"I quickly offloaded everything web related to this new found savour that I had plugged into my business and who loved the kind of work that I dreaded every morning." - Jamie Stenhouse

Here’s What I Hired First (And How It Changed My Life Forever)

When I look back at my own journey of moving from being a one-man-band and just another freelance marketer for hire to a full blown agency with a production line style team – It all started with 1 single hire that change my business forever.

This is often a question I get asked quite often as well.

“What should I hire for first”

It can be a deep rabbit hole to fall down especially when you’re a one-man-band who is doing everything in the business. From daily email management to on boarding clients to the actual grunt work of the client’s campaign.

In my in depth case study here, titled 10 Steps To Building A Virtual Team As A Digital Marketer. I share the importance of hiring from the tools backwards.

This principle that I uncovered itself from my own personal trial and errors and then transformed my working days forever.

Hiring from “the tools backward” means to start hiring from where the work happens first and where the client interactions are last.

For example if you’re a marketer who is doing Facebook Ad campaigns and “the work” is setting up the campaign, managing it and reporting it to the client each week.

The “tools” are simply the ad campaigns and you should hire someone to manage those as quickly as you can.

This will achieve several objectives: 

a) The majority of the actual client workload will be removed from your plate. Thus freeing up additional time and creative resources to go ahead and close more clients or design further strategies for current clients

b) You’ll be able to step back and view the client’s campaign from a third person point of view since you’re no longer working on that campaign yourself. You’re now watching someone else do the work. This may highlight possible opportunities to deliver your clients further results.

Once you have hired from the first tool, you keep going backwards until you’ve reached the last role which is to replace yourself.

Ideally you want to ensure that the client still feels like they are getting personal attention even if the entire workload is being outsourced your own high performing virtual team.

(In this video here I share how to replace yourself within your company.)


So what was my first hire?


It was just that.

It was my main “tool” that I was stuck in at the moment which was playing the role of a web developer for my clients.

Countless hours were spent on custom websites, landing pages and web apps (I have a long history in web, graphic and marketing). Once I nervously hired my first ever offshore team member and watched them quickly apply changes to a clients website and landing pages….I was hooked.

I quickly offloaded everything web related to this new found savour that I had plugged into my business and who loved the kind of work that I dreaded every morning. The endless client changes or the complex web design requests.

I loved this idea of hiring from the tools back that my next hire was another web developer to support the first one I had hired a week before.

Also to clarify, I do not hire A Players, which is the exact reason why my agency has been able to scale and grow so quickly. You can learn more about that here.

The best way to approach this if you’re a marketer is to list all of the actions you do to setup or complete a client project.

List them out 1 to 10 for example.

Then begin hiring at number 10 where the project work load is complete and then work backwards until you replace yourself as the client communicator and project updater for the client. 🙂

If you would like to see a real life example of this in a case study format, be sure to click here to watch 10 Steps To Building A Virtual Team As A Digital Marketer, ensure you have a coffee and a pen handy as it is quite an in depth case study.




Jamie Stenhouse

Founder at Production Line Agency

Jamie Stenhouse

Starting in 2009, his early success as an online marketer led him to generate customers online in over 150+ different industries around the world for his clients.

After running and selling multiple agencies and companies, he is now the creator of the "Dream Team Intensive" – A unique methodology that help digital marketers to productise their agency through systems and teams.

Free case study reveals...

10 Steps To Build Agency Systems With A Team As A Digital Marketer