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EFP 71: 7 Things You Should NEVER Outsource

Justin Cooke November 21, 2013

Outsourcing can be a great thing and has provided us a ton of value. Hell, our main business started off here in the Philippines as an outsourcing company!

When You Should Stop Outsourcing

You can get so much more done when you manage virtual assistants well. However, there’s a limit to what you should be outsourcing. You could outsource everything, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should or that it’s a good idea.

This week we talk about the seven things you should never outsource. There may be some things you may disagree with in this episode and we’re really interested to hear what you have to say.

We’ll give you the exact reasons why we think these things shouldn’t be outsourced and cover some of the popular misconceptions about outsourcing in general.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Footage from the Boxing event we held here in Davao
  • New product launch, Niche Sites from Scratch
  • Blaming failure on your team
  • Aspects of sales that can and can’t be outsourced
  • Maintaining a consistent brand image
  • Networking and connecting with influencers



  • “If you’re not communicating well within your company then other people will do it for you.” – Justin – Click To Tweet!
  • “There are low level sale jobs you can get part-time that will teach you the basics of sales and help your business.” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

Do you agree or disagree with some of the points we’ve made? Talk to us about your opinions by either reaching out on Twitter, leaving us a message on SpeakPipe, or comment below – we’d love to hear from you!


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Speaker 1:                           Welcome to the Empire Flippers podcast. Are you sick and tired of gurus who have plenty of ideas but are short on substance? Worried that ebook you bought for $17.95 won’t bring you the personal and financial freedom you long for? Hey, you’re not alone. Join thousands of others in their pursuit of niche profits without the bullshit straight from your hosts, Justin and Joe from Empire Flippers.

Justin Cook:                        Welcome to episode 71 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. I’m your host Justin Cook and I’m here with Joe hot money Magnotti. What is going on my man?

Joe Magnotti:                    Hello everybody.

Justin Cook:                        We’ve got a great episode lined up for you this week. We are going to be going through seven things you should never ever outsource Joe.

Joe Magnotti:                    Never, ever.

Justin Cook:                        Never, ever. Hopefully, and this is fairly negative topic, we’re talking about the things that you shouldn’t be outsourcing, but hopefully you get some insights on the things that you should be outsourcing. So we’ll go over that in just a bit. Before we do that, let’s do some news and updates. First one I got is a little weird, Joe doesn’t know this one’s coming, but we’ve got the Kapow and Devoues video up and online. Joe, our in house boxing champion from the Kapow and Devoues 2012. We’re little late with it, a little late, like a year and a half late. I’m putting this video out but.

Joe Magnotti:                    A year and a half late. But I mean the whole story behind the video could be an episode in itself. But yeah man, I mean a very cool thing to be a part of.

Justin Cook:                        Oh my God dude, it was ridiculous. And if you ever come out to Devoues, we’re going to have a couple of beers and we’re going to talk about it because it was absolutely insane. It was crazy man, it was really, really fun. We put on this charity boxing event last year and it was the bees knees, let me tell ya.

Joe Magnotti:                    Anyway, we’ll link to the video and the reason why we’re mentioning it now is because we have the synopsis video, the highlight video up. So finally done and we’ll link to in the show notes.

Justin Cook:                        Joe, you’re blushing a little bit, man. The boxing champion over there. What’s going on?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, well I’ve since lost by beautiful six pack abs, but you know, that’s what beer will do to you.

Justin Cook:                        So anyways, second point we’re going to talk about is our prebuilt sites for sale. So we decided to offer up only up to 200 sites for sale and we put them in different packages, five sites, 10 sites and 20 sites. And within 24 hours we’ve sold a little over $20,000 worth of sites and we don’t have many left, maybe $9,000 worth of the sites available. So it might not even be available when this podcast goes live, but I’ll link to it anyway. And we are really blown away, so that’s pretty amazing.

Justin Cook:                        We’ve had requests for this in the past. We have a lot of people that buy our Empire starter packs because they’re looking for sites to model. I think this resonated with people because they’re brand new sites that are being built specifically for them. They get to pick the general categories and that kind of thing.

Justin Cook:                        So basically we’re going to wrap this up this month and then we’re going to do some testing on the delivery. So we gave ourselves up to 90 days to deliver these sites to the buyers and then we’re going to revisit this probably into January, February and see if it’s a product we want to add to the lineup. I think it probably will but we want to make sure we give our people time to deliver and that we don’t screw over the customers that are paying us now on these sites.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean I think we did some internal testing with some site buyers who bought 100 site bundles and helped us test through it. And anyone who did purchase, thank you very much. And we are donating a percentage to charity as well, so that’s gonna be put to good use.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, check this out dude, so I was talking to some of our team about it today. So we’ve already got the Christmas gift giving thing that we’re doing in Devoue paid for, so that’s $1,000 bucks or whatever, 40,000 pesos. So we’re going to have a blast doing that, we buy a ton of presents, we get a bunch of people to help us wrap them and hand them out to the kids in some of the poor areas of Devoue. That’s gonna happen, and then we’re probably going to get another 4,000 plus dollars worth of goods to send to the relief effort for the typhoon. So I was talking to people about this and how much rice that is, we’re talking 50 bags of 50 kilos each of rice. We’re talking huge tanks of sardines, dude this would be ridiculous. So we’re going to be able to do a lot of good, I’m really excited about that.

