Justin Cooke

Updated on April 18, 2017

The topic in episode 17 of the AdSense Flippers Podcast is very near and dear to our hearts and is probably the most effective strategy we’ve used to successfully scale personnel and processes across a wide range of projects. Growing a business is far from easy and the struggles many entrepreneurs and business owners face is the dilution of skills and abilities throughout their organization.

The Skill Transfer Mastery Process

When you’re a very small team working on a project, it’s easy to have the right skillsets in place and the efficiency you’re getting from each individual is likely to be high. As you find a need to grow your team outside of that initial core of people, you’ll find that efficiency can become diluted with the addition of new team members. Even for businesses that are growing and profitable, it’s critical that the organization remain lean through this period so that they don’t lose margins and advantage as they come out the other side of the growth tunnel. Using this 5-step skill transfer process will ensure that your team can maximize the strengths of the core group as you continue to expand outside of that small start-up phase.

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Justin:
Welcome to episode 17 of the AdSense Flippers Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Cooke, and I’m here with my business partner extraordinaire, Joe Magnotti. What’s up, buddy?

Joe:
Hey everybody!

Justin:
We’ve got a great episode lined up this week, we’re going to be talking specifically about Mastering the Skill Transfer Training Process; how to train your offshore or onshore VAs, and we’re going to get into that in a bit, but first we’re going to do some updates, some news and information. First thing we got is two brand new five star iTunes reviews, buddy.

Joe:
Hit me up, what did they say, Justin?

Justin:
Our first one is from SmellsLikeSuccess.

Joe:
Love it.

Justin:
If you’re into Lifestyle Design and making a great income honestly from the internet, then AdSense flippers is a must-listen. Straight up five stars for A+ Dudes, in my book, wholeheartedly recommend, that’s awesome. I hope you’re continuing to smell like success.

Joe:
It’s better to smell like success than anything else you can smell like, probably.

Justin:
Better than like smells like failure, right? That’d be a lot worse. Next one is ManagerGuy, says: Joe and Justin are the real deal, great freeform on one and all things niche site building, and solid SEO tips that are easy to understand, and totally ninja. AdSense Flippers rock! Well, thank you ManagerGuy, hopefully can move on from your manager position, and start living the lifestyle dream. I don’t know, man, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, the lifestyle dream, right?

Joe:
Yeah, we’ve put a lot of work into it, but you know, it beats being a manager, that’s for sure.

Justin:
Yeah, that’s true. Alright, so let’s get right into the next point, which would be our upcoming webinar. So we’re having our first-ever webinar on Thursday, man are you stoked?

Joe:
I’m stoked, and it’s filled up already, what’s up with that?

Justin:
I don’t know, man. So yeah, we put it out there, we allowed forty people to register, there are only two hundred spots, so I feel like a little bit of a jerk about that, but I’m really excited to get everyone on the webinar so we can really step through everything; and we’re also releasing our niche site guide.

Joe:
Yeah, I’m really excited about that, that’s going to be the coolest thing about this whole thing.

Justin:
Yeah, it’s awesome, man. I mean, that’s, I think we really could have charged a good amount of money for, that we’re able to offer up for free. So anyone that’s attending the webinar will get the first copy of that, and we should have a replay of the webinar, and the guide out within about a week after the first webinar.

Joe:
Yeah, and the technology we use for this particular one, limited as to two hundred, but we have found a way to expand that to a thousand, so I think the next time around we have a webinar, we’ll expand it to more people; so just be patient with us, and we promise, the next time we will get you included if you’re interested, and didn’t make it this time.

Justin:
But in this webinar, we’re doing a Long Tail Pro giveaway; we’re giving away five licensed copies of Long Tail Pro to five lucky people that attend. In the next webinar when we do a thousand, we’re going to do a follow-up to this one, where we kind of review the guide, do a lot more in depth   , so as people go through the guide, they’ve had a couple of weeks to do that. We can kind of have a follow-up, and get some questions, and kind of get some conversation going there. So, you know, hopefully we’ll get some ideas on things we can change, and definitely for the next revision, how we can update our process.

Joe:
Yeah, I think the Q&A’s going to be the biggest part of this webinar, that’s going to be really, really cool, I’m really looking forward to that.

Justin:
We did a private one for the Dynamite Circle, and we loved it. It was really cool ‘cause we got some tough questions, but really interesting questions about our process that we didn’t know we weren’t clear on; or that we honestly had to say we weren’t sure, we’ve just done it that way, and that’s the way we continue to do it. So it’s really interesting to see the questions come in, and it made me have to go back and research some of the stuff to figure out, make sure I knew what I was talking about.

Joe:
Yeah, if you’re going to be part of the webinar, definitely get us some good, hard questions, we like that.

Justin:
Next thing I want to mention is that you might have noticed we’ve got more content on AdSenseFlippers.com recently; that is thanks to my assistant, her name is Gaye, she’s doing a fantastic job, just want to give her a little props on the podcast.

Joe:
Yeah, just pumping out the content lately, huh?

