Click on the video above to watch Episode 219 of the Semantic Mastery Hump Day Hangouts.
Full timestamps with topics and times can be found at the link above.
The latest upcoming free SEO Q&A Hump Day Hangout can be found at https://semanticmastery.com/humpday.
Adam: Welcome everybody to Hump Day Hangouts, the Semantic Mastery public Q&A. This is episode 219. 219 episodes. Today is the 16th of January, 2019. I am gong to go down really quick say hi to everybody before we get started with all of the good stuff. On my left hand side I've got Chris. Chris, how are you doing, man?
Chris: Been good. Happy to be here. Exciting times as always good to be on a Wednesday. How are you doing?
Adam: Not bad. You know, something you talked about at POFU Live, and something I just scheduled had to do with planning. I'm going to ask you a little honest spot question, but do you do yearly planning, number one and number two, when do you do the yearly planning?
Chris: Well, I rarely do yearly planning. Pretty much as we all do in a [inaudible 00:00:56] day plans. So I pretty much do those things when the [inaudible 00:01:02] iteration or if you want to call it that way that might not be on the first January. It is whenever it is for me.
Adam: Sounds good. Alright.
Chris: I have yearly plan still, and five year plans as well. It's just like a break down to pretty much what's important in the moment, what needs to be down right now and course correcting on a weekly basis.
Adam: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. Alright. I was curious and I figured other people might want to know how it's done on the inside. Just figuring that. Hernan, how are you doing, man?
Hernan: I'm doing good, actually. I don't plan shit. I'm just kidding. We do. Yeah, we do a lot of planing, actually. I do the same with Chris. I do three months sprints, and a yearly plan a yearly idea of rough objectives and then three months. Nobody asked me, but I'm telling you guys three months.
Adam: We're going to edit this out.
Bradley: We all have to acknowledge his hair cut.
Adam: Yeah. Look at that. He's looking … You're looking pretty smooth.
Hernan: Yeah, I look like a person now, like a business …
Bradley: Believe it or not that you look younger, man.
Chris: You've got a second one, respect.
Bradley: Hernan is the youngest of us, and he looks even younger now so he's making me feel old.
Hernan: Sorry man, let me click …
Adam: That's alright Bradley, we're showing white in our beards so I think [crosstalk 00:02:26]. Marco, how are you doing man?
Marco: Man, what's up. A warm hello from 82 degree and sunny Costa Rica. Fuck all of you.
Bradley: Yeah, this is what I got for you buddy. That's for you.
Marco: It's so beautiful, come join me. It's so good.
Adam: Man, Bradly. Last but not least, are you guys getting slammed? I thought I heard something about the north east getting pummeled.
It just so happened that every time we had ever had snow before wasn't a weekend that I had her so this was, it was a lot of fun. We got to run around and do snowball fights and make snow angels and sledding and all that stuff. It was a lot of fun.
Hernan: That's awesome.
Adam: That's really cool, man. Well, before we get into it. We've got a few things we want to share with everybody. First of all if you're new to Semantic Mastery, thanks again for watching. Whether you're watching us live, whether you're checking it out on YouTube and watching the replay. In case you don't know you can always go to semanticmastery.com/hdquestions and ask ahead of time and watch the replay.
We know whether it's time zones or you've got client meetings or you're working, whatever it is, you might not be able to be here live but that shouldn't stop you from asking questions and getting answers. A follow on to that, a lot of people ask, “Well, okay, I've been watching your videos. Where should I start with Semantic Mastery, what should I do?” The place to always start is the battle plan.
Okay, just go to battleplan.semanticmastery.com, repeatable processes. It's SEO, it's digital marketing and it's the way to get started and have that firm foundation so that everything you build up is on that solid foundation. If you're already passed that point and you're looking for the peer community, you're looking for advanced strategies, you're looking for networking then that's why you would come join the Mastermind.
That you can find at mastermind.semanticmastery.com. Also, again if you're watching on YouTube, hit the subscribe button. Obviously, you'll see these videos and stay up to date with anything else new we put out there. Real quick, speaking of the Mastermind I believe we had some training coming up, right Bradley? I forget what it was exactly you're going to be covering coming up in the next week or two.
Bradley: Yeah, next week on Thursday for our Mastermind webinar I'm going to be doing some training on using Google Ads. Specifically, or primarily, we're going to be … I'm going to be walking through a set up of how, I've been talking about this on Hump Day Hangouts for a year and a half now at least. But how I use Google Ads for YouTube to rank videos, local videos in search, in Google search.
Which are audiences that Google has determined that the users within those audiences are in the market for a particular product or service. If you can find a category that would fit then that traffic ends up not being just good for helping the video to rank, but it ends up being like relevant traffic that ends up at, sometimes it's not a lot, but at least with the campaigns I set up. But some of those end up … Forgive me for a minute, I've got a call coming in. Stand by guys.
That traffic ends up coming in … Ends up being possibly good traffic for leads. In other words, you can use these campaigns for lead generation. You can also use these campaigns for branding. If you're doing any remarketing, which is really powerful and I'm going to touch on that as well next week. Then you can build a remarketing list that way and also remarket to people that have interacted with either your video or if they click through to your website or a landing page, or whatever. You could remarket to those people, so those are people that took action and actually clicked through.