Joe Magnotti:                    And we’re not gonna have to deliver that personally are we?

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, it’s literally going to be like a truckload of rice. There was an operational conversation today when I started explaining how much money we’re going to have for this relief effort, and some of the girls were like, yeah, we should get some rice. I’m like, how much rice is that? So we started doing the math. They’re like, yeah, truckload, maybe. It’s like a truckload, that’s awesome, let’s do a truckload.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, and did you hear about this. This is on the side, but I’m going to mention it anyway buddy. I don’t know if you heard about this, but a lot of foreign relief has been coming in like rice or whatever, boxes of stuff. And people are unwrapping those boxes, either taking it and selling it off themselves or re wrapping it with their own name or their political party or whatever to try to win some kudos, man.

Joe Magnotti:                    I have to say that does not surprise me at all. And this is why, yes, even if you give to the Red Cross, it still could happen in the end that supplies the Red Cross gives could be repackaged or repurposed [crosstalk 00:04:53].

Justin Cook:                        As long as they’re delivering it though.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. You have a lot less likelihood of being scammed in this way if you give it to somebody like the Red Cross.

Justin Cook:                        Plus everyone knows about this, I know the US military is out here doing their thing and giving a lot of aid and they’re making sure they don’t go through sketchy government channels and then do it directly. So anyway, really excited about that and we’ll have more on that in the near future.

Justin Cook:                        The next point I wanna bring up, we’ve really been looking at office auto pilot, which is basically our kind of funnel, our bleed funnel, our autoresponder. And we’re going to break it down to make it very simple. So the idea is we’re going to do a choose your own adventure plan with our email sequences. So whenever someone signs up they’re then redirected to a page where on that page they get to choose the type of information they’re interested in. Are you interested in buying sites? You can choose that adventure. Are you interested in building sites, selling sites, entrepreneurship, where you’re gonna be able to select from those options. We’re working with Damian Thompson over at on this. And it’s been a really good, I’m really happy with how that’s rolling out.

Joe Magnotti:                    Cool. And I know there has been some questions about people being opted into the newsletter and not opted into the news letter. And I guess this kind of thing will resolve that.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, we’re getting that fixed. Last point I want to go over in the updates is we got niche site gold back buddy. So what is niche site gold? We’ll link to it in the show notes if you want to check it out. But basically it’s a weekly newsletter, it will go out every Sunday and it’ll explain to you the exact keywords that we selected the previous week. We’re going to talk about the seed keyword we put in Long Tail Pro. We go into all the objective criteria and how it meets that, the subjective information and how we chose or how we selected the chance to rank and why it meets our parameters.

Justin Cook:                        And then obviously if people want to buy that keyword where they can buy it from us as well. It’s just one pulled out of the niches we selected for that week. So if you want to get on the newsletter make sure to check out the link in the show notes and you can take a look. I’ve gotten some great feedback. In fact, I got one saying just the other day, I was like fantastic, most newsletters I have go to a spam folder, but this one’s absolutely fantastic, so thanks for sending it out.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I had a lot of fun running it last year when we used to do it, so I’m looking forward to doing it again and having Vincent takeover.

Justin Cook:                        It’s all those things, I don’t think, we make very little money on it, but I think it’s just good, man. It really helps people, so I’m glad to bring that back. Anyway, enough about that. Let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 1:                           This is the Empire Flippers podcast.

Justin Cook:                        So the idea for this episode came from a blog posts we read today on The blog is from a guy named Joel Ruyon, it’s a fantastic blog. I really like some of the articles on there, it’s really interesting you should check it out, and we’ll link to in the show notes. But this post, I thought he was out to lunch a little bit, so we’re going to go through it. We’re going to go through our points. But here’s where I really thought this was off, I’m going to read briefly what he said. He said social media, and the post was a seven things you should start outsourcing tomorrow.

Speaker 1:                           You should, key thing is you should.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, you should start outsourcing tomorrow. He says, social media, stop wasting your time posting on social media. You’re convincing yourself you need to do it, but you don’t have to. You can outsource 90% of this automatically, train someone for the other 9% and you can pop in to fix the last 1% when you’re absolutely needed.

Justin Cook:                        I disagree with the premise that 1%, that you can just hop in and fix it and that social media is just an announcement, like you’re just announcing blog posts or announcing what you’re doing. I think that’s a really poor way to use social media. And then this is from experience, and we did that with our outsourcing company and it was just ineffective.

Joe Magnotti:                    I mean, look …

Justin Cook:                        We got followers, we got retweets, but it was lame.

Joe Magnotti:                    You will get some sort of interaction and you will get some leads from that and you will get some queries from that.

Justin Cook:                        But it’s lame and everyone’s going to hate you and you’re not going to get any thought leaders that give a shit.