Justin:
Yeah, she’s the one, man, that actually goes and puts these posts for the podcast, so she’ll have to go back and listen to it, when she hears this, I hope she has a smile on her face.

Joe:
When are we going to put some video together, and get that out there?

Justin:
I don’t know, man. We need to start working on that, right? That was one of our yearly goals is to make sure we’re pumping out some stuff on YouTube, so we need to get focused on that for sure. Last thing, man, what have you been working on?

Joe:
Ugh, I’ve been working with spreadsheets for the last two weeks. I think my eyes are getting a little cross-eyed, and it’s not from all the boxing I’m doing, either, it’s all those little numbers. But yeah, I’ve been working with some large private clients that are looking to make some rather big deals with us, buy a few hundred sites for several thousand dollars, so got to make sure our ducks are in a row, that we’re selling the right sites, and everything is clear. So that, you know, requires a good rollup of data.

Justin:
Yeah, we need to make a decision a while back, to choose whether we’re going to really start selling some sites off this next month, or we’re going to focus on really building out our process with link building, adding content managers; and we chose first to focus on our staff, and our internal process, and then to go out and start selling the sites. And I think that’s better, because if we get our staff trained, and ready to go, they’re going to be pumping out content, pumping out stuff while we’re fixing our process.

Joe:
Yeah, that’s the other thing…

Justin:
Or selling our sites, I mean.

Joe:
Right, that’s the other thing I’m focusing on this month is expanding our team, and we’re kind of changing some of the scope of that. Normally would say only hire in Davao, only hire local people that we can interview live; but we’ve kind of said, “let’s expand that to the rest of the Philippines, let’s use some more virtual staff, and let’s see if some of the training practices that we’ve developed live and in person work through a virtual system.”

Justin:
Yeah, we had to do that before, when we were in the US, and we first started hiring in the Philippines, so it’s interesting to go back to that after we’ve been doing this so long. But I really think that our training program, Mastering the Skill Transfer Process is really important. It’s easier to do in person, but it is something that can be done remotely, and we’re going to go through that in today’s heart of the episode. So let’s get right into that; this week’s heart of the episode, Mastering the Skill Transfer Training Process.

***** “The AdSense Flippers Podcast” *****

Justin:
So it’s important to remember that when you’re trying to transfer a skill to someone, it doesn’t matter whether they’re offshore, or onshore staff either, but you can only do this after you understand the process yourself first, and you have a clear way to transfer those skills to someone else. If you haven’t learned it, if you haven’t gotten it down, it’s going to be a mess trying to transfer that skill to someone else because you don’t know it.

Joe:
Yeah, I mean, we tell our outsourcing clients this all the time that the one running the training needs to be the one that’s the expert back home. So if you don’t know how to do it, you need to either learn it, or find someone who does, and they have to do the teaching.

Justin:
And we didn’t just come across this wonderful idea, we failed miserably multiple times until we were able to figure this out, like someone says, “Hey, you kind of want to do this, you want to be successful in this area, can you just do that? Can you just make us successful in this area?” Uh, no, we can’t ‘cause we’re going to suck at it.

Joe:
Yeah, and that includes reading a manual, or some sort of training guide, and you go, “Oh, well I have the material, but I never really done it, I’ll just hand that off to my assistant, or my employee, and they’ll just read through it and learn it.”

Justin:
Yeah. We had a buddy of ours that purchased all these thousand dollar, fifteen hundred dollar internet marketing courses, and they were really detailed, and hours of video, or whatever; and his idea was, I’ll just give this to an agent, have them learn it, and they’ll be my guru, my expert in this particular area.

Joe:
Recipe for disaster, for sure.

Justin:
Yeah, horribly, you can’t just give someone a training program and say, “Run with it, you’re going to be an expert now.” It just doesn’t work, and he admitted to us honestly, that that was his plan to do it, but he’s not an outsourcer, that’s not his gig, so he hadn’t done that before. He’s here in the Philippines too. Yeah, one of the worst things you can do too, is to set long-term goals without putting milestones in place, like saying, “Here’s ultimately how I want it to look, just get me there.” The problem is they’re going to get all stopped up on this particular spot, on this particular spot, and if you don’t have those milestones in place, you can’t track or check their progress, right?

Joe:
Right, and it’s the old ODesk adage too, of someone that goes on ODesk and puts up an advertisement for “Make me a website that makes $300 a month,” and they don’t give any instructions on how to do it, or any milestones, or any tasks, or anything individual; they just put an ultimate goal, “This is what I want you to do, and can you do it for me?”

Justin:
Oh, “and then I’ll pay you $300, onetime fee for that $300 a month site.”

Joe:
Yeah.

Justin:
But those people, really, they absolutely don’t know what they’re doing. I think some of the tips we have in here are going to be better for the people that actually do have kind of an idea, or but have stumbled on a couple of spots, I think we’ll really be able to help them out.

Joe:
But you got to remember, Justin, right, nobody cares as much about your business as you do.

