As productive as it may sound, it's impossible to do everything by yourself when you're growing a business — and you really shouldn't. While it is ideal to be hands-on with all parts of the business, it can take a toll on your growth as an entrepreneur. This is where hiring a new team and learning how to delegate tasks come in.
But finding the right people is no easy task. It can take weeks, if not months, to find the perfect fit. But once you do, the rewards you’ll reap will be well worth it.
In this episode of The Pollen Podcast, Diana delves into all the things you need to know about hiring a new team. Firstly, how do you even know when you need a team? As an entrepreneur, you only have so much time in a day. You’ll spend that time best by honing in on your zone of genius and leveraging a team to support you every step of the way. That’s how you grow your business; that’s how you grow into a great leader. 🌱
Listen to this episode to learn the best strategies for hiring a new team member!
Create your own creative entrepreneurship story of clarity, professional confidence, and profit. Join Diana’s 90-day group course Camp Clarity and learn everything you wish you already knew, like how to land dream clients, harness the power of social media, and make the money you deserve. Learn more here.
🔥Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:
How to determine when it's time to hire a team and the impact it will have on your business.
Get clear on who you want to bring on to your team.
Learn tactical strategies to implement when hiring a new team member.
E32 Leading with Connection to Attract Your Ideal Clients 🧲 ⚡
Achieve the life, career, and clients you’ve always wanted (and fully deserve!). Join the waitlist for Camp Clarity!
Want your creative business to go even further? Sign up for ASCEND, a four-month immersive mastermind experience for elevated entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their next mountain. Join the waitlist here. ⛰️
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Attract your dream clients with my free masterclass!
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[01:44] Who is Your Team?
Your team is people working directly with you, whether on a daily or weekly basis.
They know your mission and core values and take tasks off your hands.
Your team may include a virtual assistant, online business manager, web designer, copywriter, photographer, accountant, etc.
After having your foundation set, things get sticky when it comes to having the confidence and mindset to expand that business. This is where hiring a new team comes in.
[04:22] ASCEND Mastermind
The next cohort will start around the second week of January. It is a four-month mastermind container.
The ASCEND Mastermind is about helping you along your journey as you expand into the next corners of your business.
Each cohort has a maximum of eight women, making it a very intimate group.
Every participant will have three one-on-one calls with Diana during these four months.
BONUS: Apply for ASCEND before the end of 2022 and get a whopping $2000 OFF your application! 🤑
[08:09] What You Want in a Team
First and foremost, get clear on what you want in a team.
[08:20] Diana Davis: “I talk about scheduling your dream life, I talk about your cosmic shopping list, I tell you about your dream clients and how you need to know who they are before you go searching for them. That's the same with a team.” - Click Here To Tweet This
Write down a list of things you would like your team member to be. Leave room for the possibility that they'll learn some skills on their own along the way.
Getting clear on what you want is a manifestation situation in itself.
[11:17] What to Do When Hiring a New Team Member
Start recording your processes and SOPs (standard operating procedures) on a platform like Loom.
Record all the things you are going to do more than once. Talk out loud and walk through the process with whoever will watch it in the future.
Having a library of recordings of all your SOPs will help you save time when training new hires.
You don’t waste any time recording because you’re capturing it while doing the actual task.
Many people are averse to hiring a new team member because of the time it would take to train them.
[14:57] Diana Davis: “Now that I have a team, I cannot even believe I never had a team before this because they do so much — there's no way I would be doing everything I'm doing in my business without them.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[15:51] How to Find Your Person
Finding the perfect fit for your team is almost like finding your soulmate.
Some roadblocks along the journey of finding your person are prices, time zones, language differences, work setup, etc. It’s all about your comfort level and mission.
Put out an application form to help you filter out applicants easily.
Doing a 30-day trial run is crucial in ensuring you’re on the same page with someone you’re hiring. It also sets expectations and checkpoints.
[23:47] Other Ways to Find Your Person
It's good to find someone who is connected to your world.
You can put special instructions to filter out applications. Following directions and attention to detail can be crucial.
