International Business & Marketing Coach Chris Ducker Offers Advice for Church Leaders

Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. We’re chatting with marketplace leader Chris Ducker, who is a serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, and runs several businesses.

As churches find themselves more a part of the online world, there is continually a challenge to connect with people in a meaningful way. Listen in as Chris shares how to add a personal touch to your interactions online, encouraging conversations instead of simply shouting into a virtual megaphone.

  • P to P versus B to B or B to C. // We may be familiar with businesses and organizations being business to business or business to consumer, but Chris says the new focus should be people to people. At the end of the day, whether you are signing a deal with a company, or serving a community, people are attracted to you because of who you are and what you stand for.
  • Attract and repel. // If you want to build a community and attract a certain segment of people, you have to be you all the time. You will equally deter and repel people away as you will attract the right people who want to be part of your tribe. You can’t please everyone. Understand what you want to be known for, where your unique traits lie in respect to that, and how to lean into it.
  • No comment left behind. // When someone sends Chris a direct message on social media or email, he believes strongly that they should get a direct reply from him because they’ve taken time out of their day to reach out to him. He tells us it’s wrong to ignore someone who has come to you in this way, seeking help. Take the time to respond to them even if it’s only a quick response.
  • Connect to the people. // Ask people open-ended questions about how you can serve them. When you are willing to have a conversation beyond a yes or no answer, you’ll be able to receive information that can help you offer value to others using your unique skillset as a leader.
  • Online communication is not a megaphone. // Pastors may not be willing to get into as many conversations online because it can be overwhelming and feel like a time-waster. But for those who decide to do it, Chris believes only good things can come from it. It’s a way to build relationships and you never know when one little question you answer can change a person’s mindset. As leaders we need to take seriously the responsibility to show up for our people.
  • Have a virtual staff. // Build a virtual team to support on the online communication and social media part of the church work. It will give you more time in your day to focus on aspects of your work that only you can do when you have others handle the repetitive tasks.
  • Hire the staff type you need. // If you’re looking for someone who can work a few hours a week on tasks you’d like to delegate, you can find individuals through freelance sites. The other way is to hire someone for a role rather than just a task, which can be done through Chris’s site Virtual Stafffinder will go through the process of going through applications, vetting and testing them so you don’t have to focus on it.
  • One person is not the same as three. // A common misconception Chris notices when hiring virtual team members is the assumption that one person can successfully do three people’s jobs. That doesn’t work with local staff, and it doesn’t with virtual staff either. Another big mistake is assuming that because a person has a specific skill that they don’t need guidance or onboarding of any kind. Training always helps set new team members up for success.

We’re giving away 10 copies of Chris’s book, Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business – two copies each to five people. You can be entered to win by responding to any one of the emails unSeminary may have sent you. Learn more about Chris and his work at

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Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Well, hey, everybody! Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. So glad that you have decided to tune in today. You know every week we try to bring you a leader who will both inspire and equip you. Normally those are church leaders, but today we’ve got a great marketplace leader – guy by the name of Chris Ducker. If you do not know Chris, I don’t know where you’ve been. He’s a serial entrepreneur, bestselling author. He runs all kinds of businesses. He’s a great guy and today we’re looking forward to tapping into his expertise. Chris, welcome to the show.

Chris Ducker — Thanks for having me, man. It’s great to be here.

Rich Birch — This is going to be fun. I I really appreciate you doing that. Why don’t you fill out a little bit of the story – kind of give us the Chris Ducker story. Tell us a little bit more about yourself.

Chris Ducker — Well born or raised in England, hence the weird sounding voice.

Rich Birch — Ah, nice. Love it.

Chris Ducker — Um, and um, you know I’m a dad of 4, a husband of 1, and um, a business owner.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — You know I have been in I guess you know ah, been in the marketing and the sales game pretty much my entire career. Ah set up my first business in 2004 which is still rocking and rolling to this day. Second business 2010; still rocking and rolling, and the third business in 2015; still rocking and rolling.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Chris Ducker — So we’re doing good. And I got to work every day and get to work with people like you and other smart people and helping them figure out how to become future proof, and build great followings, and monetize their expertise and all that sort of stuff. And that’s what I’m all about.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love it. You know if you’re a longtime listener of unSeminary, you’ve you know you heard throughout the years where we’ve tapped the expertise of marketplace leaders like Chris and we’re super honored that you would take some time out to be with us today. But listeners, I want you to stay tuned until the end because we’re giving away a great giveaway just for people who are listening in and you’re going to have to listen to the end to find out how to get it, so stay tuned. I don’t want you to miss ah, you know where we’re headed today. But Chris, you know one of the things I love—there’s a lot I love about you – there’s a lot I love about your how you position yourself; I think the coaching you do is just so solid—but one of the things that I’ve heard you talk about is how organizations have gone from b to c, and b to b (so business to consumer, business to business). You you you like the word P to P – can you explain what does that mean? P to P – what do you mean when you say that?

