How To Build An Online Business With A Virtual Team

TRS 03 – How To Build An Online Business With A Virtual Team

Don’t forget to Subscribe to The RIP Show
Host: Richard Chancey

What You Will Learn

  • What a virtual team is
  • A few thoughts on Team Leadership
  • How to find freelancers
  • How to pay and manage freelancers



BELAY – Find Your Virtual Team Now

Infusionsoft – #1 Business Automation Platform For Online Business – Outsource small projects

Upwork – Find freelance team members


Who: The A Method for Hiring – Geoff Smart and Randy Street

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You – John C. Maxwell


Camtasia – Video Editing software for online entrepreneurs

LastPass – Share your passwords securely

SweetProcess – Document your digital product processes

Calendly – Direct link to your calendar for people to schedule time with you


Don't forget to register for my Free Membership site. Click Here to get access now!


Transcript +

[00:00:00] Welcome back to the Ripp show session number 3 the repeat show where it's all about building revolutionary information products so you can work smarter and scale your business faster. And now your host Richard Chancey.

[00:00:15] OK in the last episode I talked about 10 Things I Wish I'd Known Before I took my sales final online or before I started building information products. And one thing I talked about was virtual assistants a little bit but I didn't talk in-depth about.

[00:00:31] How why and when you should start developing your virtual team now for those of you that don't know what that is. There are a treasure trove of experts out in the marketplace waiting to help you get started with your digital product. And today I'm going to dive in and talk to you about that. Now one caveat to this conversation I'm going to throw a lot of information at you in the next few minutes. Do not get overwhelmed. One of the most challenging things about having a business like this is the ability to take in information discern what's going to be actionable for you next and then jumping on it. So don't worry about doing everything that I'm going to talk to you about today. Just do something. My old boss John Maxwell says Teamwork makes the dream work. And in this session I'm going to show you how to build your team efficiently effectively and quickly. OK I'm going to talk to you about mistakes I've made and the lessons I've learned so hang in there with me now. If you don't know who John Maxwell is his book 21 laws of leadership is one of his core books John. I think he sold 30 million books over the years 35 million books just a crazy successful author who also is in the club that you and I aspire to be in the club of building and creating intellectual property repurposing that intellectual property and a lot of different formats and then selling that in a lot of different formats online offline those kind of things.

[00:01:53] If you've never heard of the 21 laws of leadership you need to go get it right now because this is going to be pivotal to the conversation we're having today about virtual teams. Leadership does not go away when you lead people people virtually. It actually needs to go up two or three levels because you've got to lead people that in a lot of cases you may never lay eyes on to get that book you can go to the show board slashed 21 laws. It will take you right to that page on Amazon. There should be a link for it underneath the podcast as well in the show notes. OK so stay with me here. Stats say in the next 10 years 80 percent of people would be freelancing. So what does a virtual team a virtual team is a collection of people led by a boss that are trying to drive an outcome. And they're taking bits and pieces of people's time and they're applying them to this goal of trying to reach a destination that may be building a digital product to maybe launch in a podcast. It may be doing a blog whatever that is. It's the use of people in a fractional way to be able to achieve your goals. Now here's what that means for us that we're quickly quickly quickly move into a results only based economy the days of being able to get a job and just do as little as possible to be able to keep that job.

[00:03:09] While those days my friends are coming to an end in the future it will all be dependent on your ability to keep your job your ability to have your freelancers keep their job will be dependent on can they do what they say they can do in a timely and efficient manner. Now the sad caveat to that is you still have to lead people because there are people right. We still have to cast vision to people and help them understand what it is that we're trying to do we still have to be aware that these people have families they've got bills to pay. The reason they're doing this is not because they're bought into what we're doing. They're doing this because they're bought into what they're doing. OK. And we've got to be able to combine the benefit of this to be in a great benefit for them but also a great benefit towards moving us towards that goal. The other huge thing about this is now we can hire specialists instead of generalists. Traditionally we've hired people full time. When you ran a business you would hire many times you'd hire somebody full time when you really just needed somebody about 10 or 15 hours a week or 20 hours a week to perform a task and then what you do is you backfill that person's time with other odd jobs because you're paying them right. You hire somebody to do one thing and then you have them do 10 other things in the mix of that they can get confused about what's most important. So the economy that we're moving towards means we can hire specialists.

[00:04:28] That means that we hire freelancers that do nothing but audio editing we hire freelancers that do nothing but video editing a lot of times people have those cross-over skills where they can do both of those things and in the beginning days we did that in fact in the early days I did everything. Ok I'm much like you where I have to know how to edit video. I have to know how to edit audio. I did it all and I still do way too much. But we're trying to hand off more and more content. And again I've mentioned this several times. I think that really does make you a better leader when you can you lead things better when you know how to do them.

