If I added up the number of hours I spent ‘surfing’ the internet in the name of my business, I’d probably have logged more hours doing that than actually working on my business. As entrepreneurs, we operate on very lean budgets. The idea that we might need someone to do any work for us is a hard nut to swallow.
Most entrepreneurs started their businesses because they wanted to be independent and felt strongly that their ideas were better than anyone else’s. When faced with business challenges, we tend to figure it out for ourselves, or at least try to.
In my last business, The Divorcierge, I was feeling really overwhelmed with social media. I would spend hours researching the right content to post, then hours setting up a posting calendar to match perfectly with the best times to post. How did I know the best times to post? By searching ‘best times to post on social media’, reading the top 5 articles, and then cross-referencing them to make sure I had it right. I’m convinced my time would’ve been spent better elsewhere.
For more complicated topics such as Facebook Groups or Email marketing, there was any number of free, followed by an ‘inexpensive’ course available to teach me how to do it just right. I never really stopped to think about the fact that I was in the divorce business, not the marketing business. On the bright side, all that time falling down the Google rabbit hole lead me to my current business helping entrepreneurs with exactly what I so desperately needed help with.
Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish! Your time is precious. Your job is to find the best way to market your product or service, not to learn the perfect way to optimize your website for SEO.
Deciding what to outsource:
1. Put a timer on when you start to research something that’s not related to your core business. If it takes more than 30 minutes, you need to outsource it.
2. Content creation. I’ve always been adamant about writing my own articles. I’ve tried having others write for me and I’m never happy with the outcome. When I have an idea, it just flows out onto the page. On the other hand, I’m not always feeling new ideas. If you’re like me, try batching your content. If you’re in a mood to write, pump out as much as you can then give it to someone to parse for social media posting. The same is true for video content.
3. Social Media – is a beast! I have one client who loves to create and post her own content. She finds it therapeutic after a stressful day of work. For most of us, figuring out what, where and when to post and then creating the graphics and everything else, is way more than we can do ourselves. Start with one platform and see if there’s someone that can help you or do it for you. Try it for a month or two, if you have good results, you can add more channels. If not, move onto someone else. Finding the right digital media experts is tough but they’re out there.
4. SEO is bigger than a few keywords. If getting found on the internet is important to you, hire an expert. There’s no way you’re going to get it right unless you become an expert yourself. If that’s the line of business you want to go into, I’m sure there’s a market for your services. Assuming it’s not, outsourcing is your best option.
There are all sorts of resources available for just about any online task you need. Fiverr, Upwork and Geru are 3 that I’ve used. You can also look in Facebook groups for people who are looking for work or even starting out and looking for experience at very low or no cost.
Yes, it’s expensive to outsource. You will have to prioritize where you spend your money. If you think about it as an investment in your company, it’s definitely worth it. Wouldn’t you rather be working on growing your business than learning the 5 best ways to grow your Instagram following? Spoiler alert, if you learn them today, they’ll change tomorrow!