Tega Diegbe, Author at Tega Diegbe
Open post

How To Build Your Email List Starting From Nothing

As a small business owner, I feel that my focus should be on creating assets, and having the ability to leverage those assets at a later date. More specifically, you should be building and controlling how you distribute the info/content you create. Learning how to build your email list helps you do just that.

I know people who built their businesses on Facebook when things were easy and all you needed was a Facebook page, only to wake up one day, and have Facebook say “You now have to pay to reach the audience you have built on your Facebook Page.”

I know people who set up affiliate businesses using Google Adwords (back in the day) making an excess of $5,000-7,000 per month, only to wake up one day to find their Google Adwords account shut down, because Google did not want to work with those businesses anymore.

Google Adwords

The above events are cyclical, and business owners have been talking about it for as long as I can remember. The thing is though, we get sucked into this new “Platform” or method and at the start, things are ALWAYS easy because the platforms/methods are new and they need to attract as many people as possible to use it. The easiest way for them to do that is to make it SUPER EASY for you to get results using the platform or method.

Then because things are easy, people get sucked in and don’t think about some of the fundamental things they should be thinking about to secure their business or income for the long term.

If you want to truly grow your business and make the most out of your content, you need to find the best solution that allows you to have full control of your relationship with your audience. This is where we talk about why it is important to build your email list, because not only will you own the racetrack (more on that later), but you will also be able to build a strong foundation of know, like and trust. 

Recently, I held an email list accountability program for a small group of business owners on Facebook to help people grow and start their email lists. The goal was for the participants to get their first 100 subscribers if they didn’t have an email list yet. And for those who already have a list, to get additional 100 subscribers. 

I also wanted them to start building the habit of consistently emailing their list. Being consistent doesn’t necessarily mean 20 times a week or 5 times a week. What I mean by consistently is that there has to be a set schedule and you stick to that so that you stay consistent. 

Another point I covered was tips on how to easily come up with ideas for your emails so you don’t stare at the “black screen of death” because you didn’t know what to write about.

Blank Screen of Death

43 people took part in this accountability challenge, and 25 successfully started their email lists. Currently, someone was able to build a list of 2,000 people at an open rate of 20% and CTR of 1%. 

And because these people started an email list, they were able to own the racetrack and grow their following.

Unfortunately, I don’t plan on hosting this challenge again anytime soon, but the good news is that you can find all the juicy bits in this blog post to help you start your own email list.

But before that, let’s talk about how important an email list is and what do I mean exactly by owning the racetrack?

WHY DO YOU NEED TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST?

Building your email list will definitely take some effort on your end, but the benefits to your business make your efforts all worthwhile. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should focus on building your email list:

  1. You Own the Racetrack. Personally, the biggest benefit of building a list is that you get to own the race track. This concept is something I got from James Schramko. If you like horse racing or if you are into horse racing, you can be the person who pays money to bet on horses. If you want to make money from horse racing, you can either own a horse or own a jockey. But if you want to be paid by everyone I just mentioned, you can own the race track. And because you own the race track (or your audience in this matter), no one can take that away from you. 
  2. It’s Easier to Build Relationships. Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what I want you to realise is that you are beholden to whatever platform you are posting on. So that means that your account and all your information is never really secure. Through your list, you are able to build better relationships with your subscribers through more personalised emails depending on their journey. 
  3. Ultimately Make the Cheddar. The thing with email lists is that whenever you build your list, you build your audience. And when you build your audience and strengthen your relationships with them, you are ultimately going to make money whenever you make an offer because of their trust in you. 

SOME THINGS WE WILL BE COVERING…

In this blog post, we will be covering the following:

  1. The tools that you need 
  2. How to build your email list
    1. Free Methods
    2. Paid Methods
  3. How to start emailing 
    1. What are you going to be emailing about? 
    2. Who are you going to email?
  4. How to manage your email list

Let’s get down to business…

THE TOOLS THAT YOU NEED

The tools and the features of these tools are important if you want to effectively grow and manage your email list. But if finance is a limitation, you can always resort to free tools at the start and McGyver stuff together so that everything works. 

But if you truly want to grow an email list that is going to support your business, you will really need to invest in the right tools eventually. It doesn’t mean that you have to start with paid tools, but in the long run, you have to invest so that you won’t have any headaches from maintaining your list from all the “McGvyver-ing.”

Here are the following tools you will need:

  • Email Service Provider – there are plenty of options in the marketplace. The one that you will choose will depend on where you are at the minute in your journey and to how complicated what you are doing is. Here are some of the options that you can choose from:
    1. If you are just starting out:
      • Mailchimp
      • Aweber
      • Getresponse
    2. If you want more advanced options:
      • ActiveCampaign
      • Drip
      • ConvertKit
      • Clickfunnels
      • Infusionsoft
  • Landing Page Builder – choosing this will depend on where you are and what your technical skills are. For my business, I use ClickFunnels, which can be a bit pricey, but it is what I found fits with my business needs. I’ve used ClickFunnels on several occasions, especially when I ran a 5-Day Ads to Leads Challenge for my audience. Here is how part of my landing page looked for the challenge:

Landing Page

  • Website/Web Host – this is one of the things that people are debating about. Whether you actually need one or not, because most landing page builders negate the need for you to have one. But my point of view is, if you truly want to own the racetrack, why should you beholden yourself to a landing page service or builder? Let’s take ClickFunnels for example, which is the page builder I use. In 2019, it went down 5 times so people could not send traffic to those pages. So can you imagine people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid traffic and if they don’t have a backup page if ClickFunnels goes down, that’s money down the drain. Owning your own website gives you full control and security. 
  • File Storage – depending on what you’re doing and how big you are, you can use services like DropBox and Google Drive without needing the paid plan. It all comes down to personal preference. 
  • Lead Magnet – most people think of lead magnets as a PDF, free email course or anything that you give away in exchange for someone’s email address. Although this is true, something most people don’t talk about is that you can be your own lead magnet. This means that you can share your own personal experiences with other people. and those who are interested to know about it can sign up to your email list. Don’t constrain yourself to thinking of it as a deliverable and think of it a bit more creatively. Here is a sample of one of my Lead Magnets:

Lead Magnet

Although I did mention some of the tools that I personally use, I highly discourage you to use these if ever your reason is just because I use them. Remember that we all have different needs and so the tools relevant for your business will be different from mine.

And once you’ve decided on your tools, know that you can always decide to switch if you find that the ones you’ve chosen don’t seem to fit. It’s all about trial, error, and experimentation.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST

There are primarily 2 ways by which you can build your email list. It’s either through paid or free ways. In an ideal world, you should use a mix of both because each option, to some degree, helps you leverage for list growth. 

For both methods, I just want to point out that I haven’t used ALL of these options, so this will all just be a brief overview of everything.

FREE METHODS

Here are some of the free methods you can use to build your email list:

  • Content. This is something that I believe everyone should do. This can include written, audio, video, and content upgrades (aka bonus material to amplify or enhance the experience of the reader/viewer after going through your content). So whenever you create content, you always have to focus on the objective of growing your email list. 
  • The 3F Formula. The 3 F’s consist of your friends, fans, and followers. The idea is to make a list of each of these people, roll up your sleeves, and make the time to get these people into your email list. What I did is that I sent a personalized email to the people in my 3F’s and asked them if they are interested in XYZ with the goal of receiving XYZ benefit. If yes, they sign up for my email list. And the worst thing that can happen is that they say no. And if no, simply say thank you and move on. You really have nothing to lose! 

These two organic methods are all about leveraging on what you have, especially if you have a following on any of the social media platforms. Work on creating great content, add a few content upgrades, and encourage people from your 3F’s to sign up for your email list. 

USING PAID TRAFFIC

Let’s cover the super basics of using paid traffic to start building your email list (since I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject).

The beauty of using paid traffic is that when you see that you have good conversion rates for any of the organic content you put out there, you can use paid traffic to promote your content and get more exposure and subscribers from there. 

To get started, there are a couple of things you need to have in place:

  • Basic funnel. The goal here is to keep this as simple as possible. There’s no point in making it complicated because based on my personal experience, this leads to procrastination. You need to have your opt-in page, thank you page, and download page for a start. Here is a sample of a thank you page I created:

Thank You Page

  • Your indoctrination emails. When people opt-in to your list, the first email you should send is an indoctrination email. This should be prepared beforehand so that when people signup, you know what email they are going to get. The main goal here is to build KLT (know, like and trust) and further encourage them to use the thing that you’ve given them. 
  • Your platform of choice. You need to choose your platform such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. to manage and promote your content. This will depend on what you’re comfortable with and whether you already have a following in any of these platforms.

The key thing to note is that whenever you use paid traffic, you need to have your pixel, whether it’s a Google remarketing pixel or Facebook pixel, installed funnel-wide. This means that it should be installed in every page that people are going to visit. 

The reason for this is that when you run cold traffic, a number of people won’t opt-in on the first go, so you need to go back to them with ads called retargeting ads, which reminds people about the ads that they didn’t click on the last time. 

Utilizing pixels answers your question on knowing whether someone has opted in or not. To go even more granular, if you want to separate those who have opted in and downloaded, and those who have opted in but not downloaded, you can set up something called Conversion Events which can be setup via Facebook or Google.

So when you are doing retargeting, someone who opts in and downloads is more likely to become a customer as opposed to someone who opts in and doesn’t download. 

It’s all about knowing how to read your data and doing all the necessary adjustments to make the most out of the funds you spent on these paid methods.

Another great practice when you have access to paid tools is that you can segment your audience, so that you can send the right email to the right person at the right time. 

TYPES OF SEGMENTATION

What is segmentation? Basically the idea of segmentation is dividing up people on your list or creating a way to identify the people on your list so that you know where they are on their journey. 

Segmentation is something that you can implement for paid email service providers such as ActiveCampaign so it is a little bit more advanced, but I wanted to give you a quick overview on this topic. 

Segmentation

To give you some context, let’s talk about segmentation for a fitness coach who specializes in weight loss for women. 

So possible segments for this coach’s list can be professional women, stay-at-home moms, and brand new moms. These three belong to different segments because they are from different stages of their weight-loss journey. 

The brand new mom for example will be trying to shed some baby weight, the professional woman is not going to have enough time to dedicate to working out, and the stay-at-home mom may only be able to work out at home. So the message to each of these women should be different, right? 

That is how segmentation goes. Knowing where your customers are allows you to send them the right messages that are relevant to their needs.

When it comes to how you decide to segment, there are three types that you can do:

  • Pre segmentation – this is when you identify people before they get on your list. This means that the messages you put out should ideally pre-segment your audience. So if a certain call-to-action or content upgrade is relevant to them, they decide to sign up for your email list and receive KLT messages related to what it is they are looking for. 
  • Post segmentation – this happens when you segment them AFTER they are already on your list. I’ve done this with ActiveCampaign through the tagging function and asking people some questions to help them identify which bracket they fall under through letting them click on specific links. In other words, for every email you are sending out, there is an automation working in the background to segment people based on the types of emails or messages they are interacting with. You can do this with simpler email service providers but it’s a bit more finicky. 
  • Campaign-based segmentation – this type of segmentation is relevant if you plan on launching a campaign and you can ask your audience if they are interested in it or not. If they indicate that they are interested, they will be getting all the emails for that campaign and all the promotions. On the other hand, for those who aren’t interested don’t get anything related to the campaign but will still be on your email list. Campaign-based segmentation allows you to get to know where people are on their journey.

HOW TO START EMAILING

When it comes to starting your email list, there are a number of things I believe that you need to ask yourselves and know the answers to:

  1. What are you going to be emailing about? 
  2. Who are you going to email?

Let’s cover each of the points.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE EMAILING ABOUT?

When it comes to the content of your emails, here are a few things you can write about to help you get started:

  1. Results – this is all about sharing your results or achievements and talking about what action plans you took to achieve them.
  2. Day in the life – you can talk about the stuff that you’ve learned from your own personal experiences or even any books, movies, or insights you’ve recently encountered.
  3. Challenges, “failures” & triumphs – my friend Dan Meredith has a knack of sharing these types of experiences on Social Media and his email lists wherein he takes a “failure” and turns it into something funny and memorable. You can then talk about how you overcame these challenges and turned it into triumphs.

What to Email About

When sharing to your email list subscribers, the key thing is really to just live your life and from the mere act of living, “failing” and trying things, you are going to have an endless amount of content you can revert back to. Being natural also means that you don’t sound too pushy or sales-y when it’s the time to make an offer. 

WHO ARE YOU GOING TO EMAIL? 

As we covered a while ago, knowing who to email to is important because you need to tailor your messages for each of your readers/groups. I segmented the readers three different groups:

  1. Leads
  2. Buyers
  3. Repeat Buyers

Everyone who is one of these groups will respond differently to the different kinds of emails that you send. So going back to the previous example, theoretically, leads would be more interested in you sharing a story about your results rather than a day in the life email. 

Buyers would be more interested in you sharing the challenges and trials you’ve experienced in your weight loss journey (as with the example of the weight-loss coach) and would far more likely convert them into repeat buyers. 

This is where segmentation comes in. To help you identify who to send what specific email to. You need to also know where you will be starting and who you will be targeting from the three groups above. That way, it’ll be easier for you to craft your emails.

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EMAIL LIST

Gaining an audience is only the start of the journey, and the work doesn’t end there. 

The main goal of list management is to maintain the quality of the people on your list. So this includes people who open your emails, engage, click through your emails, and those who are buying.

Manage Your Email List

Here are some of the things you can do to maintain a quality email list:

  1. Remove the deadwood. Some examples of deadwood are people who simply subscribe to your email list just to get their hands on the lead magnet. Some people even go to the extremes of creating fake email addresses so you don’t have access to their real ones. Other examples are emails that bounce back, people who don’t open your emails, and people who unsubscribe. For a service where you are paying per contact on your email list, you want to pay particular attention to deadwood to save on costs. Personally, I remove deadwood every 6 months. 
  2. Create segments of active readers and clickers. If you’re using simpler autoresponders, this is something you might have to put more steps into. But for tools like ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, Drip, and ConvertKit, you can actually mark the people who are most engaged and what you can do is that when you send out your emails and you want to boost deliverability, you can choose to send to them first. 
  3. The Tags vs List Debate. (This step is a little bit more advanced) So in this debate, it’s all about setting up your email marketing system so that you’re sending the right message to the right person at the right time, rather than sending a general blanket message. You could argue that it is a matter of preference because some people still do it the old way, but what you tend to find is that whenever you have your list and the contacts on your list are tagged properly, you are better able to send relevant messages to the different segments (tags) because you know what they are interested in as they are tagged whenever they engage in emails. In my opinion, the perfect scenario would be for you to have between 3-5 lists and in those lists, you’re tagging people so that you know what they’re interested in and you can tailor your emails properly.
  4. Using automation where it makes sense. Automation is only available in the more advanced email service providers. Automation saves you from having to create the same emails over and over again. This is something that you set up only once and everytime that automation is triggered, a particular set of conditions or workflow happens. You can also do something called lead scoring, which means that when someone opens up an email, they are given points and for example, if they have three points, you can tag them as an active reader (tying back to the second point).
  5. Integrate with your website where it makes sense. How this works is that you can place a pixel on your website so that when someone from your email list goes to your website, you can segment this person further to refine the message.

IT’S TIME TO OWN THE RACETRACK

Although my goal for the original accountability challenge was to grow your email list to 100 subscribers, I hope that this article helps you grow your list twofold. 

Email lists tend to be overlooked at this day and age, especially with the rise of Social Media Marketing and an increase in the number of platforms available. And although these avenues are GREAT ways to create a connection with your audience, ultimately you still want to own the racetrack and have full control of your audience.

I hope that this quick guide gives you a good idea on how to start and manage your email list so that you can create better relations with your audience and grow your business to its full potential. 

Good luck!

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Why You Should Start Being Your Own Client

When we talk about Being Your Own Client, the thought seems counterintuitive because when we think of clients, we always think of someone other than ourselves, right? 

As a result, most of us have never really entertained the thought of becoming our own clients. More often than not, our main focus is on getting more and more clients to increase our profits that we end up forgetting about creating systems for our own business (Tega loves his systems).

Just like you, I also had the same mindset back then. I too felt stuck. 

We all start out as beginners, and being a new freelancer or entrepreneur in the industry is a tough place to start. But this is why I wanted to write this blog post. I want to demonstrate to you that you don’t need to feel stuck. All you need to do is switch your brains and know where to start. 

And where is the best place to start? You.

This blog post as a whole is actually more about self-confidence and awareness of where you stand in your business more than anything else. And in relation to this, I can speak from experience that as an introverted entrepreneur, I’m slowly learning about self-confidence myself. 

In another blog post on my website, I share about how I overcome introversion when it comes to promoting myself and my business, and I cover a bit more about this experience here.

So how does being your own client relate to becoming a better entrepreneur and individual in general?

Well, because when you value your own business and skills, it shows how confident you are as a person. If you don’t value these, who else will? You need to believe in yourself first if you want your clients to believe in you as well.

When I realised this, I was able to get clients for my Facebook Ads Agency and Podcast Management Agency.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE YOUR OWN CLIENT?

Being your own client means that the things you do for your client — all the systems and processes — should be done for yourself. The drive you have to generate results for your clients should be the same drive you have to generate results for your business.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE YOUR OWN CLIENT

A few years ago, when I just started out, my main focus was on getting clients to avail of my video editing services. I’ve experienced the frustrations of not being able to convince anyone because I didn’t have a portfolio to show. And because no one wanted to get me, I couldn’t build my portfolio. 

It was a vicious cycle and it needed to stop. 

Then the idea of being my own client came to me. I thought, “heck, why not make videos for myself first?” And once I started making videos for my own personal projects, I would post these on different groups and people started to notice. 

I made people aware that this is what I do. But more importantly, I proved to them that I know how to do it. People started referring me to their friends and I eventually found my first few clients there. 

And this all started from making videos for myself and being my own client. 

The main point here is that when you do things for yourself, and put in the same effort as if you were an actual client of the business, you generate results. And when you generate results, you have actual proof that you are capable and skilled. 

Even the fact that you are generating results for your business is a success in itself already. Your results will attract the right clients to you, when you put in the work. 

When you do the work, you let the work become a testimonial of the fact that you can do the job. 

Even if you technically don’t have anyone else to impress other than yourself, the long-term benefits are profound. Here are a few other reasons why being your own client should be of utmost priority:

  1. You can serve your clients better. Treating yourself like a client means you’ll know how your clients think. This means you’ll be able to resonate with them more. Getting into the minds of your clients can make you one step ahead of them. 
  2. You become more organized. When you are able to break down your own deliverables into small steps, it becomes easier for you to come up with systems and processes to make your processes more efficient and organized. You find ways to “serve” your business better through best practices, which will be carried on to when you serve your clients. 
  3. You become more accountable. Because you treat yourself like a client, you have a stronger sense of responsibility to get the job done. This can also mean that you set deadlines for yourself and create a detailed timeline so that you are able to complete your tasks on time. 
  4. You market yourself better. When you start to speak from personal experience after becoming your own client, it becomes easier for you to convince your audience that you are competent in what you do. You are your own testimonial and this allows you to know exactly what to say to your clients if they have any questions or reservations about your product or service.

Now that we’ve covered the reasons why you should be your own client, let me share how I became my own client and how this has benefited my business.

HOW TO BE YOUR OWN CLIENT

From my own experience, when I start planning the tasks for myself and the business, I take note of the same details as if I were asking a client. I ask myself the same questions and structure everything the same way. As a result, I can come up with a detailed task list of everything that has to happen.

