Andrew: Now this week, we’re going to talk about in great detail how to hire the right help, because we can’t do it all ourselves. Kenny, why are we excited to talk about this for consultants?
Kenny: Oh, where do I start? Now, I think we’ve mentioned before. I think you’ve mentioned before specifically Perry Marshall. He always talks about you can work on five-dollar-per-hour tasks or you can work on thousand-dollar-per-hour tasks in both your business and your personal life.
We all have these different tasks kind of floating around our heads every single day and it’s kind of our choice which one we choose. So $5 tasks for example might be – you might be going on a conference for example and it’s very easy to sign up for a conference and then you think, “Oh geez, I’ve got to sort out the flights and actually I then need to get a train once I arrive there.”
So you need to find out the best flight times and obviously the best prices as well because we don’t want to be overspending here and it’s the same with the train times and the train prices and various other stuff. You might want to have to book the hotel that you’re staying at and before long, that can – it can rob you of one, two, three, four, sometimes five hours because you get so drawn into trying to find the best deal.
Now that is a $5 per hour task. Now the reason I say it’s $5 per hour task is because there are people out there who you can pay $5 per hour to do this task for you.
This task is not a task that you necessarily have to do. Now, a $1000 per hour task is probably something that you need to do specifically for your business. I’m not saying that you cannot outsource this but it might be a bit more expensive to outsource. But an example of a $1000 per hour task might be something like creating a lead magnet for your business.
Now, if you’ve joined this podcast late and if you don’t know what a lead magnet is, you can find out all about lead magnets in episode seven on MagneticConsultant.com. Now this is a task that if you do it correctly, it could generate you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands for your business.
But sometimes we cannot put these things off because we have so many of those lower level tasks that kind of are shouting for your attention and feel urgent, like the one I just mentioned.
So you don’t really want to be chasing your tail with lower level tasks but I know that we all feel this on a daily basis or at least I used to feel it. I don’t feel it so much anymore because I outsource a lot of this stuff. But I know what it’s like when you’re chasing your tail and you don’t know where to start with all of these tons of tasks that are piling up around your heels.
You really want to get these outsourced so that you have the freedom to give yourself permission to sit down and block the day out to work on these – what I call the $1000-per-hour tasks after Perry Marshall and sometimes $10,000-per-hour tasks.
Andrew: Yeah. I will tell you what. Sometimes our plates are just full of $5-per-hour value tasks that we need to get done or need to have somebody get done. When you’re looking at a long list of tasks to do for the day and some are very important, some are not so important, it starts to feel overwhelming. As you said, you don’t know where to start and you already start losing some of your mental energy, some of your willpower.
When that happens, what are you going to do? You start just spending time on the easy $5-an-hour tasks because the really valuable ones take a lot of effort. They’re more difficult and if you don’t give yourself the mental space for that, you could put it off for days or weeks or forever.
Kenny: That’s right. That’s right.
Andrew: Well, we all do learn at some point. You just can’t do it all yourself. I think a lot of us, myself included, thought that going into business for myself meant I would just do everything from the record-keeping to the taxes, to the books, to the airplane scheduling. You realise pretty quickly that if you’re trying to do everything, you’re not doing your specialty very well at all most likely. You’ve got to give yourself time to focus on what you’re really good at, where you really bring the value. So hiring help for these low value tasks frees you up to do that.
Now we’re going to share today some very specific insights for how you can better do this and do this for your consulting business. Kenny has some ideas he wants to share at the end here. I’m going to start by diving into really two main areas that I tend to focus on a lot myself.
The first is finding help with implementation. So when you need somebody to do your web design and development, when you need someone to help with content creation or when you need someone to help with some of the administrative tasks. For all these things, I love going to Elance.
So you’ve probably heard of Elance. There are other similar sites too where you can hire freelancers online from around the world. Elance is one of the biggest, if not the biggest and I’ve been using them for a number of years. I think it’s also – they’ve got great tools, a very intuitive interface and you can literally go on there and find tens of thousands of contractors for just such a huge variety of outsourced work.
