Here I am flying home from the London meetup - 3 hours should be enough to write this article... :)
It has been over a year ago since we had the last STM meetup here in London. Looking back, things have changed a lot since then. I am not just a simple affiliate anymore... I remember in London I was a solo affiliate with part time remote workers. Things have grown to the next level and my operations are keep expanding.
I'm not only a full-time affiliate marketer but also a consultant for Facebook ads with 100s of consulting hours behind me. My horizon has expanded and I have realized how important it is to take advantage of the opportunities that come across me. A lot of people hit me up for guidance on how to run on FB and truth to be told I wasn't very keen on letting “my secrets” out. But then I look at things from a different perspective. First of all not many affiliates have the willpower to take action. FB's algo is super complex and it takes a lot of effort to make things work. I share all the necessary information according to my best knowledge – my clients are very happy with what they're getting, but truth to be told not all of them are taking action. I share everything I know but just a few will succeed and make things work... Second of all, performance marketing is a huge, huge industry and each client has a different need. Some want to learn how to run edu offers, some want to understand how to cloak and some just want to figure out the account game. This is why I'm not afraid of what many assume – creating competition for myself... I am creating success stories and it makes me feel great! I'm passionate about brainstorming with my clients, finding the solution for their needs. :)
When I attend a meetup I always have a game plan – I have a reason to go! STM London was the perfect opportunity for me to network with successful affiliates (as networks and traffic sources were not welcome this time) who are mostly based in the European Union. As my operations are growing I have came up with a new vision:
To see my company's logo on my office wall. (haha I know it sounds easy but there's more to it)
I really admire those who have accomplished this so far. I want to build a legacy, my own company culture, having a group of people who are treated very well in return for their quality work. I want to surround myself with brilliant and talented minds. This is a completely new territory for me as I have full-time remote workers all over the world (Asia, Europe, US) helping my operations BUT I never had an actual office space for myself and staff. I LOVE CHALLENGES - so I decided to give this a shot because I know this is going to help me scale up not only my affiliate marketing business but also my consulting services. Time is super limited and I got to a point where I don't get enough done with my current setup.
So here is what game plan I came up with for STM London – make sure to ask around who has done this before, learn about the best location and opportunities to open up my physical office.
Luckily I bumped into Chris (cmdeal from the STM forum) who gave me excellent tips. This article is going to help those who are looking to do the same as me.
First question Chris asked was what my goal is and why do I want to do this. He had the assumption that I want to try a new thing out – and he is completely right, I feel like this is something I need to test and see how it is helping me in the long-term. Honestly I could just hire more people to work remotely and I'm sure that would work just fine, but I have a GOAL now and I won't stop until I reach it. I'm not afraid of failure because I am already prepared, I know it is going to be a learning curve and I can only benefit from it. #GOALdiggingPaysOff
Second he recommended me to look into the legislation for hiring employees. I had the idea to start things in Berlin or Barcelona as I heard these 2 cities are the startup cities where you can find quality but cost-effective solutions as in labor force and office space. He said I better look at how I can let employees go because for example Germany has a terrible law set for protecting employees. He also mentioned that in London there's a 0-hr contract which means no work is guaranteed for the worker. But on the other hand, I don't like the weather in London and living costs are way higher.
I'm so glad I asked him because I totally didn't think about these things before! See, this is why you go and surround yourself with people who are above your level, this is how you can grow and improve – talk to people whom you look up to and ask their opinion while enjoying a great cocktail and mini-golf session. :)
Third, he brought up very interesting factors to look at. He suggested to look at 3 factors in a city:
Look at how many people participated in the International Math Olympiads from that country, what kind of awards have they acquired? For example interesting fact Hungarians are super common at these contests, winning prizes and making it to the hall of fame board!
Is there an office by a huge multi-national company like Google or Facebook in that city / country? If so, it's harder to compete with salaries and benefits, better to find an area where you don't have such disadvantage.
How much is the minimum average salary in that country? Of course you want to minimize your expenses. Smart factor to look at!
Last but not least, look at what their motive is – their personal reason to work, pay above market price to build loyalty, invest time, listen to them and care about them.
Chris also suggested to try it in small – starting with home office, or with just a few ppl in my base city...
These tips certainly helped me get a perspective on how to decide where to open up my physical office.
Let me know your thoughts, would like to hear more feedback and tips on hiring and which city you think is the best for a physical office in Europe! :)