Stop trying to search for a unicorn. Ask your people what they want and don't want to be doing.
Tune in to the full episode to hear how Diana hired her second VA!
Another way is to reach out to fellow entrepreneurs who have people they love working with.
[30:57] Hiring Full-Time vs. Part-Time
You don’t necessarily have to hire someone full-time as a W2 employee.
Talk to an accountant to determine when it’s beneficial to have someone as a full-time employee.
Many people eventually hire someone as a full-time employee to keep them to themselves versus working with different clients.
Putting someone onto your payroll is more expensive and involves way more commitment.
A contractor has the right to raise their rates whenever they want. And you have the right to not work with them anymore if their rates exceed your budget.
[33:05] Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Delegate like crazy once you have a new team member. The only way for someone to learn your business is for them to do everything in it.
People won’t understand what you want the next time if you just fix things by yourself. That’s not leadership.
Allow your team to do things in your business so they can develop a deep understanding and start being proactive with your business.
It takes around 90 days to start understanding the inner workings of the business.
Don't be afraid to invest money and time in teaching your team skills they don't know.
[36:39] How to Know When You’re Ready to Hire a New Team
The most common answer CEOs have when asked what they would’ve done different is hiring a team earlier.
Doing everything yourself instead of delegating responsibility is an opportunity cost. It's a loss.
If you don't have the income to delegate, you can trade as an energy exchange. You can always give energy and time versus cash dollars.
[39:13] Diana Davis: “You know when you're ready when you are spending time on tasks that you probably shouldn't be spending on.” - Click Here To Tweet This
Enjoyed this Podcast on Hiring the Right Person for Your New Team?
The hiring process involves a lot of nitty-gritty. It's not easy to find the right person in one go. After all, the person you hire will play a big part in the trajectory of your business moving forward. So remember these tips by heart so you'll know exactly what to look for in a new team member!
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Thanks for listening! Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.
Diana Davis: Get clear on what you want. Actually write down a list of things that you would like this person to be. Also, it can be things like, “Knows how to use HoneyBook or MemberVault or Lightroom,” if they're helping you edit your photos, but also leaving room for the possibility that they will learn those things on their own.
Welcome to Pollen, the podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Diana Davis, multi-passionate creative, business coach, Gemini, manifesting-generator, matcha drinker, and travel-junkie. I'm also the founder of Diana Davis Creative, where I went from a six-figure photography business to coaching creative entrepreneurs like you. If you want to have a career and a life you love, you're in the right place.
On this show, I'll be coaching on all things creative entrepreneurship, and you'll hear stories from fellow creative entrepreneurs that will show you it is possible to do life the way you want to. They'll share the nitty-gritty of their journeys – like the real shit – and how they are doing it differently. I'm stoked to have you along on this journey. Let's go. Hi Pollen, we are going to have, maybe, the most tactical strategy-based episode that we've had on Pollen, so far.
I am so excited to dig into this with you. Basically, this episode is going to encompass what you need to know when hiring a team. So by a team, I mean, people directly working with you, maybe on a daily basis, or at least a weekly basis, where they're in your business, they know your mission, your core values, and they are taking tasks off your hands. So that might be a virtual assistant.
It might be a graphic designer that's kind of ongoing. It might be an OBM, which is an online business manager, or something like that. We also have our other team members, such as web designers that just come in as needed. We might have copywriters that come in as needed. We might have our photographers or our accountant; like, my accountant kind of steps in as the CFO for my business.
We work with her on a monthly basis, but she is my team. But I have an actual team of two women, right now, Maria and Alexandra, whom I adore, and they're with me literally on a daily basis, except for Friday and we've set that boundary. So I want to talk about what you need to know when hiring a team, how you need a team, and also, just hopefully, collapsing your timeline on the mistakes that I've made.
Also, letting you know the things that really worked for me when having a team and running it successfully. So let's do this. When I start working with clients, usually, they are at the Camp Clarity spot of really getting to know their business, building that foundational work, starting to show up on social media, starting to get clients, maybe, for the first time.