[00:05:04] I am well-versed in the craft of Facebook marketing it makes it makes it a lot easier for me to lead people that are doing that the same thing with webinars. Email Marketing there's a myriad of things that I've had to learn to do over time. I did them all myself. But as I began to hand those things off my business began to kind of skyrocket. OK so traditionally we've hired people that were generalists. Now when we're hiring specialists we can put work in silos and only pay for the work that's being done that. So I'm not hiring a full time person to do audio editing. I'm paying that person by the hour based on how much work they do which is another incredible caveat. We don't have fixed costs so if they are months where we need less audio to be edited then we don't pay as much if there's much more we need more we can take a little bit more of that person's time. There are caveats to that. Obviously you're still going to need generalists to a degree. I think everybody needs a general a general vitæ. In my case that's my. Jessica who's been with me about two and a half years now and she's the Cacho I mean she knows how to do customer service she can run Infusionsoft campaigns she can taught me off the ledge. On days when I need to be talked off the ledge and by the way if you can find somebody that's two parts rock star and one part counselor I would say absolutely go for that. That's a shout out to Jessica.

[00:06:22] She's listening to this leadership. OK here's why leadership is so important because people will follow you based on where you're trying to go and not just what you're trying to do. If you want to capture the hearts and minds of people you're going to have to level up which means that you're going to have to be super clear when you're hiring people when you're interviewing people you want to talk about vision you want to talk about what it is that you're trying to do you want to make sure that there is a there is a chemistry between you and the people that you're bringing on so that they're not just doing a job. They get what you're trying to do. Knowing that they're going to be paid to do it. But you want them to have that connection. The second thing is you've got to have a results based economy. As I mentioned earlier there is absolutely no way to lead people in a virtual culture if you don't have a result that you're driving to and I'm talking about a clear specific result ok in the way that you do that is you create a scorecard for them. Now there's a book that I want you to think about getting. It's called who. But Jeff smart. And you can get that at the show or slash who in it's in the linked links below as well. This is a great book is going to talk you through. I've listened to this book several times.

[00:07:33] Every time we go to our new freelance writer ought to go back and refresh myself on it and really just get focused on one idea they talk about in the book which is creating a score card before you interview the first person for a job you absolutely Lootie need to know how you're going to measure success with that person because if you don't know I'll promise you this they won't know if you don't know. And then what happens is they think they're headed in the right direction you think. You may think they're heading in another direction and there's going to be a gap and sooner or later you my friend as a leader are going to fill that gap with suspicion and suspicion kills these relationships. So clarity is key. Now it's confession time as I always say if you show up I will hold back. I suck at this. I am not good at hiring people because from day one as soon as I get people on the phone I'm going to find something that I like about them and I'm going to overlook shortcomings and I do it all throughout the relationship. So for guys like me and you maybe like me too where you're just you're constantly find yourself just pulling for people for guys like us men and women like us.

[00:08:42] We've got to be able to put a scorecard in place and then hold people's feet to the flame on that score card. We can have great relationships with people we can be in tune with where we're all trying to go. And at the end of the day we can also have a scorecard that makes sure that they are winning. And when I know they're winning and they know they're winning. That is a great environment when I know they're losing and they know they're losing. It still makes for a good environment because when you know that it's not going well you can do something to change it if you don't if it just you have this kind of squishy feeling about well this is what I really want him to do. And then they're over here think of why I think this is what we should do because I know more about this area than Richard does. Then we got a screwy situation. OK that makes sense to kind of pull those people in and go forward. One thing that I don't have in my notes here I do want to mention to you is we are more and more as Jessica in our pool and in freelancer's one of the theories that we have is to have regular phone calls with people get on the call. Talk about what those people have done in the last week talk about what our experts the expectations are for the next week and then kind of do an evaluation of what has already been created.

[00:09:46] And I think it's so important when you do that that you actually can see the work that they've done whether that's Infusionsoft campaigns or marketing campaigns for you whether it's Facebook ads or results from a Facebook ad or it's copyrighting whatever those things are. It's so important that you have a way of measuring it. It's not just important for you again. It's also important for the person that you're working with. Now one of my big aha moments in this has been Jessica and when I brought Jessica on I said I was coming off of I basically had a virtual assistant hangover and Jessica made the final three in my first round up trying to hire me. Jessica made the final three and she could only offer me 10 hours of her time per week and I felt like I didn't need a lot more than that. It was a stretch with me back then. Financially I didn't need a lot more than that but I knew pretty quickly I was going to be it at least twice that much time and so I went in a different direction. And let me just tell you a gut feel has a lot to do with the direction that you go in and if you don't learn anything else from that you need to live and die by this thought process. If things don't start well they will not go well. If somebody does an interview well or they don't show up on time or you ask for certain content or you ask for them to do a little bit of work or show you some proof beforehand and they don't do a good job of it it won't get better after that it's not going to get better as you go along.

