How To Grow Your Business By Outsourcing & Hiring Virtual Assistants
When you run a business, you not only have to make sure that the business is growing in the first place, but you also have to make sure that the growth is consistent.
You can’t do everything by yourself. If you want to run a successful business you need to know how to play to your strengths. You may think that you can get things done better than anyone else, but the truth is, financial success occurs when you work ON your business, not IN your business.
Oftentimes, one of the biggest mistakes and roadblocks that a lot of entrepreneurs face is that they try to do everything by themselves.
At a certain point, if you want to grow and scale up your business, you are going to need help. In this video, you are going to learn how to grow your business by outsourcing and hiring virtual assistants.
Watch the video below:
Hey, everyone. This is Stefan from projectlifemastery.com. In this video, I'm going to share with you how to grow your business by outsourcing and hiring virtual assistants. Now, if you have a business right now that you want to grow, you want to scale it up, you want to earn more money, you want to impact more people, and in order to do that successfully you are going to need help. You see, you can't do everything yourself.
Oftentimes, that's one of the biggest mistakes and the biggest roadblock that a lot of entrepreneurs face, is they try to do everything by themselves. Sure enough, they're limiting their growth, they're stressed, they're overwhelmed and they're not able to make as much, automate and have freedom in their business.
Initially, you’re going to have to do everything by yourself
Now, when you're first starting a business, as an entrepreneur, for the most part, you’re going to have to do everything by yourself. I understand that. I get that. That's what I had to go through and that's what most people have to go through when they're first starting a business. When you're first starting it, you're going to have to play all the positions on a team. That's how I always view it.
At the beginning, you have to work in the business. You have like a sports team, let's say it's like a soccer team, and you're playing every position. You're playing goalie, you're playing forward, you're playing defense, and you're having to do everything yourself. That can be useful at the beginning because, #1, you might not have the money to hire people, so you're going to be forced to do a lot of things by yourself.
Then, hopefully, once you start making money, you can reinvest that money to hire help and have people help you to do a lot of the other positions in your business and help you grow more. Also, it is useful, I think, at the beginning stages of a business to work in it, and to do a lot of the stuff yourself because I think you learn a lot by doing it that way. I know for myself, when I first started my online business, I used to write books for myself. I used to design covers.
I forced myself to learn graphics design, marketing, SEO, WordPress and blogging. All these different skills. I found that even though it was very challenging to do that and it was a really huge learning curve, the skills that I learned were actually very useful for me. More importantly, when I got to a point where I started hiring and outsourcing different things, I understood these skills and I could effectively train people in my business to help me grow my business and do a lot of that stuff for me.
You are going to need help
I totally get it, I've been there but at a certain point in your business, if you want to grow and scale up, you are going to need help. You can't do everything by yourself. You are going to need to hire help. There's a lot of fear. There's a lot of issues that a lot of entrepreneurs face. A lot of entrepreneurs, they're control freaks, they need certainty.
They're afraid and they feel like other people can't do things as well as they might be able to do it themselves. To some extent, that is true, but to another extent it's not true because, oftentimes, you can hire people that are better than you at doing certain things. They've specialized and theyve mastered their craft and they can really help you grow even further.
In order to effectively scale up and grow your business, you're going to have to switch from working in the business to on the business. Being a business owner, not a business operator. Again, going back to the analogy that I shared of having the soccer team, I always view it as, at the beginning, you're the one that's on the field. You're the one that's grinding it out. You're the one that's in the trenches, that's actually playing the game.
You're doing everything. You're are playing every position. At a certain point, though, you want to be in the position where you're the manager, you're the coach, you're the person that is managing the players on the field. That's a much better position to be in because now you're working on the business, and not in it.
Even better than that is actually being the manager, and eventually the owner. Actually, having a whole team in place for people to manage and run the operations, the marketing, the customer support and the different elements of your business.