I'm going to be walking through all that and then I'm also going to be talking about how to set up remarketing campaigns in the Google display network because I've been doing a lot of remarketing stuff and display ads recently for a client of mine that does a lot of ad spend in Google and I found that just recently the Google display network is so much better than it used to be. It used to be a real pain in the ass to set up display ads because you had to get a graphic designer to design the banner, whatever banner it was, and then have that banner created in multiple sizes.
Leaderboard and 350 by 250 rectangle. All those, the standard sizes and if you wanted to split test ads you had to get the graphic designer to create different ad sets for you. It was a real pain in the ass and that's why I stopped doing display network ads for a long time. But within the last year or so, and I don't know when exactly, but Google has changed to where now you create what's called responsive display ads and all you do is upload images, there's a square version and a rectangular version and specific dimensions that you need to upload or within a range of specific dimensions.
Anyways, you just upload a square image and a rectangular image, it's pretty much the same image, and then logos. Rectangular and square versions of logos and then you add up to five headlines, a long headline, one long headlines, and then up to five descriptions. What Google does is it will just grab one of the images, a version of the logo, and one of the headlines and descriptions and create an ad out of that. What it does, is overtime, it will automatically optimize the ads based upon the images, the headlines, and the descriptions and which combination produces the most click-throughs and that's what it will start to show more.
Again, it just became super easy to set up ads in the display network. What used to be a pain in the ass and because of that I want to do some specific training on that for remarketing as well as for cold traffic. Basically in two weeks from tomorrow, or excuse me a week from tomorrow, I'm going to be doing a full two … We usually go two and a half or three hours on Mastermind, training on specifically how to use Google Ads. Just YouTube ads and the display network ads.
Adam: Nice. Nice, and speaking of webinars, Marco you just had a webinar didn't you?
Marco: Yeah, I'm glad that Bradley's doing this training because we talked about entities on Monday, right? I mean, almost everyone stayed until the end but we talked about how you create them, how to verify them, validate, solidify and then we talked about the art of ART. Which I'm always talking about. Activity, Relevance, Trust and authority. Relevance is just you make sure that your content stays relevant and that you do, you write your silos.
They have to be Semantically related. The Semantic relevance has to be kept within the silo, you don't want to break that and so we talked. I'm glad that Bradley's doing this training because what better way is there to validate your entity then to go and pay Google for some ads and run them to your stuff because it's traffic and what's the first part of ART, Activity. Without activity you're ship is dead in the water no matter what you do.
Fuck Google, by the way, but that's what you're doing and there's nothing better. For anyone who wants to watch those, guys I have the rotary club the [inaudible 00:11:18] valley, it's in Washington state right? The rotary club of [inaudible 00:11:29] valley is matching any donation, 50 dollars or more, which is incredible. They're willing to match anyone donating 50 or more will get a match, and then anyone donating 500 now because it used to be 1,000, but 500 gets two hours of my time.
Of course, anyone who's willing to donate that 5K you get business in the box from me. What I talked about on Monday, we will do all of that so you can just pop that right in, in whatever niche you want. Now, local niche or whatever, affiliate, whatever it is that you want to do and we'll get that puppy going and it's … I think you can't get a better offer than that, so there you go. Thanks everyone who donated. Guys we're killing it. We have enough to send about 40 kids, well 50 now. 50 kids to school this year, which is fantastic.
Adam: Awesome, awesome. Yeah, thanks to everybody who donated throughout the webinars and then this is a pretty awesome offer so thank you Marco. Alright, I think that's going to do it as far as what we've got to cover. Real quick just want to remind people we do have, ooh, no it is going. I just about stuck my foot in my mouth, but the flash sale I believe is still going on at MGYB.CO for [dunfee 00:12:51] services, we've got a deal on press releases as well as syndication networks. I'll put that on the page. If you're watching the replay, I'm sorry, but you're probably not going to get it unless you get to it real quick after Hump Day Hangouts. But with that said, let's get into it.
Do You Use Vumber Or CallFire And Reroute Those Calls To AnswerConnect Service For Your Lead Gen Properties?
Bradley: Okay, I guess I'll have to stop looking at other stuff [inaudible 00:13:11] screen. Alright, here we go. Not a whole lot yet. Guys, I hope you start engaging here soon or we could just long wind all these answers. Will's up first, he says, “Bradley do you use Vumber or Call Fires virtual numbers and then reroute those calls to your answer connect service to provide support to your lead gen properties?”
Yes, Will, that's what I do and just to be clear I'm using Call Rail right now. I mean, I've got dozens and dozens of phone numbers with Call Fire but call rail is a much, much better platform guys. I talked about Vumber too, if you were just doing a handful of numbers or a couple of assets or something like that then Vumber is a pretty cool, it's a great service actually. But if you're going to be doing at scale, which is what we've been preaching for the last few months ala the local lease pro method, then I would highly recommend that you go with Call Rail as your virtual phone number provider.
