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Sherif Abuzid – How to Scale Your Digital Agency with Systems

By John | Last Updated on 09/03/2021

I sat down today with Sherif Abuzid, the founder of TranslationPartner.com: a digital marketing agency offering translation services with a unique focus on SEO for their partners. We discuss the journey from employee, to freelancer, to agency founder – including all the lessons learned as he quickly scaled to having 10+ employees in his company.

Sherif as a marketer would fall into a common trap of shiny object syndrome, but he quickly realized that to create a sustainable and thriving business, he would need to create systems and processes that were reliable and consistent for his team.

We dive into the exact steps he took to create a thriving online agency that is able to operate for days or weeks without his direct impact.

“By setting up the right systems and processes, I was able to return back to work days later and everything was running like clockwork. It was eye-opening!” Sherif Abuzid. Learn how he did on today's episode!

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Some of the key topics covered in today’s interview:

  • How to talk to your spouse about your decision to pursue entrepreneurship and leave the safety of your job
  • The mindset shift from employee to freelancer to business owner
  • How to stand out in a crowded marketplace by creating your own Unique Selling Proposition
  • How to thrive as a leader and grow beyond “micro-managing” employees
  • What systems and processes can do to automate and improve a business workflow
  • How to deal with shiny object syndrome

Resources from Sherif Abuzid

References & Links Mentioned:

Enjoy the video version of my chat with Sherif Abuzid:

Podcast Transcript with Timestamps

[00:00:00] John: Hey guys, how's it going, John here from unbeatable tech today, I've got an awesome episode where I was able to sit down with a good friend of mine. Sharif who runs a marketing agency is focused on translation services and he has an amazing story and a ton of takeaways you get from this quick.

[00:00:15] and this conversation, you're going to learn that transition plan from being an employee to a freelancer to a marketing agency is scaling up to 10 employees as well as the systems and processes that had to come in to make that process scalable to where you can actually step away from your agency for days at a time and have everything run like.

[00:00:35] you'll also see that ability to transition your marketing strategy, your customer acquisition strategy, learning the signals and learning how to implement digital marketing in your agency to find better clients.

[00:00:47] And lastly, you'll see a really unique way that Sharif was able to niche down and find a blue ocean emits a ton of competition. And I think there's a really cool takeaway for any agency owner that's just getting started. Right guys, this was a super fun conversation. I really enjoyed talking to my good friend and I'm going to roll the clip right now.

[00:01:05] Be sure to stay till the end to get all the takeaways. And I'll hope you enjoy the episode. Let's go and roll it. Hey everybody. John here from unbeatable tech. And today I have one of my good friends Sharif here on the show. He's going to talk to us about translation services and digital marketing in a growing and changing climate. So Sharif is the marketing manager of a translation agency. The trends. E-commerce and SAS, business websites and apps into different languages.

[00:01:31] He has an MBA in international business administration, which enabled him to understand the different international work environments of global companies. Sharif has been integrating digital marketing strategies into his company during the last five years, which also means during the pandemic and today he's going to be sharing all the lessons he's learned with us Sharif.

[00:01:49] So good to see you again, my friend it's been a year or so since we've chatted last, so welcome to.

[00:01:56] Sherif: Hey, thanks. Hi John. Thanks so much for them, but yes, I am. I'm really glad that we are back to do some

[00:02:03] chat, friendly chat with your audience. So thanks so much again for having me.

[00:02:08] John: Awesome. So before we dive into digital marketing and tech and agency work and all of that, I love to learn a little bit about the personal life, the person behind the business.

[00:02:17] And so give us maybe just a little glimpse into your personal life, how you know, where are you coming from and maybe share a fun fact that my audience probably doesn't know about.

[00:02:26] Sherif: Okay. So I am a husband of five of four kids, like I have two sons and two daughters. I live in the countryside of Egypt, like one hour away from the pyramids, but I don't visit them frequently.

[00:02:42] As you imagined. We just sit down beside demand, have some coffee, et cetera. I have a translation agency, as you mentioned. I started as a freelance translator as a translator where I had to do translate daily. I wanted to have my own thing. I started to freelancing. Then I found that I missing some skills to run the business, like marketing sales.

[00:03:05] I started to study these, then I'm setting up my agency. I felt again I'm lacking soft skills. So I had to do my MBA and international business environment. And recently I started to layer more about digital marketing.

