“So I don’t know if you know, but I work for Amanda now,” he laughs. “Quite literally, I have my wife boss, and then I have my Amanda boss.
“I told Maggie early on that I know I’m an obstacle because, throughout my career, I started with companies at the bottom and worked my way up. So I learned how to do everything organically and I’m not afraid to do it. It doesn’t faze me to do it.”
But while he laughs about who he answers to, Guy admits that it did take him some time to build trust with Amanda.
“For me, there were probably some inherent trust issues that I had just because I’d worked with some people who were awesome – and ones that weren’t.
“When I was a supervisor, I would pick up the slack for my team to ensure everything was completed. We hit our goals — but I was missing the opportunity to help my team members grow.”
But BELAY came in with a plan.
“[BELAY said] here are the best things you can do to get your VA to get things done,” he says. “So we put a plan in place, and Maggie and I talked a lot about what we [were] going to give her [to] kind of hit the ground running.
“Part of the plan was using some automation tools – SaneBox was one of them. So [Amanda] started learning the names of organizations and people. And we came up with a routine where we could take messages as they came in, put them to the side, and then use the automation to have them show up again at a certain time of day. That way I could kind of keep my eyes focused on work and not email.
“If things were urgent, they went in the right place. If they weren’t and they could wait a day, they went to another place.”
Then there was the small matter of letting Amanda reply to emails to further increase their efficiency.
“That’s never been anything I’ve ever been comfortable with,” Guy confesses. “I speak a certain way and I react a certain way. People know if it’s me talking – they can pick me out of a crowd in six words.
“I was very nervous. I was pushed out of my comfort zone – [but] when I started getting feedback from people about her, they were like, ‘Who is that? She was really awesome.’”
But GovCon Club’s clients weren’t the only ones who saw how ‘awesome’ Amanda was.
“The a-ha moment for me was Guy’s inbox – which was usually about 5,000 emails – was down to three,” Maggie adds. “And I’m looking at mine that has 500 and I’m like, ‘This is my own doing.’”
“I don’t have any email in my inbox. She tamed the beast,” Maggie says.
But the Timberlakes weren’t done taming. Because next, they added Megan, a BELAY Social Media Strategist, to their roster.
“We have a very good presence [on social media] – especially from the standpoint of pretty much not really having a clue what I’m doing,” Guy says. “I’m good at those things as much as I need to be – not an expert at all – [but] it came down to, ‘Is this a good use of my time?’
“And Amanda said it wasn’t.”
So while Guy and Maggie had their doubts, Megan very quickly earned their trust.
“Megan hit the ground running,” Guy says. “She came with a vengeance; she was on a mission.
“I also taunted her a little bit with the fact that Amanda hit her 90-day plan in 60 days,” Guy laughs.
“So she just came in ready to go with a plan [that] knocked our socks off,” Maggie adds. “We were like, ‘She got it. She hit everything.’ She put into words everything that we hadn’t been able to articulate about the brands. And that for us was just like, ‘Whoa.’”
“I think in the last 30 days, LinkedIn has grown by a hundred followers and engagement has gone up an average of 3-4 percent,” Guy says.