There's a ton of really, really good features in there. Not that you need them all, but I'm just saying there's a lot of really cool stuff that you can do. They call, call workflows or something like that, is what they're called where you can set up automations and all kinds of really cool stuff. It's just like a drag and drop workflow or automation builder. There's just a ton of really cool things that you can do there. It's inexpensive. I just really, really like the platform.
But, yes, I'm rerouting, and by the way, I know I mentioned this at some point. But I thought Call Rail had a live answering service too, like AnswerConnect, but they don't. I researched that because just last week, or it might've been two weeks ago now, I had to set up a new account because one of my location clusters has started to generate calls consistently and I had the phone, the virtual phone numbers just forwarded to the contractor directly.
He contacted me, he's like, “I'm getting hammered with spam calls.” He was getting some valid leads too, but he was also getting hammered by Home Advisor, a ton of marketing companies and all that shit because there was a whole bunch of new GMB assets. They were all funneling, were all redirecting the phone to him. Guys I've talked about this many times on Hump Day Hangouts, but I'm telling you if you're doing lead generation guys, one of the things that's going to separate you from potential competitors is if you set up … Well, it depends on the industries you're dealing with.
But I'm talking about for contractors, or really for any industry for that matter, unless if you're redirecting the phone calls directly to your client or your service provider. Unless they have a receptionist, somebody that's going to answer the phone, like that's their job to answer the phone, then I would recommend you don't send calls directly to them and instead set up a call service, a call center, an answering service. Does that make sense?
Number two, a lot of those contractors will, you know my service providers which are contractors, are working contractors. In other words, they may be the business owners but they also work out in the field with their tools where they manage projects or whatever, and so a lot of the times they wouldn't be available to answer the phone. If they wouldn't answer the phone, that's a lots lead, especially if I was charging on a pay per lead basis, or on a revenue share model because calls that don't get answered are leads that are wasted.
They go out into oblivion and that's money that I lost. Then, lastly, even if they did answer the phone, like even the contractor answered the phone most of the time, what happens is because of the solicitation calls and the barrage of calls that come in, they would eventually stop answering the call and screen them because of that. What I ended up doing with tree service companies way back in 2012 was I got hooked up with Answer Connect. Answerconnect.com, I get no credit for that guys, it's just a really good service for me to mention it.
I got hooked up with them and set up a call center and the call center answers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It's always available, so every time somebody calls one of my lead gen sites for tree services, it gets answered no matter what time of day or night it is. It's a live person answering the phone that asks a very shot call script asking what the callers calling about and then some basic contact information, the property address, that kind of stuff. Then they forward that, as soon as the call is done … Well, it depends on the arrangement I have with the particular contractor.
But the vast majority of them, as soon as the call is done, the call gets … The data, the lead data gets forwarded or sent to the contractor via email as well as text message. It goes directly to their phone and I get an email copy of it, so I get an email of the lead and then I set up a Zapier for each client so that it will, because it goes to my email. Zapier will grab, I set up a filter that says, “If an email comes in from this address or with this subject like,” or whatever it is that I use to identify which email it is, “Then send it to a spreadsheet.”
A Google sheet. What I do, is I end up having, like this is all automated, and then once a month, or once every two weeks, or once a week depending on what the frequency is that I go over leads with potential service providers, I've got a spread sheet there that shows all of the leads and it's real simple for me to just open up and look at it. Anyways, like I said, I thought answering … I thought, excuse me, Call Rail had an answering service but it does not. Answer Connect is still my go-to source and I just set up another account, like I said, last week or maybe two weeks ago now for one of our location clusters that's generating now.
What I'm saying, guys, is that's going to differentiate you from other lead gen provides. Is, first of all, exclusivity of leads, right, that's something I'll always pitch to a potential service provider or a prospect. I say, “Look, any lead that I generate is going to go 100% exclusively to you. That means I'm not selling it to three to five other contractors.” That's what Home Advisor does guys. Home Advisor sells leads to multiple contractors so it's a race to the lowest price point.
In other words, all the contractors will show up at a damn residence, sometimes at the same time. I know because I've gotten a lot of tree service clients that way, guys. They would literally … A tree company would be pulling into a driveway and another tree company would be pulling out, you know what I mean, because Home Advisor sold that same lead to as many as five different contractors that I've been able to verify. All those contractors end up bidding for that job and they lowered their price so it's a race to see who can bid the lowest to get the job.
That sucks, nobody wants that. Contractors don't want to have to get in a bidding war with other contractors to get a job. Exclusivity of leads, that's huge, number one. Number two, if you offer a call center then that means the only time that your service provider is going to get notification is when it's a valid qualified lead. How do you know it's qualified? Because it went through the screening process that the answering service provides.
But I understand that, that's going to happen from time to time. What I'm saying is, though, the notifications only get sent when the caller has completed the call with the answering service and filled out, answered the required amount of questions, okay. Obviously, like a Yelp call wouldn't be a billable call, but valid lead data would. That's huge because that prevents the contractor from having to answer the phone. It prevents spam calls from ever reaching them and it also, it ends up being to where they just get the lead information when it's convenient for them, they can call back.
