You can hit 6-figures in revenue in your online business by just doing it all yourself.
But if you want to go from 6 to 7-figures, you’ll need a team.
And you’ll need to learn how to hire, train and delegate effectively.
That’s why we invited Management Consultant, Mads Singers, to come on today. To share with you how to find the right people and put them in the right seats so your business can run by itself.d
If your goal is to reach 7 figures this year, then listen to Mads insights on how to hire and outsource effectively.
Mads Singers shows how you can scale your online business from six to seven and eight figures…
Matt Raad: Hi again, everyone. It’s Matt Raad here, CEO and co-founder of eBusiness Institute, where we train beginners to buy and sell online businesses.
Our special guest today is Mads Singers, from Mads Singers Management Consulting. That’s quite a mouthful there, Mads!
I’m excited about having Mads along today to chat about his background. Over the last decade, he has been helping online entrepreneurs just like you go from zero to six, seven, and eight figures. And he’s done that primarily by focusing on teams, management, delegation, and time management.
Mads comes from the corporate arena, but he’s now become very successful online. He’s also a legend at SEO and knows it back to front.
And you are also a legend in our industry because you’ve become the secret weapon behind quite a number of individuals that you and I know who have been around for a long time.
You’ve also trained organizations like Ahrefs, so you don’t just train individual online entrepreneurs but corporates as well. Plus, you run lots of events. And I know you’re on lots of podcasts as well around this topic of leadership management.
So Mads, should we jump straight into it?
Mads Singers: Sure!
Scaling any business beyond six figures involves building a team
Matt: Regarding your background and what you’ve seen over the years, where do you mainly focus on helping people go to these seven and eight-figure online businesses?
Mads: As a starting point, I own six different businesses now. And I’ve built them up the same way I teach clients to do it.
So, I have a big outsourcing company with a couple of hundred staff, and I spend a couple of hours a week on that. I love building up companies with the right people in the right seats so they can run by themselves.
Now, if people are starting out, that might sound a bit scary.
“The reality is if you want to go from six to seven and eight figures, you can rarely do it by yourself.” – Mads Singers
I’ve met a few people in businesses like Amazon FBA or the like. And I have a friend who built a SaaS tool by himself, and he does the customer service and everything. But the reality is you generally need to hire people. You need to build a team.
Mads Singers shows why it’s important for content site owners to consider delegation when growing their online business
Mads: When you’re starting out brand new from day one, you might not have much capital, which is totally okay.
But when you start making some money (getting into five or six figures), you now have something you can reinvest. That’s when getting the right people in the right seats and utilizing them well is the most important thing for long-term success.
So, I’ve worked with some of the big industry names. They’ve all been at points where they were struggling with this stuff. People are looking at some of these big names and think they must have that figured out from day one.
But the reality is management, hiring the right people, and learning how to delegate well are not just something you are born with. It’s something you need to learn.
And most people who build content sites don’t come from a background like I do in the corporate management world.
Matt: Thank you for sharing that because you’ve just put a lot of our community’s minds at rest.
Mads teaches how to hire staff in the digital age
Matt: As you know, we train beginners to get online by building or buying content and semi-passive websites. And because they’re transitioning out of the corporate world, one of the challenges they find is learning everything you’ve got to know.
That’s what we’re good at. I like to think we’re okay at teaching people. We’re good at teaching people SEO and how to buy websites.
But then, the other challenge is they’re transitioning out of their job. So, they need to free up their time. They’ve got to make that jump from quitting their job to doing this full-time and having that delegation.
And that’s what you and I have been talking about. That’s why I wanted you to speak with us today. It’s fantastic to hear that everyone goes through this journey.
As you said, everyone thinks all the big names out there, even the big corporates, are legends at doing the delegation thing. Clearly not. That’s what you do. You train people in this delegation area so that they can go much bigger.
When is it time to delegate tasks for your online business?
Matt: Where do you start with someone? We’ve got several levels, haven’t we? There are total beginners. Then there are the intermediates who are doing around six figures. And then we’ve got the more experienced people who are ready to go up to the seven-figure level.
Let’s start with someone in a beginner’s space. So, like yourself, they’ve got corporate experience but no experience delegating online, like hiring virtual staff etc. Do you typically find that’s a scary step for most people?
