TAS 635 ADVICE for HIRING EXPERTS to Help Grow Your Business

What will it take for you to get your ecommerce business to the next level of growth this year? Do you need to refine your processes? Do you need to rethink your strategy? What about bringing on some extra help? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he welcomes his guest, Nathan Hirsch.

Nathan is the Founder and CEO of FreeeUp, a marketplace connecting business owners with the top 1% of freelancers in ecommerce, digital marketing, web development, and much more.

In his conversation with Scott, Nathan talks about figuring out the right time to hire outside help, how FreeeUp vets their freelancers, what jobs are available on FreeeUp, and much more. Don’t miss a minute of this helpful episode featuring Nathan’s expert perspective!

Is it better to go deep or wide with your brand?

If you had to choose right now, would you rather have your brand take a broad approach to the market or a narrow approach? Many business leaders agonize over this decision, and they should! If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long, you know that Scott is passionate about helping sellers like you niche down and take a more narrow approach with your ecommerce business. In Scott’s thinking, it is better to niche down and focus on a specific target market than to try to be a jack of all trades. To hear more about the value of niching down, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller!

The right time to hire outside help.

Can you afford outside help? Do you have space in your budget to onboard a new team member? What about all the challenges of bringing on a new employee? With FreeeUp, you can get the help you need at a reasonable rate all without having to bring on a dedicated employee! At FreeeUp, they vet a wide range of freelancers that you get to choose from. Need help with a quick project? Great! Do you need someone to take care of your ongoing customer service needs? They’ve got you covered! Just think of all the freed up time and mental space that outsourcing even a few simple tasks can provide. Make sure to check out the FreeeUp link located in the resources section at the end of this post!

Expanding your business won’t be easy but it will be worth it!

Let’s face it, the reason why most startups fail to scale their business is due to a lack of planning and follow through. You can only run things as a one-man show for so long before you need to bring in outside help. Bringing on outside help is where most business leaders fail. Don’t fear failure! Just like failure shouldn’t hold you back in business, it also shouldn’t hold you back when you encounter a set back with hiring. You’ve got to learn to roll with the punches and keep moving forward. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott talks to outsourcing expert, Nathan Hirsch about how to get started when building your team and put people in the best situations to succeed, don’t miss it!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [3:30] Nathan Hirsch joins the podcast and gives an update on FreeeUp.
  • [7:00] Is it better to go wide or deep?
  • [10:00] When is the right time to hire outside help?
  • [16:15] What are the common first hires?
  • [22:45] How do Nathan and his team vet virtual assistants?
  • [27:00] What jobs are available on FreeeUp?
  • [32:30] Closing thoughts from Nathan and Scott.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 635

TAS 635: ADVICE for HIRING EXPERTS to Help Grow Your Business

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:02] Scott: Well, hey, hey, what’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is Episode #635 and today we’re going to be talking about…

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…how you can really grow your business and not just on your own. So, I've invited on a guest, a repeat guest. His name is Nathan Hirsch from FreeeUp and I wanted to get him back on because he's got some good advice here for hiring some experts to really help grow and scale your business. Now, I wanted to get him back on because, well, it's been a while since I've had him on. He was on actually Episode 557 and then there was one before that like probably another 100th episode before that. But what I really wanted to do today is drill down into when should you hire, when should you not hire, building a team, why you should think about hiring, and really who should you hire. Those are all important questions and I get those questions a lot so I decided to have him back on the episode here that we’re going to do today so this way here we can drill into that stuff and it’s actually a really good conversation that we had.

We talked a little bit about also a little HOA slap that he had as we talked about my new venture which is in the Airbnb space. I’m dabbling over there. If you’ve watched any my Instagram stuff, you’ve seen that but that he was going down that road until he got an HOA slap, kind of like an Amazon slap. So, yeah, we just had a really good time just catching up but also digging into hiring. And especially if you been following along with me and hearing me talk a lot about external traffic and building out your content and he even said in this interview and this conversation was just that content is still king so we want to be focusing on that. But there's a lot of different ways that we can leverage other people's expertise and to really build out our own team and we should be. And, gosh, going back to the construction days, it was hard for me to let go of certain jobs because I didn’t think anybody can do it as good as me.

