🥗Don’t Hire like a Dumb*ss

Hey there,

Welcome back for another bite to chew on. 

We hope you enjoyed Sunday’s newsletter on the high-stakes work of building creative diversity in your Meta ads.

Today we are digging into the people side of the business. You can’t do it alone and you definitely can’t do it all… 

We’ve learned a lot in the last 5 years, so we had to give this topic 2 newsletters to really take you through what TO do and what NOT to do.

Let’s start with our mistakes, what worked & what doesn’t work now, how to know when you’re ready - and how to get your sh*t together before you bring more people into the mix. 

But before we dive into all of it, let’s take a beat to talk about our featured tool of the week:

Tool of the Week

No one wants to go digging around for a needle in a haystack. 

So why would you do the same for your influencer seeding? 

You can spend hours, days, even weeks trying to source the ‘right’ creators - but 9 times out of 10, you’ll just end up right back at square one. 

What you should be doing instead is using a tool like SARAL to find something we like to call

Untapped Influencer Talent. 

These are smaller, more niche creators that are much harder to find through manual search, 

But they are MUCH more aligned with your brand, your vision, and your audience. 

The chances are that they’re already customers of your brand. 

And if the audience feels like the creator is aligned with who they are…

They’re 1000x more likely to buy. 

SARAL helps you to find this talent by leveraging their lookalikes search, which lets you: 

  • Find influencers similar to your top-performing creators, celebrities, etc. 

  • Use their filters to get as specific as you need, narrowing by followers, location, engagement rate, etc. 

Their Lookalike search feature ALONE helps to save you a countless amount of time and effort, and in the long run, will help you find the talent you need to build a profitable and sustainable influencer marketing foundation.

Each brand is its own, but if you want to start generating real results from high-quality creators…

SARAL has consistently sourced us hundreds of fresh, untapped influencer talent - something that never would have been possible without their tools & strategies.

We can’t recommend them enough.  

Alright, now let’s jump into what you’re really here for.

You get what you pay for 

In the beginning, honestly - we always chose the cheaper route. 

We were scared to risk money and invest in talent. 

Nobody wants to watch overhead costs balloon without being able to trace it to clear business outcomes, right?

We wanted to stay as lean as possible. 

But what we've realized is it’s really tough to see the results when you don't hire the right people. 

When our influencer and affiliate channels started flourishing, we knew we needed to hire someone to manage those relationships on a daily basis. 

We thought we needed someone with good interpersonal skills who could deal with hundreds, maybe thousands of influencers.  

So we had a charismatic person helping out and figured that would work out fine…

But we discovered a great personality is no substitute for someone who really understands the strategy and success factors for driving revenue in these marketing channels…

…The history and latest trends, a solid grasp of the overall funnel, and how customers interact with the brand across channels.

All of these attributes were needed to move the needle in this role.

Yet there was no holistic strategy happening. 

Suddenly you have to become the awful micromanager everyone warns you about.

Which sucks -  because you are still stuck in the weeds doing the work. 

What you really need is that ninja that’s going to bring a lot of ideas to the table and run programs from start to finish. 

For so long, Obvi operated with just three co-founders plus one or two people. 

We worked with plenty of freelancers and agencies because those folks were effective at carrying out our vision. 

We realized we didn’t know how to cultivate other visionary leaders. 

Invest in the best, reap the rewards

You simply won’t get visionary people at staff-level prices. People that can architect the long-term blueprint for new business, but also have the tactical wizardry for anything that comes up today. 

Now, when hiring individuals or agencies, we focus on the measurable impact they need to make for us to justify the cost.

In the past, we treated hires like interns, hoping they'd magically blossom in their roles, which was feasible when we were a startup. 

Now, as a five-year-old company, we need experts who bring their own skills and experience.

There's a quote that resonates with us: 

"You pay me for the time I've spent learning, not just the time I work." 

This means as operators we should compensate for experience, not just the job description. 

We've also learned that without equity, employees won't care as much as owners do. 

So we hit that point where we really needed to hire people with developed expertise. 

How do you know it’s time to start hiring? 

As an entrepreneur, you get very comfortable learning new things and solving problems… anything that comes up. 

Your first instinct is always, “let me figure this out”.

But eventually - you reach a point when you hit a wall. 

You know you need to read up on a subject, listen to a podcast, or take a class, but you simply have no more time. 

You have good self-awareness of where your weaknesses are and can see there are new skills required for what the business demands…

What do you do?

You can either spend the time to learn it or spend the money and hire for it. 

At some point, you’re wasting a lot of resources doing it on your own. You’ll save money AND time in the long run by hiring for the right skills in the first place. 

It’s also important to spend your energy on the tasks you love doing. Don’t spend your energy on tasks you find drudgerous. 

Some people find spreadsheets abhorrent. Others are perfectly content spending hours alone inside a spreadsheet

Recognize which of your skills are adding maximum value to the business. Is it more efficient to pay yourself to learn the skill or to hire someone who already has that expertise? 

If you’ve been the one creating all the ads, after a few years, you might hit a plateau and be out of fresh ideas. 

That doesn’t mean you have to give away the keys to Ads Manager. But bringing on a team (even 1-2 people) means you need tweaks to your operating model. This starts at the top.

Before you hire – check your prereqs. 

As founders, there are prerequisites you should have before you start hiring. 

Otherwise, adding people to the team will just create chaos

The basics:

  • TOOLS: Task management software, communication tools, etc.

  • PROCESS: Standards on how the team collaborates

The challenge we’ve been working through is our leadership team was segregated in our various crafts. We haven’t really understood what all employees need to feel empowered.  

A lot of stuff is still in people’s heads.

We have different processes, tools, and different ways of managing ourselves. So it’s been challenging to build and implement a holistic system. 

The big gap we realized is that if we are all working from our own processes, we’re role-modeling different approaches differently across the teams. 

Not ideal. 

When you're dealing with diverse functions, building a single cohesive system is challenging. 

It should just come down to having enough discipline, right? 

Unfortunately, we found pushing too hard on a single approach that works in one area can sacrifice the quality of work for other teams. 

It's a delicate balance because forcing tasks that don't align with your established methods can harm productivity. 

Have your sh*t together BEFORE hiring

Having a process in place across teams with consistent tools so that new employees have a handle on a basic workflow will ensure they are set up for success. 

We made a few mistakes along these lines where different team leads had different systems. 

So when a performance problem arose, we had to ask ourselves -  “Is it the employee, or is the problem insufficient support from management?” 

Unfortunately, there have been times when we’ve just hired employees but lacked the capacity to spend time coaching them to help them grow. 

Sometimes, you have to make tough decisions and part ways. And you feel the responsibility - you think long and hard, what could have made this better from the outset? 

In The Oven: How to Hire the RIGHT Way

As much as we wanted to put everything into this newsletter - it would’ve been WAY too long.

And - we want to make sure you get the most amount of value possible without feeling like you’re reading a novel, so on Sunday…

We’ll be taking you through part 2 of our ultimate guide to growing your team the RIGHT way. 

From the sweet spot for size, dynamics, onboarding -  and everything in between. 

But until then…

If you have any questions about what we talked through today, don’t hesitate to hit us up on Twitter!

Reach out and tweet us - Ron’s Twitter - Ash’s Twitter

Until next time, 

Ron and Ash