure that you have clear boundaries around what is being exchanged for how much time, in what way that it is still a transaction. And so we need to be as thoughtful and deliberate about creating the terms of that transaction as if you are hiring someone to do it.
Fourth mistake is thinking that someone like you is the right hire almost always your first hire, whether it’s part-time or full-time will be someone who is relatively opposite of you. Now, there are lots of ways to think about relatively opposite. If you are familiar with the disc profile, the, the idea that D I S C you’re a director, your an inspire for your, and there are different words for these you’re a supporter is the S C is for, for creative, or it is the people who are often very detail oriented. So if you’re a DEI, don’t hire another da, don’t hire another inspired director, hire somebody who is an se on the disc scale. If you’re not familiar with the disc scale, you can think about this in a different way. So for example, spreadsheets are not my favorite thing. So, so one of the most important people on my team and I, I of course have a team of multiple people now, but one of the most important people in my team is somebody who’s terrifically comfortable with spreadsheets. I’m a coach. She’s not a coach, but you can hire someone who is an opposite of you. And that means you’re bringing different and complimentary resources into your business.
She is so much an opposite that the way she describes herself is I run on coffee and spreadsheets.
Okay, let’s talk about mistake number five. So the fifth big, biggest mistake to me is not doing your due diligence. Now I have a five step hiring process, which for finding somebody from oDesk, do a one off job for you is certainly overkill, but for finding a regular part-time assistant or virtual assistant, it’s not necessarily overkill. So let me just describe these different parts of the hiring process. When I put a position or job position out, the first thing that I do want to get a good resume and a cover letter. And that kind of thing back is I have a five minute phone conversation with, with someone. And if they didn’t give me back the application in the way that I asked for it, then that’s a problem. So when I put a job posting out, I will say, please send me a cover letter of at least two paragraphs in which you describe blah-blah-blah and your resume.
If that cover letter doesn’t come in, I don’t care how good they might be. They’re off the list because they didn’t follow instructions. Now, obviously, as I say, this, that is more important. If I’m looking for someone who’s detail oriented, I need them to be able to read and follow the instructions, but then I have a five minute phone conversation. If I can’t have a five minute phone conversation with someone, or it’s unpleasant, we’re not going any further. I don’t need to bring them in for an hour long interview. Then I’ll do a video interview with them. It’s might be 15 minutes. Do they know, especially in today’s world, how to show up on zoom, do they look professional? Is their cat crawling all over them or do they have dirty laundry in the back of the, the view screen? Those are all things that, that, you know, are a no go for me.
And then I, if I’m looking for an in person interview at that point, I would bring them in, or I would go into a longer skill set interview and have them take a test. So you can decide which of these various steps are appropriate to you, but just hiring someone on your gut, not a good idea, even if you only take people through one or two or three steps, make sure that you do your due diligence and also check their references and check behind people. So when we look at the mistakes, when we look at the stages of business and the criteria for hiring assistance, it can be wonderful to have help just make sure that whatever stage you’re at, you get the right help at the right time, in the right way so that you can move your business forward.
And so have you, as you’ve heard this conversation, you recognize how powerful it would be for you to have help on your team in a small way or a big way. And you’re not exactly sure which stage your business is in, or you’re not exactly sure the way to approach someone. We would love to be helpful with that. You can have a conversation absolutely free with one of our coaches. All you need to do is go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, that’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, get on the calendar of one of our coaches so they can help you navigate the world of being able to hire a virtual assistant. So you can have the support that you need in your business. If you’ve enjoyed the conversation today, and you have a friend who is also a course creator and entrepreneur, a coach, a business owner who could appreciate the conversation that we were having, please pass this conversation along to them so that they’re in a circumstance where they can have the information they need to make it easier for them to have a larger impact in the world.
If you have a question, a comment, or a topic that you’d like Pamela and I to tackle at some point in the future. And one of these episodes, we would love to hear from you. All you need to do is go to AttractClientsOnline.com, click on that Contact link, shoot your question, and just note that you’d like it to be covered on the podcast. We would love to do that in the future. If you haven’t done so already, please make sure you subscribe to the podcast. Subscribing to podcasts are always free. You can Subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Audible, basically anywhere you listen to audio online, just search for ‘A Profitable Impact.’ For ‘A Profitable Impact,’ I am Gene Monterastelli. Until next time, I hope you have an impactful week.
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