Joe Magnotti:                    You’re not going to get any real interaction. You’re not going to get any good interaction, you’re not going to get good leads or good customers from that. And we know that definitely from experience.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, quick Story, so there was a guy that we worked with at our previous company, his name is Steve, Steve Espinosa, local Seo guy, and started to build up a little clout in the space. Anyway, he saw that Jason Calacanis was tweeting about needing tickets to a Lakers game. And so Steve got on there right away and was like, yeah man, I got great tickets. And he’s like, oh really? So I started chatting privately back and forth, Steve had no tickets, Steve had nothing. He was just, if I get a chance to sit down with Jason at a Lakers game, I’m all over that.

Justin Cook:                        So he like shops on Craig’s list real quick, buys some tickets and meets up with them at the game. Ends up hanging out, Jason loves this story, ends up investing in his business, gets Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, to invest in this business. They end up exiting like six months later, nine months later for a few million dollars. Give everyone a quick win. And now he’s got some people totally backing him. I think he got Gary Vaynerchuk to invest in his next business or something, it’s crazy.

Justin Cook:                        And this is all because of a tweet he was responding to from Jason saying hey man, anyone got any Lakers tickets? Good luck getting your VA to do that for you, right? Your VA’s is going to miss that, not take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. And I think that’s what social media is about, is that connection that like you can be, you’re on the same exact platform and level as any of your heroes. And that’s what’s really cool about it. Except for the ones with PR firms.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and that just goes to show you that you better use the platform correctly when that opportunity comes along, if you seize it in the wrong manner or your a history says that you usually use social media in the wrong manner, people are going to ignore you and you’re not to be able to interact with them. You’re not going to be able to jump in that 1% if 99% sucks and then all of a sudden try to interact with these high level people. They’re going to go back and look at you and say, this guy’s, no way, he’s a joke.

Justin Cook:                        Anyway, I mean, read the article make up your own mind. Definitely impossiblehq, It’s a cool site. But let’s give you the seven things that we absolutely think you should never ever outsource. First thing.

Joe Magnotti:                    Never, ever.

Justin Cook:                        Never, ever, ever, yeah. First thing buddy?

Joe Magnotti:                    Responsibility.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, and what we mean by this is that’s a really weak sauce position to blame your failure on your team, on your internal team, on third parties, on your vendors, anything like that. It’s just a horrible position to take because ultimately it is always your responsibility if it’s your business.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think he had a good story about this, about the SEO blogger and evaluation.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah. So this is funny, and I’ll lead to this in the show notes too. I know we keep saying that, but you should definitely check this one out. It kind of, there’s some inside baseball in the internet marketing Seo community, but there’s a blog, it’s a guy named Matthew over at And he’s not shy to call people out and like tell it like it is.

Justin Cook:                        He wrote a post called Why Raven Tools Should Not Be Trusted, which is a little aggressive. But the backstory is that he checked out a bunch of back linking tools and then rated them on their viability and the success in his tests. And he laid it out for everyone to see. Raven Tools didn’t score as high as some other companies, and that’s not such a big deal. And they weren’t that freaked out about it. He had a good kind of relationship, an affiliate relationship actually, with Raven Tools and they were kind of going back and forth to the affiliate manager.

Justin Cook:                        Affiliate manager leaves the company and all of a sudden he finds himself presented with the CEO or the founder, I’m not sure exactly his title, his name is John Henshaw, finds himself emailing back and forth and John just kind of lays into him, rips him a new one buddy in an email and just kind of like saying you’re crazy, you’re wrong, blah, blah blah. And Matthew is not one to take that lying down.

Justin Cook:                        So he said, oh, I’ll just post it on my blog. So there’s this whole kind of drama thing laying out. And he just kind of lays into Raven Tools, and honestly John really deserved it, but here’s the cool thing. So when John read that he came back and just owned it, owned it, said, you know what? I was absolutely wrong, there’s no question here it was completely my fault. Please don’t blame the team at Raven SEO, Raven Tools for what happened here. It was me having a bad day, I take full responsibility for it, it was pretty cool. So at first I read that and I was like, oh man, he nailed that dude. But he came back and I think really owned it quite well. I think that was a great example of how to own it when you know someone is coming after you. There’s some other really bad examples that Matthew links to that you should check out.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I would say that, that is a great example. It’s a good story too of owning up to your mistakes. And also just being careful when you’re talking to people over email, especially in a negative light.

Justin Cook:                        Another thing to remember I think is that if it’s crucial in your business, you need to own it, right? I mean, if it’s an important part of your business, it is yours ultimately. One of the worst things you’ll see in companies, and I should clarify that, throughout this whole conversation we’re talking about medium sized companies or smaller, we’re talking about a million dollars a month or less. I think that’s critical to remember, but you’ll have, not a lot of people but the bad people will say things like, that’s not really my department.