[00:02:02] Scott: It’s usually an entrepreneurial issue that we all have. We want to do everything but this interview, this conversation that I had with Nathan will open up your eyes. And if you’ve heard one in the past that him and I've done, well, you’re going to hear some of the same things because we’re going to drill this back down into your head because it's so important to know what to look for when you're ready to hire and then also why you should hire, and why you should really start thinking about doing that stuff now, in the content creation side of things alone which we talk about. So, if you guys are interested in checking out the show notes, you can head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/635 and then also I've had a special with FreeeUp for a while now and a lot of you have taken us up on this offer and that is you’re going to receive $25 off a credit towards your first hire for just kind of trying out the platform and you’re going to hear why this platform is amazing. I've had nothing but good things to hear about it and I’ve also used them myself.

So, if you want to check that out, you can head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/FreeUp and that's F-R-E-E-U-P. They actually spell it with three Es but I thought it would be confusing so I just created a very simple link at TheAmazingSeller.com/FreeUp and you can check it out or you can just go to the show notes page. All right. So, I'm going to stop talking so you can listen to this awesome in-depth interview that I did with Nathan Hirsch all about hiring experts to help grow and scale your business. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:03:32] Scott: Well, hey there, Nathan. What’s up, man? Thank you for coming back on the show for you just told me the third time. This is the third appearance here on The Amazing Seller Podcast. What’s going on, man?

[00:03:44] Nathan: Not much. I appreciate you having me on. I remember when I first started FreeeUp, I just wanted to be on The Amazing Seller so to be on it for the third time is pretty awesome.

[00:03:53] Scott: Yeah. Well, it's still a pretty hot topic and that is like how to go out there and hire the right people and there’s a lot of services that have popped up and a lot of people still struggling with hiring people and really knowing what to look for in the process. And I wanted to get you back on and really kind of dive a little bit deeper into not just the hiring process, but like when. Because I get a lot of people and they’re like, “No, I just want to do everything,” and I'm like, “Oh, you’re kind of holding yourself back. If you do that, you got to get out of that mindset.” So, I did want to kind of dig into that. You were on episode – we just figured this out. It was 557 and it was also 467 so, yeah, so you’ve been on twice and here we go again. So, what’s been happening since the last time you’ve been on? I mean, FreeeUp is probably doing phenomenal and you guys are probably got some more help on the team and all that stuff. So, what's going on over there at FreeeUp?

[00:04:50] Nathan: Yeah. It’s been fun. I mean, I started this with $5,000. This is year four and we ended up doing $1 million in the first year, $5 million in the second, and $9 million last year. So, it's been exciting. It's been a lot of fun. We’ve kind of shift, not shifted our focus, but we started off with mostly Amazon sellers and branched out to e-commerce services and now also the marketing industry and the marketing and e-commerce kind of go hand-in-hand. So, that's really our main focus is getting in front of as many people as possible in both industries.

[00:05:21] Scott: Yeah. And I think it's interesting too to kind of highlight that like, yes, we’re going to have you come on and you’re going to talk about hiring or we’re going to talk about how to scale your business and all that fun stuff. But I think it's interesting also to listen to someone like yourself that you were selling e-commerce yourself personally and then you’re like, “You know, there's a need for this thing. I can't really find good help. I want to scale my business,” and then you go ahead and you figure out a way and then you systematize it, make processes, and get the best out there in the industry. And now, well, you started the business and then you said, “Well, you know what, we got to pivot a little bit,” and I just love hearing how the business evolves just in anything that we do, right?

[00:06:01] Nathan: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think a lot of people they get in the habit where they want to target everything. They want to sell to everyone and I think we were very focused that we don’t want to do that. We want to keep expanding but we want to expand strategically that we can realistically go after because the second that we start marketing to real estate agents and every software company out there, you kind of lose focus of your core which is in my case the Amazon e-commerce world.

[00:06:25] Scott: Yeah. Actually, I’ve been in that same situation like my back story when I was a, well, photographer with my wife, we had our own business, all that stuff, and then it kind of led me to where I am today in the online space and did digital products and all that stuff and still do them. But it's interesting, though, and I've learned this and it sounds like you probably had to. If you started the way that you are right now, it probably wouldn’t be as successful. Too wide of a net, right?