Obviously, I recommend they do it as soon as they get the information but that way they can still manage their projects or have their tools on and they're still getting the lead. Whereas before, the lead would just go off into the ether, into oblivion, and we'd lose the lead. When I implemented that Will, with my tree service stuff, and this was way back when I was still kind of, you know had a fledgling business at the time. I was hesitant at the time to pay for the answer connect service because, I think, when I started out I started with like a 300 dollar a month plan.
Which allows a certain amount of minutes and blah, blah, blah. At the time, when I was new to this, 300 dollars a month was painful for me to give up. I didn't want to commit to 300. There's not a contract, it's just month to month, but I didn't want to commit to 300 dollars a month when I was barely making money at that time. You know what I'm saying? I mean, I was making money, but still 300 dollars a month was a big commitment for me at the time. But what was interesting is as soon as I implemented that, my revenue went up 30%.
My net revenue went up 30%. That means even after subtracting the expense of the call center, and it was because now a lot of calls that were getting missed before were not being answered and the leads would end up, they got followed up on by my contractors which ended up, a percentage of them closed in the jobs. My revenue went, minus the … And I don't remember if it was really 300 dollars a month or whatever guys, but whatever the expense was at that time I ended up having a 30% net increase in revenue on a monthly basis because of that.
Ever since then, that has been how I developed my lead gen business. Is I always provide just, or I always set up call centers. When I have assets that start producing consistently. Like, initially I might have the calls directed to directly to a service provider or even to just a voice mail while I'm optimizing or getting the asset to produce. Once it starts producing fairly consistently, then I'll set up a call center for that so that we have somebody actually answering the phone and then that's when I'll pitch that service to monetize it to potential service providers. Okay.
That was a great question and I appreciate you asking that because I get that question a lot, even from more experienced members and our Mastermind. I'm telling you guys, I know a lot of people do lead gen and just forward them directly to the contractor, but trust me, especially if you have multiple locations that you're all forwarding to the same number, every one of those locations is another spam point. Another solicitation target or magnet, I should say. Another solicitation magnet.
If you've got 6, or 8, or 10 locations in a metro area that you're forwarding all to one company, they're going to get barraged. Like, literally hammered with solicitation calls guys and you're going to piss them off. They're not going to want your services anymore, so again, I would recommend that you do that. Set up, guys, it will make … You can charge a premium for those leads because they're exclusive, and because they're all pre-screened leads. The call center being the pre-screener. It was a great question though, Will. I appreciate that question.
How Verify A GMB If It's An Online Business in a Service Area Market?
Elena, “I'm working on a niche that is considered a service area business. However, we are collecting leads of consumers that are seeking this type of service via a website that captures their personal info, sort of like a lead gen site.” Okay. “When trying to verify the GMB I'm getting pushback from Google saying that this type of business doesn't meet the guidelines for verification being that this is an online business that doesn't meet customers at their locations or we visit customers at their place of business. Do you have any recommendations on how to get a GMB verified when the business happens to be an online business and a service area market?”
I've never experienced that sort of a warning or restriction, or whatever, from Google because I've never tried to set something like that up. However, I may not be correct about this so Marco please feel free to interject, but our GMB verification service could likely get that for you. Am I right Marco?
Marco: Yeah. Well, what do you call it, if it's available. If it's in one of the categories, or any of the categories in Google My Business approximates whatever it is that you're doing, we can get it. We can get it. Except if it's one of those, here, we just can't do a 24 hour locksmith. We can't verify that, period. Some of them are more difficult so you will be charged more for that service simply because it might be just a small area or it's one of those that Google police's really closely so it takes a lot more work to get it verified.
But if it's in there and it's not one of the categories that's just absolutely no way that it can be verified, yeah we can verify it.
Bradley: Yeah, so I mean, there you go Elena. Like, honestly, I don't try to verify my own listings anymore because we have a service that does it. I don't even know how it's being done. I honestly don't care. I just want the result so that's why I'm suggesting that potentially is because … Now here's something else you may want to try if you're trying to do this on your own. I don't know that this will work either, but perhaps try to create the GMB listing under a different category and then once you have it confirmed, or verified, then update the category to whatever your real category is.
That might be something that you could do. It could just be because of whatever category you're trying to set it up to create the listing under is a category that Google doesn't like based upon whatever it is that you're trying to do. Again, I don't know that, that's going to correct it, but what I'm saying is try it. If you're adamant about doing this on your own then try it and see if you could verify it under a different category type and then once it's confirmed or verified then go in and change it.
It may, I don't know that it would. My experience with after verifying a profile is that you can do a lot of changes to it now without it triggering a reverification. Now I'm not, again, don't quote me on that. I'm not saying that it won't trigger a reverification, I'm just saying that I have been able to make some pretty drastic changes to GMB assets recently and they didn't trigger a reverification. That might be something you want to try as well. As a last resort, like I said, contact us. See if we can do it.
How Do You Track And Delegate Tasks For Your Virtual Assistants?
We might be able to get it done for you too. I guess it just depends on what the category is, that your category. Then, once again, we may very well be able to get it under a different category and then just change the category once verified. Okay. Alright, moving on. Frankie. What's up Frankie? He says, “What's up guys? Much love from you guys from Miami Beach.” He's down there where it's warm. “My question is: when hiring VA's how do you keep track of their hours? I'm in the midst of hiring VA 40 hour a week and curious of how you guys do the billing and tracking in the event that you don't keep track of their hours, Time Doctor, et cetera, then how do you make sure they are working full time and not BS-ing half the time?”
