What’s the True Cost of Outsourcing?
So many new marketers are reluctant to outsource, because they don’t like spending the extra money. They think it would be a waste of cash to pay someone else to perform tasks they can do themselves. But that thinking is very flawed.
The top marketers you know today have teams to help them go from the conception of an idea to a product launch. But before they could afford a staff, they used freelancer to outsource the more insignificant tasks while they worked on building a bona fide business.
Name just about any millionaire or billionaire in the world and chances are, that person has employees or outsourcers who take care of the vast majority of their work. It’s nearly impossible for one person to grow a business to the seven figure range or greater by themselves. It can be done, but it would require a level of dedication that very few individuals possess.
Try to think about outsourcing in terms of the money you deserve to be paid. What do you think your time is worth? Are you willing to go out and work at a job making minimum wage or a bit more?
If not, then you’re better off delegating your tasks to people who are willing to work for that. If your time is worth more than what it would cost you to hire someone else to do it, then it just makes sense to outsource the task!
Trying to do everything yourself can also hamper your chance to be extremely successful. The more you try to do by yourself, the less you’ll actually get done. Think about this. If you spent every single waking moment writing eBooks, you might be able to pull off one a month.
If you’re a very fast writer, you might be able to create a few more. But if you hired outsourcers, you could create an unlimited number of them – and take the time to launch each one and get a hefty return on your investment, too!
The number of eBooks you could have would only be limited by the amount of money you had to pay the outsourcers! You may have heard the horror stories about finding reliable outsourcers. Yes, it can be hard to find someone who is reliable. But you don’t have to be ripped off!
You can give each outsourcer a small order first to test the quality of their work and the speed of delivery. The first few jobs might be smaller jobs. Once they’ve proven themselves a few times, you can start giving them larger jobs. Go from a pack of 5 one-page articles to a 50-page eBook.
Some outsourcers will ask for payment up front, because they get scammed, too. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should discount them. Some very excellent outsourcers require payment up front to make sure they don’t have their hard work stolen.
Just make sure you always ask for references or take the time to examine their reputation and profiles first. If they have a lot of good testimonials from people you recognize, or they have a very good word-of-mouth reputation, then you’re probably safe working with them.
Even people with stellar reputations flake out sometimes, but it’s less likely than it might be if you went with a total stranger with no standing in the freelance community. Remember, outsourcing does cost money, but as long as the work they do makes you a profit and saves you time, it’s worth it in the end.
Use Outsourcing as a Way to Expand Your Income
As an entrepreneur, you’re going to be faced with having to wear many hats. It’s up to you to make sure that your business thrives. But trying to do every task yourself can be a mistake.
By outsourcing, you stand to gain more for your business than you’ll spend on the money it takes to pay for the outsourcing. You’ll be able to hire professionals who can do the task faster and easier.
This not only saves you time, but it takes the stress off of you since you won’t have to do it all yourself. You end up gaining more productivity because you’re freed up to focus on other areas of the business that only you can handle.
Plus, by outsourcing, you’ll experience faster business growth because you won’t have to wait until you complete each step of a project.
Aspects of Your WAH Business You Can Outsource
Many tasks involved in running a business are time drains. You should outsource these tasks so that your time is freed up to concentrate on growing the business. You can outsource the writing for starters.
Whether you’re a good writer or not is irrelevant. Writing has the potential to take up a lot of time – and if you have dozens of writing projects you need to complete, you can spend many hours simply developing content that you have to have.
These are hours you could spend on something else. It’s faster and even cheaper to hire a writer. Some entrepreneurs worry about the cost effectiveness of hiring someone to write their content for them.
But if you tally up what your time is worth and what you can potentially make per hour versus outsourcing the work, you’ll see that you come out ahead. Use a writer to write your eBook materials, to write your reports, your articles, your product descriptions and more.
Whatever you need written, hire someone else to do it. You’ll also want to outsource your graphics. It takes time to design the graphics that you’ll use in your business.
Even if you have experience in this field, you still might not be able to afford to spend the time it takes to create the graphics that you’ll use. Instead of tying up hours of your time designing them yourself, hire someone to create your graphics.
You’ll use graphics for sales pages, banners and buttons, and social media images. You’ll need logos, blog graphics, headers, add to cart buttons and the list goes on.