Chris Ducker — P to P is people to people, right, or person to person. Whatever you want to call it. Um I think you know, and I’ve I’ve been and I’m still involved in the b to b and the b to c spaces, obviously. Um I’m a brick and mortar guy. You know I built my businesses from the ground up. I have facilities. I’ve got venues. I’ve got buildings. I’ve got you know all that sort of stuff that goes along with building businesses, you know, in a brick and mortar setting. But also I’ve noticed that as I’ve kind of leaned into the online world, ah pretty much since like 2010 for anything other than just kind of like checking email right, and watching you know cat videos on Youtube or something, like I’ve noticed that generally there’s a lack of personality online. There’s a lot of ego online, but there’s a lack of personality in the way that we build our followings, we attract the right people into our ecosystems and ultimately get to the point of being able to provide value to the people that we want to serve, and inspire, and work with. Um and so P to P was something I came up with um, actually it was an ad lib on stage in LA…

Rich Birch — Nice. Love it, as the best ideas are. Yes.

Chris Ducker — Oh my god, dude, like in 2014, I was on stage in LA and it just came to me. And I dropped it and I said you know it’s no longer about B to B or B to C. It’s actually about P to P. It’s people to people. We want to do business with big brands because of the security that comes with it and all the rest of it. But at the end of the day when you sign a deal, no matter what that might be, almost all the time you’re going to be signing that deal because of the person that you’ve been with working with.

Rich Birch — Hmm, that’s so true. Yeah, that’s so true.

Chris Ducker — And it’s very very true whether you’re serving you know a community ,or whether you are trying to sell something, or whatever it is, those people will attract towards you ah because of who you are and what you stand for – and what your principles are like, and and the value that you can bring. So that’s really what P to P is. It’s all about creating that personal touch.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love that. I know one of the kind of tropes in our world in the church world is if someone decides that they no longer want to work in the church, they they seem to always become real estate agents. I don’t know why that is, but I think it’s because of this P to P thing. It’s like that that’s one of those areas where it’s a highly personal kind of sales environment. It’s it’s about building relationships. But I sometimes think maybe, and this is why I want to lean in with you because I I love this perspective coming from a business sales point of view for us to think about in the church world, I think sometimes we think like well we’re just kind of people people and like that maybe really isn’t what could use to help build our organization. So I’d love to hear more… how are you coaching say what could seem like an impersonal business, like an online business, where they’re you know they’re selling stuff across the internet. How do you coach them to be more personal? What is what does that look like? I’d love to try to figure out what that looks like for us as we’re thinking about what we’re doing which is obviously super personal.

Chris Ducker — Yeah, well you know first of all, um, it comes down to the leader. It comes down to you first and foremost. Like you’re in charge of this. No one else is in charge of this. So the words that come out of your mouth, that’s down to you.

Rich Birch — Right.

Chris Ducker — The actions that you take, that’s down to you. So you know if you want to build a community, if you want to attract the right people, if you want to sell to them online, you’ve got to be you all the time. You can’t try any smoke a mirror act. Like you’ve got to be you all the time. And actually

Chris Ducker — Admit and accept to yourself that in the action of doing that, you will equally deter and repel people away who don’t like you or your vibe…

Rich Birch — Yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — …and at the exact same time attract the right people that do want to be part of your tribe. Right? So it’s…

Rich Birch — Yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — …your vibe will attract your tribe. I call it marketing like a magnet, right? You attract the best and you repel the rest kind of thing. Um, and honestly you’re in control of that – all the way.

Rich Birch — So good.

Chris Ducker — Hands down with the content that you create. Like this podcast right now, by you doing what you’re doing on the show whenever you hit the publish button, people will listen in, and they’ll say I like Rich. I like what he stands for. I think I can learn from this guy. I’m going to carry on subscribing and listening in. Or they’re going to take the exact opposite and say, I don’t really like this guy I don’t like the way he sounds or I don’t like the way he talks…

Rich Birch — Yeah, which is fine.