HOW TO BE YOUR OWN CLIENT

For example, when I start planning a new episode for the Intent Podcast, I think about all the elements such as the editing, shownotes, artwork, uploading, and marketing of the podcast. This is the exact same thing I do for my podcast management agency clients as well. 

When I get a new client for the agency, I need to know what assets they have first and how I can package my services in a way that is valuable to them. 

I also make sure to cover all the itty bitty details like how many episodes they plan to release weekly, if they already have a podcast host, if they need a website, and if they already have marketing assets to begin with.

These questions are all important in making sure we provide invaluable services to our clients.

And because I have my own podcast and know what a typical podcaster needs to make his/her podcast happen, I know exactly what my clients need and I can fill in the blanks in all the right places. 

Learning from your own experience means that you know what questions to ask.

One thing that I am slowly working on is setting deadlines for myself. But because I have the right systems and processes in place, once I have the assets I need, my team and I can work immediately without having to worry about any deadlines. 

Also, this may sound pretty obvious already, but when you are your own client, really treat yourself like a client. This means that you have to separate yourself emotionally from the thing that you are doing and think more logically. 

That way, you have a full grasp of why you are doing the things that you do, and when the time comes that you need to explain all the details to your client, you know what to say.

Becoming your own client also means that you need to know how to package yourself and your services in such a manner that it truly shows that you know what you are doing and that you speak from experience. 

Because that’s the entire point of being your own client, right?

HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF EFFECTIVELY

If you’re like me and don’t like talking about yourself, what I do is I talk about what I DO instead. 

I speak about personal experiences from my own businesses (aka “experiments”) and I share how I was able to help my clients with the services I provide. Speaking from experience is one of the best ways to demonstrate competency and credibility without actually talking about myself per se.

MARKET YOURSELF EFFECTIVELY

It’s really all about telling stories and talking about what you do.

Another thing to remember is that everything is content. That means that everything you do, everything you experiment on, IS content. No matter how much you think your experiences aren’t worth sharing, they are. 

Share your mistakes, share your challenges, share all your obstacles. Embrace the suck. The goal is to make sure that people see that you are actually doing something and they know what you do. 

Another thing that is big in the industry right now is content repurposing, which allows you to create “micro-content” from your main content and post it on different platforms. And content repurposing will definitely need you to be innovative sometimes. 

Entrepreneurs don’t think outside the box. There is no box. 

Now that I am slowly getting out of my comfort zone and putting more content out there, it dawned on me that I’m slowly getting better as an introvert and learning how to relay my ideas more clearly.

BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU DO

As you slowly learn to market yourself, you begin to create your own personal brand. And because you speak from actual experience, it speaks about who you are as a professional and how much you value your business.

BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU DO

You need to start treating your business like an actual business owner rather than just someone who is self-employed. 

And what is the difference, you may ask? 

Well, for the former, you basically still work a job. Working a job means that if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Your income is purely active and solely relies on you showing up. 

As a business owner, you develop systems that are working whether you’re there or not so that your income is not tied to you alone. 

This has greatly helped me during the pandemic because I am able to set myself apart from everyone else because I offer valuable services in a systemised way. 

These systems have allowed me to scale my business and hire people from abroad, the Philippines in particular , to help me work on multiple projects and clients at the same time. 

In a nutshell, being your own client allows you to market yourself more authentically and shows people what you do. As entrepreneurs, we need to stand up, plant our flag, and say “this is what I do.” 

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Lessons I've Learned from Losing Clients

5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Losing Clients

As a person who’s been managing several businesses for a few years now, I’ve had my fair share of challenging clients and even losing some along the way. So I thought I should write this blog post about the lessons I’ve learned from losing clients…

In fact, 5 months ago when I was on the search for more clients who could use my Facebook Ads services, I put out a message, got a client AND then proceeded to lose the client. That experience made me sit back and think about WHY I lost the client, but not just that client, I tried to think back to all the clients I have lost and why I lost them, and think of the lessons I got from that/those experiences. 

When this client and I started working together, things were okay at the initial stages when we both stuck to the original work agreement. As we continued, I kept getting more and more requests from this client, and the helper and experimenter in me wanted to fulfill these requests. These requests soon ventured out of the original scope of our work agreement, and I ended up spreading myself too thin…

Spreading Myself Too Thin

 

The result? That process of doing things out of the initial agreement led me to losing this client because we both ended up making mistakes as the scope of work kept changing and getting bigger. 

Although it was a sad experience, this motivated me to write this blog post for myself and for any one else who struggles with retaining clients because of scope creep or poorly set limits and expectations.

THE LESSONS I’VE LEARNED

Lesson 1: Don’t chase the money

Don’t chase the money

Every business owner wants and needs money, right? You need money to run your business, support your personal goals, and grow the company. This is why finding clients for us is so important, especially during the early stages.

But the caveat to this is that if you pressure yourself too much to make money, you end up making hasty decisions. I’ve learned to stop accepting any ad hoc tasks just for the sake of charging more for the client because I don’t want to end up having too much on my plate.  

Now I only accept tasks that I know I have a documented workflow for. That way, if I can’t do it myself (because I tend to procrastinate), I can pass it on to my team and make sure that everything gets done on time and to a high standard by someone other than me. 

Lesson 2: Be aware of red flags

Be aware of red flags

I believe that people that go far in life are those that learn from the mistakes of other people. 

If you are in the business space, there are a whole bunch of resources out there where you read and learn about the mistakes of other entrepreneurs. It is important to learn from the mistakes of others so that you don’t experience the same challenges.

Naturally, we are all bound to commit our own mistakes and as we move forward. You need to take note of all the red flags you’ve seen to help you identify which clients wouldn’t be good for you to work with.

One red flag I’ve learned is that if a client is very demanding before they have even paid you, chances are once they pay, they will become even more demanding. 

Here are some other things you should be aware of when looking for potential clients:

  • How do they communicate with you? 
  • Do they respect you and your skills?
  • Do they know their boundaries? 
  • Can they meet the expectations you set for the project? 

As you get more clients, you will become more skilled in spotting these red flags. These will become indicators of whether you should move forward with a certain client or not. 

Lesson 3: You Are The Expert, Be The Expert

You Are The Expert, Be The Expert

You have been hired by your clients for a reason, and it is because you are more experienced in what you do than them. You are seen as the expert and the solution to their business problems. 

So if your clients do something that will end up costing you more time, do not hesitate to make suggestions and set your boundaries. Remember that you can always earn wasted money back but you can’t take wasted time back. 

Going back to the client I spoke about at the start of this blog post, even if I didn’t break the first two lessons, I experienced several hurdles because I wasn’t able to set boundaries.

Because this client didn’t know what they wanted and didn’t have a clear structure in place, we ended up having to face several hurdles that resulted in problems that needed to be addressed. I had the need to fulfill all their ad hoc requests which resulted in a lot of issues. 

I learned to be the expert and set boundaries so that I can prevent these types of issues with my future clients. This meant that I let my clients know how I work and how I don’t work which demonstrated my expertise and set my foot down.  

Prevention is always better than cure. 

Lesson 4:  Stay in your zone of genius

Stay in your zone of genius

I know how tempting it can be to do more for your clients, especially because you want to make sure the client has a good experience with you, but 9 out of 10 times, you end up in a place where you’re going to do more than you’re being paid for. As a result, you might start to feel like you are being taken advantage of. 

In my case, I ended up wandering away from my original service of Facebook ads and added a whole bunch of other things that I had no business adding to. If i had just been firm and stated what I can and can’t do, I would have been able to meet the needs of my clients properly. 

You want to make sure that you and your client stick to the agreed contract, and if there are any additional tasks, only accept them if they are within your zone of genius and not something entirely different. 

Lesson 5: Learn From Your Experiences

Learn From Your Experiences

As I stated a while ago, it is important to learn from the mistakes of others. But what’s more valuable is when you learn from your own mistakes. And as you learn from these mistakes, you begin to improve your processes, put filters in place and setup identifiers to know when you’re about to make another mistake (for example, avoiding red flags). 

When it comes to my own experiences, I now know that I should not deal with clients who need to make money yesterday with Facebook Ads. Why? Because in a way, they are chasing money (lesson #1) resulting in them not being in the right place mentally and not having the patience to properly set up the campaign and ads in the right manner.

In terms of learning from my mistakes, this ties back to lesson #2. It’s all about being aware of the red flags. 

These red flags resulted in me creating a client expectation letter to set boundaries. The letter aided in ensuring better communication, being explicit about what I can and can’t do, and setting the expectations for the project. 

One example of boundaries is establishing Slack as our means of communication and setting office hours. 

Don’t hesitate to be firm about this agreement because it encourages respect in the relationship. 

Another thing relating to identifying your red flags is to remember these negative attributes because they aid in separating the good clients from the “bad” ones. In my case, I’ve learned that if a client is not willing to listen to you, you know that things may not work out.

VALUE YOURSELF!

The bottomline of this entire article, and the main lesson I want to impart to you is that you need to become self-aware and learn when to say no. Because I have this constant urge to help people, I admit that saying no can be difficult at times. 

But I’ve learned that saying “no” and establishing certain boundaries is an act of valuing yourself and establishing your worth.

Remember that you and your business come before your clients and I hope the lessons I’ve learned from my own personal experiences can help you find better clients to scale and grow your business.

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How to Use Facebook Lead Ads to Grow Your Business

In an earlier blog post, I wrote about running multiple businesses, one of the businesses from the previous blog post, I mentioned that I run an ads agency. It is through this agency that I have been able to help my clients generate leads for their businesses using Facebook Lead ads and other types of campaigns.

If you’re new here, I wrote an article as well about running a 5-day challenge. And the reason why these 2 articles are interconnected is because through that challenge, I taught absolute beginners how to use Facebook Lead Ads to grow their business, and it has helped them immensely. Everything I taught in that challenge will be explained in detail here. 

My experience of using Facebook Lead Ads for the past 3-4 years is proof enough that I know how effective and beneficial it can be to both big and small businesses alike. And because I have been receiving a lot of good feedback about my previous how to articles (particularly the one on How to Start a Podcast), I figured I’d write even informative articles. 

The goal here is to give people (you, in particular) useful information on growing your business without having a paywall in the way! I want to show you that the world of Facebook Ads though it can get complicated doesn’t have to be so scary as long as you understand the fundamentals and have a sherpa(me) to guide you along the way.

Let me show you the way

This article is loosely structured around the 5-day Ads to Leads challenge I ran earlier in the year, The feedback I got from the people that took part in the challenge was that it was so helpful, I wanted to create this so that for the willing they could take what is here and use it to bring in leads and customers to their business.

And yes, before the naysayers say it, there are a bunch of marketing tools that you can use and choose from to bring leads and customers in, with a myriad of options both digitally and traditionally, there is just something about Facebook Ads and the accessibility it gives you that makes sense for all types of businesses.

WHY SHOULD YOU ADVERTISE ON FACEBOOK?

The million-dollar/pound/yen/sheckles question: Why advertise on Facebook? 

Due to the length of time I have been using FB to advertise for my clients, I have seen first hand the power it has to change the fortunes of different businesses, however I don’t expect you to take my word as gospel, so I have put together a list of reasons why you should advertise on Facebook from other experts and authorities.

Here are a few reasons why you should advertise on Facebook:

You can reach your ideal audience

Facebook is currently at 2.7 billion monthly users according to Statista.com . This data alone shows that your audience IS on Facebook, you just need to know how to find them (which is why you are reading this article right now).

It’s no surprise that most businesses are flocking to Facebook to market their products and services. With Facebook’s enormous number of users, it’s all about finding your audience, putting your message in front of them and standing out from the other advertisers.

Campaigns Are Highly Customizable

Because Facebook has so many users, you can attract the right audience to you if you know who you want to target. The platform can help you design your ads to attract the right leads to your business, whether it be based on demographics, interests, language, location, or a whole bunch of other targeting capabilities. 

With Facebook’s features to make your campaigns highly customizable, you are able to create the perfect ad experience for your target audience. This is especially true with all the data Facebook has of its users.

Facebook Ads are easy to set up

Virtually everyone has Facebook. So it’s not difficult to set up an ad account. And not only that, creating the ads are super easy to make (as I will show you later). Everything is pretty straightforward so you won’t feel so overwhelmed at the start. 

It’s also inexpensive to advertise on Facebook, making accessible to both small, local businesses to huge corporations.

One of the best ways to get leads through Facebook ads is through something called Facebook Lead Ads, which will be the main focus of this article.

WHAT IS FACEBOOK LEAD ADS?

One of the easiest ways to get the right kind of information from your audience is through forms, specifically Facebook Lead Ads. These are promoted forms that are integrated into the ad so that when people click on the ad, they are asked to fill the form out. 

What’s great about Lead Ads is that they are also optimized for mobile, making it much more convenient. This is especially relevant because according to Statista.com, 98% of active Facebook users access their accounts via mobile.

Facebook users access their accounts via mobile

This is a great way to know your audience better while providing value for them. Let’s cover more advantages of using Facebook Lead Ads…

WHY USE FACEBOOK LEAD ADS?

Because Facebook Lead Ads is already integrated into Facebook, users don’t need to go to another site to fill in all the information. This makes things easier and quicker for your potential leads. 

Apart from Facebook Lead Ads being mobile-friendly, here are a few other reasons why you should consider using this for your business:

  • The forms are fully customizable, so you can tailor the questions based on the needs of your business
  • You collect valuable information which you can integrate to your CRM. I currently use Zapier to integrate Facebook Ads to Google Sheets (Spoiler alert… I will show you how later)
  • Those who fill out these forms are considered warm leads because the effort alone in submitting these forms shows their interest

It’s no wonder why Facebook Lead Ads is the go-to if you want to grow your business and generate leads. Let’s get down to the specifics.

HOW TO USE FACEBOOK LEAD ADS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

The steps outlined below will get you from knowing absolutely nothing, to knowing enough to be dangerous but not an expert (because that’s going to take longer than just one article). The goal here is to get you started and to know what needs to be done. 

Let’s keep things as simple as possible (the last thing I want to do is to scare you off!).

STEP 1: Getting Setup

The best part about setting up Facebook Ads is that it’s so simple and straightforward. In the Facebook advertising ecosystem, you will need the following:

  • Personal profile (good news is that you have this already)
  • A Facebook page that relates to your business entity
  • An ad account to advertise your business
  • Business Manager which acts as a container that holds the advertising side of FB all together and keeps it separate from the personal side of FB

So here is how to set it all up…

  • Go to business.facebook.com
  • Click “Go to Business Settings”

Business Manager Business Settings

 

  • On the left side, click on PAGES where you can see all your pages and who are assigned to them

Business Manager PAGES

  • In the USERS section, this is where you can add people or partners to your business manager (this helps if you hire an agency to run the ads for you)

Business Manager USERS

  • Under USERS, you will see PEOPLE (you can add people and assign them “assets”)

Business Manager ADD ASSETS

  • Going back to ADD ACCOUNTS, you will see 3 options under ADD (assuming you haven’t run any ads yet):

Business Manager ADD ACCOUNTS

    1. Add an ad account
    2. Request access to an ad account
    3. Create a new ad account

Business Manager AD ACCOUNT OPTIONS

  • If you do not have any ad accounts, select the 3rd option (Create a new ad account)
  • Fill in all the necessary details

Business Manager AD ACCOUNT DETAILS

  • If you are running ads for yourself or your own business, give yourself Admin Access

Business Manager ADMIN ACCESS

  • And there you have it. Simple as that! Now we’re good to go and ready to make our audience want to click on our ads.

Business Manager WELL DONE

STEP 2: Create an Offer

Although creating ads on Facebook can be as simple as ABC, it is important to know how to package your offer in a way that piques the interest of your audience. In this section, we are going to cover the following:

  • What is an offer?
  • Why do I need an offer?
  • Do I really need an offer?

What is an offer?

Simply put, imagine that an offer is a nice fancy dress that you put over your product to make it attractive to your ideal customer. Now remember that It is NOT your product or your service, but rather it is how you present your product or service. (example: discounts, BOGO, VIP experience, promos)

Why use offers?

You will see offers everywhere you go. Every business is trying to make you say YES to their offer, and you are no different. Here, we are trying to replicate an offer in the digital world through Facebook Ads. You need something that makes people stop scrolling, and that is through creating an enticing offer.

Where can you find offers that convert? 

Rather than going through the entire trial-and-error phase of finding an offer that works, it’s best to look out for current offers that have already been tried and tested. You just need to know where to find them. 

I personally recommend websites like Groupon.com where there are TONS of offers you can browse. 

Groupon

And guess what? Finding offers that work is pretty straightforward. Just look at which products are trending and whether the ratings are good or not. That would be an excellent gauge for you to see whether this is something that you can apply to your ads. 

Also take note that offers that work greatly on Facebook are ones that you can deliver quickly, at scale, and something that leads people to buy more. 

Once you’ve picked an offer that you think would be most relevant for your business, it’s time to get creative and work on the elements of your ad.

STEP 3: Write Words, Get Paid

Alright, this is where you get your creative hat on and find the right words to get results. 

So…writing words to get paid…sounds too good to be true? Well, once you know how the creative elements to an ad works to get results, you won’t feel so clueless. We will not go into too much detail here because this topic deserves an entire article rather than just a small section, but I will be sharing with you some quick tips and resources that you can utilize to guide you further. 

There are two things that you should work on:

Images / Creative

Personally, I am not a graphic designer and designing images really isn’t my specialty. But I do have friends who are good at this and have given me lots of useful tips that I will be sharing in this article.

When it comes to social media graphics, you need to know how your audience uses social media. You want to create attractive visual/audio visual assets to get people’s attention and click your ads.

Your images need to be eye-catching to get people to stop scrolling and be intrigued by what you have to say. When it comes to inserting copy into your graphics, keep it to a bare minimum. Less is always more. Make sure that the fonts that you use are also readable and that they don’t dominate the graphics (minimalist fonts that aren’t too bold or cartoon-y work best).

Another great tip is to also use templates so that people know that the ads are coming from you, and this also keeps your branding consistent (plus it makes creating images much easier for you!). 

Some websites that provide great and free stock images are Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash. Though I personally recommend that you avoid images that look too much like stock images. This is why I hired someone to make cartoon versions of me so that all my social media images look more personal and unique.

Regarding creating the actual images, I’ve found Canva to be very useful and versatile.

Words / Copy 

Once you’ve grabbed someone’s attention with a striking image, you need to sustain that through writing enticing words that make them want to continue reading your ad. 

I highly suggest that you read through Copyhackers’ Copywriting Formula and Copywriting Worksheets to help you get started. The articles are pretty lengthy, so if you want to do a quick skim, I suggest you start with AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) and PAS (problem, agitation, solution).

And once these elements of your ads are good to go, it’s time to show them to the world!

STEP 4: Let’s get your ads turned on

Before we tackle how to activate your campaigns, let’s cover the 3 levels of a campaign:

  • Campaign – where you tell FB what you want to optimize your ad for

Business Manager CAMPAIGNS TAB

  • Ad Set – where you do your targeting, select your audience, set your budget, and determine where your ads go

Business Manager AD SETS CAMPAIGN

  • Ad – where you put in the images and the copy and basically design what your ad looks like on the news feed

Business Manager ADS TAB

    • Start by Creating an ad

Business Manager CREATE AN ABOUT

  • Choose your objective – we will use Lead Generation because this allows us to put our offer out to the world really cheaply. The way it works is that you set up your ad, copy and image, and invite people to take you up on your offer. This is where Lead Ads come in.