Every time you need something new, you don’t want to have to stop what you’re working on to create it. That can slow a project down. Instead, assign it to a graphics designer and keep on moving ahead with a project.
Research is something else that you’ll want to outsource. Looking up the information that you need can be a huge time drain. You’ll need to find facts and reliable sources.
You’ll want to read articles and sites that can give depth perspective. When you’re spending time researching, it can take multiple hours and in some cases even days.
You can’t afford to do that yourself because while you’re spending time researching, everything else that you need to take care of grinds to a halt. Setting up a site is another area you want to outsource.
Despite some sites’ step-by-step setup guides, it’s still going to cost you valuable time. Setting up a site can easily be a day or two project for you versus a couple of hours if you hire it out.
Tech details are something that you want to pay a professional to do, especially if you’re brand new. You can dig around behind the scenes on a site, mess up a simple code and crash everything.
Rather than trying to figure out the tech stuff, just let someone else take it on and save yourself the stress. When you work at home, you’re going to have to deal with customer service.
The good, the bad and the really ugly come out when dealing with customers. Not only can this drain your time, but there can be a lot of stress involved with handling the customer service side of any business.
Instead of letting that take up your time, outsource it to a virtual assistant (VA). You can also use a VA to help with SEO, your email marketing campaign, your social media, or to work on your blog.
A VA can send information to clients while you’re busy or out of the office. Many VAs specialize in different areas. You can find ones that have experience in whatever field you need.
Where to Find the Best Freelancers
It’s true that with the Internet, anyone can put up a site and claim that they offer great freelancing services. Rather than trying to navigate the sea of possibly inexperienced freelancers, you want to go to the sites where professional, experienced freelancers are known to frequent.
Not only that, but by going to these sites, you’ll often get help from others like yourself who have used the services before and they’ll offer helpful recommendations.
You can go to places like Elance. When you go onto Elance, they have numerous freelancers that you can pick from to hire. You would need to go to the site and list the job that you want to hire someone to do.
Elance will take what you’ve posted and then give you a list of freelancers that fit the parameters of the job. Once you have a list of people that Elance suggests or who bid on your project, you can look over these applicants and see what kind of proposal they’re offering.
These proposals will often vary according to time to complete the task as well as the amount of money. When you look over the applicant proposals, you’ll be able to see what kind of work they’ve done in the past and whether they have experience with what you’re looking for.
You’ll also be able to see what the applicant’s client satisfaction ratio is. Once you choose an applicant, you’ll pay Elance directly and the funds go into escrow. The site has the ability to use hourly time tracking if you’ve chosen an hourly project.
Once the job is completed to your satisfaction, you release the funds from escrow and Elance handles paying the applicant from those funds. Another place to find freelancers is on the Warrior Forum.
You’ll find these under threads like “warriors for hire” and others. With the Warrior Forum, the people there are usually very experienced in what they do, especially with Internet marketing and other specific niches.
You can find copywriters, ghostwriters, freelance writers, tech gurus, virtual assistants, graphic designers and more on Warrior Forum. Another place you’ll want to check out is Fiverr.
Some entrepreneurs shy away from the site, thinking that paying someone $5 means that the product will be low quality – but that’s not the case. What the $5 means is not necessarily that you’ll only pay $5.
For example, some of the writers on the site charge $5 per certain word count. So if the provider says $5 per 200 words and you need a 600 word article, you’ll actually pay $15.
Plus, you can find a whole wealth of categories on Fiverr – including proofreading, SEO content, design services and more. They have portfolios and feedback that make it easy to hire someone with confidence.
How to Post a Project for a Freelance Ghostwriter
When you have a job that you want to hire a freelance ghostwriter to do, there’s some information that you’ll have to share so that you can make sure you’re both on the same page with the project.
Make sure that you’re clear on what you want the style to be. A ghostwriter can write an article and sound comfortable and breezy like he’s talking to a friend. Or, he can write an article and sound formal.
The style that you want is up to you, but the ghostwriter has to be clear on what you’re going for. You’ll also want to cover the topic. With this, you’ll want to be specific.
You could end up with material that’s not what you wanted if you’re not clear. For example, if you need a few articles about the topic of genetically altered foods and you’re thinking of them in a positive light, you need to tell that to the ghostwriter.
Otherwise, you could end up with articles that talk about all the cons involving genetically modified foods. It can also be helpful if the ghostwriter knows the audience you’re gearing the article toward.