[00:06:56] Nathan: Yeah. I completely agree. You can’t go after everyone right from the beginning whether you’re selling a product or a service and really understanding who you're selling to is so key. I just recorded a six-part video series with Helium Tannen. We were talking about writing listings for customers. One listing that you write for the average mom isn’t going to be the same thing that you write for someone older that might be buying your product and if you don’t understand who you're actually going after and you’re just saying, “Hey, everyone can use my product. I want to appeal to everyone,” it's very easy to fail if you can’t niche down.

[00:07:30] Scott: Yeah. I think niching down is big and that goes for e-commerce sellers, it goes for online businesses, it goes for locally. I’ll give you an example real quick and then we’ll jump into some meat here, but I'm in the process of getting into the Airbnb business.

[00:07:46] Nathan: Nice.

[00:07:46] Scott: Yeah. So, I just bought a lake house. We’re doing it over. We’re remodeling it, all that stuff, and I bought it for three different reasons. One reason I wanted a lake house but I’m like, “Damn, I don’t want to pay for a lake house,” so I’m like, “Let’s see. I could do Airbnb. That thing seems to be pretty hot and then I’ve got my inner circle which we meet three times a year and I can host my meetings there.” So, boom, there we go, great reasons. Convinced my wife. Let's do it. So, we go ahead and do it or we get ready to go down that road and I met up with the guy who actually taught me what he's already done here locally and he told me he goes, “This is how I succeeded. In five years, I’ve got five of my own properties and now I manage about 10,” and he goes, “What I did was Airbnb then Airbnb on the lake and then Airbnb on the lake luxury.”

[00:08:34] Nathan: Nice.

[00:08:34] Scott: So, he just niched down to where he doesn't have the camp that you can just go there and spend $100 a night like a night there is like $600 a night, like $800 a night in peak season. So, I’m like I want to be in that market and it’s niched down so it’s the same thing. It doesn’t matter if we’re in Airbnb, if you're in the VA business, hiring business, or if you’re an Amazon business, podcasting, whatever it is, niche it down and then from there, you can widen out the net when you get some traction.

[00:09:02] Nathan: Completely agree. Funny story, my Airbnb business. So, I bought a condo four years ago, my first purchase, and I said, “Hey, you know what, I travel a lot. When I’m not here, people can use my place, make some extra money.” Put it on Airbnb. Within one day, got a notice from my HOA saying, “Sorry. That’s against our terms. Take that listing down right now.” So…

[00:09:20] Scott: Boom.

[00:09:21] Nathan: Total of 24 hours.

[00:09:22] Scott: You got slapped by the Airbnb police. Actually, it was the HOA. Yeah. And you're right though like if I hadn't worked with this guy, I wouldn’t have known the areas that have already been kind of like said that you can't do that. So, again, you just got slapped by the HOA. There's an HOA slap but, yeah, so you’re saying you didn’t get to rent it out. You didn’t get one.

[00:09:46] Nathan: I chickened out. I’m not trying to fight with the HOA from day one. It didn’t seem like a good idea.

[00:09:50] Scott: Not at all. Not at all. All right. Cool. So, let’s dig in. Okay. So, since you’ve been on, you’ve probably worked with a lot of sellers since. What are some sticking points for why people are not leveraging help soon enough? What are the drawbacks?

[00:10:10] Nathan: And it all comes down to that question, “When do I hire?” and I actually struggled to answer that question probably for the first few years of FreeeUp because the last thing I want to do is say, “Hey, you need to hire right now like this is the time,” and who knows their business better than they do you and I’m not a consultant. I don’t tell people, “I can provide you great options and give you hiring advice,” but when is that right time? And what I figured out is I look at how I do it, how I decide when to hire, and every quarter of every month, Conner and I, we look at our bottom line. How much money do we actually make that month? And then we say, “Hey, how aggressive do we want to be? If we want to be super aggressive, we can reinvest 30% to 50% of that back into the business. If we want to be more conservative, maybe we’re not making that much money. Maybe a family that's depending on some of it and you don’t want to take too much risk, maybe it's more in that 10% to 25% range.” But if you don’t have a starting point of what the actual number is that you can reinvest back in your business, you can’t really start how you’re going to start hiring.