Business Manager LEAD GENERATION

  • Give the campaign a name that you would recognize
  • For small advertisers like us, we don’t do A/B testing nor Campaign Budget Optimization

Business Manager A/B TESTING

  • On the next page, name your ad set
  • I usually disregard Dynamic Creative

Business Manager DYNAMIC CREATIVE

  • In the Audience section this is where things get serious. Disregard Custom Audience for now since that is more advanced.

Business Manager AUDIENCE SECTION

  • You first need to create an audience based on their demographics. For the radius in Location, I tend to find that 5 miles around the location is best for local businesses. The more specific, the better.
  • My agency goes with the age 25-55 because anyone below 25 may not be able to afford the product you are offering (this will depend on your business however)
  • Keep detailed targeting off, unless your audience is pretty big (which won’t be the case for most local businesses)

Business Manager DETAILED TARGETING

  • Placements – Automatic Placements means that your ads will show up everywhere (including Instagram stories, newsfeed, Facebook stories, newsfeed, right hand side, and other sites tied to the Facebook Ad Network) which is too much for you to control and your campaign will burn through your cash before you get any valuable results. That is why I recommend Manual Placements more. Make sure you are not showing up in the wrong place. I avoid Facebook Marketplace, Stories, In-Stream, and In-article.

Business Manager MANUAL PLACEMENTS

  • Budget & Schedule – for Cost Control, this is a bit advanced because you need to know your average cost per lead. What we need to set is the Daily Budget, and I suggest around 5-10 USD for a start.
  • If you get the warning of “Ad Set May Get Zero leads”, you can just ignore this if you want to avoid spending more to get results
  • In the next page, at the Ad level, name your Ad.
  • You can choose between Carousel (maximum of 10 images) or Single Image or Video

Business Manager AD SETUP

  • In Media, this is where you add the image/s for your ad

Business Manager AD CREATIVE

  • In Text & Links, this is where you enter your copy. The Headline is your hook. 
  • Display Link is where you enter your website address and then you choose your Call to Action (I’d either go for Get Offer or Learn More)

Business Manager CALL TO ACTION

  • In Question Format, because we selected a Lead Ad, you will be able to see an Instant Form. This is what we call a Native Ad, meaning the audience doesn’t need to leave Facebook for you to get their information.

Business Manager QUESTION FORMAT

  • If you choose to add a form, select Higher Intent as the form type because you don’t want a bunch of unqualified leads with the More volume option. More Volume means that most of the other information is pre-filled out, which may not be accurate information (especially because most Facebook users have a different email address for their Facebook accounts)

Business Manager FORM TYPE

  • I tend to keep the headline and image the same as with the ad for familiarity
  • Edit the form with the information that you need. Here is the information that I asked for, which align with the Higher Intent option

Business Manager HIGHER INTENT OPTION

  • You can also choose to add a custom disclaimer if you have one on your website or if it is necessary for your business

Business Manager CUSTOM DISCLAIMER

  • Once you have all the information, click confirm and your ad gets submitted for review

And once your ad has been approved, congratulations! Your ad is now available for everyone to see…

STEP 5: Ads are Running, Now What?

The journey doesn’t end once your ad gets published. In fact, this is only the beginning to unravelling the beauty of Facebook Ads and how it can make a significant impact to your business.

The next thing that you have to do is to DIAGNOSE then take ACTION so you will know what to adjust to make the ad work better. Sometimes it means adjusting the budget, or changing the copy or creative, or simply leaving your ad to run and promote the business (this is the best-case scenario).

Here are the big 3 metrics that you need to observe:

  • CTR (click through rate) – indication of how many people are seeing your ad and clicking through
  • CPR (cost per result) – how much it’s costing you to get a lead, quick way for you to judge if your ad is costing too much
  • CPM (cost per mille) – price it costs to show your add to a thousand people. This isn’t really something that you can control but there are times when it goes crazy (an example is at the end of Q4 when people have extra left for advertising by the end of the year). When CPM is high, you might want to change the type of campaign you run to change the cost.

Let’s do a quick crash course on how to understand your ads more and make necessary adjustments from there:

  • When you first open business manager, this is what you are going to see

Business Manager FIRST VIEW

  • You can also set the duration of the ads

Business Manager DURATION

  • You will see an option Columns:Performance and what you want to do there is select Performance and Clicks.

Business Manager PERFORMANCE AND CLICKS

  • Here is a quick run through of what each column is:
    1. Results – pretty self explanatory. It’s the results you get from each ad you run. You need to know where you are in the hierarchy. I suggest you look at the Ad Set Campaign tab because we are doing something called ad set-based optimization.
    2. Reach – number of people the ad has gone out to
    3. Frequency – on average, roughly how many times someone sees your ad on their newsfeed
    4. Cost per result – one of the “big boys”, simply put, your cost per lead 
    5. Budget – budget you set for that campaign
    6. Amount spent – how much you’ve spent for that campaign
    7. Ends – when the campaign ends
    8. Schedule –  this is important if you’re running a date-specific campaign (for example a Halloween campaign)
    9. Impressions – how many times the ad has come up
    10. CPM – second big boy 
    11. Link clicks – the number of times the link for your ad was clicked
    12. CPC (cost per link click) – basically cost per click
    13. CTR (link click-through) – click through rate for the links in your ad
    14. Clicks All – the difference between this and CTR is that the latter is the number of people clicking on the actual link whereas the clicks all is the people that click on your ad. It doesn’t matter where they click (for example see more, opens image, shares ad, etc.)
    15. CTR (all) – all interactions with the ad
    16. CPC (all) – the price it costs for people to click your link
    17. Website Purchases & On-Facebook Purchases – you will see that these are blank because these stats are primarily for e-commerce.
  • Now we need to look at the CTR, CPM and CPR
  • If you’re running a lead ad (which is what we are doing in this case), then CTR would be a good place to start. For CTR, generally I try to aim for a 1% on the link click through and for all, twice of that. This is because CTR counts all the clicks and CTR link click through is just for those who click the links.
  • If CTR is low, you may need to change the ad copy or the image because people are not clicking through. This is because people see your ad but choose not to click it. The goal is to grab their attention through great copy/creative to increase your CTR.
  • Also check if your CPM is too high and you’re not getting any results. That means you’re allocating your funds to the wrong ad, especially if CTR is low. 

And that is a very quick, beginner-friendly overview on how you can diagnose your ads. There are lots of other factors that come into play when it comes to diagnosing your ads, but what I have taught you above is the perfect place to start.

BONUS: HOW TO SETUP AUTOMATIC NOTIFICATIONS FOR THE LEADS YOU GET FROM YOUR AD

Earlier in the article, I mentioned that I use Zapier to manage all the information taken from the Lead Ads. Zapier allows the responses to automatically appear on Google Sheets. I also make sure to include the timestamps because the tendency is that most people forget that they actually submitted a form and showing them the timestamps is pretty good proof of their submissions. 

Another great thing about Zapier is that I can set up another trigger for Gmail so that whenever a lead comes in, we receive a notification about it. 

Here’s a quick run through of how I set this up in my business:

  • Go to Zapier.com (https://www.teglikes.com/zapier) and create an account if you don’t have one yet
  • Start by choosing a trigger. In this case, it’s Facebook Lead Ads.

Zapier FB Ads Trigger

  • Select New Lead for the Trigger Event

Zapier FB New Lead

  • Connect your Lead Ads account

Zapier Connect Ads Account

  • In Customize Lead, choose the respective Ad Account and Form

Zapier Customize Leads

  • Test Trigger to have Zapier provide the most recent submission on your Lead Ads

Zapier Test FB Trigger

  • Select Google Sheets as the Action

Zapier Google Sheets Trigger

  • Choose Create Spreadsheet Row as your Action Event

Zapier Google Sheets Action

  • Connect your Google Sheets account

Zapier Connect Google Sheets

  • In Customize Spreadsheet Row, make sure that you have your Google Sheets file (and worksheets) created beforehand because you can’t create it in Zapier. Assign the respective files in this section.
  • You can then customize the sheet more through choosing the respective information that you need to appear on the Google Sheets file

Zapier Customize Spreadsheet Info

  • On the next section, select Test & Continue

Zapier Test Google Sheet

  • You will be notified if the test was successful and you can double check in Google Sheets if the information appears there

Zapier Google Sheet Test Successful

  • Once that’s ready, go ahead and Turn On Zap.
  • To add an email notification, scroll below and select Email by Zapier as an additional action
  • Select Send Outbound Email as the Action Event

Zapier Email by Zapier Action

  • Fill in all the necessary details for the Outbound Email. You can also choose to insert data from the main source (Facebook or Google Sheets)

Zapier Outbound Email Details

  • Select Test & Continue to see if the Zap works

Zapier Email Test Successful

  • Once you successfully receive a test email, go ahead and Turn On Zap (sometimes the email takes a while to appear on your inbox)

And that is how you manage all the information of your leads without having to invest in an expensive CRM system! Zapier is a very useful tool and I use it in multiple other aspects of my business. It has been a very effective tool for me and I hope you found this section useful

IT’S YOUR TURN!

You’ve made it to the end of the article! We have covered a lot of basic points here to get you started and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Getting started is usually the most intimidating part of the process, but once you have your ad setup and learn how to tweak and diagnose along the way, everything will soon become second nature to you. 

Facebook Ads is really one of the best marketing tools out there and I hope that this blog post has encouraged you to start advertising on this platform to grow your business

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How to Run Multiple Businesses

This post is about How I have ended up in a situation where I am running a couple of businesses. It is not a step-by-step guide; it is more a post about how I ended up here and how I manage everything. And it is based on my personal experiences. And after going through much trial-and-error, I believe I can share a few bits of knowledge on how to run multiple businesses.

The reason for the above preface, or pre clarification if you will, is because personally, I don’t feel like I run multiple businesses. It was never in my intention to run all these businesses for profit. Rather, my approach was more of looking to solve a problem and selling my ability to solve that.  

So, if you think about it, my businesses are “productized” solutions to a problem or group of problems that I had at one point. Eventually, it kind of became a business because people saw me solve the problem and wanted me to solve it for them. I talk about this in the “How I accidentally started a Podcast Management Agency” article.  

WHY NOT JUST ONE BUSINESS TO RULE THEM ALL?  

If you know me, you know I LOVE learning and experimenting. And it just so happened that because of all these skills that I’ve required through the years that I couldn’t keep them all in one business entity. I wanted to do so many things that it became difficult to sell these things under one package. 

Technically I run 4 small businesses:  

  • FB ads agency 
  • Podcast management agency 
  • Virtual Talent Recruitment agency 
  • My personal consultation business 

 The first 3 individual businesses above all came about from me wanting to solve a problem: 

  • Ads agency – because I struggle to talk about myself and what I do, I have an aversion to doing anything organically (which is slowly changing as you’re reading a blog post about this right now). I needed to find a way to get my name out there and this was done through paid traffic which I had to learn on my own. I then helped other friends who needed help in this aspect as well. 
  • Podcast management agency – if you haven’t read my other blog post on this, I was trying to solve the problem of doing all the work by myself through outsourcing. After what felt like years of trial and error, I happened upon a system and for me to move forward with that, I made an offer to a friend to split the person’s pay and that person (who had his own podcast) said yes. The person we outsourced then helped in starting the business. 
  • Recruitment agency – I got tagged on a couple of posts on Social Media from people who needed help with their business. This is how I slowly grew my agency and one thing led to another. The agency currently helps freelancers or solopreneurs who want to scale what they’re doing. 

Because I eventually wanted my businesses to run without me, I decided to keep them all independent from myself. This is when I learned the beauty of outsourcing.

SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES TO RUN THE BUSINESSES 

Now that you know what I do, let’s talk about the systems and processes on how to run multiple businesses. 

Since I was managing more than one brand, I realized the importance of having systems and processes in place to keep me sane. Systematizing and process docs allows the team to produce output at a level I would do myself and sometimes what they create is better because it is their focus. 

You need to create systems for every part of managing the business. This includes payments, notifications, updates for the clients, and workflow management. Next step is to establish processes so that everything that needs to be done for all the parts of your business is broken down in such a way that it’s easy to read and implement. 

The easiest service for me to systematize was the podcast management agency. When it comes to producing a podcast, it is easy to break everything down and know EXACTLY what to do in each step of the process.  

We also wanted to identify how we can make this agency so that our clients are as hands off from the podcast as possible. Which is where we came up with the idea of uploading the podcast to the podcast host, uploading on the website, embedding the podcast player on the website, and so on. 

Doing it this way, means that the whole process is output driven and distractions are removed, because team members or you will be guided through the entire process and know what to do moving forward. It will also make it easier identify what tools you need for you and assign responsibility to the right member(s) of the team.  

THE TOOLS WE USE 

To create systems and processes and make sure everything is followed through, you need to use the right tools. 

These are all the core tools I’ve been using to manage the businesses: 

  • Google Docs – to house the documentation of the processes 
  • Teamwork – project management for task checklists (for example we use task templates for everything that needs to be done for every podcast management client) 
  • Slack – for communication with the team 
  • Zapier – to send notifications in Slack whenever something is added to Teamwork  

There is a wide array of tools you can choose from out there, but so far these are the ones that have worked for me and my team. 

HOW WE SELL AND GET CLIENTS?  

In terms of how the services are sold, I’m still working on this as I’m writing this article. The reason for this is because I have an aversion to talking about myself (I know I’ve said this twice now, in case it didn’t sink in for you the first time). I also did write an article about “How to market as an Introvert. 

Yes, these businesses can stand on their own, but there are certain elements of each business that can feed into each other.  

For example, when it comes to the recruitment and podcast management agency, something I’ve done before is help my clients setup their podcast, put my system in place, and train their team (who I helped recruit). This isn’t something that I’m doing currently but I’ve done it before. 

So, on the surface, it looks like I can only sell one thing, however because of the level of systemizing we have done, it creates an opportunity to cross sell the different services. There is the example of the podcast scenario above. 

Another example could be Selling advertising services of the ads agency, but as we work together, the client could conclude that they want to start a podcast but not manage it themselves…and create the opportunity for me to provide the podcast creation/management services of my podcast management agency 

This goes to show that it is possible to cross-sell and is something I will definitely do in the long run. 

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED TO POSSESS? 

In my opinion, the skills you need to manage multiple businesses are the following: 

  • The skill for the service that you’re selling – You don’t have to be an expert, but at least intermediate level so that you can communicate to properly delegate tasks to the person who will do the work for you. On the flip side, you also need to know how to communicate what needs to be done to your clients as well so that it is easily understandable.  
  • You need to be a people manager – Because I have a team backing me up for everything, I had to learn how to manage them. This means that you need to learn how to properly work with and communicate to other people. If you don’t do this, you will be stuck having to do all the work yourself.

It takes patience and effort to be able to handle the balancing act of running multiple businesses. One doesn’t become a master overnight and it certainly took me YEARS to come up with all these systems and processes.  

And that’s how I am currently managing all my businesses. Again, I never really thought about these entities as businesses but more of a way for me to help more people. If you focus on that, everything becomes easier to manage. 

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How to Market as an Introvert

I am an introvert. Not only that, I’m introvert in the balancing act of managing a couple of businesses, running a podcast, and slowly growing my personal brand. You can say that through the years, I’ve learned how to market as an introvert.

If you’re not new to business, you’re aware of the fact that businesses don’t promote themselves. And for me, that means that promoting myself and my brand is up to ME…an introvert (along with my amazing team, of course, but you get the gist). 

I’ve had my fair share of hosting livestreams, managing Facebook groups, and interacting one-on-one with potential clients for all my businesses. I especially had to let myself out there when I ran a 5-day Ads to Leads Challenge.

It may seem that I have it all together and that learning how to market as an introvert all came naturally to me.  

But as an introvert, sometimes my introversion gets in the way and more often than not, I get uncomfortable when the time comes that I have to talk about myself and what I do.  

Slowly, I am getting out of that shell and becoming friends with the inner gremlin in my head reminding me every now and then that I am an introvert. Yes, I am an introvert, but that isn’t a bad thing at all… 

BATTLING MY INNER GREMLIN 

As introverts, most of us have learned to adapt and appear to be extroverts. Most people believe that introverts are always shy, but that isn’t the case. I can easily strike up a conversation with a stranger and make it seem like I am the most talkative person in the world.  

I can act like an extrovert, but sometimes, my inner gremlin gets the best of me in certain situations. 

Battling my inner Gremlin

Situations like when I just started playing American Football and people thought I was a pushover. Or when I get a new client and I feel the pressure of making sure I don’t mess up because I get paid for my services. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate myself or regret being an introvert. The gremlin in my head isn’t always the bad guy and I have slowly learned to channel my introversion to become the best version of myself when it comes to self-promotion. 

CAN INTROVERTS PROMOTE THEMSELVES EFFECTIVELY? 

So, why don’t I like talking about myself?  

Well…I just DON’T. There’s no grand design or grand why behind why.  

As an introvert, I am uncomfortable with being in the limelight and would rather listen than talk about myself. However, that doesn’t mean that I/we can’t promote ourselves or our businesses. 

In a world full of extroverted marketers, we feel like we need to live up to their standards and appear to be flashy and flamboyant. We’ve been taught that in order to promote ourselves, we need to be extroverted and talkative.  

But remember that both introverts and extroverts have their own strengths and weaknesses.  

As an introvert, I have learned to harness my natural curiosity in order to have interesting conversations with other people. Because of this, I can carry great conversations while seeming like an extrovert (when in fact, most of the time, I’m just nodding my head).  

To answer your question whether introverts can promote themselves, the answer to that is 100% YES. 

It may take a few step backs and a bit of learning from our end, but ANYONE can be a marketer. Anyone can market his/her brand and be authentic about themselves without having the need to appear extroverted. 

So how as an introvert, do you promote yourself? 

Here are some of the lessons I have learned as an introvert marketing himself in a world full of extroverts. 

USE YOUR INTROVERSION TO YOUR ADVANTAGE 

Think Like a Scientist 

You may have noticed cartoon Tega appear every now and then in my articles or my social media posts. Most of the time, cartoon Tega dresses up as a scientist, because I like to consider myself a scientist conducting experiments in business.  

Think like a scientist

This mindset means that every business, every piece of content, and every endeavor I get myself into I look at as an experiment 

Rather than focusing on success and getting results, treating things like a scientist means that I’m more inclined to satisfying my curiosity rather than achieving XYZ. I get so focused on the actual “experiment” that I tend to forget about what people are thinking about it.  

In experiments, whether you win or lose, it’s all still a win at the end. Losing means that you’ve learned valuable lessons and winning means that you know what to continue doing moving forward.  

As introverts, we like to live inside our head. So, let’s make the most out of this and think like a scientist rather than a marketer that’s so focused on impressing our audience.  

Act More, Talk Less 

I find it much easier to talk about my experiences (aka experiments) rather than about myself. And because I feel like talking about myself isn’t really something, I’m keen on, I’d rather spend my time being productive and doing the thing. This thing can vary from my experiments or spending time with myself learning something new.  

Act more, talk less

Once I’ve done something related to the thing, it becomes much easier for me to start talking about it. If you think about it, it doesn’t seem so difficult to be talking about my experiments because it isn’t necessarily about MYSELF per se. 

That way, what I share is useful to other people because I get to talk about my learnings and takeaways. This makes things far more interesting than having small talk (which most of us introverts avoid as well).  