Joe Magnotti:                    I have to say I hate this one, Justin, and this is like …

Justin Cook:                        I don’t do that. You really need to go over here get in that line, sir. Yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    This will really, if you outsource too much of your business, this is what’s going to happen to you because-

Justin Cook:                        No one wants to take a responsibility because they don’t want to be the person that either loses their job, or they get there-

Joe Magnotti:                    Makes a decision.

Justin Cook:                        This can happen internally too, but I think it’s even worse when you’re talking about third parties outsourcing.

Joe Magnotti:                    Let me tell you, the obvious example is customer service where a customer comes in, they have a special type of request or complaint. Look, I went to Phillips, right? I had a Phillips headset and I had broken the little cable that connects to my computer. I needed a special cable, I contacted Phillips and I asked for a new cable. And because I was in the Philippines, I got forwarded to Phillips in the Philippines, who forwarded me to a local distributor who forwarded me to another guy. I mean, it was just amazing. At the end of the day and a month of emails back and forth I finally got my cable, but what a terrible, terrible –

Justin Cook:                        And that’s not even just third parties and [crosstalk 00:15:00].

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, it was just …

Justin Cook:                        And no one can help you right?

Joe Magnotti:                    And no one can help me and no one knows who I’m talking about. And it’s just an absolute example of them outsourcing their customer service and their delivery of small parts. But beyond that, beyond customer service, there’s other examples. I’ve had the relationship where I’m the vendor and I call up to be paid and you have an outsourced accounting department that they don’t have the right to make a decision on the money.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, that’s right.

Joe Magnotti:                    And so they, that’s not mine. You’ll have to talk to this person and that person’s not in. So then you have to talk to another person. Oh my God, it’s very, very frustrating.

Justin Cook:                        The CEO or CFOs of those companies were saying the buck stops here. But if you can never reach them because you’re having to go through all these different, yeah it’s horrible. Second point we want to talk about is sales, and we actually mentioned this a bit last week. We talked about how every business owner is in sales. It’s critical for them to always be selling their company in some fashion or another, their brand. And I would say I would put this caveat in that there are aspects of your sales pipeline that can eventually be outsourced. But really it comes down to you’re going to be closing deals.

Joe Magnotti:                    Look, I’m going to do my best Glen Gary, Glen Ross here and say always be closing. Coffee is for closers, and you can do the lead generation, you can do to spreadsheet management, you can do all this other stuff, appointments setting or getting passed the gatekeeper, getting information online. But closing the deal is very difficult to outsource. And if you find a way to do it, especially in the Philippines, please contact me because I want to know because I’ve never seen it done successfully.

Justin Cook:                        I wanna ride those coattails because you’re going to kill it. By the way, Joe, just to mention, you’d be the worst sales manager I could have ever imagine in my life. Like your disdain for salespeople, I could just feel, I’d be fearful. I can feel you creeping behind me and just going you dirty bastard. Oh, I don’t know, oh you’re horrible.

Joe Magnotti:                    But that said-

Justin Cook:                        I agree with you though that … and we’re not talking about always you as the business owner, you’re not always closing the deal, but your internal team is. We’ve worked with companies where they try to use third parties to run their … they’d used a third party telemarketing centers to actually do the sales and get the orders in. My problem is they’re so far removed from the company that protecting the brand, yeah, not really important. Your incentives are basically, I mean, you could try to work around it, but they’re going to be basically just to sell as many as possible.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, questions outside of the script, they have no idea. They don’t care, they just try to get the guy right back on script and close them.

Justin Cook:                        And it’s awkward, you’re going to have complaints about your brand, because of it can hurt your business, it’s horrible. And for those of you who suck at sales we have a bit of a recommended, especially if you’re young, take a sales job.

Joe Magnotti:                    And even honestly I’m about this Justin.

Justin Cook:                        No really Joe, work and sales, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    I agree.

Justin Cook:                        Go get a job, start doing sales, start doing anything you’re reluctant to do. Have you ever heard of this with sales reluctance thing?

Joe Magnotti:                    No.

Justin Cook:                        Remember this? Yeah, so yeah, especially if you’re calling or you’re doing in person sales and you just kind of get that feeling in your gut. You’re like, oh, I can’t do another sales call or whatever. And I think if you-

Joe Magnotti:                    Start doing busy work.

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, and anything else. I’m not going to make any of my calls today or whatever. And the thing is you just gotta fight through it. And so I think if you’re not good at sales really doing it, basically taking a job in sales and fighting through that sales reluctance is helpful.

Joe Magnotti:                    I wouldn’t even suggest … I was thinking about this before the show, if you want to start your own business and you haven’t started yet and you have a full time job, maybe before you start your business, a second job as some sort of low level sales.

Justin Cook:                        Selling Kirby’s door to door baby, no, I don’t know.

Joe Magnotti:                    I don’t know about that. But I mean there are low level sales jobs you can get part-time that would teach you some of the basics at least that would really help your business, especially in the beginning.

Justin Cook:                        If you need any examples talk to us privately. Emails, I can give you a gazillion examples of outsources here in the Philippines that do not sell. They do salesy stuff but they don’t sell. They’ll call an offer free samples of products, they will-

Joe Magnotti:                    Service.

