Being great at media buying is a double-edge sword.
On one side, it’s a very profitable skill to have, but on the other side, it can also chain you to the desk. You can become so good at advertising, that you begin to feel stuck.
Who can ever be as good as you?
As someone who has replaced myself, and also trained media buying teams for some of the biggest names in marketing (Agora, Cardone, Deiss) - I can assure you that there is a way out. You are not stuck forever.
I’m not saying this is going to be easy, and much of the “work” is actually on yourself. YOU are the one who is going to have to grow and deal with fears. YOU are actually the problem, and the sooner you realize that the easier this is going to happen for you.
The Mindset Shift Every Ad Buyer Has To Make To Replace Themselves
Right now you’re a star.
You’ve gotten used to being the star. People love having you on their team, even if that’s just your own team.
You’re a cash cow, you know it, they know it, everyone knows it.
You cannot be the star player on the team and also be the team coach. You can’t be standing on 1st base waiting to make the play of the game, and also be sitting on the sidelines calling the plays.
And THAT is the shift you have to make.
It’s a giant chasm you have to jump across.
You have to consciously make a decision that you are DONE being the star player on the team, and you are now starting a new role of being the team coach.
You have to deal with the fact that it’s going to take some time. You didn’t become the star player on the team overnight. There was book reading, blog reading, Youtube watching, podcast listening, course buying, and 10,000 hours of practice.
How To Shrink The Time It Takes To Become The Team Captain
You’re playing a new game now.
There’s no going back.
Do not give yourself the option to slink back into that ad buyer role. YOU MUST keep your coaches hat on and you cannot put that old star player uniform back on. This is the mindset shift you have to take.
It’s easy to quit smoking cigarettes.
Just never put one back in your mouth. It’s that easy and that hard. Same thing with this coach verse star player scenario. It’s easy to make the shift IF you really make the shift.
If you keep going back and “saving the game” then your new player is never going to learn. You’ll always have to be the one who shows up to save the game. They’ll come to rely on you to do it for them. THEY have to learn how to save the game.
YOU have to allow them to feel the wins!
And feel the losses.
Remember how much losing motivated you?
Well, don’t rob your new player of that motivation. You have to be ok with letting them get a couple scars. You have to give them the security and the room to collect a few of their own scars just as you once did. It’s those losses that taught you what not to do.
If you ever want them to become great, they have to learn from a few mistakes too.
If you ever want them to become great, they have to feel like THEY got the win (not you).
Seriously, if you don’t do this part you’ll be stuck in this “I’m sort of the team captain and sort of the star player too” role for years until you finally just bite the bullet and make the switch for good.
How To Find Your New Star Ad Buyer, Your Replacement
I’ve learned two great lessons about this over the years.
First, is to seek out an affiliate marketer who was doing great and just had a major setback. I know… This is a little predatory, but you’re also going to be their hero so it kind of balances out.
Affiliate marketers make great media buyers because they are proven risk takers. They also have put their own money on the line and understand what it takes to create a profit. They also understand how it feels to lose money.
They have all the raw building blocks that you can’t teach.
The reason why you want an affiliate marketer that just went bust, is 1. If they haven’t gone bust they don’t know they need you 2. If they have gone bust, they’re filled with doubts and stress and just looking for some security.
Here you come, to offer them security.
You’re going to offer them a position that matches their skillset, and to appeal to them offer some kind of reward for performance. Could be a monthly quota bonus, or % of profit, or $x per sale etc. Appeal to their desire to get paid on performance.
Second greatest lesson I learned is to make them read a book.
I’ve done this with everyone I’ve ever truly tried to turn into a star. If they aren’t willing to read, lets be honest, they’re never going to be a star. You need to be a learner to become a star, that’s you you did it, that’s how I did it, and that’s how our grandfathers did it.
Make it an easy book like Cashvertising, or Great Leads, or Obvious Adams.
If they say they’ve already read it, tell them you read it multiple times and got something new from it each time. I know I have.