Figuring out their client workflows, figuring out their pricing, getting their LLC, getting their taxes all figured out, contracts, etc. That is all the stuff we do in Camp Clarity, which can be ongoing and always can evolve. And we always need to go back to those things: our niche, our ideal client, our core values; that kind of thing. But that's really at the Camp Clarity level.
When you are– you have your foundation sort of set, where do you go from there? How do you even know what you need? Often, you don't need to take a course, right? You know how to run your business. But where things get sticky is, usually, the confidence in the mindset and the expansion of that business, which, hiring a team is a huge part of that. So I want to talk about the ASCEND mastermind for just a hot second.
We are starting another cohort in January; so that will be January 2023. It starts around the second week of January. And this is the container – and if you don't know what a container is, it just means the boundaries around time and the space where we're going to be with each other. So that container is a four-month container mastermind, where we get together once a week. For two hours a week, come together as experts.
I am leading you as the coach, but there's also all the other women who are experts in the room; from copywriters, to branding experts, to social media experts, to artists, to coaches, to all the things that can also help you along your journey so we can expand. So this is what the ASCEND mastermind looks like. It's about expansion.
It's about getting in a room, when you've got the foundations laid. You know how to show up on social. You've got your product suite built out. You know you're getting clients and income, but you're ready to expand into the next corners of your business,
Whether that's being in the headlines, talking on panels, hiring a team, really putting that podcast out there, doing the thing that you haven't done yet, expanding your business, getting in front of new audiences, making more wealth and impact. That's what ASCEND is about. It is a meet-you-where-you're-at program. Wherever you are at is exactly where we are going to start that expansion.
You're invited to apply. It is a very intimate group. I keep each cohort at eight women, max. You're invited to apply and see if it is a good fit for you. We would love to chat. It is my job to make sure it is a good fit, and that you will thrive in that group. And I will be so honest with you if Camp Clarity is a better fit, or if we're just not a good match at all. So there's no pressure in this conversation.
But if you feel like you are at a place where you're ready to expand to that next level, to the next mountain-top with women who are aligned, and also experts in their field, so they're gonna just keep lifting you up even more. Let's do it. ASCEND applications are open. You can also DM me at @dianadaviscreative.com, and let's get you expanded and ascended. It's going to be such an amazing, amazing container.
It's actually my favorite program I've ever created. And the beautiful thing that I didn't mention – two things – is you get three one-on-one calls with me during this-four month period, this four-month container. That is where I see the magic happen. The hybrid of meeting together as a potent expert group, but also working on your business one-on-one with me. And the last thing, if you apply before the end of the year of 2022, you will get 2000 off.
Make sure you– if you're thinking about it at all, just get your application in before the end of the year. We would love, love, love to have you. Okay, so let's dig into this because this is a huge part of ASCEND, and what a lot of the women in there are working on, and eventually, do. Almost everyone ends up hiring a team in some form or fashion by the end of ASCEND if they don't have it already, and they expand their team if they do.
One of the things that we want to start out with is getting clear on what you want in a team, right? So you're gonna hear this a lot from me. I talk about scheduling your dream life. I talk about your cosmic shopping list. I tell you about your dream clients, and how you need to know who they are before you go searching for them. That's the same with a team. So I want you to create sort of a cosmic shopping list for what a team member encompasses.
Are they reliable? Are they communicative? Are they completely the opposite of you? Like, “Are you super flowy?” and you need structure. Or are you wanting someone to flow with you? Are they good collaborators? Are they really into the industry you're in? For example, if you're a financial coach or advisor, maybe you want a VA or an OBM, or some sort of team member that is also interested in money, and just like, geeks out with you.
Or maybe, you want someone who knows money, like, hardly at all, so that you can have a fresh perspective. So I want you to first and foremost, get clear on what you want. Actually write down a list of things that you would like this person to be. Also, it can be things like, “Knows how to use HoneyBook or MemberVault or Lightroom,” if they're helping you edit your photos, or if they're a visual designer who's going to be a junior designer for you.