Justin:
Yeah. Unfortunately, you’re the one that’s going to be protective of your baby, so if you, for example, hand over a process of checking out all your sites, even if you give them some details, they’re not going to be as meticulous, or care about it as much as you, so you can’t have them checking their own work, you have to be the one check their work, making sure the ship is righted, making sure it’s running correctly, that has to be your responsibility. You can’t pass off responsibility to an agent, or to onshore or offshore staff; that doesn’t work.

Joe:
Yeah, again, that’s true anywhere in the world, I think. Employees never care as much about the business as the owner does; and you, as the owner, as the entrepreneur, need to take a vested interest in the direction of your assets.

Justin:
Yeah. So the real reason we’re doing this podcast too, as I’ve said on a previous podcast, I said if you haven’t got a process that works, go ahead and scale the shit out of it. The problem is we didn’t really talk about how to scale the shit out of it, right? So this is really what you’re going to do when you want to expand, when you have something that works, and you need to expand your team. There’s all kinds of steps or problems that can come into place if you don’t have that setup, so I’m assuming that you do, I’m assuming that you have a profitable process that you want to expand. If you don’t really know what you would have your agents doing, or something, then it’s probably not even a good idea to start offshoring, or even onshoring to a VA or something, it’s not the time to do that.

Joe:
Yeah, this training process, too, is general. What we’re going to talk about here can be applied to anything, so whether that’s teaching something in internet marketing, or teaching something in sports, whatever it might be; I mean, it was taught to us by one of our old mentors, a COO of the old company we used to work for.

Justin:
Yeah, the funny thing is, the skill transfer process was transferred to us from him for all the COO. I love that guy, dude, he’s so awesome, great mentor, really helped us out; and I’ll tell you, of all the things I learned from him, this might be one of the most critical, so  I’m glad to share it today on the podcast.

Joe:
Yeah, and he was a big call center, offshore training guy, so that’s why we know that this process works. We’ve worked with it before with our own employees.

Justin:
Hundreds of employees we’ve done this with; he’s done this with thousands, over many, many years, so this is something that’s definitely been tested through. Basically, there are five steps to the process, the first is Explain, the second is Demonstrate, the third is Practice, the fourth is Observe, and the fifth is Feedback. And we’re going to get into each one of those steps individually, and go through it for you. So the first step of the entire process is Explain, and basically means this: let’s say you have an offshore agent that you’re looking to have do link building for you, what you want to do is you want to cover exactly why it is you’re building the links, what you expect that to do to the site,  kinda give them, the agent the 30,000 ft view; you really want to talk about the point, or the purpose of what it is that you’re doing. Not all people are going to care, but for the ones that do, it’s going to be important for them, and for them to understand the entire process, and the point of the process is key. I think a lot of people have tried to outsource, and they say, “Ok, just step one, step two, step three,” and they don’t really know why they’re doing what they’re doing. To give them the background, it really helps, so that’s the first thing you want to start off with.

Joe:
Yeah, I think that purpose part shouldn’t be overlooked. Like you said, even though it can be very simplified, and can be very process-oriented when you outsource, purpose is important. That said, you do have to explain the process step by step with various mediums, right? You’re going to use audio, you’re going to screen-share, you’re going to use written directions, make sure they take notes, and you want to hit them from many different angles, and make sure they’re following along, and they’re understanding each step of the process as you explain it.

Justin:
Yeah, everyone has different learning styles, and way that they pick up and retain things. And it’s important onshore; when we were working in the US, we had people we were working with, we’d do it the same way, but it’s critically important when you look offshore, you’re dealing with different cultures, different ways of learning, different ways of thinking. So making sure that you have multiple mediums, and really trying them in different ways is critical to the success to the skill transfer. The other thing you want to do is make sure you’re asking open-ended questions all along the way. So you’re going to encourage questions to the employee, you’re not going to ask yes or no questions; why do we not ask yes or no questions, Joe?

Joe:
Because then they could just say “Yes” all the time

Justin:
Yes! Oh yeah, yeah I understand that, yup, uh-huh, yup.

Joe:
And that’s a very common thing in Asian cultures, they just say yes when they actually mean maybe, or sometimes they even mean no. And it’s really frustrating, especially as Americans, we don’t do that.

Justin:
Yeah, I can imagine if you’re at home, and you’re trying to talk with your agent via Skype, or whatever, and they’re saying, “Yes, yes, I get it,” and the next day it wasn’t done. That could be so frustrating, but you have to understand that their yes may be a way of not wanting to anger you, making sure they can keep their job, making sure you’re pleased; that’s important to them, so asking open-ended questions gives you an idea, gives you some idea of where they’re coming from, whether they understand what you’re saying or not.

Joe:
Right, and I think you need to explain the process to them too. This process that we’re talking about right here, make sure they understand all five steps in skill transfer process. I remember when we started doing that here, in Davao, to our agents, we said, “This is why we ask if you understand, this is why we watch you do it, because we have a five step process for any training that we do.” And they go, “Oh, wow, sir, now I understand why you do it that way,” and so you actually help them to be more patient with the training, and do it our way, ‘cause they understood that if we follow the process, we have better results in the end.