Look, if they’re not willing to do this one thing, if they don’t see how this is helping them become a star, then they aren’t the right fit. They either don’t like learning, don’t know how to listen to a coach, or are just ego-centric. Either way, its a deal breaker if they don’t do this step.
The Road To Replacement, What To Do For The Next 90 Days
It’s time for YOU to get to work now.
Are you really a leader? Are you really “bout this life?” Are you really “captain material?” If yes, then you need to develop a 90 day action plan for this new player on the team.
You’re the coach.
This is your job now.
Your new job is to 1. Create a plan for them to follow 2. Not make their life miserable, stressful, and fearful 3. Give them feedback when they miss a shot and praise when they land a shot.
Even you, the mighty you, didn’t come on the field day one a star. You had your goofs and your flops. Your job isn’t to chastise them and beat them up every time they mess up. Your job is to be the calm, confident, coach. The one who watches the plays, takes notes, and shows them where they goofed.
You’re going to gently steer them into stardom.
It’s going to be hard, before it gets easy. They are new player, they need at least 30 days just to figure out how their new home looks and feels. They need time to adjust to the new setting, the new tools, the new processes. Then 2nd month they are feeling more confident this is the time you start letting them take the wheel more.
When you teach someone how to drive a car, you first let them sit on your lap and you’re doing most of the driving. You are really just letting them feel like they are in control. This is your first 30 days with the new ad buyer.
Give them a step-by-step plan to follow.
Small easy goals.
You want them to feel a win, not to feel like they drove into a wall at 60mph.
Then the next thing you do is you hop in the passenger seat, and let them drive while you are right next to them watching their every move. They are fully in control but you are there to call an audible in an emergency.
That’s your 2nd month.
It’s going to be scary. They are going to make some mistakes. No one does their driving exam perfectly.
The goal is not perfection, the goal is for them to pass the test.
Now, finally your last 30 days. This time you let them borrow the car without you in there. You’re letting them run the whole thing with no one watching. It’s their time to shine. You MUST give them this freedom.
This is what will make them confident.
If you don’t take this step with them, they will become scared. They’ll always need you by their side. You have to make them feel like they are skilled and confident enough to run the campaign fully on their own.
What If The New Kid Crashes Your Car & Loses All Your Money
Well, first of all, it was your plan.
You were the coach.
The student is only as good as the coach. So really it’s your fault they failed.
And you know what, the first time you might.
This is new for you. You’re getting better at this. Trust the process, realize you are human, give yourself some grace. We all hope you hit a homerun on your first try, but really if you just get on base without getting hurt it’s a win.
Honestly, there’s no other way out.
You either get used to always outsourcing to agencies, or you suck it up and LEARN to become a team leader.
If your new player fails his 90 day test, you either decide to try again with them or without them. Meaning, you like the person and enjoy working with them. You want to give them another chance. Or you realized you don’t like working with them and you gave them a full shot for 90 days, it’s totally fine to part ways here.
Trust your gut here.
If you are getting that internal voice that saying “This person has to go” then trust that. I mean if you can’t trust yourself, who can you?
But same thing goes if your internal voice is saying “Man I really would hate to lose this person.” Then that’s a sign you should keep them and try again. Openly discuss that it was a loss, talk about where things went wrong, how that impacts the business, that you can’t afford to keep doing that, but then offer a new plan.
Don’t beat them up.
Encourage them.. Like a coach would!
“Ok team we took a loss in the first half, but we’re going to make up for it in the second. LETS GO!”
You’re never going to make a star player out of someone who feels beat up, scared, and stressed. Might as well just fire them so you both can get rid of that negativity. Instead you need to foster an environment of encouragement, guidance, and development.
Only one thing left…
Are you really “bout this life?”
Are you really “captain material?”
Ok then stud…
Would you like to talk with others who’ve gone through this process? Want to join a community of advertisers that you can hire who are already trained? Then I suggest you checkout our AdSkills Core+ plan, which gives you access to 4 new classes a month + access to talk to the instructors.
You get all the video training + LIVE Mentor Calls every other week with myself and a friend who runs a $35 million dollar agency. You can find out more here https://adskills.com/pricing
See you next week.
Founder of AdSkills.com
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