[00:03:20] John: That is awesome. That's a great journey. And it's a journey that I think most people go on of slow small steps.

[00:03:26] And it seems like you implemented what I like to call that just in time learning, you take a step and you realize what you don't know, and you have to go out and find those skills and move forward. So talk to me first about the freelance side. Were you still working your other job your main translation job while you're getting into freelancing?

[00:03:43] What was that path to go out on your own?

[00:03:47] Sherif: Yes, actually, it was like a very hard path because I actually started as a freelance translator. Then again, I lack, I feel like I'm lacking some skills of how to translate. No one was proofreading by J my translations or editing gets. So I had to join an agency and I worked with as an in-house translator for three years.

[00:04:07] But against, during these three years, I started to do freelancing as a side hustle. It was like, But back then it was like 2005. And there was no such thing like Upwork or Fiverr or these freelancing platforms. So I had to after I came back home, I had to do my cold emails to agencies that I know.

[00:04:30] So I had to work for a very long time during the day and the night too. To hide, to support the family. And I wasn't happy. I was not mad at this time, but after being married I thought that I can spend more time with my wife and even my brothers. So I had to take a decision either to move on in the corporate life ladder.

[00:04:53] Because this required a certain set of skills or start my own thing as a freelance translator, then I decided to start my own thing, like six months after my, my, my marriage and which was crazy. It was a really hard decision, but I had to take it.

[00:05:09] John: That's awesome. And I know, bless your wife or that support.

[00:05:12] Oh, what was that? Go back to that moment, if you can, what was it like when you decided that you were going to go and Take the leap as it were and go out on your own to chart your own path. Because I worked in my corporate job for years about a decade as an engineer. And we had already started the online business as a side hustle.

[00:05:31] My wife was doing it while we were raising our kids. And I still remember, even though we had income coming in from the side hustle, it was still a scary moment for me when I left the corporate job and the security blanket of that paycheck. So what was it like for you? Tell me that story. If you don't know.

[00:05:44] It was like,

[00:05:46] Sherif: okay. I tried to be some sort of, I've tried to have a bland of some sort. However, it, these craziest thing, these crazy moments will always come to you when you are starting your own thing. What my blend was that I had to make some savings. That's just what I can support my life for six months I had the savings, but it's still the moment that I still don't remember.

[00:06:06] This moment when I told my manager that, okay his name was his name is Tarik. He was that ever really professional manager. I told him, okay, I need to start my own thing. Even one hour before this, when I was going out, walking to insight to the company, I still remember the moment like I was shaking or something.

[00:06:24] Now we had to take this one of mine. W can I do it? You don't have to question yourself. I spent the first six months is Like thinking again, questioning my decision. Was it right or wrong? Even I had to hire this decision from some of my relatives, like my father-in-law I told them, okay, I would start to work for the company, but at home, I couldn't tell them that I will start my own thing because I was not sure I can do it.

[00:06:49] But actually my wife was supporting me a lot because we had been engaged and two years before the marriage. She said, okay, you can do both of the jobs at the same time, but after seeing me like working for three or four months working in the, in as an in-house employee in the morning and side hustling at the evening shift, she said, okay, we can't stand there.

[00:07:10] This is not a long term. Hello sublime for you and for the family. But I kept questioning myself and up till now, you'll have sees this moments of questioning your decision, but this is, I think it's normal thing to question the decision, but back then it was like a very horrible moment

[00:07:27] John: for me.

[00:07:28] Yeah, no, I totally understand. And I think that it's difficult for, for leaders to. Be sitting at the juncture though, there's a fork in the road and which way you go, it's gonna be a dramatically different life. And it's, I'm proud of you for sitting there and, thinking about that decision and making a hard decision, because I think a lot of people especially when families come into the picture it's so easy to drift because there's comfort and just drifting on the path that you're on.

[00:07:52] So I, I think that's fantastic. So you.

[00:07:56] Sherif: So industry, I w we both know Shane Muller from five teams. Shane said that said one is courses or articles said that entrepreneurship is a journey of PR is a journey of problem solving. This one, I think this saying what gives me moving okay, this is delightful entrepreneurs or leaders.