Justin:
Yeah, and also making sure they have buy-in in the process, and they understand that it will be successful, will better understand what step they’re on, why they’re on the step, what’s going on, It’s critical. So I just did this with my executive assistant that we brought on, right? I mean, I basically sat her down and told her, her job responsibilities, why I need her to do  the things I need her to do, how it benefits me, so she understands; basically her job is to take hours away from me. Her job is to save me time, and she can do a really good job when she knows the general aspect of her job, and what her purpose is.

So the second step in the process is to Demonstrate. Now it’s really important that you prepare yourself first. You have to know the process, and you don’t want any hiccups to interrupt the flow. So for example, I did a demonstration where I found a keyword that is something that we would use, and I put this in a blog post. The fact of the matter is, I wasn’t going through and trying to figure out why I did it, I found the keyword first, and then worked backwards. So I had already picked the keyword out, and showed you how I got to the keyword from the first step. This is important, it’s not very realistic, but it’s important to give them a good look in the demonstration, you don’t want to interrupt the flow, so you want to be extremely clear, you want to have tried it several times, and not allow the hiccups to throw you off.

Joe:
Yeah, make sure your technology is set. Test everything out beforehand, if you’re using some sort of screen sharing so you can walk them through live, make sure that’s working, you don’t want a whole bunch of problems and issues to come up ‘cause the demonstrate process is probably one of the more critical parts to this process. They’re all equally important, but demonstrate, if they don’t get it there because of some hiccups you had, they’re really going to lose the points.

Justin:
Yeah, this is the first introduction to the process, or introduction to what it is they’re going to be doing, and it’s really critical they see how it’s done the right way.

Joe:
And that said, you should stick to the norms, there’s a lot of processes that have exceptions, and sometimes you do this, and sometimes you do that; and that’s fine, but when you’re teaching the first demonstration of any process, stick to what happens the average amount of time.

Justin:
Oh God, Joe, I have to admit, I’ve donked that up before, man, where I was going through, I showed them, and I go, “Well, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes you’ll see this, and you’ll want to do this when that happens,” oh, you get so off track, and they look at you with this blank stare, like, “What the hell are you talking about?”

Joe:
Yeah, the worst comes to worst, you can always handle exceptions as they come up, right? Because after this whole skill transfer process is done, they’ll get to an exception to the rule, not know how to handle it, and come back to you, and then you can handle those exceptions as they come up.

Justin:
We’ll get into exceptions a bit more, ‘cause that’s definitely one of the later steps, but you want to communicate as you go, so it’s not just showing them, it’s also explaining what it is you’re doing. So you want to talk them, and walk them through it, so they get a feel for what you’re doing. Stop every little bit and make sure they understand where it’s going, how it’s working out, especially after you’ve already demonstrated it once or twice, you can start to break it down, start asking them questions, and that gets into the next step: you want to communicate as you go.

Joe:
Yeah, you can’t do this thing on a recorded level, it has to be done, live, ok? So that means screen sharing, or using Skype, or using video Skype, something like that, but you don’t want to use some sort of recorded technology, ‘cause that’s not what a demonstration process is about. Let me give you a great example, my assistant, who helps me with a lot of HR stuff, we’re using ODesk right now to hire some contractors all over the Philippines, and she has no idea how to use ODesk, ok? So I sat down with her…

Justin:
Great girl, little technology challenged though. I feel for her for sure.

Joe:
Right, and it can be very easy for us to pick up on these things, especially when I’m unfamiliar with a website, it’s easier for me to figure it out, she struggles with that. So we sat down together, I demonstrated how I found different contractors on ODesk, how I invited them to our job posting, how I followed up with them, how I went through and said who was good, and who was not, and excluded people from my list and whatnot; and showed her step by step what I did in the process.

Justin:
And the important thing is you didn’t show her the exceptions, you just went through the basic use case first, ‘specially when you’re demonstrating. So that was step two, let’s get right into step three, which is Practice. What you’re going to do here is basically go from Demonstrate to handing over the controls, so it’s not you in front of the computer, it’s not you clicking the buttons, it’s their turn.

Joe:
This is a tough one for me, you know, I hate to have to give up control of my computer, but when you’re doing this, especially for the first time, it’s really important that you give the other person the ability to use whatever it is, and if that’s a computer, then they should be using your computer as you’re watching them go, so that they can practice, and go through it. If it was a musical instrument, it would be the same kind of thing, right?

Justin:
Writing content, you’re going to watch them as they write the content, and jump in as necessary.

Joe:
Yeah, you got to stop them right away when they make a mistake, don’t wait until the end. This is the type, part of the process where you’re trying to weed out early on mistakes, and make sure they get it down end to end.

Justin:
Yeah, unlike the demonstrate process where you’re going through it, you want to be nice and clean, the practice step is not going to be as nice and clean. You’re going to be stopping them, and correcting them as you go along, fixing any errors that they have right there. So it’s kind of like, Oh, this is a bad analogy, but when you have a dog, and it does something bad, you want to stop it right there, like rub; you know what my mom used to do, she used to take the dog, and it would poop in the house, she’d like rub that dog’s nose in it. That’s kind of like this process. It’s not that bad, it sounds horrible, but you know what I mean.