And I see people do that all the time where they’ll hire someone and then a few weeks later maybe they have a bad week or a bad month and they have to let that person go and, well, that's not the end of the world. You can always make more money. It's the time. If you spent two weeks onboarding someone, you’re not getting that two weeks back. So, really figuring out, “Hey, I want to invest 20%, whatever that percentage is back in,” and then you can take a look, “Hey, am I a process person? Do I have these systems and processes in place that I can hire cheap and plug people in or do I have my core competency that I'm working on and I'm really good at? Maybe it’s sourcing products but I’m not good at PPC and I don’t want to learn PPC. I can't teach people PPC so let’s hire a specialist or an expert and use that 20% to go that route.” So, for me, that's how I visually view the starting point of hire.

[00:12:05] Scott: So, you’re kind of looking at like you got to look at the whole business as a whole really and also you have to start getting, I guess, real with yourself is like what am I not that good at that someone could probably do a better job? One of them probably would be pay-per-click like you can do it, you can manage it. It's okay but it's a hassle and you probably aren't getting the most out of it as if you had someone that was an expert. Like, so the same thing, same thing with like writing listings like you can probably get yourself through it, do an okay job, but if you had someone that that's all they did, you’re probably going to get a better listing.

[00:12:46] Nathan: Yeah. I mean, the average Amazon seller, think about how many things are going on in Amazon. You got to…

[00:12:51] Scott: Oh my gosh. Yeah, just the Amazon.

[00:12:54] Nathan: Writing and not to mention if you're trying to build a brand and do external stuff. There's no way the average person is actually good, or even above average at all of those things. So, you really have to identify what am I good at? How can I drive the ship? And how can I hire people to surround me that really support themselves? And I think a lot of people they fell on that trap of trying to hire another one of them, “Hey, I'm really good at this. Let’s hire someone to replace me,” when really you have all these other weaknesses that you’re just not addressing.

[00:13:26] Scott: Yeah. That's true and, again, I think then it comes down to people saying, “Well, I don’t have enough money right now. Once I have more money, I’ll be able to do it,” but you have to ask yourself like you said, once you start bringing in some money, you have to start asking yourself if I invested this little bit of money over here, will that help me grow and scale the business? A perfect example I think for a lot of people and there's all different areas but I'm thinking like if you're up and running, you’ve got your product selling, maybe you got pay-per-clip, pay-per-click would probably be one that you would want to offload but another big one is the external stuff so it could be social media. You might want a social media person that does all of that work for you so your brand is being built externally and you're not having to do it. Do you find that people are using social media managers through FreeeUp?

[00:14:00] Nathan: Yeah, definitely, and kind of what I do and I've had a lot of clients follow in my footsteps. Three years ago, when I started FreeeUp and we didn’t really know that much about social media. We didn’t have some big budget. We just hired someone for $5 an hour, hey, went on our Facebook page a few hours every week, help improve our likes and then we’ll revisit this once we get a little bit bigger and that’s what we did. A year later we add another person. Maybe we gave him a graph designer or a video editor, okay, our content improves, and then we ended up replacing that person with a higher level social media expert and we already had a great starting point. We already built it up for two years, rather than that expert coming in and paying top dollar to just get it off the ground. I encourage that inside Amazon as well, if you can't afford a listing to take someone to do a listing.

Listings is one of those things. You're not just setting it and forgetting it. You’re going to have to update it every quarter. Some sellers do it every month or every few weeks. So, at least get it out there, hire someone in that 5 to 10 range who has worked with other sellers, get that starting point, and as you make more money, as you can invest more, okay, hire a better and better person to optimize it as you go forward.

[00:15:26] Scott: So, you’re almost like building off of the work that someone's already done before then. So, it's kind of like, “Yeah. We got the framework set. We’ve got post going out,” but you’re like, “All right. I’m going to step it up one more time,” and then you kind of just keep inching yourself up. It doesn't mean you have to go out there and find the person that's charging $50 an hour right out of the gate.

[00:15:42] Nathan: Exactly and there are agencies too like I use an agency for Instagram and I start off with their basic package and once I made more money, I moved up to their next package and soon I’ll be going to the next one. So, there's a lot of strategic ways that you can start with a smaller budget and gradually inch your way up as you get bigger and bigger.

[00:16:02] Scott: What are you seeing people making their first hire? Like, and I know it's probably random across the board, but like what do you like, “Yeah. That's, of course, you need to do that,” like what are some things that are just commonly like being hired first?