[00:08:13] Like we have to solve problems at back then what my problem was having like enough, a flow of clients, but now I'm having new problems. I have to solve them.

[00:08:24] John: Awesome. Sure. So let's transition now from the personal, into the business side. So you've gone from having a job to freelancing to a marketing agency.

[00:08:33] Tell me a little bit about a translation partner.com, which is your your agency, I believe. How did this begin? Did you come into an existing business or did you found this and tell me a little bit about that initial experience coming into the agency world.

[00:08:48] Sherif: Okay. So this actually started as I am, was working alone, I had to do a bit translation work.

[00:08:55] Then I, some clients started to ask me if I can do some sort of a design business, but designing job at school, like this publishing this part of the translation industry world. I couldn't do it. So my brother, he was employed, but he doesn't like his job. Can you take some courses? So he took some courses and he joined, we joined forces so I can do translation work.

[00:09:17] And he does the publishing work. Like two years later, I started to see that the accounting or the administration part is taking more time of myself. They ask it my other brother who is working as an accountant. Can you join us? Is it? No problem. I can join you. I can just, for the part time I've started working for a couple of years, I started I saw that I'm missing a lot of opportunities.

[00:09:41] Like I was working actually mainly in Arabic translation jobs, accepting translation jobs for Arabic, which is my native language. I had some multilingual projects coming then I'd said, okay, let's set up an agency. We can scale this out and see if we can do it. Translation partner now is an agency of 10 people.

[00:10:03] We do like Arabic translation Farsi, all all Actually we, last year we worked in 33 languages, different languages. We offer technical translation, medical translation, business translation. Although we are mainly specialized in e-commerce and SAS businesses. So again, it started like one person joining the forces with my brother, two brothers.

[00:10:23] Then we had to make an agency this. I can feel more comfortable now working in an agency environment because all this journey from starting as an in-house translator or a freelance. I accompany too. I can see the diff I had to practice the different parts of the business, like doing the Tron, the translation, the seals, the marketing, the project management for operation and administration.

[00:10:49] So I have a background with about most of the things that we need to do, but I'm not a professional in each one of them. So I had to. Us be able to are more professional than me to come and do the job, or at least choose people who have the right attitude and mindset and they can offer them the training.

[00:11:07] And this is what we have now, an agency.

[00:11:10] John: That's beautiful. And it started with a family operation. So that is a wonderful very exciting. And I can totally relate with the idea of wearing all the hats and then learning when it gets to be too much finding the activities, the zone of genius that like, I need to be doing this, which means I need to take this.

[00:11:29] So when did that moment come, when you started to realize, I can't do this on my own, and I need to start building the team because I think so many people, I still struggle with this myself, where there's an activity that, you could do, you probably shouldn't do, but there's also a struggle in the outsourcing or in the hiring out of a skill.

[00:11:48] So how did you, was this just a natural skill of yours or was it the skill of outsourcing and delegating? Was that something you had to develop?

[00:11:55] Sherif: No it develops over time and material. And other saying, I will, I'm not sure who said it, but it was a, it was on a podcast. He said that the most expensive mistakes you can do in your business are the itch or mistakes because you hire people who doesn't have the right skills to do job, to do the job.

[00:12:12] You think they have the skills. You'll find out what they are not a good fit for the job, but one of the turning points, I hired people. I usually, they are in-house to do the operation and project and the marketing for us at the beginning, but it's still the main issue. And I think John, you are referring to this, the main issue of the technicians is that they know.

[00:12:36] How to do things like a technician like me, for me, I'm a translator or a graphic designer. We are technicians who are moving into the agency world it, or setting up an agency because as a technician, as a translator, I know how the task should be done. And I wanted to be like my way, this should be done my own way, which doesn't have to be like in the book, the E-Myth revisited.

[00:13:03] I think this is one of. Yeah, the classical books he, the writer said that we need to hire people and give them the processes they can follow. So I started to hire people by, but I still, I was micromanaging them without knowing it until a moment I was sitting. It was one of my friend, Dan, you were, we were talking like he was, this was not a coaching or a mentoring session, but he asked me.

[00:13:28] Question? What is your title in the company? What exactly are you doing? I did also. Okay. I just supported the project. I, when someone in the project management or the operation needs something, I will give them a hand in the modeling game will give them a hand. I said, so you are a technical support guy.

