You wake up, clean your teeth, open your laptop and get to work…
Today is a BIG day you have the following CRUCIAL tasks to complete to move your business to the next level:
- Finish that KILLER 4k word blog post
- Finish that training course that will help you solve an old client problem
- Build a proposal for an exciting potential partnership
However, the first thing you do when your laptop starts up is to open and check you inbox, stats and social media profiles…
Time drifts by as you frantically complete the small, in-consequential tasks on other people’s agenda and before you know it, it’s lunchtime.
You head out for lunch (still checking your social media profiles of course) CERTAIN you will complete those three high leverage tasks later this afternoon but when you return you get stuck into that pesky keyword research task that your SEO contractor has requested TODAY because you have been putting it off for months.
It’s to 4pm and you finally start on the blog post, but of course all of your concentration and will power has already been spent and you manage 300 un-focussed words before finishing up.
Another day goes by where your business does not progress.
Now I may have exaggerated a little here but you get the picture…
We are all guilty of spending too little focussed time on the core activities that dd value to ourselves, our business and most importantly our customers.
Instead, let’s imagine a morning when you open your laptop, don’t even NEED to check your stats, inbox or social media profiles as you know they are being handled by someone else in your time and the FIRST task you complete is high leverage and adds value to yourself, business and customers.
Where do you think your business would be if you experience 5 of those days per week?
And in this blog post I will take you there.
I will take you through an outsourcing process that has been honed over 5 years experience outsourcing in both the corporate world and as an entrepreneur running online businesses that we have dubbed Efficient Outsourcing.
And also the 10 marketing tasks you need outsource to double your productivity.
1. Identify Tasks To Be Outsourced
Obviously, the first stage to this process is to have a solid understanding of the tasks to be outsourced, now I have listed the 10 marketing tasks that you need to outsource below but if you wanted to review other parts of your business for potential outsourcing you can use this simple tool that we made.
2. Perform Tasks To Be Outsourced
This is crucial…
Any task that you attempt to outsource prior to performing yourself will have a MUCH higher likelihood of failure (I am speaking from experience of course).
So, it is of upmost importance that you fully understand and have performed the task/process multiple times before outsourcing, as this will enable you to coach your Team Member effectively and understand to the time requirements for the task.
3. Create Working Procedures
For each process that you outsource, you must have a Working Procedure: a document including and necessary images/video with full details on the task/process to be outsourced. These documents are then updated incrementally as processes improve, which helps retain knowledge within your business (e.g. an awesome process is not lost if a team member leaves)
Read this eye opening book by Sam Carpenter for more on Working Procedures and what they can do for your business:
4. Hire Your Team Member
You have a wealth of options…
We have collated a list of 17 of them on our blog here, though we have spent the past 3-4 months recruiting what we believe to be the best Virtual Team Members from the Philippines that can be hired through our new platform: Virtual Valley.
5. Train Your Team
Ok, you are ready…
You now understand the tasks to be outsourced, you have performed them, have created detail documentation for each process and have hired you awesome new Team Member…
They now need to be trained.
This is an outsourcing knowledge sharing process that worked very well for us when dealing with LARGE outsourcing contracts with FTSE 100 companies and single Team Members in my previous online businesses:
- Knowledge Sharing – Spend time with your Team Member to explain the what, why and how of the process
- Forward Job Shadowing – Your Team Member “shadows” you as you complete the process and answer any questions
- Reverse Job Shadowing – You “shadow” your Team Member as they complete the process and provide any (constuctive) feedback
Once complete, you then hand the process fully over to the Team Member and then have daily/weekly review meetings to ensure everything is moving smoothly.
There we have it…
Still not sure what to outsource?
From our work with hundreds of small businesses, here are the top 10 most common marketing tasks that are outsourced:
10 Marketing Tasks You Need Outsource To Double Your Productivity
1. Email/Calendar Management
Email can suck your time and focus away like no other task within your business. I know it is a big step to hand over the privacy of your inbox to your Team Member but you will be amazed at the feeling of clarity it brings when you wake up to inbox zero and short, clean to do list sitting in your project management software, built by your Team Member of course!
2. Video Editing
Time consuming and highly specialised, unless you are awesome (and fast) at video editing, this is a must outsourced task.
How much would your lead generation improve if you had a specific transcript that could be downloaded after every podcast, in exchange for an email address?
30 minute podcasts can be transcribed VERY fast for VERY low cost.
4. Lead Generation
5. Blog Commenting
Adding value on other people’s blogs through commenting is an effective method to gain links, traffic and to build relationships with the host. Though comments MUST offer value, be specific to the post to not be seen as spam, here is an awesome post on how to write comments that do exactly that.
6. Keyword Research
The initial stages of your keyword research are an ideal task for outsourcing as trawling through research tools for non-competitive long tail keywords can take time, though we do recommend that you do not outsource your final decision on the keywords to target, this should be driven by the business owner/head of marketing.
7. Content Marketing Schedule
The content marketing schedule is the most important document in our business, we set aside 3 hours each month to produce the schedule and then hand over to a Team Member to manage all the stakeholders to ensure it is realised.
Here is a link to our content marketing schedule, feel free to copy then download.
8. Social Media Management
Our social media profiles are managed fully by our outsourced Team Members, they manage all of the content that is posted, are responsible for reaching out to influencers and also use them for customer support.
Here is our social media schedule, feel free to use in your business.
9. Content Creation
I admit that not ALL of content creation should be outsourced, but there are definitely tasks that can:
- Design asset creation
- Keyword suggestions
- Competitor research
- List collation
- Post formatting
Once we build a blog post in our business, it is sent over to one of our Team Members for formatting and to build a custom featured image.
10. Managing/Tracking Guest Blogging Campaign
Guest blogging is awesome for links, traffic and building relationships…
But it takes time…
Imagine if you woke up each day with a title and destination blog that you have been accepted to write for and all that was left to do was write?
Yes, this can be achieved. Here is the guest blogging tracker we use in our business, feel free to make a copy.
Ok, you now have EVERYTHING you need to move you away from those day where you fulfil everyone else’s agenda, working with partial focus on tasks that do not add massive value to yourself, your business and your customers.
And towards the days where you maintain a clean focus and work methodically through those high leverage tasks you never previously had time to complete.
However, I will now request one favour from you…
Do you have a friend who always seems to be really busy?
He/she can never meet for coffee because she has “tasks” to complete in his/her business?
Or is always late for dinner because he/she was “just finishing up some stuff at the office”?
Well you would be doing him/her (and us!) a massive favour if you were to use the share buttons at the top of this page to send over this article.
Who knows, you may enable them to take their business to the next level and regain their time for themselves!
And finally, if you post a link to your business in the comments section below I will personally go through each and everyone to identify the key outsourcing opportunities you have to reclaim your focus time!