How to Leverage the Time of Others

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making time for funOften starting a small business means giving up a lot of personal time in order to see your dreams realized. But, at some point in your business you’ll realize that you’ll need to learn to leverage the time of others in order to get back more time for yourself so that you can do more things that you love.


The fact is, if something is not your specialty – the thing that makes you the money, your bread and butter — you should consider outsourcing it. When you let other people work within their efficiencies, so that you can work with in yours, you’ll almost always increase your income over and above whatever it costs you to hire someone to do the “thing” – whatever it may be. Understand that people you outsource to, unless you hire them as employees, are business owners and should be treated as such.

JV Partnering

What to immediately double or triple your reach? Combine forces with other people, even your competition. By aligning yourself temporarily or long-term with people who sell to your target audience, complementary goods and services, you can both see an immediate increase in income, reach, and perceived expertise. A well defined contract for each joint venture is an essential element to ensure success.

Internship Programs

This idea is a little trickier, and you need to check the laws of your state regarding internships. But, in most cases you can offer internships to people who will do work for you in exchange for real training. As long as you are very clear about expectations, pay, benefits and the potential for future employment if any exists, it should work out well for all involved. Do ensure that contracts are signed to protect both you and the intern.

Leveraging the time of others does not mean you’re using anyone. Typically, all three of the choices above offer benefits to both parties such as earning income, sharing resources, and getting an education.

But, none of these things can work without also practicing: 

Organization, Planning & Systematization

Before involving yourself with too much outsourcing, JV partnerships or internships ensure that you’ve set up a good organization system. As a contractor and virtual assistant myself, nothing is worse than feeling as if you’ve landed a promising new client, then finding out that they actually have no idea what they want from you, and no intentions of listening to your ideas.

If you need help creating systems, the help is out there, if you take it – usually in the form of an experienced virtual assistant or online business manager. Find the experts you need to assist you. No one can do everything themselves, nor should they.

Effective Delegation

When you work with other people, let go. When you hire an expert in social media marketing, for instance, let them do their job. All you need to concern yourself with are the results (deliverables). Don’t micromanage their time, or insist they work outside of their scope.

Instead, choose true experts to work with and let them lead the way.  Notice that I said experts with an S. There is no one person who can do everything for you. There are some online business managers who have their own teams, but typically you’ll need to outsource to more than one person at a time.

If you are starting with a general VA who does a variety of tasks, be sure to assign tasks on a regular basis with realistic deadlines. If you don’t assign something with a deadline, it probably won’t get done.

Purposeful Empowerment

A great example of empowerment is in the book The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris where he discusses his vitamin company. He outsourced his customer service and at first it was difficult. But, when he learned to trust that they knew what they were doing, and let them solve problems with customers under a specific dollar amount without involving him, he saw an increase in sales and customer satisfaction as well as fulfillment and pride among his team.

Levering the time of others can, when done right, put you on the fast track to working your business, vs. working in your business. When you started your online business you wanted more than on online job, you wanted freedom, and the surest way to get there is to leverage the time of other people so that you can find more time to do the things that matter most to you.

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Don’t Want to Write Your Newsletter?
Here’s How to Get Away with It

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Outsource your emailAs a business owner, there are so many things you have to take care of, so it’s not always easy to get to everything. If you’ve been putting off your email marketing because you never seem to get around with it, you can stop that right now. We’ve got tips to help you effectively outsource your newsletter writing.

Identify Your Topics and Goals for Your Content

What do you want the content in your newsletter to achieve? For example, do you want to send traffic to a sales page? Do you want to boost your Facebook page or promote a new contest? Let your ghostwriter know what you want to achieve. It helps them write for your goals.

What Type of Content Do You Want to Writer?

In addition to sending the topics you’d like your ghostwriter to write on, let them know the type of content that you prefer or feel best fits the topic. For example, you might ask them to write a “how to” type article or a product comparison.

Assign the Content Well in Advance of When You Need It

Work with your writer to create a schedule that fits your needs and theirs. For example, you might assign November’s content in October so you have your content ready to upload into your autoresponder at the beginning of the month.

