The best way to expand your online footprint is to outsource key parts of your business. But how much of your digital business should you outsource?
I know… like most entrepreneurs, you want to do everything yourself.
But in reality, there’s no way you can.
And that shouldn’t be your goal, anyway.
Building a profitable, solid business should be your only goal.
How that happens is not critical.
Making it happen is.
Outsource resources to help build your digital business
If you have a blog and/or a main website, then you’ll want to outsource the task of designing your website.
A lot of hosting and site builder services tell you it’s so easy you can do it yourself… with their tools, assistance and hosting, of course.
And you may even have the technical skills to pull it off.
But believe me, this is one part of your business that you do not want to look like a do-it-yourself project.
Your site needs to look professional.
And just as important, it needs to react professionally.
That means with drop-down menus, clickable banners and widgets, a very user friendly navigation system, proper legal pages and so many more things that are just not that easy to create.
Website designers are highly skilled professionals who can make you a beautiful and highly responsive website or blog.
And they can make sure it has optimal page speed and mobile-first functioning.
All these things will tell our site visitors that you are the real deal.
Professional and serious about what you are doing.
Try doing it yourself and it will tell them a whole different story… one that will not help you build any kind of a business or audience.
Not that great a writer?
Or, simply don’t have time to create lots of content on a consistent basis?
Then you may want to outsource some or even all of your article writing.
Above image from Neil Patel:
How to Outsource Your Content Marketing While Still Maintaining Quality
There are many really good services that will help you with this part of your business.
It’s not the cheapest way to go about things, so it’s not for everyone.
But it will really help if you are trying brand yourself in your niche, but don’t have the skills to pull it off.
When you hire a service, they will usually have you describe the article you want.
Then they hand it off to one of their freelancers.
You want to get really good at describing exactly what you want the writer to cover.
It helps a lot if you give them a quick outline to work from.
That way, you’ll be sure that they cover all the points you want to make.
After a while, you should be able to find a service and writer that you really like, and who really “gets” what you’re trying to do.
Then, whenever you have a project, you’ll know exactly who to turn to, and will be pretty sure of getting what you want.
PLR (Private Label Rights)
An alternative to having someone write something specifically for you, is to buy articles that are written for anyone.
Those are called Private Label Rights, or as it is better known in the industry, PLR.
It may seem like PLR is less desirable because many people will buy one of these articles, so they can show up everywhere.
They can also pose a problem with duplicate content, for that same reason.
But these really shouldn’t be big issues because you should never copy and paste a PLR article, and publish it “as is.”
PLR is meant to be edited.
And if you edit it heavily, infuse your own thoughts and research, they can be a really good way to outsource your articles.
Of course, articles written only for you are much easier to work with.
All you have to do is copy and paste because nobody else has that material.
I’m not a big fan of leaving those articles unedited either, though.
You never really know how many people have been given the same or very similar work that was supposedly written just for them.
But maybe I’m just a skeptic sometimes.
In any case, PLR gives you more work to do in the form of heavy editing.
But it’s also a much cheaper alternative to paying freelancers to craft an article just for you.
Social media management
Content creation requires you to have a steady stream of content.
That’s why it may be a good idea to outsource writing projects.
But social media management is more about how to make that content visible on various platforms.
In order to justify outsourcing your social media management, you should have two things in place.
First, a good steady flow of content.
Second, a clear idea of how that content can improve your business, should you be able to get more eyeballs to it.
One of the big mistakes I see digital marketers and bloggers make, is that they are thrilled to drive lots of traffic to a piece of content they created.
But the increase in traffic doesn’t help their ROI (Return on Investment).
So make sure your content is well connected to a specific call to action, like “buy this,” or “subscribe to my list.”
Then, as long as you have the budget for it, you could consider outsourcing to someone or some agency who is more capable than you in terms of driving traffic to your content via social media.
If you don’t have those two things firmly in place, though, you might be better to do your own social media marketing until you do.
Ad placement agent
I would say the same thing about placing paid ads.
Make sure to have a steady content flow.
And have some assurance that it can convert people to your specific, desired call to action.
Then, sure, start running some Facebook ads or Google ads, or such.
Always keep within your budget, of course.
Now, if you don’t know how to run the ads, or don’t feel confident that you can do it effectively, then outsource the task to an agent.
This will increase your ad cost, of course, but if you’re within your budget, and can actually profit from your ads, then it’s certainly worth exploring.
If you’re building an email list (as you should be), then that’s great.
But are you profiting from your email list?
If so, then you could do it yourself as long as you have time.
But if you aren’t getting good results from your own efforts, then it might be a good idea to outsource this task to a professional email marketer.
This should get you better results.
If not, try different marketers until you find one that does.
This will also free up a lot of your time, of course.
So that’s a good thing.
But I will caution you, here.
You want your emails to be personal… from you.
Not generic like some agency wrote them.
So stay involved.