Chris Ducker — Well yeah I just I don’t like the way he looks…

Rich Birch — Yes, yes, like that haircut.

Chris Ducker — …you know on the audio podcast I don’t like the way he looks, right? Like my mother would say, you’ve got a great face for radio.

Rich Birch — Yes, yes, yes, love it.

Chris Ducker — You know I mean like I I think genuinely um, it’s down to you. So just you know the most important thing is understanding what you want to be known for, where your unique traits lie in regards to that, and then understanding that you’ve got to lean into that uniqueness at every available opportunity to attract the right people into your world.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love that. So yeah, translating a little bit there I think sometimes we look at other leaders and are like, we mimic them. We’re like, hey we’re just going to be like them. We copy and paste what we’re going to do. And I would say even from a spiritual point of view, God has made you how he’s made you. Be that person.

Chris Ducker — Mmm-hmm.

Rich Birch — Like don’t you don’t need to be somebody different. Be who, you know, who God’s called you to be. And actually I’ve seen over the years particularly those leaders who lead fast-growing churches, they’re very comfortable in their skin. They are who they are and they’re like, hey I’m going to be that person and I’m okay with that you know, I don’t need to try to be like the person down the street that leads that other church. Now pushing a little bit towards tactics, the the part that impresses me about you from afar is is this: so there are a lot of church leaders who have a following of 500 people on Instagram um, who are are you know maybe have a thousand downloads a week on their their podcast, and they have built walls between themselves and their tribe. They have they’ve deliberately like they don’t respond. They don’t engage. They don’t but but you you have you know you have a giant following literally all over the world, and you’ve been able to scale that. You feel very personal online. Ah can you talk to us about how you’ve done that? What what have you done to build community to to at least give off the impression that you are trying to have actual relationships with people? I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it sure seems like that when I engaged with you online.

Chris Ducker — I can assure you it’s very very true.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Chris Ducker — And what you see what you see is what you get. Um, obviously as as as things have grown over the years there have certainly been situations we’ve had to change and tweak slightly, right? So you know if I post something and you know I get you know thirty, forty comments, the rule that we have as a company is no comment gets left behind. And so…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Chris Ducker — …you know do I have the time to reply to 40 comments 3, 4 times a week? No I don’t. So but you know I’m very lucky, I’m very blessed, extremely blessed and very honored to be able to work closely with my wife, first and foremost, and then also to have my eldest daughter working with us…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Chris Ducker — …as well, who does know me, who knows…

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — …you know they both know who I am, and what I stand for, and what my values are, like and how I talk and how I would reply to certain things. So yes, sometimes they will reply on my behalf as me on social media, for example. Ah, but if you know the the one area that I am just really unwavering on is that if somebody does send me an email, or does send me a direct message on social, they have to get a reply. They have to.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Chris Ducker — They’ve taken time out of their day to reach out to me based on something that they’ve seen me do, and for me to just ignore them, that’s just wrong. Like that goes against P to P entirely…

Rich Birch — Yeah, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — …first and foremost. But it’s just wrong. Like that’s one human being that has come to you for either a little bit of feedback, or a quick answer, or maybe you know maybe they just need an ear for 30 seconds, like whatever it is. Um, and it goes you know it goes I don’t care where you’re from. I don’t care what skin color you have, or who you love, or what you believe in or don’t believe in, um, it’s just being a nice human.

Rich Birch — Right. Yes, yes yes.

Chris Ducker — You know what I mean. At the end of the day. And so that no comment left behind is is real. We we live and breathe it every single day as a company. Um and a lot of the time I will reply but a lot of the time also I’ve got members of my team replying as well.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Chris Ducker — But it is real and that’s why I put a little bit of personality into some of the posts as well. Sometimes the post will be very business focused, very strategy focused, and then sometimes I’ll just share the fact that you know I’ve reconnected with a friend…

Rich Birch — Yep..

Chris Ducker — …ah for the first time in 3 years and what it means to me. Or that you know I spent the day um, you know, working on a bonsai tree.

Rich Birch — I was gonna say it’s got to be bonsai trees. Bonsai trees.