The end goal is to remove yourself
That's always the end goal, is you want to remove yourself from the majority of the operations in your business and you eventually want to be in a position where you are focusing on your strengths; what you're good at and what you personally enjoy in your business. That's the position that I feel privileged to be in right now in my business. You want to remove yourself from it as much as possible.
To throw another analogy at you, another way of looking at it is building a house. If you're trying to build a house as a contractor and you're trying to do everything, you're trying to do the plumbing, the flooring, the foundation, the drywall and the roofing and the electric, you're trying to do everything yourself, you're then going to be limited. It's going to take you forever, #1, to build the house, because you're doing everything yourself. Also, you're going to be limited in your freedom, you're going to be stressed, overwhelmed. You're not going to be able to do much else.
If you focus on working smarter and not necessarily harder, and you think to yourself, you know what, I'm going to work on the house, not in the house. I'm going to hire a plumber. I'm going to hire an electrician. I'm going to hire the painters and the roofers. I'm going to be the one that manages it. Now, you're in that position of the contractor, you can now build 5 houses at the same time because you're leveraging yourself. That's a much more powerful position to be in if you really want to effectively grow and scale up your business.
All right. I've already shared a few analogies and my philosophy with it. Some questions that I get is, “How do I find a virtual assistant or how do I outsource things for my business? What do I outsource first?” There's a number of different questions with that. I will mention #1, I've actually got a virtual assistant training program that goes into a lot of details.
I'll have a link below in the description. Right now it's primarily for Kindle publishers, for those of you that are publishing on Amazon, selling on Amazon. There is a lot of great advice and tips that can be applied to any business in that program. I am working on, maybe, re-releasing that program for any online business.
Hiring through a company
Number one, I think it's very useful at the beginning stages to hire freelancers that are based on certain projects in your business. There are freelancers on certain projects, and then there's actual assistants and employees that you might have. I prefer freelancers or actually companies and services that have a team in place because then you don't have to spend as much time managing employees.
I'll give you an example of this, my customer support team that I have formed my business, do an amazing job. Instead of going out there and trying to find VAs and train them on customer support, I found a company that specializes in that.
I found a company that specializes in that and I hired that company and they handle my customer support. That company now, I'm dealing with a manager who trains and manages the customer support reps and I can integrate that into my business.
I found that to be a very useful way, as opposed to having to train people and manage people because managing people is a full-time job. A lot of people don't realize that there's a lot of time spent in just managing people. Personally, for me, that's not really my skill. I'd much rather work with a company that can do that for me and manage it.
Another example might be is you want to get a website design or graphics. Instead of working with individuals, you can maybe find a company that has a web design, the programmers, the graphics people. Work with the company. You're going to pay a little bit extra because of that, but oftentimes it can be a lot easier because you're working with a company that already has a team in place.
They've already found the talent, hired them, trained them, etc. They can deliver better, more reliable results for you. That's one strategy of outsourcing. I love that, it's one of my favorite ways. It will always cost more money that way because you're working with a company and you're working with the manager and they already have everything in place.
Same thing with content companies. If I want to get books created, I’d much rather work with a company that has a bunch of writers and I just deal with the manager. I order from them and they have the writers, the editors, the proofreaders. They do everything for you and then they send me the book back. Then I can publish and market that book.
As opposed to finding a writer and having to train them, work with them and manage them. I found that to often be a lot more work. Working with subcontractors, freelancers, that's one great way of outsourcing. To find some of these companies, I'll share with you a little bit later.
The other way is virtual assistants
It's actually really the same way to finding the individual virtual assistant. These are people that you might hire as employees. People that can do certain tasks for you. You're going to find them, hire them, train them, interview them, manage them, etc. It'll be a lot less expensive doing it that way but it is going to require more of your time to train them and get them set up, etc. Both are effective ways.
Some of the sources that I use for my business are, #1, Upwork.com. Upwork.com, it's one of my favorite places to find virtual assistants, freelancers from all over the world. That's what I've used since the beginning. It used to be Odesk, now it's Upwork. They also own elance.com which is another website as well. Upwork I've used for years. I've got all my team through that website.