[00:16:15] Nathan: Yeah. It's typically the stuff that everyone has to do for every listing, the graphic design, the writing, product sourcing, PPC, those are usually maybe customer service or some kind of data entry work, virtual system work. Those are usually the norm but, I mean, we get 50 plus requests a day that are all over the place.

[00:16:34] Scott: Okay. And so, like if someone's listening right now, it is going to depend on where you are in this process. I mean, you probably could even hire someone to go out there and even if you train them. Do you find that you’re training someone though? Because I’m thinking like if I wanted to have someone run through my process of picking products and then only handing me the ones that meet my criteria, would you need to train that person or someone up to speed or is there both?

[00:17:02] Nathan: So, I mentioned that there are people that are very process-driven and those people end up getting a lot cheaper later for the same reason that I can build a really great SOP. I'm a process guy. Anyone that’s used FreeeUp knows you send us an email, we respond right away, it goes in a document. Nothing gets lost. And because of that, because I’m a process person, I can hire someone at a very affordable rate that they're happy with and I can train them. I can onboard them. I have my system, my process to follow, but not everyone is like that and you can be a very successful entrepreneur without having those processes as long as you're not hiring the basic level people that need to follow directions, then you kind of start off in that mid-level expert level range. And maybe one of the people you hire is actually more process-driven so they’ll create that system and then put in that person. So, you have to really understand are you that process person? Can you handle a virtual system? Can you write clear SOPs that can be followed? And some people can and some people can’t.

[00:18:05] Scott: The other issue that I know a lot of people face is I want to hire someone but I don’t have enough work for those people and I don't want them really like I want them to be available when I need them him but I don't enough work to keep them full time. What're some things we can do there? Do we try to hire them full-time or do we just, because when you find someone good, you want to keep them. It's like in anything, you're building your team. I look at this as like you’re not just hiring someone to hire someone. I look at like it's part of our team.

[00:18:36] Nathan: Yeah. The first thing I recommend is to get out of the mindset that there is going to be someone out there who’s really good at what they do that’s just on call to you 24/7 and whenever you have a project, they’re going to drop what they're doing and work for you. I mean, that doesn't exist. In FreeeUp that doesn't exist, outside FreeeUp. But there are very good freelancers that are on call with reasonable deadlines that can get stuff done and if you look at things as more project-based, rather than 10 hours a week, 20 hours a week, and ongoing, you can build a really great Rolodex of people. Maybe you get two or three listers, two or three graphic designers, and when a project comes off as long as it's not urgent at all times, you can say, “Hey, two graphic designers, Bob and Joe, I need this done in the next 48 hours. Which one of you can get to it?” Bob says, “Me.” Boom, you have it done in 48 hours and then Bob waits for a next project and he goes on and works for other clients. That does exist. A lot of Amazon sellers are strategically using the economy like that to scale their business without committing to ongoing work.

[00:19:39] Scott: And so, what we’re basically doing so kind of, I guess, get me up to speed here. So, we’re not technically hiring a full-time employee. We’re hiring a freelancer in a sense, because I know I can get a little goofy too like if you hire an employee then you got to have like insurances and all that stuff. I always swore that once I got out of the construction business with my father's company, I would never have an employee. Once I heard about virtual assistants, I’m like that’s like a subcontractor in the construction world. I like that, their own insurance, their own payroll, their own people. I only need to pay them per project. Is that how it works with inside of, I mean, I know it does but is that the entire thing or do you have the capability of hiring employees?

[00:20:22] Nathan: So, we offer employees on the FreeeUp platform. I don't want to go down the legal route but we spend a good amount of time making sure especially people in the US are self-employed. They are running their own business. And we've had people, we’ve got influencers, e-commerce influencers that have hired a freelancer and really liked them and you can buy them off the platform and make an employee of your company and we had them actually relocate the freelancer to their office and hire them full-time. So, it’s kind of a good way to enter. You can start using a freelancer, see if you like them. If it becomes that full-time employee situation where they’re not taking on other clients, they’re not offering their services elsewhere, they're just working for you, they’re following their systems, we always have that option, but, I mean, when you're hiring non-US, that usually doesn't come into play. You can hire a virtual assistant for 20 hours a week, 40 hours a week, ongoing, and obviously there's lots of more project-based type stuff here and there. I mean, from the freelancer side, they’re trying to build their portfolio. They don’t want to be relying on one person.