If you need web designers, thousands upon thousands. Certainly quite a few in the US and many, many more abroad. Now, you have to be careful when you use a site like this to hire help. Most of the freelancers on there are OK at what they do. Some are awful at what they do and really just a few are great at what they do.
So honestly, the most important thing in all this is your hiring process. I got really burned the very first time I tried to do this, hiring a guy to build a website for me. I knew almost nothing about website design myself at the time and he was just so reassuring. I told him everything I wanted. He was like, “Oh, yes, yes, of course. Yeah, Andrew. I can do all that. No problem.”
Three months on, there was literally nothing. There were two pages that didn’t do anything for us. After delay, after delay, after excuse, after excuse, I had to let him go. I wasted so much time and money and looking back, I certainly could have avoided that if I knew how to hire.
So I want to share some of the best practices that I’ve learned after hiring – I don’t know at this point. I’m sure more than 40 different contractors on Elance for different jobs, including several who have been with me for years now.
So here are things you need to do to make this work out right. Number one, write a very specific and appealing job post. Now, you want to be specific to make sure you’re attracting the right type of person and if you are specific and when they reply or apply to the job, if they don’t mention those specifics and how they fit in, then it’s easy to just immediately discard them. They’re not going to be a good fit. They’re not even paying attention to what you’re actually saying.
But you also need the job post to be appealing because you want to get the good people and the good people have other options, right? They don’t need to take your job. So write something in there that makes it interesting, exciting or makes you sound like you’re a great person to work with or that it can be a great long term set of ongoing projects for them. That’s how I usually position it and that helps bring in some of the better applications.
Once you do this, open it up to everybody. So everybody in Elance can see it and you can also take an extra step of doing some searching yourself and manually inviting those folks who you think look especially promising.
That can be great because then they get a note that says you’re interested in them for this specific job and that makes it a lot more likely that they will then be interested too.
Now when you do this, depending on what you’re searching for, what type of help, you can get many, many responses. I posted for a web developer, a WordPress web developer position just a few weeks ago and I got 104 responses in seven days. This job posting was active.
Kenny: So you needed to outsource the process of actually looking through the job specs.
Andrew: That would be the next step, right? Find somebody you can trust to actually hire somebody for you. But until you get to that point, here’s what I would do. Number one, you’ve got to go through and quickly weed out the bad candidates. You could spend hours upon hours if you try to read everything about 104 job candidates.
So here’s my shortcut. Number one, I just weed out the ones who have very little work history. In this case, I decided if they had fewer than 20 reviews from completed jobs, I just wasn’t even going to consider them.
Number two, discard anyone with poor review ratings. You get – they get rated from one to five and in this case again there were so many strong applicants with high review ratings. I just turned away anybody who rated less than a 4.7, except for just a few that caught my eye for some other reason.
When you start digging through it deeper, you can actually see it’s not just a numerical rating of how they’ve done with other clients. But you can actually see what the client said about them and what they said in return about their clients. That can tell you a lot. Especially look to see if they ever had a bad review. If so, how did they respond? Because I’ve seen this so many times.
If a client gives a contractor a bad review on Elance, sometimes they write the least professional response you can imagine, getting angry, saying the client was unfair, not taking any responsibility themselves and it just – it doesn’t matter if all the other reviews are five-star. I don’t want to work with somebody who is unprofessional like that.
So again, discard and this is all a process of just quickly getting down to who are likely to be the best candidates and I’ve mentioned this a little bit before. But if they write back to your job posting and don’t talk about specifics of what you’re asking for, if they provide samples that don’t have anything to do with what you’re looking for, they’re just not paying attention. They’re not going to be very committed. Just discard it and move on.
So after doing all this, I was down to about five that looked really promising from the original 104. So that’s a great pruning process. Very happy to be down to five and then I followed up with them with some more detailed questions to understand what they would do in situation X, Y and Z. If you’re still not sure, you can then give each of them a small test. Maybe spend $15, $20, $50 on a small project they could do for you to really see their ability. Even if you don’t do that, be clear with them that you’re going to start them small and expand responsibility once they’ve proven themselves.
