Following Through on the Resolution to Replace Myself

In my last post I mentioned how I had discovered ReplaceMyself and listened to John’s free audio where he gives tips and pointers for how to hire someone in the Philippines. Although I’d heard the rationale before, for some reason a few of the things he said really clicked with me. Maybe it was the fact that previously when I’d looked into hiring someone through Agents of Value, I was looking at a minimum of $650 – $700 per month. John was talking about $350 ish. Big difference.

So anyways, I listened to the audio, and decided that day that I, at bare minimum, owed it to myself to give this a shot, at least for one month. The extent of my loss, if everything turned out absolutely terribly, would be $350 plus my time spent in training. In exchange, I would get 160 hours of full time work from a qualified, motivated individual. Unless they turned out horribly, I expect they should be able to produce at least $350 in revenue for me.

So the worst case scenario is I lose $350 and pull out my hair from the frustration and time sink the experiment turns out to be. Okay, I can deal with that.

What’s the upside? I get someone who can capably and reliably perform the tasks that I’m not currently doing on my own business even though it desperately needs them to be done. I get someone that I can hand off assignments to, and expect them to be completed sometime thereafter. I get to keep on learning the coolest internet marketing stuff, turn it into a system, teach the system once, then watch it take effect on my business. In short, I get to replace myself.

To me, after comparing the potential downside to the potential upside, I couldn’t see a rational argument to NOT give this a shot.

So I made that a New Years resolution for my business. I’m not normally much of a one for resolutions and what not, but why not eh?

Yesterday I joined ReplaceMyself and cleared everything else off my desk. Part of the benefit of membership there is that you get access to BestJobs.ph which would normally cost $35 a month. So I logged onto BestJobs.ph and started browsing for resumes.

Bear with me here, as this post might get a bit long, but I want to give you a good idea of everything that is involved in this process, because now that I’m nearly through it, I believe it is something that anyone can do.

The position I’d like to fill is basically an internet marketer that can wear many hats. The person above all needs a good command of English, needs to know the internet very well. They will need to do link building, article marketing, blogging, forum marketing, social media, video marketing, PPC, web design, web developing, will need to know WordPress, FTP, ideally some CSS and PHP, they will need to be a good writer and willing and able to work on their own from home on the other side of the world, for $350 a month. Sounds impossible doesn’t it?

Well, I did a search on the site for resumes less than a month old on the term “SEO Writer.” The rationale there was that I wanted someone who could write, and the SEO bit would indicate familiarity with internet marketing concepts. So I got a bazillion results. I went through the top three pages, or 60 results. I looked at probably 80% of those results, viewing their summaries and resumes. There were quite a few good people on there, but I narrowed it down to 22 people that were available immediately or within a month, whose salary expectations were at least within a few miles of where I wanted to be, and who had most of the requisite skills.

I then created a short email that looked like this:

Hello {Name},

I’m looking for a person who can do article writing, link building, forum commenting, web design and other forms of internet marketing. Familiarity with PHP/CSS would be helpful, but not required.

I have a job opening that will allow you to use and expand your internet marketing abilities while working from home. Training will be provided on an ongoing basis.

Salary starts at $300-$400 USD per month (full time), depending on your abilities and experience, and goes up depending on performance.

I’m wondering if you’re interested?

Jonathan

I then sent that email to the 22 people I’d found, and – here’s a tip – at the bottom of the email I pasted the link where I’d found their resume. Later on, when they reply, this allows you to easily reference their resumes from the email.

I sent that out Thursday afternoon. This morning when I checked my email I had 8 responses of interested people.

Ok, next step. So I went through these 8 in much finer detail. I made a simple spreadsheet with their names, years of experience, level of English, some notes, some downsides, and a rating. For each person I scoured their resume, filled in notes like “CSS, PHP, graphics, minisites, SEO, hosting, wordpress, office” basically different things they claimed to be experienced in. After I’d gone through each of these, I considered the level of English, ability and experience in writing, routine internet marketing knowledge & experience, and more technical skills like PHP and CSS. I then gave each one a score from 1 – 10. Okay fine, the lowest was only a 6. I had two nines and a couple eights. I again re-examined the nines, and ended up downgrading them to eights. Then I looked at my eights, and promoted one to a 9.

To give you an idea of what their qualifications are, here are my notes: PPC, SEO, link building, blogging, forum posting, strong analysis, submissions, reviews, reporting, CSS, Dreamweaver, FTP. English was Advanced, and more importantly, since mid 2005 this person has been working in internet marketing for various companies, doing most of these things. Available immediately, they wanted $400 per month. The only things lacking from my perspective were a demonstrated history of writing, and a more technical side capable of dealing with PHP. I should mention that they have a degree in Computer Science.

So I wrote back and offered this person the position, starting at $350, moving to $400 over the first few months if all went well. To be honest, unless they performed so poorly that it just doesn’t work out at all, I fully intend to raise them to this level. However, this allows me to get a good feel for how things are going before committing all the way.

So, this may sound like a lot of work to you, but I can assure you, it’s not that bad. I spent probably 2-3 hours yesterday combing through resumes, trying to figure out what I wanted and what my priorities were, composing emails and sending them all. This morning I spent perhaps another 2 hours, maybe less.