Chris Ducker — Yes something being like you know it’s doing it’s bonsai. Or you know I made a Lego a Star Wars Lego set with my son on a Sunday afternoon…

Rich Birch — Yes, yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — …like this is the stuff that I think makes me me.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — And so I will share it so people get the real snapshot and not the highlight reel that…

Rich Birch — Right.

Chris Ducker — …is social media across the board pretty much.

Rich Birch — Yeah yeah, I love that again. Friends who are listening and I want to encourage you, I think Chris would be a great person for you to follow online, and and try to do the translation in your brain around Chris runs a ton of businesses all over the world. He’s got a huge following, but look at how personal he’s being to try to draw people in. And I could say as someone who’s engaged with him online ah I get those responses which is a bit shocking to me. I like, to be honest, it was it was refreshing, has been refreshing and it’s been great to kind of push in and learn more from you for sure. Recently I was in a coaching thing with Chris where he was we were talking about responding personally to people. And he was you know, warning us against don’t just copy and paste, don’t just copy and paste to a bunch of people, and respond to stuff because people can smell that stuff a mile away, right? You sound like a robot when you do that. Ah, for sure I love that. So Chris, give us a bit of coaching here. So many churches over the last couple years have increased their online presence ah, kind of surprisingly post you know covid. So you know we pivoted online, we’re doing a lot more online and you know the kind of average picture—you wouldn’t know this—but the average church that I talked to they’ve they’ve had you know a bunch of people return their brick and mortar services, but they still have a ton of people connecting with them online. But we’re not sure what to do with them. We’re not sure how to deepen those relationships to you know to use the language you would use to kind of move them down the funnel, to kind of try to get them more connected, get them more connected with other people. From your perspective, what would you do? How would you talk to a business that would say hey I’ve got to a ton of people on the fringe – how do I move them closer to what you are offering?

Chris Ducker — Well, you’ve got to have conversations.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Chris Ducker — You’ve got to ask questions, and not close-ended questions, right? So a close ended question is something that will end with yes or no, or Tuesday or Wednesday, you know – that sort of type of thing. You want open-ended questions because open-ended questions um create the opportunity for somebody to share information with you. And once you’ve got that information, um, you know you then have the ability to be able to use your unique skill set as a leader to go ahead and provide value to them based on that information. So maybe they’re struggling with a relationship, or maybe they’re struggling with a business opportunity. Maybe they’ve lost some money in the stock markets. You know, whatever it is. If you, particularly as a spiritual leader, has an opportunity to lead that person through whatever they’re dealing with, you’ll you’ll have a much much better rate of success if you ask the right questions and engage in proper conversations. And as I always say, conversations then lead to conversions.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Chris Ducker — So in in my world as a business leader that means a transaction takes place for money, right, in some way.

Rich Birch — Yes, yes, yep.

Chris Ducker — Um, whereas you know from from a spiritual standpoint, it could be well you know now now they’re ready to join the church properly, and maybe they’re going to donate or you know get involved with sponsorship or something along those lines.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Chris Ducker — So I I honestly feel also that um you know, personally also as as somebody who believes in God and believes that we’re all here in our own skin for a very clear, you know, obvious reason. Um and that is to serve each other, and to help each other, and to love each other, and support each other, and I’m a big big believer of that. And that’s something that I speak to my children about every day. It’s something that my wife and I share on a regular basis. Whether it be, you know as a family, or with friends, or when we go to church or whatever the case may be. And you know it has been tough over the last couple of years with covid not being able to go to your place of worship.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — Not being able to see the people that you would usually see on that regular basis, and I tell you what, any church leader that was able to pivot and bring things online and genuinely continue to serve their following, to serve their flock over that last couple of years, more power to you.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah.

Chris Ducker — More power to you. Because a lot of people struggled with going from in-person to virtual for obvious reasons.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chris Ducker — Um, but if you did it, if you tried to do it, and if you did it successfully, more power to you. Because you’re already ah, ah you know head and shoulders above a lot of the quote unquote competition out there, you know.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love that. I love it. I think that’s so many times I think in our world um, or maybe it’s just the people I bumped into it’s like we’re trying to we see online as a place where we’re actually trying to get out of doing conversation. It’s like gosh I just people can come at us from in every direction but because it’s it feels like there’s just so you know it can be so much inbound. But I love the coaching and the encouragement to say actually no like let’s try to get into conversations. Let’s not use that as a way to shut down conversation. It’s not ah, it’s not a megaphone. It’s ah it’s a chance to engage and and be back and forth again. If you follow Chris you get a sense of how he does that online, or there’s lots of leaders that do that. But I think Chris does it…

Chris Ducker — Oh I mean tell them follow you. I mean you you do it beautifully, you know.