I got to a point where I found one guy that I just loved. He was available, starting actually this coming Monday, and I’m very much looking forward to working with him. But I will tell you, if I – if this is my first time doing this, I was looking at 104 responses, and didn’t know what to do, it would have been completely overwhelming. Who knows who I would have hired? I could have been in that same position that I was all those years ago.
Kenny: Another kind of tip there, if I can just interject as well is – because I hired a bookkeeper recently on Elance just before I went away recently and – because my bookkeeper is moving away and doesn’t want to do bookkeeping anymore. So I hired a bookkeeper and again, got lots of responses. But what I specifically said in the ad is, “Tell me your experience with dealing with PayPal and Worldpay.”
It doesn’t matter whether you have any experience, but discuss this experience within your response. Now, the people – there were a lot of people who just responded and didn’t even mention PayPal or Worldpay and that easily allowed me to discard them because they hadn’t made note of what I had asked them to do.
That whittled it down to me from about – I think we had about 30 or 40 applied to it to about five, five people who actually did say, “Yeah, my experience in PayPal and Worldpay is X, Y and Z.”
Andrew: Yeah, they’re just giving automatic template replies.
Kenny: That’s right.
Andrew: And if they don’t care enough to even respond to what you’re asking, why on earth should you spend any time following up with them? It’s just not going to work out.
Andrew: If you want to take that even a step further, I didn’t do it this time but I’ve done in the past. I will say, “When you apply, please answer these three questions,” and for the third one, I will say, “For the very first line of your response, type the words, ‘Yes, I read the entire description.’”
I will tell you probably less than 20 percent of people actually do that. It just blows your mind. I even say, “And if you don’t type those words, I’m not going to read your application.”
Andrew: And still 80 percent reply without even bothering. So it’s some great tips for quickly weeding out the folks who you know just are not going to be good listeners or aren’t really interested in your particular project and lets you move on to the better folks.
Now, I also want to mention one other thing on Elance is what I look for especially, because there are so many people on there who are technically astute, right? They can do the job. They can build the webpages. They can do the under-the-hood development work. They can put some great imagery together, sometimes some great content.
So that’s almost a given. I mean obviously you need to look for that but it’s other things I look for now that really separate the people that I want to hire.
Number one, do they have a positive can-do attitude? Are they going to approach problems and challenges that come up with a great attitude or are they going to mope and complain and come up with excuses? It’s a matter of, “Who do you really want to work with for the long term and feel like you have a great working relationship and you can count on them?”
Number two, do they give replies in a timely fashion? Can they hit the deadlines that they promise? A lot of folks can’t. I don’t know how true this is, maybe a little stereotypical but certainly in the US, we’re a very business-focused culture. Being on time is very, very important. Delivering on your promises is very important and you certainly get the sense sometimes that that’s not as culturally-relevant in other places.
So if that’s important to you, you better check on that and make sure it’s going to be there.
Number three, do they suggest ways of doing things even better than I might have had in mind or are they just implementing my requests, right? The people that I keep for a long time are those who say, “Andy, great idea. But I think this might work even better. You haven’t considered that.” I’m like, “Great. That sounds fantastic. Let’s do that. Thank you so much.”
Are they following your specific instructions well or do you have to repeat yourself over and over? And finally, if they create a problem, are they going to take ownership of it and go resolve it or are they just going to dump it into your lap?
I mean all these things make for a contractor or a freelancer who is so much more enjoyable to work with and is going to do so much of a better job for your business.
Kenny: It’s funny that you mentioned cultures as well and over the years, I’ve looked at a lot of contractors out there and you have to be aware of different cultures as well. Some cultures cannot tell you that they don’t know. They feel very, very bad by saying, “I don’t know something.”
So they will nod and say, “Yes, I know how to do that,” even if they don’t and you need to understand what you’re dealing with, with different cultures as well.
So I deal a lot with people in the Philippines and that tends to be one of their only problems I see, because I love working with people from the Philippines. They’re hardworking, loyal and generally very honest. But they don’t like to say they don’t know how to do something.
Andrew: So how do you get them to be open with you about that?