They probably need to know Adobe and maybe, Squarespace or Showit, but also, leaving room for the possibility that they will learn those things on their own. And that depends, you obviously don't want to hire a junior designer that has no design skills; that doesn't make sense. I actually hired someone – and this was like my mistake that I learned from – who was going to take over a lot of photo edits for me.
I really just got on the phone and got kind of like swept away in it and thought, “This is amazing. Cool. Let's do it. You're hired. I'm going to give you galleries to edit today.” And then, realized that she didn't know Lightroom, and that was a huge issue. I'm not even sure how that got past me or how that got misconstrued. But the point is, you need to be clear on what you want, and what you don't want, so that you can ask them those things.
“Do you know Lightroom? Can I give you a few photos to test edit for me to make sure we're on the same page. Maybe I'll watch you do it as you screenshare just to make sure you are literate in those programs.” So get clear on what you want, first and foremost. That is going to call on your person.
That's a manifestation situation in itself. Then, I highly recommend, whether you're hiring a teammate tomorrow, or you think it might be two years from now, start recording your processes on something like loom.com. It is where I film my modules. Anytime I'm doing a tutorial for someone or a walkthrough for my clients. We use it for our SOPs, which is our standard operating procedures, so that we have everything recorded.
Anyone could go into that library and know how, for example, we invoice a client, or we add a Zapier to someone who just signed up for Camp Clarity, so they get into MemberVault and get all the modules that they need. And that might like explode your mind right now, you might not even know what that is; that's okay. Don't worry about that part. But what I want you to do is download something like loom.com.
Just trust me it's worth paying for, versus doing like a Zoom recorded screen situation, and then, you're trying to store all these videos, places etc., Loom is just set up for this. So just trust me, this is not sponsored. Start recording things on loom.com. If you ever are going to do something more than once, just think, “I'm going to record this right now and talk out loud while I record it, and walk whoever is going to be watching this in the future.”
Maybe it's even yourself that needs reminded, “How did I do that again?” And now, it's in the library and we make sure we do it the right way every time. Just record it. If you're invoicing a client, if you're sending a contract, if you're onboarding someone, if you are uploading a podcast, recording anything, start recording it on loom.com and start building a library, so that when you do hire someone, you do not have to waste a bunch of time training them,
You can say, “This is where the library is.” You didn't waste any time recording these. These are not situations you're creating to make a recording. You're recording when you're already doing the things. So there should be no time extra for this. You just happen to be recording it, and happen to be talking through it, while you're recording it. You can say, “Hey, VA. I'm so excited to have you. Here's my brand. Here's my mission.”
“Let's get clear on all of my products and services.” And that could be a loom.com, as well. “Here's this Loom library. Start with this. Get yourself familiar with my business and processes, and then, we'll go from there. And let me know if you have any questions.” As a team, we use Slack. I really love communicating that way. I also have it downloaded on my phone, so I don't miss anything while I'm out and about. We have set hours; the whole situation.
But loom.com, even if you're not, “ready to hire a team,” start recording how you do things for a future person to come in and easily be trained. Because for me, and what I hear from so many other people, is that you are so averse to hiring someone because of the time it's going to take to train them. Oh my god, I get it. I was so resistant to hiring my first person. Like, I don't even have time for an interview process.
I don't have time to put together an application. Now that I have a team, I cannot even believe I never had a team before this because they do so much. There's no way I would be doing everything I'm doing in my business without them. And even now, I have a podcast team, for example. They take this recording, and do all the assets, all the uploads, all the show notes, putting it on the blog, making social media reels, posting it to Spotify and Apple.
I am no longer available to bootstrap anything, because it is so important for me to stay in my zone of genius and do what lights me up and be the head of DDC, versus all of the arms of DDC. So I encourage you to just realize you can really be efficient about this hiring process and the training process, so don't let that be the block in the road. So let's talk about actually finding the person, which can be kind of funky.
It can be difficult. It's almost like finding your soulmate. It can feel a little daunting. You might search for people, they might be too expensive, they might be in different time zones, they might not speak the language you'd like them to speak. There's VAs all over the world, and there's so many options.