Mads: Well, it’s scary if you’re not making money yet and already investing. That’s scary for most.
Again, we run an in-house company where we actually do this as well. We have about 15 staff, where we build, grow, and scale our own content sites. And we do the exact process that you guys are teaching people. We are hiring people to run these different sites.
We primarily hire them from the Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa, etc. And we do that because if you hire someone from the UK or US to run a site that’s just taking off and paying them $3,000 a month, the whole scale of taking off will take a long time.
Because sometimes it takes a year to a year and a half to get to $3,000, even if you’re pretty good at what you’re doing. So, spending $3,000 a month for a significant period of time before you see any results is very expensive.
Can you outsource SEO tasks for your website?
Mads: One of the first things I learned in management is that organizations exist for the specialization of labour. And particularly with SEO, people make things very complex. You have these big pieces of training that go through hundreds and hundreds of hours of content.
The reality is 80/20 of SEO is content and links. Honestly, suppose you spend 80% of your time doing SEO to produce great content. In that case, it doesn’t even matter if it’s video, written content, or whatever. If you spend 80% of your time, particularly in the beginning, on just writing good, valuable content, you’re going to win.
The problem with most SEO’ers is they end up complicating it. I’ve seen people who literally spent two months trying to optimize their website speed. But you can find people who are already experts at this. You can pay them $200 – $300, and they’ll do it for you. They already know all of the stuff they’re doing.
Focusing on and understanding the 80/20 rule is so critical.
Matt: Well, Mads, a big thank you for explaining that. I’d swear you’d done our courses because that’s the main thing we teach. Whether you’re doing on-page or off-page SEO, it’s all content-driven these days.
As you said, if you break it down, you’ve just got one mission at the end of the day. If you want to rank a website, let’s focus on getting good content out there.
So then, we need systems in our business to automate and leverage. And that means hiring people who are good at helping you create good content.
Why Mads Singers is a leader in Management Training
Mads shares the biggest mistake people make when hiring staff for their online business…
Matt: So, once you know what to do, then comes the next bit. I guess this is where you step in to help people. People might have a bit of knowledge about creating good content, but then they need to leverage that and start hiring.
When do you see clients? At what stage of the journey do they come to you now?
Mads: Most of the people who come to us have one or multiple sites making around five figures a month. They have some money behind them, capital to invest, and are ready to make the next move.
Fundamentally, I keep going back to this organizational piece because when most people make a mistake, they try to hire and clone people like themselves. And again, I go back to what I was saying earlier, that organizations exist for the specialization of labour.
The reason that’s really, really important is most people spend years learning SEO. Years! But, when we train a new site manager (someone who has never heard about SEO), we teach them to run and manage the site and spend one month training them.
How to get fast results when hiring site managers for your content sites
Matt: Okay, that’s impressive. What are you doing to get the results like that?
Mads: Again, it’s the focus. We break it down and say, “Okay, what do they need to know? What are the critical aspects?”
The critical aspect is content. So, we teach them how to do keyword research and do it effectively. We teach them how to write good content briefs. We don’t expect them to write the content themselves. But we expect them to be able to write good briefs to understand what they need and why they need it, and then publish the content that comes back from the writers. Lastly, we teach them how to optimize existing content.
That’s literally all we teach our site managers. Because we know that if we train someone in a month, that sounds scary to most people. But the fact is, everyone in the company is replaceable. And what that means as well is, sometimes people quit.
Now, if you’ve spent two years training someone up to the right level and they leave, you’re starting over. If we have a content manager leave, we can replace them within a month or two.
That’s not to say the experience they get when they’ve worked for a year or two years is not valuable. It totally is. But the whole thing is you simplify work and make the scope much smaller. It makes it much easier for you as a business owner to get the most output from that individual quickly.
What should you consider when scaling a team for your website?
Mads: The same thing goes for hiring a writer, for example. That’s a very specific, niche scope. And the more you isolate things, the easier it is to scale.
Using our company as an example, we started two years ago with SEO’ers. We hired two side managers initially, and we ended up scaling.
