You want to hear how I’m building my team virtually. And honestly, I think it’s so important – my team is the FOUNDATION to reaching our potential as a company.

We’re an all-virtual team with 30+ members and 65+ clients internationally. Which is to say, we have a lot of experience working virtually.

This episode is all about the special, relationship-building “to do’s” we’ve mastered – with special attention to the details you can bring into your own business, service-based or not.

Here’s a snapshot of what I’m talking about…

  • How we welcome new team members (+how we ensure a good first impression with clients/customers)
  • Exactly what I do every day/week/month/year to build relationships with my team
  • Why I’m working on my “small talk” skills
  • And, my favorite internal meeting that you might want to adopt in your own company….

Tune into this episode for a behind-the-scenes look at the team-building inside Hirsh Marketing. And then head over to Instagram stories to share the episode, with your TEAM especially (tag @emilyhirsh for a shoutout).

P.S. Remember – DOORS TO IGNITE CLOSE SOON (June 27), so hop over to IgniteCourse.com to sign up for our mega-course in DIY marketing + ads for up-and-coming #onlineinfluencers.

Key Points:
[1:50] Corporate America can’t understand this
[2:40] The secret sauce behind my company’s high performance
[6:10] How to build relationships virtually (+ why I’m working on my “small talk” skills)
[8:22] Our favorite team meeting – and one you need to start a.s.a.p.!
[10:14] I don’t pay for an office, so I can afford something even better!
[11:43] Tips for making a good first impression with your clients + customers
[15:54] How do you know whether your team is “doing the work” if they’re virtual?

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Episode Transcripts:  

Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh and this is the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Attention, innovators, influencers, creators and game changing entrepreneurs, your internet domination begins right here. We are the powerhouse marketers that you’ve been looking for. You’re already making waves in your industry and we’re here to help amplify those waves of change by creating a connection that cuts through the noise. We take everything you’ve built inside your zone of genius and find its audience. With killer strategy and laser eye for impact, we launch multimillion dollar campaigns and skyrocket your reach online. And now we are doing the unheard of. We’re unveiling everything we’ve learned, taking you behind the scenes with the Hirsh Marketing Team and giving away the secrets to our client’s success. Stay tuned for top converting strategy, ROI reports and insight or knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else, your changing the world and we’re the team to help.

Welcome to the Hirsh marketing Underground Podcast. I am excited for this episode. We are going to actually go into a little bit of team strategy. Every time I do one of these, I get so much feedback on it and just people want to know more and more and more. And a lot of people ask me, how are you building your team? How are you putting in systems? How are you doing this virtually? I get asked all the time and I think it’s really important because marketing is a huge piece obviously of business and that’s the majority of what this podcast is about but also on the backend to deliver on your services and to actually grow real true business, you have to have an amazing team supporting you, I believe, to get to your true potential.

So today I’m going to talk about and give some tips on mastering client and team relations virtually. So we are an all virtual team. We have over 30 people on our team and then we have over 65 clients on our roster. All virtual, no in-person meetings. All over the US and Canada is my team, and then some of our clients are in Australia and the UK and international. So a lot of people, if you tell this to them and they are in corporate, they will be like, “What?” They’ll freak out on you. It’s funny, I’ve done it many times of like, yeah, I’ve never met most of my team and people’s mouth drops. It’s funny. If you’re in the online space, you get it because you work virtually, but it’s like a whole new world really when you share it with people.

So first I’m going to share with you guys what we do for my team, managing my team virtually. And then I’m going to share just a little bit about clients and how I make sure we set that up for success. And it will just say this. So our core value is communication, over-communication in our company. And we put a subtext to that of both internally and externally. Communication is a literally everything especially when you’re virtual because people don’t know what you’re working on unless they’re sitting right there, right? But they don’t know what you’re working on unless you have a communication process. And so for us that’s true for clients. That’s true for management. That’s true for other team members. You really can’t over-communicate. And I have instilled this in my team and we actually just recently did a culture meeting where all the new team members kind of shared who they are, why they joined the team and a fun fact about themselves.

But I would say like half of those people who have recently joined the team made the same comment of, I’ve never experienced such clear communication in a company in my life. And that’s my secret sauce because I always tell my team, you can have a strategy that’s not working, a marketing strategy that’s not working or a client that’s struggling or whatever issue we have, but if you communicate it and you communicate what we’re doing to fix it and you stay ahead of the game, you can still maintain that relationship. If you don’t do that, you may not be able to maintain the relationship. And so I have instilled this in my team. It’s in all of our training. I lead that way. Our management leads that way and it’s so important. So here’s some things I do to maintain my team virtually.

One, we have a daily huddle. Every single day, it’s about 15 minutes. The entire team gets on Zoom and I believe Zoom is really important because it’s video and so I can actually connect with people and see how they look, see their reactions, smile at them, connect with them, that even though I’m not in person with them, I have that next level versus just like voice in conference. Right? So Zoom is super important. I spend a lot of my day on Zoom, and so we do a daily huddle. It’s 15 minutes. We really don’t get into tactical stuff. It’s like number updates, does anybody have any issues? And then we do a shout out time and the shout out time is the longest part of the huddle and it’s where people can call other people out for being awesome and it’s great. So daily huddle every single day, entire team.