Okay, so that's a really good question Frankie. There are some really good time tracking apps like what you're talking about. Time Doctor's one, another one Chris P. one of my partners mentioned. I haven't used it though, it's called Hub Staff I think. Hubstaff.com, maybe. You can look it up. But, yeah, something like that is a great way to do it. Especially to start with, guys. Now, I typically don't monitor my VA's like that because I work very closely with the VA's that I train initially because, especially now, because I'm teaching my VA's more complex procedures so they're working a lot more in direct contact with me on a daily basis.
At least initially while they're getting trained. Then, because I'm familiar with the … Because usually, I create all the process docs that I train my … Process docs and training videos that I train my VA's with. It's usually directly from me and so I understand about what, how long it takes to complete the task that I'm giving to them because I've done it myself in order to create the training. Obviously I give them leeway up front while they're going through the training and learning the procedure.
Then typically by then I just assign them tasks and if the tasks, if the tasks aren't being completed in a timely manner then I'll question what they're doing and if they can't give me a good reason or a believable reason as to what's taking them so long, like present me with some problems they're running into. Process issues or software, or application issues, or whatever the case may be. If they can't present me with something that's believable and a valid excuse, then that's when they go on probation again, or they'll potentially at that point I would add them to a time tracking app.
Or they'd just flat out get fired if I catch them in a lie, or whatever. Yeah, that happens from time to time, but personally, for the teams that I manage, I typically do not track using time tracking software. I did when I first got started guys but I've gotten really proficient at managing VA's so I don't really see that, for me personally, necessary. But, again, I do recommend especially if you're just starting to outsource guys that you use something like a time tracking app. Time Doctor's a good one.
Marco: I can tell you how it's being done in MGYB.CO because we've got a bunch of them. It's not mandatory for them to be on from 10:00 p.m. to midnight their time, which makes it convene in eastern time, in my time, so that we can communicate. We need to know the tasks, what they're up to, what they're doing, what they've done. Any problems, anything because they're constantly going to MGYB fulfilling. There's a lot of client involvement, Rosale needs to know, Justin needs to know, Chris needs.
There's a whole lot of communication that takes place that Rob and I, or Rob or I need to see. Then we also have a project manager, she's the one that's just hands-on, just moving all of the pieces around so that now Rob and I only get the higher level stuff that can't be solved by our project manager. When they come on, they go on 90 days probation and they have to know that they're going to get, as Bradley says, 75% while they're training.
After the first 30 days they go into their full salary, but they're still on probation.
Bradley: Yes, correct.
Marco: They're being tracked. We have Work Snaps, it's called, worksnaps.net which works really well because they have to be there to click and take that screen grab. They have to be there, they have to be present at the computer, and then we'll know what it is that they're doing. Now, after the probationary period what happens is then they go on a split shift. Which means six hours they have to work whenever they want, as long as they clear it with the project manager.
But they have to work the six hours. Once we know that we can trust them and we can give them enough work and you're right about that. You have to give them enough work that you know it's going to fill up their time, and so we know we're doing that. We have the project manager that's on top of everything during the day in the Philippines especially. She's giving them assignments and if there's anything going on then we have the reports. I mean, we just have a whole system in place so that we track whether our VA's now are being as productive as possible.
Now here's another thing. If you have a rockstar that's producing whatever it is that you need produced and you're making a whole bunch of money with that VA's help, then is it work tracking that VA? I would say, “Hell no.” I mean, by all means, do whatever the fuck you want to do and keep making me money. Where you run into issues is if you're not getting the work you expect completed. If you are and it's just superstar work and that's your rockstar, that's your future team manager, team lead, project lead.
Whatever the hell you want to make that VA, that's where that comes from because then they know your business, they know what you're doing, and they can train other people for you. That's how we do it at MGYB. We always promote from within whenever possible and pay them well Frankie. Give them raises. Praise them, praise them. Say, “You guys rock. You guys are the best. You're doing great work,” because I mean, who … Think about how badly many of these people are treated.
Just a kind word is going to get them to just totally loyal and just totally working for you the way that they're supposed to.
She's in the Philippines and she lives in a rural town, and in that post she was talking about how appreciative she is of the fact that she's able to work from home and provide for her family. She's been working with me for three years now. Again, I've only got two people on my GMB asset building team right now. Joe and Hazel, and they're both rockstars. Anyway Hazel posted that to tell me how appreciative she is of the fact that she gets to work from home because most of the jobs, economic opportunities in the Philippines are centered around the cities.
That makes sense, there's a lot of that in the United States too. Most of the jobs and everything are available in the cities and in the rural areas there's very little work and so there's a lot of poverty. There's not very much opportunities. She said she was basically asking, she's a very ambitious girl, which is great. I love it when a VA has ambitions to climb the ladder because think about it. We've got a lot of VA's that all they want to do is show up to work every day, be told what to do, and go home and collect their checks.
