Josh Denning’s Secrets For Creating A Scalable Business

This episode emphasizes the importance of overcoming your fears when it comes to handling your business, particularly your people.

Fears such as:

  • Hiring employees for the job, training them well, only to encounter the possibility that they might just leave after all in a short while.
  • Hiring a person who comes in, undergoes training, then makes the job quite easy for you — this creating sales and profits, only to end up becoming better than you then later put up his own company.

We also discuss how crucial it is to make sure that you hire the best people, the techniques on how to have your people handle your business operations for you, the disadvantages of hiring the cheapest labor, and why your employees should always feel satisfied by the pay and benefits they get from your company.

Check it out, share it and let me know what you think!

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Jeremy Reeves: Hey guys, this is Jeremy Reeves here back again with another episode of the Sales Funnel Mastery podcast.

Today, we have on the line, Josh Denning, and Josh is the founder of Authority Factory. He is author of the book, Authority Marketing; chief editor of authority marketing magazine; and host of the authority, the podcast.

So he helps businesses find just beautiful balance where your lead flow and your sales acquisition becomes predictable, controllable, consistent, and repeatable. So, he actually does a lot of the same things that I do. So, I think it would be a pretty cool call. And he is also the founder of tropical entrepreneur which focuses on showing entrepreneurs how to build a business that offers both financial and time freedom so you can enjoy your life while running a wildly profitable business.

So Josh, welcome to the call. We are excited to have you.

Josh Denning: Yes, it’s great to be here and thank you for that awesome intro.

Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, sure, sure, sure. Yeah, so I was actually just on Josh’s podcast. So that was a fun one and so we figured we would kind of swap podcast interviews because we both have pretty interesting things to say and come out from similar, but different perspectives. So, I think you are going to enjoy this one.

So, before we get into the questions, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself, your history, how you get in to things, and what you’re focusing on now.

Josh Denning: Yeah, totally. So, I have been in the digital marketing at agency industry or space for about 12 years now. I kind of got into that it was like, I’ve been working, I’ve been doing digital marketing stuff in the finance area for businesses that I was working for.

I had a finance company as well and I was looking for change and that change at one point actually led to, I don’t really love saying it now but, network marketing solely to that whole idea but I knew from day 1 having been in sales since I was a kid, since I was about 14. Selling blueprints of family was the recipe for failure so that led me to hunt for a way to do lead generation online and led me to systematize lead generation initially with some guys out of Canada, 2:35 and then after that my 2:38 as well.

That was kind of the first introduction to really heavily systematize elite generation in selling using multiple traffic sources and squeeze pages and all the responders and funnels and everything like that and I did that while I build up my first kind of 30,000 person list and stupidly, even I was actually getting like 3-4 conversions every day, this was back in 2004, I have gone back into finance industry and I let my order responder monthly payment lapse. So, the 30,000 person list that I have built up got deleted and I have to start everything again from scratch.

Jeremy Reeves: That’s rough.

Josh Denning: Just to walk away from it for half of that for about couple of years and then came back and got back into and around the Frank Mass Control 1.0 launch period and kind of going to that whole thing again and started doing — well, didn’t really do product launches quite a while actually after that, but you know, I studied models after a while and traffic secrets and under achiever lesson and decided that instead of trying to do it from home that I would join getting to the agency world and land a job with Hitwise which was $10,000 a month minimum commitment type of digital marketing versus the old paper clicking conversion rate optimization and worked on stocks of Australia’s largest companies campaigns.

I did that for a couple of years and awesome to be flying out to Melbourne every 4:13 for training for some of the best digital marketers in the world and sales trainings and camp management trainings. It was just amazing experiencing and awesome corporate training but luckily, in the digital marketing space which I love and then went from there to Bruce Clay and became an SEO analyst for a year because we were not allowed to speak to clients and feed them on the tools.

So, that was awesome as well and I did that for about a year and a half I think and then I took a 4:43. Actually, no. I went from there to do a product launch piggybacking, telemarketing for 4:53 and that was really the first time through online marketing where I would generate a serious full time income working from home like I’m only working few hours a week and we were just throwing out blogs using 5:06 to rank blogs on page 1 and stick bonus off and stick a review often.