A lot of them have gone through that and then fired by that person randomly and then they’re hung out to dry. They’re trying to build up their Rolodex of people that they can depend on and maybe one person’s 30 and the next person's 10 hours a week and another person for 10 and two others on call. So, a lot of them are really building up that portfolio and if you want to have a different relationship, you can always talk to me about it, talk to them about it, and we’ll figure out what makes sense whether it makes sense to keep them on at FreeeUp or to buy them out.

[00:21:49] Scott: Yeah. No. Okay. That's great. So, speaking of that, let's talk a little bit about like your vetting process because it's pretty intense. You know, the people that are within your network are vetted and they're good and if they're not, they’re gone kind of thing and you guys are pretty strict about that. I know we were working with you guys for video editing type stuff and we went through, we found a really good video editor after going through a couple of different ones like you said. You got to kind of test it out. We found one. It was very receptive on what we wanted because I think that's the other thing like seeing our vision and then seeing what we want and then adapting to our style and not everyone is going to have that. So, it's kind of like figuring them out, but I know that it's, and you guys were like on top of it like making sure through that process that we were more or less having our handheld making sure that was that okay? Was it good? Okay, good. So, you’re double checking that. So, how important is it for you guys to have quality people in your network?

[00:22:53] Nathan: Yeah. Incredibly important, and whenever you're dealing with the creative side, the graphic designers, the video editors, the writers, there’s always that element of personal preference that you might not get from a PPC expert. A PPC expert either does a great job at your campaign or he doesn’t. It’s pretty cut and dry. So, a funny story. Back when I was 20 and I was growing my Amazon business, my first hire I coached a job on Facebook and someone applied. I barely interviewed them, I hired him, and it worked out great. It was my business partner, Conner. He was hard-working, he cared. I made him my business partner and it was amazing. And I said, “Wow. Hiring is so easy.” You post a job. Someone shows up. You ask him a few questions and, boom, your life is easier. I proceed to make bad hire after bad hire after bad hire after that and that was really the beginning of me creating my vetting process and I really took that vetting process from my Amazon business and moved it over to FreeeUp.

And what we realized is it's not just about skill. There are very talented people out there that you can hire and for whatever reason, it's not going to be a good experience working with them even though they have all the talent in the world. So, yes, we care about skill and you don't have to be a 10 out of 10 or an 8 out of 10. You can be a 5 out 10, 3 out of 10 skill-wise as long as you’re honest about what you can and cannot do and you’re not taking on projects that you’re going to fail on and you’re priced accordingly. But we focus a lot on attitude and we focus a lot on communication and we do one-on-one interviews where we make sure people don't get aggressive the second that something doesn't go their way and that they’re actually passionate about what they do and not just in it for the paycheck and want to be part of the community. And communication especially when you're dealing with people remote is incredibly important. They have to speak English at a high level, be responsive, respond in a business day, be able to give an estimate and a deadline and actually hit it. So, that's really what we’re focused on is finding those people that have that trifecta. They have the skill, they have the attitude, they have the communication. And once they’re on the platform, we’re pretty quick to remove them if they show us that they can’t maintain those standards going forward.

[00:25:04] Scott: Yeah. That's important and so like the vetting process so if I was not that I'm going to do this or anyone listening is what like just take us through that process, what is it like? So, someone reaches out to you and says, “Hey, I'm a freelancer and I do pay-per-click stuff,” how do they get on your platform?

[00:25:22] Nathan: Yes. So, we get about 4,000 applicants a week to get our platform.

[00:25:25] Scott: Wow. Holy mackerel.

[00:25:27] Nathan: Yeah. They submit an application on our site. From there, I have my freelancer success team that reviews it. Team is run by Cheeky and she was actually the first VA in the Philippines I hired seven, eight years ago. So, they go through it and they decide who we want to interview. During that interview, we have skill test so if they’re an Amazon expert or a lister or graphic designer, we’ll look at their portfolio but we also have a test that we give them. So, the skill is different depending on what their skill set is and then we do the one-on-one interview where we ask a lot of questions, learn more about them, learn about their passion, and their interest, and their attitude. And if they pass that then we invite them to take our communication best practice test. So, we have 15 pages of communication best practices. I actually wrote it when I was delayed in an airport for 24 hours. It’s basically every communication issue I ever have. I mean, I’ve hired hundreds of VAs. I've had every situation happen in the world and they have to memorize and get tested on those and if they get in then they get access to our platform and the projects and the clients that come in and we hold them to it afterwards so that's really the vetting process.

