Content Marketing

How to Outsource Your Way to Better Content

bigstock Caucasian middle aged business 12809048 How to Outsource Your Way to Better Content

I was going to bed crying and waking up vomiting.

I was putting in 80-hour week after 80-hour week and still not getting it all done.

I was acting as CEO, CFO, manager, secretary, and janitor. I was everything and more to the company I had started.

Things were going 24/7 with no sign of slowing down.

If it hadn’t been for a friend’s advice, I would have drowned. “Robert,” he said, “if you’re doing a job that can be hired out, hire it out!”

That one piece of advice changed my business forever. At that point, I was actually losing money due to the huge volume of little tasks getting in the way of the tasks that actually made money.

Does any of this sound familiar? Are you acting as content creator, content marketer, social media strategist, web developer, and more?

I’m here to tell you there is hope.

Why You Should Never Clean Your House Again

When I was first starting out, working non-stop, and feeling like I was never going to catch up, the first person I ever hired to help my business was…a maid.

It’s nearly impossible for me to be productive if my working environment is not clean and organized. I was working out of a home office (still am) and simply did not have enough hours in the day to take the time to properly clean and organize things.

For $25 a week, I found a friend’s wife who came and took care of all those simple things that were costing me precious time and money.

If you’re maxed out, you can’t afford to not start hiring out this kind of little stuff. Don’t even buy your own groceries if you have to.

It’s much easier (and cheaper) to find people to take the little things off your plate than it is to find qualified help with the bigger stuff, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who is just getting started.

So start with outsourcing the little things. When the money is there, you’re ready for the next level.

How to Get Creative and Hire Out the Big Stuff While Saving $$$

If you’re not an expert in one of the major areas you’re currently devoting a portion of your hours to, it’s time to find someone who is.

If you’re on this blog reading this post, that means you are in all likelihood a content creator or marketer, or a social media strategist/director. If you’re working for a company and they’re spreading you thin across a variety of tasks outside your job description, you need to slap your bosses naked and hide their clothes.

If you own your own business or are part of a small startup, you need to focus solely on your area(s) of expertise. You don’t need to be the graphic artist. You don’t need to be the web developer. You don’t need to be doing market research.

This is where most people fool themselves into thinking they need to spend waaayyyy too much money hiring the best graphic designer they can find away from a leading firm. While you can do that if you have the money, you can also get quality team members from unconventional sources. It is possible to maintain a low price while also maintaining an exceptional level of competency. How? Start thinking differently.

The first logo I ever had designed was for an artist management company I created back in 1981—First Image, Inc. I found a college kid studying graphic design who made it for $25 using press-on letters. Shockingly, I never lost business on account of the logo not looking pretty enough!

Three years ago, I needed a writer to redo a few simple chunks of content on a website, nothing sales copy-driven, just basic information. My assistant at the time used to sell ads for a local college’s newspaper back when he was in school there, so I had him e-mail a professor in the journalism department to see if she could recommend any talented student writers.

She came back with two names. I went with the first one who responded to the e-mail. Three years have passed and that student has since graduated, poured himself into learning online content creation and copywriting, and become one of the most valued members of this team.

He also has cost me less than anyone else I would have found had I started out by combing LinkedIn for experienced master copywriters.

Never forget this quote: “The value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.” – Og Mandino

Two Important Questions for Your Business

These are the only two questions you need to ask to determine what type of outsourcing your life and business need right now:

  • If I had more time, could I create better content?
  • If I had more time, could I improve my social media strategy?

(If you’re not creating content, marketing it, or operating in the world of social media strategy and implementation, just substitute your big picture task.)

If you answered “no” to either of those questions, you need to do the following:

  • Realize that you can ALWAYS do better and improve.
  • Determine the outside source that can give you the necessary knowledge to improve your skill set in that particular area—it might be a consultant, a webinar, a book, a series of blog posts, etc.

If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, you need to do the following:

  • Pinpoint the tasks that are sucking your time away from the big picture task.
  • Ask yourself if they can be hired out (99% of the time the answer is yes).
  • Hire them out.