Again, this doesn't have to be a virtual assistant. It could be a junior designer, or someone who's editing your photos for you, or just a partner. Maybe you have a yoga company and you're wanting to have more teachers on your platform. Or maybe, you have a tutoring company and you want to bring tutors underneath you or nutritionists underneath you or financial advisors underneath you. All of those things are team.
But I'm just going to use VA as an example. So we could go search for a VA everywhere. There are Facebook groups for VAs. There are entrepreneurship groups that, if you put you're looking for a VA, you will literally get 120 responses and emails. You could go look on Fiverr or Upwork and probably find a VA, and you're going to see that there are people in the Philippines who do VA work, and they might do it for very cheap, not all of them.
But their money is different than ours. So some people decide to hire someone in the Philippines for $5 an hour. Do I believe in that? I think it's to-each-their-own. I can't judge and there's different reasons why you would do anything. We had a team member in the Philippines, but she also charged very American rates, which – I was like, “Good for her.” – that did our Pinterest and our blogging, for a bit. So it just kind of your comfort level and also, your mission.
Are you here to support and uplift other women? Are you here to pay fairly? Are you here to be in integrity? You have to check in with yourself on all of that. So you could find literally a VA for $5 an hour in the Philippines, that's in a different timezone, speaking a different language, possibly, and that sort of thing. So that could work. But are your priorities having someone online when you're online? Do they need to have English as a first language?
Are they writing emails? That sort of thing. Think about it. So you can put out some sort of application, so that you really filter these people because, for example, if you're posting in a Facebook group, you're just gonna get 120 portfolios jammed into your inbox. I've done it before, doesn't work for me. It gets very overwhelming. I already don't have time, that's why I'm hiring the VA.
You want to filter this out somehow. That can be with an application that they have to fill out. You could just create it on Google Forms. You could make a Typeform really quick, tell them– ask them what they want to be doing, what programs they're literate in, what experiences they've had before, what they see for your business– blah, blah, blah. You could have an application like that. For me, I was really resistant.
I really think this means– and just plays into my manifesting-generator, human design type, that if I don't feel lit up by something, I cannot force it. And if I do force it, it's not going to turn out well. So a lot of my coaches at the time were like, “Diana, you need a team. You're burning out a little bit. You can't keep up with the stuff. Just hire a team and put the application out there and do the interviews.” And I was just so resistant to it.
I can't tell you why. My gut was just like, “No, this isn't the thing for me. This is not the way I'm going to do it.” So I waited. It's probably like a six-month period. And I was very aware of what I did want. Like I said, get clear on what you want, and sometimes, it will just fall in your lap. Because I had hired other people and made big mistakes and just kind of had to like let them go, so I was very clear on what I wanted.
One day, I saw a comment on my Instagram post from my, now assistant, Alexandra – who's been with me a year and a half or more – and I saw her comment. And I, for some reason, was really drawn to it. And then, I went to her profile, realized she lived in Bozeman, Montana, which, if you don't know, that's where I went to college, and I have such a community there. And most of the people there aren't actually college friends, they're friends that I met afterwards.
But that's like my second home or my first home, really, if I was to really claim it. I like Montana over Colorado, to be honest. So I saw she lived in Bozeman, Montana, and I was like, “How the heck do I not know you yet?” And then – Instagram bios work, y'all. Just saying. – She had virtual assistant in her title on her Instagram. And I was like, “Yo, we need to talk.” I talked to her. I hired her the next week.
But here's the kicker, I made sure we did a trial; a 30-day trial to make sure we're on the same page. She's interviewing me as much as I'm interviewing her, making sure she's happy, making sure I'm happy, making sure we jive, instead of just saying, “Okay. You're hired. Here we go. Let's see what happens.” And then, halfway into the month, you're like, “Shit, I should not have hired this person, and now I have to, like muster up the, guts to fire this person.”