Kenny: Well, you have to treat them like real human beings. They’re so used to dealing with people who have them on a clock, who have them on – I mean there’s software now where you can actually spy on them and watch their screens and stuff like that. To be fair Andy, I don’t go for all of that at all.
I like to put trust in them. I like to treat them as real human beings because that’s what they are. I like to get to know them, get to know more about their family. When I first employ somebody, I will generally send them a Google street map of where I am and Google Earth of where I am and stuff. I will tell them to do the same for me, so that I can see where they are and we can get to understand our cultures a little bit.
Only then once we start getting to know each other will I say, “Listen, if you don’t know something, just feel totally, totally free to just say, ‘I don’t know.’” Saying, “I don’t know,” is better than saying, “I do know,” and then completely messing something up.
Andrew: Exactly. I love that approach. I mean you’re really making the effort to get to know them on a personal level, which is always going to pay off down the road, whenever you’ve faced any sort of difficulty together.
Kenny: That’s right. That’s right. And some of the things I like to do as well is – like I mentioned before, I’ve had to kiss a lot of frogs to find good people. But what you should do once you do get somebody good and if they are in a place like the Philippines, then next time you come to recruit somebody, ask your team members first and incentivise them with a sweetener, with a referral commission as well. If you’ve got good people, they will generally hang around with good people. They will generally know other people who are looking for jobs, for work, for good, solid work.
I’ve got Peter who works for me for example. He has been with me three years now. It’s quite a long time. I only started kind of outsourcing maybe four, five years ago. So he has been with me three years. I know James Schramko has got – he has got probably 50 plus staff and I think most of his staff came from within, from internal referrals.
Andrew: That’s fantastic. Yeah, I’ve had a chance to work with Peter, your Peter, on a number of occasions too. He really is – he has all those qualities that I was talking about, a positive attitude, very timely replies. He suggests better ways of doing things. He’s a great guy to have on your team.
Kenny: Oh, he’s awesome and he thinks outside the box like you say there. He uses initiative and that’s another thing that you should really try and reward and reward people to actually use their initiative. Now, you may also want to have an email that goes out at the end of every day or at the end of every week where they actually kind of have a timesheet and tell you what they’ve been working on, what they’ve learned from the day and where they have actually used their own initiative and stuff.
If people write this down and get to write it down every day or every week – we generally do it – we don’t do it as much as we used to do it, because everyone seems to be working pretty well these days. But I used to have it every day but what then happens is if somebody writes down every day where did I kind of use my initiative today, they start using their initiative more because they want to be able to write something down at the end of that day.
Andrew: Yeah, they’re thinking about it every single day.
Andrew: And you mentioned before some of the tools that are out there to kind of let you spy on your freelancers and Elance has that built in, depending on the type of job. They have a tool there that actually takes random snapshots of the freelancer screen. I believe it’s at a random interval within a 10-minute period.
Andrew: So that if they’re doing something that’s not part of your project, you may see that captured. Then you can dispute those 10 minutes and blah, blah, blah. I don’t use that at all either. When I first started doing this, I though, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know you could do that. That’s a great concept.”
But it gets to the same problem you were talking about. It means there’s really no trust there and honestly you don’t need it because at the end of the week, you can see the work they’ve done. You can see the quality of the work and you can see how many hours they’ve – they submitted that they’ve worked on it. You know. You will know if it’s working or not. You don’t need to see what they’re doing every 10 minutes and get upset with them if they watch a YouTube video for a short break in between working on your stuff.
If you treat them like human beings, that’s what’s going to lead to the great long term relationship.
Kenny: It is and find out more about them as human beings. If they speak a different language, then learn a few words from their language and actually ask them to teach you stuff each day, because people love teaching other people, especially their boss.
So if you can get involved like that and just really start a relationship with them, a really good working relationship that has a friendly side to it as well, I think you will get a lot more out of the whole relationship and the whole situation.
Andrew: I had a contractor from Greece for a long time who was really into Scotch and I started asking him about it. He taught me so much about drinking Scotch and after we finished one big project together, as a thank you, he mailed me from Greece a very, very nice bottle of single malt Scotch whisky. That’s what can happen when you build that relationship in the way you’re talking about and that just makes it so much more enjoyable all around. Obviously you want to enjoy the people you’re spending your time working with.