An article on driving will be slanted differently for someone who’s in their 70s versus a brand new teenage driver. The more information you give the ghostwriter, the more the material will sound like you wrote it in your own voice.
It’s imperative that you cover deadlines. If you post a project and you don’t talk about the deadline, you might end up getting it long after you need it. If it’s a rush deadline, tell the ghostwriter that up front. Many of them are willing to do a rush project for an additional fee.
Cover the cost of the project up front. State clearly what the job pays and don’t be the kind of client who wants to add to the scope of the project after you’ve outlined what’s involved.
If you need research done, mention that. Most ghostwriters are skilled at research and that can be included in the parameters of the work project. Sometimes, when new entrepreneurs post a project, they come across as pushy or demanding and then don’t understand why ghostwriters are reluctant to work with them.
Don’t treat the potential ghostwriter like you’re gifting them with a project. It’s a mutually beneficial deal. Plus, if they do a good job, you’ll want to hire them again and again in the future.
Hiring a Freelance Graphic Designer
There will be times during the course of your business that you’re going to want to outsource some of your tasks to a graphic designer. It’s not cost effective to have one on staff – especially if your business is still in the early days.
But it is cost effective for you to hire a freelance one on an as needed basis. Know that just because someone says they’re a graphic designer doesn’t mean they’re actually any good at it.
Since the graphics will be representing a portion of your business, you want to hire someone who knows what he’s doing. Graphic designers can handle a multitude of tasks.
They can design headers for your business sites. They can also create the header for your blogs, for your social media sites and more. If you’re working on creating some information products like eBooks, graphic designers can create your ecovers.
While you can create ecovers yourself, if you don’t really understand how graphic design works, then your ecovers will look second rate, which in turn screams unprofessional to potential clients.
It’s always better to outsource your graphic design needs than to try and complete them yourself. Also, if you’re going to build minisites, you’ll want a graphic designer’s skills behind it.
Minisites get a lot of traffic specific visits and you want these visitors to see a page that looks well designed and draws them in. When you find some freelance graphic designers you think you could work with, the first thing that you’ll want to do is to get a look at their portfolio.
This will contain work that they’ve done for other clients or it might showcase their abilities. Analyze their portfolios. Not every graphic designer will have experience in the area that you’re looking for.
It’s always best to hire one who knows what you’re talking about. It makes the jobs easier on both of you. For example, if you’re looking for ecovers, hire a graphic designer with experience in that area or one who’s willing to create a mock up to show you so that you can be sure he knows how to make one that’s what you’re looking for.
Most designers will give you a mockup free of charge. Before you hire the freelance graphic designer, make sure that know what your style is and also cover how long you expect the job to take.
If you need it in two weeks and the designer is booked and can’t start for a month, that won’t work for you. Make sure that you and the designer both know the value of the job. You want an agreement spelled out before the work begins.
Find the Right Virtual Assistant for the Job
There are tons of virtual assistants that you can hire to help you with whatever task needs completing. But not every VA has the expertise or quality of work to be able to handle the project.
A VA that has the attitude of, “I can do any job even if I’ve never done it before” is probably thinking more highly of his or her abilities than they should. For example, a VA who has never done an email campaign won’t understand the purpose behind it or how to gear it toward a specific audience.
A VA who’s successful in one area won’t necessarily be in another. That’s why it’s important that you find out what the VA is capable of handling up front. If you’re a marketer who has niche specific work, then look for a VA who has had experience in that field before.
It will make it easier if she understands all the buzz words associated with the type of job you need. You can ask to see the VA’s portfolio or check out their client list if it’s available.
Some VAs will share prior projects they’ve worked on for different clients while others won’t. Anyone can create a portfolio and claim experience. You want to know for sure they’ve had this experience.
Some virtual assistants will specialize in administrative jobs and that may not be what you’re looking for. It’s okay to ask for references and, depending on the nature of what you want the VA to do, it’s probably a wise step to take.
You can find a Virtual Assistant by going to forum sites such as Warrior Forum or job sites like Elance, Intelligent Office, eaHelp, Fiverr, or Fancy Hands. In order to work well with a VA, you have to know exactly what you expect with hiring her.
You spell out what you need done and have a list of what you want accomplished. Make sure you have open and often communication and don’t expect a VA to do a job you haven’t equipped her to do. She can’t do her job if she doesn’t have all of the information.