A 30-day trial is so crucial, so critical. I think with anyone, whether it's a designer, a web designer, copywriter, all of it. It could be like a project trial. You could say, “I'd like you to try to write this website, and then, we'll just see how it goes. And then, we'll see if there's more work for you.” Same with– I had my co-coach in Camp Clarity.
That was like, “Okay, let's see how this goes.” And it didn't really have to do with her performance, but let's just see if this is what works for the business. Like, give it a trial run. So trial run is crucial. So Alexandra and I did a trial run. We checked in. She's raised her rate since then; very proud of her for that. It's like, I always get shot in the foot because I am the one teaching people to raise their rates.
Then I hire– from my retreat chef to my copywriters, my web designers, all of the above, photographers. So funny. But I'm so here to pay people what their work is worth. So a 30-day trial is great. Also, just setting expectations. What do you want them to know by the end of that 30 days? And just be realistic. It is not going to be the case like – sorry to burst your bubble – that they are going to be able to write perfect marketing emails in your voice within 30 days.
Alexandra and I, it probably took almost a year for me to pass on writing my emails and things like that. And I still go through and just really edit them with my own voice and make sure we're on the same page. But it took a long time for her to know my voice; to talk in someone else's voice is like a total talent. So just really setting your expectations of what you want them to know after the 30-day trial.
For example, maybe, by the end of the 30 days, they know how to invoice and onboard your clients. Maybe, by the end of the 30 days, they have hashtag banks put in Trello for you, around your niche, that kind of thing. So really, have those expectations and those checkpoints. Now, what to do if you didn't just have a VA land in your lap, right? Like I did.
My second VA, Maria, who is originally from Ecuador, she lives in LA. She is more my retreat planner, my finance guru, my more masculine task teammates, where Alexandra does still a lot of masculine tasks around podcast recording, scheduling, all the Zaps, our client workflows. Making sure that, when someone pays for Camp Clarity, they get added to MemberVault, making sure they get on the email list.
All of this is an automated system that we've created custom. So she does a lot of that, but she also does a lot of the client-facing stuff, making sure everyone's feeling good, has the links they need, that kind of thing, as well as writing my emails and just some fun, creative tasks. So when I found Maria, I really think, if you have any sort of following at all, or connections, it's so good to find someone who is already connected in your world.
For example, for me, I put out a call on Instagram Stories, saying I was looking for a VA that, maybe, was interested in business coaching and knew my world. Maybe they weren't afraid of numbers. Maybe they weren't afraid to do like – why I hired her is because, my inbox is the death of me. I just– I will be in my DMs all day, but I could not make myself get in my inbox. So I really needed someone monitoring my inbox because it was just getting out of hand.
That's why I hired her. And then, we expanded into things like retreats and the financial side. But I said these things– maybe top three things of what I wanted this person to be like. And then, I said, “Send me an email to this email, and make sure your favorite two emojis are in the subject line.” That is going to filter a lot of people out, right? If they don't put the two emojis in the subject line, they're already out of the running; they didn't follow directions. So that is a big red flag, especially, when it comes to being a teammate, and also, specifically, VA work.
Maria had emailed me because she had been following me for a long time. And then, we had an interview, and I asked her, “What do you want to be doing? And what do you not want to be doing?” Because the last thing I want is to assume you are a unicorn, and you can do, not only excel spreadsheet, finance stuff in my business, and plan retreats, but you are also really great at creating graphics in Canva and writing emails.
Y'all, who are expecting that, that is so rare, and most likely, even a red flag that they do all of those things, because they're probably not going to do all those things well. So I hear so often, like, “I just need a VA who does all of these things.” No, hire a couple of people who are really good at those each individual things, and then, have them work less hours, right?
Stop trying to search for a unicorn. Actually ask your people what they want to be doing and what they don't want to be doing. I don't want someone to be miserable working for me, right? So one of the things that I asked her during the interview– she had no idea we were planning a retreat at the time.