Then this one’s super important. When somebody joins the team new, they have a daily check in for the first two weeks that they’re at the company with their manager every day. And this changed the game for us when we started doing this because again, when a new person is working virtually and they have questions or they’re stuck on something management won’t know unless they ask. And by having a meeting everyday, 30 minutes is really all you need to check in and answer their questions and make sure they’re good and hear their priorities and help them reprioritize if you need. It changes the game. And so every one of our team members has this. And then in some of our super established positions, like ads managers, they do this for the first 30 days and they have an entire workbook that they’re going through, like a training course.

It’s really intense because that’s our … We’re always hiring ads managers and training new ads managers, so daily check ins for the first 14 days. And then after that they have at least a weekly one on one check in with their manager. So everybody who reports to me, I meet with them In group settings. So I’ll be on the marketing meeting, the weekly marketing meeting and all that, but I still have a one on one check-in with that person. And this has been so key actually for me as I’ve grown my leadership team and the people that are reporting to me, not only just making sure they’re clear, making sure they’re good, hearing about problems and hearing about what went well, but also building that relationship. And as a leader, one thing I’ve learned and has actually not been hard for me but has been something that I’ve had to realize is the importance of building relationships and how growing your team is a lot about that connection and trust.

And people on my team, the reason why they show up and they give it all to their clients and they love what they’re doing and they work so hard for me and go above and beyond is because they feel safe in the company and connected and welcome. And that is a culture that you have to create if you don’t want to be in a lot of pain growing your team. Honestly. So I really have worked on building those relationships, especially with my direct reports. And the only way to do that ia time. And you can’t just build a relationship in three weeks. Like it’s impossible, right? So consistently building that and even if it’s taking one minute of that meeting to be like, how are you? Like what’s this thing going on in your life and how are you feeling?

Or that’s so cool that you went to dinner. You know, even that like micro moments of that makes a huge difference. And so I really push that and to be honest with you, I’ve had to learn that because I am not the type of person who ever does any small talk, ever. I mean we get on the huddle and I’m like, okay, let’s go. And my team’s like, I’m going to spend six seconds past 11 central. Like wait a second. I just don’t do a good job with small talk or feeling like I’m wasting anytime. So I want to get on every meeting and just be like, go, dive in, tactical, let’s figure it out, strategize whatever we need to do. And I’ve had to step back just a little bit. Not a lot. Obviously I don’t want to spend 10 minutes even or even full five minutes in a meeting talking about pointless stuff.

It’s not pointless guys, if my team’s listening, not pointless. I love hearing about your stories, but I’m trying to think of a word to say that’s not pointless. It’s not pointless to have … Oh my God, I’m totally butchering this. Small talk. Right? And so it’s a joke now on my team that Emily’s trying to master small talk. So I’ll try and tell a story on our huddles sometimes. Anyways, way off track. Then next thing that we do is we have a culture meeting for our company and so anybody who’s new in the company, we do these about every probably six to eight weeks. We do a culture meeting, everybody who’s new in the company or if they have a … and their manager comes to this meeting where we just share culturally, about them, why they’re here, what, where do they live, what they’re excited about.

And then usually my HR will put in a fun fact. So we actually just did it. It’s one of my favorite meetings. I get to tell the company story and just connect with people. That’s purpose of that meeting. And it’s usually a lot of people’s favorite meetings because you learn about the people and you have to always remember that. In marketing and teams and everything, you’re dealing with people. So just make sure you really think about that because at the end of the day, behind every screen, every email, everything is a person and you have to build those relationships and that trust.

The other thing we do is a really awesome welcome gift for our team. So we’ve refined and refined this over the last year really. We send them a planner to plan their day. We send them a book. I’m trying to think of everything we send them. And one of my favorite things is in their interview process we ask them some culture questions and one of those is, what is an indulgence that you like for less than $20 and we ask them that before they’re hired as a random question.

They don’t know what it is. Right? We document that and then if they’re hired we buy them that. And so it’s fun because some people will put like, I love … I think one person just recently put like, I love highlighter pens. So then we bought her like a pack of highlighter pens. Right? It’s not even that much money but it’s very thoughtful and personalized and they love it. They just feel so valued and that’s what I want. We also do thank you gifts a lot or birthday gifts we definitely do. You don’t have to like shower people in gifts because that’s lame too, but it’s just little things you can do to go out of your way to feel appreciated. Like one of our team members had a baby in the last three months and we knew that they were huge Lakers fan.

So we got him Lakers baby decked out outfits. Right? And he’s like, that’s so cool because you guys thought about that I like Lakers and then you got this for my new baby present. He loved it. So it was awesome. And it’s so rewarding to see that. And then the recent thing that we did for our team is an annual in-person retreat. And my team has wanted to do this, my team members who have been on my team for a year, have wanted to do this forever and it’s expensive. I flew my entire team out to Austin, I paid for their hotels, I paid for their Uber’s, I paid for their food and we did an in-person two day retreat. But the level of connection that we got out of that was amazing and nothing tops that. So there was still I still have … once a year, I will have an in-person element to what we’re doing and it’s really expensive.