Justin Cook:                        They will handle customer service and do upsells, they can do surveys, but they’re not pulling credit cards, they’re not closing deals at all.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and remember that a lot of the big companies that are successful with sales in the Philippines do inbound sales. So they do advertisements on TV and radio. You call a phone number and the guy in their line goes, hi sir, can I have your credit card please? And that’s it, the sales already been done.

Justin Cook:                        It’s almost customer service, I mean they have some things they need to tell them. They need to make sure they’re informing the client but selling them not so much. Third point we wanna talk about something you’ve never ever should outsource are any of your core competencies. So you know, for example, if you’re a tech company, you’re not going to be able to send off … you have the next idea for Facebook. You’re not going to be able to say, oh, I got this fantastic idea, let me ship it off to Indiana, I’ll have my Indian development team kind of build it up. Or the Philippines development team or whatever any other country or even another team in the US that’s not closely aligned and committed to your business.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. You know, this is pretty important stuff, us is a great example. I mean, we build websites and although we are an outsourcing company, we don’t outsource the building of our websites. Our internal team does that and that’s why we’re able to control the quality very well and control the costs very well and make sure that we deliver to the user at the end of the day a high level product for a good price.

Justin Cook:                        So we’ve had offers from people that want to basically build sites for us behind the scenes. Problem is we can’t really control the quality and we’re now the front face of someone that may be delivering a crappy product. Whereas like with us, we can absolutely own it. Another thing we will mention and you actually brought up this point, but the innovation or creation of new products is probably not gonna be able to be outsourced. Now you can outsource manufacturing, they can build it overseas or through an outsource team. But the actual creating of the idea that innovation is not going to happen.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, this is how I think of it in terms of-

Justin Cook:                        You know your market, you know your market, you know your customers, you know what they need, your team has got the finger on the pulse. And so trying to outsource that is just not a great idea.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and in terms of information products, physical products, that would be a great example. The design has to be in house, the innovation, the prototype, the prototype building has to be in house and the manufacturing can be outsourced. But in information products, right. In online services, we can think of it more as the beta product should be done in house and the scaling, once you get to a level where you already know the process, that can be outsourced.

Justin Cook:                        We’re going to get in another point here really soon, but the fourth point I wanna talk about is financial control in your business.

Joe Magnotti:                    This is a big one for money, budgeting listen, you can get an accountant, you can get a bookkeeper, you can get people to help you with budgeting. But at the end of the day the budget has to be done in house. And that means sitting down with your leadership team, your top level managers, coming up with an idea of how much they need to spend for the upcoming quarter, for the upcoming six months, for the upcoming year, and determining what kind of money you’re gonna spend. This kind of budgeting shouldn’t just be outsourced to somebody else.

Justin Cook:                        I think also, when it comes to cash flow and managing your cash flow, if you have a third party team doing that, they’re not going to know where your business is growing. They’re not going to know as deeply as anyone on your team or on your staff or you yourself. And I think having some third party try to help balance cash flow is not going to be affective.

Joe Magnotti:                    You know, I talked to Chris Ducker about this and he has a company that’s almost 10 times the size of our company in terms of number of people. And still he’s intimately involved in the cash flow management. So I think that’s just a big piece of running a company and it’s something that you shouldn’t get away from because you wanna know where your money is at all times.

Justin Cook:                        So our old CFO at a company we worked with in the US, I mean he would check every payroll. Every payroll that would come in he would look at it, he would question the numbers. He would try to keep his … even his internal team on their toes by making sure that the numbers lined up, everything kind of seemed right. And there’s no way in hell he would’ve said that to a third party.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean you’re talking about a million dollar a month company, which it’s not huge, but it’s definitely fairly big. And they had more than a hundred employees at one point. And I’m not saying he looked at every line item, but he took a few every payroll period, looked and made sure that they made sense, made sure that one guy wasn’t working 400 hours. Made sure that bonuses, that salaries were in line with what they were previously, that things hadn’t gotten a large percentage out of range, that kind of thing.

Justin Cook:                        And this is something … I know now we’re getting to have some fun on the podcast and we’re doing this show, but before the show we’re doing the real work behind it. Joe was looking over payroll and he was saying, what the heck is going on with this guy’s cash? Why is he getting paid so much money? Right, so he shot an email out saying, hey guys, what’s going on here? It’s good to have that.

Joe Magnotti:                    Whenever I look at payroll, I just look at the pay period before and if someone has an indication, to me that’s a red flag is when they get a lot more in the next pay period. So it’s a very easy thing to determine and large companies, medium sized companies do the same thing. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it either. Don’t outsource that because you know what, nobody’s gonna care as much about your money as you.

