November 12, 2013


ID-100113617It can be difficult to give up control. You want your content to be factually correct, knowledgeable, and interesting to a number of individuals, from potential customers to other industry pros. So why choose to outsource? It is true that in most cases, the person writing your content will by and large not have the same experience as you do in your field, and that can be an intimidating prospect. However, just because someone is not an expert in their field does not mean they cannot create quality, inviting content for your marketing needs. In fact, it is often the content team’s lack of expertise that makes them capable of producing quality content. Unlike industry professionals, who may have a difficult time getting out of the “expert” mindset to break a topic down into layman’s terms, content writers are capable of bridging the gap between expert and interested reader. That in turn makes for more interesting, and ultimately more accessible, content for your marketing needs.

Bridging The Gap Between Expert & Audience

When choosing to outsource your content, it is important to decide early on just how technical your approach will be. Part of this process is identifying your target audience. Ask yourself what your audience is already likely to know, and what they may be interested in learning about. Determine where your knowledge can meet the needs of your target audience. From there, you can work with your content writer or team to come up with the approach that will work best for your – and your audience’s – needs.

The team in charge of producing your content will ensure that what you know is delivered in a way that is accessible to the audience.  One of the big benefits of outsourcing when taking this approach is that someone else is in charge of determining how that message is delivered, leaving you to focus your energies on the message itself.

Let Your Content Creation Team Utilise Your Skills

While the talent in charge of your content are not experts, you are. By making yourself and your knowledge accessible to them, you can come up with a winning content marketing approach. One of the most rewarding things about this give-and-take, as many who choose to outsource find, is that the content creation team often acts as the audience surrogate. They can see things that you can’t when it comes to your marketing approach,  which can make them an even more valuable asset beyond the creation of your content.

By letting them ask questions and make use of your knowledge, you may be able to uncover new areas where your expertise may be of use.  This can lead to even more engaging and innovative content.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

August 29, 2013


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYour SEO content is of utmost importance to your marketing strategy, but not everyone has a team of writers at their disposal. Oh, wait, yes they do – this is what outsourcing is for. Outsourcing your content creation is easy and has great benefits, but there are a few things you should know in order to do it right.

Why Should You Outsource?

For starters, outsourcing saves you time and money. Using a writing agency to create content prevents you from having to provide full-time employee benefits, hire temporary writers, or train current employees to write your content. And a good content creator will provide you with excellent work, and relatively fast – depending on the project. Hiring a content creator also allows you to multitask – focus on more specialised projects while the writing agency works on blogs or website content, for example. And just because you or your staff are highly talented in one area does not mean you are all great writers. Take advantage of the expertise of your content creators and leave yourself free to focus on your own area of expertise.

Choose Wisely

Having someone else create your content can be nerve-wracking, and for good reason. You are asking someone else to represent your brand. So take a few steps to help ensure a productive, successful relationship. You can’t skimp on your content; don’t skimp on your writers. Invest in quality help. Ask for testimonials and references – and actually checking them is not such a bad idea. And read writing samples. Make sure they are interesting and free of errors.

Start Off Right

Be clear about your expectations. Talk about exactly how much content you need and how often. And give clear directions. The best writers in the world can’t give you what you want if you don’t tell them what it is. Keep in mind that the more your writers know about your business, the more fitting your content will be, so provide them with plenty of information such as operations, promotions, product lists, and existing content. And be specific: do you want certain topics? A certain format? Communicate all of this to your writing team.

Maintain The Relationship

In certain situations, you might want to implement a formal training program for your writers. If you run a particularly complex business, for example, this might get you the best results. In other situations, some basic information might work just fine – but again, you must communicate clearly about what you want. And periodically follow up with your content creators, giving feedback and letting them know what you love and what you, well, don’t – that way your content gets better and better.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
The Internet Marketing Academy

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January 8, 2013


I am not referring to a short list of things you can do to achieve success with Internet marketing. Rather, you can use the technique of creating a short list to ensure that you have the most successful and profitable business dealings with subcontractors and vendors. This is especially useful for Internet marketing, since you have a global pool of subcontractors and vendors.

What is a short list?

For any situation where you are accepting proposals from a wide variety of vendors or subcontractors, you want to get the best deal that you can. The best deal is not always the least expensive deal, although price is usually a component. Your short list consists of those vendors or subcontractors whom you are confident could adequately perform what you are requesting, for a price that would not give you too much heartburn. If you threw a dart at the list of names, no matter where it hit, you would be satisfied with hiring that business or person.

Get better deals with a short list

Since only the best proposals will make it onto your short list, the vendors and subcontractors are motivated to offer you the best deal they possibly can upfront, rather than holding out for concessions during negotiations. Once you know which vendors and subcontractors are on your short list, you can compare their deals, and ask them for modifications. For example, if you were asking for a graphic design to be created and only one of the businesses included a free revision of the design, you could ring up the other people on your short list and ask them if they would also offer a free revision of their design. It may be that others didn’t mention this on their bids even though it is part of their service because you hadn’t explicitly asked for it, or would consider including it in exchange for some feature they normally offer which you didn’t want.