[00:13:45] I should know it, but you don't have a title. I said yes. And I'm supporting you, but you said you can support, you don't have a title. You need to know exactly your strength point, and your stint is, and the need to tap into these. And this was like an enlightenment, an aha moment or something.

[00:14:07] I'm not sure what you call it, but it's an okay. I said my my, my brother, who is my business partner now, I said, we need to find a title for me. What tasks or jobs I need to do that. No other no, no one else in the company can do. I started to know, I quit. I need to find the title or the set.

[00:14:27] I needed to find something over a job title for me that I like. And something I like to do and no one else can do. I can do translation, project management, sales operation. I think the support, what is the one skill that I feel passionate about? And they can do it all the day was being fired. I said, marketing, this is my passion.

[00:14:49] Now I'll let you do marketing. I like to write articles to contact people, to do some sort of this sort of content, so I started to do with this. So I'm now I'm focusing only in marketing as a job title, plus adding, doing the vision for the company and saying, okay, we are going to distract, not distract.

[00:15:07] We need to this. So I'm a marketing and a research and development guy inside the company.

[00:15:12] John: Oh, that's powerful because until you let go of some things you can't. Achieve your potential in the thing that you really should be doing. And we were in a similar boat where we've hired on more and more team members, but in hiring on team members, we have to let go.

[00:15:27] We have to let go of the things that we're hiring our team members to do. And we have to let them grow and find their own and create their own path. Our guidance, of course. But when you start to have this umbrella of I'm the guy at the top, and we've created all this, you have to learn how to let them, trust, but verify, make sure that your team members are of holding their end, but then allow yourself to dive deep into it, what you're passionate and what you're skillful.

[00:15:51] And I think that's a fantastic growth.

[00:15:54] Sherif: Yes. And they did. This is every hard moment. Sorry. So John and they, this is a hard moment for us like leaders and people who are doing the things from the top. It was really hard for us to let it go because we need it to be like us know the things doesn't have to be.

[00:16:07] It doesn't have to go like you and w okay. I used to do like some graphic design using Canva. The other tools we use. I'm quite sure we use, we both with the same tools, but w when I had someone she's a girl, she called her name is Allah to do the graphic design. I was okay. She can do it better than me.

[00:16:25] Okay. She can do it better than me. She know how to use the right colors and cetera. Okay. You can do it. I just didn't have, I need a Thumper. You can do it, but of the me. And I would do that as, okay. You are the boss

[00:16:36] John: here. Fantastic. I know my wife and I, we have very different strengths and sometimes, but we can all do it all, but she is excellent in certain things.

[00:16:45] I'm excellent other things. And when we find that groove and work together, that's when great things can come. So let's talk through that marketing process. Members of our audience, they are in the process of starting an agency, or they have the idea where they want to develop their own skills and starting an agency or doing freelance work is a great place to begin because a few clients can fill up your time, can fill up your your monthly income requirements and can provide for your family much faster than affiliate marketing.

[00:17:12] Other slower ways of building an online business can do walk us through a little bit of your funnel. If you don't mind of, how are you finding clients? Who are you targeting? How do you attract them? And what does that process up until the point of getting a new client into your.

[00:17:29] Sherif: Okay. Before digital marketing before testing or don't get into digital marketing, we used what's called like the traditional marketing or sales.

[00:17:36] Wait. We had to like doing the cold emails, cold calling with the clients we w we want to work with, but. This way was not scalable. I think that, we have a limited time unlimited hours per day. We need to work in this. The retail, it, the response rate, or let's say the conversion rate was okay.

[00:17:56] According to these strategies. But I thought that why can't we test the digital marketing way and see if we can have some sort of clients and this channel and see if we can have some potentials in this. So I started to listen to some courses or few things about SEO search engine optimization, because.

[00:18:18] This is how I think about the funnels or how do I find it on my own clients? I start with, this is the standard things. And many people don't do it in the beginning. And I was guilty of this. You don't sit down, you don't write down your exact, the exact characteristics of. See a draft of the characteristics of your clients to

[00:18:43] John: find your avatar, right?

[00:18:44] Sherif: Finding your client avatar, and who are they? Where and how do they buy? This is how I suit. Okay. These are, this is my client. What is their buyer journey? How do they find translation, service providers like us? Okay. They go to this website and they go to Google and they attend exhibitions or some sorts of failures or something like this before COVID-19 of course I said, okay, let's see.