Rich Birch — Yeah sure. Yeah, yeah, sure.

Chris Ducker — I mean it’s you know the the other thing is that um, don’t forget again, you’re in charge of it, right?

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — You can either do it or not do it. It’s totally up to you. What I can tell you, you know, very very confidently and very securely in myself giving this as advice is that if you do it, only good things can come of it if you’re coming from a place of genuinely serving.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yes.

Chris Ducker — Um and I think that you know you’ve got a lot more to ah gain…

Rich Birch — Right.

Chris Ducker — …by spending time with people like that and fostering relationships online than you do by not, quite frankly. And you never know when one little bit of advice or one little question that you answer, you’ll never know when that can change that person’s mindset, change their life…

Rich Birch — Yeah, absolutely. Right, absolutely.

Chris Ducker — …maybe even, right? So I think you know as leaders as stewards we are in a position of responsibility and we and we should take that very seriously, and and show up for our people.

Rich Birch — Yeah. I love it. All right pivoting to a little bit of a different area of expertise in your in your world. You have such deep experience, expertise, you’re an expert really in building virtual remote teams. You’ve done a great job at this. In our world, in our little industry, ah, we’re just on the front end of this. There are just church leaders that now are are scratching the surface. You know, ironically I was blogging about you know hiring VAs because of you ah you know ten years ago but but there really are that’s it’s it’s not mainstream. It’s we’re just early stages. But I am hearing more and more leaders ask this question, hey isn’t there parts of what we could do that are remote remote or fractional staff? Um, what advantage would you say to, you know, what’s the advantage to a church leader who’s listening in today? Maybe they’re a single staff at a church, or maybe they have 2 or 3 staff. Ah, to say maybe we should look at adding a virtual team members – what advantage really have you seen in the organizations you’ve worked on adding virtual staff?

Chris Ducker — Well, there’s a lot of advantages. Um, and I’m not surprised that as an industry it’s starting to become more and more important ,and but more talked about because obviously a lot of things in in in the church world have come online over the last couple of years…

Rich Birch — Yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — …and that’s created a whole different set of skills and roles and needs for these churches, and the leaders of those churches very specifically that need to be done, right? Like updating your social media more regularly than maybe once a week. You know, doing all those things.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — And so a VA can really help you across the board in obviously continuing to spread your message, continuing to show up and and you know talk about you know, events in the community, or how you are serving people, or you know special events you might be doing online. But honestly at the core principles of what it comes down to in terms of delegation from a leadership standpoint is that you are getting more time…

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — …in your day. That’s it.

Rich Birch — Yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — That’s the biggest plus more than anything else is that, you know, I don’t know a leader in any industry that wouldn’t love an extra couple of hours in their workday every day right.

Rich Birch — So true. Yes, yeah, it’s so true.

Chris Ducker — And so that’s really where VAs come into play. So whether it is just you know managing your email inbox or updating your social media. Maybe you are getting a little bit more active online and you’re uploading a show to YouTube once a week or you’re you know going live in a Facebook group and you want to kind of collate questions and comments and things like that. All these things – if it’s repetitive, if it’s a repetitive task, then a VA can handle it for you. And as a leader, your time is much better spent in your zone a genius than you know playing around in Canva trying to create an image to share on Instagram. Know what I mean?

Rich Birch — Yeah it’s so true. Friends, friends, who are listening in pulling back the curtain a little bit like here it unSeminary like we’ve lived this for a long time. My primary assistant she lives in New Jersey, our video editor is in the Philippines our um, our text editor you know copywriter she’s in Zimbabwe, like and it all works very easily to connect with all those people. And and the thing that excites me about it is I’m not limited to the 8 people I know around me. I could find people around the world who have very unique skills who are very good at what they do. Ah, and and frankly are happy to serve in ah you know in this kind of environment. So I think there’s huge opportunity for that. But so let’s say there’s people listening in – there’s a ton we could talk about here, friends. Again, you should follow Chris there’s more. He’s got more information on this kind of stuff. But there’s someone that’s listening in and saying yeah maybe I could see maybe hiring somebody 15 hours a week to help me with, you know, administrative stuff the kind of you know the general VA or social media VA kind of thing. Where where do we find great team members? What is that like how do you find these people? Where are they ah you know where do you access these folks?

