Here is a short tale of 4 Italian brothers. All of whom were social media managers in the United States. Each brother had a different idea of how to manage their business and we’ll soon see how well each of them did.
Brother #1 Luigi.
Luigi knew that his customers didn’t know the difference. So, he hired people right out of school to work on critical social media projects for large businesses, restaurants, hotels, etc. None of the accounts got any significant growth. Posts were published with no type of efficiency in terms of # of posts per hour of labor. There was no insights about how to go viral on any of the posts, and nobody cared either. The employees were not invested in being a social media success. The boss didn’t care. And the customers didn’t know any better. These employees were the least expensive employees you could get in the United States. But, after you added in the office space they took up, medical, dental, unemployment tax, and other mandatory deductions, these inexpensive employees who produced minimal results weren’t that cheap in the long run.
Additionally, they quit their job on average after twelve months of labor which presented more challenges. Long after the fact, Luigi started to notice that the employees slacked off and didn’t do more than 60% of their responsibilities in the two or three months before they quit. They were not cheap to train either, and every time someone quit, they had to go through a long interview process to hire someone new, and then train them only to have the same thing happen again. After a few years of this, Luigi wanted to grow his business. But, his business just wouldn’t grow. He began to think about a change of pace while he sipped on his afternoon espresso.
Brother #2 Guido
Guido was a perfectionist. When he went out to eat, he would only go to the classiest of Italian restaurants that managed each detail of the entire food creation process. He would sniff the desserts from four feet away to verify the acumen of the cook and his perfectionist tendencies too. The blackberry tart filled the air with freshness that Guido treasured, and he showered the entire staff with compliments about the superior quality of their food.
Guido only hired the best. He wouldn’t even talk to you if you had less than six years of experience. Additionally, he had a very complicated social media test that even the best couldn’t pass. So, he settled for creating a pecking order with new hires based on how successful their previous campaigns had been, and how many points they got on his test. He was disappointed that the best only got 40-55% on his test, but he figured that he could teach them the rest.
To justify the costs of his expensive employees, he had to charge a lot more for his services than others. On a brighter note, his customers loved him just as he loved the Italian pastry chef down the street who made the blackberry tart. He had no problem growing, because he offered the highest quality of service which was hard… well, in actuality impossible to find apart from him. He regularly got viral posts for his clients, and their accounts grew from fledgling to goliaths in only a year or two due to how capable his dedicated staff was. His attrition rate was very low as his office was a fun place to be and he got them all an endless supply of pastries to thank them for their amazing contributions.
Brother #3 Antonio
Antonio was the international brother of the four. He loved to travel to different countries. Not just European countries, but Africa and India as well. He loved coffee, and loved the way the Indians made chai, coffee, and fresh juices. He loved to meditate in the Himalayas, and had developed some contacts in India as well. He didn’t want to pay big bucks to have some mediocre Americans working for him. He hired talented people in India and set up an office there. He got a decent quality of labor for pennies on the dollar and offered a very low cost social media service. He was popular and his business grew because he offered more service for less, and with good customer service as he was practically a native speaker of English, Italian, French, and knew five other languages as well. He hired a few others who spoke English perfectly who could do sales and customer service. Antonio’s business model was high quality, popular, and inexpensive relative to the American equivalents. He competed well with the less expensive Indian alternatives beautifully as his employees delivered reliable results with excellent communication while the competition fell on their incompetent faces.
Brother #4 Giovanni
Giovanni was the smart one of the four. He had some of the same characteristics of all of the other brothers fused together. He knew this and he used it to his advantage. He was not in love with India, but made a few visits from time to time to see Antonio and get a sense of what the country had to offer. He liked how Luigi got affordable labor, but didn’t like the quality issues. He respected Guido for being a perfectionist as well. Giovanni had all of these characteristics in one human body. But Giovanni was going to find a better way to do business.
Giovanni decided that he would create a tri-national team. He would have Americans, Filipinos, and Indians all working together. He would find the best communicators, the best analysts, the finest writers, and the least expensive source of labor to do repetitive tasks like posting content on Twitter, etc. Giovanni knew that in general, Americans were better at communicating complicated ideas while Filipinos were better at customer service. He also knew that India was a good source of inexpensive technical labor and SEO specialists. However, he knew that he might find talent in unexpected places too, so he kept himself open.
He set up his sales and analysis office in the United States which is where he started. Later on he set up a customer service and general tasks office in Manila and another office for SEO and general tasks in India. Giovanni was getting his labor for US$3.00 per hour while his brother Luigi (who took pride in his ability to save money) was paying $35,000 per year plus medical, dental, unemployment insurance and other expenses. Giovanni was able to grow a Twitter account from scratch and get 100,000 followers in just a year. He hired the best analysts from America and India to compete with each other to find the best posts. Once he found who could get better posts for each dollar he spent, he hired that person to be the main analyst. He was able to hire people in Manila to post 48 times a day for each Twitter account which got them even more followers. And they also followed 1000 people three times a week on their accounts to get them even more followers. These Twitter accounts changed the SEO ranking of the sites for the businesses they represented, and they also were experts at Facebook, and a dozen other social media platforms.
Giovanni tapped into the world market to find the best analysts at the best price, the cheapest reliable labor, SEO, article writers for every niche and more. His business was so successful that he grew out of control. He offered the best quality:price ratio of any business of its type in the world and he became a multi-millionaire after a few years as a result.
Giovanni is not a real person, but he took advantage of what I call the bi-national hybrid outsourcing business model. You can too!