Basically, with Upwork, you can post a job on the website. If you have a certain task that you want to outsource or your looking for someone, you post a job. You put in a title, a headline for the job, and a description of what the job's about.
For example, if you're looking for a social media manager in your business, you post the job and say, “I'm looking for a social media manager. I'm looking for someone who has experience with Twitter and Instagram and Facebook. Here's what the job includes. You got to be reliable etc.”. Whatever you want to share about the job and what you're looking for when you post up the job, you're going to have people from all over the world that are going to bid on that job.
You're going to have people from the US, from Canada, from Australia, Europe, in Southeast Asia, in China. People from all over the world are going to bid on the job. They're all going to say, “I can do this, I can do that”. You're going to be able to see their profile. On their profile, they're going to have feedback and ratings from other people they've worked with. They're going to be verified by Upwork.
You're going to be able to see their portfolio and a lot of stuff from them, their references, etc. That's a great way to find and outsource things because you're putting the job up there, you're attracting all these people to your job. You can then screen through, see and interview the top candidates and filter them as well, to find the best ones that can help you grow your business.
The same process can be done for graphics designers or web designers and programmers. I've always used Upwork for that. If I'm looking for a web designer, I post a job. I share a little bit of the details about the project. I'll have people that will bid. When they bid they're going to say, “I can do this for you for 500 bucks, I can do this for 100 bucks. I can do this for 2000 bucks”. They're going to bid on what their rates are. Again, you can see their feedback and everything as well. Upwork or Elance, these companies, they work as a third party. You're hiring them through the website and so they take a fee from what you pay the freelancer and stuff like that.
Why I use Upwork?
The benefit of using a website like Upwork is, #1, they have what's called a work diary. If you're paying someone on an hourly basis, the work diary will take a screenshot of that person's screen and their activity every 5 to 10 minutes. Every 10 minutes you're able to see their screen. You can see their activity level and see if they're actually doing the work that they're billing you for.
That's very valuable because oftentimes when you hire an employee and you're not there, their virtual, you can't see what they're doing. They're billing you for hours in their time but you can't go to see if they're actually doing the work that you said. Upwork gives you a feature to look at the work diary and see the work that they're doing.
Also, Upwork acts as a third party to help protect you as the employer. For example, if there are any issues that you might have with your employee, which everybody faces at some point when you have employees, whether they steal from you, they scam you, whatever it is. These are things that do happen. Basically , Upwork will protect you. Upwork acts as a third party. If there are any issues you can report them to Upwork.
For example, I had an issue with an employee that was stealing money from me, my business. I didn't realize it for a few weeks. Caught it. Reported him to Upwork. Upwork took immediate action. Suspended him from Upwork. Reversed payments that I'd paid to him so I got reimbursed payments as well. Sure enough, it got sorted out.
Also, Upwork's great because your freelancers, the employees you hire, they don't want to jeopardize their relationship with Upwork. They don't want negative reviews. After each freelancer you hire, after you've done working with them, you leave feedback. You leave reviews. You can recommend them, etc., and that's their business.
I've always found it worth the extra bit of money and fees that you pay Upwork because they protect you in so many ways. They side with you. I just find the peace of mind, everything has been really great. Upwork is a great site for that. I'll have a link below. Elance.com is another great one, similar to Upwork. There are other sites as well, I'm not too familiar with, but there's like Freelancer.com.
Craiglist in the Philippines
I've found employees from Craigslist. You can post in different locations on Craigslist as well. Attract people to you that way also. Again, depending if you're looking for local or virtual, but for example, if you're looking to hire people in the Philippines, you can go to the Craigslist in the Philippines and post jobs there. You can be able to attract people that way as well.
When I hire virtual assistants my favorite country to hire from is always the Philippines. I found that Filipino people, #1, they're very loyal, they're very honest, and they're hardworking. They've got a lot of great skills. Also, because of the exchange rate, the currency in the country and everything, you can hire people very inexpensively there.
