Outsourcing and Teams: How to Build Your First Team (Even if You’re a Newbie)
When you’re first starting out in affiliate marketing, it can be tough to find the time to dedicate to it.
I’ll use myself as an example.
My schedule when I first started:
- 7 hours sleep
- 8 hours work
- 2 hours getting ready for work/stuck in traffic
- 3 hours doing errands/chores
Which left me around three to four hours a day for campaigns. (and this is a best-case scenario since I was single and no kids)
That makes it tough to get momentum, right?
So wouldn’t it be awesome if you could have a team help you with your campaigns?
Think about it.
While you’re taking care of your life and sleeping and working out, they can be focused on making your campaigns work (and making you money).
But I know what you’re thinking…
With what money?
I’ll wait until I’m profitable before I start hiring people.
One thing you should consider is outsourcing before you’re profitable. If you have the capital, then the right assistants can be a force multiplier.
Imagine delegating a few tasks at night before you go to bed like translating a landing page and having the tracking links set up.
They work while you’re sleeping, and when you wake up the tasks are done.
Sounds good, right?
In this post, I’m going to give you some suggestions on who your first hires should be.
Step #1: Make Sure Your Accounting Is Right
From the BEGINNING, you should invest money to hire someone (a lawyer or a CPA) to set up an LLC or an S-Corp for you.
Yes, even if you haven’t made a cent yet.
Once you’ve established a company, open a bank account in the company name.
Why is this step number one?
Because you want to separate everything from day one. This makes your accounting a lot easier later and helps protect you legally.
For example, let’s say you accidentally use copyrighted material in one of your landing pages. The owner of the material gets pissed off and decides to sue you.
If you’re an LLC, your personal assets can’t be taken away from you.
If you’re not an LLC or S-Corp?
You may end up back in your parent’s house in your old bedroom with your old Creed posters on the wall.
Save yourself a lot of trouble and get your accounting right from the beginning.
You don’t want to waste time a year later trying to figure out if that steak dinner was a business or a personal expense.
Step #2: Hire Creative Help
I suck with Photoshop and my video editing skills aren’t the greatest either.
I don’t know how to program a landing page from scratch.
Unless you’ve been to art school, you’re probably not that great at designing stuff either. Nobody is.
The problem is that when you try to do stuff on your own, it looks crappy.
Like something you got a participation award for in grade school.
And people won’t buy from you if your landing pages and images look bad. They should look clean and professional and enticing.
This is where an assistant comes in handy.
There are tons of super creative, highly skilled contractors who can create amazing images and landing pages for you.
And because they live in other parts of the world, they won’t charge you the diva rate that a lot of U.S. based artists will.
Don’t let your ego get in the way. If you want to make money, focus on what you’re good at and hire creative help to do the other stuff.
Some tasks they can help you with:
- Editing videos. Especially useful if you’re running Facebook video ads.
- Designing banners.
- Designing landing pages.
Step #3: Hire a Virtual Assistant to Help With Affiliate Marketing Tasks
I don’t think a virtual assistant should handle running a campaign from beginning to end.
That should be your job. Plus, if you hire someone else to do it, you won’t get good at the things that matter.
But, each campaign has lots of little pieces that are important but annoying.
My best advice is to write on the steps that it takes you to launch a campaign.
Create a checklist of each task that must be done before you can launch.
With each task, ask yourself:
- How important is the task?
- How easy is it to teach to someone else?
- How much do you hate doing the task?
A few tasks that I recommend you outsource as soon as possible include:
- Translating landing pages
- Setting up tracking
- Uploading ads depending on the traffic source.
Obviously, you’re going to need to double check them, but the more the assistant does them, the more confident you’ll be.
Having a VA do these tasks does a couple really important things.
First, it lets you focus on doing the things you’re really good at. Instead of wasting time and energy on things you don’t really like doing, you can focus on the 20% that will make you the most money.
Second, it lets you launch campaigns faster. Your VA can do these tasks while you’re sleeping.
Step #4: Refine Your Process
When I talk about hiring assistants, people want to know the “magic” website that I use to find the right people.
There isn’t any magic website.
Freelancers are scattered all over the place, from Fiverr to Upwork to various job boards.
The secret to getting great team members is in the hiring process.
I have a very specific process for finding and vetting contractors:
- Ask my network for recommendations on candidates
- Post specific ads on freelance websites
- Do brief interviews with the most promising candidates
- Run a small test project with the promising candidates
- Identify the person you believe is the best
- Agree on responsibilities upfront
- Discuss the next steps
- Establish a probation period
- Reevaluate at the end of the probation period
For an in-depth guide on each of these steps, read this.
(Pro Tip: Upwork is usually my go-to site if I’m posting ads.)
By using this process every time, it ensures that I always hire the right people.
Until you start making a lot of money, you’re probably only going have 2 to 3 hours a day to dedicate to affiliate marketing.
But, if you hire the right help, you can maximize those efforts and get way more done than you would by yourself.
This can actually get you to your goal of full-time affiliate marketing a lot faster. If you insist on doing everything yourself, you’ll be really limited in how much you can get done.
Don’t try to be a hero. Create a hiring process, find a few good candidates, and make your first hire.