Never forget that you don’t have to tap the same resources everyone else is using. Don’t try to be good at everything at the expense of mastering nothing. Seek consultation when you’re not knowledgeable, hire talent when the talent you possess does not suffice, and outsource the little things that are killing your schedule.

And if YOU are going to bed crying and waking up vomiting… know that it means you are doing something right. You are putting it all on the line to follow your passion. If you’re ready to take that passion to the next level, it’s time to outsource.

  • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

    So much truth to this, Robert! I hired someone to clean my house not long after I started my business. It was such a life changer that I’ve looked for other ways to outsource tasks. At Christmas, I hired a friend to buy all of the gifts for my clients. It saved me time and she did a better job than I did! It’s amazing what can happen when you free yourself up to do the most important work instead of being bogged down by these other tasks,

    Also, just noticed that you’re in Franklin – waving hello from up the road in Nashville! :)

    • http://therobertd.com/ Robert

      Thanks, Laura! Hiring someone to buy Christmas gifts is a GREAT idea. I often outsource birthday card buying so I have a stockpile of them on hand.

      I’m waving right back at you from down here in Franklin! Can you see me? :-)

  • http://www.davedelaney.me/ Dave Delaney

    Very helpful post, Robert. Waving hello to Laura too, I’m in Hermitage.
    One question: Do you two have a good maid to recommend? :)

  • http://www.shortcutblogging.com/ Dave Young

    I wholeheartedly agree! As a marketing consultant, not only was it very difficult to get clients to create content, but they didn’t see it as a good use of their time. The catch-22 was that often they are the only ones in the organization with the expertise to actually create the content, blog post or whatever. We helped them by transcribing interviews on the topics that we wanted and re-writing them as written content. The only problem with that, was that we were spending way too much time on the content instead using our available hours for consulting. We figured out how to outsource our outsourcing. Then, we turned it into a company that uses the same process to help any busy person create their own content. It works best for a Subject Matter Expert who simply has more valuable short-term uses of time than spending it at a keyboard.

    • Renato

      Hi, can you name this company you mentioned?
      (“Then, we turned it into a company that uses the same process to help any busy person create their own content.”)
      Thanks!

  • http://www.JeffDrummer.com/ Jeff Jones

    Great post! I finally got a yard man. I love sitting at my desk watching him cut the yard. It’s very gratifying. I also hired a bookkeeper and accountant. Makes my life so much easier. I will NEVER be good at spreadsheets. So why try. I outsource it. This post has reminded me to look around for even more ways to streamline my work and life. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/ArtilleryMarket Douglas Burdett

    You had me at “I was going to bed crying and waking up vomiting.” And then you REALLY had me at “slap your bosses naked and hide their clothes.” I salute you, sir!

  • Graciousstore

    You said it all. I can relate very much to most of the things you said.”Being Jack of all trade”. Yes I need to outsource, it is absolutely necessary

  • ElevenPR

    Great post. Although getting someone to clean the house is easy. Giving up pieces of the business can be tough for us control freaks. But your post is a great reminder of what you’re missing out on if you try to do everything yourself. This is definitely on my to-do list for 2013. Thanks again.

  • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

    We have someone that cleans our house, a virtual assistant to organise our schedules, an admin person that does the work that takes too long to do. They all work on an hourly basis. If I can earn a lot more per hour for work I can shell out then I’m better focussing on that!

  • http://twitter.com/ElenaVerlee Elena Verlee

    I’ve been outsourcing since I started my business 15 years ago – we’ve always been a virtual PR agency. Reading this was a great reminder that I’m currently struggling with wanting to create more and better content for my blog. I had the opposite problem of outsourcing big things first but not the little things (if that makes sense). I’ve been hesitating hiring someone full time that has been great for my needs over the last three years and this article just convinced me how she will have a huge impact on where I’m going. Thanks Robert.

  • Nikko

    Content has always has been the primary method for selling products and services online. It’s how you attract new potential leads, how you convince them that you are worth listening to, and eventually how you make the sale. Check out the content experts at the Hubstaff. They make excellent content for businesses because they are native English speakers and Literary majors who enjoy writing and blogging.

  • http://www.cloudstaff.com/company Wesley Howard

    Outsourcing content creation has been thriving these passed years. Thank you for sharing your observation regarding this matter.