Edit the emails so they sound like you, or until you find a really good agent who has learned to write in your unique voice.
It’s a big help when you can outsource tasks, but you can’t lose your identity and your personal brand in the process.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is often a major component in your digital business.
When people can find your website or blog simply by searching for keywords you are using, that’s a major asset.
It drives traffic to you sites without advertising.
But SEO is very technical.
It’s not likely you know enough to do a highly credible job of optimizing your sites for SEO.
Naturally, if you’re a solopreneur and are doing pretty much everything on your own, you’ve probably got a working notion of what to do.
But if you can outsource this technical task, it can really put your digital business over the top.
And, clearly, you can save you a bundle of time that you can now spend on developing higher quality content.
How to hire
The hiring process itself varies widely from one platform to another.
It begins with a freelancer site like Fiverr, Upwork or something similar.
Typically, you will post a request for a specific project.
Or, you can search through the vendors/providers of the services you’re looking for.
When you find one you like, contact them and let them know the details of your project.
In some cases, you might just want to hire them immediately.
Pay for a one-time job (a “project”) to be done, and see how you like the result.
If it’s something you want done on a steady basis, then simply repeat your order.
Or, you can hire someone monthly, for instance.
A lot of service providers, like Fiverr for instance, focus on connecting you with a one-off service provider.
Others, like Upwork, give you options for hiring one-off or on a continuing basis.
Determine your need, and then locate a service you’d like to start with.
What to demand/instruct
Before you hire someone to do a single project, or perform an ongoing service, you should write down exactly what you want done.
If you are vague with your instructions, there’s a good chance that the job won’t get done the way you want it.
That’s because you weren’t clear about what you wanted.
I think people are unclear with their instructions because they’re not really sure themselves what they want.
So, if you’re looking for an ebook cover, you might just give the vendor an ebook title to use in the cover.
But then, when you see the drafted project, you realize you don’t want that kind of image, font, color or whatever.
So think first.
What do you want your cover to look like?
Maybe provide a few screenshot samples to give the vendor an idea of what you’re looking for.
Indicate the exact color scheme you want, if that matters to you.
Or show them something else you’ve done with that color scheme and ask them to use the same or complementary colors.
The same process holds true for any service you order.
If you are unclear, then your vendor won’t really know what you’re looking for, or trying to accomplish.
How much to pay
The tendency when hiring out is to pay the least amount possible.
But you have to be careful, here.
Don’t just hire the cheapest help you can find.
Look to see how active the person is, what kind of ratings they get from other buyers, how quickly they deliver, what other services they provide that will coincide with your project.
Include any other benchmarks that are important to you.
So, cost is important, of course.
But it’s not the only factor you need to weigh.
I think it’s a good idea to hire several different people for similar projects.
See what your experience is with them.
It’s really important to see how easy it is to communicate with them.
Do they talk back and forth with you a bit to get a really good idea of what you want?
Or do they just want to do some quick work and get paid, whether or not it’s exactly what you want.
When you find a really good vendor who you can communicate well with, who is fair with pricing, and goes the extra mile to be sure the job is delivered as you want it… you have struck gold.
Use that same vendor whenever you need the same kind of work done.
Eventually, you should be able to build out a reliable resource list of vendors, so that any time you need something done, you know immediately who to turn to.
Hiring a coach
Besides hiring people to do specific tasks, you want to be sure to have a sound strategy behind what you are doing.
There’s no sense in getting a lot of articles written, for instance, if your content marketing strategy is only half-baked.
When you hire out tasks, you want to know that you can really profit from the work you get.
It makes sense to spend money to make money.
But not to spend money and just hope that somehow it will lead to a profitable business.
If you don’t really have a very clear sense of where your digital business is heading, then hire a coach, first.
A good blogging or digital business coach can help you create a strategy that can work for you.
Not one that worked for him or her, but one that can be constructed to work for you, given your specific goals and passion.
So, before you start hiring out freelancers and services, connect with a good coach who you feel comfortable with.
Your coach can help guide you as to how little or how much of your digital business should you outsource.
How much of your digital business
should you outsource?
You can certainly reach your goals faster and more easily if you outsource specific aspects of your digital business.
But you don’t want to just be shooting in the dark when you outsource tasks.
It’s a good idea to work with your coach to create a tailor made strategy for your business.
Then proceed using suggestions I’ve given you here.
And remember to never spend or risk money you can’t afford to lose.
Nothing is ever certain in business, and when you spend money to outsource a task, it may not work out the way you expected.
And it may not yield the results you had hoped for.
So establish a budget you can afford, and are comfortable with.
Then outsource tasks within that budget.
Now, leave me a comment below and tell me about your thoughts and experiences with outsourcing.
Have you wanted to outsource tasks, but didn’t know how to go about it properly?
Or do you outsource on a regular basis?
How much of your digital business do you outsource?
PS: Remember to share this article on your favorite social sites. Thanks so much 🙂