Justin Cook:                        So the fifth thing you should never ever outsource in your business is message. And so this really gets back into impossible HQ and there mention of social media. But outsourcing social media is a horrible thing. I mean even if you don’t take my example of Steve and his meeting with Jason, I mean that is your brand. That is your message online with where a lot of people hang out, think about Facebook, how many people are on Facebook. And that’s what they’re going to see, if you have some stay at home mom, that’s kind of sending out tweets and doesn’t understand your business, it’s not really gonna work, it’s not going to be effective. You’re not going to make the connections that you need, and that’s what things like Twitter are all about. Is the level playing field where you can connect with these awesome people in your network, even outside of your network.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean we talk about this a lot and I think that the biggest problem with outsourcing social media is gonna come not just when you vomit all this information out there, it’s when other people come back and start asking questions or trying to interact with you. Some stay at home mom is never going to know your business as well as you do and they’re not going to be able to talk to it as an expert and people want to see you as an authority.

Justin Cook:                        The only thing I would never do is I would never have just third parties blogging or writing guest posts on behalf of our business. And when it comes to our message. So let’s say for example, I have an affiliate site that’s writing up a particular product or whatever. Can I trust a third party to do that? Sure. If it’s not like a branded site that’s our business, but something that’s actually our business and our message, absolutely not. Am I going to let someone else blog under my name about our business? They’re not going to know what they need to say that’s really related to what we do, and they’re not going to be helpful I think.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, as we were talking about before you show Justin, I mean I think that you as the business owner don’t have to do the content marketing, but you can’t outsource it. You have to make that guy an employee, so if you don’t want to do the writing for your blog, that’s okay, but expect to hire a very expensive employee to do it.

Justin Cook:                        Or someone to really just can become a really intimate knowledge of your business or gain really intimate knowledge about your business. Otherwise, it’s just not going to be effective. So sure if you’re just looking for kind of like SEO content or whatever, but you know, we did that route. Any site that you care about any site that’s branded, that’s your business, that’s a horrible idea. We’ve done it, and it just, it just doesn’t resonate it’s just no good, man.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, the Triber Po versus Empire Flippers. I mean, that’s a perfect example of just outsourcing it and getting information out there. And sure, we generated leads and leads did come in, they weren’t very good leads.

Justin Cook:                        Well let’s back it up a bit. So Triber PO versus Empire Flippers, basically what Triber PO on the blog is, we wrote some of the articles ourselves, but we also had third party write about particular topics. And we were targeting keywords and stuff, but that was under our brand and it really, it just wasn’t, it wasn’t the same message, it wasn’t on the same page. And at the time we didn’t know some of these things. And then we figured this out after the fact, but it was just no good. I mean it brought some leads, but it was just no good.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and wasn’t very exciting, it wasn’t very authoritative, it was just kind of what everybody else was saying in a different voice.

Justin Cook:                        And not terribly well, what everyone else is saying and not terribly well. Yeah, man, just really not good. I think the other thing to remember about message, it’s not always customer facing, there’s internal communications that are going on too. So we have a very open door policy in our company, if anyone needs to talk to us about anything, they can come to us. I think that’s really important, if you’re not communicating well within your company, then other people are going to do it for you. Right, if you’re not helping to facilitate the flow of information between your internal team and your outsourcers, it’s gonna become really problematic.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean you brought this up pre show and now that I’m thinking about it, I think it’s pretty important and it’s a good reason why you should start moving from some halftime hours of outsourcing here or there to a real team that works for you. And a virtual team that works for you, I’m not sure that I would really consider that outsourcing anymore. Those are starting to be employees who you can message to them how they should be handling because customers.

Justin Cook:                        I’m talking more like the Odesk person or something.

Joe Magnotti:                    Exactly, and if you have multiple Odesk people, why not try to move to a full time employee benefit?

Justin Cook:                        Sixth point I wanna talk about, and we’ve mentioned this before in other episodes too, but you should not ever, never ever outsource new projects, brand new projects. You have this idea, right. And I think people think that there’s this idea machine basically. And all they have to do is they put in ideas in the one side and it’ll pop out profitable process on the other and it just doesn’t work that way.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, the old Odesk ad of I will pay you $300 to make me a website that makes $500 a month.

Justin Cook:                        You have to prove it, I have to put my Ad Sense account on it. I have to check the money, I have to get paid out for three months and then I’m gonna pay you 300 bucks. Yeah, you know, we hammer this home, but it’s always important to test the viability of a new project and create the process to actually knock that project out in house first. You have to do that in house and then you can scale it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, a perfect example of this is us saying no to customers, finally. I mean we used to say yes to those kinds of leads, right when they came up. Remember that Justin, back in the beginning-

Justin Cook:                        Yeah, because we were just trying, we were just getting started, right? So thinking about us, we’re in kind of this, oh my God, let’s get customers mode. Yes, we can do it, so think about that on your perspective, right? So there’s an outsourcing company that you bring this idea too, and they’re like, okay, yes, let’s just roll with it. We’ll do it, yeah, we can make it work.

Joe Magnotti:                    We’ll figure it out.

Justin Cook:                        It doesn’t seem like a core competency of theirs, but they’re saying, yes, they can do it. That’s probably not good for your business, right. That’s probably not going to be an effective team.

Joe Magnotti:                    It’s a sign of a weak company.