We have 15 staff right now, and we’ve been able to scale quickly because it’s so straightforward. And as soon as you prove the method, you can show, “Well, here’s what we are doing. We are seeing great returns.”
And in SEO, returns are often delayed. But the reality is, we’ve been able to see enough returns at the early stage to see that everything we are doing and how we think about it is working.
That’s what I encourage SEO’ers to do. Don’t look to find someone that’s you. And it’s not about cheap. People say, “Oh, well, just hire cheap people.” It’s not about that. For any business transaction and hiring staff, it’s about investment return.
Now, you can hire people who are absolutely amazing and cost you $10,000 a month. If you have a million-dollar business, that might be the best thing you can do. Because if you pay them $10,000 a month and they help you make $100,000 a month, great!
But if you’re starting from scratch and have a site making $1,000, $2,000, or whatever a month, you don’t want to go and pay someone $10,000 a month. Obviously, there are exceptions, but in most cases, you don’t.
How specific roles enables your business to grow much faster
Mads: So, it’s just honing down and figuring out the specific aspects that really matter. How can we train people for these very individual roles?
And as an organization scales, most of my big clients now have very specific roles. They literally have someone, a graphic designer, who just designs graphics for new content. They have people who literally just publish content that comes from a writer.
As an organization grows, the roles become more and more simplified. But that also enables growth. Because if you suddenly want to 3X this year, you just need to hire more of the same people. And because the roles are so specialized, it is much easier to train three times the number of people.
Where can you hire staff for your virtual team?
Option 1 – Hiring for one-off tasks
Matt: You mentioned most of the staff you’re recommending people get are from the Philippines. Is that on Upwork? Is that where most people would find a virtual team?
Mads: No, we use Upwork for one-off work. For example, if you’re not a website designer, it makes sense to hire someone and pay them a one-off fee.
And by the way, get a bunch of content on your website first. But when you have a website with a bunch of content, go and hire someone for a one-off fee and get them to design a nice-looking website.
Again, you can spend hundreds and hundreds of hours trying to figure out how to do it yourself. And I’m not saying there’s no value in that. But I’m just saying that, as a business owner, you have to think differently.
Paying someone a little bit of money to build a decent-looking website can be super helpful. Rather than investing the time in doing it yourself, particularly in the beginning, find someone who knows how to do it. They can do it quickly and can do a good job.
So, that’s what we use Upwork for, like graphic design and stuff like that.
Option 2 – Hiring an ongoing team
Mads: I actually run an outsourcing company called aristosourcing.com. We help a lot of people find a good outsource workforce. We pick from early hires in the Philippines, South Africa, and other low-cost countries. But our focus is generally figuring out…
I don’t tell people you should hire in this particular country because different countries have different strengths. There are different kinds of people you would hire in different places.
So, it’s not like, “Hire all your staff in this place.” It’s more a question of, “What are you looking for? What do you need?” And then, we would typically help hire the right people based on that.
Should you only hire people with pre-existing SEO knowledge?
Matt: So those people are already pre-trained?
Mads: Not necessarily, no.
My general philosophy is I hire great people. And that’s for anyone that ever goes to my management training. My focus is on finding great people because your challenge with SEO is that everyone does everything slightly differently. Out of our entire SEO team right now, 15 people never used to do SEO when we first hired them.
But the beautiful thing is, when you find great people who are proactive, driven and want to do stuff, you can teach them things quickly. And those are the kind of people we go for.
The challenge can sometimes be – we’ve tried to hire people with a lot of experience. But the problem is that they often come with as many bad habits as good ones. So, we much prefer training people from scratch.
Matt: It’s interesting you mention that.
We’ve got a friend here in Australia who owns a very significant, seven-figure, well-known digital agency. And he spoke to our community at one of our events and said exactly the same thing.
Everyone looks at him and sees he does all the big corporate SEO jobs. But when it comes to hiring staff, one of them was just working in a local café. He liked their attitude, thought they were really good, and brought them on.
And he says the same thing. He prefers to train people (even total newbies) to come and work, as long as they’re good people and have the right attitude. And it’s been very successful. That was a big eye-opener for him.
The benefits of not just hiring for skill…
Mads: And realistically, it’s also more affordable.