I think the minimum to hire on Upwork is $3 an hour or so. You can hire people there for $3 an hour, so very inexpensive as opposed to hiring in the US, Canada or Europe,. You might have to pay $10 an hour for the same job, the same work.
I'd much rather hire someone in the Philippines that is offshore, much more inexpensive and I'm not going to have to pay certain taxes and have them on a payroll and deal with all those issues, because they're virtual. They're in a different country. They're freelancers. I like hiring in the Philippines. Personally, I've had bad experiences with other countries.
Certain other countries have bad reputations, unfortunately, like India or Bangladesh. Some people have more challenges with freelancers in those countries. However, I'm sure there are great ones everywhere in the world.
A strategy and knowing what to outsource
I'll share with you guys a little strategy, a little tip that you guys can utilize to help you outsource as well. One thing that I always do. Right now, you're running your business, right? There are things that you're doing every day. You're doing stuff every day. You're taking action. You're growing your business. One question I get is, “How do I know what to outsource? What do I hire out?” Well, what you could do is track everything that you're doing right now in your business on a weekly basis.
All throughout the week keep a journal, put it next to your desk. Write down everything that you do. I'm posting this to social media. I'm submitting my book to these directories. I'm publishing blog posts. I'm creating videos. I'm interviewing this person. I'm doing these sales calls. I'm doing this, this, this. All the stuff that you're doing, okay, make a list. Everything.
Then, what you want to do is you want to take that list after a week or 2 and, first of all, put a dollar value to everything that you did on the list. Everything that you do, all the actions on your list, they're not equal in the sense of the results they're going to produce in your business.
Some things that you're doing are maybe things you could probably outsource to someone else for $3 an hour. Other things that you do, maybe, if you were to outsource it might cost $100 an hour. Maybe it's very specialized skillset.
Out of the list that you have, you want to put a dollar amount on the value of what it costs, what it's worth to hire someone else to do that for you. Very repetitive, mundane things that don't require much thinking. Whether it's submitting to databases, directories, data mining and posting things online, promoting things, back linking and SEO.
All these sort of things. Those are things that you could probably outsource for, maybe, $3 to $5 an hour. Other things, maybe like video editing, editing a podcast or transcribing or proofreading and stuff like that, graphics design, maybe those things, if you were to outsource it, it might cost $5-$10 an hour. Then again, maybe it's copy writing, recording videos and writing blog posts, those things, they might be worth $20 to $40 an hour. There are maybe some things that are worth $100 plus per hour.
Whatever it is, you want to do the best you can. Obviously, you're not going to be perfect, but you want to basically identify what are the things on the list that are the things that I'm doing that I could easily outsource, that, by me doing them, I'm losing money. If there's things that you're doing on your list that you could outsource for $3 an hour or $5 an hour or $10 an hour to someone else, and you're still doing it, well, now you're valuing your time at $3 to $5 or $10 an hour. You're losing money by doing it because you can hire someone else to do that for you.
You want to take the list. Usually, out of a list of things that you have, really, 80% of the things you can outsource to someone else. 20% of those things you want to continue doing yourself, become better at, and focus most of your time, energy and attention doing. Out of the list, take 20%.
You take those, you say, “Okay, these are the things only I can do or they'd be very expensive to outsource. I'm going to continue doing them. The other 80%, I'm going to outsource that to other people. I'm going to find a virtual assistant. I'm going to find people that can do this for me”. You're going to do that.
Working on the business, not in it
Ultimately, the position you want to be in your business, again, is working on the business, not in it. You're the business owner, not the business operator. You're the one that's doing the things that only you're good at, that you're the strongest at, that you enjoy, that you're passionate about.
For me, in my business, the only things that I really do is I create content, exactly what I'm doing right now. I'm creating videos, creating products, content for my member's areas and my courses, etc. Creating new courses. That's something only I can do. I could outsource this.