[00:19:11] This is, these are the places where clients come to us. Let's check if we can test all the channels. So I started with search engine optimization. Because when I'm doing my keyword research, I found that people are looking for translation services that we offer. I said, okay, why don't we tweak the website?

[00:19:30] We have I little bit and see if we can do, if we can receive some sort of results, we started to receive two or three months without doing a lot of jobs, because we had an old website, it was built by us. So I made some tweaks like interlinking, creating new. Fixing the URL of the pages. And they're started to receive a few requests from the client.

[00:19:52] I said, okay, we have some sort of a good channel here. This is this. We can add this. We can funnel people through that website. So I went back again. We, at this time we are doing this, the traditional marketing, and we still do it at this time again, but it started to tap into the channel. Doing more heavy keyword research following VBL.

[00:20:14] Okay. We need to, we need now to improve the conversion. How can we do, can we follow up with them? Was through email. So basically the funnel was like, We set up a landing page of the translation service we need to offer. We will come to the landing page. I had to make sure this page is conversion ready, have a good contact form at clear call to action.

[00:20:38] And once they fill in the contact form, I take them into some sort of a steps. I send them an auto reply that we are, we have received your. Petition request. We'll get back to you again. This is the funnel that I used to have with my fights. And now we are tapping into the digital advertising, like Facebook ads.

[00:20:57] What is in Facebook ads using your course? Of course. I mean like adding the big sale. Which audience should we set up? And we are starting to use Google ads maybe in like in the coming few months ago. Coming in a few months.

[00:21:11] John: That's wonderful. And that does exemplify the concept of problem-solving, from step to step starting out with the traditional cold emailing.

[00:21:19] Dabbled in cold email for about a week. And I realized this was not the channel for me. This was not the way I wanted to get clients. I also know that it can be effective and it's essentially that brute force method of going out, where your people might be. You might find the list.

[00:21:34] You might be able to scrape some contacts and try. Get in front of them, but it never really felt right for me. And it's similar to you, Sharif of exploring learning, and then measuring and then going on and growing further. That's pretty fantastic. So you get people through contact they're requesting services.

[00:21:52] Just I am in America and translation services is not something that I have investigated in myself. So what are some of the clients that you are going after? How do you help define that avatar and who should be considering translation services? If they might not be considering it right now?

[00:22:08] Sherif: So people who are asking for translation services. Let me tell you for, is that the translation services is now an industry.

[00:22:15] It's like the estimates are, it's an industry with more than like 50 billion us dollars per year. There are many companies that are requesting translation services for us. Mainly we work with what we call the three. E-learning did commerce and entertainment like game development companies companies like Netflix, all the internet, all the entertainment services and for e-commerce those international plans that international companies that want to attract international customers who speak different languages.

[00:22:47] And for the e-commerce companies that want to develop a training courses for their for their HR policies or train sales people for the processes. However, there are companies like one to reach international customers. They sell products like smartphones heavy machines, et cetera. These are all the time different types of.

[00:23:07] Companies that or businesses, I may look for a service providers like us. We do translation and we do, let me even the mix of our, how I'm doing digital marketing helped me to stand out from the crowd. Okay. This is something, this is my strategy. Always like finding the blue ocean where people are not fighting with each other.

[00:23:31] Search engine optimization is we know it. Okay. We find that the keywords, et cetera, et cetera, but when we will translate the website, Sometimes they forget about it. Okay, we are setting up, let's say that can e-commerce website. Okay. We want to translate an e-commerce website. They send us the content which translated and the added to their website, but they found that they are missing the organic traffic coming from Google and other search engines.

[00:23:59] They come back to us or maybe we can discuss it in the beginning. How can we get an organic traffic? We need to implement what's called S E O translation phase. During this phase, we just do some local keyword research for them. For example, the word like there are some like a shaving machine. We'll have two translations for them.

[00:24:22] If we translated a few are going for the Egyptian market, we need to use a certain translation of your dome for. Market in Saudi Arabia, we have to use another translation to attract more traffic. So this is, this is the mix that I like about mixing translation services with digital marketing.