Again, in the start, if you’re just hiring for skill, you’ll often pay more money. And sometimes you can be lucky. You can get someone great who will help the world catapult.
But on the other hand, you can also get someone going in the other direction. They are like, “Oh, you’re supposed to do this. This is how I’ve always done it.” All those kinds of things.
Whereas when we train people, we teach them our process. We teach them exactly how we do things, and that’s the way to do it.
How long does it take to train someone brand new in SEO?
Matt: Does it take a lot of time? Say for our average reader today who has a five-figure website each month. Does it take someone in that sort of position very long to train how to fit in with the SEO team in that business?
Mads: It definitely takes a little while. What takes the most time, though, is when people are just doing things themselves, they often don’t think about how they do it. And they often don’t think about it from a process perspective.
The beautiful thing about teaching someone else is that you actually do that. You have to sit down and think, “What am I actually doing here? How am I doing it? How do I make decisions?”
And very often, particularly in agencies, I always work with owners that are like, “Yeah, no one else can do this thing.”
I like to say, “If no one else can do this thing, you’re doing it wrong.” Because most of the time, it’s not that no one else can do it. It’s because they’ve not tried to teach someone else. They’ve not broken down what the decision-making processes are. How do they think about each step of the process and so on?
You need to do that the second you start having to teach it to someone else. And for us, that’s how you break it down and teach someone else. In particular, it will probably be harder the first time you do it. And it’s a great way to document things.
How to use tools & systems to achieve delegation within your team
Mads: Most of the time when we are training new people, we would use Loom videos. These are quick videos showing things. But then we put them in a document and have all the videos. So, the next time we need to train someone, we have a lot of the material already.
And sometimes, stuff needs to be updated. But the beautiful thing is if you taught someone how to do something with a video. Just say something suddenly changes, and you need to update it. You can ask the person who is now doing the work to record a new video explaining how to do it.
That’s the essence of delegation. A lot of these online courses train people to sit down and document every process in the company and keep it up to date. And no business owner has the time to do that.
Now, when you are just starting out and hiring people, yes, it’s a good idea to do it. It’s a good idea to spend some time on it. But the second you can hand ownership of processes over to people that work for you, the second you can give them the authority and responsibility, the faster you’ll grow.
Matt: That’s fantastic advice! And that’s where you help people, isn’t it? That’s one of your other businesses.
Mads Singers shares why it’s important to learn Management Training when scaling your business
Matt: So, you’ve got your own portfolio of websites, your own SEO company, and a coaching business. Gees, you do a lot there, Mads!
Like you said at the beginning, you’ve got a lot of different businesses. But your passion these days is coaching people through this process of managing a team. And I noticed you’ve also worked with lots of agencies, and they can scale very quickly.
And so, that’s at the point where I think people in our community may need to come to someone like yourself. They want to get that extra management experience, bring on all these additional staff, and delegate things. That’s ultimately what gives them so much leverage in this game.
Mads online course teaches beginners the 80/20 of effective management
In Mad Singers Management Consulting business, what sort of things are you primarily training people on there? What key skills?
Mads: I have a training course that all of my clients go through before they ever start coaching. And I did that because I was initially going through the first 10 hours of training with everyone exactly the same.
So, I really boiled it down. I took the key lessons and boiled them down into a five-hour course. It’s quite intense, but it’s really the 80/20 of management. If you get that right, you’re better than 90% of people out there. So, that’s where generally all of my clients start.
I have a few clients who already have a big business and 5+ managers and so on. And so, I usually treat them slightly differently. But for people starting, I have a very cost-effective course for them to start. And that’s an excellent way for them to get the 80/20. And it means that we have a common language to talk about.
For many of my clients, particularly the smaller business owners, that’s honestly enough. They now get the processes and the things they need to do. And when you don’t have that many staff yet, if you’re starting with it early, you have the time to implement them. You can do it, see how it works, practice a little bit, and so on.
…And once you grow to six figures, consider personal coaching to scale to seven and eight figures
Mads: If you already have a bigger team, sometimes you may need a little bit more help with your managers and so on. So, I also do the coaching with a lot of clients.
But honestly, the course as a starting point is a great way to do it because it helps.