Joe:
Yeah, I know what you mean, but the element that you can pull from the dog analogy is that if someone gets past the mistake, and then you try to go back and correct them, they’re not going to be familiar enough with the process in order to remember where that mistake was made, so that’s why you got to correct it immediately as they made it. For example, I was teaching someone how to use Google Calendar the other day, and how to set appointments and how to invite them, and I walked them through the entire UI, and this is very basic stuff, but it’s important that I let them take the controls, set up a calendar event, invite me and you to the calendar event, make sure it went all the way through, show them how we accepted it on our end, and made sure that any mistake they made was corrected immediately.

Justin:
Oh, that’s the wrong day, you need to change it ‘cause it’s US time, not Philippines time, that kind of thing, right?

Joe:
Right.

Justin:
The last point I’ll mention is that during the practice step, they’re going to bring up some things that they missed, that they completely missed, that they didn’t realize happen, in the explain or demonstrate step; and when they make that clear, when they let you know when it’s obvious that you get that blank stare, that, “I don’t know what the hell to do next” kind of look, you know that for your next time, the next time you’re doing a skills transfer process, you need to make that abundantly clear. You as the messenger, didn’t deliver that message very well.

Joe:
Yeah, that’ll make you a better trainer.

Justin:
So our fourth step in the process is Observe their work. Now here’s where the hands off work comes into play. So you’re going to allow them to work through the entire process without stopping. In the last one, they were practicing, you would stop them, try to correct errors, here they should have a pretty good feel for the entire process, and when you’re doing the last step, step three, you may need to do that a few times before you think they’re comfortable enough to actually go through it from start to finish. Once that’s done, you move on to this step, which is observe their work. You also want to encourage them to answer their own questions; so if they have a question, “What do I do in this step,” you can ask things like, “Well, what did I do in the demonstrate process? What would logically make sense, what’s the next step here?” “Ok, well I think I need to do this.” “Great, that’s fantastic.”

Joe:
Yeah, you want them to try to figure it out, if they don’t figure it out on their own, then they’re not making the connection, and you may have to back up a little bit.

Justin:
Yeah, you don’t want to step in and do it for them, that’s the key. Only step in if it completely shuts down, and they can’t move forward, but if they slow down for a little bit, or are a bit unsure, that’s typical here because they’re going to be unsure about the process the first time they’ve done it on their own before. So just let them get through it, help them to figure out the answers to their own questions.

Joe:
Yeah, if the flow’s horrible, obviously you can go back to the practice stage and sit with them where they’re at the controls, and you’re helping them through each step of the process; but I would say most people who get it will be able to work on their own, will be able to get through the process, and towards the end, you can even back off even further, where you’re just kind of watching them work, you’re not even concerned so much about what they’re doing.

Justin:
It’s easy to go back to the practice step at this point, because they’re doing it now anyway; so if you need to start jumping in again, go back to the practice step, and then the next time around, have them go through it completely on their own.

Joe:
Yeah, make sure you’re available during this stage, though. You don’t want to be so far away, or so distant, like offline, and they can’t ask you questions because if they get stuck during the observe phase, you want to be able to help them out.

Justin:
Yeah, so this is the period with agents that work from home, they need to be on just as their lieutenant needs to be on during this process. So eventually they can set their own hours, we allow them to do that, but they have to be on at the same hours their lieutenant’s on so that they can guide them through this process.

Joe:
So give us an example, Justin.

Justin:
Yeah, so we recently had to review the “Submit your article submissions” at our house, put it up on the big screen, and we had man, Sabine over here; so we were going through it, and after we had already done the other steps, I explained the process, I demonstrated it for them, allowed them to practice while I was stepping in; now I started to observe them, so I would watch what they’re doing, they would ask questions because they would stumble a little bit, “Oh, what do I do here, sir?” and I would explain it, “Ok, well, what do you think you need to do here,” try to help them figure it out. After a couple of rounds of that, I could completely back off, I could start to watch from afar, but I was still able to watch their work, I was there for them, able to review it with them. So the last step, the final step, is step five, and that’s Feedback. So now that they’re on their own, what you’re going to want to do is check their work, and provide critical feedback on the results. So basically, the last example with man, Sabine, they’ve done it a few times, I’ve watched them, helped them answer their own questions. Now I can back off, I don’t have to watch them to do their work, I just want to wait for them to finish, take a look at the end result, and then review it with them.

Joe:
Yeah, I think that this part is like the second most important part, next to demonstrate. If they don’t get the demonstration, then they’re not going to know how to do the process; but if you don’t get feedback on how well, or how badly they did the process, you’re not going to be able to determine how everything went in the entire skill transfer.

Justin:
Yeah, and then you can kind of back off a bit on this one to talk about, go back to the 30,000 ft view, and talk about whether this meets the objectives overall, and why what they’re doing is meeting the objectives or not, and then go into the specific steps, right?

Joe:
Yeah, I mean, you can compare the agent to the norm, your success, or compare against each other; something where you have some statistical data to make sure that they’re on the right track.