Going back to the earlier point, channel your inner scientist, and talk about that and because you are so focused on the actual doing of the thing, you disregard what everyone else thinks(At least, that works for me).  

Don’t Focus on Making an Impression 

This tip applies for both introverts and extroverts alike. And this goes not just for self-promotion but life in general. If you are constantly worried about what other people think, you will be in this endless cycle of always trying to please everyone.  

Don’t Focus on Making an Impression 

I realize that not everybody thinks the way I think about things. We all have our own unique likes and dislikes. This is especially reflected on Social Media. The ads I am attracted to can be something utterly useless for someone else.  

So, when I reflected on this, I concluded that I cannot please everyone with my content. Some people will enjoy it, and others will not. For those that don’t care about your content?  

Don’t care that they don’t care!  

Everyone is so busy worrying about their own issues, challenges, triumphs & perceived failures rather than your stuff and when you promote yourself, you do not have to be self-conscious at all. Simply focus on your ideas and being the curious introvert that you are.  

Utilize the Power of Words 

Promoting yourself does not always have to be about creating entertaining videos or hosting impromptu livestreams to get attention.  

There are so many ways to promote ourselves and as introverts, we need time to think about what we put out there. We know there is power in choosing the right words to say, and it’s not something that we can come up with on the spot. 

Utilize the Power of Words 

This means that we are more inclined to content that allows us to sit down and reflect before saying what we want to say. 

Written content is much more attractive for most introverts because what we say is carefully curated. Thankfully, because of the internet, we introverts have a myriad of avenues to choose from in order to put our words out there. 

Personally, being “talkative” on Social Media, this website, and to my email lists is something that I have grown accustomed to. I have nurtured most of my business relationships and built my brand through these platforms because I found that I am most comfortable with them.  

Choosing which platforms work best for you will need you think like a scientist again. Each person is comfortable and uncomfortable with different things so if something doesn’t feel right to you, you can always experiment with something else.  

Focus on Helping Over Promoting 

The final tip that I want to share is that whenever I create new content or start a new business, the number one goal for me is to help other people. That’s the main reason why I started all my agencies and created a personal podcast.  

Focus on Helping Over Promoting 

Promoting myself and garnering fame was the LAST thing on my mind.  

Even this article was written with the sole purposes of helping fellow introverts out there get over their shyness or hesitations so that they too can grow their businesses and in return, help more people.  

So, if the inner gremlin in your head stops you in your tracks while composing that next social media post, tell yourself “If I’m not going to help other people, who else will?” 

INTROVERTS UNITE! 

Just because I’ve shared these tips with you doesn’t mean that I’ve mastered them all myself. As I’m slowly growing my brand and getting more clients, I still struggle at times with my introversion.  

Battling my inner gremlin

Sometimes, my inner gremlin can be my best friend or my worst enemy. But hey, that’s life and we must accept all its ups and downs. I am slowly learning to become a better marketer (or should I say, scientist), and I know that getting out of my shell will take time and experience.  

I hope that all these tips made you realize that you as an introvert also have the potential to create wonderful things and be proud to share it with the world.  

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How to Increase Traffic by Running a 5-Day Challenge

If you are a business owner who is struggling to get traction organically or get people to sign up for your program or service, chances are you’ve done your fair share of research on how to increase traffic.

All over the internet, you will see multiple courses and programs that claim to help you get results. 

The 5-day challenge that I will be talking about in this article is one of those ways to do just that. 

Now this is not some quick fix or instant solution to your business problems. The work that you will put in during the 5-day challenge is more of a solid foundation that will help you build a business that gives you the freedom you are looking for. 

WHAT IS A 5-DAY CHALLENGE? 

So, why 5 days? Why not 7 days or 15 days? 

Well, people tend to lose interest easily.  

You might think 7 days would be manageable, but if you think about it, nowadays, people have so many other things to do that 7 days may be seen as too much of a commitment. 5-day challenges are good because they usually fall from Monday to Friday, which conditions the participants into thinking “well, it's not going to affect my weekdays or rest days anyway.” 

5-day Challenge distracted boyfriend meme

Another thing you need to take note of is that this challenge must be free-of-charge and available to your target market with the aim of finding the solution to a problem they are facing.  

The goal of a 5-day challenge should be to draw traffic or leads into your business which is what we will be tackling in this article... 

HOW IS A 5-DAY CHALLENGE GOING TO HELP ME? 

If you want to build a business where people see you as an authority and lineup to work with you, then a 5-day challenge is going to help you get there. 

I personally chose to conduct one because I was naturally curious how it can benefit me after I saw 2 of my Facebook friends use it to build a 7-figure business. It was because of my curiosity and willingness to try out new things for my business that I decided to run a 5-day challenge myself. 

The main purpose of my challenge was to launch and sell my group program in a circle where nobody knew my name and skills. 

In fact, this challenge helped me grow from zero to making just over £2,000 in under 4 weeks! 

Another wonderful thing about this challenge is that, unlike programs of Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula and Russel Brunson's’ webinars, it allows you to start small with very minimal financial outlay.  

You will only need to pay for a few things to setup the challenge such as tools you require or paid ads if you think this is necessary 

If you are strategic with how you run the challenge and promote your program, your small investment will continue to grow, provided that the quality of the challenge continues to grow as well. 

IS THIS GOING TO BE WORTH MY TIME?  

The biggest requirement that the challenge will require from you is your time. You need to put in the time and effort to provide your market with a great interactive experience during those 5 days. 

This in return helps you understand your customers’ wants and how your products can address their needs.  

Conducting a 5-day challenge will definitely take up more than 5 days as the host, but from my experience, it was all worth it in the end. I’m sure if you follow along on the process, you will reap the same benefits too. 

The way that I will be breaking down the each step is going to be based on everything that I went through and everything I did for my challenge so that you can apply it to your own business as well. 

Here is what we will be talking about in this article: 

  • What Makes a 5-Day Challenge Successful? 
  • When is the Best Time to Run a 5-Day Challenge? 
  • How to Run the 5-Day Challenge 
    • Name the Challenge 
    • Set a Goal for Your Challenge 
    • Create Content for the Challenge 
    • Define the Timeline 
    • Organize the Pre-Challenge Setup 
    • Launch the Challenge! 
    • Engage with the Participants 
  • How to Close the Challenge and Make the Final Offer 
  • Some tools I used during the challenge 
  • The Results of My 5-Day Challenge 
  • Tega’s Top 10 Takeaways 
  • Will I Be Hosting Another 5-Day Challenge? 

So, grab a cup of coffee. This is going to be a long one.  

Let’s get to it! 

WHAT MAKES A 5-DAY CHALLENGE SUCCESSFUL? 

What composes a good 5-day challenge? 

First off, you need to meet people where they are at. This means that any content you put out must always speak to your target audience.  

The goal is to create logical and emotional steps to move them forward from point A to point B, which will eventually lead them to buying your product or service.  

The most successful challenges are the ones where people start out at the beginning feeling confused and got questions but do not know how to move forward. They feel overwhelmed and lack clarity 

By the end of the challenge (or middle), you should be able to give them that “aha” moment if you want your challenge to be successful. Once these people have that “aha” moment, they will be much more convinced to buy the product or service you were trying to sell in the first place.  

You want to become their “online hero” by giving them a new way of looking at something to help them solve their problem. 

Here are other critical elements to a high-converting challenge: 

Element #1: It must be simple and straightforward  

If you set big, complicated tasks, it will overwhelm people and will just put them off. All elements, from the registration to the challenge itself, must be super simple and straightforward. 

You should leave little to no confusion from their end by thoroughly explaining everything in the challenge 

Set the expectation that the challenge is simple and not some difficult hurdle that they need to face.  

Element #2: Be engaging and encourage engagement! 

Engagement is the biggest thing that converts people in the challenge.  

Even if you give them everything they need to succeed during the challenge, even if you make it all simple and straightforward, the biggest thing that matters is building a relationship with your audience. This includes getting their questions answered and supporting them. 

The engagement should not just come from your end, however. It takes two to tango. 

Set some rules to encourage people to engage and you could even set rewards for the most engaged person. Include things like telling them to comment if they are done with a task.  

In my case, I really took the time to answer all their questions and respond to their comments when needed.  

Facebook Group Engagement Sample

You need to build a community and make people feel supported! 

Element #3: Focus on small wins 

Now remember that the participants of this challenge will be starting from square one. 

Sometimes, if we are already an expert in a certain topic, we humans tend to forget what it was like to be an absolute beginner. You need to understand where they are coming from. And that means that you cannot overwhelm them with a whole bunch of novel tasks even if for you, it seems easy and doable. 

Just pick one outcome that you want from this challenge rather than trying to make them experts in a certain field. 

This is only a 5-day challenge, so you can only expect so much from them. 

You will want your outcome to be real, tangible, and simple. Do not focus on vague goals like happiness or enlightenment! 

You need to be very micro and specific with what you want to deliver and focus on small wins rather than huge jumps. 

Element #4: Be authentic 

This last element may seem super obvious, but sometimes we lose ourselves in trying to impress others or make the sale.  

You only have 5 days to make a good impression. The best way to do that is to just be yourself. You cannot please everyone obviously and you may lose some people along the process. 

That is exactly why it is so important to be authentic. This helps you draw the right kind of people into your business and weed the wrong ones out. 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO RUN A 5-DAY CHALLENGE? 

Is there really a best time in your business to run a 5-day challenge? 

Well the answer is subjective. 

I personally do not know what is best for your business, so only you will be able to determine when is the best time to run this challenge.  

What I can say however is that if you have an established business that is already serving a good amount of people, then you will find this challenge beneficial. 

Now, I am not saying that if you do not have an established business that you cannot run the challenge. This just means that if you do not yet have a useful product or service in place yet, it may take longer for you to get results because much work will have to be done on the front end. 

The work can range from developing the assets of the business to even deciding on the offer you want to make at the end of the challenge. 

Another point that you can take into consideration is whether you want to start the challenge at the beginning of the month or when people’s salaries are about to come in.  

Why?  

That way, when you are ready to pitch your offer, they will not worry too much about spending! This explains why lots of big sales come up during the start or middle of the month. 

One last point that I can suggest is to not run your challenge during the holidays. People will be busy with their families that they may not have the time to focus on a 5-day challenge. 

HOW TO RUN THE 5-DAY CHALLENGE?

Name the Challenge 

First thing you need to do is think of a name for your challenge. Make sure that the name is straightforward and clear enough to explain the benefits and results people will get from the challenge. 

From my experience, creating the name for the challenge was a challenge in itself. I knew who I wanted to speak to, and I wanted the name to call out to the people who I made the challenge for, but I didn’t know how to make it sound catchy but not too hype-y. 

Every time I would produce a name, it would seem too long like “5-Day Ads to Leads Challenge.” Long names would not be memorable to the participants and, from a technical point of view, make it difficult to get a nice URL.  

In the end, I decided to call my challenge “Ads to Leads Challenge” because the aim was to help people drive traffic from their ads. 

It was short, simple, and easy to understand.  

5 Day Ads to Leads Challenge

Set a Goal for Your Challenge 

When deciding on the goal for the challenge, you need to figure out what makes sense for you by asking yourself important questions such as... 

  • What stage is your business at? 
  • How have you been performing the past few months? 
  • How effective and helpful has your product or service been to your current customers? 

Remember to make your goals SMART: 

SMART Goals

My goal for the challenge was to have 250 people take part because it made sense to me considering the stage that my business was at. 

Once you decide on your goal, everything else that follows should fall into place such as how you market the challenge and choose who will help promote the challenge for you. 

Create Content for the Challenge 

In relation to keeping the goal of your challenge simple, each of the tasks to be fulfilled during the 5-days must be easy as well.  

Think of very micro elements that you think are “aha” moments for your participants.  

In my case, I wanted to teach people how to get more leads from their ads, but I did not jump directly into the complicated process of launching a Facebook ads campaign or anything of that sort.  

To give you a better idea, here is the module I have prepared for the challenge: 

Day 1: Getting Setup 

5 Day Challenge Day 1: Getting Setup

Day 2: Choosing an Offer 

5 Day Challenge Day 2: Choosing An Offer

Day 3: Write Words Get Paid/Choosing Creative 

5 Day Challenge Day 3: Choosing Creative

Day 4: Setting up the Ad 

5 Day Challenge Day 4: Setting up The Ad

Day 5: Follow up + Maintaining the Ad + 2 Advanced Tricks (Pixels & Retargeting) 

5 Day Challenge Day 5: Maintaining the ad

If you are an expert in Facebook ads, you may be thinking “Really, Tega? These tasks for 5-year olds!”  

But from a beginner’s perspective, these were the exact “aha” moments the participants needed to setup the foundation for effective ads for their business 

Define the Timeline 

Deciding when to start your challenge is important because it gives you a map of the things you will need to do and when you will need to execute them.  

When thinking of the timeline for your 5-day challenge, take note that this is not only going to take up 5 days for you as the facilitator. You need taking into consideration additional tasks such as promotions before the challenge, and the post-challenge activities as well including closing deals and making sales. 

In my case, I decided to run the challenge from July 6 to 10. And in doing that, I knew that I needed a 2-week lead time for me to promote the challenge. That meant I had to promote the challenge from the 22nd of June.  

To make sure that the participants were fully prepared for the challenge, I had to get people into the group on the Friday before the 6th. This allowed them to do the early steps that I needed them to take to fully maximize their benefits from the challenge. 

Even after the challenge, I had to do promotions for program which entailed setting up ads and accommodating those who were interested. 

You need to set the schedule for all the minute details from planning, to launching, to adding people to the group, to clearing your time for the live broadcasts, and so on. This will all depend on when you decide to host your challenge. 

Organize the Pre-challenge Setup 

There are a few other technical things you will need to setup before starting the challenge. 

For me, this meant buying the domain name (I bought mine on namecheap.com) and setting up the lead capture/notification for the challenge (I used clickfunnels.com).  

I made my landing page extremely easy to read so that it would not discourage them from giving the details I need. The only content that I put in this page was a brief overview of what people are going to get if they sign up for the challenge. 

5-day Challenge landing page

If they did decide to push through and sign up for the challenge, I asked for only their email address to keep it simple and quick. 

Once they have completed that section, they are then led to a thank you page with instructions on what to expect from the challenge and when to join the group. 

5 day challenge thank you page

The last thing I did was setup the Facebook groups page. There are a few settings that you need to take note of when you create the group since this is quite different from creating just a regular, for-leisure group on Facebook. Let me show you how I set it up... 

Group Type: When you create the group, you want to make sure that it is a Social Learning type so that you can add all the units and lessons there. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Type

Description: Make your description informative, but brief. This is where you include the link to the landing page. It is important for people to sign up through the landing page for tracking purposes and making sure you get their email addresses. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Description

Apps: I did not conduct my live videos via Facebook since I used StreamYard. I connected the app to my Facebook group. 

5 Day Challenge FB Connected apps

Hide Group: This is important as well. You need to make the group visible to anyone so that people can search for the group. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Visibility

Sections: Since this is a Social Learning group, you have special elements that you can choose to add or remove. I find the Social Learning Units section especially useful because it makes the lessons more organized and easier to access. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Sections

Membership Approval and Requests: Although you need to make the group visible to anyone, when it comes to approval, it must only be you or your team who can control who gets to join. Include Questions as well when someone requests to join the group to help filter out who are eligible or not. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Membership Approval

Here are the questions I asked: 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Questions

Pinning Posts: Another great practice that you can also apply is to Pin all posts in the group for that respective day. That way, they appear at the top of the group in the Announcement section. When that day is over, don’t forget to remove the announcement to make way for the next day. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Pinning Posts

5 Day Challenge FB Group Announcement

Units: The nifty thing about this type of group is that these announcements then turn into units. Members can easily go back to all the other lessons through the Units section of the group. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Units

5 Day Challenge FB Group Units View

Events: When you have scheduled livestreams, a wonderful way to announce it to the members is by turning these livestreams into events. That way, the members get notified and will not miss anything. 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Events

Launch the Challenge! 

You may not be earning anything directly from the challenge but treat it like it is a paid product that you want to promote! 

Really put your effort into it like any other big event. Do not be shy to share your challenge with all your friends and connections. In fact, make it a big deal and emphasize who it is for, what is in it for them, and what is the promise you are going to deliver.  

Be relentless with this even if it is organic 

My promotions consisted of 12 posts every day on my personal Facebook page. This was one post each day, for the 12 days leading up to the challenge.  

Here are some of my sample posts: 

 

5 Day Challenge Promotional Post
5 Day Challenge Promotional Post 2

It also helped that I reached out to some of my friends who could promote the challenge for me. 

You are helping other people through this challenge, so be proud!  

And once you have participants, be appreciative of them for joining your challenge. 

Engage with the Participants 

Posting every day in the group during the 5-days is a nonnegotiable. It should be done. 

But how often should you post in a day and what should you be posting about? 

Before continuing, I want you to know that sending email announcements should also be part of your communication to the participants just to make sure they do not miss anything. 

For emails, here are what I sent each day: 

  • Email 1: Announcement at the start of the day on what they should expect for that day 
  • Email 2: After the Q&A thread is posted on the Facebook group, an email is sent to them to remind them to post their questions in that thread 
  • Email 3: 15 minutes before my live Q&A session, this email is sent to the as a reminder to join in on the video 

Also, when delivering the training, I prerecord my videos so that I do not have to worry about being perfect. I can always do minor edits. People will be re-watching these educational videos, so make sure you deliver valuable content. 

Alongside these prerecorded videos, I highly recommend going live at least once a day to answer their questions and show to them that you are fully present in the challenge. This is the one time that you can give the participants a truly interactive experience. 

5 Day Challenge Q&A

How to Increase Excitement and Participation? 

You are the hype man in the challenge so make sure you are in the best place and have the energy. Your vibe creates the vibe of the challenge! 

So mentally and emotionally prepare yourself because hosting a 5-day challenge is not for the faint of heart. But amidst all the hustle, do not forget to take breaks when you need to, and clear your schedule so that you can dedicate all your time and energy into the challenge. 

The same principle applies to your participants. Set expectations and encourage everyone to contribute and be energetic as well but give them time to breath and take everything in as well.  

Some simple steps you can take is to encourage them to mark DONE in the group once they have completed a task. This encourages accountability and motivates them to share to the group their achievements. 

How I set the guidelines for this particular step is that whenever I announce the task for the day, I include instructions like this at the bottom of each post: 

5 Day Challenge FB Group Instructions

You can even offer prices for the most engaged and let the group know that those who do not participate will be removed from the group. 

Also, thank everyone for being participative and make them feel important by answering their questions one by one during your live sessions. You want them to know that they are being heard.  

If you do this, they will become your biggest supporters and will appreciate all your effort. 

Lastly, remember that you cannot have EVERYONE fully take part. Some will give the bare minimum and that is okay.  

Focus on the percentage that is putting an effort into the challenge and do not waste your energy on those who are not really giving their all. 

HOW TO CLOSE THE CHALLENGE AND MAKE THE FINAL OFFER 

The engagement does not end after the 5th day of the challenge. In fact, if you were able to create a wonderful experience for the participants, this is where you get them to say “yes” to what you have been trying to sell all along. 

End the challenge with a bang and be grateful for everyone’s efforts. 

You need to let them be aware that that there is still so much to learn and that whatever product or service you will be offering after is exactly what they need to move forward. 

Do not try to sound to sales-y or force them into buying from you. You still want to keep the same persona of being their helping hand and not some businessperson trying to make a sale. 

After the challenge, continue your relationship with them and answer any of their other concerns (as long as you do not give away too much) to build more rapport and add more value. 