Using a short list

In order for a short list to be effective, your vendors and subcontractors must know that you will be assembling a short list, and then coming back only to those that make the short list for a final set of negotiations. When you send out your initial request for proposals, tell everyone that you will be assembling a short list within a week of when the proposals are due – if you are getting fewer proposals, you will need fewer days to read and consider them all – and that you will contact everyone on that list before making your final decision. Also, consider their ability to follow your explicit directions regarding submitting their best proposals and awaiting your contact as a sign of how likely they are to follow your directions in completing the project you assign them.

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

July 30, 2010
Comments Off on The Tough Question: What Is Your Hourly Rate?


There’s one question I want you to answer today. The answer might not be one you’d like, but it could be a huge turnaround in your business:

What is your hourly rate?

For example, if you sell products and services online, calculate how much your time is worth. If you’re worth your salt, your time could be worth in the 3 figures.

The point is that you have a hourly rate, and it should determine what you do in your business and what you should outsource.

For example, if you’re stuck doing customer support, outsource it to a virtual assistant. It can get done quicker and cheaper than if you did it yourself.

If your time is worth 100 pounds and you just spend 3 hours doing customer support, you could have just wasted money. Because you could have gotten someone to do it for much less than that, so you can concentrate on the tasks that make you money.

Further, if you mow your own lawn, you need to hire someone to do it for you. You can easily get someone to do it for way less than your current hourly rate.

It’s all about leveraging time and resources. The savvy entrepreneur will recognize the valuable tasks (and their hourly rate) and delegate tasks that don’t match his/her hourly rate.

Yet many beginning marketers do everything themselves. They don’t realize the value of leveraging time and resources so they can concentrate on the money-producing tasks.

What are these tasks? They could be writing copy for your next promotion, working on the next joint venture deal, or preparing for a sales webinar. This is the stuff that’s going to make you money.

Not customer support. While necessary, there are too many marketers who do their own customer support. Of course, this shoudn’t be neglected, but it can easily be outsourced to someone who can do it for way cheaper than your hourly rate.

So the next time you start working on your business, ask yourself if what I’m doing is worth my current hourly rate. You’ll find many tasks that you could delegate, allowing you to concentrate on moneymaking tasks that could boost your hourly rate even more.

Live, Love and Laugh!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy

July 16, 2010


Many marketers get into the erroneous thinking that they have to do everything themselves. That they have to create the website, write the copy, submit all those articles, and learn Photoshop.

This cannot be further from the truth!

Believe it or not you can outsource the most daunting tasks of your business to an outsourcer and let them take care of it for you. And you can get quality work for pretty cheap, that is, unless you know the following 5 outsourcing secrets.

1) Take A Look At Their Portfolio

First thing first, you need to take a look at what they’ve done for other people in the past. There are a lot of providers who have a track record of creating what you’re looking for, whether it’s graphic design, copywriting, or Google Adwords.

Sure you can take a chance on a beginner who doesn’t have any experience. But there are plenty of outsourcers to choose from and you can afford to be picky.

2) Look For Someone Who Answers Your Ad Personally

Many outsourcers will cut and paste a generic message responding to your post. It usually says something generic like, “Our team is dedicated to doing anything for you.” or something similar that makes it obvious they didn’t read your wanted ad.

You’ll want to look for the outsourcers who write a customized response that’s written just for you. They tailored your response for what you’re asking for in the job posting.

These are the people you want to check out–not the ones who cut and paste the same message, hoping someone bites.

3) Take a Look At Feedback They’ve Received

Some sites have a feedback rating system that allows providers and employers to leave feedback. Make sure you check out their feedback before hiring them. If they have a history of not finishing work or understanding the scope of what the client wants, then you should pass over them.

No questions asked.

4) Have Them Do A Small Task To Prove Their Competence

If you’re looking to hire someone, ask them to perform a small task for you before you hire them.

For example, you can ask them to install a WordPress blog or write a blog post so you can see if they’re know what they’re doing if the job involved working with WordPress. This will also weed out other providers who aren’t willing to do a little more to get the job.

The ones who’ll do a small task that’s relevant to what you’re hiring them for will turn out to be the best workers for you.

5) Have A Backup Plan

Let’s say you’re preparing for a launch and your programmers skips town on you and doesn’t finish the work you hired them to do. You’ve lined up people who are ready to promote for you on the launch date, but now that’s in jeopardy since your programmer left you.

Always have a backup plan in place so your project won’t be seriously delayed. For example, you can have another programmer waiting to assist you if one doesn’t work out.

The worst thing you want to have in business is ONE of anything. Because if you lose that one thing, your business goes down the tubes. Unfortunately with outsourcing there is a chance a outsourcer will not finish the work and you need to be prepared.

Outsourcing is your ticket to doing less and making more money. Follow these 5 steps when hiring your next outsourcer and your life will be a lot easier!

Live, Love, and Learn!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy

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