Because I said, “What do you see for DDC? Like, you followed along on Instagram,” which is such a cool thing to have in a team member, because she's already in-line with me, in-line with my business, really here for it. And a fan is excited to be working in this company, and loyal. So she already knew my business, and I said, “What do you see that we could add to this business, and she said, “I think you should plan retreats.”
“I think we should start going on retreats and hosting them. I would love to do that for you.” And I was like, “Funny enough, we are actually planning a retreat, right now, that no one knew about,” which was the Steamboat Springs retreat back in late August, September. So I knew it was in-line. And now, she plans all our retreats. She has totally mapped out Greece, that was all her. I just say the “yes,” the “no,” the vibe, what I want out of it, where I want it.
She figures out everything else: the budget, the pricing, making sure we're not in the red, making sure the chef is being communicated with, all of that. So if you need someone to plan a retreat for you, feel free to reach out to her reach out to me, and I'll introduce you to her. But she is now also planning a retreat in Ecuador, which is super exciting, which is where she's originally from and why we're hosting one there. So we're really excited about that.
Stay tuned for that in September. That other thing I want to say is, reach out to your people who have VAs. Reach out to your fellow entrepreneurs, who have people they love. Again, it doesn't have to be just a VA, it could be any type of team member. But maybe, that person has more capacity, and they can work on your stuff, as well as your friends stuff. Or maybe, they have a network of other people who are also looking for new clients.
That's where I would start, versus maybe, just putting an application in a Facebook group online and having to sift through them and do interviews and all the things. We really want to start with our warm leads and our network, so that we can get people who are vetted and people who we know are aligned with who we are as a human and a leader.
Just to recap for a second, really recording on loom.com every process you do more than once, so you can build that library. Getting clear on what you want in a VA, building your own cosmic shopping lists for what your team looks like, and feels like, and the vibe. Email with the subject line, do some sort of filter, where they have to put two emojis in the subject line. or something like that. “Please reply to this email with this word in the subject line.”
Then, asking them what they want and what they don't want, especially, during that interview process. And maybe, even having them do a little bit of a trial, if it's like editing photos, or something like that, to make sure you're on the same page. Setting those expectations. Doing a 30-day trial to make sure that they're a good fit. The last thing that I want to touch on that I get asked a lot is, “Do they need to be full-time?”
Do you actually need to hire them and pay them a paycheck like a W2 employee? And the answer is no. Both of my teammates work part-time. One works about 30 hours a week, one works about 16 hours a week, right now. And they don't ever really need to be full-time. They can be, absolutely. And that's where I would talk to an accountant, and see like, when is it actually beneficial to have them on as an employee, and why would that be?
A lot of people eventually hire someone as a full time employee because they want to kind of keep them all to themselves, and also, offer them stability, so they're excited to stay, versus them having a bunch of different clients and that sort of thing. But I don't mind if they have other clients, I only need them so many hours a week.
Even if it was 40 hours a week, I'd probably still keep them as contractors, because if I put them onto my payroll, it can trigger things like having to pay for their health insurance, or having to give them a 401(k), or if I contribute to one of my retirement accounts, depending on what kind it is, then I have to contribute to theirs. So it can be a little more expensive, and way more of a commitment.
I think a lot of people end up hiring people full-time after a few years of working with them as contractors, but I just want to put out there that they do not need to be full-time, they invoice you. And, just saying, when they are not a full-time employee and they are a contractor, they can raise their rates whenever they want; that's up to them. And obviously, you can say no, and go and find someone else if it's not aligned with you.
But that is their– they are their own business, and you’re their client, so they have the right to raise their rates whenever they want and set it how they want. The last thing I will say is, please delegate. Once you have a team member, delegate like crazy. The only way for them to learn your business is to do everything in your business.
If you have a little minuscule task, like changing the subject line on an email that you're about to send out in Flodesk, you could do it in two minutes, max. However, they are not going to learn that you didn't like that subject line, or it needs to be different for a reason, or it needed this capitalization, or add an emoji to the end. They are not going to understand that you want that next time if you don't say, “Please go change the subject line, and here's why,” versus just doing it yourself, and being that leader who's like, “I'm just going to do it myself, because it'll take me less time that it would take them.” That's not leadership.