You can also offer discounts for people who act fast right after the challenge has been completed to give a sense of urgency. 

And if you encounter some people who are hesitant to buy your program, always find out why and adjust your offer from there. 

As the challenge comes to an end and it is time to announce your program or product, make sure to outline what it is they are going to get out of it. Be specific and connect it back to your challenge. 

SOME TOOLS I USED DURING THE CHALLENGE: 

Here are some of the tools that I used throughout the challenge to help get my processes in place and track everything: 

1) ClickFunnels – to create simple, effective landing pages 

ClickFunnels

2) ActiveCampaign – to send and manage emails on mass to anybody who opts in 

ActiveCampaign

3) Facebook Group – the group helped create an environment where you get everyone’s attention and makes you the sole focus of the group 

5 Day Ads to Leads Challenge FB Group

4) ThriveCart – shopping cart to collect payments create nice looking checkout pages that people can pay to 

ThriveCart

5) Streamyard – for the livestream and pre-recorded tutorial videos 

StreamYard

THE RESULTS OF MY 5-DAY CHALLENGE 

The whole point of this challenge for me was to sell my service of running other peoples’ ads. 

But as I went through the challenge, I realized that the people taking part would not be able to afford this service. 

So, I decided to pivot halfway through and sell a group coaching program called Facebook ads Playbook for Local/Small Business instead. This was a much cheaper service and aimed at coaching people how to run effective Facebook ads for their business for 6 weeks. 

I was able to close 5 sales, and not only that, but I came up this unique program that helped me cater to a new market. 

From my goal of 250 signups for the challenge, we were able to gather 210 during the actual implementation (which isn’t so bad if I say so myself). These signups mostly came from organic posts rather than the paid ads. The organic posts consisted of posts on my Facebook wall, reaching out to my existing network and asking them to help promote the challenge on my behalf. 

The reason my paid ads did not work as much was because not much testing and targeting was done. I focused more on a shotgun rather than a sniper approach. 

But let us get into more of that later... 

In the end, I realized that this challenge was not just about the numbers and making money.  During the entire process, I have experienced both expected and unexpected results that have helped me build my brand. 

Simply by the virtue of me running the challenge, I made people aware of what I do and what my business is about.  

And a funny thing is that the opportunities did not just manifest after the challenge, but even before the challenge happened, people already started reaching out to me!  

This included appearing as a guest on a “livecast” (a livestream that gets repurposed into a podcast) in the Firebuilders Show with Joshua Koerpel 

You can access the episode here.

Firebuilders.io with Joshua Koerpel

I was also invited to give a talk in a Facebook group because the challenge allowed me to position myself as an expert on the subject matter. I absolutely love teaching and imparting my knowledge, and so I was delighted by this opportunity. 

Also, back when I was still doing the organic posts leading up to the challenge, I was already getting inquiries which resulted in 1 paid consulting call, 2 service inquiries (and another 2 more after the challenge), and a Facebook ads audit for a small business. 

So there really is more to the challenge than meets the eye. Let’s talk about a few more of these takeaways from the challenge... 

TEGA’S TOP 10 TAKEAWAYS 

I am in no means an expert in conducting a 5-day challenge. I too have made mistakes and faced my own demons during the process and by sharing this journey, I hope that you can learn a thing or two: 

Lesson #1: Don’t let your introversion or insecurities hold you back  

For those of you who don’t know me, you should know that I do not really like talking about myself. This was why I felt so nervous during the challenge and even held back a bit when I was promoting. 

I feel like I was just doing the bare minimum when I should have put more of my energy out there. 

The promo period for the challenge was meant to be 2 weeks but I ended up just doing 1 week because of not being comfortable talking about myself for such a long period of time. 

When doing a challenge, I learned it is inevitable that you let yourself out there in the open. You are sharing your knowledge and skills, and you will not confidently be able to do so if doubts and insecurities hold you back. 

Lesson #2: Create a proper plan for promotions to maximize participation 

I realized that I should have made more of an effort to add bonuses and prizes to the challenge because doing that would have made people more eager to participate in the group.  

There was no strategy to promote any incentives to encourage people to fully take part and so the participation was not as high as I would have liked. 

Lesson #3: Be prepared to receive a lot of friend requests and messages on Facebook  

Because I built a bunch of goodwill over the years and was not expecting much in return, I was not used to the number of messages and inquiries I got on Facebook because of the challenge. 

My inbox was full of messages from people congratulating me for the challenge or inquiring about my services. This was not something I was prepared for! 

The lesson here is that when you do good, people want to see you win. 

Lesson #4: Conduct more testing for the paid ads 

In my opinion, the paid ads seemed to be a little bit rushed because I left it to last minute. I did not have the time to do enough testing or running the campaign in the way I would have liked.  

In the end, the campaign was just one image with 3 different bits of ad copy variation, and we ran it through a broad audience, meaning the niche was not determined. 

If this feels like too much of a burden for you, you can always hire a virtual team member to help you with the marketing and managing of your ads. I wrote an entire article on hiring the right virtual members for your team here.

This was all because I was too focused on implementation, which we will talk about some more in the next few points... 

Lesson #5: Design a proper marketing plan 

Just like the paid ads, all my social posts were played by ear without a certain strategy in place. This meant that I did not really put a great amount of thought into my organic marketing. 

When planning the organic posts, I simply went through the Workflowy document I created and thought about what content to write on social media that would tie up with the challenge. 

There was not much creative and strategic thought put into the posts. Just simple copy and photos for the sake of making posts about the challenge. 

This whole act ties back to lesson #1 of being timid. Because I was a little bit hesitant posting about myself and what I do, I did not give myself enough room to thoroughly think how I could generate interest for the challenge. 

Lesson #6: Do not jump the gun and send links out if the funnels/pages aren’t fully ready 

Because I was just so overwhelmed with all the things I had to do, I ended up just posting the links before they were ready. The voice in my head just kept telling me to give it a go, and so I ended up acting on impulse and overlooked proper setting up of the links because I had so many other things on my mind. 

Thankfully, this did not really impact the challenge negatively, but nonetheless, this is still a reflection for me and something I need to work on. 

Take it one step at a time and really think about the steps you want to take without stressing too much about it. 

Lesson #7: Understand that pivots are necessary sometimes  

As I said earlier, my initial plan was to sell a DFY (done for you) service. But as I went through the challenge, I realized that there was an issue with the funnel here. 

What I mean by this is that from getting someone to do something for free, it would not seem wise to immediately sell a package that costs around £1000 as the next step! 

Observing the profile of the participants, it dawned on me that these people do not even fit the market anyway for a DFY service, but rather a DIY service instead. They were programmed in the challenge to do everything themselves -- from setting up the ads to managing them – that it just would not make sense to sell them a DFY service afterwards. 

Therefore, I decided to pivot and offer a program to complement their DIY mindset, which was also much more affordable as a result. 

Lesson #8: Do not overlook the technical bits 

On the first day, the session was posted 8 minutes late because I did not factor in the time Facebook needed to render the video. This lesson is more of me being a perfectionist, because the members did not seem to mind the delay. 

Since this was my first time running the challenge, I really had no idea that this would happen. 

I included this lesson here to let you know what to expect when you run your 5-day challenge and that when you post any videos organically, you will need to upload these in advance to avoid any delays. 

Lesson #9: By making the challenge FREE, I ended up getting participants, not at the  right stage for my service

I just wanted to let you know that making the challenge free is not really a problem, but this ties back to lesson #2. Because the challenge was free, I needed to find other ways to motivate the participants to contribute. 

And since I lacked the incentives to encourage everyone to participate, the fact that the challenge was free and maybe even the way I communicated (lesson #1), all contributed to the reason why there was not as much engagement as I would have liked. 

This really all boils down to a lack of planning rather than implementation, which connects to the last lesson. 

Lesson #10: I was too focused on implementation that I overlooked the other aspects of the challenge 

I was so fixated on the initial plan of the challenge and the process I had in place, that I was not really open to any new ideas to make the challenge even better. 

This connects back to lesson #7 wherein I was already married to the idea of offering a DFY service that this affected the planning stage of my challenge when I decided to offer the DIY program instead. 

I learned that I should be more flexible and open to change so that I can easily adapt during both the planning and implementation stages of the challenge. 

This was my first time running the challenge and so it is only natural to encounter all these minor issues and learnings.  

So just like me, do not beat yourself up too much when running your first 5-day challenge! 

WILL I BE HOSTING ANOTHER 5-DAY CHALLENGE? 

Definitely! 

If you have made it to this point in the article, congratulations! 

I hope you now have a deeper understanding of what I meant when I said the challenge can be a foundation which you build and grow your business from.  

In its purest form, the challenge is a unique lead gen exercise because you need to do a lot of things for your leads before you make an offer to them. It helps you hone your craft and build a stronger client base. 

When done correctly, the challenge can be a tool that grows your name, your background and people’s affinity to your brand.  

Since I am happy with the results of this challenge, it would be a little bit silly to not seriously consider running another one.  

As I said earlier, a 5-day challenge will have a compounding effect. This means that the work will only be quite heavy on the first few challenges and the financial returns may not be as much in the beginning. It only gets better and better, and you grow stronger and stronger. 

The longer you conduct these challenges, you continue to build a whole bunch of goodwill that you can leverage on to move your business forward. 

This was my first time conducting a 5-day challenge and I am already looking forward to the next one. 

As always, I hope that this article will help you in one way or another to decide on how you want to incorporate this challenge into your business. 

If you found this article helpful or have any questions you want to ask me, feel free to comment down below. 

 

Open post
How to Start a Podcast

How to Start and Launch a Podcast to Build Your Brand

Podcasts are HOT right now. At the time of writing this, Joe Rogan has recently signed an exclusive deal with Spotify. The deal is rumoured to be worth over $100 million. I suspect there is an air of opportunity around podcasts because as a medium, they (Podcasts) are still under-utilized. 

The reason for this I am not fully aware of, but I found myself in a position where I accidentally started Podcast management Agency. If you are an entrepreneur and have a brand that you want to grow, you may have questions “how to launch and grow a podcast?”  

You may have even searched for “How to start and launch a Podcast” in good ol’ Google…

I was thinking the same thing, and I consulted Google to find an answer. To my surprise, there were very few in-depth articles that break down the process from start to finish, so I thought I should right write about my experience in starting my own podcast and helping other people both start AND manage their podcast. 

My podcast has allowed me to strengthen my credibility as a content creator. Not only that, I have also been invited to talk in other podcasts like Life Passion and Business by Paul Harvey and The Fitness Business Authority Podcast, as well give training sessions in different entrepreneur communities and groups on Facebook. 

Appearance on Life Passion & Business
Appearance on Fitness Business Authority

I was able to grow my audience, and better yet, I’m able to help more people!  

Once you see how simple and effective it is to start your own podcast, you will be saying to yourself “aha! Why did not I do this sooner?” 

Do you want to experience the same results for your brand but do not know how to get started in the first place? Read on because I am about to show you... 

ARE PODCASTS REALLY BECOMING A THING IN CONTENT MARKETING? 

Just like the rise in popularity of blogs a few years back, podcasts are slowly gaining traction across multiple industries.  

According to Buzzsprout, there are at least 600 million blogs, 23 million YouTube channels, but only 800,000 podcasts in Apple Podcasts! To put things into perspective, there are 750 blogs and 28 YouTube channels for every podcast.  

So many thought leaders are flocking to start their own podcasts because there is still so much uncharted space. 

In the US, there is a steady growth in the number of podcast listeners. According to The Infinite Dial, the number of monthly listeners grew from 32% (out of 104 million) in 2019 to 37% in 2020. 

If the big players in the industry are taking advantage of this opportunity, I suggest you should too. 

HOW CAN PODCASTS BUILD YOUR BRAND? 

If you want to grow in your profession or even promote your business, podcasts are becoming the newest trend in content marketing. 

Need a foot-in-the-door strategy to make yourself known in your industry? Start a podcast. 

Is there a celebrity in your niche that you want to do business with? Invite him or her to your podcast.  

Want to create multi-purpose content that you can post on various platforms? Record a video to post on YouTube, strip out the audio and... 

Turn it into a podcast. 

You can see where I am getting at.  

It is no surprise that podcasts continue to grow in popularity. As they continue to grow, you see people selling different courses such as “how to start your podcast in 28 days” or “how to start your podcast and grow your brand.” 

I am by no means disputing that any of these things can happen, but in my opinion, what it does is it builds a sense of false hope for people who believe in that product or service. They have this vague idea of what a podcast is, but do not have a clear idea of what exactly comprises a great podcast is and what it entails to run a podcast. 

Which is why I am writing this blog post. If you do not know where to start or how to promote podcasts, fear not. It really is not that difficult if you simply know what to do. 

Follow along as I show you step-by-step how SIMPLE it is to start a podcast and thrive during the grueling first few months of running and managing a podcast. 

There are 4 parts to this process, and I will break everything down so all you have to do is follow along... 

  • Part 1: How to Start a Podcast 
  • Part 2: Plan Your Episodes 
  • Part 3: Record and Edit 
  • Part 4: You Have Your Podcast. Now What? 

So, with the introduction out the way, let’s get into how to start a podcast. 

PART 1: GETTING STARTED 

The 4Ws 

When it comes to starting a podcast, there are several things that you need to figure out that make up the essence of your podcast.  

Do not be intimidated. I am not trying to overwhelm you here. I just want to make sure that you do not skip any of the vital details, and I will help you figure everything out. 

Apart from all the usual things you need to worry about such as equipment, software, editing style, effects, artwork, and everything else in between, there is something that most people overlook.  

And that is putting in some research and figuring out exactly what PURPOSE your podcast is going to serve.  

Before we go ahead with anything else, if your sole purpose of creating podcasts is to become rich and famous, then I am sorry to rain on your parade, but you might need to think of a more noble reason! 

However, if your purpose falls under categories such as generating more awareness for you as a professional or for your business, sharing your knowledge and skills, or simply telling a story, then you are done with the first step. 

I have been able to help a couple of people start a podcast, and there are a few questions I let them ask themselves.  

This is what I call the 4Ws, which I have taken from Zachary Babcock: 

  • What – what is your podcast going to be about? 
  • Who – who are ideal listeners? 
  • Where – where are you trying to guide them? 
  • Why – why should they listen to your podcast? 

If you take the time to figure these out before doing anything else, you set yourself up for success with your podcast. Remember to always go back to your answer on those 4Ws whenever you feel lost. 

As an example, when I started my podcast, I got a little bit lost in figuring out what I wanted to talk about.  

(Not that this is a plug for my podcast, but my podcast is called The Intent Podcast) 

Whenever I lost direction, I always got back to the WHAT of my podcast, which is having conversations with interesting people, primarily entrepreneurs. The purpose of this was to get a little bit more of a behind-the-scenes perspective of what the essence of a human is.  

Who are they outside of work? What are their interests? Hobbies? Likes? Dislikes?  

This always helped bring me back to what I wanted to share with my listeners. 

My experience shows why the 4Ws is so crucial in giving clarity and purpose to your podcast. Once you have figured out your 4Ws, you can then work on with your podcast name and theme...  

Your Podcast Name and Theme

When you think of a theme for your podcast, avoid relying solely on what is trendy or popular now. Instead, go for something that you are comfortable with, knowledgeable and passionate about.  

Your podcasts must be about a certain topic or niche, but not too narrowed-down that you will not be able to create several episodes about it. When conceptualizing your theme, try to produce around 10-15 episodes outlining what you are going to share relating to the topic to see if there is enough to talk about. 

Once you have decided what it is you want to share with your audience, it is time to conduct some market research.  

Go through different directories (or podcatchers) like Apple Podcasts or Spotify and see if there are already existing podcasts in the genre you have chosen. Have a look at their popularity and demand as well. You can also get some ideas here to give yourself a head start.  

Also ask yourself, “What can I do that these current podcast creators aren’t doing?”  

That way, you can differentiate yourself from everyone else.  

After you decide on the theme, start working on what you want to name your podcast. It must be catchy, but not too broad.  

You may need to include keywords in the title for SEO purposes but try to avoid being too wordy that it ends up being too lengthy and unattractive.  

If you have an extremely specific and unique topic, one of the most popular formats for podcast names is one or two words about your theme to be followed by a brief description to help improve search results for your podcast.  

One example that I have found is “Get sleepy (two words about your theme): Sleep meditation and stories (brief description of the podcast).” 

Do not worry if you feel like the title of your podcast does not give your readers a full grasp of what your podcast is about. This is where the podcast description comes in. Be compelling with your podcast description, especially the first sentence. If listeners find it interesting, they will read the rest of the description and most importantly, listen to your podcast.  

Remember also that some directories like Apple Podcasts are just like any other search engine -- the more relevant keywords you insert into your description, the more likely that you will rank higher in the search.  

And as much as you want to rank higher and higher by adding more keywords, be sure to not sound too forced.  

The most important thing is that you speak and connect to your listeners.  

Who is Your Audience? 

Some people who start a podcast already have an audience from their current businesses and connections. But do not fret if you are just like everyone else and do not have a current “fanbase.” 

You just need to know who you are speaking to and ask questions such as: 

  • What are their needs? Their pain points 
  • Why should they listen to your podcast? 
  • How can you address their problems? 

From a marketing standpoint, the main reason you want to identify your audience is so that you can work on how you should portray yourself and your message. This includes everything from the language you will be using to the artwork to the background music, and everything in between.  

The good news is, as per Podcast Discovery Survey, many listeners do not care whether you are popular or not to begin with! Just create great content and gain your audience from there. 

Lastly, before worrying about gaining popularity, let us work on the rest of the elements first. 

PART 2: PLAN YOUR EPISODES 

Figuring Out Your Show

What I mean when I say “figuring out the show” is what type of format do you want your podcasts to be? There is no one correct format for a specific topic or genre when it comes to podcasts. You have the freedom to host the show on your own or co-host it with one or several other people.  

You can also go for a “mixed bag” approach and have different formats depending on the mood you want to set per episode. Here are the types of formats that you can go for: 

  • Solo - hosted by you and you alone 
  • Co-Hosted - hosted by you and a co-host 
  • Roundtable - hosted by you and several other guests to talk about and discuss a specific topic 
  • Interview - this involves you interviewing an individual from a specific industry 
  • Other more scripted formats are news recap, educational, and fictional/nonfictional podcasts 

With regards to the first four formats, it is best to avoid creating verbatim scripts while conducting your show. An outline would help but relying too much on a script will make your podcast seem more of a sermon than a conversation. 

If you do decide to run a show wherein you interview guests, one good skill you should hone is knowing how to outreach to the right people.  

You can take steps as early as now to research on other podcasts in a similar niche to you and plan on how you will invite them to your show. 

Going back to the 4W’s I have mentioned earlier, defining these and figuring out your show are the vital foundations in starting your podcast. Once you have these planned out, you will know how to go about the rest of the elements of your podcast. Recording your podcasts will also be done more efficiently and effectively. 

A good friend of mine, Ryan Lee, for a little while did a podcast where he released an episode daily. It does sound a little too labor-intensive, but from how he tells it, he would record an episode every day, go to a coffee shop, pull out his phone, hook up his hands-free kit and then record. These would then get lightly edited before it’s all good to go. 

Talk about getting things done quickly! 

Now these 4W’s have played an important part there because since he understood the answer to those questions, it became much easier for him to record and edit with whatever tool was at his disposal.  

Whether it was simply recording on his iPhone and even uploading directly from there if he had no access to his desktop, he would be much more confident with the type of content he created. 