Justin Cook:                        And we did this, the weak and the desperate companies will try to take on your idea and make it happen because they’re just weak and desperate looking for clients. Which we were when we were just starting out, right. We were just trying to figure it out and that’s a bad approach and if you see that coming, you’re trying to outsource that, just be aware of that, it’s probably gonna be a loser.

Joe Magnotti:                    I mean it is one of the things from built to sell that’s fabulous.

Justin Cook:                        Do they mention that in there?

Joe Magnotti:                    They do, they mention saying no to customers that are not within your suite.

Justin Cook:                        Absolutely, yes, absolutely. We figured out before I’d read that book and it was interesting, it just kind of reiterates, yeah, yeah, yeah. It just reiterates what we were like, ah, yeah, baby, now we’re on the same page. So the seventh point, our last point would be connecting or networking. You never ever, ever, ever wanna out source this. Joe has a great example of some Linkedin spam, we won’t blame anybody here, but we do know someone that has used some Linkedin spam to gain clients. And it’s just …

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, again, it’s a sign of weak sauce, I think. I mean the kind of people that are gonna respond to that spam. I’m not really sure you want them as customers or businesses partners.

Justin Cook:                        Oh god, no, they would be horrible, horrible customers. You know, something about this Dan Norris, buddy of ours was posting on Facebook some really poorly worded cold emails he was getting from some outsource people trying to drum up some business. It’s not gonna build a good name for your brand, basically you’re gonna get made fun of on Facebook. So if you have poorly worded cold emails going out from your outsourcers, yeah, expect some grief because people are going to be up for it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think about those things from India all the time. Do you have any projects you can outsource to me? They want us as an outsourcing company, just be the sales and marketing and then outsource again to them, no, I’m not going to do that.

Justin Cook:                        What’s your problem with India man? They do in the Philippines too. No, I’m just kidding. Yeah, but you know like it’s bad. It’s just not good, not good for your brand, you shouldn’t have them doing that. The other thing I think with third parties or outsourced virtual staff is that they can’t speak to some of the important aspects of your business, right? The things that really matter, the core message, they’re not going to be able to carry that through. When you’re connecting or networking with other people in your business or potential customers, they’re not going to be able to carry that through nearly as well as someone internally either someone close to the team.

Joe Magnotti:                    We talked about this a little bit in the message point. Well I did at least, and you know the point of interacting with people once you send out all these emails. So when people start to get back to you and start to ask questions. I mean, if you have outsourcers handling these requests because you’re going to get thousands of them because the only way to get an ROI on these kinds of things to send out millions or hundreds of thousands of messages. People are gonna say, man, that guy’s not a very good authority, he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.

Justin Cook:                        So what do you guys think about this? We’re wrapping it up here, but what do you think about some of our seven things you should never ever outsource? Are we out to lunch on this one? I think impossible HQ is on point, they said some things that resonate. I’d really like to hear we have to say in the comments, do let us know, we’d love to hear from you. I’m interested in your thoughts on this.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, leave us a speak pipe message and we’ll put you on the show.

Justin Cook:                        All right, enough about that, let’s get to the tips, tricks, and our plans for the future.

Speaker 1:                           You and listening to the Empire Flippers podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin Cook:                        So we have two tips and tricks for you this week. First one I want to talk about is from Tim Soulo, over at He basically created a nice cool, handy little tool called Strip the Blog. Here’s the deal, we’ll link to the show notes, you can check it out. But basically it’s a nice little search tool that you can use to see your favorite blog and you want to know what had the most social media shares Facebook, Twitter, that kind of thing. And you want to find out how popular a particular blog post was over a period of time.

Justin Cook:                        You can go over there and it’ll rank them for you based on their share ability. So if you want to see what’s hot on that blog, what’s really getting mentioned, it’s great for getting ideas for your own content. If it’s a competitor, if it’s just someone that you’re interested in checking out or you wanna comment on or get involved in. It’s another great way to find some of the best posts, it’s free. We emailed back and forth a little bit, he asked for some advice. I said, yeah, I mean he had one you could do a day for free and then you have to give your email for that. I was like, you need to open that up a little bit. But there are a couple of things I see where he’s going with it, I see how it could pretty interesting. It’s a nice little tool, probably a good lead magnet for him, but it’s cool.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and I like that name,

Justin Cook:              , So he came to the Devow, Tim, I’m calling you out man. You came down to the vow and then didn’t really go to the Philippines. I think he was in the Devow, he came down to the Philippines, didn’t meet up with this man. What’s going on with that Tim?

Joe Magnotti:                    Come on Tim, that’s weak sauce.

Justin Cook:                        Killing me buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    That’s the third time I used weak sauce in this show.