But I don’t pay for an office. So in my mind, that is overhead that I don’t normally have and it’s really important, and putting back in my team and giving back to my team pays off so much in the long run. So that is things that I do to master team relations virtually. Now clients, we have the same philosophy. Over-communicate. And I’m not going to go deep into clients because I know that probably a lot of you listening to this are not service based businesses, but I do want to just share this because whether it’s clients or students or customers, communication is still key. And so the top things that you really have to look at is the first experiences that they have with you. So for us it’s our onboarding. We have mastered and refined and refined and refined our client onboarding, and about once a quarter we do an evaluation of it and we actually have a survey in it too where we ask clients about their experience on the onboarding because I want that feedback.

So the onboarding or wherever that customer has that first experience with you, whether they bought your course so they signed up for your mastermind or they became a client or a coaching client or even if you have a product business they bought a product. What’s a little thing you can do to make it a memorable experience. And so we’ve really done that and refined that constantly. We send an amazing welcome gift to our clients that … I actually don’t want to give it away in case anybody becomes a client because that way it’s not as surprised but it’s amazing. One of the things inside of it has a video from me, a video card for our clients as a welcome gift, and it wows them every time. And then we’d do the same thing putting a personalized gift based on an answer they filled out in their intake form too. Because I love that personal factor.

So that is really great, whatever you can do for that first initial impression people have after they spend their money with you is key. And then ongoing, our clients have weekly calls with our team, which is very important for, again, virtual relationships. Make sure everybody’s on the same page and make sure there’s no questions, make sure they understand what’s going on. They get weekly reports, we have a policy that our team will respond within three hours of business time on Voxer, Slack, wherever they are for our clients. If something isn’t converting, my policy is you already know what you’re doing, you have a solution and you go to the client saying, “Hey, I saw the webinar cost per lead go up, we’re doing this, this and this. We’re getting new copy, getting new images. We’re going to try these new audiences.”

And so the client feels like, okay, I know that you know this happened but they got it, right? And so I’m always looking at how can we do that. And then I do also survey, I actually should have said this for team too, I survey my team and I survey our clients because you are not going to know everything. That is something I’ve learned as I’ve grown into leadership is I don’t even know close to everything. And so I rely on my team to tell me what needs to be fixed, where there’s problems and where they’re uncomfortable and I really want and encourage and open up to clients to share also things because that is such valuable data to have. And so always asking for feedback. I love feedback. If somebody could tell me something better that I could do, I’m like, yes, thank you.

Because now I can improve, right? And I only live in my world and see what I see and I want that. So we send our team a weekly optional, one question survey and then we send our clients a monthly survey and also management checks in with our clients monthly, of like a higher level. Hey, do you have any feedback? Is everything going okay? Is there any concerns? Because if we don’t ask that so many times that people not said anything and we’re like, man, if you would’ve just told us, then we could have fixed that so easily. And people just feel bad I think saying anything. And so we send our teams a weekly survey. It’s one question and we send our ads team a monthly specific survey because my ads team has by far the most intel and data because they’re dealing with our clients, they’re delivering our service.

And so they are my very … everybody’s very valued. But my ads team has the most data of where do we need to improve things? And so I always want to be improving. So that is a lot that I just feel like I spewed on you guys. But that is some of the ways I master client and team relations in a virtual matter and it’s absolutely possible and it’s super rewarding. And I’ve actually done a podcast episode about the benefits of a virtual team, but I’ll reiterate this one. I’m amazed at the talent pool that I have access to because I’m not limited to one city. I am able to really be so picky with finding experts and amazing people because I can choose anybody in all of North America and Canada and because I also … one question I get all the time is people, how do you know your team’s doing their work if they’re not sitting in an office?

And to me I get the question and how that could come up, but if you have systems and processes and clear outcomes where people have to deliver these results in every single position, nobody can get away with doing that. I mean we would know in one day if somebody wasn’t showing up to work and doing their work because we have so much systems for accountability and the huddle and everything, that never has happened. And also in our hiring process, we weed out those people. I hire high performers, over achievers, high performers, people who want to be here, want to work hard and give everything, and they’re not even … most of my team if you ask them, why do you do this job? They wouldn’t say only for the money. I’ve actually heard them say the opposite many times.

My ads team of, it’s not about the money, it’s about learning and being in an environment where I get to learn and have amazing experiences and I’m not bored and so I proved that’s what I give them, right. Obviously on top of money but I give them that environment and that culture and it’s insanely rewarding so thanks so much for tuning in today guys. If you want to work with Team Hirsh, we are very full but do have a few spots. We’ve had some ads managers come through training in the last 90 days, which opens up some spots so you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with us and we are the best out there.

Thanks so much for tuning in guys. I’ll see you next time. Thanks for listening to the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Go behind the scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies. Dive deep into the Hirsh process and listen to our most popular episodes over at HirschMarketingUnderground.com. If you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now and I’ll catch you next time.