The 3 most commonly asked questions by outsourcing newbies
Episode 15 of The Outsourcing 101 Course Podcast
Freebie: Worksheet – will it save me time and money. (list of questions)
In this episode James Mackay discusses the 3 questions he gets asked all the time by people who want to jump into outsourcing. Check out http://outsourcing101course.com to sign up for The Free Outsourcing 101 Course that includes 15 video tutorials and much more!
Hello, hello I am James Mackay, I am your host for the Free Outsourcing 101 Course podcast and this is module three. We are talking today all about finding and hiring good freelancers.
That is probably the key to outsourcing as far as I am concerned. What are we going to do? We are going to talk about what a freelancer is and how they can change your life and most importantly what we need to discuss is what you can do with a freelancer to make sure that you understand what you are doing so you can show your freelancer and they can understand what you are doing.
So, I call that establishing your outcome. So, a freelancer, well in my opinion a freelancer is a dedicated professional. These can be highly qualified people. My virtual assistant in the Philippines, her name is Joan and she is amazing, that is for you Joan, is a qualified engineer.
Now can you believe that she makes more money working for me doing my personal admin tasks and helping? In fact she put this presentation together. She makes more money doing this for me than she does as a qualified engineer in the Philippines. That is just out of control. And you know what else? I found freelancers over the years to be extremely hard working people. If you have a good relationship with your freelance workers, they would go above and beyond to prove how much value they can add to your project.
The next thing is that a freelance worker is eager to please. Now, the Philippine custom is to be extremely hard working and extremely helpful. So if you set a task and I am just talking Philippines here, and this also applies to Pakistan, India and everyone else that you might think of specific outsourcing. They will work extremely hard to try to get your project done and they won’t do it just to please you although that is part of culture. They will also do it because if you are using an outsourcing platform you can review their performance. So it is very important that they deliver the task for you. And then if you want to use a local outsourcer, well if you are in America for instance and you want to use a fellow American. Well they are obviously going to work hard for you because you live in the same as them, and if something goes wrong then you can chase them up.
Person: So changing your life, how can we go through this? Well, the next thing we are going to talk about is how to get back your free time. Now that means that what we can do is…as previously discussed, we buy time and if we pay for 5 hours of work then we get 5 hours of work.
Me: Now what happens when you have got this time? Well, you can get new opportunities. You can go hunting for them and sometimes they even just land in your lap and that’s a fantastic way to grow your business, grow your revenue streams or if you are doing this not business purposes, it’s a great way to have lifestyle change. So you can have an opportunity to trouble overseas because you got that extra time.
Person: Of course if travel is not your thing and you do want to do business then you can make more money! And how do you have more money? Well, you put that extra 5 hours that you just bought back into your business and you can develop that business, or start a new project. It doesn’t really matter. The other thing you can do is the ultraistic. Give back to the community. If you have got extra time, give it back! Or if you have made some money, give it to someone who really needs it. It doesn’t matter what you do. For instance Pat Feline whose podcast is smart passive income has setup a school in Africa, using the extra money that he has developed from these systems.
Me: Now let’s move on and talk about the very important point which is establishing your outcome. You have got to know what your in result is before you even start doing that. And it’s now just a matter of saying here is my goal. You have got to have a step by step way of getting there, and that come down to having a successful plan. Now a successful plan is detailed and has enough information that you can give it to someone else and they can understand it.
Person: Your answer to the next question will determine what objective you want and it will change the way you approach Outsourcing.
What are you looking for? Do you want to save time or do you want to make some money? As we have just discussed, you can outsource work to the Philippines or to India where cost of living is cheaper and that means it won’t cost you as much to get the work done. However, if you want to have someone perform work that will save you time, maybe you should look to go umm nearby.
The next consideration is to figure out if you want to get a job done quickly or do you want the best possible result. A great example here might be graphics design. But we will talk about that soon. So you might have already joined up Upwork and got an account. But before you actually start, go ahead and think about what you actually want.
Remember, you get what you pay for. If you hire the cheapest possible freelancer, then you are going to get the cheapest possible job and cheapest are not always the best, I am sure you will agree. So ask yourself, do you really want the cheapest person that you can possibly get to perform this work? I choose not to but it is up to you.
So my story, I have had probably more than hundred different freelancers and they have performed all sorts of jobs for me. Now I have been doing this for seven years and I have been doing a lot of experimentation because I want to really understand how this entire works.
So, you can take my mistakes and you can use my lessons learned to further your Outsourcing. Now over all that I have decided that I care more about the solution than I do about the money.