[00:11:10] It's just going to get worse. So if things don't start well they don't tend to go well. Trust that thing in your gut even if it puts you in an awkward position and you've got to go back to the drawing board after 30 days. Do that. The V.A. that I had before Jessica. Nice lady but right off the bat I could tell something was up. She wasn't getting things done she deleted Dropbox file that was the backup for text expander which is a platform I use all Mac that saving the massive amount of time she deleted the whole thing. Like probably 30 hours worth of content that I put in there. She deleted it. I was able to actually go back and recover it but that was work. She added work to my plates to taken away and the other thing she did was just not communicating very well with me. Now you as the leader have to set the tone for how you're going to communicate when you're going to communicate. Going forward I think that's so important and most of the time we don't do that. So if you're not starting to hear this already hear me say this you've got to put some rules in place for yourself as much for the person that you're hiring. And every one of these relationships is a little bit different. But you've got to be able to figure out what the differences are. Make sure there's a good scorecard and rules in place and move forward.

[00:12:21] The AHA for me was when Jessica started taking ownership of hiring and managing our freelancers our graphic designers copywriters and just everybody that we hired Jessica drives those people now and when they have a question they're calling Jessica and not me. And that is huge. Huge. OK so let me let me tell you this. Start everybody off everybody that you do this with. You need to as you're interviewing them you need to tell them this. We start everybody off with a 90 day trial. Now yours doesn't have to be 90 days it could be 30 days or 45 days or whatever it is. What I found is that for people that rock it's going to take you about 90 days to really truly appreciate what they're doing for you. For people that stink you're not going to figure that out for 90 days because everybody's awesome up front. OK so I hope I'm not coming off as sound and cynical what I'm trying to do is prepare you for this journey because when I came into this I came in eyes wide shut thinking I was going to hire somebody and then be done with customer service and check an email forever and I could go do these other things creating content and that kind of thing. And it just ain't true. That is not how it works you've got to be able to bring people in and you've got to be able to hand stuff off to them. And the way you do that I think is you want through a process where you hire people and you tell them hey this is going to be a 90 day test. Most of the people this is the awesome thing about this versus hiring somebody to come work in an office.

[00:13:48] If you try to do this with an office worker they'd say well I'm not going to leave my job and come over here without a guarantee that I'm going to continue to work. Most of the people that are freelancing this is how they live their freelance workers they work from home they work from anywhere. And they expect that they are going to have to produce and if they don't have that expectation move on. One other side note to the ability to have access to people that are literally anywhere in the world to do this work is huge. Right. I mean if you think about supply and demand the supply of freelancers it went up dramatically when the internet was invented right. Because we can literally work with people all over the world to get this work done. We've got to we've got a graphic designer we don't even know we're in the world he is I think he's in India Pakistan or India. And he is super responsive. Well he's given us access to high quality graphic design at a great rate because we have access to it through these platforms that I'm going to get to in just a minute. So let me dive in and give you a quick rundown of how we're using freelancers who were used for freelancers just because the first one I've mentioned her before she really is number two on my team she's the one that keeps me straight keeps my email straight my calendaring straight.

[00:15:03] In fact I remember when we hired her a few years ago I said you know the primary thing I want you to do is to get me out of the inbox because I don't want to I don't want to send or receive email and she said you know I'm I'm not even sure that that's possible. And I was like oh well we're about to find out because I felt like at that time my inbox was just covering me up I could not get work done because every day started off in trying to solve some problem with one of our customers. So I had her take that ever she's done a brilliant job what we do is we have a call just about every day at 3:00 o'clock where we get on she tells me what she thinks I need to know. And then she ask questions related to questions that our customer has had that she may or may not know the answers to or we may need to go farther up the chain to our subject matter expert and get the answers to so we deal with all that. At three o'clock just about every day and then once every week once every two weeks I've asked her to embark on a new journey with me which is don't work the problem. And so since this whole podcast is about digital products and automation we should be involving ourselves weekly if not more often in solving problems using automation instead of working those problems.