We move 5-6 units up to 2000 more product and put 50% of the revenue in our pockets for commissions. I did that for ages and sometimes you know there was paid launch 5:32 say 5:35 launch for example the same week or the same 4th night, we might pull in $20,000 in commissions.

So that was amazing, that was a really, really good period and it was after that that I ended up taking a year and a half off because I’ve went through a couple of bad break up and just wanted to get away from business for a while and just clean my head and figure out what’s going to do next and ended up in Thailand and joined another digital agency and within a year I was or actually within 3 months, I was a sales manager, within 6 months was the channel sales manager and then about 6months after that I was the channel sales director and then SEO director in the Asia-Pacific sales and business director and then a partner and then ended up getting off to rebuild that business up to kind of about $6,000,000 a year in retaining clients.

Going after the 10% equity in the business wasn’t super fun of the way the amount of money that was being reinvested back in the clients. We are getting great results but I just had a slightly different view of things and I guess I just wanted to get on with my own entrepreneur life being a full liner and captain of the ship and so I left there and started up on my own agency again as a sole liner and within 8 months build it up to about $50,000 in recurring revenue and that kind of brings it to now.

Jeremy Reeves: That’s awesome. That’s a very cool story. That’s a good one. Nice. So on this one we can talk about a million different days. I have a feeling we could sit here for probably the next 6 hours and just kind of talk back and forth about all this but I think what’s kind of dive into more of like, you know the time frame and the leverage, you know all that kind of, you know like, more of a tropical entrepreneur kind of stuff because you know I think that’s something that a lot of people are missing in their life and there is so much, there are so many entrepreneurs that are so overworked and you know, they never take vacations and they never get away from the business.

I actually had a client recently, actually I am still working with her. She is on 7:53 — before I started working with her, she didn’t take a vacation in 8 years and you know that’s kind of ridiculous. So I actually did funnel day with her and within — I kind of — sometimes I push my clients kind of hard when I feel that they can take it and when they really need it and so I think it was within like 2 or 3 weeks, I got her to take a vacation.

So she emails me and she took a 2-week vacation completely unplugged with her husband to the point where like she didn’t even have her cellphone for 2 weeks and that’s after 8 years of not going on vacation or doing like you know getting away from business from 1 day. You know, I have actually just talked to her this morning before we talk and since that happened, like her entire life has changed, and it’s that just one shift of realizing that you’re not chained to your business.

So I want to dig in to that. So with that, you know what do you think is the biggest challenge that people face when they’re trying to do that, like when they’re trying to you know kind of go from that place of working all the time to starting to put systems in place and leverage their business and you know just create more time freedom, you know, be able to take days off and you know and going on vacations actually unplugged and that kind of thing. You know, what’s the big challenge do you think?

Josh Denning: For sure, we just feed on that with systems but before that, before we kind of jump in to the systems processes, you know, people and those kind of things that are really needed to make it happen is that the first thing that I need to overcome is that it’s really it’s the fear. So you know a lot of entrepreneurs, I think, can be more theory based in some ways than employees are, and it’s a terrible place to kind of be and the fear is that you know they actually leave.

They are not there. The plates are going to stop spinning. All the plates going to fall or you know whatever that they just don’t trust their team enough to keep the business growing and all they just haven’t put in that thing yet because they haven’t you know executed on starting to hire and taking the risk.

Whatever is done in business is that when you pull the trigger on a new hire and you know you really take the care and try to make a good hire and find the right hire and train them in everything is that even if you’re like revenue, you feel like it’s not quite where it needs to be to make that next higher.

If you make that higher and you make it right magically, your revenue will probably pretty quickly catch up to be where you were already if not better because all of the sudden the manual tasks that you have been doing are being done by someone else or the next person idea may be in the profit creator and then you know there is more money coming in because of that and then there is, you know, you double the velocity of your revenue, but if it’s the manual task that have been taken off the plate which is where a lot of entrepreneur’s spinning wheels then all of the sudden your freed up to do more income creation.

So you get that person covered, but I think you have to first overcome the fear that there are people, you can hire people to do what you are doing right now then one of them might do it quite as well as you immediately find the right people and they might be able to do it better than you are right now and that’s hard to swallow initially for a lot of entrepreneurs.

Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, it’s true though.

Josh Denning: But who do you want to find people that are better than you at that’s the course you arrive. That’s the whole thing with creating a freedom-based business. It’s all about finding stars and superstars, putting them in a roll where their core strengths are and letting them go to work and leaving them to it. You know, give them all the training they need, give them the standard operating procedures, _____ up those, introduce them to the right people that they need to help them, and then just let them go and you’ll be surprised by what they can do to your business.

So, do you really get that freedom to be able to walk away, there are a couple of things the staff, the systems, and the sales. So you need to get really good at staffing and growing your team. You need to get really good at creating the standard operating procedures that your staff are going to use to do all the works from when you’re not there, and you need to become heavily sales focused.

You need to become, you know, you need to have a really good, good, excellent sales people and sales system, the marketing system to bring in those leads of always revenue coming in and then you need again those staff and the team better in your operations department to make sure that the sales that are being brought in are being handled in an exceptional level keeping those customers happy, getting amazing results and you know just letting it go and then even more so, the company even grows more while you are away.

You need to put people in place that are responsible within your organization for recruitment training and growth and then you will end up with a business where you can actually run while you are not there, but not only run when you’re not there but actually get bigger while you’re not there.

Jeremy Reeves: I actually heard a story, I forgot if it was one shopping cart maybe and he was — that’s one of the big things he was afraid of and this was years, years, and years ago. I’m not even sure if it’s the right company, it was one similar kind of company and I remember hearing the story that he was really afraid to leave because he was like, “Oh my God, everything is going to dry up, it’s going to, you know all the fires are going to break out and when I come back my business be crumbled blah.. blah..” and so he went on just as a test like a 2-week vacation and he came back and his revenues jump like 10% and then he kept increasing and he went like a month and 3 months and eventually, I feel like he ended up selling, I forgot if it was his portion or the whole company I forgot, but he got it to the point where he realized the longer he was away, the faster the business grew. It’s kind of funny because you know entrepreneurs, we all have big egos and we think that you know we are like the best person ever and you know, if we leave everything is going to go to hell, and it just doesn’t happen that way. If you have not set up the right way.

So, with that, I think you covered you know. A lot of it is just a limited mindset. It is just fear that is the block there.

Josh Denning: Yeah, that was really under a lot of it. If you can get pass that mindset limitation and get comfortable with empowering people, putting them in positions to actually you know take charge and get things done and be willing to walk away and just let them do it and make some mistakes, learn from their mistakes, the amount of time where I’m super busy and I have got, because I have got like 10 people in the Philippines and I have got about 10 people in Thailand, I got people in Australia, and I have got couple of people doing some old things with me in the US as well and, like my even Skype is going crazy all day, my Google chat is going crazy all day, my emails crazy all day and I’m also have a phone clients all day and doing other stuff all day.

You know at times, I got like a staff go skyping, google plus, ping, and email when they want something and I’m just busy for an hour and then I get off the call and I see “Oh don’t worry I solved it, oh don’t worry I have done it, or actually we got that fixed.” They don’t need you as much as you think initially.

Jeremy Reeves: I actually have, I have a system in place with my employees that they have to, when they have a problem they are not allowed to ask me for help unless they try to solve it for minimum of 15 minutes.

Josh Denning: That’s awesome.

Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, and then only then after that 15 minutes then they can ask if they have actually, you know, they sat down they tried to plan it out, they strategize it and just can’t figure it out, then they can ask and that actually helps quite a bit.

Josh Denning: They sound small but they are little hinges that ______.

Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, it really is. Probably saves you at least several questions every day. So go along with that. What are the things that you touched on before, which I think, is a really important and I can see people kind of glancing over it. Is hiring people that are better than you are. Hiring stars, you know, everybody — when they’re trying to hire people it’s always like, “Oh, whose the cheapest” and so talk about that like do you have any insights on hiring the right people. Looking after or finding those stars or having you know criteria or qualifications or anything like that in place to help find those people. You know, basically, any insights that would help people with that.