You want to actually – sometimes, it's more time-invested – but actually allow them to do things in your business so that they can start understanding your business and start being proactive within your business, which takes a while. I would say that takes sometimes, around 90 days to really start to understand the inner workings of everything, and be a step ahead of you every time unless they're a really experienced person. And the last thing on that is pricing.
So again, you can get people for really really cheap, as teammates, especially VAs. But you're going to pay more for someone who has experience, right? And who has a lot of proactive qualities already, because they've probably done a lot of things instead of being a newbie. There's nothing wrong with being a newbie, but knowing that you are actually going to pay them more to learn to do the things. If they don't know how you're paying them hourly to learn to do the things. But also, don't be afraid to let them spend time and your money on learning to do the things.
For example, we moved from Thinkific to MemberVault for our courses. I had never used MemberVault myself. On the back end, I don't have time to learn it. Why would I learn MemberVault. I mean, it's pretty intuitive, but like, I don't need to be the one to go in and investigate how to upload our modules and then, tell Alexandra; that's a lot of wasted time. So I paid her to learn MemberVault and figure it all out.
Just remember that's– just because someone doesn't know a program, doesn't mean they can't learn it, and actually be better than someone who might think they already know it. So don't be afraid to invest money in them– for them to learn the things that they don't know.
Again, if it's a junior designer, or a photographer assistant, or something like that, it depends what it is. You want them to be able to have the basic skills. You don't want to teach them from scratch. So these are all of the things that you need to know when hiring a team, in my opinion. The little potholes that I want to help you steer around so you don't get your tire popped in them. Like what I have gone through that I want you to just see from a broad perspective.
Then, last, how do you know when you're ready to hire a team? I would say, probably the most common answer when asking a CEO, what they would have done different, is asking for help earlier, hiring a team earlier, outsourcing earlier. So just remember, when we talk about our hourly rate, for example, say your hourly rate is $100 – that's a whole other conversation – but just say it's $100.
If you are spending five hours a week on bookkeeping, that's $500. You are wasting, as an opportunity cost, by not going and making that money, by being in your zone of genius, whether that's a photoshoot, or a coaching call, or a graphic design logo.
You are spending the time you could be making $500 on bookkeeping, which you don't need to be doing because you're not trying to make a career out of bookkeeping. It just happens to be one of the things that you need to do in your business. So what if you outsource that to an accountant? And maybe, it's 250 bucks a month for that accountant, and to do your bookkeeping, but guess what they know what they're doing.
The taxes are going to be done. Everything's going to be allocated correctly. They're probably going to do it in a fifth of the time that you would be doing it. And you can rest easy and go be in your zone of genius, making the money that you need to be making for your business. So outsource, outsource, outsource. Your website – do you need to be doing your own website?
Do you need to be doing your own bookkeeping? Do you need to be doing your own copywriting? That's up to you. If you love doing that stuff for some reason, do it. If you literally have no income to be able to delegate, go back a few episodes where I talk about being able to trade as an energy exchange.
There are also people who are wanting to build their portfolios in bookkeeping, in VA work, in copywriting that might trade a business coaching session or might trade for a photoshoot. So you always have wealth around you. That energy is wealth. You can always give energy and time, versus cash dollars. So start delegating. You know when you're ready, when you are spending time on tasks that you probably shouldn't be spending on.
Let me know if any of this landed. Let me know if you are hiring a team, looking to hire a team, have already hired a team. I would love for you to post this on social and just come say, hi, @dianadaviscreative on Instagram, is like my jam. And if you are ready to step into this version of your business, where we are expanding and thinking like a CEO, apply for ASCEND. It's here for you. It is such a magical expansive container.
Get ready for your business to explode, like, come into the corners of the room where it hasn't even shone light yet. You weren't even sure what was possible. You have the foundation and now we're being able to look from the tower and see the mountain range. So come to ASCEND. It is open for you. It is such a beautiful intimate group. I can't wait to have you. Let me know if this episode landed.