Planning ahead also ensures you bring forth the best content for your subscribers possible and makes it easier for you to include effective product promotions to go with that content.

Provide As Much Information As Possible

In addition to sharing the goals for each newsletter article also let your writer know:

  • What keywords and keyword phrases you want to use, if any. If you publish your newsletter content online then keywords can help improve SEO. If you have specific requests regarding the placement of keywords, for example in the title or the first paragraph, let your ghostwriter know.
  • What you want the message to sound like. Share your brand message and voice. For example, are you friendly and informative, controversial, or authoritative? Include a description of your brand image and message along with a few links to content that accurately conveys your voice.
  • Are there any links you want included in the message? You can always add links later after the content is written. However, sometimes the flow of the article can be improved when the writer inserts the hyperlinks in relevant and appropriate places.
  • How do you want it formatted? For example, does your audience prefer lists? Do they respond to bullet points and content with numbers or steps?

Obviously, it’s a great thing when you can get someone else do quality work for you and free up your schedule in the process. But another benefit we don’t always notice right away is that working with a writer ensures we are organized and proactive in moving our businesses forward. When there is a writer waiting for our instructions, it forces us to stay on top of things and our business has no chance but to grow.

If we can help you with your email writing at all, we’d be delighted to help. You can check out our email writing services here.

Now, let’s get emailing!

Freelance Sites vs. Hiring All Custom Content

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Hope your week is shaping up to be a good one. It’s been a busy week working with our clients and gearing up for all our new monthly service clients.

When we started planning our money-saving service, we asked for feedback from our clients and potential clients. Here is a question we received about that.

Q: “I’ve considered transcribing my teleseminars but was going to go through Elance or Odesk — so one question I would ask as a prospective client is ‘How is your service going to be different than what I can get through Odesk or Elance’?”

—————— START ANSWER ————————

There are plenty of places to find freelance transcriptionists and some of those places include job sites like Elance or oDesk. If you’re not familiar with these sites, they are places where businesses like you can post projects and people seeking work can bid on projects.

There are few things to consider when working with freelance sites:

* It’s time consuming to go through responses and decide who is the right one for the job.When you choose us, there are no applications to review. We make sure our team of transcriptionists get your jobs done. It’s that simple.

* While there are some great people working on these sites, you can bet there are plenty of bad apples. There are unqualified people applying for projects and plenty won’t bother to complete the project.

With All Custom Content, you’re dealing with a company that has reliably provided transcription service to our clients for the past 4 years.

* It’s not always easy to find people for ongoing work. We know that oDesk tries to put its focus into ongoing work, but there is no way to guarantee that. Many freelancers working this site are placing their work bids low, just so they can get the job and then realize they can’t afford to keep working at that rate, so they are off looking for the next best thing.

Again, we’re an established company that continues to provide this service on an ongoing basis. Sure, we have transcriptionists come and go, but our ultimate responsibility is to make sure YOUR project is done. We put our clients first…period.

Overall, you’re going to save time and money. Plus, you can rest assured that your projects are completed month after month, without the hassles you might get elsewhere. Of course, you have to weigh the pros and cons for your own unique business, but we think you’ll be pretty happy with what we’re cooking up and will have more information for you soon.

—————— END ANSWER ———————–

Give Your Readers What They Want - WITHOUT All The Hard Work - Pre-made fully-illustrated step-by-step tutorials make it easy to sell your products, build your list and grow your business. Click here to learn more.

A Recipe for Burnout and Stifled Success?

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An inability to “see the forest for the trees” – if you’re not familiar with that saying it means that you are focusing on the details so much that you cannot see the big picture. When you try to do all of the tasks that are required to own and grow a business, you’re not only working around the clock, you’re also unable to stay focused on your vision and the big picture goals.

Instead, you spend your days mired in the mundane. You’re checking emails, paying bills, and writing blog posts. A business cannot grow without a clear and apparent vision, and the time and energy to focus in that vision.