[00:16:14] And so what we do is about every week every other week we schedule some extra time in our calendar to say what's the biggest problem right now that we're have and related to our customers it related to our product and how can we go about solving that problem and they will dive into our systems and see if there is a way to solve that problem one that we're dealing with right now. Candidly is we have three different levels of our membership site and a lot of times people will sign up for the membership site and then you know months later the credit card will get declined because they didn't update it because of the expiring. And we sent out several e-mails six or seven e-mails actually over about a month saying hey you need to update your credit card are you going to lose access. Well inevitably one of these passer's will lose access and instead of getting on the phone and getting squared away right away they'll just sign up for another free trial. So now they've got two free trials in their program. And if we're not careful they'll be getting double charged and then obviously that will be our fault. And so right now we're trying to instead of working the problem which is OK when that happens. Let's just go into the system and we'll cancel the old one and set up the new and instead of doing that we'll go in and build a system so they can't do that or to make it a lot easier for them to update their credit card when they log in and see that that their credit card has expired. Now we already have a system like that. We felt like it was foolproof. But in the last couple of months we've had four or five of those. It's not a huge deal. Fortunately we've dealt with a lot of the huge deals but that's how Jessica and I work together see.

[00:17:41] So it's not the feel of it is very much the same as what you would have in a traditional office environment where she and I are working together trying to solve these big problems calendaring is another thing. So she's a she handles my calendar I try to make sure that she knows about every single thing that's going on in my day whether that's on the business side or the personal side. So that I'm not tripping her up by putting things on my calendar in my head that she doesn't know about and how do I do that. Absolutely I do. I plan things and back my wife and I are going away for our 20th anniversary this weekend. And I did put it on the calendar and I'm going to be gone Monday so do I screw that up. Absolutely. I do screw that up. One side note to one of the things that just is Jessica's doing right now is automating putting things on the calendar with other people which means we're using a platform called calland Lee. And with county we can send people that link and then it shows them the options that they have for scheduling time with me whether that be recording a web or podcast or just a phone call. She's doing that. But let me just tell you the brilliant caveat to that all Jessica Jessica's idea. So now I have people on my team that are making me better at making my business better making our team better because they're bringing great ideas to the table which Jessica does a ton of I know I'm talking about her a lot because she's awesome.

[00:18:58] In fact the Ripp show the name or Oppy revolutionary information products came right out of the mouth of my assistant Jessica. So that's a big thumbs up to her. She also does customer service now. Many of you will start out or have started out much the way I did which is you woke up one day and there was one person on the team and you had a hard time leading that person and it's because that person is you. And that's the way I started out pretty quickly when we got to about 70 or 80 members. Customer service was not a full time job. It was it required about 40 percent of my time and 120 percent of my lunch here. So even though it was only 40 percent of my time I felt like it was eating up all of my creativity all the visionary in me. I was constantly stay in the frame of solving a problem.

[00:19:44] And I love that side of myself that that problem solving side of myself. I love how I can take these problems into automated systems and build solutions. I love that part of it. But if you're not careful if you don't let the visionary out every now and then then you can lose yourself and just tasks that don't really move the ball forward. So I think it's really important to have somebody that comes in and does that kind of thing and does it well for you. Now let me tell you one thing I did when I brought HURLE after I had.

[00:20:09] We'll call it the nightmare before that with the person before that I decided as I was going through the hiring process again I'm going to sit down and I'm going to map out every customer service process that we have. So what I did was I took about three days and I went through the top you know 10 8 or 10 customer service issues we had people that had been in our system for three or four months their credit card expired and they waited a month that booted out of the booted amount of the system now they got to get back in the system get updated on their credit or get caught up with the payments and then get them back into our 24 month program in month four. Well I went through and I mapped out that whole scenario. I used a platform called Sweet process to do that which you can go to. Again the ship showed up comp or slash. So the process need to find a shorter way to say that. I will say that but anything I mentioned on here I want to make sure you know you have access to that sweet process. Basically as a platform just for what I told you it's a place to document and outline processes. Let me just tell you this Jessica came on board and I had about the top eight or ten mapped out. Saved us a boatload of time and now we're in the stage where we're thinking through do we need to hire somebody else to take customer service off of Jessica's hands and she will have to teach them how to do most of those processes.

[00:21:25] Are there some things we don't have mapped out. Of course there are. There are unique situations. But the top eight or 10 customer service issues we have are outlined in sweet process. And because of that we don't have to ramp somebody up and that we could bring somebody in tomorrow show and basically how you know the front end of the systems work and then when they have a question instead of asking us they can go to sweet process and it is a step by step. USC's screenshots to do a lot of that early on. Now we use video capture using cam Tasia to show people how those things work and the philosophies work and I try to do a really good job of saying where we're trying to end up is here. So if the way that we taught you how to do it is not the right way or there's a better way than that do the better way and then create a video and leave it with us. Now the big thing that does hear me say this no matter what business you're in. This is true your business is made up of a bunch of little systems and when there's only one person in your organization that knows that system and they leave that system goes out the door with with them. In fact I got hired to do some consulting about a year and a half ago with a fairly large company and I got into the company. They wanted me to come in and coach them up on Infusionsoft which they were a much bigger user than I was an accountant. They knew this better than I do.