I could outsource people to create videos. If I were to pay someone to do what I do and create really high-quality videos and content like this, well, to have someone who's an expert and an authority might cost a couple of hundred dollars an hour for their time or even a couple of thousand dollars an hour.
I'd much rather do these things myself because that's a very expensive thing to outsource and I enjoy it. I enjoy this. This is fun for me. I'm sharing. I'm helping people. This is my mission. This is my purpose. It doesn't feel like work. I could do this all day, all week, every day. That's an example of one thing that I do all the time in my business.
Also interviews. I get interviewed, I interview other people. Coaching, to coach other people and host webinars and my coaching groups. Those are things that only I can do. That's a really core thing that I've decided, you know what, that's something that I've got to focus on as much as possible to grow my business. Another thing is coming up with ideas, the vision, the strategies.
Also, learning as well. Learning, reading books, going to seminars, coaches, mentors, learning as much as I can, because the more that I learn and the more ideas I produce, the more my business will grow. That's something that you can't really outsource. Maybe you can hire managers and people that can help you with that, but that's a very important thing that, really, you've got to focus on in your business.
There are other creative things that I do, like keyword research, writing emails and copy writing; these are very high leverage things. Copywriters will be very expensive to outsource. That's another thing. Another thing that I do is I work with my team. I train them or I manage and oversee them. Honestly, that's something I'm trying to get away from more in my business.
I do less of it now but I'm still looking to bring in more managers that can run my team. Everything else, though, I don't do. I record videos. I put it up on Dropbox. I've got a video editor who edits my videos, optimizes it, puts it on Youtube, etc. They put together a blog post, the thumbnails. They put together all that stuff for me. I'm not the one that's doing that. They put that together.
I've got somebody that transcribes my videos. My blog posts, we have a transcriptionist. I've got that outsourced. I've got somebody that's editing the blog post and writing things up and publishing them. I'm not the one that's publishing my blog posts. I've got an audio engineer that takes the videos and turns them into a podcast and publishes that on my iTunes podcast.
I've got my social media manager that's promoting my content and all of my social media, on my Instagram, my Facebook, my Twitter, etc. I've got that outsourced as well. I've got someone on my team that's promoting my content in other ways also, doing some search engine optimization and writing content on other websites that can help promote my blog, my platform as well.
I've got my customer support team. They deal with all customer, all emails, all that stuff goes directly to them. I get hundreds of emails and messages every day. There is no humanly possible way that I could respond to everything every day because it would be more than a full-time job. I've got a team that does that.
I've got a team, they moderate my comments on my Youtube channel, on my blog. They deal with all that sort of stuff. Then, I can go in once a week and I can respond. All the negative trolls and negative people and stuff that nobody wants around, they're all filtered out. All the comments are deleted and not approved.
I can go in once a week and I can respond and engage with my fans and my followers, and do the parts that I enjoy like that. I don't want to be the one that's moderating everything because that would just be way too overwhelming. If I spent all my time doing that, I would not get anything done. That's an example. I outsource that part of my business.
Same thing with other businesses that I have, like my Amazon FBA and my Kindle publishing business. I realize that, for me, those are businesses that I built when I got started. My Kindle publishing. The potential of that business isn't as great as the potential of Project Life Mastery. I decided, “You know what, I'm going to automate that business. I'm going to have someone to hire a manager that can run that business for me”.
That business can still grow or maintain itself. I'm going to focus more of my attention, again, on the things that only I can do. Same with Amazon FBA. Talking to my suppliers and getting reviews, all these sorts of things, I can outsource that to someone else. I need, again, to focus my time as an entrepreneur on what really matters that only I can do. That's a little bit about how I run my business.
It didn't happen overnight
It took time. It all started with outsourcing. I think it's one of the most important things. Number one, once you're building your business, you've got to invest some money into that. Once you start making money, you've got to invest it into getting help and building a team. You're not going to do everything by yourself. The software could help too.
