We got a chance to sit down with Jaime Nacach of San Diego, CA, founder of the digital marketing agency Bloominari and freelancer for hire company Virtual Latinos for some wisdom on agency life and staffing your business.
How did you get your start with your agency?
Initially I started our virtual assistants (VAs) agency, Virtual Latinos, out of a need to hire qualified, professional staff for our marketing agency Bloominari. Back in 2018, after hiring VAs from the Philippines - and not having great experiences with them, I was looking to hire VAs from Latin America. Naturally, as someone who is from Mexico and lives in the border with it (San Diego - Tijuana), I seeked candidates across the border. Yet, I wasn't able to find many people, so I couldn't hire the number of staff members I needed. Thus, the idea to build Virtual Latinos was born, in order to provide great staff from Mexico and the rest of Latin America to both my company and lots of other American companies.
What types of businesses do you work with?
Lots of different types, but mostly small businesses from these top industries. Including include property management companies, real estate agents, real estate investors, lawyers, doctors, health clinics, software companies, manufacturing firms, and many others.
Can you talk about any mistakes you have made and what you learned?
Before starting Virtual Latinos, I thought it would be best to hire a VA on my own - by posting a job on OnlineJobs.ph, and hiring directly (no agency) involved. Yet, after lots of time invest (more like wasted), I realized my time was worth more than what I had been spending trying to hire VAs from the Philippines on my own. Now I see the value of "time is money" and understand that hiring through an agency has its many benefits. That's why these days, 95%+ of our clients hire VAs from Latin America through our agency. So lesson is = Don't try to do everything yourself... you may waste a lot of time or money, or both.
What are the keys to your own success with Virtual Latinos?
The main key is 100% all about the team. We have now a team of 17 people, and each of them are truly Amazing. Today more than ever, I know that having the right people and team in place, make all the difference between growing a business fast or slow. Great people = great work = happy clients = more growth!. Implementing an incentive plan is also important, to continue to pay our team more as they grow with us, etc. is also important.
How have you seen the industry change since you’ve been involved? What are the latest trends you see working well?
In the virtual assistant industry, the big "Goliath" are all the companies and VAs from the Philippines, and most people don't know you can hire VAs from Mexico, central and south America. We're changing this, slowly but surely, and we DO see a shift of more people looking for alternatives to VAs from Asia, who are in our time-zone, and can work during the same time as our clients in North America. The competition is also growing now, as there are now more VA companies offering VAs from Latin America... which means we're doing something good.
Is WordPress still the best platform for online businesses?
Skipping this question (But yes, we do use Wordpress for our site and most of our clients).
Do you have any tips for those looking to either start or grow a digital agency?
Yes. So our first company Bloominari is our marketing agency and we grew and now pivoted into building a virtual assistant agency. Today, we offer the same "end service" of proving digital marketing services, graphic and web design - but we now offer a lot more as our VAs are able to help with sales, customer support, tech support, and much more.My tip for anyone looking to start a new digital agency after my 7+ years working with my own, is 100% NICHE DOWN to either an industry you want to serve, or Niche within a marketing service you're BEST at offering. Trying to help/serve everyone doesn't help :-( and hinders your growth potential. We learned the hard way...
What are your favorite automation strategies?
(i.e. tools, processes, etc.)
Zapier is our magic wand. Without it our business literally would NOT function, we have 50+ zaps/automation that help us automate most of what we do.
- Also check out Automizy.com, Infinity work/project management, and Telegram for instant communication with your team.
How would you go about scaling a digital agency that’s currently in its early stages?
May sound obvious, but focus on SELLING, selling, selling, and then outsource the work / services to other companies, freelancers or virtual assistants. The MOST important thing for your growth is having clients, Not the fancy website, or marketing material. I unfortunatley spent a lot of time perfecting our processes, materials, and website... rather than focus on sales. That hurt our growth.