"It’s essentially cloning yourself. You want to discover what needs to be done, solve the problem in a well designed process and then drop another human being at the start of the process and measure the cause / effect." - Jamie Stenhouse
How To Clone Yourself With Systems and Procedures As A Digital Marketer And Agency Owner
Have you ever wanted to look back on a business week and think to yourself, “wow I spent a lot of time working ON the business this week, look at all the systems I built and people I hired”.
If you’re like most digital marketers and agency owners that is very rarely the case. In Between the flurry of daily emails, sales calls, running promotions and campaigns for our clients along with addressing the dreaded client fires – We rarely get time to actually work on our own companies and marketing agencies.
This is not anything new to you. I’m sure you’ve thought long and hard about this, becoming frustrated and maybe even taken steps towards creating time to work on the business rather than in it.
Doing this takes more than waking up at 4:30am or enrolling into Basecamp or Asana to start managing projects, and it goes far beyond only checking your emails once per day. While these are all great little hacks, they do not fix the underlying problem – which is you need team members, freelancers or contractors to take over your workload which in turn will require you to build systems and a production line.
“But Jamie, I don’t know how to hire or build systems”.
Thankfully it is not as hard as you may think but it will take time. As the navy seals are coined for saying “slow is smooth, smooth is fast”.
A common idea that is thrown around a lot inside the Dream Team Intensive group is this idea of “learning the skills you want to hire for”. Which when agency owners hear that for the first time, they freak out. They don’t want to learn a new skill set or do MORE of a task or skill set they hate. After all, that is why they are looking to build teams and systems right? To ensure they don’t need to master that skill set or generally, ever touch that annoying task again.
Let me stop you there. In order to begin building your first few systems whereby your agency can start running without you, you’re going to need to carry an understanding of what you want to outsource. This is going to make it easier and quicker to move it off your mind and onto someone else’s.
There is power in knowing how to communicate the language of the task you want to outsource for. There is control is being able to dictate the standard of work within a system by understanding the tasks. There is confidence in knowing how long a task should take because you’ve gone through it yourself in the past.
This is how lean agencies are built. They don’t rely on compation A-Players to come in at an insane per hour rate and magically save everything and fix all the fires, only to be left in a worse position now that the agency is dependent on said A-Player. No, instead they buckle down and become the CEO who climb the ranks, learning every skill set and every role in the company they are working on.
This makes hiring, building systems and quality control easier. It’s essentially cloning yourself. You want to discover what needs to be done, solve the problem in a well designed process and then drop another human being at the start of the process and measure the cause / effect.
If you’re a facebook ads agency and you’re already a champion at Facebook ads. You do your own research for clients, setup the campaign and ad set structure with a series of custom audiences, going far and beyond what you’re required to – Always excelling the previous months returns for your client. What’s to say someone else can’t do that for you?
Understand that in the agency world, a lot of what we do is based on input / output. For example, if you click here or type this, this will always happen. If you click “create new adset” a new adset will be created. If you select “X custom audience”, x custom audience will be used in the targeting.
There is less genius at play then our ego would like to think.
Instead years of practice, repetition and understanding what needs to be done is the magic here. The problem is that we’ve lost touch of what causes the magic to happen. We are disconnected from why we think a certain way, we just think and then we act. While this can be great for a one man band allowing them to complete the workload of seven other marketers, we need to slow down and think about how we’re thinking.
Why am I selecting that segment?
Where did I come up with this headline?
Why did I choose this clients competitor over this one?
All of these thought patterns and decision should be included inside your production line process with the goal of cloning yourself and building systems within your agency. Is it hard, no, because we’re making these choices everyday. Is it quick to build this, no, it takes hours and maybe even several days to build, test, hire someone, refine, test, refine and test.
The goal here is that once we build it, we will never have to adjust or edit it again. Inside my marketing agency, we’re using several systems that I built way back in 2015. At the time, I spent 4 or 5 hours building several systems that I have not needed to touch or maintain or edit for over 5 years. – That is the power of building a proper system.
The way we think and solve problems is especially how we want our team to think and solve problems. The same work output we produce by typing on a keyboard and clicking on a mouse is the same work output we want our teams to create. All of this is possible, it require the time and the attention to detail for this to come to life.
This is a trainable skill, you can learn this, it does not take long. If you would like to see behind the scenes of my marketing agency I would be more than happy to show you by clicking here.
It may be beneficial to arrange a free session with myself whereby I can take the work that you’re doing and create a production line system right in front of you, in real time, so you can witness the ease of an automated agency. If you’re up for the challenge and a better future for your agency then let’s setup a time to chat: https://www.jamiestenhouse.com/letstalk
Founder at Production Line Agency
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.