Justin:
Yeah, I want to make sure that the quality is on point. So if I can do it at say 100% quality, I want their quality to be 80-90%, or something as good as mine. If I know another agent is able to do seven of these per hour, I want to make sure that they’re getting that, that they’re getting close. It’s the end of the training process, they should be pretty close to stepping it up to where the other agents are, right? Here’s the thing too where you want to from reviewing each step, so like every time you have them do it, you say, “Ok, well here’s the feedback on this process,” they do a few, and you give them feedback on the few that they did. Finally you’re going to get it to a daily thing, where they give you the results daily, and you give them feedback. Ultimately, you want to get it to a weekly process, or a weekly feedback thing where they’re sending you weekly reports. Right now, we have our agents sending our lieutenants daily reports, and then our lieutenants roll that up into a weekly report for us.

Joe:
Yeah, I mean feedback step is going to be an ongoing process. Something that really is never finished, you always want to look at feedback and make sure that your agents are in line with what the norm should be because if it starts deviating, then something’s broken, and that’s when you need to adjust. And that’s why the reports that our lieutenants send us every week are so important.

Justin:
Yeah, I’ve reviewed those reports, and sometimes seriously, I give them 90 seconds, and other times, I’ll look at it for five minutes, review the over – making sure that the report jives with what’s going on, email them back questions if I think – especially if someone’s kind of getting, it’s kind of going dark, or something seems to be off in that particular process, that I’ll start to dig in a little bit, and make our lieutenants find out what the heck’s going on. So those are the five steps to the skill transfer process, Explain, Demonstrate, Practice, Observe, and Feedback. Let’s get into a few of the do’s and don’ts of the skill transfer process.

Joe:
Yeah, one of the biggest things, don’t move past the phase without making sure they understand the previous phase, and if that means you have to go back to the last phase and do it again, then that’s what you need to do.

Justin:
Next thing, don’t ask yes or no questions; as we said earlier, many cultures overseas will say yes to please you, but they won’t actually mean it, they’re just saying it to be nice, or because they don’t know what else to say.

Joe:
So important, especially in the Philippines. Don’t skip any steps and get lazier, it’s really easy to do that, especially when you’re in the middle, going from something like the demonstrate to practice phase, just skipping over practice and go directly to observe. No, you need to sit there with your agent, with your assistant, and actually have them practice.

Justin:
Yeah, I think a really bad one you can skip over is observe, you have them practice, you need to skip the observe and feedback, and they just do it for two weeks, and you find out it’s completely ruined. I’ve heard so many complaints, especially from IMers, actually, where they had a problem with this, and they’re like, “I don’t understand why the work was so bad,” well, did you observe what they were doing? Did you get to give them feedback on what they were doing? Some really critical pieces to the process.

Joe:
Yeah, they rush through the process probably.

Justin:
Make sure that you do use real world cases in your demonstrate set. So you want to use things that are actually real world, not just totally prepped; for example, if you’re using keywords, you want to use actual keywords that you would use, and not use an example that isn’t enough searches, or anything like that, you want to use real world stuff.

Joe:
Right, and I would also say that this is a great process to train your lieutenants on, so do make sure to train them, and make sure they know the steps for this training process, in fact, you can use this process to do skill transfer, you can skill transfer using the Skill Transfer Process.

Justin:
That’s what happened to us, right? That’s how we learned it.

Joe:
Yeah, exactly, and then they can use it to train their people that work for them, and it really works in a great cycle.

Justin:
It’s cool, ‘cause then you can overstep, basically you can provide them feedback on their skill transfer training with their agents, people that work for them. It’s really critical that you teach this skill to your supervisors, and that’s a great way to build up your middle management team. You also want to make sure that you do be patient. Frustration on your part can lead the trainee to worrying more about your anger or frustration than actually learning. And we’ve seen this before too where you just get frustrated, or like you’re worried, and they go, “No, no, no, it’s ok, I got it, I got it.” And then they didn’t get it, and it’s a mess.

Joe:
Yeah, I struggle with this a lot, especially with people that are technologically impaired, they have trouble, what to click on, can’t figure out an interface that’s new to them, things that seem really simple and easy to me because I’ve been using computers so long, it makes me think that they’re not as smart as they are. But that’s not the case, you just need to be a little more patient with them, and make sure they understand it; and they’ll be a better employee for it later on.

Justin:
I had a family member that I struggled with, I was trying to get her to figure out auto- bowl. Oh, my Lord, man! Two hours to get signed up for, and like ready to go with auto- bowl. I wanted to pull my hair out, man.

Joe:
Well, that may be a little bit more of an extreme example.

Justin:
I know, I know. all about skill transfer process, this is a family member that bought an auto- bowl account for, but yeah, man! So frustrating. Last thing I will mention though is that you want to make sure that you document this training process so that either the agents, or yourself can review it at a later date. While you are transferring the skill yourself, it’s important that you get better at doing it as well. It’s a great learning experience for you, and the better skilled you are at this, the quicker you can get your agents, or your team up to speed.

Joe:
Yeah, the old adage is you learn by teaching, and I think that’s really so true. The more times you go through this process with agents, you’ll notice that you learn a little more and more about it every time, and you refine it, and you get better, and you’ll be able to teach it better.