[00:24:40] That's why I'm more passionate about mixing both of them and helping our clients succeed. Oh,

[00:24:45] John: that makes a ton of sense to me because cultural norms, all kinds of differences between languages, what might rank in the English language. If you were to do a direct translation, I can imagine that might miss some.

[00:24:56] A connotation or it might miss some cultural implication where people would not search for it there. So that's a very interesting way in a way for you to stand out, not simply translating, but translating with the focus of actually driving business results through SEO or other digital marketing.

[00:25:10] That's pretty, pretty exciting stuff. So Sharif. A lot of our audience is either starting their agency or starting to plan for it. Tell me a little bit of a day in the life. How do you manage between client fulfillment, client attraction and running with a remote team? Walk us through a little bit of what you've learned as you're growing and developing your agency to where it is now with, as you said, 10 10 team members, which is a good sized agency.

[00:25:35] Walk us through that day.

[00:25:37] Sherif: Okay, let's stay. Okay. First, what do you do if you are starting your agency? The first rule you need to have, this is how it did the first thing you need to have in your mind is that people. Or your team is the most valuable asset. It can be is the most valuable asset you can have.

[00:25:56] And your agency, I think Jack Welch, who is a well-known management consultant, he said the people you have in your company are your most combative advent. So having the right people. Can help your life to be much easier. So my daily life is now. I start, like not, I start by doing the most, the more creative work I start by if I want to do some sort of writing an article or writing a process for my team, or generating some ideas for those site pages.

[00:26:29] Or thinking about how we can improve this part of the business. I usually start with this sort of tasks, like the creative and the visionary tasks before we will coming to the team and asked me what we if they have some questions, how can we do it? What's your opinion. So I start with the creative and the visionary tasks.

[00:26:50] Then I think I worked for 12:00 PM. Then I start to check my email. Do I have something urgent to do? And I get back to take my lunch and get back to my less creative work, maybe like learning. I still like to learn new things. And I think we both share the same passion for this, which sometimes can be like a shiny object syndrome for both of us.

[00:27:12] I'm trying to stop myself from learning new words, tools, which builders, all this stuff. So this is basically the, that the daily life of my agency, but what makes it as I said, like a few seconds of minutes ago, what makes. Easier. It's a very difficult life. All business is, running a business.

[00:27:33] If you are, is a freelancer. If you are an in-house employee running a business or working in businesses is a really hard job, but sometimes it can be. A less difficult if you have the right team. And let me tell you something that makes me again, more trust for myself okay, we are running it the right way.

[00:27:52] Yes. We have some bottlenecks problems, but we're running it the right way. I had some at this situation, like a few months or weeks ago, and I couldn't touch or login to my account. And I had to spend three or four days away from the company. But the team managed to run the company smoothly. They could receive binds and quite as the sales team, give it to the operation would have started and send it to our vendors, et cetera.

[00:28:18] And Tim was running it smoothly without a slight intervention from myself or my business partner. I said, okay, this is w we need to know how did this happen? We advised the process, how this, okay, this is a good moment for any agency owner. Now I can. And let the people run the company. I can go up. Think about more things that can improve the business.

[00:28:42] I've found that we w also so I found that we the reason behind this was choosing the right people. Adding or putting both again, bliss, the right processes or what we call the standard operating procedures. Yes. They may not be the best tools or the best processes we might have in the company, but it's still, we have a process.

[00:29:03] So this happens, you can do this happened, you can do this, you can talk, you team members can talk to each other. So these channels, and they can cooperate to make the project work. And this. Why am I starting to build the new processes or adding more processes to the, to, to the team and do it like, for example, now I like to write content and a write articles, et cetera, and creating content, but it's still, I can, the different types of content I need to, we can, we need to create, we can create.

[00:29:37] Articles or written content. And we can do videos. Having someone who can create the video content is more difficult than having someone who comes right to create written content. So I said, okay, let me write down a document with how I can, how I'm generating ideas. Okay. How can I sit up out for the articles and this will be good.

[00:30:00] And there is another part. I used to publish the content and the website. Okay. I don't need to publish it again. I need to find someone who can publish it for me. And I have a marketing assistant. She works at the now simply or team member of us. I said, okay, this is how we do it. I can, it. Small videos for her, how you can add the pintail add, you can add the keyword.

