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A Quick Lesson in Outsourcing for New Internet Marketers

Posted in Blogging By Guest

It takes more than most folks realize to make a success of internet marketing. A novice can easily be overwhelmed with the amount of work, time and detail involved in turning a great idea into a viable business. But don’t despair – just because you have learned enough by now to know you don’t know everything you need to know, that’s no reason to throw in the towel. The more you learn, the closer you are to achieving the success you want.

It will take a long time to learn the business inside out, and even when you have all the expertise, trying to run your business solo will take so much personal time that family life will suffer. Furthermore, even if you have a great success, it will mean nothing if you lose yourself along the way. After all, you want success to give you financial freedom, to give your family a good life, and the best way to do that is to learn the secrets of successful outsourcing to grow your business without giving up your personal and family life.

Internet Marketers

Make a list of all the skills needed to keep your business running smoothly and circle the ones you are good at. Be honest and admit that even if you are good at all of them (not likely), there are not enough hours in the day to do every job yourself. The ones not circled tell you what kind of skills you need to outsource.

Chances are your list will include a website developer, a writer, a virtual assistant (to take care of customer service), and knowledgeable and dependable people in supply, storage and shipping. Of all these jobs, the one skill you absolutely must have is a burning desire to succeed and it would be helpful if you have some basic education in marketing.

If you didn’t do so before you launched your site, you should pause now and consider how to hire persons with the skills you need to fill your team.

That sounds simple enough, right? Well, consider this…

There ain’t no free lunch

There was an incident in my neighborhood where one man bought a new house and was looking for the cheapest mover to transport his furniture when his next door neighbor offered to help for free. After all, what were friends for if not to help each other? Although he was hesitant, he didn’t want to hurt his friend’s feelings and after all, look at all the money he would save!

To make a long story short, the furniture got moved, eventually, but it had lots of damage and no insurance, took much longer than a mover would have done, and the neighbor wound up in the hospital with a back injury. The worst part was the neighbor filed a lawsuit for his medical bills, so naturally the friendship ended on a sour note.

The moral of this story is that cheapest is not always best. Outsourcing can be the solution to many business headaches, but when you make the wrong choices, or hire the wrong people just because they work for less, the result can be disastrous and cost more in the long run than if you had opted to pay a good wage to start with.

In today’s economy, it is just common sense to take advantage of freelance workers as opposed to hiring new employees. You can find freelancers online to perform any business task from telemarketing to accounting and most of them work for very reasonable rates. But as illustrated in the story above, selecting a person based solely on the fact that they work for less can cost far more in the long run – more money, more headaches, more time, and more customers than you can afford to pay.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a few tips on how to choose the best freelancer for your particular needs, but first, a warning.

Choose a good company like the internet based Elance which lists thousands of freelancers of every skill located all around the world. But don’t be tempted to choose someone from a third world country solely on the cheap rates they charge. Remember that communication is vitally important and when the birth language is different from your own, it is likely that proper communication will be difficult and will affect the quality of their work.

Marketer

It is possible to find highly qualified and professional contractors in those areas though but it is more likely that the product they produce will not be up to your standards because of language difficulties. So try to communicate with a prospective hire before actually hiring them.

When advertising your job…

  1. State the job requirements concisely and clearly – don’t leave anything open to personal interpretation. Make your job posting as clear as possible – list what you expect, how you want the job done and when you expect it to be finished.
  2. Establish communication with any applicant you are considering for hire prior to awarding the job. Make sure you can communicate well between each other, that the applicant understands what you want and you can also see how quickly they respond to your communiqué.
  3. Maintain contact throughout the work cycle – have the provider send you work as it is completed so you can keep an eye on the quality and the rate of progress. On longer jobs you should set milestones and request a weekly report.
  4. Once the job is finished (or on milestones), pay the provider promptly. Remember they are working for a living just like you, and nobody likes to have to remind their employer to issue a check on payday.
  5. Realize that you (as an employer) are building a reputation the same as the provider is. If you are fair in your assessment and feedback to the company regarding the provider’s work, they will be more   likely to do the same for you. An employer who is stingy with his praise will not likely get bids on his next job from the best qualified providers.

Outsourcing really is the best way to go and when done properly it can give your business the boost it needs to run smoothly. So no matter whether your site promotes cookbooks, weight loss, or shows you how to select the best family tent, outsourcing part of the work will help you keep a viable stream of income without taking over your life. In essence, it will help you “have your cake and eat it too.”

About Guest Author:
A dedicated fisherman and camper, Bruce Stevens became frustrated while searching the web for valid and honest information on outdoor equipment. He found most sites offered only biased reviews of products which seemed geared to sales more than to help the readers. Realizing the need for honest and unbiased reviews on products for camping and fishing, he established his own site http://hubzz.net which fills that need and has expanded to fill general needs at popular prices. A recent example is this Weber 721001 Cooker Review. Bruce lives near the eastern slope of the Canadian Rockies with his wife, both happily awaiting retirement.

6 comments
Justin
Justin

Bruce,
Great advice! I have used Elance in the past and was satisfied with the results. I agree with you that communication is key to managing any outsourced projects. If you select a service provider based solely on price you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Lisa
Lisa

Great list of valuable advice as to hiring a virtual assistant through elance. I am just curious, what county or countries in particular in the third world countries that I should take note with when it comes to hiring virtual assistants?

Sam
Sam

I am actually just starting to outsource my SEO work - but am struggling to figure out which bits of it represent value for money when I pay somebody else to do them for me. It only seems to make sense when I use the time that I free up by outsourcing to set up new websites - but then these will require more outsourcing to keep them going. Which leaves me at a cross roads - do I keep going as I am or start to build a bigger network of sites?

Bruce
Bruce

Elance, for me, has the greatest "tools" - not only a place to find your providers, but a great place to manage them as well.

Bruce
Bruce

As a general rule I outsource tech type jobs to wherever I get the most appropriate bids, but for high quality written work, such as website content etc, I stick with countries that English is the mother tongue.

I do not currently use a full time VA, just outsource work as is needed

Bruce
Bruce

I feel your dilemma Sam, been there done that! For me the turning point was to actually divest websites, focus on one, and outsource what I wasn't so good at.

Maybe use that freed up time to concentrate on back linking for example, rather than building new sites?

~Bruce