Being a small business owner can sometimes feel like spinning plates. How can you focus on the task at hand when you know you’re not doing enough lead-generation activity? How long is it since you wrote a blog post? What about social media? Is it even worth your time?
You know these things all play their part, so you do it. You make time. But quality is compromised when things are rushed. It’s an issue many small business wrestle with and inevitably solve by outsourcing jobs to freelancers.
There are many benefits of outsourcing work, but there are right and wrong ways to do it. First you have to consider your specific business needs. This could be something you, personally (or your staff) are not skilled enough to handle, or something you could do blindfolded but simply have no time. Then you need to think about your target audience. Who would be best suited to deliver your message? Can the freelancer you select engage with your audience effectively?
Only you can decide what to outsource and who to outsource to. There are hundreds of possibilities, but here are some of the key areas to get your digital transformation started:
Outsourcing Jobs: What to outsource?
1) Social Media Management
There is absolutely no point in having a social media presence if you’re not going to do anything with it. One Facebook post and a few tweets a week is not enough. If you really want to increase your reach you need someone managing your social accounts full-time. Managing and scheduling compelling Tweets on Buffer; researching and posting relevant content on Facebook; creating and promoting entertaining boards on Pinterest – this is all integral to developing your brand image and expanding your audience. If you don’t have the time, get someone else on board.
And talking of boards, here at Vivienne K Neale we specialize in social media management – specifically Pinterest and Twitter – and would love to discuss further how we can help your business. Please get in touch!
2) Content Creation
Every brand or business needs a digital content strategy, and creating content isn’t just a job for anyone with a spare couple of hours. A good content creator offers a range of writing styles, understands SEO, readability, can edit photos and write shareable content. Thanks to Google’s new algorithm, “keyword stuffing” is now a thing of the past; the new emphasis is on easily readable, relevant and unique content which flows naturally. You must also consider non-written content like images, video and Photoshop designs. These are all crucial for enhancing your business’s visual representation.
If you don’t have the skills or patience to create compelling and original content, we certainly do. So let’s talk!
3) Email Marketing
It’s all very well collating or curating great content and sending it out in a newsletter to your clients once a month, but what is the point if there is no return? In fact, how do you know if your subscribers are even opening the newsletter and engaging with the content? Content that you (or who you outsourced to) laboured over for hours and hours.
A freelancer who specializes in creating newsletters should understand the various stages of the buying cycle. They should be able to ensure that the right content is landing in the right inbox. If you’d like to outsource marketing jobs, then Email Marketing should certainly be considered. When done well, Email Marketing can generate vast amounts of traffic and subsequent leads.
I get the feeling that a lot of small business owners groan when they hear that damned acronym. “SEO”. Someone Else’s Obstacle. But you don’t have to be a digital marketing guru to understand a thing or two about SEO. For instance, you know you need a blog to keep content fresh (Google favours sites that are regularly updated) and you know you need to include keywords throughout your site. Since you understand your product better than anybody, you can make a start by coming up with those keywords. Just ask yourself the simple question: “What would my customers search for?” Would they use product-specific terms, broad terms or both?
However, actually applying those keywords in the right places and ensuring every other SEO box is ticked (alt tagging, link building, schema markup, etc) is where it starts to get technical. This is when you could consider outsourcing it to someone else. Get in touch via our Contact Page if you’d like us to help you out 🙂
5) Human Resources
As your staff grows, it can be more cost and time effective to have someone else prepare, process and file documentation for you. Employment contracts, taxes, legal advice and even benefit schemes are all things you will need at some point (hopefully not in the too distant future!) HR needs to be taken seriously. Outsourcing payroll and other admin jobs to a freelance accountant means you won’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty and important documents will be stored safely online. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest advantages of outsourcing.
Once you’ve decided exactly what responsibilities you want to pass on, you can then start to research the best available candidates. Not only must we consider background, social network engagement, time management and payment terms when considering a candidate, but we must also be able to trust who we are outsourcing tasks to. And trust takes time to build.
Outsourcing Jobs: Who to?
With any luck, you’ll already know a few people who can help you out, or at least know someone who knows someone… But if a job is urgent and cost is a factor, then consider using an online freelance community.
Freelance websites like People Per Hour and Upwork and Outsourcely are perfect for outsourcing from a business owner’s perspective. Outsourcely are on track to reach 1 million remote workers by the end of 2017 and they might also be worth checking out. Their model is different to the others and they are offering VKN Digital readers a special promo code for a 30% discount to use on any of our plans. Pricing can be found right here https://www.outsourcely.com/
There is strong competition for many in the UK owing to the fact that freelancers using these services come from all over the world. Consider, for instance, what someone in India would charge for a one-off SEO job compared to someone living in London.
But there are risks. Can you trust that person or agency? If you need a blogger, how do you know their level of English is good enough? How do you know – regardless of competency – they won’t let you down at the eleventh hour? This is one of the biggest disadvantages of outsourcing.
So what’s the solution? Take a gamble and hope it pays off? Maybe. Do it yourself and lose yet more precious sleep? Heavens no. You do your research! Google people and businesses by name. Do some internet stalking. If the results are positive, chances are you’ve found a winner. If the results aren’t good, keep looking!
Suggested further reading:
- How to Build a Better Business with Outsourcing (entrepreneur.com)
- 8 Tips for Effectively Outsourcing Your Content (convinceandconvert.com)
Vivienne Neale is a strategist and consultant working in social media, change management and digital transformation.freelancing, outsourcing