That's perfectly fine, those are very valuable assets as well. But every now and then you'll get a VA that wants to grow their business, and wants to expand, increase their knowledge and take on more responsibility. What she did is she posted and said, “Hey, look, I want to create my own company in the Philippines and offer a virtual staffing service.” She wants to create a company and provide job opportunities to people that live in her rural town because they can work remotely, and because of Semantic Mastery and all the stuff we're building with MGYB and everything that we do for our own businesses guys we're turning into processes.
Outsourcing it, so first of all, we don't have to do it anymore, but then second of all so that we can also provide you guys with the same services that we use for our own businesses. She basically reached out and said, “Look, I'd like to create my own company and hire virtual assistants right here in my local town to where they show up to an office space.” She's going to start it in her own. She's got an extra room in her home. She's going to start it there and then as it grows she wants to move into an office space.
She was saying because we can provide … Because of her job with us, Semantic mastery, she knows that there's opportunities for other people in her town that don't have much opportunity to also work. She says she's had a lot of family and friends ask her like, “Hey, is there any opportunity to work the company that yo work for?” That's why she reached out to say, “Is there any opportunity for expansion, if so, I can provide the workers for you.” I was so proud of her and I sent her a message and we ended up having a Skype … Excuse me, a Slack chat appointment or meeting earlier this week on Monday to discuss.
It worked out. I'm so proud of her because she's not only been really good VA anyways, but because she wants to grow and she wants to provide opportunity to people in her area. For us as a company, it's a great … It's very promising because I found that me personally managing VA's other than when I'm working with them really closely like I am right now. When it comes to managing a team, that's more difficult to do remotely in my opinion.
Anyways, we're pursuing it with her and I think it's just really, really great. That's what, guys when you have VA's that are good VA's and you're going to have some that are good, and you're going to have some that are bad. The ones that are good, make sure, do exactly what Marco just mentioned and that's treat them well. Give them raises, praise them often. Encourage them because that will help them to become better workers for you and it will improve the quality of their life too.
Absolutely do that, guys. We've gotten, I mean, we've got VA's that have been working for us for years. I mean, I've got stories I told at the POFU Live event about VA's and some of the messages or letters that I've received from VA's that are talking about how much it's improved their quality of life and blah, blah, blah. The opportunities it's provided for their family and that kind of stuff, guys. We really are doing a service. All of us. We're all entrepreneurs, so we're providing a service and enriching other people's lives when we do that, when we offer jobs.
Marco: Talking about a VA getting to POFU, [Dedia 00:41:41] attended POFU Live.
Bradley: Yup. Dedia's our link building manager and has been for … Well, he doesn't work for us anymore. He's not on salary, he's a contractor. He owns his own company now, which is amazing. He's one of my favorite stories of all time. He came to work for me. He had a full time job and he was working as a freelancer on UpWork as part time, like moonlighting, doing link building. We're talking five or six years ago now. I hired him part time, and then over time my workload increased.
I kept giving him more and more work and eventually he approached me and asked me, “Hey, would you hire me full time so I can quit my job and work from home?” At the time, I wasn't ready to pay a link builder full time but I did it anyways because I had a really good feeling about Dedia. He was just great to work with and blah, blah, blah. I did. I said, “Okay, yeah.” Even though, like I said, it was painful for me at the time, I gave him a full time job and within just a couple of years when we opened up Semantic Mastery and then we started selling links on our own first.
Then we went to search space and so on and so forth, he ended up growing his own company and bought a house, and not even on salary with us anymore because he's a contractor and his business is thriving. He came to the POFU Live event all the way from India. I mean, that's crazy guys. Like, it's just amazing, and some of the stories that he's told about over the years is just great. You guys, it really is important. As business owners we offer opportunities. We hire people first to help us, right, but at the same time it's to help them and to help their families and everybody around them as well.
It's a great question Frankie, thank you for that. Quint [inaudible 00:43:23] says, “Good day gents, I noticed GMB they're encouraging … Excuse me. They're encouraging you to run ads. When you run ads can you make the GMB the landing page?” Yes you can, however I would recommend that do not use the ads service that they prompt you with inside of GMB because that's the Google My Business, or the Google Ad express service which gives you like, literally, no control over the ads.
Google does everything for you and I don't recommend that. Now, I haven't tested that. Again, the Google Ads platform has improved leaps and bounds over the last year, year and a half. The Google express ads may very well be a lot better, but several years ago when I tested the Google express ads they sucked, they were terrible. I could manage an ads campaign manually way better and get much, much better results than I could from the Google Ads express platform.
I just, again, I haven't tested any of that in at least two years now, guys. It may be very much better but I highly recommend that you would manually manage your campaign instead of letting Google do everything for you. Google will spend your money rather quickly if you let them. Okay. But, yeah, you can use the GMB website as your landing page. Guys, you can use a damn Google doc as the desk …
Marco: No, no, no, no, no, no.
Bradley: What do you mean, “No, no, no?”
Marco: Don't give that away.
Bradley: Why not?
Marco: Because that's in [inaudible 00:44:52] academy reloading.