Chris Ducker — Well there’s a couple couple of different ways to do it. So first up like if you’re just looking for somebody say like you know 10 hours a week or something, then you know you can go to a website like you know or you can go to… what’s the other one? There’s another big one as well.

Rich Birch — Yeah Elance, maybe?

Chris Ducker — Ah, Elance! That kind of thing exactly.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — Um, there’s a lot of different opportunities for that where you’ll post your job, you get a whole bunch of applications. You got to wade through them a little bit obviously, but you can find somebody relatively easily and and you know get them to do that video editing or whatever it is.

Chris Ducker — And then the other way is you know to hire for the role rather than the task and that’s what we focus on at Virtual Stafffinder. So You can go a and you can hire somebody either part-time or full-time. And we’ll go through the process of, you know going through all the applications and vetting them, and testing them, and all the rest of it so you don’t need to do it yourself. So you know a couple of different ways to do it. Very much kind of like ad hoc one-off jobs or bring somebody on full-time or part-time at least um and kind of have them as a team member as well, bearing in mind that most people do need full-time work. So if you hire somebody part-time, the chances are that they’re probably going to be working for somebody else at the same time. So if you want them just for you, if you want to be greedy and have them just working on your own stuff and your stuff only, then hire them full time, you know.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yep.

Chris Ducker — And a lot of the time ah, you can find people you know over in the Philippines for example, speaking incredible English. They’re trustworthy. They’re very God-fearing people. 97% Catholic the country. All educated in amazing English, you know, great experience online. They spend 12 hours a day on Facebook, right? You know like these people can do the jobs for you. I guarantee it.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Chris Ducker — And you know a lot of the time you can you can find that help um at a really really good rate. Ah you know sometimes as much of ah as a third…

Rich Birch — Right.

Chris Ducker — …what you might, you know, pay if you were hiring somebody locally to do exactly the same job.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love that. And that’s been my experience with particular our video editor who lives in the Philippines. She’s killer like she’s amazing. And because all the content and the majority of the content I generate is Christian and and I love that you know she has… I didn’t I wasn’t looking for someone who particularly had a faith background I was I wanted someone who could be great at video editing…

Chris Ducker — Sure.

Rich Birch — …but she just had she just happened to be ah you know she gets what we’re talking about which is, you know, fantastic. What would you say would be a couple common pitfalls of hiring your first virtual team member? So let’s say okay, we’re going to take a step into this. What would be a couple of those common things that we kind of mess up, that you see people mess up when they make that step?

Chris Ducker — I mean I think the first thing is the assumption, and so many people make this assumption, that you can hire one person to do like three different people’s jobs.

Rich Birch — Oh it’s so true. Yeah yeah.

Chris Ducker — Um I see it a lot. You know you hire one person, you expect them to update your social media, program your website, and do your video editing. Come on. Let’s get real with each other.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah.

Chris Ducker — It doesn’t happen in the real world. So it’s not going to happen virtually either. That’s the big thing kind of you know, hiring one person do several people’s jobs.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Chris Ducker — Um the other really really big mistake is that expecting that even if they’ve got skill set, the experience, even if they’ve got the right attitude, the nice you know a nice personality, um, and they’re kind of on board with what you stand for as ah as a corporation as ah, you know as ah, a group or company. Um, they’ve never done this for you before.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Chris Ducker — So the big assumption that oh because they know how to lay out a blog post, they can do mine perfectly the first time I asked them to do it, for example.

Rich Birch — Yeah, right. Yeah.

Chris Ducker — That’s a silly assumption to make. So that lack of onboarding, and that lack of initial training is a massive mistake that I see people make. And a lot of the time, you know they look at that and say oh you know, VAs are are not worth the time. They don’t get it. Well a lot of the time actually they don’t get it because you didn’t try hard enough to help them get it.

Rich Birch — So true. Yes, yes., yeah.

Chris Ducker — That’s just a harsh reality. You know?

Rich Birch — Yeah, and and we’re like any of our team members, they’re real people. And like we want to take time to invest in the relationship, get to know them. You would never hire a team member on your staff at church and say well if this doesn’t work out in the first month I’m letting them go. You would never do that. You would take time on the front end to say, hey I want to work with this person over an extended period of time and let’s you know, let’s make it happen. So I want to encourage people…

Chris Ducker — And be a nice person.

