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.

Outsourcing

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.

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.

10 Things to Consider When Hiring a Writer

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Hiring a Ghostwriter ChecklistThere comes a time when we need help from others to keep up with our businesses. One of the easiest ways to get help is hire a writer…and you’ve probably done this before or considered it, at least. While it’s easy to have someone write your content, it’s not always as easy to find the right person for the job.

Because of that, we’ve put together a little checklist of 10 things to consider when hiring. [Read more...]

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Why Outsourcing Your Content is a Good Thing

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Here’s a video I made a little while back for All Custom Content. It’s some quick food for thought on how much you could be holding yourself back creating all your own content. Whether you hire a ghostwriter, use PLR or enlist guest writers, there’s no need to do it all yourself.

How Do I Get Help When I’m on a Budget?

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Publishing content for the purposes of increasing traffic, growing a list and selling stuff is a big job for just one person.

There’s just so much to do.

You’ve got to come up with the ideas, write the content, publish it, optimize it, monetize it, promote it. Add to that, there are a ton of other administrative tasks that often keep you away from what you really want to do with your biz.

Since I learned the amazing benefit of outsourcing in 2003, I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops. Of course, many people come back to me and say they simply can’t afford to pay someone with any consistency. Well, I don’t always believe that…if your business is making some money, it’s wise to invest that money into something that will help you make more profit and there is always more profit in having a competent extra helping hand around.

Even so, you don’t always have to shell out much cash to get the help you need.

Here are Some Budget Ideas for You:

  • Guest Bloggers/Writers: Accept contributions from other writers, in return for a link back to their site. Try MyBlogGuest.com.
  • Get Your Kids in on the Action: My 9 year old is now being trained to work with WordPress plugins, load content and even optimize it for search engine traffic. It helps me and provides him with some very valuable skills.
  • Get Help with Tasks You Dread: Even if you can’t spend a lot on outsourcing, consider hiring a virtual assistant 1 or 2 hours per week who can do things that keep you from the more enjoyable and profitable parts of your business.
  • Use PLR: If you can’t afford to hire a writer, consider using pre-made content you can publish and monetize. You know we have some at DIYplr!
  • Check Colleges & Training Programs for Internships: You might be able to get an extra helping hand from people who are looking for valuable experience to complete their schooling or training program.
  • Hire a Ghostwriter or Guest Writer for Just 1 Content Piece per Week: Consider how much burden would be lifted if you got just one less thing to do off your list. You can hire a ghostwriter for about $20-25 or even find someone who would like to work as a guest writer for you, publishing under their own name.
  • Get Help with Topic Brainstorming: Check out Lynette’s Blog Energizer or consider purchasing her farewell package with TONS of ideas. If you do get the package, make sure you enter coupon code: FRIENDOFMINE to save an extra $10.

There are plenty of opportunities to get free and low cost help, but to really get the most of your time, before you hire anyone…

Make a List of Tasks:

Figure out all the different tasks you do in your business and write them down. We’re talking about things like:

  • Topic brainstorming
  • Product planning
  • Promotion planning
  • Keyword research
  • Writing blog posts
  • Writing emails
  • Writing articles
  • Publishing posts and articles
  • Sending and scheduling emails
  • Distributing articles
  • Link building
  • Bookkeeping
  • Customer support
  • Social media and networking

…and certainly, there is a ton more you do every day. Once you have a list, you can pick out the small tasks that are burdensome and unload them on your 12 year old or anyone who is willing to do it. ;-) Sometimes all it takes is getting a 15 minute task off your plate to help you refocus and really grow your business.

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.

Should You Hire Someone to Write Your Content?

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You know you need a large amount of content for your online business.

You use it on your website, your blog, in your newsletter, for article marketing, emails and more. So you start thinking about ways to create larger amounts of content in a shorter time period. Hiring a writer is one way to leverage your limited time and create large amounts of content for your website, blog, email newsletter or products.

Hiring staff for your online business can be an intimidating experience.

Usually, meeting people face to face is not an option. While it’s not entirely necessary it’s usually easier to get a ‘gut reaction’ on someone if you talk to them in person.

You can absolutely hire a professional to write your web content. Here are a few suggestions for find the person most suited to the job:

[Read more...]

Free Outsourcing Content Guide

Thinking of hiring a ghostwriter, but have concerns? Download your free 21-page step-by-step guide that shows you how to save time and maximize your profits through content creation. There’s no charge, just a quick opt-in required and you can unsubscribe any time. It's a real eye-opener and completely simplifies the content creation process for any online business owner.

Click here to get yours.

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