Lesson #21: Leveraging Yourself – How to Outsource
I want to congratulate you on making it this far in the course. At this point, we are completely done introducing the process of building and marketing your website. Now, we will spend the final section of the course discussing topics that will help you extend and grow your business, such as repeating our system to create even more websites.
This lesson will discuss the basics of hiring a professional. There are two reasons you may want to do this: 1) you do not have the skills yourself or 2) your site(s) are growing so quickly that you need to hire someone to help out. This may be a marketer, SEO guru, writer, web developer, or something else.
Tips for Outsourcing
There is absolutely a right and a wrong way to hire help. I know this from experience. This section will give you a few pointers to keep in mind when looking to hire someone to preform any type of work for your web business.
- Shop Around. Spend some time upfront finding the absolute best provider that you can. This way, you wonʼt get stuck with a dud and waste valuable time and energy.
- Ask for a portfolio. If they are even somewhat respectable, they will have a large portfolio full of quality work from satisfied clients. Make sure you see this first.
- Hold on tightly to the stars. When you find an awesome contractor that can produce work on time for reasonable prices, do whatever you can to keep them around forever!
- Pay upfront. I hate to admit it, but I have broken this rule and gotten burned. You give the provider the full payment before they start and never hear from them again. It happens.
- Expect the freelancer to solve your problems or tell you what to do. Make sure you have a VERY clear outline of exactly what their role is and what you expect. Communicate this to them.
- Be afraid to give direction. To often, we will see some work that is just ʻokayʼ and tell the freelancer that it is ʻAwesome!ʼ. But we really donʼt like it and the quality of our project suffers. Tell them if it looks terrible.
There are a number of websites that help connect freelancers with people like ourselves who are looking to outsource some type of work. By far the most in-depth of these sites is ODesk, there are over 500,000 qualified freelancers ready for work. You can find someone to write articles, do custom WordPress development, design your site or graphics, preform SEO/Marketing work, build an iPhone app, handle customer service, or balance your books.
One of the most impressive features of ODesk is their work verification system. The members area lets you keep up-to-the minute tabs on exactly what your worker is doing at all times so you know that you are only getting billed for hours that the provider was working on your project. With some other companies this can be a problem, you are left wondering if that simple project actually took 20 hours. With ODesk, you always know
exactly how long projects take. Plus, prices are insanely cheap, you can usually find a qualified freelancer for about $5 per hour. Itʼs an incredible service that I use regularly.
To use ODesk, you first need to register for an account and verify your information. Then, you can do one of two things to find qualified freelancers. You can browse through a listing of all the freelancers, sort them, find one that you like and then contact this individual. Or, you can post a project, describe what you need, and allow freelancers to bid/apply for this specific project. I prefer to find them myself and personally contact them about my needs, but both methods work really well.
I recommend that you sign up for a free buyer account right now, verify your info, and have this service ready to go in the event that you need to hire someone in the future. ODesk is an absolutely indispensable tool for internet marketers like ourselves.
Sign Up for a Free ODesk Account: http://tinyurl.com/zzz-odesk
This area will serve as a reference guide that you can use when you need to outsource some type of work. Finding and testing these different providers has taken me years, and I can confirm that these sources will give you the best help anywhere online. I use each of these regularly:
If you are looking for headers or logos, I recommend using LogoNerds.com. They have fast logos for $27 that look great and headers for just $17. Visit LogoNerds at: http://tinyurl.com/zzz-logos
For more complex custom web development work, try ODesk and search for providers. Interview a bunch of providers and make sure that they give you samples of previous work before you make a decision.
WordPress Themes and Development:
I first recommend that you find a pre-built WordPress theme at WooThemes, I have almost always been able to find a theme I love at this site. Plus, using a theme saves you time and money, since a custom designer is much more expensive.
If you need custom WordPress work done, or other web development tasks that are beyond your skill, oDesk has hundreds of thousands of freelancers. Search for providers under Web Development > Web Programming and you should easily be able to find someone that can help with your needs.
Marketing and SEO Work:
As we have discussed in other lessons, WL Marketing is by far my favorite provider of SEO work. They can write/submit articles, create social bookmarks, submit your site to directories, do press releases and even write articles.
If you are looking for a professional to help with your overall SEO strategy (i.e. help choosing which terms you want to rank for), I would visit ODesk and look for an expert who has a portfolio with examples of how they have helped others achieve top rankings. Be wary of those who promise outstanding results, though. There are many scammers in that industry.
To find writers for any types of articles, I recommend first searching ODesk. You should be able to easily find someone there. If, for some reason, that does not pan out, my next source is WL Marketing. They can give you cheap, fast, and quality articles. Outsourcing is something that most of us will run into at some point on our business, it is simply not practical (or possible) to do everything ourselves. When that happens, use the guide above to help you find the best sources for each type of work.
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