Have you thought about outsourcing before, or tried it before, but weren’t happy with the results? I’ve been told the Philippines are very different from India. I would recommend you take 5 minutes, think about the entire extent of the downsides of your going through with this. Or, just re-read the first part of this post. Then take a bit longer, and think about the potential upsides. Think about the 4 Hour Work Week lifestyle, business growth, and most importantly, if you’re have entreprenuerial attention deficit disorder like most of us, IMPLEMENTATION! The power to actually get done and follow through on those projects you’ve dreamt about, started and abandoned. You can get them done now!

Don’t wait any longer – go checkout ReplaceMyself today and give it a whirl. It’s $4 for the first two weeks, so you can’t go wrong.

Then, stay tuned – I’ll let you know how this works out.

UPDATE: ReplaceMyself really helped me get up and running, as it provided initial training for my outsourced employee to get going. Gradually I’m going to be working on developing my own training, specific to my own needs, but as a great way to get a quick start, checkout ReplaceMyself.

7 Responses to Following Through on the Resolution to Replace Myself
  1. Paul Haughney
    March 5, 2009 | 6:46 pm

    Hi Johnathan

    Any updates on how things are progressing with your outsourcing? I listened to a call last night with John Jonas and am looking to make the jump and hire someone too.

    Also, is the monthly fee paid to JJ worth it? I believe it’s like $97/month and for that you get lots of great supporting materials which can be given to your new ’employee’, saving you the headache. Did you take on that option?

    Thanks

    Paul

  2. Jonathan
    March 5, 2009 | 7:23 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Yes, a fair bit has happened since that post. Please see http://jonathanboettcher.com/outsourcing-update/ for one update – though I’ll shortly be posting again to bring it all up to date.

    In a nutshell: the first guy didn’t work out, so I actually quit ReplaceMyself during the trial period, which they were very good about. I then set about finding another person, and a few weeks later I had one.

    Since then I have been able to keep her busy with my own tasks; however when I was in ReplaceMyself I looked around a bit and it did look valuable. I’m starting to run out of my initial pileup that I offloaded to her, so I’m considering starting up with RM again. I want to teach her to do a system that will start producing revenue for me; currently I’ve just got her doing backlinks and articles and so forth, and it hasn’t really produced much yet. But I give away too much =). I’ll post on that real soon.

    Cheers

  3. teevee
    April 30, 2009 | 2:32 pm

    I know your pain and I know your journey fairly well.

    I also made the commitment recently to replace myself. I signed up for Jonas’ site and hired someone about 4 weeks ago.

    The initial training has been difficult but mainly because up until now I have done a bad job of mapping out my processes.

    My employee is eager and motivated. I have not unloaded too much of what I personally do day to day but she is very competent at several other key tasks that are crucial to my business.

    I see myself keeping someone at all times so I even went out of my way to install a opensource project-management suite and created a training site for her(which I will then reuse for my other employees). Not easy to do all this without patience a big picture overview.

    I imagine that my training experience allows me the confidence to know that if I train her right and invest the time on this, it will pay off HUGE in the long run… little by little she has impressed me.

    I feel good knowing that when I am asleep she is producing results for me. sigh…

    I am reminded of a quote I used to give my training classes:
    “If you don’t have time to do it right,
    you must have time to do it again”

    teevee\\\´s last blog post..Just finished putting together my design…

  4. Jonathan
    April 30, 2009 | 2:39 pm

    Hi Teevee – very similiar to what I’ve been going through. I just know that if I spent more time actually training her I’d get more what I was hoping for initially.

    I’m interested in the open source project management suite you mentioned though – which one is that, and how does it work?

  5. teevee
    April 30, 2009 | 3:10 pm

    The name of the software is opengoo.

    I played around with several and have decided to stick with that one and recently have transitioned my other company from centraldesktop.

    The learning curve can be pretty steep, but I have played with so many pieces of software that I can learn the basics of any new application in about an hour.

    You install it on your server and add them as an employee and assign tasks to them and projects.

    One of my major “workspace” projects is the Training Workspace. Here is where I will assign from front to back the essense of what my employee needs to learn to be effective and up to speed.

    The other workspace(project) is the “Perfect Affiliate Site Map” In each workspace you can create “milestones” with individual “tasks”. So my plan is to create an entire workflow from front to back (keyword research to traffic/backlinks strategy) A timeline of sorts with all the components in a nice format that any new employee would be able to implement.

    I know it is going to take me a lot of time, but I also know it’s worth it.

    Hopefully I was able to answer your questions. :)

    teevee\\\´s last blog post..Just finished putting together my design…

  6. Jonathan
    April 30, 2009 | 3:14 pm

    Opengoo eh? I’ll have to look that up.

    The Perfect Affiliate Site Map sounds like a great project. I’ve been thinking about doing something similar – an A to Z of exactly the process I’d like for someone to follow to research, build and promote a little money-making site on my behalf. I want to use all free tools, ie wordpress & free traffic – the only thing I’ll need for each site is a domain.

  7. jv-steve
    February 10, 2012 | 7:58 pm

    heya,
    nice shot of the drum badlands! it was the “eh” that gave it away…
    I’m out of Calgary so I’ve been where you are standing.

    Good luck my friend!

    CHeers,

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