Recordings free of edit but full of valuable content: Real. Raw. Relevant. 

Now that you have the format figured out, you may now be thinking more about the nitty gritty like how long and how often you should post... 

Frequency and Length of Your Podcasts 

Here is the good news. There is no one-size-fits-all standard for how long your podcasts should be and how frequent you should post them. Some podcasts go for 5 minutes, others 20 minutes and others even at least an hour long. 

Additionally, you also do not have to pressure yourself into posting your podcasts daily or weekly if this will compromise the quality of your work.  

There are even some podcasts that are posted only once a year! The freedom is completely yours. The important thing is that you stay consistent. You yourself know what is the best length and frequency that is relevant to the theme of your podcast.  

It would not make sense to sacrifice important topics by cropping your podcast to 5 minutes, when in fact you can discuss and cover everything better in 40 minutes. On the other hand, adding unnecessary points to a podcast just to increase the duration would be futile as well.  

See where I’m getting at? 

Just remember that if you are passionate about your topic and can communicate effectively, people will be willing to listen regardless of the length of your podcast. 

So, you now have your 4W’s, you know what to talk about, you know who to talk to and you know the structure. 

What is next, Tegs? 

Now it is time to buckle up your seatbelts and get ready for the actual work. 

PART 3: RECORD AND EDIT 

Choose the Right Hardware and Software for You 

As I have mentioned earlier, the 4W’s will also help you determine the type of equipment and software you need to record and edit your podcasts.  

Remember that your content is much more important than the quality of your recordings but choosing the right equipment will improve how you relay your message to your audience.  

For your recording equipment, there are many decent quality USB microphones out there that you can simply plugin to your computer and start your recording. Some of the most recommended microphones by other podcast creators are the Samson Q2U and Audio-Technica ATR2100x

Audio-Technica Podcast Mic
Samson Q2U podcast mic

If you are co-hosting with someone else, it is best to get 2 microphones so that you have one each. 

Apart from hardware, you will need to download software as well to help with your recording and editing. These do not have to be pricey and some are free-of-charge. With just a little effort, you can learn how to edit your podcasts on your own. Some great software includes Alitu, Adobe Audition, GarageBand (for Mac), and Adobe Audition.  

Lastly, you can use applications like Skype (least quality), Zoom, and Squadcast (best quality) to record any long-distance interviews. 

Once you are happy with your recording, a few simple edits to the audio will go a long way. 

Edit Your Recording 

When you record, you do not always have to hit the pause button if you make mistakes or stutter. You can always just record everything in one go and just remove the unnecessary parts during the editing process. 

This is also where your 4W’s will come in handy once again. It will determine whether you need to do editing or not, and how much editing needs to be done. 

Just like starting any creative process, begin with the end in mind.  

To avoid staring blankly at a screen when you start to edit your recording, first think about what you want your audience to get out of this podcast episode. That way you will know which points to highlight and which are unnecessary in the original recording.  

Now how do you edit your show without getting lost in the detail?  

In my opinion, you must figure out what a minimum viable edit (MVE) for your show is. In other words, what is the least amount of effects and tinkering that you will have to do to get the show to a decent enough quality that you are happy with. 

Here are some MVE tips for you that you can apply to your podcast editing process: 

  1. Remove most "ahs", "ums", and prolonged periods of silence. They do not all need to be removed. Just clean it up a bit and use your discretion. We have always done very minimal editing on this stuff. 
  2. Add audio effects in Adobe audition. Typically, we only add these two effects: 
    1. Adaptive Noise Reduction on each track to remove any bleed between microphones or any low-decibel background noise. 
    2. Hard Limiter - Set to -3 db - on each spoken track - This levels-out the volumes a bit so that each person is the same volume. It also cuts any clipping that may occur. 
  3. Amplify the volume to make it louder and normalize the audio. 
  4. Render out the audio file: 
    1. Sample rate: 48000 hz 
    2. Bit rate: 192 kbps 
  5. Add all necessary ID3 tags to the audio file (use whatever tool you like) 
    1. Title: Name of episode + Guest name. It should look like this
      "How to Build A Movie Star Brand for Yourself - Marshall Wayne" 
    2. Author: Matt Wolfe & Joe Fier 
    3. Podcast: The Hustle & Flowchart Podcast 
    4. Album Artist: Matt Wolfe & Joe Fier 
    5. Genre: Podcast 
    6. Artwork: Use main podcast image
    7. Media Kind: Podcast 

Another tip when editing your podcasts is to be sure that there are smooth transitions between cuts if ever you crop your recording. Quick fade ins and outs help avoid any unwanted noises.  

Edit your recording one step at a time and try not to be overwhelmed by taking down notes for any noise issues or distractions you want to fix during the process. Don’t pressure yourself into making all the edits in one go. 

On a final note, if you are not comfortable with editing your podcasts on your own, you can always outsource this task to a freelancer. There are many great podcast editors out there in Fiverr and Upwork. 

When editing your podcast, you should also consider how you want to structure your show. 

Structure Your Show 

The structure of your episodes includes elements like intros, outros, and advertisements. 

If you explore other podcasts, you may notice that some of them do have intros and outros while others simply fade in and fade out. In the entrepreneurial space, these are some common types of structures from these podcasts: 

  • Laptop Empires Podcast – typical format with intro, podcast, outro

  • Joe Rogan – (this is how I have observed it on his YouTube channel) when it is scheduled to start, there is a countdown “3, 2, 1" then Joe says, “and we’re live” and that is how his show starts

  • Tim Ferris – wherein other podcasts take 15-20-minute intervals to read any ads from their sponsors, Tim inserts the ads just around 5 minutes after the intro and before the outro. That way, the listener can listen to the entire podcast uninterrupted. Format is intro, advert, podcast, advert, outro

If you are just starting out, you may not have adverts yet (unless you happen to have an audience big enough that you can sponsor your own show, then that is something that you should give serious attention to). 

There are several structures to choose from, that you may get overwhelmed in choosing which one is the right one for you. But just remind yourself that nothing is set to stone and you can always edit the styles of your podcasts whenever you believe fit. 

Another factor that determines the mood of your podcast is the background music.  

There are tons of free music out there. You can choose royalty-free music, but the only concern here is that you could end up having the same music as other podcast creators (though most listeners do not notice this anyway).  

If you do want premium music, you can always go through Audio Jungle or Audio Blocks and pay a small price to have access to lots of tracks and sound effects. 

Other Tips When Recording 

There is always a first time for everything!  

It is completely normal to feel awkward and nervous when you record your first podcast. As mentioned before, creating an outline will dramatically help the flow of your thoughts and avoid any mental blockage.  

To further improve the quality of your podcasts, you will need a conducive area to record.  

Avoid working in cramped spaces with flat surfaces, because your voice will tend to echo. It is best to record in a large room with plenty of space. If that’s not available to you, simply surround your area with materials that absorb sound like egg crates, acoustic foam, carpeting, or furniture.  

Another skill that requires practice is talking to your microphone. You will want to avoid your P’s and S’s from standing out and hurting the ears of your listeners, so try to distance yourself from the mic. Find the sweet spot so that you will know the perfect distance and angle for positioning your mic in respect to you.  

Now that you have your whole episode in place, it is time to prepare to share it with the world. 

PART 4: YOU HAVE YOUR PODCAST. NOW WHAT? 

Your Podcast Artwork

This element of your podcast is so vital because your artwork is the listener’s first impression of your podcast.  

I recommend deciding your artwork once all the previous steps have been completed. Changing the artwork midway is more costly than changing other elements of your podcast, especially if you are outsourcing this particular task.  

Choose artwork that visually represents the subject of your podcast and is attractive.  

Here are podcast artworks from some of the clients I have worked with: 

The Laptop Empires Podcast
Hustle & Flowchart Podcast

Your artwork must contain some words but not more than five, and the size of your words must be visible even to small screens. Less is always more.  

Now not to sound too technical here, but let us cover the file format that your artwork should be in:  

  1. The recommended size for your artwork should be a minimum of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum of 3000 x 3000 pixels.  
  2. Your file should be saved as JPEG or PNG and in the RGB colors space. Apple Podcasts also recommends compressing your image files so that they will be optimized for mobile devices. 
  3. Speaking of mobile devices, since many people listen to podcasts on smaller gadgets, try reducing your artwork to 55 x 55 px and check if all the elements, especially the wordings, are still visible. 

If creating your own artwork seems too intimidating, you can always hire a professional for this or create the artwork yourself using tools like Canva or Photoshop. 

After working on the creative bits of your podcast, let us move into more technical territory. 

Getting Your Podcast Online 

To get your podcast online, you need to have an audio hosting solution.  

It is possible to upload your recording directly on your website, but this option has downsides to it such as the limited bandwidth and a lack of features that only audio hosts provide. Therefore, you need to choose the right podcast host for you. 

There are several solid audio hosts on the internet.  

At the time of writing this, the top 3 are LibsynBuzzsprout, and SpotifyThese websites not only host your audio files, but also have access to huge directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. This makes the process much simpler because most of these hosts allow you to upload your podcast to these directories directly from your dashboard. 

I recommend working with one of these to make your lives easier! 

The platform I am the most familiar with is Libsyn. To help make your life easier from my end, I have listed the process on how to setup a Libsyn account below: 

1. Go to Libsyn.com and create your account and enter all your personal information and payment details. This is what you will see after you click SIGN UP in the homepage

 Libsyn podcast host account Setup

2. You will then need to choose from any of the following plans and choose which one is right for you. If you are just starting, you can go for the Libsyn Classic 50, which is their most basic plan. This plan has everything you need to get your podcast started. Libsyn subscription options

3. When you login to your account, this is the dashboard that you will see 

Libsyn Podcast host Dashboard

4. The first thing you will want to do is setup your show settings which can be found in Settings >> Show Settings 

Podcast host Settings

5.  Fill all the necessary details in. In this section, you will need to go back to your 4W’s to help you structure the Show Description.  

6. All the details in the Recommended Information are going to make up the metadata of your podcast, which is what allows people to search for the podcast.

7. For content rating, I have marked my episodes as EXPLICIT because I did have some guests that got carried away with their language. This is just to let your listeners know that there are a few words that they may find inappropriate. 

8. Once all your show details are complete, do not forget to save all changes 

9. Tip: I tend to not mess with the other settings enclosed in the red box below, because when the episodes are being uploaded, the process that I have for my team breaks it down step-by-step. That means there is no need to set anything to be templated.  

10. From there, you will need to setup your RSS Feed which can be seen in DESTINATIONS >> EDIT OR VIEW EXISTING

 

11. Select EDIT on the Libsyn Classic Feed 

12. Then select the relevant categories for your show. 

13. Fill in all the other details for your episode and click SAVE.  

14. From there, your RSS Feed will be generated 

Once you have your Libsyn account setup, I will show you how to upload your audio files into your account: 

1. Go to CONTENT >> +ADD NEW EPISODE 

2. The first thing you then want to do is +ADD NEW MEDIA FILE 

3. Make sure you click “Populate Form with ID3 Data” and then select the proper file destination 

4. Once the file has been successfully uploaded, you will have something that looks like this 

5. Add all the necessary information about the episode 

6. In the iTunes Optimization section, which you can see when you scroll down, simply copy-paste the same data as above. However, since the description in the iTunes section has a character limit, you may need to make a few edits to your original description if it is too lengthy .

7. Once that is setup, I directly went to SCHEDULING since no changes were done to the Artwork. In scheduling, if you need to set a specific date for when your podcast will be published, go to BASIC RELEASE/EXPIRATION >> SET RELEASE DATE and update accordingly 

8. You can then click PUBLISH once everything is good to go! 

You can also manually send your podcasts to these other big directories. Each of these channels have their own steps on how to get your podcast published: 

  • Stitcher 
  • SoundCloud 
  • YouTube 
  • Google Play Store 

If the media host you have chosen does not have a way for you to upload directly to these directories, you can also choose to do it manually on your own. To do this, you need to submit your RSS Feed provided by the media host to the directory and just wait for it to be approved.  

Every time you upload a new podcast into your hosting platform, the feed is automatically updated on the directories that your podcasts are broadcasted on.  

This is not as complicated as it may seem. Here is how to submit your RSS feed to iTunes: 

1. If you do not have one yet, setup your iTunes account on https://itunespartner.apple.com/podcasts/ and login 

2. This should take you right away to this page 

3. Then you go back to your Libsyn account and copy the RSS feed to the URL section in iTunes Connect 

4. Then select VALIDATE  

5. All your podcast information will appear. Be sure to have a look and review everything 

6. Once everything looks good, click SUBMIT and you will receive this message 

Another podcatcher you can consider is Amazon Music, which I use for my podcast and some of my clients. Here is how you upload audio files to this platform (from Libsyn): 

  1. Access this page to submit your podcasts 
  2. Copy your RSS feed on Libsyn (or your host of choice) 
  3. Go back to the Amazon Music page and click next at the bottom-most part of the link 
  4. Fill in all the details including your RSS feed 
  5. Once all the details are complete, you will be able to submit your podcast to Amazon Music. It will take around 2-3 days before your podcast gets approved. 

The steps are also similar in Spotify. You just need to go to their web address and check out more of the details there. 

Submitting your podcasts to these directories are usually straightforward, so I am sure you will figure it out! 

Another thing you need to be aware of is that when you send your podcasts for approval, some directories may take time in reviewing your recordings.  

Therefore, make sure that you submit your podcast for approval at least a week before your official launch date in case you need to do a few more revisions during the process. 

Once you have your host all setup, you need to figure out how to launch your podcast with a bang. 

Launch and Promote Your Podcast 

When it comes to launching your show, the standard practice is to launch with 3 introductory episodes that cover the following: 

  1. Episode 1: Introducing Yourself, WHY you are starting the show, WHO this show is for 
  2. Episode 2 and next episodes: The WHAT of your show, what is the driving force of your show. 

It really pays to make your launch into an event. Do not worry if you do not have a current audience. Share the podcast everywhere, ask your friends to share it as well. Utilize your email list if you have one.  

If you also have your own website or blog, you can promote your podcast there.  

And speaking of websites, although it is not recommended that you create a website for your podcast in the start if you still do not have one, I recommend that you buy the domain name beforehand. That way, if your podcast blows up, you want to avoid anyone else getting that domain name from you. 

Join social media groups and pages, and search for blogs online that are relevant to your topic and ask if you can promote your podcast there. You will be sure to have many new supporters if your content adds value.  

Eventually, you can also contact these group admins and find ways to feature them on your podcast 

Once you do have listeners, encourage them to leave reviews! Testimonials are a great and straightforward way to increase the attractiveness of your podcasts. 

Generating an audience during your launch builds traction for your show and increases the chances of your show being featured in the New & Noteworthy section of Apple Podcasts. 

Growing your podcast and gaining a following can lead you to so many other opportunities for you and your business, such as earning from your podcast. 

Monetize Your Podcast 

Remember when I told you that getting rich should not be the main reason for creating podcasts?  

Well, once you have grown your audience and gained their trust, you can indeed make some money! Monetizing your podcasts is possible through several ways like affiliate marketing and promoting relevant products and services.  

Finding products or brands you can advertise can be rewarding, but difficult in the beginning since these companies will want to make sure that you have the audience. 

At the start, you can work on affiliate marketing by recommending some brands that you love and use such as the equipment that you have used for your podcast or anything related to your podcast theme.  

Sharing affiliate links are not just a great way to earn from your podcasts, but also build credibility as well since people associate you with the brand you partnered with. 

Next up, I will be sharing with you some tips to maximize your time and systemize your processes to give you a stress-free environment.  

Stay Ahead of Yourself 

To give some points on how to make the most out of your podcast, I recommend the following practices: 

  • Create a system on producing your podcast so that everything is more organized, and you don’t get too overwhelmed as your podcast grows 
  • Batch record. Depending on how many you can do in a day and how often you release your podcasts, this allows you to do a month's worth of episodes in a day or two. This frontloads the work that you must do so that when your recording is done, you can take the time to edit your podcasts. That way, you don’t have to rush around on the week of release to record, edit and launch. 

These two tips will help in streamlining your podcast process.  

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? 

In the end, remember that your podcast does not have to be perfect. Everything great must start from humble beginnings. You may be nervous on getting started and getting your name out there. You may feel lost and overwhelmed when you start the process yourself. 

Just keep reminding yourself that it’s only difficult in the beginning.  

I had my own challenges when starting my podcast, and facing hurdles is completely part of the journey. All you need to take is the first step to grow your brand. 

I hope that with this article will give you clearer vision and direction to push you forward. 

If you have made it until the end of this article and followed all the steps that I have showed you, then you are more than ready to record and upload your first podcast. 

Just believe in what you want to share with the world and continuously go back to your 4W’s I outlined in the beginning of this article. 

And that ladies and gents is how to start a podcast, step by step.


 

Open post

Replace Yourself: How To Find Great Virtual Team Members

Occasionally, you watch a film, hear a song, or in my case, read a book that changes how you see things. In my case, one book led me to the other and what I got from these 2 books became a part of my OS when I think about business, success, and how to find great virtual team members.

Those 2 books were the 4 Hour work week and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Yes, I am aware there was some controversy around both of those books, but it doesn’t change the impact they have had on my thinking since reading them.

One of the ideas from Rich Dad, Poor Dad that stuck with me is the idea of the cashflow quadrant.

 

Cashflow Quadrant

It laid out in my mind a framework to shoot for, if you were building a business to secure financial freedom. Looking at the image above, I could see and prescribe why someone was stuck depending on what they are/were trying to build and then come up with a suggestion for something they can do to move past being stuck.  

In this article, I want to tell you how to make the move from being “self-employed” to being a “business owner”. The premise is simple: hire people to work with you in your business, so that things can continue to function even in your absence. The implementation is anything but simple.  

What I want to do with this article is to offer guidance on “How to find reliable people, and how to hire them, without pulling your hair out or getting bogged down with admin.”  

So without further ado, let’s get to it. 

THE “OLD WAY” OF HIRING

You FINALLY make the decision to invest in a virtual team member to help you grow and scale your business. 

You get so pumped up and quickly create a simple job post and post it in one of those popular job sites like Upwork or Fiverr. 

Then the issues begin, before you have a chance to say “I’m Hiring”, you have 150 responses of people interested in the job with 136 of not qualified and haven’t read the job post, you know this because if they had, they’d know they were not qualified to apply for the Job. 

You can’t get through the emails fast enough, and more keep coming in. At this point you start thinking “I’ll probably have to hire someone JUST to go through all these emails” between looking through emails and making sure that your business continues to run, most people would simply stop the process and go back to doing things the way they know how to do. 

The process of hiring team members can and does get overwhelming and it eats up a lot of time, and that is just the hiring process. You are yet to consider training this new hire, getting them integrated into the business, and accounting for the learning curve in all of that. 

Then there are the consequences of hiring the wrong person, worst case scenario is that you end up with a liability because you are carrying dead weight and you are doing the workload of two people because you thought you were hiring a superstar who turned out to be a dud.  

Best case scenario, you end up firing the person after 7 days, which leaves you again stuck doing the work of 2 people. 

The Old Way of Hiring

This cycle is going to go on and on and on unless you change your approach and adjust the way you are going about the task at hand. 

The approach you should adopt is one that puts a system or process in place, that from the outset filters and separates the good candidates from the unqualified candidates. This means that if you CHOOSE, to look through the responses, you are looking through the people who ideally you could hire with little to no stress. 

