New Marketers Guide to Outsourcing

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If you are new to internet marketing and find yourself stressed out trying to handle every facet of the business yourself, you can benefit from the advice of others who have been there and survived.

The first thing to realize is that nobody excels in every skill.  Your business success depends on you focusing on your proven skills, and hiring others who are skilled in the other facets of your business.  You need a team, each person taking care of their delegated areas of responsibility so you can build your business.

Fortunately, today’s failing economy has created an increase of qualified and experienced freelance workers with every skill set you need and at competitive prices.  Outsourcing some jobs will take the pressure off you and allow you to concentrate on growing your business without sacrificing time for yourself and your family if you hire the right people.

Know Your Limits

You have heard it said “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”, but that isn’t true in this case.  What you don’t know about internet marketing can hurt you quite badly when your business is internet marketing.  Therefore, you must recognize your shortcomings and hire qualified help to fill those gaps.

Vanity, Vanity…

We are all vain enough to think ourselves more capable than we really are, but when it concerns the success or failure of our business – we have to be brutally honest with ourselves about our strengths and our weaknesses.

We have to capitalize on our strengths, and find others who are strong in areas where we lack expertise.  The most important qualities we need are a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and a basic knowledge of marketing.

Emphasize Your Strengths/Overcome Your Weaknesses

OutsourceIt could take years to learn all the skills necessary to run a business well, and while you are learning, you are not making any money.  For the present, it is best to do what you do best and outsource the rest to professionals.

If you choose the right persons, outsourcing makes perfect sense to get your business up and running quickly.  But if you hire the wrong person, your business will suffer for it.

A Personal Example of Hiring the Wrong Person…

I have a 5 acre lawn and my grass grows very fast so I have to mow it weekly.  I’m located in a rural area, 10 miles away from the nearest village.  When my mower needs repair, there is only one repair shop in town. Their fees are high and the wait’s often long.

The last time my mower needed repair, I hired a local ‘handy-man’ who offered to fix the mower for a flat fee of labor plus any parts needed.  The fee for labor was quite low, and he had some positive references so I jumped at his offer.

He arrived early the following morning and began to take the mower apart, bit by bit.  Late in the afternoon, after dismantling the mower and leaving dozens of parts scattered everywhere, he found the problem and said it needed a new part (estimated cost around $100.00).  I gave him the money and he left, promising to return the following morning.

The next morning he did not return, nor did he return the rest of the week. I was unable to contact him through any known acquaintance.  Ten days later I received a message from him that the part had been ordered and I could pick it up at an outlet some 40 miles away (still had no explanation of where he was or when he would return).  I picked up the part (he had pre-paid, so I felt a bit better), but it still took several days to locate another person to finish the work.  He warned me it would be a slow process, getting all the parts back together and boy, was he was right.

In the meantime, I had to hire someone to cut my grass (twice) which cost $150.00.  It took 2 weeks work to get the lawnmower running at a cost of $475.00 labor which totaled far more than it would have cost to put it in the shop in the first place.

I learned a valuable but costly lesson from that experience, however it would’ve been much more costly if my business had depended on that mower.  It would have cost a month’s income in addition to the actual monetary outlay, and there’s no way to access the cost of lost business – all because I chose the wrong helper.

I use this story to illustrate how haste can indeed make waste, and how your choice of persons to outsource your work to is vitally important.  While there are thousands of freelancers who are skilled in every niche you need, choosing a perfect fit for your business team is key to your success.  So, you need to know how to choose the freelancer who fits best for your team.

Cheap Can Be the Most Expensive Way to Go

OutsourceThere are good internet freelance companies like Elance with thousands of providers from around the world.  Prices range from very low in third world countries to high in other countries with a higher cost of living.

But if you choose a freelancer who does not speak your language very well, your business will suffer the consequences of lost time, lost patience and lost revenue because of the failure to communicate well.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky, but more likely you’ll spend more money in the long run trying to repair the damage, much like my example of the lawnmower.

Outsourcing made simple…

  • Advertise your job in simple, clearly stated terms; what you want, how you want it done and when you expect it to be completed
  • When you think you’ve found the right person, email them with a question to gauge their response time and whether there will be a language problem.  If you are satisfied, then award the job to them.
  • Set Milestones so you can stay connected with the provider.  Ask for a weekly report, or have them submit work as it’s completed so you know they’re on track.  Keep the lines of communication open.
  • When the project is complete, give good ratings and feedback for their portfolio.  Pay them promptly, and if you would like to use them again in the future, tell them so.
  • Remember, the provider will also be giving feedback for you which will appear on your employer profile, so try to be fair when evaluating their performance.