Josh Denning: Absolutely, and I’m going to piggyback of what you have said there with like, “who’s the cheapest.” Who’s the cheapest I recon is one of the agreements, the greatest agreements that is leading, you know, that is creating the statistics that’s like out of a hundred businesses in the first 3 years, 70 of them failed or whatever it is and then over next 5 you know 10 of the 20 have failed and over the next 5 of the 10 have failed and over the next 5, 4 or so like 1 left 20 years away when you just said is one of the biggest reasons for that like you want to really try and it doesn’t always mean that you need to pay the most for them. It’s not necessary that be, definitely I don’t want to go with the cheapest. That’s catastrophic.

We look for the very, very, very best we can find at the right price and I’m like we went all paid like good but I’ll say to them, “but look, I am going to give you an opportunity where way more than that because I’m going to say that in our company I know that my SEO guys is getting good results, rankings are up, so my account managers can get more upsales because you know clients were buyable when they are doing well and the sales people, the frontend sales people when they are ______ to clients and they can show good ranking that helps them sell more.

So there is synergistic pull right. So we got to beat like a target each month and if that target gets hit each month and we going to break off somewhere between 5% and 10% depending and I’m going to give that back to split that across over the team members. So that’s financial reward, finances on everything but they’re a little bit more than I think is sometimes crackup.

These days, people are definitely do like to get money and feel like they are going to get more for their invested time not just that you know, if I work harder you just get richer like what about me, so you want to try to make sure that if your employees work bust their ass and work hard to really grow your company, you know, you incentivize them, give them something back for that as well because you are getting rich, help them to get rich as well.

The other thing as well is really and I’m just starting to implement this now and I’m not a master of it but I’m a big fan, I have been studying for a while like Tony Jay stuff, culture, mind to Mindvalley stuff with Vishen Lakhiani in Malaysia. I have been over to his offices a few times to see what he is up to and businesses like that, doing that kind of stuff like you really need to sell the mission to your team members.

You really need to try that you know install that you try and you create an industry change in business here. You really try to make the impact in the worlds of the businesses and the clients that you’re helping and you also want to create an environment where your team are going to learn to become world class and again get everything they need to really grow themselves and become more and you know all that kind of stuff and make it fun, make it like a little bit — like a team, a great team, not ______ your family but almost, but a team that has fun, that does well, they get incentivize, teams growing may create a big impact.

I think that’s one of the things you know I am no master of that. I’m really trying to nail that myself now but I think that big now with getting great people communicating that in your job advertisements and doing things like getting them to send in a video resume of themselves because immediately that we doubt like all of the people that you going to be lazy because _______.

Jeremy Reeves: That’s a good point. I like that.

Josh Denning: And it allows you to see like their personality and stuff and if you like working with them and you could see a bit of a spark and there is just something about them, things like that I think make a huge difference in creating a really good team.

Jeremy Reeves: Yeah. I remember, I actually — and that must be — now that you say, I think it’s true. I got a client a long time ago. This is actually, probably at least 5 years ago, something like that, 4 or 5 years ago where I saw that he was — this is when I was actually still like going out and looking for like prospecting for clients, but I saw that this one guy that I want to work with was looking for people and so I got this big giant tube, it’s like a 3 foot tube and there is — and I bought this piece of paper, this is like giant pink piece of paper it was like 2 x 3 feet and I basically sent it to him and on the piece of paper it had a link to a URL and on the URL I was basically giving my like — you know my pitch, but in video, and he read that and I think it was within like 48 hours.

I talked to him the next day and then I think it was in like 48 hours he hired me and he was like nobody else went through any like even a remotely the effort to do that and I ended up working with him and I ended up being a probably $125,000 client because of that. People respect when you put in that extra effort even when you’re not getting paid.

Even with my clients now, I sometimes kind of depend on the client, but like I sometimes will do things even before to help them map out the process, like the funnel that we’re going to do or whatever it is. People respect that and they appreciate it and you almost always win the business because they, it’s kind of like, if you’re putting in that much effort now, you know, what’s going to be like when you are actually getting money to do it. You know what I mean?

