AskPat 397 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 397 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Before we get to today's question from Tom, I do want to thank today's sponsor, an amazing company that I've used ever since I started building an email list to help me build my email list, and that is AWeber.com.
They make it super easy for you to start building your email list, start collecting that database of potential customers or even people who are customers already, so that you can then better serve them over time through email, which is still one of the number one ways to communicate with your audience. As well, you can also set up an autoresponder list, which means a series of emails that are prewritten that get sent out sequentially over time to people, that help you stay connected over time without you having to put in that extra work in real time, because you've put in that work upfront to create those emails, so super powerful. Check it out. You can try it for 30 days for free by going to AWeber.com/askpat.
All right, here's today's question from Tom.
Tom Clark: Hi Pat. This is Tom Clark from ConvertDigital.co.uk. My question to you is how do you grow a business like an SEO business from being freelance to small agency, bearing in mind developing it from your capacity to taking it into—taking someone on. What is the best way, maybe interns, paid interns, or actually just actually full on hiring someone full time or part time? Your feedback is appreciated. Thank you very much. Bye bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Tom. What's up? Thank you so much for the question today, and first of all, I have to commend you, because I think it's important to have this kind of mindset when you have a company like this, a service-based business, to know that when you want to grow, you're going to have to hire out. That's just what has to happen if you want to grow. You can either continue to do the work that you do, stay at the same level, or do more work on your own and get burned out like so many people do, or like you said, hire a team or start building your team. And yes, you can build one at a time, and that's how I would go about it, to start adding more clients to your list and start to become that agency, and the cool thing about that is, Tom, eventually over time, you'll just become the CEO of this agency, and then you can have people under you that do the work.
We've talked a little bit with Brian Casel in a previous episode of the SPI podcast where he talks about also productizing your service, and that's something I wanted to mention up front just to make sure that you …There's potentially some things you could do even before you hire people to start building out your business, to start looking even more like a professional, to build more authority in the space to be able to make even more money through these products that you create for the service. So there might be, for example, certain things that people have to do on their website over and over and over again that you can take that work off of your own hands, provide white-glove services so that you can charge even more money, but also be able to serve people through these courses or books that are out there that can help everybody, so just something to think about. Look up Brian Casel, Smart Passive Income, C-A-S-E-L, and also he has a product called Productize. If you go to AskPat.com/productize, P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-Z-E, you can check out more information about that there.
Let's talk about hiring a little bit. Do you start with paid interns? Do you start with someone part time or full time? Well, I think it depends on what works for you and also what your budget is, but again, like I said, it's smart that you're thinking about this, and you could potentially hire someone part time to start out with or do an internship where people can kind of go through a test period. It kind of depends on what you are going to have them do. If it's more high-level stuff where you don't want somebody who's just kind of halfway into what you're doing, you can really get … Have someone come onboard for part time or full time, and you can just start there and see what it's like.
Now I would make sure that you know before you hire what it is that they're going to do, so this means trying to figure out, okay, what are the exact things that you have to do with the different clients that you have, and what are those things that you can have somebody else do for you, or what can you hand off—so creating that standard operating procedure, so that SOP, that list of things that needs to be done for each and every one of your clients, and then from there, when you write those things down, it makes it really easy for you to just hand those things off to somebody else.
I would make sure also that in the first part of your hiring process to make sure that you test people out. Maybe you have them do a little test on another website, maybe a test website that you have, to make sure that they do the right things before you have them working on your own clients' stuff. You can also work together with them on a particular client before you hand them off to their own particular clients, but again, this is your agency. You got to have people that agree and are of the same kind of mindset as you.
Again, when you start to hire people, you begin to create that company culture, and that's something that you have to think about. What does your company stand for? What is this agency going to be known for? When people talk about your agency, what are they going to say about it? “Oh yeah, Tom's agency is so great because …” Maybe things get done really fast. Maybe things are always done to the highest of quality or maybe a mixture of both, but what is it that people are going to say about you and your agency? Those are the kinds of people that you want to have helping you with that business in terms of people you hire.
There's no wrong way to go about it in terms of do you want paid interns? Do you want to hire someone part time or someone full time? That's completely up to you, but again, test it out. You can start small. You don't need to hire a bunch of people at the same time. Work with one person. See if that works out, and the thing to know is you're going to get it wrong. You're going to make mistakes in the hiring process. It's a completely different game when you begin to switch from solopreneur to entrepreneur and start to have your own team. You're going to hire wrong people, but it is a learning process, and it only can become successful when you start to do it.
Where can you find these people? Well, I would start with your own network or people that you perhaps worked with before. You are in the SEO space. You probably know some other people who know some other people who might need some help or could offer some help as well. That's where I would start. I wouldn't start with something like a Craigslist ad, although there's nothing wrong with that. I know people like Ramit Sethi from IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com has hired people off of Craigslist, and you could get good deals off of there as well, but again, make sure when you compose these job descriptions, when you put those things out there to get to hire people, that you are very clear with what it is that they're going to do, and as detailed as possible, and that way, you can filter out the people who aren't qualified. So be as detailed as possible, and you can also check out ZipRecruiter.com, a free website for hiring and finding people for your business as well. They've sponsored this show before, and I know they're a great service when you're looking to start building your team as well, so again, that's ZipRecruiter.com/pat. They get a free little plug here today based off of your question.
Tom, hopefully that answers your question and gives you a little bit of direction, but the most important thing is just congratulations on knowing that you have to grow, and just do it. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to lose a little bit of money here and there, but it'll make up for it over time when you find the right people, and you start building out your agency. You can start getting more clients on board, but not just more clients, but also making sure to know that you could also increase your income by increasing the value that you have to offer, offering different kinds of services vertically within the same kind of client base that you have as well over time, so don't just think you have to have more clients well, but you can even hire people on board to provide even better services to the people that you already have to make more money that way too.
Tom, wish you the best of luck. Thank you so much. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page thanks to the speakpipe.com widget. I also want to thank AWeber.com for making it super easy for me to get started with building my email lists. I've collected over 100,000 emails with AWeber, and I still use them today on many websites that I have, and I recommend it too if you're just starting out with building your email list. Super important for your business as Amy Porterfield says from AmyPorterfield.com, she says, “The strength of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list.” Go ahead and start building your email list now, AWeber.com/askpat. You can get it for 30 days for free, 30-day free trial, on AWeber.com/askpat.
All right, and here's a quote to finish off from Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo. She said, “There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down, because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up.” Interesting. Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat. Thank you.
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