How to outsource in the right way, Solopreneur
People say that outsourcing is a scam. What that really means is- the complainer didn’t outsource correctly. Outsourcing works, if you do it the right way.
Outsourcing, the wrong way
Sadly, most solopreneurs don’t try to get help in their business. It doesn’t occur to them that there or resource or they think it’s too expensive. Those who do try get frustrated because they didn’t get what they wanted. The freelancer disappear or other drama. Most of the time I discover after talking a bit that the person skipped a few fundamental steps to land in the poop. It goes something like this:
- You are totally frustrated and on deadline and decide to get someone else to do it
- You jump on Fiverr, Upwork, Guru.com and find a freelancer (from the 1st page)
- You hire the freelancer.
- You say what you want and wait
- Freelancer returns something unsuitable
- You fume and conclude outsourcing is a scam.
Did that sound somewhat familiar? Not a lot of detail or information shared there.
The trouble is, you are not prepared at this point to outsource. Too many of the elements are left vague or without any guidance for the freelancer (I prefer the term teammate since freelancer sounds so much like freeloader). Without that level of detail you, my friend, are doomed to getting results that don’t align with your vision and may be unusable at all.
At this point someone usually points out that, ‘it takes to long to explain.Tthat’s why I’d rather do it myself’
The right way to outsource is to plan what to outsource and how to do it before hiring the help.
Outsourcing the right way!
There are 3 steps to outsourcing the right way. Most entrepreneurs skip the most important parts to go straight to hiring, which causes the disappointment. The 3 steps to outsourcing the right way are:
- Outsourcing Calibration
- Resource Cultivation
- Cashing In
The best place to start is generally the beginning. Outsourcing Calibration is the beginning of lining things up correctly so you get what you ask for and deserve. You have a desired outcome in mind, but do you know what has to be in place to achieve the outcome? Knowing what to outsource, in terms of topic and priority, is the first step in outsourcing the right way.
Once you know what to outsource it’s time to consider how best to accomplish the task. What information, statistics, knowledge do you need to know or share to ensure a great outcome? This is the process creation part. Sure, you know what to do because you’ve been doing it for years. Your new teammate doesn’t know your business, your process, your goals or preferences unless you share them.
Not sure you can articulate that special voodoo that you do so well? Try harder. Clear up some brain space and stop carrying your business inside your head, desperate not to forget anything. (Midlife brain)
It’s so nice and organized to have all your practices and policies are written down and available when you need them. No more contradicting yourself or screwing up your branding because you’ve written the title of your event 5 different ways (or is that just me)
Don’t you want the dish you were craving to taste exactly the same as it did last time at your favorite restaurant? Isn’t that part of what brings you back again and again? That’s because the chef and staff follow the same recipe and use the same techniques in the same order every time. (hello, I’m looking at you Sobo Ramen) Your client experience at the restaurant is predictable and consistent and that’s the experience process creation can give you whem you outsource a project.
The second step, resource curation, is typically where most entrepreneurs START their outsourcing journey. They hop on a freelancing site like Fiverr to find a freelancer. And, BAM, they are off to the races.
Because they are busy they pick the first person that seems half way decent. They say I need x and go back to business. Then, they get pissed off because the end result is crappy. They wasted their time and money without much to show and I’d be mad too. I was in those shoes so many times I decided to figure it out.
There’s a process to picking the right person, which is simple. I define right as a teammate who has the competence and expertise to do what you want and who gets you as the business leader. They work the way you like to work without complaining. The problem is most entrepreneurs don’t know what their standards are or what a success would look like to them. You need a yardstick to measure your teammates by before you pick them and another to measure the outcome.
All this worry, of course, leads to micromanaging, which pretty much guarantees they will get something less than ideal. Freelancers are freelancers because they didn’t want a boss. They wanted to be free, hence the term freelancer. Using secret words or instructions labels you as an amateur, someone to be avoided rather than assisted.
Letting go and learning to trust is a process that you’ll grow into. Most, if not all, of my clients say their biggest challenge is letting go. Thankfully, that resolves itself over time with practice.
The last step is cashing in on the newly found time. Those 6 figure hyp- fests tend to show someone lying on the beach relaxing as a way of signaling success. It’s true that’s what most solopreneurs and expert dream of cashing in someday on their knowledge and experience so they can slow down and enjoy life. So, when they do free up 2 or 3 hours they waste it with more busywork (that feels good because it seems like saving money) or on personal things (which is fine but should happen after you’ve earned the money to pay for your teammate).
Instead invest those hours in the most productive revenue generating activity you know. Now, that assumes that you know which types of marketing results in the most leads and what the best method is for your business to convert those leads into customers. I’m talking data people. (Have you read Ask by Ryan Levesque* yet? It makes getting customer feedback fun and easier).
Personally I think that thought leadership i.e. blogging, article writing, speaking, podcast interviews) is a great revenue generating tool. It’s a two-fer. You get to build a relationship with the host AND share with their audience building, hopefully, hundreds of new relationships. Blogging and guesting can be outsourced but it’s up to you to nurture those relationships with your charm and wit.
These are the 3 steps to doing outsourcing the right way, the most effective way.Of course, there’s more, but this is a good start.
Find more how-to articles on outsourcing the right way for experts at http://OutsourceEasier.com