What do I mean? Let’s talk about Speed versus Quality. If I was to get a company logo done, what I would do is farm it out to some of the freelancers. I would ask them to submit me ideas for draft logos. I wouldn’t necessarily hire one and say go out there and design me a logo. I need to know some general concepts. Because sure I am slightly creative and I have some ideas, but I am not a guru at this. So what I would do is ask different input. Now I want to get this back done quickly so I am only asking for drafts, I don’t need them to deliver me top quality image that’s perfect. It’s giving me ideas.
So, the next step that we need to think about is guidelines. Number one for me is to free myself of stress and we will talk about that a little bit in a minute. Then we will talk about going solo or using stuff and there are benefits and cons for each.
Remember, although outsourcing can seem a little overwhelming, it doesn’t need to be difficult and that is a critical point for everyone doing this. Let’s look out that stress for a minute.
Stress, Stress, Stress! It’s the thing that keeps us up at night. It’s always like I have got no time, I don’t know what to do, oh I just can’t keep up, what’s going on? Well, buy some time! As I have mentioned to you outsourcing is the perfect vehicle. You don’t need to do everything yourself. This is a critical element in life. Work is changed. Don’t do it all yourself. Share the load! Use an employee as a freelancer to come on board so they can do things for you and it doesn’t need to be difficult because now you can manage the process easily. Upwork and the others have management platforms built-in, so you can actually do this for you.
But do you have to try and do it for yourself or should you try and get staff to do it for you? Well, I call this Solo versus Staffing conundrum. Now if you are a solo entrepreneur, you can keep track of everything. It is all in your brain or you can scribble down notes in a note paper or keep it in drop box or whatever you want to do.
But the problem is it is not scalable and that means that your business can not grow as quickly as it could if you had other people helping you and that is pretty basic math right, because you only have a 100 percent of time. If you are operating to 100 percent of time then that makes it very to look for growth opportunities.
So, what is the alternative? Of course you can get some staff on board, and if you get staff on board life does get a bit easier because what you can do is actually have people to come on board to help you, but that raises little questions. How many people do I need? If I have 5 tasks do I need 5 different freelance workers? Well, these are things that we need to figure out and we will go through in this course to determine what you need to do.
Accordingly what are the job roles? Do I have 5 tasks and 5 job roles or can I have 2 jobs or 3 jobs bought under the same umbrella. These are the things that we need to figure out. But first of all, you really need to figure out what you need done? Remember back from the earlier module, an outsourced worker a freelancer can do what you shouldn’t be doing. What you can’t do and what you don’t want to do. So go ahead and figure all of that out.
Once you have written all of that down you need to plan properly because if you don’t have a plan you don’t know where you are going and you are not able to tell your freelancer where you are going. So, develop a clear plan. Understand what you want, understand all the requirements that you have and then use that and clearly communicate what you are trying to achieve.
A lot of people tell me that the information that they have regarding their project or their business in confidential and they don’t want to share it, but what they are doing is backing them self into a corner. You need to come up with at least some way of being able to communicate your needs and wants to a freelance worker. Otherwise they won’t understand what is going on and it doesn’t need to be difficult.
We are only talking of one page word doc to say this is the web app or this is the iPhone app that I want to develop, it need to do this, it needs to do that. You just need to lay that all out there so they can really understand exactly what you are trying to achieve.
And of course with no plan you get confused freelancers and what does that mean? Well, unfortunately you get a really bad outcome. There is a solution, there is an alternative, instead of doing that post good job ads and then go through the process of making it a really desirable job so you can get some really desirable candidates to work for you. What do you do then? Well you get candidates and then you have to go through and interview your applicants.
We will show you how to narrow down applicants into the people that you should be interviewing, and then the most important part is that you manage them properly. We will go through and we will talk about how to manage your freelance workers what to do when there are problems and going forward from there. So, I suppose what we need to do is understand that if you have a bad freelance worker like any worker in the world, it will cause you grief. You will be up against the wall scratching you head, maybe even tearing your hair out if they are really bad.
How do we make sure we get great freelancers? Well, in my opinion it all comes down to a great job ad, you need to spend some time doing this and we will show you how to exactly write a Job Ad . You can get a template and fill in the template and go from there. And then if you are using Upwork for instance, you take that forms the crocks of what you are trying to communicate.
But they also have the facility where you can say what skills you want in your freelancer. So, we will go through when we are talking about interviewing, if you want someone to design a logo you don’t want their skills to be umm web development or research assistant. You want them to be Adobe Photoshop, Adobe In-design and so on and so forth.