Outsourcing is the latest buzz word to hit internet marketing circles, teleseminars, and niche websites. It is certainly not a new concept to outsource work, but like so much else in our lives, the Internet has given rise to a new dimension of this popular technique. Because of this, there are a number of issues to keep in mind when looking at outsourcing as a viable alternative to doing it yourself.
For good reason, outsourcing is a concept that internet marketing professionals and newbies alike should acquaint themselves with. Because a large number of internet marketers are running the show by themselves or with a limited pool of additional assistance, there are just too many tasks to complete alone. In addition to the time factor, it is simply not possible for any one individual to possess all the technical skills necessary to accomplish all aspects running an internet marketing business.
With time and skill level being the two primary factors that lead internet marketers to outsource, it is important to understand which of these two needs you are fulfilling when you proceed to outsource.
When analyzing your outsourcing needs on the basis of time constraints, it is advisable to have a good understanding of what an hour of your time is worth relative to the task at hand.
For example, let’s say it takes you six hours to accomplish a redundant task and it would take about 15 minutes for you to teach someone else to do it for you. Then look at what you may be able to accomplish in that same six hour period. Would you be able to use that time to finish an ebook that could be resold for untold profits, or write thousands of lines of code to package and resell? If so, then any modest fee that is paid to outsource that redundant task could be worth its weight in gold.
Outsourcing on the basis of skill level becomes a little trickier and this is where most internet marketers who are new to outsourcing can get themselves in trouble. It is imperative to keep in mind that even though you may be outsourcing an activity that you are not capable of doing yourself, you still need to be in control.
This is your business and your image and income depends on it. Failure to have a firm grasp on what you are outsourcing will almost always mean that the end result will not live up to your expectations. And this is not productive for you or the individual you have contracted with.
Communication is the key component when outsourcing a task that you are not readily able to do yourself. For example, let’s say you are not the greatest artist in the world and you contract with a designer to develop header and ebook cover graphics for your sales page. Telling the designer nothing more than the title of your ebook and expecting the graphics of your dreams to result is just not going to happen.
The more detailed you can be about your likes, dislikes and expectations, the greater the chance that you will be thrilled with the end result. Remember, just because the designer has skills that you don’t, one of those skills probably isn’t reading minds! If you don’t like the color green, there is no way someone is going to know this unless you tell them.
Another area where internet marketers get into trouble is when the outsourcing project involves technical skills or programming. This can be particularly difficult if both sides are not communicating properly.
A non-programmer often sees a project as being far less complex due to a lack of knowledge about the mechanics involved in the programming process. End users are used to just clicking buttons and having things work; they never have to deal or think about what goes on with the coding behind the scenes.
This can have both an impact on the perceived value of the outsourcing bid as well as the time frame and ultimate functionality of the programming project. Misunderstandings with all of these things can be greatly reduced by taking time to clearly and concisely define the project parameters ahead of time. Again, the importance of communication here cannot be stressed enough.
Finally, it is never a good idea to outsource anything you don’t understand or cannot measure. This isn’t to say that you need to understand the mechanics behind the process, but you definitely need to understand the result.
For example, it is not unusual to see bid requests on popular outsourcing sites requesting 200+ inbound links from PR7 or greater sites to be completed within 24 hours. While this may or may not be an exaggeration, the point is, if you are asking for this and adamant that you want to get your money’s worth, you better be prepared to have a means in place with which to judge someone’s performance in completing this task. Otherwise, it is just a recipe for disaster.
Simply put, if you want something done to your satisfaction, you need to be prepared ahead of time to know when that point is reached.
Remember, outsourcing in many ways is just the virtual version of an employee or subcontractor. If you have ever been an employer who created a job description, along with it you most likely implemented a means of gauging the employee’s performance. And as an employee, you knew exactly what was expected of you and the consequences of failure.
Today’s outsourcing concepts are based upon the same time honored principles used in business throughout the ages and understanding this will greatly increase your odds of success.