You can't add a remarketing pixel or even the Google Maps page itself. The profile itself, you can't add so it's very difficult, and how do you track conversions on that too? Think about that. I mean, obviously if you have a tracking phone number, if somebody calls you could always look at your call reports and that would be considered a conversion but it's not going to track as a conversion. Well, I guess if you added the number at like through call only ads and stuff you can probably do that.
What I'm saying is, think about, there's reasons why I don't recommend running adds directly to a GMB website. Not like search ads, I mean, because it's awfully expensive. YouTube ads, yes. Display ads, yes, because you can get those a lot cheaper. Remarketing ads even, but for like straight cold traffic search ads, I would not recommend pointing them directly to a GMB asset because that's, there's no way to really track that and you could end up spending a lot of money on it. It's just too expensive to do it in my opinion.
From search ads, I mean. Okay. But yes, you can absolutely link to that. Alright Jim's up, he says, “Hello gents, I just realized today's the 16th.” Marco did you answer this one for him?
Marco: Sorry, I was muted.
Adam: Yeah, I think the beginning of the webinar answered that so if you missed it just check out the very beginning and check out Marco's link right below your comments here. Actually right above it.
Bradley: There you go. Okay, “Where should I subscribe to the emails again?” Okay, there you go. You answered that. Wow, we're almost out of time. Well, we can wrap it up early guys. Elena says, “Do you have a valid discount coupon that I could use for GMB verification then? Thank you.” I'm not sure what you're asking for Elena. If we don't have a sale going on right now, then no.
Marco: No, we don't have a coupon right now.
Are You Offering VA Connections?
Bradley: Well, then no. Sorry, Elena. We may run a sale again soon and when we do you can wait until then if you'd like. Okay, John's up. He says, “Are you guys offering VA connections?” Ooh. John, in the Mastermind possibly. Adam, you want to chat about that?
Adam: Yeah, definitely. We brought that up and we were definitely looking. We hooked up a couple people who were interested and I guess now's a good time to see if anybody listening, you've heard us talk about VA's. Most of the people who subscribe and listen to Semantic Mastery understand that, that's a great way to offload a lot of your work so you can grow in scale. We can answer questions about how to use VA's effectively how to manage them and make sure you get the good ones. We also, of course, offer training on how to do that at more of an advanced level.
We realize that some people going through that process of finding those good VA's and connecting with them is a problem. It can take a lot of time and since we do it at scale we talked to some Mastermind members about that. They took us up on the offer and so I'm just curious if anyone is watching or you're checking this out on the replay, let us know, because if there's enough people out there who think this is a valuable service will be willing to set this up where we'll even crank up our volume a little bit, do the hard work for you on the back end, and then do something like connect you with two VA's you can interview and either take both or take the best one for some set fee.
Now probably, I've got this written down somewhere just for my own time, but that would save you at least several hours of work and depending on what tools you use potentially a couple hundred bucks.
Bradley: Yeah. Yeah, and I've been doing Mastermind calls for the last two weeks now. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I do two half an hour calls per day with just Mastermind members that have scheduled with me. One of, almost unanimously. I'm not going to call anybody out by name. But almost unanimously, everybody I've spoken to said that one of the things they know they need to do more of is outsource. Many people have been, have avoided it because they have either been burned by hiring shitty outsources in the past, or they just don't want to put all the time and effort into setting up hiring funnels and going through that whole process of screening applicants and everything else.
Again, I'm just going to use client reports as an example and, guys, I outsource stuff for years and I still did my own client reports until January of 2018, so a year ago is when I finally outsourced my client reports. What I'm saying is the reason why is because in order to generate the client reports the way that I had always done it, I knew it was going to take me two or three days of, literally, two to three days of recording the process for how to do it because I've got different types of reports go to different clients.
That may be my own fault, I probably should've made everything universal or templatized, or whatever. But, it is what it is, and so I had to spend a couple days and I never wanted to do it. It took me a day to do client reports every month. It would take me a full day to do client reports every single month, and sometimes depending on if I was distracted throughout that process, it would take me a day and a half because other things would come up or whatever. A day to a day and a half every single month and I just, I hated it.
But I never wanted to take two to three days to complete all the process training to train somebody else to do it. Well finally I got smart and I finally did that, and last year in January I outsourced that and, yeah, it was painful because it took me almost three days to complete all the processes but now I get, every single month, I get an entire day back. Well, let me rephrase that. Now I have a VA that generates all the reports, consolidates them into one sheet text file, and then she sends it to me. Then I have all the reports and everything available to me right there in the notepad file and I can just copy and paste into an email to my clients.
Then I always inject my commentary. Sometimes it's via video email where I'm going over the reports and I talk about where progress was made, where I found new opportunities. Perhaps where some things went wrong, that kind of stuff. I often send an email, a video email along with the reports or I'll just send some text. Like, “Here's your local rank report. Here's key takeaways. Here's your citation report, key takeaways. Analytics report, search console report.” Those kind of things. Again, something like that guys, it takes forever to create a process to do it and I understand why people avoid it.
I've done that stuff. Like, “I don't feel like doing a process. Well, it'd just be quicker for me to do it. Just be quicker if I did it.” But the problem is that time comes around again a month later or a week later, two weeks. Whatever it is. It comes around again and then you're back in the same boat again. You have to do it again and, “I could develop a process or I could just get it done now and it'd be much faster if I just do it myself.” You guys get what I'm saying.