[00:22:39] And I got in there and realized that the people that were running it were gone. So the people that were running the most important system in this business left and nobody else in the business including the owner knew how to run the system. That's crazy. It's also very lucrative when you're a consultant. But that's crazy. You don't want your systems to walk out the door with your freelancers. OK have I made that point. I hope so. The next next one is a and I mentioned him earlier. He does graphic design for us which are banners for Facebook ads and a quick little side note that we were paying him to create an image we'd give him an image and he'd create a banner on the image and we'd given several hundred images and he put the banner all all of them. We pretty quickly realized we could just have him create the banner and we could stick it on the you know 50 different images ourselves and instead of paying 50 bucks for every image we could pay a hundred bucks for two different banners and put those two banners on 50 different images and we haven't spent that much money. Hope that makes sense to you you've got to find efficient ways to make these things happen. Facebook is a whole different animal you've got to constantly have fresh images on there because again the ads get deprecated over a very short period of time and those images are going to make or break your ad campaigns. It also creates banners for our web ours. We have 11 webinars that we run twice a day.

[00:23:51] We try to create a brand around every one of those. I'll talk more about that in the future when we talk about this idea called micro-business formula that I'm developing. But when we build a web in our our webinars our sales environment we want to build a ton of assets around that environment and we need it to look like it's its own little business. Micro-business and if we do that by getting banners and graphics that make it look really professional and A-N does that for us he also does logos So he's done our 10:36 logo. He did Richard s.c dot com logo. I'm assuming at some point we'll have him doing the show logo as well. He does all of that stuff for us. Rob will let me talk about romal for a second. Romal has actually been with me since November of 2000 13 maybe 2014. So he's been with me a little more than three years.

[00:24:41] He works for me full time. He lives in Cebu Philippines the day that I interviewed him there was a typhoon going through his city and he had video that he put on YouTube like two hours before I interviewed him. He still could stick his phone out the sliding glass door and it looked like Jesus was coming back or I mean it was like a typhoon which in the United States would call these hurricanes crazy. I thought man this guy can communicate at all he's getting a shot because he's about to do an interview on Typhoon day. And I got him on the phone. He speaks pretty good English not great but what I needed was somebody to do a lot of repetitive tasks that could also know some of the systems that we use like Infusionsoft and WordPress and leap pages those things and Rabaul knows those systems really well. He's his background is in marketing and he is the ghost in the machine when we don't when we can't automate something using a system we'll push it. The romal. And then he makes it happen. He's 13 hours ahead of us so he's in the Philippines he's 13 hours ahead. And I can message him any time of the day and he'll respond. He works 9:00 to 5:00 Eastern Standard Time. We can't keep him busy.

[00:25:47] And one thing that should put the fear into of all all of us is if romal is the standard for what this kind of work is going to look like in the future there are a lot of people in the United States that are going to be screwed because this guy is a machine. He makes things happen very quickly. He's consistent. He almost never misses when we put him on a project he almost never misses. Let me give you an example of what we've got him working on. We're just one of the things we have gifts and passions tests that we give away with our church growth program. We also have a paid version of that which is sits on form stack and when somebody wants a paid version of it we charge 15 bucks a month for it when somebody wants a paid version of it. Robin was the one that goes in and sets their user idea for that in their and their their unique gifts and passions test. So what we do is we put as soon as they purchase an Infusionsoft we push a note out. Romal that says here's who this person is this is the name of their church. This is where they want their e-mails to go from submissions to this forum. He sets it all up and when he's done he sticks that stuff into a form in Infusionsoft and Infusionsoft knows then to push that data out to the to the customer so that they had it which is like a it's an I-frame for this form that they can put on their site and that because that will that middle piece of creating that form can be automated and we don't have multi-site capabilities on that platform. So we will does it. That's the kind of thing that we're automating to romal.

[00:27:13] The other thing he does is like do research when we're looking for you know if I need to know hey what are the top 100 you know sites that are selling digital products to churches. He'd be the guy that I'd go to for that kind of thing. When somebody calls me up and says Hey can you help me build a campaign and Infusionsoft. I say sure give me access and then I email him or I'll usually shoot a screen capture video and I'll send it to romal I go hey we need to build this campaign in this web in our in this Infusionsoft instance and he'll actually go in there build it and then I can just check it when it's done and then repetitive tasks sometimes Infusionsoft you have to do the same thing over and over again a multitude of times because there's no other way to solve the problem. And when that happens I'll build it once or twice. Shoot the video send it to him and then he'll go in and finish the project.