Justin:
Absolutely, Joe. Well, and that’s the heart of this week’s episode. Let’s get right into our ninja marketing tips, tricks, and our plans for the future.

***** The AdSense Flippers podcast continues… *****

Justin:
So our first two tips are from you, Joe, what do you got?

Joe:
The first one is join.me that’s not, join.me.com, or anything like that, no it’s join.me. That’s a great screen share software, it doesn’t require a download, or anything like that. Skype allows you to share your screen right now, but it doesn’t allow you to take over the other person’s computer, and that’s kind of the advantage of this piece of software. It’s free, doesn’t require a download, doesn’t require admin access, or anything like that, so it’s kind of nice if you’re working with an agent that has a limited computer.

Justin:
The other problem with Skype too, is that if you’re not on the same version, of if they have an older version, then it’s not going to work, or not work as well.

Joe:
Yeah, and then you can’t screen share with multiple people with Skype, at least for free. Join.me will allow you to do that, so it’s nifty, it’s not the fastest thing in the world, but it does work, it’s good enough. Talking about more free software, something that you can use for training, we love screen casting, so Screen-o-matic is a good software that’s free, give you basic screen editing, screen casting editing tools, whatnot. It’s not going to be as good as Camtasia, which is definitely the premiere software out there, it’s very functional, but that’s also $300.

Justin:
Yeah, if you want to see examples of what we’ve done on Screen-o-matic, you can check out our YouTube page: youtube.com/adsenseflippers; and we’ve got a few videos up there that are using Screen-o-matic. Next point is kind of a plan for the future, let you know what’s going on; as we’ve said before, we’re working on niches for charity.com, which is basically a site we’re going to create niche sites, give them earning, and give that money to charity, especially local charities here. We’re going to be going over some of the content, adding the content. We had a meeting with Spencer from nichepursuits.com about this, and we’re going to start writing out the content this month, and probably start pick out our keywords, and starting to build the sites out early next month, so the site nichesforcharity.com will be live in May. We’re excited about that.

Joe:
Yeah, I’m keen to get it started, and see how it takes off.

Justin:
The next thing I want to talk about is we need your help. We’re considering doing a weekly keyword newsletter. Basically what this would be is kind of a walkthrough on exactly what process we use to get the keywords, and give out a couple of examples of keywords that we would use, or wouldn’t use, and why. And we’re planning on doing this on a weekly basis. Another thing I want to do there, is we get a lot of authority type niches that we couldn’t necessarily go after with our types of niche sites, and we’re thinking about picking them up and offering them for sale on that newsletter. So if you’d be at all interested in that, I’d really like to hear from you. Please go to our site and leave a comment under this podcast episode. I’d like to know what you think about our keyword newsletter.

Joe:
Yeah, and that would just be the domains, right, Justin? Not a full featured site?

Justin:
Yeah, yeah it would just be the domains, just explain our keyword process, why one is a winner, why one is a loser, and this would be additional keyword research, ‘cause we get a lot of extra keywords every week right now, that we’re not using. So the ones that we’ll just pick randomly the ones that would have selected, and put those in our weekly newsletter.

Joe:
So, something else I’m working on in the future is a good statistical analysis of our numbers. We need to know a good idea of how much our sites are making on average per month.

Justin:
How long we keep them, right?

Joe:
Yeah, these kind of things that I think we have good ideas before based on what’s coming from AdSense, but I need to take those reports, export them in Excel and make some pretty nice charts, and graphs, and make sure it all is accurate so that just when we talk about it, we can reliably back it up with the numbers.

Justin:
Also, I want to know historically, how well our sites do, where they’re trending, are the newer sites that we’re building: are they better or worse? And then we can start to look at why, and make sure that we’re progressing, make sure that our sites are getting better over time. I think we’ve done a good job with the content, but I’d like to make sure that the sites are earning a bit more as well, so we’re going to be looking at that over the next several months, and we should have some numbers in the next couple of weeks.

Joe:
Yeah, I’ve been reading up on a lot of advanced math stuff that I won’t bore you with the details here, but going to put it to good use, and come up with some nice charts and graphs that you can use in a blog post.

Justin:
Well, that’s it for episode 17 of the AdSense Flippers Podcast. Thanks for having you with us, make sure to check us out on Twitter, @adsenseflippers, or Facebook.com/empireflippers. We’d love to see you, and we’re having a webinar this Thursday, if you’re on it, we’ll see you on Thursday.

Joe:
Bye-bye, everybody!

 

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Our upcoming webinar, our new guide, and the increase in content on AdSenseFlippers.com
  • Why passive learning doesn’t work
  • Mastering the 5 steps in the Skill Transfer process: Explain, Demonstrate, Practice, Observe, and Feedback
  • Do’s and Don’ts when transferring skills to onshore and offshore employees or VA’s
  • Great free software that will help you implement the Skill Transfer process

Mentions:

PollWould you be interested in a free weekly keyword newsletter where we walk through our KW research process to show you what we would and would not pick for our sites? Let us know in the comments below!