Justin Cook:                        The second point I wanted to mention which I think is really interesting is the Facebook image strategy. So I wasn’t a huge fan of this posting the who raw images and motivational entrepreneurial images. I’ve seen Cody McKibben has been doing this a bit lately. We started doing it a bit and it really does … they do get shared, they do get some attention and I don’t know, they’re kind of cool. I’ve seen sometimes where I’m like, it’s cool, but I think it can be overdone, so I think we need to be careful with that. But one of the things I’ve seen recently that I really liked is James Schramko. So here’s what he’s doing, he’s taking images of other well known bloggers, podcasters, et Cetera, having probably one of his team members listen to their podcasts or read a blog post and then create an image of them, like a cartoon image of them. And then put their quote up and then putting his at the bottom part of the image and then putting it on Facebook probably all the other places too.

Justin Cook:                        What’s cool about that though is then if that person gets it, and I don’t think he’s doing this actually, but you could tag that person. So if I get one of John Lee Dumas from entrepreneur on fire, I could tag him, he’s obviously gonna see it. If he takes it and shares it or uses it, you’re obviously going to be in front of his audience, which I think is a fantastic strategy, it’s pretty cool. But jeans buddy, you need to start tagging those people. I’m not seeing it happen on Facebook, start tagging them and I think you’ll get a bit more attention and get those images used by influential people, bloggers, podcasters. It’s a cool strategy, and I’m digging it. All right, That’s it for episode 71 of the Empire Flippers podcast, thanks for hanging with us. We will be back next week with another episode, make sure to check us out on Twitter at Empire Flippers, and we’ll see you next week.

Joe Magnotti:                    Bye, bye everybody.

Speaker 1:                           You’ve been listening to the Empire Flippers podcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up for more. That’s Thanks for listening.



  • John says:

    Really new information for me.Thank you for sharing.Good to know the tasks that we should not outsource to the virtual personal assistant.

  • Jeremy says:

    Dang who’s training them young guys? Look out Joe, they’re going to take the crown one day.

    I’m at the same weight Joe, fight at 172, let myself get to 195 right now. Scared of the day when I have to get back down to weight.

  • Dave Starr says:

    Good stuff guys. One of the larger blunders I see guys make all the time is following the dream-like idea that outsourcing work means you don’t have to know anything about getting the work done. It seems to come from a lot of guys who write “dreamy” little books about how things will work in a perfect world. Ain’t no such place, sadly.

    The most people I have ever had working for me is 30. What an “Emperor of the World” was I. NOT. It is work, guys and gals, to keep 30 people (or even 3), happy, on track, even in the same general direction. Outsourcing (or having regular employees) is a great idea when you have a need and you can keep them productive, but outsourcing the work you don’t know how to do? Scary indeed.

    And when did you guys sneak into my house and take that picture of me that you used in this article. Was that outsourced? I’m really glad I cleaned up my room so nice for the pic, usually it is messier. But how long has it been since I had that much hair? 😉

  • toddbeuckens says:

    Great episode. Pretty much agree with everything except the Social Media. I don’t do any of my SM for various reasons. 1) I hate social media so I leave it someone who likes it. 2) As long as I set up the meta tags rights, most of the time a pasting of a link will suffice. Once you got Twitter, FB, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc it adds up. 3) Also, I market a lot to markets in languages other than English so having a bilingual SM VA is huge, and also really helps traffic. Also for good FB traffic, so true about pics but video is even better, but don’t use a Youtube clip. Upload a small video and have a link to your site in the text section above the video.

  • Tim Soulo says:

    Hey Justin & Joseph 🙂

    Huge thanks for featuring my tool! It was a perfect brief overview of what the tool does and why it’s useful for bloggers.

    And guys… I was in Philippines, but not in Davao.. I was in Angeles for 2 weeks.. which is pretty much on another island 🙂

    I really-really wanted to come and meet you guys, but that would have messed up our plans with Dainis.

    Oh and by the way.. I do some MMA for 2 years now.. so maybe one day we’ll spar with Joseph 🙂 (What’s your weight, mate? Mine is 172 pounds.)

    And the last thing… this “Click To Tweet” thingy you use… I actually created a nice plugin that does pretty much the same, but in a more fancy way.. (see the video – – not my voice there btw)

    I’d be happy to send you this plugin, but I don’t know your direct email… Drop me a line at “timsoulo at gmail” and I’ll send you this plugin.. it should look cool on your blog 🙂

    Once again… huge thanks for featuring me!

  • OnSynergy says:

    a couple of years ago I had a teacher who used to say “if you can outsource your strategy…you’re in trouble” – you guys boil it down. Specific and actionable ideas. Thumbs up!

  • Having used to work in Real Estate sales, man that was a tough lesson in self improvement but I’d recommend it to pretty much everyone. Nice one guys.

    Definitely agree with what you’re saying, all of it.

  • Thanks for the shout-out, where’s the link in the Mentions dammit? 😉

    Loved the episode but think you are off on social media, you are “outsourcing” it to Vincent now. There is nothing wrong with training multiple people to use your social platforms. I don’t think Joel was saying “spray & pray” or to be an promoter only, but no doubt YOU dont have to be the one that uses your social platform to engage your audience.

    • Yeah, maybe that’s a better way to say it — the announce part can be outsourced or even automated, the interaction cannot. Still I think it’s best those starting off take a simple approach or don’t do it all.

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