Andrew: Now I do want to talk about one other type of hiring help and that is we need to find higher level help, so folks who can do more of the $100 an hour or $1000 an hour or even more valuable tasks because you don’t have the time or you don’t have the ability.
So for example if you need help figuring out the overall marketing plan for your company or how to prioritise the strategies you should be working on or what is your unique selling proposition in your business model or if you need somebody to help manage projects for you. These are all very high level tasks and really there are a couple of ways you can go about it.
You can try to do some or all of it yourself with a coach and hire a coach that you trust, who has done it before, who has that success, trails of success that you can follow and learn from. In this way, you’re not repeating mistakes. You’re saving yourself a lot of time but also getting to learn to do it yourself or you can outsource this too and hire an expert or an agency to help you with this.
When you do that, it really – it largely comes down to your budget and who you prefer to work with. If you’ve got a very big budget for this, you can hire a full service marketing agency with large teams at your disposal, a vast array of services. But you may be paying $30,000 to $100,000 or more to get that sort of help.
If you don’t want or need that level, then kind of in the medium range would be specialist agencies like Kenny’s agency, like mine. I specialise in digital marketing for professional services. It’s a done-for-you service. I also offer a little bit of coaching but it’s at a price point that is comfortably below those large agencies. So I can work with a lot more small and medium-sized businesses and deliver what they need.
Then below that would be the Elance level freelancers who really tend to not do much of this higher level work. Some of them do or they advertise that they do, but you need to be very careful in hiring them for something that’s so important and essential to your business, like some of these tasks.
Now I would also say as you’re doing this, just a few things to keep in mind. Whoever you’re talking to, big agency, medium, small person, can you believe what they’re telling you? Can you trust what they’re selling you regarding their services?
Here, it’s really up to you. You’ve got to do your homework. You’ve got to see. Do they have case studies and testimonials from past clients that show the great quality work that they do and how happy they’ve made these other people they’ve worked with?
Do they have any certifications and awards they can point to that again show third party trust in them, that level of expertise and recognition? Are there any articles about them posted in the news or in independent review sites that you can trust?
Again, for the types of things I mentioned, a marketing plan, a business model, coming up with your unique selling proposition, these are things that are really essential to your business and you’ve got to find somebody that you know is going to do this right for the type of job that you need.
So when you get into it, again, it’s about the hiring. Those initial exploratory calls that you have with these groups, how do you feel afterwards? Do you feel like you’re building trust and a good relationship or you feel like they’re kind of holding something back or trying to put something over on you or just trying to sell you on the highest service?
Trust your gut on that and if possible, here too begin with some small projects. Even with a big agency, you can often get your foot in the door, hiring them for a small project. See how they do. See how well you work together and if all that is working out, then take the next bigger step.
It’s so much better to put in the work upfront and the effort upfront to hire the right people, the right companies than try to make up for a mess that you end up creating down the road with a bad hire.
Kenny: If you’re looking at big agencies for example or just medium-sized agencies, then speak to more than one because sometimes you can speak to one and you can be sold on anything. You know what? These guys sound great. Then you speak to another and you think, “Oh, these aren’t too bad either.” Then you speak to the third one and they just give you so much more. They have so much talent in their agency that you’re like, “Wow! I didn’t even think of that. Neither did the two agencies.” So it’s always good to speak with two or three if you can.
Andrew: Not only that. But by the time you talk to the third one, you’re a much better educated consumer.
Kenny: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: You know the right questions to ask and if they are going to be able to impress you, you will understand it.
Andrew: All right. So now we’re going to move on to questions from clients and this week, the question that I wanted to respond to was, “All right. So now you’ve built my marketing website. But how on earth do I maintain it?” because you can’t just build a website and expect it to run on its own.
Things happen. It needs updates. It needs changes. It needs bug fixes. It needs security patches and of course you’re going to want to change and add more to it over time. So who maintains it once you get the thing built?