[00:26:33] Scott: Wow. That's pretty intense. Yeah. So, okay, so you literally send people through a few different hoops there and then a test that you wrote out in 24 hours in an airport which is pretty scary there but, okay, so yeah, so it's pretty intense. And so, what type of jobs right now can I get from the platform? Like who could I get from going to? Like, I'm sure there's some that you’re like now we don't take care of those or we don't handle those for whatever reason?

[00:27:04] Nathan: Yeah. I mean, we offer over 100 skill sets. The only thing that we really stay away from is like fake reviews, fake Facebook accounts, stuff like that we don't do anything with. But I like to divide it into three levels. You got basic, mid, and expert where the basic people are more followers, the mid-level people are more specialists, and the experts are the high-level consultants, high-level freelancers, agencies. So, in the followers, you got product sourcing, people that have experience that use the popular softwares but they're there to follow your systems. You have customer service, data entry, even listing it as long as you have a certain way that you wanted done. Mid-level, you got the graphic designers, the bookkeepers, the video editors, the content writers. And then the expert level you got the people who can audit your Amazon business. You can high-level sourcers, people who actually live in China and to source products, PPC experts, Facebook ads, social media. So, really all skill sets that kind of fall into the different levels but those are typically what you see people hire for in each level. And if you go to FreeeUp.com/Skills or FreeeUp.com/Pricing, you can see a pretty good overview of everything that we offer.

[00:28:13] Scott: Yeah. That cool. And you brought up content like I know right now in one of our trainings, we’re teaching a lot about external traffic and building out your content and doing all that stuff and people are like, “Oh, I don't want to write. I don't really want to do this,” and there's some services out there that do a decent job that you can go out there and have articles written but if we were to go to your platform and hire a content writer, I mean, pretty much I could tell that person what I want to have written, have them do some research, and kind of create that thing for me so this way here I can continue to add content to my blog or my website to eventually get some SEO traffic to bring in some people that are interested in what I have to offer. That's something you guys do very well probably, right?

[00:29:04] Nathan: Yeah. I mean, we live in an era where content is king.

[00:29:07] Scott: It is.

[00:29:08] Nathan: I’m right there with those people. I'm not a writer. That's definitely not my core competency. If you check out the FreeeUp blog, all those writers are actually freelancers on our platform that other clients use so we’ll have people that say, “Hey, I read this article, I like it,” and you can hire that person and we got lots of writers, both US and non-US that don't write for a blog as well. Yeah. It kind of falls into that creative space. I encourage people to review people's past work, have them write a test article or even a test few paragraphs just to see if it's your writing style that kind of writing in a new light. Because I can send the same writer to 10 different clients and nine of them might say, “Oh my God, this is great,” and another one says, “This is the worst writing I've ever seen.” So, you’ve got to really know what you want and what your voice is.

[00:29:57] Scott: Yeah. That's really good. So, if someone was to, now that you got me thinking about content, if someone went down that road and they go, “You know what, Scott’s been telling me that I got to start writing content, I got to start publishing here, and I got to do it on a regular basis maybe one article a week, maybe 1,000 words, 2,000 words, something like that, what would it take for them to go to your platform, hire someone or at least give them a test project, and have something back to them like what kind of timeframe are we talking? Are we talking two weeks? Are we talking a month? Are we talking a few days? What are we talking?

[00:30:30] Nathan: So, we say one business day, but usually it's a lot faster, within hours. I mean, if you submit something on a Friday night maybe you have to wait for the weekend or until Monday but for the most part, it’s same day. You put in a request, you tell us what you want, we’ll send you an option. We can meet with them, review their work, interview them if you want to, and then from there you can either hire them, negotiate the rate or agree to fixed price or you can say, “Hey, I need more options,” and provide us some feedback and we’ll get you someone else facing that feedback. So, my team moves pretty quick. Sometimes it just depends on how quickly the freelancer responds or gets back to us. I mentioned weekends or holidays or stuff like that. But, yeah, it’s pretty fast.

[00:31:08] Scott: So, basically, I give you guys a summary of what I want, what I need. Your team looks at it and goes, “Oh, this person, this person, this person is going to be a great fit for this person.” Go.