The process I will be walking you through today came about because, the scenario I described above was one I went through when I was trying to hire reliable virtual team members. 

I have experienced sitting down and filtering through unqualified applicant after unqualified applicant. I have endured the Job post email avalanche; I have also ended having to do the work of 2 people because I hired the wrong person. 

After a bunch of trial-and-error along with money invested, I was able to devise a process/system that not only delivered great candidates, it also removed unqualified candidates AND eliminated problems like the email avalanche.  

The process was borne from my own struggles and has significantly helped me when I accidentally started my own podcast management agency and other ventures.  I am sure it can be useful for you too.

HOW CAN THIS PROCESS HELP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS? 

Through this process, you will be able to avoid the frustrations of having hundreds of potentials to look through. 

 You do not want the entire hiring process to take so much of your time away from the business that you should have been focusing on in the first place. 

 Without having a system in place, all your effort could be wasted, and you might end up facing a bunch of other problems you did not have in the first place such as:  

  • Hiring the wrong type of team member because they are slow to deliver work leaving no time or room for amendments 
  • Flaky people that start out strong and then fade into some obscure place on the internet never to be seen or heard from again aka Ghosting 
  • Communication issues brought on by a gap in experience from BOTH yourself and the hire 
  • Inflated wage expectations without the skills to command those wages 
  • Language and culture barriers 

I will show you how you can avoid all these problems by taking on a more methodological approach to hiring. 

Not only do you want to keep the process quick and effective, but you want to make sure you find the right person that fits with your idea of the role they are going to play in your business. 

At this point, you are probably thinking, “Wait, I want my life to be easier! I want my recruit to do ALL the work so I can just chill!” 

I am not saying that you can’t eventually “chill” while someone does the work for you, but I am saying that in the first stages, you need to be there to guide this person. 

Let me elaborate…  

IS YOUR NEW HIRE ASSISTING OR REPLACING YOU? 

Surely, If I am hiring someone, they are going to be replacing me. I.e The are going to be doing the things I don’t want to do in the business? 

Well Yes AND No. 

When you are hiring someone, the last thing you want to do is abdicate your responsibility, by that I mean giving them what to do and making them responsible for doing it. You want to delegate the tasks but retain the responsibility and hold them accountable making sure that work is done to a high standard and delivered on time. 

You want the transition, from having that person assist you to eventually replacing you, to be done gradually. The idea is to start the ball rolling to remove yourself from your business, so the business is running I would say 80/20 without you.  

This means 80% is mostly with you and 20% is the management time that you would need to put in to check on the output of your team member. 

If you really think that you can instantly pass on 100% of the business to your recruit while you go lie on a beach somewhere, you are going to come back to no business. When you bring someone on to assist you, you learn about that person’s work ethics, skills, strengths, weaknesses, and what motivates and does not motivate him or her. 

So, when the time comes that this person is now experienced enough to replace you, you not only know if they are going to be up to the task, but you know if that is something that they want to do because they have been with you for a little while and you have gotten to know them. 

It makes no sense to hire someone to replace you if that person does not want to be in the driving seat. Therefore, the focus of this process is going to be on bringing in someone to assist in the meantime, but with the goal of having them replace you when the time is right. 

Before we delve into the framework, allow me to talk a bit about how I was able to find the right person for my team once I implemented the steps into my hiring process. 

MARK, THE SAVIOR 

My first success story using this framework is a dude called Mark.  

Mark is a very, very funny guy. He has a sense and attitude of fun. He does not take himself too seriously. He is a self-starter and a free thinker. 

But here is the catch. 

Mark had never done Digital Marketing before. Yet I chose to hire him anyway because I saw that he had initiative. 

He did not know what a squeeze page was when we started working together, but he put in the effort to familiarize himself with the role and responsibilities. So, for someone to take that responsibility on themselves to go and learn all that stuff just to not only make his life easier but make my life easier is a godsend. 

In fact, our connection grew so strong that I even had the chance to virtually meet his family over Skype! You learn that once you find the right person for your team, your connections go beyond work. 

My framework not only allowed me to hire Mark, but I now have a whole bunch of talented team members not only backing me, but in some instances taking charge of certain projects and tasks. 

I have benefitted from this process, and I know that you will too. 

So, If you are ready to delegate tasks, gain some time freedom so you can work more ON the business than IN the business carry on reading. 

THE PROCESS 

The following is an overview on how to find GREAT virtual team members so you can (eventually) replace yourself in your business: 

The Hiring Process

It may seem detailed, but each of the steps are super simple. 

Let us get down to each of the steps in further detail below. 

PHASE 1: PLANNING 

Knowing WHO You Want 

The entire process fundamentally starts with you figuring out WHO you want to hire.  

What I mean by this is that you want to know what type of characteristics you want this person to have. Do not focus on the desired skills first. The skills for the most part are all trainable. 

You can train up someone to be proficient in the skills you need unless you are looking for someone who is a specialist in something you can’t do, like a graphic designer for example. Excluding specialized or niche skills, the rest are trainable.   

Do you want a jack of all trades who can do a lot of stuff to an intermediate or advanced level? 

Do you want someone who is a specialist? 

Do you want someone who is going to be a manager and have a team of their own?  

The list goes on and on and on.  

You must figure out WHO is right for you wherever you are in your business because how you will implement the entire framework will depend on this. Once you know the profile of WHO you want in the business, you need to know the WHAT.  

Defining their WHAT in Your Business  

The WHAT comes after you have decided on the WHO.  

The WHAT has the following elements: 

  • WHAT this prospective team member will be doing for you in your business. 
  • WHAT are the trainings you need to provide to get them proficient at the tasks they must carry out for you? 

In a bird’s eye view, after finding the WHO, the WHAT helps you figure out what training that person needs and how to get them up to speed. This is especially relevant if business is growing and you find yourself snowed under with tasks and jobs to be done. 

By finding your WHO, you will be able to decide how much training this person needs and what their capabilities are. 

You can then tailor your job post to attract the right WHO to your business.

Creating the Job Post  

Think of the job post as an advertisement and you are the marketer. When you interact with a marketer, they are trying to sell you something. A good marketer will sell you what you need, disguised as what you want.  

So, from a recruitment perspective, your job post sells the job role to the prospects. 

We honestly do not know what exactly your prospects want, but you can bet your bottom dollar they need a job. 

Remember that the job post is the first contact our prospect will have with you, so you need to make a good first impression to increase the likelihood of converting job seekers to applicants. 

By weaving direct response copy principles, you will be able to have an attractive “sales page” aka your job post. And just like any effective sales page, your job post must be benefit heavy, have qualifying statements, and calls to actions. 

You are not the only person looking for someone to hire, so making your job post intriguing will allow you to stand out in a sea of job post. 

So how DO you make your job post standout? It is not as difficult as it seems… 

You simply need to look at what everyone else is doing and do the complete opposite!  

Let me show you an example: 

Putting yourself in the shoes of someone looking for a job, which of the following job posts are you more likely to click on? #1 or #2? 

#1 

Job Post 1

#2

Job Post 2

Did you say #1? 

OR 

Did you say #2? 

I would hope you said #2! 

If we are going to play the comparison game, there are several reasons why #2 stands out.  

Remember that the job posting title is like your headline. The headline is what will catch and hold people’s attention, and a good headline will get them interested wanting to know more about the job, which leads to a click. 

The second example shows how I craft my job titles which are specific and benefit heavy. You do not want to sound lazy and that you are not putting much of an effort by crafting your job post titles like the first one. 

That is just one example of using direct response principles within your job post. 

You then need to create some tests as the next step before posting the job post. 

Creating Phase 1 & 2 Tests 

The reason we need to give tests to these applicants is to filter out any tire-kickers and only attract those that are serious and likely to stay with you for the long term. 

These two tests have different purposes. 

Phase 1 is used to test for basic understanding of computers and personal skills. I also use this chance to see how good the internet connection of the applicant is. 

Finally, I have the applicant draft an email response to a fictitious customer service issue so I can see how they handle it with no prior briefing from me. 

The test for phase 2 allows me to check their research skills and how they handle other tasks which will be similar to what they will be doing as part of their job. 

My tests are primarily designed to have my ideal WHO separate themselves from the pack.  

Let us say I have decided that my WHO needs to be someone who pays attention to detail, and an applicant claims to have this quality, but they do not actually follow the instructions as directed in the job post, then I know that applicant does not fit the bill. 

And once you have these tests in place, you then need to figure out a way to further filter the applicants efficiently through automation. 

Setting Up the Canned Responses

The way this works is at the end of the job post is a call to action in the form of an invitation for people to email you their CV with a specific subject line. If you do an excellent job at making the job post attractive, you are likely to get inundated with emails and CV’s from prospective team members.  

The most emails I have had running this process is over 300. 

Not only do you have to go through these emails one by one, but you also need to do further weeding out after that. 

Setting up Canned Responses

AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT… 

After email deluge hell, someone told me to use canned responses to filter out the suitable from the not suitable applicants, and thus the canned response situation was birthed. 

So, I setup a process that when someone reads the job post and sends an email, it goes to the email address I specify in the job post, and they will receive the next round of tests. If they have not followed instructions, they hit a virtual dead end.  

Automating this process will save you loads of time and headaches. 

And now that you have all the things you need to start posting, it is time to get the word out and find your new team member. 

Which Platform Works Best for Me

The job post site I use is Onlinejobs.ph. 

Throughout this article, you may notice that I will mention this platform several times and that my examples will be based on my experiences there. The reason I use Onlinejobs.ph is because this is a job site especially for freelancers that live in the Philippines. 

onlinejobs.ph

Throughout the trial and error period, whenever I was trying to figure out this process and find someone, I hired people from all over India, former Eastern European, and even America. 

Over the years that I have been doing this, I have found that I get on better with Filipinos because the culture fit to me seems to be better than most. My personality type, for some reason, seems to gel with them. They also seem to respond very well to my style. 

Mark is also a Filipino. 

Now I am not saying that the process below will not work on other job sites. I have had people use Upwork, Freelancer and other sites with some minor tweaks and report back saying the process worked for them.  

The process is platform/job site agnostic. 

Posting the Job Post 

This is self-explanatory and will depend on the job site you decide to use to find your virtual team member. And once you post the job, the machine that you have put together should now carry the bulk of the load. 

What will be left for you to do is to screen the applicants, send rejection/unsuccessful application emails, interview prospects and hire someone. 

PHASE 2: SCREENING

Creating the Interview Booking link 

In continuation to the automation of the more menial tasks in the process, I create a booking link for the candidates who pass Phase 2 of the testing, and make it to the interview stage, this circumvents the need to play email tennis with a prospective new team member, as you both try to figure out what days you are both free. 

Personally, I use a scheduling tool to generate this link. There are a bunch of tools like this on the internet and they are relatively easy to use and setup. 

Here is how I setup my Calendly: 

  1. Go to Calendly.com and create your account 
  2. Once you have successfully logged in, click +New Event Type on the homepage 
  3. Choose the One-on-One Event option 
  4. Fill in all the event details. For the duration, I usually set it at 60 minutes.  
  5. Be sure to set the Date Range so that you can indicate the days when you are free 
  6. After completing all the details, you will be provided with a Calendly link that you can send to the applicants 
  7. Any dates that have already been chosen will be blocked off to avoid any double bookings 

Now depending on the final number of candidates I am inviting for the interview; I usually free up 2 days and those 2 days are the ONLY days free on the calendar for candidates to book a time for their interview. 

This is beneficial because, as I previously mentioned, it saves both myself and the candidate from email tennis of “When are you available for an interview?”. In addition, it allows me to set the times and that can be a filtering mechanism that further vets the candidates and their suitability for the role they are applying for. 

Once you have your link set, you want to send it to candidates who you are inviting for an interview. 

Before going ahead with the interviews, I make sure to turn off the job post on Onlinejobs.ph so that no one new goes through the process again. If the interviews are unsuccessful and I don’t find someone during the interviews, I can always turn it back on. 

Interviewing the Candidates 

Contrary to the usual video call interviews, I prefer to do mine over Skype chat. 

Interviewing candidates

Now do take note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with carrying out the interview via video. If you think this will be of better fit in your hiring process, feel free to conduct video interviews instead. 

I personally prefer chat interviews because I found that in my experience with OnlineJobs.ph, the people I was interviewing were a little closed off during video calls, most Filipinos tend to be a little shy during your first few encounters with them. And because of their shyness, it is difficult for them to put their best foot forward. 

If you also consider the fact that they will be working virtually and the right candidate would be a self-starter, I will not need to have frequent communication with them so long as everything works out. 

The chat interviews have worked well for me all these years, so I stuck to it. 

When it comes to the interview structure itself, there are a few KEY questions that you want to ask. These questions go towards further confirming that you have the right WHO and assessing whether the two of you will work well together. 

Here are the questions: 

  1. Do you currently work?
  2. Tell me about your last job 
  3. What do you want to learn/do in this job? 
  4. Do you have your own computer and Internet access? If you have access, how fast is your connection? 
  5. If the internet goes out what are your other options? 
  6. Have you worked for foreign employers before? 
  7. Will you work from home or from an Internet café? 
  8. Where are you in the Philippines? 
  9. How much money are you looking to make? 
  10. Do you have a Paypal account? 
  11. What are your Long-term plans? 
  12. When would you be available to start work? 
  13. Do you have any questions for me?

This is not an exhaustive list of questions, but they should serve as a starting point to get you thinking along the right lines when creating your own questions. 

And once you have conducted all the test and interviews, it is time to assess who of the candidates make the cut. 

Assessing Your Candidate

This step should be straightforward because you have your WHO, and it is a case of seeing which ones fit the bill. 

Also, it is only proper decorum to send updates to those who did not make the cut and let them know that you chose to go with someone else. You want to make sure every applicant is updated. 

A Few More Things to Consider 

Now before you go and implement everything I have laid out; I just have a couple of other things you should consider when screening: 

  • You want prompt responses. The reason for this is that not only do fast responses prove that someone is a self-starter, but it also proves that they know what they are talking about. It also shows that they are indeed eager to get the role. 
  • Instilling a sense of urgency. You need to set deadlines because you have this process set up for people to go through, and you want to make sure that those who pass can continue to the next phase together. You do not want anyone to be left behind by due to late submissions. That way you can then set things up on the back end with the emails and everything that goes out can be scheduled properly.

And after this long but rewarding process of screening through a whole bunch of applicants, you can now focus on that one person you have hired. 

PHASE 3: ONBOARDING 

Welcoming Your New Team Member 

Congratulations! If you have followed the process; you should have your new talented and reliable team member!  

Welcoming your new team member

You have now taken the first step to getting your delegation shoes on and start the process of working more ON your business, than IN your business. Hopefully this process has gone some way to showing you that recruiting is not as difficult as you thought, provided you approach it with a process. 

Now that you have your new team member, you have to get them onboarded as smoothly as possible, check out this Complete Employee Onboarding guide from the good people at Sweet Process.  

Proper onboarding will go a long way to helping you build rapport and trust with your new team member. Once you hired the right virtual team member, you want to make sure that you manage this person well. 

And that is the process, that has allowed me to help business owners create room for growth in their business and to have the freedom to work ON their business and not IN their business. 

HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON MANAGING YOUR NEW TEAM MEMBER 

Here are a few key things that I have implemented with my team, and so far, we all have a harmonious relationship with each other, and I am aware of everything that happens in the business.  

Accountability 

At the end of every workday, I have my team member send me an EOD (end of day) email breaking down what they have worked on that day. 

The EOD email is quite simple, and I just ask them to briefly answer three questions: 

  1. What did you do today? 
  2. What problems did you run into today? 
  3. How can I make my processes better? 

Accountability daily report

Based on my experience with Filipinos like Mark, it was a little bit of a challenge to have them be honest with the last two questions.  

During the first six months, he would simply say “fine,” which I told him would not serve either of us. 

You need to reiterate to your team member that these questions are important in building better processes and procedures. These questions give them a sense of accountability in the business because it shows that you value their input. 

Consistent Communication 

Make sure that you are always in touch with your team member and are easy to reach, especially during the first few months when he/she is still learning the ropes. 

In terms of regular meetings, my team and I have a beginning and an end of week call.  

I have found that these calls allow me to get everything I am thinking out my head, and it allows the team to see the direction that I want to move in that week. It also gives them a chance to apply some forward thinking and share with me any ideas or issues. 

My team members and I also communicate via Slack for any other matters. 

Make sure to create a sense of openness with them so that they will not hesitate to bring up any matters with you. 

You Need to Be A Mentor, not a Boss  

Just like any unfamiliar environment, there is always an adjusting period. You need to dedicate time to train your new hire and give that person a clearer understanding of your business. 

They must know who your clients are, how you serve them, what you do, and what tools you are using before they can then fully step into the role. 

Where most people go wrong, and it is where I have gone wrong in the past is, I had the mentality of “Oh yeah, now have a VA. I can just give this task to that person and he or she is going to know what I need them to do.”  

That is abdication, and that is not good. Abdication is going to lead your business to ruin. 

Abdication

That is the last thing that you want to happen, after all the effort you have put into finding the right team member. 

Therefore, you need to slowly immerse them into the business through letting them assist you first, then helping them improve their skills so that they can eventually replace you and you can focus on more important matters. 

Delegation

You want to make sure that you are delegating and not abdicating. 

So, to recap… 

When you are ready to take the step to bring in outside help to grow your business, it is important that you start with WHO 

We start here because unless you want to bring in a specialist, bringing in the right kind of person is better than bringing on an “expert.” Focusing on the WHO allows us to bring in someone who would buy into the culture you are trying to build for your business and then learn the skills needed to fulfil their role. 

When you know the WHO, you then need to decide if this person is coming on to assist you or eventually replace you. Clearly defining the WHO allows you to figure out how you and your hire can help each other grow the business. 

You also want to automate the hiring process where it makes sense so that you do not find yourself in the position of needing to hire someone to help you hire someone. 

Remember, Delegation over Abdication. 

As the business owner, YOU handle your business, not your new virtual team member. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF BEFORE GETTING STARTED 

The steps that I have outlined in this article allow you the room you need to start working more ON your business rather than being stuck IN the business. 

Once you can set all these systems in place, finding a great virtual team member is not going to be that much of a challenge anymore.  

You do not have to go through the entire process, running around like a headless chicken and hoping that you got it right this time, after sorting through hundreds of emails. But do not expect your problems to be fixed overnight. 

My experience using this process for myself and for others has shown me that nature abhors a vacuum. This means that if you are not disciplined when implementing this process, hiring someone will lead to some more stress for you. 

You really need to have everything planned and laid out before you hire someone. 

Rome was not built in a day so it would be unrealistic to expect you can build a business in a day or by hiring someone. It takes time, effort, and patience. 

Open post
Find out how to make money online through the systems and processes I have implemented when starting my own Podcast Management Agency.

I Accidentally Started a Podcast Management Agency…

I help run and manage a community of aspiring and established entrepreneurs and business owners. This community is called Coffee with Dan (CWD). Due to my position, I get to see the myriad of questions people ask when it comes to starting, growing or scaling a business.

The more interesting questions I see are the ones where new members join up but they have no idea where or how to start.

I find these question interesting because, you get to see someone go through a process of finding an idea that they are excited by. You then see them take that from idea to something someone would happily pay for. At the same time, you get to learn that not all ideas are thought up equally and the chances of success are hampered further by lacklustre implementation.

So I want to put this post together to write about how I accidentally started a podcast management agency.

At the core of my happy accident, is what most if not all the guru's teach but we all sometimes miss for whatever reason. The core here being that to build a "successful" business, You need to help people solve a problem that they have.