That's why, again, the Mastermind calls almost unanimously everybody that I've talked to have said, “I know I need to do more outsourcing but I just don't have the time,” or, “I don't want to put in the work,” and blah, blah, blah. We realized that there was an opportunity there for VA matching service. In other words, we do all the application screening and all that stuff, put them through a series of tests to make sure that they can follow instructions and all that stuff.
Finally, the ones that end all the way through our funnel system, those are good candidates that are ready to be interviewed. That's something that, again, speaking with the Mastermind members that I've been speaking with on the phone over the last week and a half now, or almost two weeks, is like I've said. I've told them about that and I think there's a real opportunity for VA matching service just within our own Mastermind but potentially externally, too, for our other audience members. Very cool. It's a great offer … Adam, I'm pretty sure that's something we'll end up proceeding with.
Alright, “Did I miss Adam talking about having VA's trained that are ready to be hired, please say yes.” Well not necessarily trained yet, although we are talking about doing that. Right now we were just talking about the VA matching service. Like prescreening and all that kind of stuff to where that we know they're qualified and then it would be up to you to interview and then train them and all that stuff. However, there's potentially, we are discussing maybe in the future also providing fully done for you trained VA's.
In other words, we hire them, we put them through our training processes and then make them available to you once they're fully trained. Literally turn key, they're ready to go to work. If that makes sense. That's something that we're talking about but that's not anything that's going to happen right away, guys, I can tell you that.
How Do You An LED Controllable Lights As A Drummer-Influencer In Charleston, South Carolina?
Alright, Quinten says, “Hey, love guys. I'm a drummer/singer living in Charleston, South Carolina. I just got sponsored by a drum light company. Basically, put they specialize in LED controllable lights. The company is called Galaxy Lights. They hired me as an influencer for their brand.”
Hernan: Love that.
Bradley: Hernan you're the paid traffic expert, what do you say?
Hernan: Yeah, I'm rereading the question. LED controllable lights, as an influencer. Yeah, like what you could do. The fact that you are doing this, it makes a lot of sense because there's a niche that it's like really, really sexy. You know what I'm saying? You can actually put out a lot of valuable content. You can put out a lot of valuable content like how to use those LED lights and whatnot, and maybe just film yourself drumming and whatnot, playing the drums and doing that type of stuff. Then you can retarget those people with an offer.
That's easily done by, with Facebook for instance.
Bradley: You can do it on YouTube too.
Hernan: Yeah, you can do this on YouTube, too. 100%, you can do video SEO like try to rank your YouTube videos but I've been doing it on Facebook a lot and it works really well. In terms of getting their product out, if you want to put some money behind your videos that would be faster. If not, you can just try to rank them on YouTube. But, yeah, in terms of the actual targeting that you could do, for instance, on Facebook. You can target specific, like you can target specific brands that are for drummers only.
For instance you can target Yamaha, for instance as a drums brand. But the problem with that, is that a lot of people will like Yamaha. You know what I'm saying? You can go out there and try to find these boutique brands like Tama or CPN or Paste. Those type of brands that would be related to drummers only and people will like … People that like those brands will be drummers. You know what I'm saying?
Cymbals type of brands and whatnot, then Bradley's doing something that is great, which is drumming, drummers magazines and forums, and all that stuff. That will give you some idea of what to target, who to target on your videos and what kind of chatting is around that. That's what I would do.
Bradley: Yeah, and that's why I pulled this up because like this is a website here and just go to Google and search drummer blogs. That's what I just did, and here's one from Feed Spot which is the top 50 drum and percussionist websites out there. Right there's a placement list. In other words, if you understand Google Ads … Well, I'm saying Google Ads.
Hernan's the Facebook guy. I don't even run Facebook ads, I don't know how. But I do Google Ads and that would be, right there is a placement list. In other words, just scrape all those domains and this just 50 here but I'm sure you can do some research and build a really good placement list of drumming publications, and websites, and blogs and things like that, that you can specifically place your ads on those.
That's something else that you could do, and then YouTube marketing. I know for sure that YouTube has got a lot of music type videos and stuff like that on that so you could actually target via placements just like you would here. Create a placement list for YouTube videos that are known videos with a lot of traffic around drumming and percussionism and stuff like that.
Also, you could do topic targeting and audience targeting there as well as remarketing and all that stuff. Yeah, there's a lot of options there for paid traffic guys. A lot of options.
Bradley: Alright guys we need to wrap it up. Okay, cool no more questions. Beautiful. Right on time too. 5:00 on the money. That happens rarely, so everybody we appreciate you all being here. Mastermind webinar next week, not this week. Anything else we got to do this week guys? We're good.
Adam: Sorry, if you're not a part of the Facebook group. Go join, we're going to have a great webinar coming up on Monday with Catherine Jones of CF design school and she's going to be talking about building seven figure funnels.
Bradley: Awesome, sweet. Cool. Alright everybody, we'll see you all next week. Thanks everyone.
Marco: Bye everyone.