Most of us when we go online are not generally webmasters, writers, graphic artists, coders etc. We’re Marketers, and much of the stuff that comes with IM is like speaking a foreign language when we first get to hear it.
When I first came online back in 2002, you had to learn everything for yourself and don’t forget, the software was all very primitive then. It took me 3 years to teach myself IM and all the related stuff that goes with it. There was no word press or any other online editor. In fact, I was one of the pioneers of online editing back in 2005 because I was so fed up of HTML and other code plus the crap that goes with learning it.
So personally I think as Internet marketers, the most obvious use of our time is not to sweat the small stuff, but to get on with learning and implementing our craft of making money online. And my favorite way of doing that is outsourcing those faddy jobs to those who know what they’re doing.
What then do I think is the best way to ensure a successful outsourcing outcome each and every time? It’s simple, having a system in place for outsourcing, or a set of rules to guide you by, minimizing problems and streamlining your business.
Before you know it, you’ll have a team whom you can trust implicitly and you can get on with the job of making money.
Here are some of my rules for making outsourcing a success I’ve developed over the last few years..
Be specific. Always tell your worker exactly what you expect. The more exact you are, the happier you and your worker will be. If you’re not specific enough, your worker won’t know what you want. This leaves them guessing and wasting time trying to read your mind thus getting it wrong and leaving you disappointed.
The odds of them being successful directly correlate to how specific you are in your instructions. Give them extremely detailed instructions. Save time and make a video if it’s something you intend to outsource over and over again. Write down exactly what you expect. Tell them your exact expectations, including the level of quality you want and when you want it finished. Don’t be frightened to be firm with them. I’ve found if I’m not really firm, some workers think I’m a pushover, (I’m not).
Make sure they agree to deliver as you specify. And be sure they fully understand by communicating back to you what it is you want. If they don’t seem to be knowledgeable on the topic and familiar with terms appropriate to the job, think twice before hiring them.
Don’t pay fully upfront. You’re a dork if you do that because the chances are you’ll never see your money, your product or your worker ever again. This is why it’s often a good idea to use work for hire sites as they put your money in escrow. Your worker is also at less risk of you not paying them.
Send them a sample. If it’s a video you want, send them a similar video. If it’s a website, show them websites similar to what you want. Stay in touch. Whether it’s through email or Skype, let them know when you expect updates and how to contact you if they have any questions. If you don’t hear from them, be sure to get in contact with them, don’t let it ride or they may decide to take advantage.
If you’re screening new workers, include a secret word inside your instructions. Tell them to reply with that secret word in the subject line. This way you can quickly tell who took the time to read the instructions or watch your instructional video. Eliminate anyone who didn’t respond with the secret word. Even if they did know the word and simply didn’t place it in the subject line, they still didn’t follow your instructions.
This reminds me of a job application question and answer I read online a while ago. Question: “In one word, describe your best quality.” Answer: “I follow instructions really well.”
When screening new workers, reach out to at least 5 people so you can choose the best one. If you’re hiring someone to do repetitive work such as making review videos, hire 5 people to each make 1 video. Then choose the best worker to continue making videos for you.
Be a little paranoid. Let’s say you’ve got a brilliant idea for a new product. Rather than outsource the entire project, break it up into pieces and outsource it to several people. Have one person create the graphics, one make the sales page, one write the articles, etc. Otherwise you end up with one person having control of everything, and this can be bad for two reasons.
First, if they don’t deliver, you’ve wasted all that time and accomplished nothing. If one person doing one piece of the puzzle doesn’t deliver, it’s easier and faster to get that one thing done by someone else.
Second, if one person has everything, they could totally rip you off. They might still deliver the package to you, but they could also place it on their own website and start selling it themselves. And if they do that first, they will appear to be the true owner, not you.
Outsourcing is the magic that multiply’s your skills over and over and makes it possible for you to accomplish far, far more than you ever could all by yourself.