[00:28:01] OK. How to find your freelancer so him and to move ahead here. We've got a lot more freelancers than that and I had him in here somewhere but now they have disappeared. Only I know that off the top of my head the two that I did mentioned there were both. Got two guys named James one of them does audio editing for us so if we need a podcast edited we do a monthly Q&A with our pastors and we take that content down and stick it up on our podcast as well. We have somebody that does that and we have got another guy named James that's actually he's an actor in New York and he does video editing for us from time to time. We've got a couple of different people that video editing for us but we use different people for different things. If you can believe it if I'm looking for something that's more creative and I need more art put into it like a web it or where it's got to fit together and flow together and somebody that can understand you know the flow of how it needs to move into the offer and what happens after the offer offer I'll go with one guy and if I'm just going for somebody that just needs to chop stuff up and posted to YouTube I might use somebody else and I can do that because they're not full time employees. OK. OK so how do you find your freelance I'm going to start really simple. And then I'm going to move forward. Everything on here we use or have used.

[00:29:12] So this is not I think this is how this works. I know this is how it works. The first one is fiber FADEC or our dot com again it'll be in the show notes. Fiber is actually the platform we use to get the intro and outro for the podcast. You're listening to right now. Dunn the gentleman that I hired was awesome at it I paid instead of five bucks which everything is $5 it starts out I usually go with their most expensive option because I don't want to do anything I want a hand the whole thing off with this gentleman I paid him fifty five dollars and he did everything including writing the script. So I gave him a script and then he rewrote the script and did it in his way and flippen nailed it. I hope he nailed it. I hope you think he nailed it. I think he did. And that adds a level of professionalism to our podcasts that we don't have if I do it or if you know if I lowball somebody on doing it so that it's just a huge win. We've done a ton of graphic design stuff on vibra over time. But again you're scrapin I shouldn't say you're scraping the bottom of the barrel but anybody that's willing to start their service out at $5 have a strong upswell platform you have to question whether or not they are. How good are they because something that you're not going to use is not worth five bucks. Right. So we're always looking for. To level up with people now when you find somebody that's good you need to maintain that relationship with them and move forward with them.

[00:30:31] ODesk is the next platform. Oh yes. We've only used this a little bit every time. Usually it's known as the end the kind of techie side of things the coder side of the platform there's also another site called rencounter that we've never used but oDesk and redcoat are kind of the same and the fact that most of the people on their menu go on their Nilsa there are people on there saying they do Facebook marketing but most of the time customers come to oDesk they're looking for technical help whether that's API work. If you don't know what that is. Count your blessings. Web site development ASTM l coding HP CSSA whatever it is. Back of the house kind of you know graphic design or graphic design but web development that would be the place to go for that we've only had to use it a few times and we've had issues connecting Infusionsoft to other platforms. But now there's some other platforms that make that easier so we haven't been on theirs much lately. Ninety nine designs is where we found our graphic designer and and again you can jump on there. If you've never heard of 19:9 designs or you don't know exactly how it works it is a little bit more expensive option on the front end. The primary focus there on that platform is web design. It is more expensive but two caveats to that. Number one you can continue to work with your designer after the fact.

[00:31:45] So what they do is basically like people bid for jobs so you'll get preliminary looks at a logo or a banner or whatever it is you know you'll have depending on what level you come in. You might have eight 10 or 100 people vying for your business and you go in there and you pick the one that you like and then you pay him and I think the first time we used it it was 200 300 bucks to be able to to start up with that.

[00:32:07] But now that's the same gentlemen that we use for all of our graphic design stuff. And we wanted to paint him anywhere from 50 to $150 for a project which is a lot more feasible. So you can go in there looking for Facebook images boners for Facebook images branding for web and logos Petters for your web sites. Jeff's if you're into that kind of thing we use Jeff's on a blog post and web pages from time to time just to get a little bit more spot on the images. If you don't know what a Jeff is it's basically just an image. It's got two images overlaid on it and it blinks a little bit. If you've ever been on a really spammy sales page they're everywhere like flippen from red to yellow to green. But I'm talking about subtle changes. It might be worth looking at. We also used a platform called $20 banners. We've only used them a couple of times but they did really good work as well. I didn't even have them in my notes. That's right off the top of my head.

[00:32:57] Guess you didn't pay for that. The next one is up. This used to be called Elance if you kind of get out of the freelancer game for a little while. It's merged with. I think they might emerge with oDesk. Now that I think about it. Yeah I think that may be right but now it's called up or this is where I connected with Jesca I think that this had something to do with the find and romal as well. We go through spurts where we wind up posting a lot of information on here. I mean you literally can find people to do just about anything. I wrote a book on church construction a few years ago. The person that edited the book and produced it I found on here I will end up paying like 7 bucks from that.