Now to me, this is a great use for Elance help because you’ve already worked out your strategy, your messaging, your imagery, the way you want to speak to your clients. It’s already there. You just need help [0:29:44]
and that’s perfect for low cost freelancing. It’s very economical.
Kenny: Just one second, one second, one second. Editor, you’re going to have to edit this bit out because Andrew went silent there for a few minutes – for a few seconds. So you were about to say you just – you have to maintain it. It was just before you said “maintain it”. So could you go back to that bit, please?
Andrew: Maybe it’s better if I just start this piece over with the questions from clients.
Kenny: Yeah. So editor, if you could actually just start from the beginning from questions from clients at this point please. Thank you.
Andrew: OK. So now we’re going to go on to questions from clients and this week, the question I want to answer is, “All right. Now that you’ve built my marketing website, how on earth do I maintain it?” It takes a tremendous amount of effort obviously to put the right type of website together for your business. It takes figuring out your strategy, figuring out your messaging, your imagery, getting everything aligned, getting all the pages put together that you need.
Once you’ve done all that work, you’re still not done. Websites need to change over time. They need updates. They need security patches. You’re going to be changing and adding to your content. So how do you maintain it? It’s not the same level of difficulty as creating it, but it still needs to be done.
This is where I think Elance is fantastic because it’s going to be a lot more economical for you to hire say a WordPress expert on Elance than to work with an agency just to maintain your website. You can end up paying maybe $15 an hour instead of $100 an hour or more just for small changes and updates.
This also gets back to something I’ve talked about before. One of the big benefits of building your website on a popular platform like WordPress is that there are tens of thousands of freelancers out there who can help you maintain it. It’s easy to find good people to help with popular platforms like WordPress.
Just make sure you follow the same guidance I gave before about hiring, to make sure you do find somebody good to work with and I think you will be very happy. For this sort of work, it’s pretty easy to manage Elancers and you will be saving yourself a good amount of money that you just don’t need to spend on these more expensive agencies.
All right. That gets us on to the tip of the week. Kenny, what do you have for us there?
Kenny: Well, it’s very on theme this week because I wanted to talk about Fancy Hands. Now Fancy Hands is a wonderful service where you are guaranteed US-based workers. So you don’t have to think about cultures or anything like that. You just know and understand that you’re getting US-based workers.
So if you’re in the US, Canada, UK, or any English-speaking country, then it’s a good thing because you know that you don’t have to go through any kind of language or culture barriers.
The way it works is you pay per task and you usually get a different worker from their pool of staff each time you place a task. It’s great for small tasks that can’t be automated. So remember before when I talked about that task earlier, finding the cheapest flights, cheapest trains, cheapest hotels, at the best prices and all of that kind of stuff. Fancy Hands eat this type of task for breakfast.
Depending on how many tasks you order with them, the tasks – so I’ve ordered one task from them. So you can just go and order a task from them, which I think is about $7 or you can choose different packages from like five tasks per month all the way up to 50 tasks per month. If you get 50 tasks per month, I think it’s around about $3 per task, so well worth using them. I use them all the time.
I like to use them for research, if I need some – a little bit of research doing and you know what it’s like when you’re researching anything. Even if you just research and like I mentioned before, the best priced-flights, before long, you’ve wiped out two or three hours. So go and give them a try. It’s FancyHands.com and I think there might even be a free task right now to get people started.
Andrew: Again, that’s just a great way to get those $5-an-hour tasks off of your plate, so you can focus on your high value tasks.
Kenny: And also you don’t need to employ somebody. So it’s a pay-as-you-go service. So you don’t need to have someone that you employ. Now, I will just cover that point Andrew because it just takes me back to when I first started out and I thought, you know what – I had heard all about my friend James Schramko in Australia and I spoke to him. I spoke at one of his conferences and stuff. He had loads and loads of staff out in the Philippines.
I think I had one at that point. But I thought, “You know what? I should get more staff,” and I took on about three extra staff at that point. I just didn’t need them and I was working hard to try and come up with tasks for those guys to work on.
Andrew: Right, right.
Kenny: You don’t want to get into that situation either way. You hear about that outsourcing is the way. You’ve just read The 4-Hour Workweek and you think, “Right. I’ve got to outsource everything. Right. I’m going to take somebody on.”