So, yeah I definitely, I like that video idea, I’m going to start doing that. Okay, so with that, I think a lot of that was gold and I actually wrote several things down that I’m going to put in place in my own business. So, what’s the biggest, you know, everybody has those “Aha moments” at certain points in their life. So, what was one of your like huge “Aha moments” that made you realize how important it was that you like to start actually building in the systems and building a business that’s like more of a lifestyle business rather than a workaholic business?

Josh Denning: Hmmm… interesting question. Well, I do actually love what I do. So I do really like to be doing it but I also love to get away as well, so I think 23:30people. I just really, really love digital marketing and everything that we’re talking about, so that’s really liking a lot in some ways. I mean not always, but in some ways, my work is like being in a holiday for me. They probably hate me for saying that.

Jeremy Reeves: Any employee would.

Josh Denning: But look, a couple of things were you know when I learned to build sales team and I could be away and come back and revenue shoot up being 3-4 deals done for the day and that was a big chunk of money that was coming in without me having done anything except the upfront training and ongoing support and coaching until they became really good, that was huge.

One of the other big realization was when I realized that in a couple of agencies that even I thought that I would be going in to learn from them and get the expertise from them, that I actually knew more than some agency directors that I worked with. It was really interesting. There has been a lot you know, it’s hard to pinpoint one, but I guess I have a lot bold moment every, you know, beat one every few months and a couple of 2 massive once a year kind of thing.

Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, that’s how I am too. Every once in a while, you kind of just sit there and it just hits you and it’s one of those moments where no matter what you’re doing, you like sprint to the nearest piece of paper and write it down. My wife always finds it amusing. I always look back and she is laughing at me, but it’s always funny.

Okay, with all that said, you covered a lot of stuff, so now let’s get into a couple — just like a small and don’t put too much because I do not want people being overwhelmed by it, but if you were to help someone and I just say it’s a service business or you could do it you know, product business or whatever it is. If you were to help them, someone has come to you, and say “Hey, I want to work half the time, and it doesn’t have to be that much, I know it’s a big jump or cut down 25% of my hours.

I want to go from working 60 to 45 in the next 90 days, what would be your process, like a step-by-step thing to help them do that and I know it’s kind of a broad question, so if you want to pick like a specific business then that’s fine but just kind of general overview of the steps you would take to start this process, maybe not finish it but at least get a quick win, you know. So what would be your process for that?

Josh Denning: That’s an awesome question. I really like that question, actually. So, it’s all about the system, right. It’s all about developing a mechanism that is going to bring in qualified people or even you know, they don’t even need to be qualified but it’s going to bring in people and it’s actually going to do the shifting for you and see if that, you know, the nonqualified people, the semi-qualified people and stick them on a 26:40 sequence and hire the qualified people and push them through as quickly as possible to get them actually on the phone.

So, if was going to work with someone that try to get in 90 days to a point where they could work 75% less, it would all be about building that system and the kind of steps that things are going through now to do that as first you know, like I’m sure you do. Just get really, really clear about who is their best customer is, not just any of their customers but who did very best type of customer is that burns them the highest dollar value per sale and even may be more than that.

The highest high profit per sale so not always the highest profit but sometimes a little product might be the highest profit rarely but you know, maybe. The highest high profit per sale and then really hone in those people and figure out, you know one of their top 3 problems of the top things that they frequently asked questions and they figure out from the questions they should be asking as well. Build a few content pieces so probably for 8 problem, 3 different content pieces or a blog post, a podcast, and may be a video as well and all of those would go in the blog and then those what those it going to be is they’re actually going to be the bait for the lead magnet.

So, were going to then amplify those with good paid traffic. So, I’m going to choose problem one paid traffic source initially like may be Facebook ads or Youtube ads at the moment. We are going to — instead of creating constant content, we are going to really heavily focus on the promoting a few pieces of content that we create each month and each pieces of content address one big idea, one big problem, and really solve it, like make it a mother of all content piece.

We promote that at the bottom of that or after a minute of being on that. It’s going to throw up a lead magnet or you know pump up that magnet potentially and the lead magnets are going to be relevant to the content piece.