[00:33:35] For that it was almost nothing. And again I mentioned to one of the previous episodes it got several thousand leads from that book. And I still get people buying that book on Amazon from time to time. I'm rolling in tens of dollars every month. That's a lot. Not that much. I'm rolling in like $10 every month from that book on church construction. Hey if you need a good book on church construction it's called Church explosion. Go check it out. So that's where I found Jessica interviewed her. They've got a great process. You post your job on there. I think it's a paid option now. Well that's a relatively recent thing. You have to actually pay to post your posting or it gets really limited exposure when I got on there. They were making their money just from the freelance thing. But I think what they found was people would hire their freelancers in there and then they would take their payments and move them off of a. And they were getting you know clipped on their one and a half percent or whatever it is three percent whatever they get paid the juice from putting freelancers in front of you. But that's a great place to start no matter what project you're working on. I

[00:34:34] don't you know doesn't matter what it is. Start with the lance whether it's graphic design or or anything else. The last thing I wanted to talk to you about is is a business called Bligh's solutions. Ballet is a one stop shop for outsourcing and freelancing so they cover everything from outsource virtual assistants bookkeeping writing webmasters what you're going to get with Balai is a high quality virtual assistant. Every single time and it's because of the system that they have. To go out and find great candidates. They they have right now roughly about 500 virtual assistants and they have people I'm talking about women that are working 15 20 30 hours a week you have master's degrees but they want the freedom inflexibility of being a freelancer and they don't want to go out and try to find those jobs. Well bullae is the one that sources those people and they just do an incredible job with it my first V.A when I started my business was through these guys. And then as we started using plants I was able to kind of trip and find Jesca. I can tell you this going forward if I had to go to start all over again I would absolutely usable. Is it a premium. Absolutely it is. It's a little bit more expensive to go through them.

[00:35:44] But what you don't have to do is Source good candidates the headaches that I've talked about on this podcast you won't deal with those because they're going to make sure you have a good person and if they don't if you don't they've got somebody on their team that their job is responsible or they're responsible for making sure that you love your virtual assistant. And so there's always somebody calling and saying how's it going. You can find out more about them at the showground for Slash belay and you'll find everything that you need to know about those guys. Let me circle back one more time and just say one more thing about my freelancers one of the one that I failed to mention in my notes was Neal the copywriter Neal that the copywriter that we're using now he does Infusionsoft campaigns for us partner web in our set up which has become a really big part of our business. And this is a big one and this is why I wanted to circle back and talk about Neal for a second. I got on the phone with Neal a couple of weeks ago and I said hey you know this guy is a rockstar copywriter and basically information marketer you know he's not limited to that one skill set and I ask a question that we should be asking of all of our freelancers is this when you look at my business what do you look at and say I can't believe they're not doing this. And the guy just started dropping gold on us. And so we basically put him in charge of our spring campaign which is what happens between Easter and when school gets out for the summer. This is a pretty decent selling season for our business. And he outlined a system that we're now executing on. Hear me say this.

[00:37:12] We are hiring people to partner with our with our company that are really good freelancers and we're leveraging what they know as well as what they do. So we're actually executing on a strategy that is not my own. That's like living in the future.

[00:37:25] To me that's that's you know the idea that somebody else is going to come in and make that kind of emotional investment in my business and help us drive this thing forward. Obviously it makes me want to do good things for him and have him be part of a bigger part of our business. But it's also incredible when you get other people thinking like owners in your business.

[00:37:44] OK I'm going to finish up with this really important part. OK if you have tuned out tune back in. You've got to protect yourself in a virtual world.

[00:37:54] You've got to protect yourself anyway whether you're going to do virtual assistants or freelancers whatever you need to protect yourself and be careful with your credit cards and your sensitive data when it comes to online.

[00:38:04] You need to find ways to keep to give people access without them having ownership to your stuff which means if you give if you've got one password that you use for everything and you give it to a freelance or you've lost your mind I can just tell you that you don't need to do that. Some access is more sensitive than others right. So I don't want to just give anybody access to my Facebook management account because that person could literally go in there and spend the credit card that I pay used to pay. Facebook which has about a $40000 limit on it.

[00:38:34] And we spent forty five thousand dollars a month on that credit card and it gets paid off at the 20th of every month. Well imagine what my surprise would be if next month I got a $40000 bill from Facebook that would be a nightmare. So right so I don't want to just give anybody access to that system Infusionsoft is the same way we spend $120000 building our e-mail list. The last thing I want to do is give somebody willy nilly access to it so they can just download that list and upload it to their platform or pull it into their their Facebook and create a market that they're going to compete against me on. Right because you can pull an email list into Facebook and do and map the e-mails to Facebook user IDs. I don't want to just give people access to that obviously like your bank information those kind of things you got to be really careful with that. So there is a solution that we use called Last Pass which you can find at. Richard chanty dot com ports last last past or the show dotcom pours like last pass. And it is a system that allows you to save all your passwords so you put your passwords in there. And the really cool thing is it's got some shortcut so it makes it easy for you to access those passwords and when you put that short code in it goes to the logon page and loggy right into the system if you don't even if you never shared it with anybody it's worth having last pass. I think it's $12 a year. It's not very expensive.