[00:30:21] Each one's digital is and develop of content. This is how delegating or letting go things. So if we can go back for your question, the day in the life of the business of an agency owner can be much easier if you have the right people and set it set up the right processes for your team members.

[00:30:40] John: It sounds to me like you deserve a pat on the back because I think you might've broken out from that status that most agency owners fall trap into, which is they can't relinquish themselves from being in the business in order to work on the business. And it takes me back to Robert Kiyosaki is a very famous author and he has the four quadrants.

[00:31:01] I don't know if it's income, quadrants or whatever the case might be, but essentially you go from being an employee to being self-employed to being a business owner, to being an investor. And I think that the biggest leap is going from being self-employed to being a business owner where you can actually watch the business operate and see not to say cogs in the wheel or anything, but to actually see the processes interlink and work.

[00:31:22] Identify defects where things fall out and now you can fix that process once and then it's able to roll over and over. And I think that is a powerful thing you're able to get to that position. And a lot of folks when you're getting started and Sharif mentioned earlier, the shiny object syndrome, where you see new things and you might want to go down the bunny trail.

[00:31:41] That is totally fine to investigate so long as. Create the inability for you to have a process because oftentimes you'll see something new. Oh, let's try this giveaway. I see this is working. Oh, now Pinterest ads is big. Let's go try Pinterest ads. And every time you add one new thing into an agency, into an operation, all of a sudden you've created so many variables.

[00:32:01] There's so many undocumented things. What happens if this goes wrong, if that goes wrong. And so I think by having a process. Not to say it's overly simplistic, but something that you actually could write down into SOP that is followible. I do think that is a key success measure of being able to actually reclaim your time and hire out to allow your business to grow and scale.

[00:32:23] So I think great job on that Sharif.

[00:32:26] Sherif: Thanks so much, Joe, even before we started the recording. We were talking about the reason the frictions. That's why this is the same happens in, you can create a process if you have many frictions. And for example the, and I know that many of your of your audience are people will know a page builders, and, this is some sort of like the funding, et cetera.

[00:32:45] So for example, the Batesville does, I like to do work with thrive. And sometimes busy and I'm starting to embrace a Gutenberg route. My team was crazy. I tell them, okay, you need to learn how to use thrive themes then. No. We need to work with Gutenberg, but I said, okay. No, just this distraction.

[00:33:06] We're going to use one tool to this, to do this job. So now I'm training everyone. Okay. I w how can publish an article? I said, you can use Gutenberg or the business editor to do this, decreasing the frictions and make a huge improvement for your processes. I still remember. I'm still asking myself now with this question, if I'm buying a new tool or buying a new course or anything, is this a distraction?

[00:33:34] Does this, this might kill him from, I said you were so calm. He said this. Okay. You need tools to move them to the top of a mountain. If the tool can help you move. She'll be like one step ahead of the competition. That's fine. But you need to ask yourself. Is this a distraction for the process I have?

[00:33:55] How much time do I need till I Lear this tool? Or do I actually need it? I have an alternative even for w payment versus we have five cards. We have cut flows. We have, do I need these tools or can I just use one to two degrees? The pleasing of frictions can be very helpful for improving your processes.

[00:34:15] John: Absolutely. We, it took us years on our main business to make a shift from one theme to the next. And we, because we knew in the back of our. Making this one decision. This is, not pursuing it as a shiny object, but one chain can have rapid consequences, down multiple levels of the business.

[00:34:34] And so be quick, you know, when researching, this is a, note to the audience, a lot of our content, a lot of unbeatable text content is on helping you choose the right tools for the job, but, and all of my videos. As I'm creating them. I let you know, I make sure at least two or three times in the video it's whatever tool it is, go with it and move forward and focus on the big picture.

[00:34:56] Focus on serving your audience, focusing on creating those SLPs and on growing your business, use them as a tool. Obviously you need to do the research to find which one is right, but once you have it realize they are just tools and to grow your business. And I think that is a fantastic place to.

[00:35:11] Ask you Sharif. What is that one piece of advice you would give to anyone who's either in the fledgling stage, they're just growing, they're planning out their agency. They're maybe they're still in the corporate world, but they want to start building up something on the side. As you've followed your path.

[00:35:26] What does that one piece of advice you would give to somebody who's beginning the journey of entrepreneurship and to grow their own business.

