Mads Singers has an outsourcing business where he works primarily with SEO and ecommerce businesses. He has run a few ecommerce stores himself and has worked with Empire Flippers.
He’s given his own VAs (who he outsources full-time into external companies) SEO projects to build affiliate sites as part of their training.
Mads mentions how most SEOs are terrible managers.
To counteract this, he supports the management of their staff so the client (us) just needs to let the VAs know what individual tasks they need to do.
Each activity should be broken down sufficiently so that staff can easily be transferred or replaced.
This way you don’t need to hire or require expert knowledge; this way you don’t teach individual tasks every time, you train for repeatable tasks where there is no learning curve.
Start with the processes that are repeatable. If you have very custom processes where stuff is different every time, that’s harder.Mads Singers on building an SEO team
Mads asks clients to record videos of what they do, if they don’t yet have a process (Standard Operating Procedure – SOPs).
He then recommends the VAs perform the process several times before writing it up into steps.
The key thing for me is: It doesn’t matter what system you use, you have to pick one and have to use it. Where most people fail is they spend amount of time documenting all their processes, they never get updated and a year later none of them are no longer up to date or relevent, therefore it’s a total waste.Mads Singers on choosing a software tool for your SOPs
Mads has 25 people right now who are doing outreach full time on behalf of his clients and they probably do it in 25 different ways with so many different tools.
However if the VA does not understand the process, one of Mads managers would step in and help to clarify it, but they don’t do process improvement and they don’t share what works. They want SOPs to be private.
Mads is very experienced in hiring, training and managing people from the Phillippines and understands the culture very well.
He calls his staff team members, however the term VA is the one most people understand. A lot of VAs get set up with client emails.
Likewise most people understand the term outsourcing when thinking about hiring from Asia, but to him his staff are there to build your own team that have a very low attrition rate.
Some clients have actually sold their business and have his staff move over to the new owner.
What are you doing right now that takes you a lot of time and that you are pretty good at? The stuff you’re pretty good at you’re probably better at teaching other people.Mads on what to do with your first hire
Mads asked me the question, is there anyone else who could follow my content audit checklist and save me a large proportion of time – and the answer is yes.
This would enable me to reduce the price and/or increase profit margin.
In the example of website operations, the limitation or bottleneck has always been the number of deals I’m able to be involved with which was a reason I set up the matchmaking service to help investors find suitable operators to run their assets passively for them.
An alternative to this is to build my own team and run sites in-house.
But I don’t want to build my own team, I never have. Maybe that doesn’t make me an entrepreneur but I do buy services from people with teams and do partner with people who build their own teams.
One of those is a guy called Ruan – he’s the highest level operator I know and a true website flipper.
I’ve never seen a more professional operation in terms of team roles and SOPs and we’ve decided to partner up together and offer something truly unique – details to follow.
Mads mentioned the benefit of having a staff member focussed on finding deals – however in leveraging my facebook group I’m already getting proprietary dealfow in my messages inbox.
And that’s the thing for me. Naval talks about 3 types of leverage, labour, capital and media.
I’ve tried leverage other investor capital, and the way I flip websites today, off low cost aged sites, does not require outside capital.
I prefer to have 100% equity in a site rather and have no investor relations.
Ultimately to people like Mads, and Matt Diggity on a recent (last 10 mins) Authority Hacker podcast, the end goal of SEO is Management.
And ironically, my undergrad was in Management and it’s the last thing I want to do ha. The term solopreneur still resonates strongly with me.
We end discussing the 2 playbooks available for website builders and website investors.
If you don’t want any hand in it you need to hire an operator, not a team, because if you start hiring a team, you need to be involved.
Mads believes that I can add the most value in figuring out what it is that I’m really good at right now as that’s what I’d be best at teaching someone else.
I agree, and as mentioned above I’ve already started work on a product with someone who is expert in building a team, creating content and link building, where the result is website operations without the need to hire expensive experts 🙂
And I no longer offer SEO content audits as a consultant!
Many thanks to Smash Digital for sponsoring this episode – go to SmashDigital website to get a free video website audit.