Here are some of the problems with trying to do everything yourself…

Diminishing Your Strengths

You have special skills, experience, and knowledge that give your business a competitive edge. Yet if you don’t allow yourself the time and energy to focus on your superpowers then you’re hurting your business growth. You don’t have to do everything adequately when you can instead do a few things exceptionally. Instead, hire others to do the tasks you’re not exceptional at.

Not Leveraging the Strengths of Others

In grade school, most of us were taught that everyone brings something unique to the group. We all have specialty skills and strengths. Why not leverage the abilities of others? You get much more accomplished and your team is packed with passionate go-getters. It takes your business to the next level.

Boredom to Burnout

You may be a superhero who can do everything and never gets tired of it all. Most of us are not like that. We get tired, we lose enthusiasm and motivation, and it happens when we’re overwhelmed and doing things that just don’t make us particularly excited.

Burnout is the end result. And on your path to burnout you become bored. When you’re bored and tired you send an apathetic message to your contractors, prospects, and customers that you’re starting to lose interest in your own business. You’re tired. That message loses sales. It affects profits and it’s just not fun. Do what you do best; whatever it is that makes you smile and keeps you passionate and invested in your business.

Inefficient Systems

There’s a very good chance, if you are doing everything in your business yourself, that your systems are inefficient. It’s the opposite of what you’d expect, yet it’s what happens. There are two key reasons why.

The first is that you’re likely overwhelmed and the “hurry hurry” need to get it all done keeps you from spending time on improving your systems. You don’t have time to research software, test and track processes, and make improvements. The second is that you’re not accountable to anyone. There isn’t a virtual assistant who needs to have a process outlined for them. You can just work through processes the same way you always have, regardless of whether they really work.

The problem is that inefficient systems waste your time, energy, and money. There are resources you could be using to focus on growing your business. Whether you’re processing sales or creating content, if your systems are inefficient then you’re losing business.

Now, how you leverage the help of others in your business is completely up to you. You might hire a virtual assistant to take care of every day administrative tasks. You might get some guest bloggers to fill in some content holes for you. You might hire a graphic designer to avoid the learning curve of graphic design.

And of course, you could hire us to help you write. The course you take is up to you, but the more you can focus on the big picture of your business, the quicker your success will grow.

What to Do If Your Ghostwriter Screws Up


What to do if a ghostwriters messes up
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about finding the right writer and communicating, so you get what you want.

Unfortunately, sometimes it happens and your writer will screw up. If you receive a project you’re not happy with, there’s no need to panic. Everything is salvageable and it’s going to take a little work to get there.

Here are some tips to help you:

1. Ask for revisions. Most writers include a round of revisions in their work for hire agreement or as part of their services. Not because they expect trouble but sometimes there are miscommunications or mistakes and it’s easier to address them with an upfront policy.

2. Address the revision request in two parts:

  • What works? Let the writer know what you did like about the content and what you want to keep.
  • What doesn’t? Once you’ve touched on the elements you want to keep, then let the writer know what needs to be revised, why you need it revised and how you want it to be revised. Be specific. The more details you can provide, the better.

3. Assess your systems and communication process: Often content mistakes are made because of a miscommunication. The writer didn’t understand what you wanted. Common issues include:

  • Not enough information was provided
  • Too tight of a deadline and the writer was rushed
  • Not a good match for your content needs or industry. Most writers specialize, make sure they have experience in your niche or with the content format you need written.

4. Ask for questions: Make sure your writer understands what you need written and what your goals are. Make it easy for them to ask questions by being available and organized.

5. Decide whether to try again: It can take a little time to iron out the kinks with a new writer. If they’re responsive to your revision needs and you think there’s a future together then consider trying again. If your writer still doesn’t produce what you need after revisions, it might time to consider moving on.

The key thing to remember is that even professional ghostwriters need training so they can work most effectively with your business and to your specifications. Once you have a well trained writer on your team, they’re an invaluable asset you don’t want to lose.

Remember, we’re always available to help you with your writing. With our monthly savings program, you get to work directly with our project manager who specializes in communicating with our writers and making sure you get exactly what you want. Check us out here.


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