Mads management course covers hiring, firing & delegating in the digital age
Mads: The focus area is basically understanding human behaviour. So, understanding who the right people for the right roles are.
The reality is people have natural strengths and weaknesses. And when you learn to understand people, you know what kind of people to put in which roles. So, if you have someone that needs to sit and look at Excel every day, they need to have a certain type of behaviour to be naturally good at that.
5 core principals covered by Mads
Mads: And so, behaviour is a big one. Even in looking at existing teams and pruning out people who might not be in the right seats, understanding behaviour makes such a huge difference.
Then I talk a lot about effective meetings. So, doing meetings with your staff, how to do them, the process for doing them, and how to do them effectively.
And the biggest one is delegation. That’s probably where most people in the world of SEO fall down because they fundamentally end up being micromanagers. They’re not effective with delegation. So, that’s one of the most important modules.
Then there’s a lot about goal setting, which is also critical. And then about how to give feedback. Even in the corporate world, most managers do not give enough feedback, and I have a great framework of how to do that quickly and effectively.
And lastly, we talk about hiring and firing, and the mindset about how you think about hiring someone. How do you look at the whole process? How do you narrow down the scope? And that’s also very important, particularly if it’s the beginning of your journey.
I mean, if you’ve already hired 20, 30, or 40 people, you might have learned a lot already. You’ll still pick up a lot from the training.
But that’s key, especially about firing people, which is also very important. For example, say a small business is not making much money and has someone who is not pulling their weight. That can drag your progress down significantly. You keep paying them every month, but they’re not adding value.
Matt: And that’s what I love about what you do, Mads. That’s why I wanted to speak with you today.
Mads is experienced in leadership management for virtual businesses
Matt: I’m so glad you were able to come along and give a bit of an introduction to our community.
You just touched on something. As you know, we have a lot of corporates (or ex-corporates) doing our courses, and we’re good at teaching them online skills. And a lot of them, like you just said, do have prior experience running big teams and all that sort of thing.
But as you and I know, it’s a little different when we get online and hire outsourced staff from third-world countries. The main thing is they’re virtual. Sometimes we never even physically meet these people. And for everyone reading this, Mads’ background is exactly the same as Liz’s and mine. It’s all an online experience.
So, Mads teaches this idea of leadership management. Some of you are very experienced face-to-face in large corporate environments. But it’s a different environment when we’re online, working with virtual businesses, and we’re taking them from five to six to seven and eight figures.
There are different aspects of outsourcing, delegation, and team management that you need to consider.
So, I think it’s fantastic to learn from someone, like Mads, about his experiences. You’ve heard today that Mads has deep expertise in this area.
Where can you learn more about working with Mads?
Matt: So Mads, I want to say a big thank you for sharing some of the key points. There are some great tips and resources for our community.
Mads: Well, there are three businesses that are relevant here:
- madssingers.com – that’s where you find my management training and my management coaching.
- aristosourcing.com – this is our outsourcing company.
- riddlemewrite.com – this is a content business I acquired last year, where we produce native English content for content website owners.
Matt: And I’m presuming all that content is going to be well SEO’ed already?
Mads: Our focus is delivering low-cost native English content.
We found that Filipinos and Indians can write decent content. Still, there is a difference in editing time and so on. Whereas the time spent with native English content is significantly less.
Honestly, we were producing about 400,000 to 500,000 words in-house with our SEO team. And we were pulling that in from different agencies, which was a challenging experience. So, I bought the majority share in one of those agencies to get it set up.
Then we helped them re-ramble the processes, make them more SEO-centric, and so on. So, that’s been a great experience so far.
Matt: Mads, thanks so much for coming along today and introducing yourself to our community. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from you.
I do want to say a big thank you for sharing some of those awesome insights into outsourcing, and when you’re ready to go to that next level, and team management. I’m really looking forward to speaking with you again.
Mads: Thank you very much, Matt. Thanks for having me.
Learn how to build and scale your portfolio of semi-passive websites
Matt: For those of you who are brand new to this, if you want to learn more about how we first got started and what we teach here at eBusiness Institute, please make sure you check out our free masterclass on buying and selling websites. It will perfectly complement what Mads has been talking about today, no matter what level you’re at.