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April 2, 2020

Outsourcing Basics with Nathan Hirsch of OutsourceSchool.com

Nathan Hirsch is founder and former owner of Freeeup.com , Founder and CEO of Outsource School

What is the bigger picture with your clients with Covid19?

It’s speeded up the move towards homeworking. Communicate with your team – they are wondering how their clients are affected, how their jobs are being affected.

If you can’t keep employing them, Get them referrals. Maybe ask for Reduced rates.

If you look after them in a difficult period, they’ll remember.

Selling Your Business: Freeeup as a case study

Nathan was the face of the business.
But the work ran in the background without him.

The HOTH made an offer halfway through 2019.

Due diligence –

  • Nathan wanted to know that
    • They weren’t going to burn bridges
    • They weren’t going to run the business into the ground
    • Part of agreement was to keep people employed
    • Helped with 90-day transition
    • Partnering with them for Outsource School

What was your number one concern?

We treat people in a certain way.

Some marketplaces out there are so pro client that they don’t look after.

HOTH went from 100K purchase and turn it into 20M USD a year.

They tried to meet 20 filipinos via Zoom

Cultural things

Monday morning meetings – everyone shares a picture from the weekend.

Organic scaling 

The playbook for Freeeup

It starts with good service. You often can’t compete with bigger companies in marketing.

Affiliate programme – 50 cents per hour

  • VAs were instructed to mention it
  • Lots of people


Nathan tries to reach out to 3 new entrepreneurs each day


Just launched a course on how to use VAs to get on podcasts.

It’s good for networking

It’s good for SEO

It’s good for content.

Nathan Hirsch puts out content every day – they’re slowly consuming your concept


Say you’re selling a beer mug – you can reach out to people and get in front of their community


In Amazon space went after Helium10, seller labs etc.

Built over 100 partnerships where FU promoted them and vice versa

Using VAS

You can also use VAs to speed you along

Virtual assistants for Outsourcing

 When to start? Don’t hire 3 full-time VAs

They hired a book keeper for 5 hours a month!

You can start with 5-10 hours a week.

You could have one to do small tasks in your Amazon business.

Calculate what is affordable for your Amazon business


Make a list of your actions

  • Day to day
  • Week to week
  • Month to month
  • Easiest to hardest
  • Things you hate most
  • That means you have can hire
  • Create a job description

Interviewing assistants to outsource e-commerce tasks

Focus on attitude and communication as much as on experience. What do they are about? Being part of something great? Self improvement?

20-30 minute interview

CARE – communication, Attitude, Red Flags, Experience

Try it via Slack or Skype in writing. You’re not going to Zoom call them so that’s not worth doing.

Onboarding assistants for e-commerce 

Most people know you have to interview and then train and manage people.

Let’s make sure you’re good with $5

SICC method (15-25 mins) 

Schedule. – have you worked for this before? Is there overlap with other clients?

Issues – 5 types of issues

  • Computer – is it fast, new? Do you have a backup?
  • Internet and power – do you have a hotspot you can use? Can you use a hotel or coffeeshop? How often?
  • Weather – how often is it an issue?
  • Personal issues – set expectation that P.I. don’t get in way of work. You also have to communicate.

Give them a chance to back out then not take job and find out it’s not a job.

Communication – Slack on it when you’re working, viber, email within 24 hours

Culture – what do you value? We care about feedback. We care about ideas. Not just robots. Eg “We don’t put up with drama”; are you looking to be part of a family?

Training your e-commerce outsourcers

Most entrepreneurs don’t value their time enough. They do say 2 weeks of one-on-one training then realise the VA isn’t a good fit.


  • Create an SOP
  • Run them through that
  • Go through where there are gaps
  • Then if they’re not getting it.

Most SOPs miss the top and bottom

  1. The top – they why of the business  – why this matters – they why
  2. Define failure – define success – the do list
  3. Bottom – “do not do this for any reason”. Don’t hide the – do not do list

Creating SOPS

Nathan uses docs instead of videos because it’s quick and easy.

Nathan’s software allows you to record your screen and create your steps.

That means you can change it easily.

Part of new VA’s job is creating new SOPS – this is more advanced

Join the outsource Schoo

Management – BARF method for e-commerce delegation

Building team leaders and assistant leaders

Buy in – long term vision

Appreciation – not being a client who doesn’t just contact when there’s an issue

Relationship – get to know them on a personal level. – just ask a few simple things about their personal life. A lot of the Philippines consumer American culture.

Family (internal family) – make sure they get to know other people on team.

Reducing turnover is the key. There is ALWAYS someone who will pay them more. You need to invest the time and energy. Family is a big part of Filipino culture.

The number one way to make a Filipino VA like you is to ask about your family.

The podcast outreach formula

You have to accept there is a degree of rejection. You need to not overdo it with followup.

But if you follow up in say 6 months, it can work.

You could also choose to sponsor a podcast.

You can show how to add value to a community.

Using VAs to get on podcasts

If you think about finding podcasts, pitching them, everything that goes on…it can take hours.

Nathan also spend lots on agencies that set up podcasts for him.

Nathan wakes up every morning to a  list of relevant podcasts – Nathan reaches out to hosts himself. Getting on podcasts consistently.

Hiring for e-commerce outsourcing is hard.

Nobody has a 100% hiring record! You ave to focus on what you can control.

You can’t control outside people trying to steal your staff, personal issues.

But you can increase your hiring success from the the 30-50% success range to the 80+% range by focussing on what is under your control.

For more info on how to hire, onboard and train VAs, check out the Outsource School website.

More podcasts from Nathan on outsourcing Ecommerce tasks:

Outsourcing for Amazon part 1

Outsourcing for Amazon part 2

Outsourcing for Amazon part 3


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