Technology, I utilize those as much as possible. Definitely having a team in place has been a huge game changer for me because even if there's little things that I could do but I could outsource it, it's going to free up the mental energy. Even if it takes me a minute to do something, it's not worth the thought because I want my focus and my energy to be on creating the highest quality content possible to help as many people as possible.
I'm creating my Affiliate Marketing Mastery course; I've got editors, transcribers and my programmer. Everyone's handling everything for me. I'm investing the money into that, but I'm the one that creates the content and, again, focuses on what only I can do.
Again, this is what has allowed me to create more freedom, to automate different parts of my life, and do what I enjoy. Every day I do what I enjoy in my business, which is the really fun part. I don't really want to take a break from my business because I love it. Everything I do I love. It's fun for me. I'll wrap up soon.
One other important thing to understand is that when you start hiring people, it's a process. When you first hire the first employee, the first VA, virtual assistant you hire isn't going to be the best one because you're going to make a lot of mistakes. You're going to mess up. You're going to hire the wrong people. Really, it's going to take you failing a few times and hiring different people, to really get it and to know what to look for.
It's almost like dating. If you've only dated one person your whole life, you don't have anyone else to compare that person to. When your first dating you don't know what to look for, you don't know the signs or anything like that when you're meeting people and dating and stuff like that.
When you go through a breakup. You meet someone, you go on a date, it doesn't work out. That's how you learn what you're looking for in a relationship. It's really the same thing in a business as well.
You're going to have to go through a few different virtual assistants to really identify the best talent for you and your business. I've been through hundreds of VAs over the years and freelancers. Some of them have sucked. Most of them have sucked and didn't work out.
Now, I've got an awesome team
My awesome team, it's like when you've got that, you want to keep that. You want to protect it. You've found amazing A-level players in your business that can help me grow. I want to take care of them. I give them bonuses. I try to help them as much as possible with their life. We're like a family. I'm so grateful for them because they help me be able to do what I do.
Everything you guys see me do here, on my Youtube, my blog, wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for my team. It wouldn't be possible if I didn't have these products and services that you guys purchase and buy because you're supporting me to make a profit in my business. That profit allows me to invest so I can have more of a team which allows me to create more free videos.
Creating free videos on Youtube, a lot of people get upset when someone tries to promote or sell something to them, but you have to in a business. A business has to make money. I can't just put out free videos forever and spend all my time doing that because people would love that, and not sell or promote anything because I need to be able to make a living.
I need to be able to afford expensive camera equipment, like what I'm shooting on right now. I've got to be able to afford video editors and all these people in my team that can allow me to do what I do here on Youtube and be able to help as many people as possible for free.
Again, the team is really what's allowed me to grow and scale my business. Again, there's a lot of stuff I could share with you that I've learned. I recommend a great course. I've got a course that can help you, again, it's my virtual assistant training program. It's more specifically to Kindle publishers right now but I ‘m going to create a new one. I'm going to relaunch that course.
I want to make it more for everybody. Any business. The principles are the same, really. Finding and hiring, interviewing, training, managing, etc. It's the same for any business. The program can help if you are looking for virtual assistants. You want to outsource, especially for a Kindle publisher. That's what that program is more geared towards. Check that out. I'll have a link below.
I'll notify you guys when I have a new course available on that. I've learned so much on this, so much I could share. I'm really excited to work on and develop a new program for this.
Anyways, hopefully this was helpful for you and will help you to start to grow your business and scale up. Create more freedom, a better lifestyle and automate things. Really, again, just remember what I shared about working on the business and not in it.
Very important. That's it for this video guys. Thank you so much for watching. Leave a comment below. Let me know what you guys think. Subscribe for more videos. I'll see you guys in the next video. Take care.
Please leave a comment below or let me know any questions you have. I'd love to hear what you think!
Please subscribe below to get automatic updates of my latest video blogs:
- Click Here to Subscribe via E-mail.
- Click Here to Subscribe via YouTube
- Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
- Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)
Thank you so much for your support, and if you have yet to leave a rating or review, please leave me an honest one on iTunes, YouTube or below on the blog. I appreciate it!