Then you get into a position where you don’t have enough tasks for them. Well, Fancy Hands is brilliant for that because it will – you will really kind of learn a lot about yourself with Fancy Hands because you pay as you go and you just take one of the small packages, which is – might be three or five tasks per month.
If you’re not filling three or five tasks per month, then you definitely don’t want to – you don’t need to take somebody on and you can just carry on using a service like Fancy Hands.
Andrew: It’s fantastic how many different businesses there are like this that scale with you. So as you said, this is a great one to get started with. If you then find you’re spending several hundred dollars a month on these tasks, then maybe you can hire a more dedicated person through a huge variety of sites that offer that sort of service and only if you’re using that person, a lot of the – for many, many hours would you even consider hiring a part-time or fulltime person as part of your company because most of us just don’t need that.
So it’s fantastic that in this day and age we have all these opportunities and different options for us.
Kenny: It sure is.
Andrew: And this gets us on to the inspiration of the week. In fact, it’s a very related topic here. So I had just recently read an article online about automation. I mean these come out pretty often, but this one had some good statistics or I guess scary statistics. The bottom line was that automation is killing our jobs at a faster rate than ever before. According to Oxford University research, 47 percent of US jobs are at high risk of being automated in the next 20 years.
Andrew: Almost half of the US jobs. So we’re not talking about just menial labour anymore. It’s half of what we do for work in the country can be automated in the next 20 years.
Now this has always been happening, right? Technological innovations have always disrupted existing jobs. But the exponential rate at which it’s happening today is truly staggering. It’s almost incomprehensible. The world could be a completely different place in 20, 30, 40 years.
So the way I’ve introduced this, why on earth is this my inspiration for the week? Well, it’s my inspiration because the same forces that are causing this looming massive job loss in traditional labour markets are also better enabling us as independent consultants, because you and I as independent consultants, we’re already out of the corporate rat race where jobs will keep being eliminated. Instead we get to take advantage of the same sorts of automations that are eliminating those corporate jobs.
We talked about some of the automation possibilities today. We did an entire episode recently on automation tools for web design, for social media, for lead generation, for customer nurturing. All of that can be automated. What that means is that what I do and what Kenny does and what a lot of you do, it wouldn’t even have been possible 10 years ago without using large fulltime teams because this level of automation just wasn’t available.
So this new automation economy, while it’s scary for a lot of people, it’s actually enabling all of us, the independent consultants, to do our jobs better, more efficiently and reach more people than ever before and that’s something to celebrate and feel inspired about.
Kenny: It is. It’s inspirational. At the same time, it’s kind of bittersweet really, isn’t it? Because it’s very sad to see a lot of people who – if you go back to our parents’ generation, you were in a job – people had jobs for life, didn’t they? And then they knew they would have a big pension at the end of it. That’s not the same anymore. The pensions aren’t like what they used to be because people live longer. So there’s all of that fear in there as well. But like you say – I heard a phrase recently that machines are great for giving us answers. But humans are really good for giving us questions.
That’s one good thing about being an independent consultant. You’re always going to be there to ask questions and then to put everything together for your clients.
Andrew: That’s a great way of thinking about it. Yes, this machine may be able to stamp out a website. But can it ask the right questions about how your website needs to help grow your business? Probably not.
Kenny: That’s right. That’s right.
Andrew: All right Kenny. Well, this brings us to the end of this episode. What is our topic for next week?
Kenny: I think what we will talk about next week is – we’ve alluded to it quite a lot, haven’t we? We’ve talked about blogging a lot. It’s one of the areas I’m kind of looking to get stronger in. I’ve done blogging in the past but I’m not as prolific at it as some of my counterparts out there.
So it’s a very on point subject for me personally. So I’m going to enjoy talking about it and that’s authority blogging.
Andrew: It’s a great topic. Blogging has been fantastic for my business. I still get about two-thirds of my website traffic every month coming through my blog posts. It has been just amazing for me. I will be happy to share how I did that and how it has worked out and really what works and doesn’t work that I found from doing this for a couple of years now.