Time is a precious commodity and our success or failure with an enterprise depends greatly on how we use the time we have.
If you’re stuck on a part of your website project, if you are frustrated to the point of wondering if the whole thing is worth it, then it’s time to take a look at exactly what you need to get back on track.
Most of us enjoy a challenge but when that challenge just seems insurmountable because we lack the skill, tools or time to solve it, it’s no longer a challenge it’s an excuse to procrastinate. I know that feeling. I’ve been doing this since 1999 and I’ve felt it more than once.
Understanding what’s holding you up
The first thing I want you to do is write down what the problem is and then why you can’t do it. It doesn’t matter what the problem is. If you’re having a problem with a design element, or your graphics don’t look the way you want or there’s some function that you can’t figure how to implement…just write it down and the reason why you can’t do it.
I’m willing to bet that regardless what the problem is the reason you can’t get it done is because you lack the skill set or tools or time to fix it. Now that you know what it is that you need done it’s simply a matter of finding someone who has the skill, tools or time to do it for you. In other words you want to outsource that part of the project that is keeping you from going forward.
Outsourcing – An everyday event in your life
Outsourcing of course is nothing new. We outsource our need for food when we shop at the supermarket. We outsource our need for shelter when we pay for or mortgage or rent. Our need for transportation is outsourced to a car dealer and perhaps a bank. We have needs to live our lives that we can’t provide ourselves so we outsource it to others.
Even knowing that we outsource every say of our life you still probably have your hand firmly affixed over your wallet thinking “this guy wants me to spend money.” Just control that emotion for a bit and I’ll share some ideas on how to outsource without breaking the bank.
Outsourcing – An amazing array of talent
My wife Arlene finally published her site EpilepsyMoms.com. She’s passionate about the subject and had it firmly in her mind what the site should look like and how it should interact with visitors. She did a website blueprint to map out he various elements and functions and when she was done she was stunned at the number of tasks that she couldn’t do herself because of a lack of skill, tools or time.
But she didn’t give up. She went looking for people to help her and she discovered a world of freelance talent that she didn’t know existed.
By simply Googling or using freelance sites like Elance.com or vWorker.com she could find providers for almost anything. These sites not only had people who could provide her immediate technical needs but could do so much more.
A grocery store of services
There are the traditional website services which range from a simple photo retouch to a complete website design and development but it certainly didn’t stop there.
Thanks to the internet and amazing communications technology freelancers are offering nearly any business service imaginable. If you’ve need customer service a freelancer can provide it. Telemarketing, bookkeeping, data entry, ghost writing, content development, landing pages, sales pages, brochures, and even more exotic services like infrared photography and custom silk screened clothing.
Arlene found what she needed and found it at a price that made sense for the site and the rest is history. She has a very successful site with a strong following of moms who have children with epilepsy.
10 tips to make your outsourcing effective
Now how do you do this thing called outsourcing? Well here are ten tips to follow to get what you want at the price you can afford.
- Outsourcing is not as expensive as you think it might be. Don’t put off putting up a job just because you’re afraid you won’t be able to pay what the bidders are asking. In the rare instance where that occurs, simply cancel the job.
- Make your job description as detailed as possible. The more information you provide the better a provider can prepare an intelligent and realistic bid. Get specific about what you need.
- Most outsourcing sites allow the use of milestones. Using milestones allows you to keep track of the progress. For example if you need 20 articles you can set a date to have the first ten completed (and of course you pay for those then) and another date for the second ten.
- When selecting a provider pay close attention to the feedback they have received from other buyers. Stay away from providers with little feedback from clients.
- If you get a bid that looks perfect but is a tad out of your budget, negotiate with the provider. Only do this if you really need to get a lower price, not for the sport of it. Professional providers can spot hagglers a mile away and it’s usually a red flag. If a buyer haggles over price then he’s likely to haggle over service and introduce scope creep.
- Always respond to a provider’s questions in a timely manner. Good communication is crucial in getting exactly what you want.
- Pay promptly. The product that you receive be it code or a logo or content is not yours until it is paid for.
- Don’t’ fall for providers offering a discount if you take the project off the site and allow them to work directly for you. You lose the protection and management tools that the site has to offer and it’s a violation of the site’s TOS.
- When you find good freelancers build a relationship with them. Be sure to invite them on future projects. You can basically develop an on-call team using freelancers.
- Providers can leave feedback on buyers. Make sure you pay on time and communicate on a timely basis with the provider so you’ll build a good reputation as a buyer.
Outsourcing will save you a ton of time and give you a professional edge over your competition. Give it a go today.
About the Author
James Martell is a recognized expert and frequently sought out speaker in the affiliate marketing industry. Founder of the Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp, a premiere affiliate marketing training program. James has been teaching and mentoring others in successful affiliate marketing strategies since 2001. James and his wife of 26 years, Arlene, live in a seaside suburb of Vancouver, BC along with their four children. The two also host their long running affiliate marketing podcast on WebmasterRadio.FM.