Rich Birch — Yes, exactly. Yeah.

Chris Ducker — You know like be a nice person to work for. Like send them a birthday gift.

Rich Birch — Yes, yes, yes yeah.

Chris Ducker — They’re on your team. If they have a baby drop them a care basket with a load of diapers and some you know you know, ah, butt powder you know and for the newborn baby like you know what I mean?

Rich Birch — Yes, yes, yes.

Chris Ducker — Like do what you got to do to like show up and be nice as well.

Rich Birch — That’s so true.

Chris Ducker — Like they’re they’re part of your team. It’s it’s important to be a nice person.

Rich Birch — Yeah, absolutely so friends I’d encourage you to drop by They’ve got this great, um you know, virtual assistant salary guide which you could download. And it would give you a sense of kind of if you’re thinking about hiring someone to help you with like Chris is saying like a piece of the puzzle at the church, you could get a sense from that of what that would cost. Ah that would be a great starting point. Well, we’re going to wrap up in a minute here. But I’ve promised you listeners that that we’re going to have a great giveaway and this is what we’re doing. Chris, has got a book which I want you to tell us about here in a second called Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business. We’re going to give away 10 copies of this but this is what I want to do. We’re going to give it away to just 5 leaders who are listening in so you’ve listened this far in you’re almost half an hour in, what I want you to do is to respond to some email that we’ve sent you so you no doubt if you’ve been listening you’ve subscribed and so I want you to respond to one of those. And the first five people who do that but I will send a copy to you. Actually I’m going to send you 2 copies because what I’d love you to do is to actually commit to reading this with another leader. Maybe a volunteer. Maybe a donor from your church or a young leader in your church, and then I would love you to report back in the next ninety days and say, hey what did you guys learn as you did that. Tell us about the Rise of the Youpreneur, tell us about this book. Why did you write this? What what will people get if they you know if they tap into that book?

Chris Ducker — Yeah I mean this this is really based around my build, market, monetize framework of building a business based around your expertise. So um, it really is a you know it’s it’s a step by step guide right? The way from kind of like figuring out what you want to be known for and how you can help people right the way down to monetizing that expertise, to monetizing that experience that only you have. And building out an entire ecosystem a suite of products and services to be able to continue to to help people, not just at the the first part of their journey with you, but the second the third the fourth the fifth and and so on and so on.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love it.

Chris Ducker — So it really is ah it’s an a to z of building a business based around you and what you’re all about.

Rich Birch — Yeah, it’s it’s a book I’ve read multiple times. Actually just reread it at the end of last year. Again it’s great super practical step… I know unSeminary folks love practical step-by-step stuff and this is definitely one of those. Well I’d love to ah you know wrap up this. It’s been an honor that you have been on the show. Anything else you’d like to share just as we wrap up today’s episode?

Chris Ducker — Yeah, well, all your all your audience members are leaders. Am I right in saying that?

Rich Birch — Absolutely, yeah for sure. Yeah.

Chris Ducker — Yeah, so my advice to them all would be to make sure that they carve out regular time, and it doesn’t need to be daily, but it has to be at least weekly. Um, to continue to learn themselves. I’m just a big believer that great leaders continue to learn, so that they can continue to lead. And I make time every every day quite frankly, actually to continue to upgrade myself whether it be just 15 minutes of quiet time reading, or going to a conference or an online event, or you know being part of a mastermind group – whatever it might be. Just continue to learn regardless of how fantastic you think you are, you’re not that great, and you need to continue to learn in order to continue to lead.

Rich Birch — Love it. Some great British encouragement at the end. You know, you’re not that great. Let’s be honest, let’s be honest.

Chris Ducker — Just like mummy would say to me kind of thing, right? Yeah.

Rich Birch — Chris, I love this. I really do I appreciate you. I’ve been, ah like Chris had kind of alluded to there, I’ve been in a coaching group with Chris over this last year and I have just appreciated his his work. So I thank you so much for that and appreciate you being on the show today. If people want to follow you, track with you, where do we want to send them online?

Chris Ducker — Well, they can just head over to, you know. I’ve got links to everything I do – my books, my shows, my programs – everything are over there. So or give me a follow on Instagram @chrisducker.

Rich Birch — Great. Well thanks so much, Chris – appreciate you being here. Thanks for being on the show.

Chris Ducker — Thanks for having me, man.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.