[00:39:51] But it also has a way for you to create folders that you can share with your virtual assistants and you can create different folders for different levels of sharing.

[00:39:59] Obviously Jessica has access to just about everything I have access to whereas our Facebook marketing team is only going to have access to our Google Analytics Facebook and Infusionsoft. Ok makes sense do not shortcut that you know don't try to say that 12 bucks I promise you you will regret it down the road. The other thing that it does that you should be thinking about is what happens if something happens to you. How will your spouse deal with this. So two things you need to get last pass and share it with your spouse. Right so it'll make you know make it easier for them to log in to everything. Well number one number two. Shoot a video that shows how everything works inside of there and where it where stuff is and if something happens to you make sure that your virtual assistant has access to that video to kind of jump the learning curve I know that's a morbid thought and we're about to close up here. But the bottom line is my business on the backend is a mess. I mean it is it there's so many systems tied together which is just the way you have to do it that nobody would really understand it. So we're constantly shooting videos to show how things work. But the overarching thing is if something happened to me I would want a friend of mine to be able to come in which I you know have that friend who has access to things I would want that friend to be able to come in and sit down and make some create some clarity in the situation.

[00:41:16] Wylma families grieving and going through what they would be going through. OK. Everybody that you worked with got to be paid right. So you want to be as careful as you can with paying people now. We are right now considering transitioning from using Pay-Pal to use an ATP to process checks and everything. We've got a lot more affiliates now for our program than we had at one point. It's getting a little bit more than what I can handle which yes I handle all of that right now. My CPA and my bookkeeper handle what I need to pay in taxes and that getting pay but when it comes to paying other people pay and the freelancers. I still do all of that and I use paypal and I think when you're starting out you should use pay pal as well. And one of the calmest common misconceptions about Pal is that it costs you money to send money to freelancers. Now if you push the wrong button it absolutely does. I think they charge like two and a half or three percent if you're sending money for work or business. There is an option on there that says send money to friends and family. I'm friends with everybody that we do freelance work with. That's what goes on in my head.

[00:42:17] So when I send people money to people I click the button that says send money to friends and family which is not the highlighted button when you log into your paypal account but I send money to friends and family from from Pay-Pal for everything that we did with freelancing with our affiliate partners will send checks from the checking account because it makes it easier for the bookkeeper to try. But we use Paypal for everything. Paypal is secure. You don't have to worry about any of that. You can take payments through paypal and all that stuff. But just from a standpoint of paying people pay pal is the way to go especially early on it doesn't cost you anything unless you're sending money outside of the country which I mentioned we have a Filipino assistant and it calls me. I send him fasten him 500 bucks he calls me two and a half dollars to send him that money. OK. So protect yourself as you move through this and make sure that you're using really good systems and processes. I hope that you have found this to be really valuable. I tried to go through this and really think through what are the problems that I had with this. One of the big buckets of things that I needed to outsource and what are the biggest challenges that we faced and how do we overcome them. Because I know that when you're starting this process it can be daunting. The most daunting thing is to hand off enough stuff that it makes sense to have a freelancer and then there's the challenge of overcoming your your need to control everything. Somebody told me one time that if you can find somebody that does that 80 percent as well as you do you should let them do it. And that's a great philosophy to live by and to end with. OK.

[00:43:50] If you haven't already subscribe to the podcast now is a great time to do that. And if you want access to the free membership site you can go to Richard s.c dot com for Slash register and you're going to find a lot of great information on there. And one of those videos on there is a video about how to start a business with no money. And one of the things I talk about is the journey from your basement and the junk in your basement to digital products through by way of doing freelancing so make sure you check that video out right after you register at Richard s.c dot com slash register and I'll catch you in the next session now in the next session I'm going to do something I should've done in the first session. I'm going to talk to you about what an information product is and what makes it revolutionary. And it just became obvious to me after I built the whole schedule for this first season that I didn't really get us on the same page for what an information product is so I'm going to dive in to what information products are in all the different kinds of information products and where you should start as you begin this journey into building your first information product and selling it.

[00:44:53] So with that I will see you or listen to you or hear you on next week's podcast. Thanks for being with.

[00:45:00] Thanks for being with us on the show don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. And remember to register for the free premium content mentioned in this session at Ripp show dot com slash register. Thanks for listening to the show. We'll catch you next time