In my opinion, that is where everyone should start, but for whatever reason, we want to start where we are most comfortable or where we can procrastinate the most. <<This is me drawing from my own experience and not calling anyone out.

Going back to the core...

Problem = Time strain on maintaining and growing a podcast
Solution = Let me handle it for you

What follows is as detailed an account as I can give on how the happy accident came to be and the steps I took to streamline and systemise my efforts. So if you have been thinking about starting a business for whatever reason, it is my hope that this article illuminates a path that you can walk to get where you are trying to get to and avoid some of the pitfalls along the way, because "ain't nobody got time for that"

 

You may be thinking, “What is podcast management and how does it relate to starting a business?

Read on to find out the answers to the question. In addition to that I would also politely suggest you read between the lines, I may be talking about podcast management, but the process can be applied to any topic. The things that we do as a podcast management agency, we can do for almost any other service that helps businesses or business owners.

The details may change but the foundation remains the same. We can switch out podcast management for social media management, or content repurposing, or video editing. Which ties back nicely to the core of good business. Help people solve their problem and they will pay you for that.

With all the preamble out of the way, Let me now tell you a (very short) story of how I accidentally started a podcast management agency. 

THE HAPPY ACCIDENT

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I learned about outsourcing, in particular outsourcing overseas where your $/£/ Euro or Yen would go a lot further. Come to think of it, it was around the same time I read "The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss" and I was intrigued by the idea of outsourcing and wanted to try it out. 

So, I go on an adventure and hire my first ever contractor...

Thanks to my naivete and lack of experience, my first foray into outsourcing was a complete shambles. It was SO BAD  that I thought as quickly as the outsourcing adventure started, that it was going to end as quickly.

After dusting myself off, and getting my wits back about me, I stepped back onto the plate determined to get to grips with outsourcing.

So with my renewed enthusiasm, I become a lot more process-driven about what I wanted to achieve, what problem I was going to solve and who I was going to solve that problem for. As fate would have it, the second time goes A LOT better than the first. After taking people through a process, I ended with someone who I believed would make an EXCELLENT contractor.

Lo and behold, just as I finished and found this person, my friend Adil was looking for someone to help him with managing his podcast. Turns out he wanted someone to help take some of the tasks required to manage and keep his podcast running, I make a proposal to him that if he was willing to go halves on the wages of my new contractor, and we'd manage it for him.

It was a win, win, win.

A win for Adil because he got a GREAT deal, and his podcast would be managed

A win for me because the cost of the contractor is now shared investment

A win for the contractor because there was always going to be work to do which meant stability for them. 

Adil shared with me that working on his podcast was taking too much of his time and that it was too difficult to focus on anything else. 

Funny story, at the time I made that deal/offer, I HAD NO IDEA how to manage a podcast. I knew how to edit audio but that was the bulk of my experiences. So I said Yes/made an offer when I didn't know how fully to deliver the service. 

Thankfully, everything worked out fine and here I am today, telling you the story of the happy accident and the inception of my podcast management agency. 

It was that simple! 

REALLY TEGS, IT'S THAT SIMPLE?

Now I do not want you to think that I was some sort of wizard and figured everything out on the get-go. 

When I just started out with the agency, I felt super lost because EVERYTHING was something new to me. 

Remember I didn't really have a game plan beforehand, because this idea sprung forth from impulse rather than months and months of meticulous planning. I had to learn new technology, learn a new language in the different hosting platforms, learn to upload on websites and basic on-page SEO, and a bunch of other aspects.  I felt overwhelmed and scared. 

I was fortunate enough to work with clients who helped and guided me along the way to make my agency what it is today.  

As I grew and got better, I found myself working with some really cool people who were doing great things in podcasting, a couple of them below: 

Unplugged by Adil Amarsi
The Laptop Empires Podcast
Hustle & Flowchart Podcast

I am writing this article in the hopes that you will be inspired to set up a similar venture for yourself. Which is why I say read between the lines. I mean if you want to start a podcast management agency of your own, then this article should be super useful in showing you what to do, however, if you have an idea for a “Side Hustle” the steps I have broken down here you can still get a lot from the article. 

Although I am in no way guaranteeing that your business will be successful, I hope I can help in my own way by imparting what I have learned through this process and journey. This business has been extremely rewarding for me because I have added value to so many people. 

I have done my best to be as detailed as possible, but I am sure there will be an instance or two where I maybe have not gone as deep for whatever reason, simply let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to update the article as those sections are brought to my attention. 

Are you ready to learn how to start a business from the ground up? 

Then let us continue… 

IS THIS REALLY A GOOD BUSINESS TO GET INTO?

I believe everyone has heard of a podcast.  

But not everyone is aware of the magic (and hard work) that happens behind the scenes from producing to launching the podcast.  

Now some podcasters are a one-man-show, and I salute them.  

But most of these individuals, who are thought leaders in their industry, have A LOT of demand on their time.  Most of them are busy managing their businesses and so do not have the time freedom to handle all the nitty-gritty details for managing and maintaining a podcast from recording to editing to launching episodes then promoting those episodes. 

This is where podcast management agencies come in.  

If you are currently working with coaches or experts in their field, then creating a podcast management agency can be a great little business hustle to get into.

You do not have to be an expert in podcasts or have a podcast yourself to be able to start this business. As long as you put in the effort to research and learn about the industry, anyone can start their own podcast management agency.

WHAT IF THIS IS TOO COMPLICATED TO BE JUST A SIDE HUSTLE? 

If you decided to scan through this article like any normal human being, you might be concerned with the length of this article and start thinking that this process is just too complicated for a side hustle. 

Do not worry. 

It is only long because I wanted to make sure I am as detailed as possible. 

Here is just a quick run through of the process from starting the agency to managing it so you can see how simple the steps really are: 

  • Step 1: Starting the Business 
    • Finding clients 
    • To Niche or Not to Niche 
    • What Should I Offer? 
    • How Much Should I Charge? 
  • Step 2: Launching the Business 
  • Step 3: Managing the Business 
    • Tips on Client Management? 
    • Finding the Right Members for Your Team 
    • Tools to Help Manage the Business

After reading this article, I hope you will have a better understanding of the behind the scenes so that:  

  • You will know what this process looks like in full. This includes everything from starting the business all the way to managing your own team and clients. 
  • You will have another “string to your bow” and sell this as an extra service to your current clients and monetize from it. 
  • You will have a new side hustle that you can leverage on to increase your profits

Sounds good? Okay, on to the process we go. 

THE PROCESS 

STEP 1: STARTING THE BUSINESS 

Finding Clients 

You probably might be asking “Tegs, finding clients already? But I don’t even have the business yet!”  

Do not worry my friend, we are taking things one step at a time.

The reason why finding your potential clients at the start is vital is because you need to know what is commonly sought out in the podcast industry.  That way, you will know how to structure your packages and services, and everything else will follow from there. 

As I said earlier, if you already have clients you are currently working with, then great! You can start with them and leverage from there. 

Personally, I focused on my existing network in my social media accounts. Luckily, I have friends who are podcasters and so I reached out to them and ask if they needed any help.  

It was natural that some of them declined my offer, but for those who said yes, I worked hard to provide the best service to them and prove myself. This helped build trust, which allowed me to get more referrals from them.  

This referral scheme was so effective in creating a snowball effect and growing my client base further.   

In short, it is all about leverage. 

I understand that other people may not have friends who are in the podcast industry. If you are one of those people, worry not.  If you do not have the network, the general way to find clients is to go on websites or directories that have podcast creators.  

A good example is Apple Podcasts. As being one of the most well-known platforms for podcasts, Apple Podcasts is the go-to for many content creators to have their podcasts published. You can actually find many of your potential clients here and the great thing about it is that you can contact them as well.

Let me show you how:

  1. In Apple Podcasts, have a good look at the podcasts and which ones catch your eye. Feel free to checkout the New & Noteworthy section to find those that are up to date and trending.

2. When you open one of the podcasts, you will be redirected to their main profile page. At the bottom left section, you will find a link to their website.

3. All websites are going to look different, but most, if not all of them, have a contact page where you can access their contact information from.

Take note that some podcasters do not have their own websites, but rather link their social media pages instead, where you can also contact them from.

It is a little bit of a long play and requires manual labor from your end, but the people you will get out of this effort will be guaranteed individuals who need your service. And once you are done with your research, you may notice that the categories or topics are endless. 

The question now is whether you want to focus on just one topic or have a more generalist approach. 

To Niche or Not to Niche… 

Deciding whether to focus on clients from a certain industry or niche is completely up to personal preference.  

If you are going to do the work yourself, I suggest working with podcasters who talk about topics that you are passionate about and interest you. This is because if you manage podcasts that you are not passionate about, you will eventually lose interest, and the work follows ends up feeling like a chore.  

The last thing you want to happen is that you get bored with managing your client’s podcasts! 

But then again, if you have an established team made up of skilled individuals who can do most of the work, I do not see any reason why you can’t branch out to multiple industries if that is something you want to do. 

For my agency, I work with entrepreneurs and business owners. This is because working on their podcasts not only educates me and the team, but since this certain industry is one that fascinates me, I am more keen on paying close attention to what they have to say. 

Now that you understand the market’s needs a bit more, do not reach out to them just yet.  

You need to decide how you are going to package your service and get them to say YES. 

What Should I Offer? 

The reason I have asked you first to find your market is so that you will understand their needs.  That way, you will know how to help your potential clients and make your services more relevant.  

If you did follow the earlier step of checking current podcasts in the market, you will see that these content creators have their own website for their podcasts. I suggest you go checkout their websites and see what they do.  

In my case for example, one of the guys who ended up being my client, did not have shownotes on his websiteSo, when I pitched my services to him, I offered to make his shownotes. But it did not make sense, because he did not need shownotes in the first place. This explains why doing prior research is so vital in getting clients.  

Always make sure your packages are tailored fit so that you will prove yourself valuable to them. 

One last tip I can give you about creating the package is to market yourself as an agency that will make a podcaster’s life easier. Show to them that your agency can take care of most of the workMarket it in a way that shows that all they need to do is record the podcast, and everything else gets done by your agency.  

Let them know that starting and maintaining a podcast need not be complicated and stressful with your help. 

And once you know what you are offering, you need to know how much you should be charging. 

How Much Should I Charge? 

Another aspect of the business that you need to figure out is the pricing of your services. 

Do not be too pressured about this since you can always adjust your prices as your business progresses and your services improve. 

Back when my agency just started, I used to price per episode and eventually added a monthly package. From there, once I could offer more services, I decided to increase my prices. I soon offered a setup package to take care of everything for the client after recording. There was a one-time fee for this, and a separate management fee per month.  

Now take note that this only happened when I had the ability to offer a holistic experience for my clients because of my growing team. 

Feel free to also check the prices of your competitors and see how you can price your own services from there.  

Again, you can always adjust your prices whenever you feel the need to do so. 

Once you finally have everything in place, it is time to get the word out. 

STEP 2: LAUNCHING THE BUSINESS 

Personally, I firmly believe you do not need to spend on ads to get your business out there. The approach is super simple. 

How? 

Leverage. Leverage. Leverage. 

What I mean by this is to leverage on the platforms that you are already on, like what I did. For example, if you have a Facebook account, keep posting about your business and let your friends know. 

You can even join relevant Facebook groups and market your business there as well. Just be sure to avoid sounding too spammy or posting too much. Your content must be valuable and attractive to the people in the industry. 

If you have an email list, get the word out through newsletters. 

Use every channel at your disposal and be proud of your new agency and your ability to help other people. 

Personally, I never had to market my business since I relied on referrals from my clients. This goes to show why it is so important to prove yourself especially during the first stages of the business. Leverage and make the most of what you have. 

And we are done with Step #2!  

Yes, it really is that quick and simple.  

Let me repeat how to market your agency one last time… 

Leverage. Leverage. Leverage. 

On to the last step. 

STEP 3: MANAGING THE BUSINESS  

Tips on Client Management? 

The tips that I will be sharing here are all based on my own experience that hopefully you can apply with your own clients as well. 

One practice that will give you lots of insight is to learn from your clients and always be open to criticism. This will be especially helpful during the first phases of your agency and will vastly improve how you manage your business. Always focus on constantly learning so that in return, you can be valuable to your clients. 

Another tip is to go the extra mile. You want to make sure you provide them with a wonderful experience and make their lives as easy as possible. 

Personally, one of my greatest achievements in the agency was that I was told by one of my clients that the work that I was doing was so good and so useful to them that sometimes they forget that they have a podcast of their own! 

I know I am doing my job right when I remove a huge weight off my clients’ shoulders. 

Finally, always remember that client management is all about communication. 

How do you communicate with them?  

How do you ensure transparency?  

How do you bring about any issues?  

What solutions can you suggest? 

Over-communication will always be better than under-communication.  

And remember that you cannot do all these tasks on your own. Well, you probably can in the beginning. But if you genuinely want to grow your agency, you will need to divide the tasks and find the right people to help you in the business. 

Finding the Right Members for Your Team 

It is a fact that podcasts consist of various elements that require skills other than being a good communicator. As a podcast management agency, you obviously do not need to do the communicating part. But you are doing everything else (depending on the package, of course).  

You need to design the artwork, edit the recording, write the shownotes, maybe even create the website, and on top of that, create a good relationship with your client.  

Now that is a lot on your hands! I have simple solution for that: outsource. 

For my business, I work with a virtual team from people I have recruited from online job sites. Currently, I work with Filipinos from onlinejobs.ph and I am happy with the results so far.

I highly suggest that you outsource so that one, you find people who are experts in their craft, and two, you save yourself some time by letting other people do some of the work for you. 

To know what type of people you need, you should identify what services you will be offering to your clients. So again, you see why identifying your clientele first is important. 

If you need someone to edit the recordings for your clients, I suggest that you look for a professional video editor who has knowledge in audio editing. In most cases, those who are good at editing videos can work with audio as well and will be able to edit the recordings MVE (minimum viable edit) style. 

Finding the right members to create the perfect team for your business is a whole other topic which I have written about in detail in my other article ‘How To Find Great Virtual Members So You Can Replace Yourself in Your Business.’ 

Click here to read the article and find out how you can hire the right VA for you.

That article is full of valuable content and tips that you can apply to your business so you can enjoy the benefits of delegating ad outsourcing. 

Not only do you need to find the right people to make your operations run smoothly, but you also need the right tools to manage various aspects of the business. 

Tools to Help Manage the Business 

Here are the types of tools I suggest you work with for your podcast management agency: 

  • Dropbox or Google Drive – to manage all your files  
  • Slack – for internal communication within your team 
  • Trello / Asana / Teamwork – or any other project management tool to help you create task templates (I will show you more of that later) 
  • PayPalThriveCart – shopping carts or a way to collect payments from your clients 
  • Zapier – for task automation 

In my business, here are tools that I am currently using, and I will show you a quick overview on how I use them: 

File Management: Google Drive 

Here is how I manage my files in Google Drive: 

  1. Create an exclusive folder in Google Drive for all your podcast files, and in that folder, a sub folder for your clients’ files

       2. In my own “Clients” folder, I created 6 folders to help manage my clients:  

    • Completed Episodes – this is where episodes that have been edited will eventually end up 
    • Guest Images – photos of the podcast guests are stored here for artwork purposes
    • Guest Research (since this folder is completely for the purpose of my podcast channel rather than the agency, you may disregard this)
    • New Episodes – this is where the raw audio files that are yet to be edited are stored 
    • Podcast Assets – where you store anything related to your podcast such as the featured image, background music, intro/outro audio and script for intro/outro 
    • Shownotes – plain and simple. This is where you store your shownotes. 
    • Websites (typically, clients will already have their own websites so please disregard this folder. Unless the client asks you or your web developer to build the website for them, you will not need this folder) 

Internal Communication: Slack 

I use Slack to communicate with my team. How we use it is that we create a channel for each of our clients and every bit of communication or issue is discussed in that certain channel. That way, it will be easier and quicker to assess and write a list of everything that needs to happen in the upcoming days for that certain client.  

In the #notifications channel of my Slack, you will see a list of tasks that automatically show up when a new task is added to Teamwork.  

This allows me and my team to stay on top of everything that is happening in Slack itself. I will show you more on how I set that up in a bit using Zapier. 

Project Management Tool: Teamwork 

In my project management system, which is Teamwork, each task/card has everything that needs to happen.  

Some cards for more routine tasks have templates or the general set of tasks needed to get something done.

The beauty of this is that you can assign the necessary people accountable for that specific task. That way, no one can miss the things they need to do. 

Shopping Cart: ThriveCart 

The shopping cart tool I use is ThriveCart, which allows me to design checkout pages so that my clients can pay me either via Stripe (for credit card) or PayPal account.  

This allows my clients the convenience of choosing which payment method they are more comfortable in using. 

ThriveCart however does cost a bit of money, so if you are on a budget, you can always go for PayPal. 

Automation: Zapier 

Zapier is a tool that allows me to be notified whenever a payment is made via ThriveCart 

The way this is done is that when a client makes a payment, I send them over to a page that asks them to fill out a form (I use Typeform.com to create the survey). The details that they filled out are all then sent to Google Sheets (the other application that I paired off with Typeform). 

Another example of how I use Zapier in my business is that if you recall my Notifications channel in Slack, I connected Teamwork and Slack to allow for automatic notifications to happen.

Zapier is a useful tool for you to easily pass information to your team so that the respective person assigned to the next task will automatically be aware. 

All these tools are what I have found useful to my agency. 

You can always see which tools will work best for you depending on the features and budget. And now that we have covered all the steps you need to take to setup a podcast management agency, let us end this article with just a few more bonus tips I want to give you. 

WISE WORDS FROM ME TO YOU 

Just like any other human being, I have made my own mistakes and faced my own struggles while running this side hustle.

During the first stages of my agency, I experienced creating a package that was not aligned with the audience I wanted to target. This meant that I took the time to design a package and in designing that package, I thought anybody who is thinking of starting a podcast will need this package. I thought that it was a one-size-fits-all offer.  

The package was priced at £650 since it had so many inclusions. And although it was a very appealing and worth-it package, you will tend to find that people who are not so serious about podcasting or just want to try it out may not be so willing to invest such a huge amount at the beginning.  

Regarding that certain client, since he still had no means to monetize his podcast, he did not want to invest yet such a hefty sum without the guarantee of ROI. 

This taught me that no matter how good you think your package or service is, you will still need to think about what your client wants for that certain time in his business. 

Another tip is that you should be open to criticism from your clients, especially if this business is still new to you.  

I already said this earlier, but it wouldn’t hurt to say it again… 

Value the feedback from your clients and always find ways to do better. This is how I was able to grow from someone with zero knowledge to now managing multiple clients under my roster. 

There are also 2 books that I want to share with you that have guided me when managing my agency:

Built to Sell by John Warrillow
Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz

And there you have it.  

That is how I accidentally started a podcast management agency, how I set up the systems to deliver the work, how I have my team do the work to a high-level thanks to the systems we put in place. 

Simple right? 

So again, if you are looking to set up a profitable little business or “side hustle” and want to be useful to your network, then a service business is the route to go down. Not only are you able to add more value.  

You are also able to take the first step to set up yourself as an authority in the industry. 

I hope that this article has inspired you to consider this business to help you make the most of your time. Remember that you WILL make mistakes along the way despite all my unsolicited advice and steps laid out here.  Mistakes are what help you grow and make you better at your craft. 

What are you waiting for?  

Go start that agency and grow your business! 

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