So, it’s a real like close kinect with a person that is consuming that piece of content and then the first 2 emails that they get deliver them the report, all the checklist or a cheat sheet or a video or whatever it is and then the first 2 emails that they get will frame them into the process that’s coming up but also reference what they just consumed and that lead magnet is also is going to be 75% content but the last 25% to 15% of it is actually going to either send them to another page to actually book of call to buy something or depending on the situation that might send them to a low price offer or might send them to webinar or in my case, all three.

But then so — we’ve got 3 different types of problems right. So the purpose of the framing is that the first 2 emails are going to frame the problem and then we’re going to probably set up another you know 4 to 6 emails that are all the same so that the first 2 front frame ones like with this whole sequences are super relevant to them and then the next email is going to get more information and just kind of warm them up and keep trying to push them onto a core or push them down into another piece of content like a webinar if they are not ready yet or you know another video sales letter.

Always be moving back towards going to pushing them back to the core to get on the core strategy call or a consultation call or actually to inquire about a quote. Really were how to build that frontend mechanical system for them so that we can use paid traffic to promote those content pieces that are going to leak to a lead magnet.

It is going to educate and sell and the lead magnet is going to lead an email sequence that going to educate and sell and throughout that email sequence that is educating and selling, we can only 30:49 more content pieces like webinars, like videos, like even possibly another podcasts in giving content selling in counseling warming people up to get them on the phone to buy a high-priced service or 31:04 software or information product free membership site or whatever it is.

For me, it’s all about systematizing the frontends to get the sales working and then once that’s working, if we got that done within 90 days and we start to look at trying to put more team members in. So, all you are doing is the highest value work and then may go to 180 days or 360 days, we don’t want to get someone in there that we are going train with your scripts to do the phone base selling. Now, possibly, you don’t any have to do anything as the business just runs completely fine.

Jeremy Reeves: Nice. That was absolutely beautifully put. It goes right all along the lines of like based of someone if asking me to that question, it would be extremely similar to that. So, I think you are on the right path there. Yeah, I mean that was beautiful. I would very highly recommend rewinding this and going back and write it like mapping that out because it is spot on.

Nice, nice, nice. Yeah, that was awesome. So, we are coming up on our time here. I know both of us have scary schedules today. So, before we head off, you gave some awesome content and I’m sure there are people on here that are, you know, would like some help in kind of reducing their time in setting up their systems and all the stuff that you do. What type of person would you be looking for to help and what’s the best resource for them to go to and for either the businesses they have?

Josh Denning: I guess there is really just two types of people that I hope so. One type of person is, you know, the person that have not really gotten started yet. It’s just like looking to learn and working to gather information, maybe wants to do something online like affiliate mapping, gets started or something like that or maybe just really looking to get lots more business knowledge, wisdom, and information and then learn from a lot of different people while they are figuring out they want to do.

For that person, tropical entrepreneur and also tropical entrepreneur right now for hosting this podcast listeners may undergo and give away my free gift which was the Guru Siphon Formula. It was a $797 product when I first launched this and it goes right through from end to end how I did the guru piggybacking and make a thousand dollar commissions multiple times in a week when I was doing them and it’s still very completely relevant now, completely relevant strategy still works.

It’s like 30 hours of video content manuals, resources, links to where and how to get becoming a guru, one of the big guys affiliate 33:53 video process to go through. You get over to now. You will see a popup that will come up and if you just open that, we will get that for you or just contact me. If you open the, the popup will be there and I will get that for you.

For people who already got a business and they like what they just heard about creating that systematized scenario, he will be getting 75% more free or you just want to grow your traffic or you are just really looking to get an awesome private content marketing system in place to get yourself up to 10,000 to 20, 000 unique visitors a month is my private consultancy where I help people build those systems and grow their traffic and do conversion optimization and things like that and I am, of course, happy to do a free 45-minute consultation with you where we can build out a road map.

If you like it and you want to talk about the price me doing it for you, the we can do that. If you don’t, then you can take it away and go and do it yourself or maybe bring it to Jeremy and do it with him.

Jeremy Reeves: I like the extra plug in there. Alright, well thanks again. What you have provided is absolutely awesome and hope everybody got a lot out of it. We will see you next time and thanks for joining us again.

Josh Denning: Thanks, Jeremy.

Jeremy Reeves: Thanks, bye.

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