Just remember that no matter what the focus of your site is, be it about computer software, BBQ recipes or a Weber 721001 Cooker, outsourcing part of the work will go a long way toward its success. Your business will grow and prosper when you outsource those jobs which are better performed by a professional.

Bruce Stevens

Bruce Stevens

Realizing the need for honest and unbiased reviews on products for camping and fishing, Bruce Stevens established his own site Hubzz which fills that need... Read Full Bio
Bruce Stevens

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  • Ty Kilgore

    I completely agree with this post. We tend naturally to look for the cheapest person to do what we need but many times place a higher value to that cheap price than we should. We want the cheap price at the high value. It’s been my experience that if you want something done right the first time then pay the money to get it done correctly. 

  • Ty – I’d add to that, to take some ownership in the task yourself as well, even a great Freelancer can get stymied with insufficient direction.

  • I totally agree. Outsourcing is a way to make a successful business.

  • Outsourcing

    The right Outsourcing Service solution can save you time and money by reducing IT expenditures, improving strategic planning, increasing return on investments, accelerating time to market for new products, services and strategies, increasing efficiency in infrastructure and research and development, reducing risks associated with IT operations, increasing cash for investments outside of IT, allowing enterprises to concentrate on core business competencies, etc. Impartially compare and evaluate outsourcing solutions from leading vendors.

  • I liked the main idea here, that outsourcing isn’t about abdicating work–it’s about bringing in expertise you lack. 

    For me, it is educational to do things yourself the first time, before turning it over to others.  Even if you fail, you’ll have a better understanding of how things work and can give better guidance to outsourcers later on.  You’ll also refine your B.S. detector when judging the quality of people’s work. 

    There is a case to be made for getting a workflow perfected in-house, then outsourcing it.  This quote by Bill Gates is relevant.  Just replace “automation” with “outsourcing.”

    “The first rule of any technology used in a business
    is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the
    efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient
    operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
    –Bill Gates

    • Anonymous

      You are spot on Marcus – it’s very important you learn the task first, then & only then venture into outsourcing.

      I like your term “B.S. Detector”, so true!


  • “Cheap can be the most expensive option.”  Couldn’t have said it better. 

  • Bruce,

    Great points, We are known most of the points but the main thing is to execution. Last one point like provide on cheap rates that can be effect in a both way, For some one like in freelance it is positive and for other webmasters it would be not good. The scenario is how you represent and execute these are vital things.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, good presentation of the work on my part, then correct execution by the contractor = all satisfied parties.


  • You bring up some great points, especially in regards to the whole notion of cheaper being more expensive.  

    • Anonymous

      Yes, It invariably happens if I go down the cheap road.


  • As an outsourced employee, I could only speak from experience. Some problems I’ve heard from employers are there are people who walk away after the initial contact or sometime even prior to the start itself. I’ve worked with 3 overseas employers so far. The problem I could see is sometimes, there are employers who just don’t know what they want. Boy did I have a client who said he wanted to have the “beach side” feel for her site, some swirls, light blues and white background. So that’s what I did and when I gave it to her she didn’t like it. In the end, we decided it would be best if we parted ways because we just couldn’t seem to find the common ground after a week or so. So she hired a professional agency I believe, and when I checked on the URL. It’s all brown! Looks like a cork board, no swirls and all boxes. Good thing I’ve moved on with others or it could’ve hampered my other clients’ request.

    My advise would be to check the countries with great English background both written and spoken. If you don’t understand one thing he say even if he has a super portfolio, don’t risk it. Passing each other a questionnaire is a good thing also just to be able to know a bit of his psychie. Hiring an outsourced person is just like hiring a person you see face-to-face, it takes time and effort. It’s not a shortcut. The last line sadly, is why one reason why some individuals who outsource, try it.

    • Anonymous

      One thing that has really helped me when hiring is to use Jing to create a 5 min video of my needs. The job seeker has a chance to both “see” my project & hear my voice, and I tend to think my “wants” are better conveyed than just on an email.