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Discussion
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  1. […] of months, which is fantastic.  We put out (what I think is our BEST to date) a podcast episode about Skill Transfer Mastery this month.  If you’re at all involved in training virtual assistants or in-house staff, […]

  2. Neerav1992 says:

    This is all about internet marketing, right? In my opinion, get a team only if your method can easily be duplicated. If it can’t be, better to do it yourself.

    • It’s very difficult to scale a process all by yourself. Better to break the process down into it’s component pieces and train outsourced agents to do that work for you.

  3. Cam Collins says:

    I just wanted to go on record to say that the webinar you guys put on totally rocked. Excellent job. Aside from some of the audio and display issues, it came off very professionally!

  4. Andy hayes says:

    Love the idea of the keyword newsletter. Would signup in a heartbeat.

  5. Fantastic episode! Came just at right time for me as skill transfer will be the next challenge I am facing.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Robert!

      I think this is one of our favorite episodes…definitely something that’s been VERY successful for us and something we can speak to well, I think!

  6. Rich Buggy says:

    Signing up for a keyword newsletter is a no brainer. You start it, I’m there. Buying domains is a little more complicated but it’s something I’m definitely interested in, especially if it would reduce the time I spend on keyword research.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Rich!

      Yes, the newsletter will be just to help you get a feel for what we do and use to find out if we think we have a chance to rank. We’ll have purchased the domains beforehand and will offer them up for sale, along with some authority site keywords we’re not targeting that will be higher-priced, most likely. No push to buy them, just available if someone wants to pick them up!

  7. Tim Conley says:

    This is definitely my favorite episode so far. This kind of training is applicable to all businesses and not just someone wanting to manage a VA.

    What you should do is transcribe this episode and edit it down to a Skills Transfer Cheat Sheet.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Tim, really glad you liked it!

      We mention our “mentor” that broke this process down for us…the guy really is a brilliant business guy and we’ve gotten so much use out of this process over the years.

      We’re working on having all of our podcasts transcribed, but a cheat sheet would be great too, I think. Will try to put that together with tips/tricks…that’s a good idea.

  8. Dave Starr says:

    Glad to see you addressing the skills training issue … especially the issue of not finding enough staff locally. One of the “biggest lies” I’ve been watching over the past few months is the BS that comes from a lot of people who talk about outsourcing, but have no idea of the realities.

    You can do a lot of good by continuing in your present discussion/training direction, because there are a lot of potential outsourcing employees and tons of potential employees out there ‘lost in the cosmos’.

    Great stuff, guys …

    • Dave Starr says:

      Correction” potential outsourcing employers

      And I’m interested in the weekly newsletter also, sign me up.

      • JustinWCooke says:

        Hey Dave, thanks for the comment!

        There’s a lot of over-promising that comes with outsourcing, I think…and it often comes from those who don’t know anything about it as you mentioned!

        To be perfectly honest, outsourcing is NOT always the best choice for businesses…and we tell potential clients this. For those that could benefit it can be amazing, of course.

        I think as far as useful content, this podcast episode is extremely important…one of our best and it applies to a wide variety of our listeners/readers.

  9. Joe Norton says:

    I’d sign up for a keyword newsletter.

    I’ve been doing some deep data diving into keyword search volume & estimated PPC, but I’m left now with trying to effectively evaluate and rank a couple thousand potential winners to decide which to start with in my first batch of niche sites.

    I’d really like to see real examples from you guys on things like:
    ‘first page result red flags’,
    ‘this domain is compatible with our model (i.e. the web searcher isn’t looking for a blog with adsense, they want a specific ecommerce store?) and so we will not use it’,
    ‘rock bottom search volume for a purchase’,
    ‘rock bottom estimated per click payment for a purchase’,
    ‘how do you feel about brand names in domain names?’
    etc.

    If you want more ideas for the newsletter let me know, I got tons of questions!

    Enjoyed the show guys, take care.

    Joe

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Joe,

      Those are some of the exact topics we were looking to cover. It would probably be short/sweet at first, just covering a couple of keywords each week. The idea for the newsletter would be a “freemium” model, I think. We can share a few keywords in the free newsletter, but offer many more in the premium version. In the free newsletter we can also offer a few domains for sale if you’d like to buy them from us…a couple micro-niche domains and a few that we came across that are better for an authority site project and would have a higher pricetag.

  10. If your listeners take only one thing from this podcast it should be the following: You can’t expect an outsourcer to do something if you don’t know how to do it yourself. It’s a recipe for disaster

    I love join.me . I also suggest using Jing.com as it’s easy to use for screenshots and recording videos.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Mike, absolutely agreed. I laid out the skill transfer steps in a comment on LeavingWorkBehind.com and it reminded me how important this has been to our business…thought we should share what’s worked fantastically for us.

      We’ve used Jing as well…nice recommendation!

    • Jeff Bronson says:

      I’ve found the same exact thing. When making screencasts and documentation for VA,’s you have to really spell out each little step, with no room for interpretation. It must be foolproof. I’ve often gone back several times to further refine instructional material to make it easier to follow – in bite size pieces.

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