[00:31:17] Nathan: Kind of. It just posted to our internal project board. It is a marketplace behind the scenes so people will grab it. There’s a certain element of vetting so that we make sure that PPC expert isn’t taking a content writing post but that stuff doesn't really happen so we’re there as like that extra layer of protection and get you good options and if we’re not giving you the right fit, we’re obviously going to take that feedback and make sure the next applicant that gets sent over is an exact match.

[00:31:40] Scott: Okay. Cool. That’s perfect and I think people listening right now especially to this show they’ve been hearing me talk a lot about that for external and really building out your external channels and stuff, and one of those ways is definitely content so that's having a great piece of content. And then video too, a lot of people get hung up with video. I know how to shoot a video but I don’t know how to edit a video. I mean, that is a hang-up and I know that you guys can handle that as well. So, guys, definitely check out FreeeUp. I do have a pretty link that I can give people to that’ll take you there very easily. If you just go to TheAmazingSeller.com/FreeUp and I’ll also link that up in the show notes and I know on my resources page you guys get a little special there for everyone that’s a TAS listener. So, any other last little bits of advice, tips, anything that you wanted to address and let people know a little bit more before we wrap up?

[00:32:31] Nathan: Yeah. I would just keep focused on that no one has 100% hiring record it. It just doesn't exist. You’re going to make some bad hires and even if they're not an awful hire, there’s going to be people that for whatever reason aren’t the right fit for you. Even the best freelancer in the world isn’t the best fit for every single client out there. So, if you continue to focus on what you can control just like being an Amazon seller, you can’t control Amazon, focus on what you can control and that's understanding what you need, what you like. That's your interview process and how you can improve that over time, your communication, your directions, your scope. If you can continue to focus and improve on the things that you can control, over time everything else is going to take care of itself and FreeeUp is there to make it easier for you.

[00:33:15] Scott: Yeah. That’s awesome. It's always a pleasure talking with you, Nathan, and I really appreciate you coming back on and I'm sure it won’t be the last because, well, we’re always looking to grow and scale our business and I know you're in the trenches figuring stuff out as well and I love seeing just your progress as well, just going through your journey as far as building out your business and your company. I’m just fascinated with entrepreneurship anyway so I always love talking to other entrepreneurs. I want to thank you again for coming on. This has been awesome, been helpful. I’ll link everything up in the show notes for everyone and, again, I just want to say thanks a lot. I'm sure we'll see you at an upcoming event or something so we’ll have to hang out.

[00:33:55] Nathan: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. Yeah. I think I’ll see you in a few different conferences later on this year.

[00:33:59] Scott: Yeah. Absolutely. All right, man. Thanks. I appreciate it.

[CLOSING]

[00:34:03] Scott: All right. So, there you go. Hopefully, now you're saying to yourself, “Wait a minute here, I can go out there and hire really awesome people and I can do on a platform that they vet out these people like with a crazy test that he puts them through or his company puts them through?” You heard how they vet the different freelancers on their platform. It's kind of crazy. I wouldn’t want to be one of those freelancers having to go through all those tests. I'm not a test-taker. So, anyway, definitely, definitely, lots of great advice there from Nathan. He's been in this space for a very long time and he's constantly, constantly improving his network of very qualified experts in this space and really to help us grow and scale our businesses. So, definitely check out the show notes at TheAmazingSeller.com/635. I'll link up the other little special here that Nathan has given us and that's that $25 credit towards your first hire.

And all you need to do is go over to TheAmazingSeller.com/FreeUp and you will get access to that $25 credit and you can go ahead and start to looking at who you want to hire to help you grow and scale your business. And, yeah, just a little side note here. Yes, I am an affiliate for FreeeUp and I am proud to be because they are an amazing company and Nathan's a great guy. He's got a great partner. They got a great team over there and I only really recommend people that I have had either a relationship with or that I've had just personal experience with the company themselves and FreeeUp is definitely one of them. So, definitely go check them out and just go ahead and try to hire someone to help you grow and scale your business one person at a time, or one project at a time. Like Nathan said, build out your network of people that are going to help you down the line.

All right. So, guys, that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up this episode. Remember, as always, I am here for you, I believe in you, and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to, come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, take action! Have an awesome amazing day! And I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

[END]

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