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Penny Wise – Pound Foolish: Outsourcing Advice for Internet Marketers

If you are new to the Internet marketing scene, you may be having second thoughts about your ability - perhaps you were surprised by all the skills needed and the more you learn the more intimidated you become. You need answers and you need help!

Relax, you are not alone.

Every successful marketer has been there, and survived. The trick is to conquer the beast without losing yourself. Remember, why you wanted this business to begin with was to work from home, have control over your life, more free time, and more family time with income sufficient to maintain a carefree lifestyle.

You have some of the skills needed and the ones you don’t have can be outsourced giving you time to grow your business without stealing time from your family. You’ll learn as you go but for now the most important quality necessary for you is persistence.

As an aspiring marketer, I’m assuming you have already found a product to sell, and you have affiliated yourself with a mentor or are an affiliate marketer, which makes everything easier.

Alternatively, if you are going it alone, you will have arranged for dependable personnel in the storage and shipment department. This is very important because when orders start coming in you need to get them filled without delay or you will lose customers and your business reputation will be harmed.

This article is directed at the question, “How do I find the right professional qualified freelancers to work for me at reasonable prices?”

And the answer is…

Make a list (and yes, check it twice) of all the jobs you need done to get your website up and running smoothly. Number the jobs in the sequence of importance. The first item will be a web page designer; next might be a content writer, etc.

Use a good internet freelance staffing site like elance who has thousands of qualified workers around the world waiting to bid on your job. Remember you want the best workers at the lowest price. Distance is no barrier on the web – you can work just as well with a Mongolian as you can with an American though time zones might be a consideration. In some countries, cost of living is low so workers can work for less.

But let’s face it, all freelancers are not equal. Their skill levels will vary on a scale of one to 10. Language, education, experience and cultural differences must be considered. For instance, a web designer’s work might not be hampered by cultural differences so he might work out fine. But a writer would have difficulty writing content suitable to English readers if they didn’t speak fluent English and were not familiar with English lore, idioms and common references to cultural events.

So you must decide whether it is cost effective to hire a freelancer based solely on a low bid. Sometimes the cost of clean up after an unsatisfactory employee is greater than the cost of hiring the right worker at a higher cost in the first place.

As an example of the high ‘cost of cheap’ here’s an experience I had with trying to save money.

I have a son in Brisbane who I don’t see often due to the prohibitive cost of travel. It’s a long tiresome trip, and very expensive so I’m always on the lookout for special airfare and travel to that part of the world.

A couple of years back I was searching the travel sites and found an astounding rate of $219.00 US for a one way flight to Sidney from Los Angeles. I was ecstatic. However, after days of working with travel agents, I found that when all the ‘extras’ were added in, this was not only NOT a bargain, it was more costly than usual and would have been a travelers nightmare.

Fortunately I took the time upfront to do the math, so I avoided a personal problem. But if that had been a business deal and I had not foreseen all the possible pitfalls, I would have paid a high price in time, money and personal frustration.

When it is done right, outsourcing can be the most efficient way to get your business off the ground. When you are short on skills, tools or time, you can find a freelancing professional to do it for you.

The best way to do that is…

Now is the time to start hiring the workers you have listed. Start with web design, and advertise the job. Some items which will help you avoid the pitfalls of hiring are listed below.

  • Write a short description of the job. State clearly what you want, when you need it, and the quality you expect; then ask for bids within your budget. Don’t mince words, be specific, but friendly.
  • When you have enough bids to offer you a good choice of talent, narrow the bidders down to two or three. Send them an email saying they are on your short list and ask another question or two. Their answers will show you their response time and their understanding of the job before you make the actual award.
  • When awarding the job, if the job lasts more than a week set milestones to monitor progress. With content writers, ask for the work as it progresses so you can assess quality – tie partial payments to the milestones. Be available frequently to stay connected to your provider.
  • Pay promptly when the job is finished. Give honest and fair feedback to providers as this becomes permanently attached to their profile. They will also be grading you as an employer and you will want positive feedback shown on your employer profile too.

When you have hired your first few employees, it will be quite simple to do again whenever you need more work done. When it is done right, outsourcing is a viable solution to many marketing problems and needs. But never forget that it is not wise to be penny wise and pound foolish as the old adage goes. Hiring the right person for the job is much more important than saving a bit of money at the expense of quality.

About Author

Bruce Stevens and his wife are looking forward to retirement when they will be able to enjoy more outdoor adventures like tent camping, hiking and fishing. An avid outdoorsman, Bruce became aware that most internet sites claiming to do reviews of outdoor products were actually more committed to sales, and decided to build his own site in self defense.


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