[00:35:34] Sherif: If I'm going to give one advice, it will be that like focus on one thing. Lower your distractions focus on one thing until you achieve you, either achieve. Or give a time until, this is not going to work for me before leaving your corporate life.

[00:35:50] Before moving in different, doing different things. I think I, and I think you said this in one of your courses, one final one year, I'm still reading your ebook one funnel one year. I don't remember the

[00:36:02] John: rest of it. Yeah, Yeah. I call it the five ones and it is that way of simplifying your business to the minimum viable confusion.

[00:36:09] It's you take one? Offer one product or service you want to offer. You decide on one traffic source, whether it's video, whether it's audio, whether it's blog posts, whether it's live streaming, you choose one traffic source. Pick one funnel. If you want to do a cheat sheet, a checklist, a webinar, pick one that you can measure and manage.

[00:36:27] Find one customer avatar only try to serve one person niche down as much as you can. And simplify, not trying to be all things to all people. And finally commit to that for one year. And the one year is the hardest part for anybody, but ultimately that is where whenever we find coaching clients or students of our courses, the most success.

[00:36:48] Is when they put those blinders on, they make their selection of their five ones and they move forward and they give it all they've got. So I'm glad that resonates with you a little bit as well.

[00:36:58] Sherif: This is advice, one thing one year, two for some time, like the main problem was that's when we learned something new.

[00:37:05] As I said before, we're talking execution is everything. Like you start to learn something you said, okay, it doesn't work. It will work. If you just commit with it for the full four for the right time to really figure out how you do it. For example, now I'm a study. Oh this thing using Facebook ad for my business, I'm just using your course as a beginning, like how to stop the big sale, how to find the right strategy and applying it to my business.

[00:37:29] I said, okay, I'm in the mindset of embracing the learning curve of the tool. I will make mistakes, but I have to embrace them. Till I know, do I figure out how will this channel work or it doesn't work, but I still need to give it time. So my own advice is start with one thing. Give it time to figure out what to tell you, figure it out, or you found that it doesn't work, but please give it enough time.

[00:37:55] If it's going to work or not.

[00:37:57] John: I obviously, I agree with you there. I think that's a wonderful piece of advice and Sherry, this has been an awesome conversation. Congratulations on your success. And first of all, congratulations on taking on that mantle of being a problem solver and growing. And having a systematic approach as you approached it and you see a problem, you'd hire it out.

[00:38:17] You'd see your team growing. You'd create systems and processes. You'd find yourself getting distracted. You would tackle those distractions and put in those countermeasures to keep you focused. I think that is a really awesome show. And if anybody out there is looking for translations, I think that a translation partner.com is a fantastic place to go.

[00:38:35] I might be looking up some of the, some of your services as well, because we've had, we have about a hundred thousand students in our main academy and people have been asking for translations in different languages. So we might have. Something to do post post podcast talk.

[00:38:48] Sherif: It was very amazing podcast.

[00:38:49] I did enjoy talking with you. I think we both shared the same mindset and that we've taken. So thanks so much again for

[00:38:56] John: having me in the show. Awesome. Until the next time, guys, have a great day and thank you, Sharif. See you soon. Thanks John. Bye bye.

[00:39:04] All right. So that episode was awesome. The conversation with Sharif, he dropped so much value and I hope you stayed tuned and took notes for every step of the way. So if you are looking at getting your own agency up and running, I highly recommend you reach out to them to learn more about it.

[00:39:18] There'll be links in the show notes and in the blog post accompanying this down below. But also if you're looking at. Ability to work out the entire process like Sharif did have that blueprint of how you can launch your own agency, digital product, business, whatever the case might be. You definitely need a funnel in that process.

[00:39:35] Go ahead and go to unbeatable tech.com/blueprint and get your 100% free funnel blueprint right now. I'll see you in the next episode. Let me know in the comments down below what your biggest takeaway was, and I'll see you next time. Take care.

About the Author

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John Whitford is an entrepreneur who has built over 12 profitable online blogs and businesses. He's also the founder of Unbeatable Tech, a data-driven digital marketing company that specializes in sales funnel implementation for both his own businesses and clients alike. John loves to be a beach bum while brainstorming new ideas for marketing strategies, but he's always excited to take on another project!


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