I want to clear up a miss-apprehension that I come across at least once a week. In my book Time Management for Entrepreneurs I dedicate a decent section of the book to the do’s and don’ts of outsourcing. The best practice if you like.
How to outsource to offshore staff so that it makes your life easier, provides you with the leverage that you need, and enables you to be able to focus on adding the value that plays to your skillset and keeps you in flow.
Outsourcers are people like you and I, they have families, lives, cultures and needs…they have been educated to a decent standard, but they are NOT mind readers.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that by outsourcing you are signing up for a lightening quick solution to your business resource issues. Like employing a local member of staff they still need to be managed, briefed and monitored in order that you get the best out of them and that they understand your expectations and requirements. It is achievable, but it does take time not a lot…but outsourcing is not an instant solution, it is a management decision!
All too often people approach an outsourcing solution like it is a magic pill. There are no magic pills in life. Yes it is an excellent way to increase the capacity of your business without the huge cost or responsibility of employing permanent local staff, however you are still required to manage and support them. The better you mange, brief and support your offshore team the better your working relationship and quality of work will be. The amount of time that you are able to regain, is directly correlated to how effectively you manage your staff. In my book you will find a list of the top does and don’ts for outsourcing.
Outsourcers are not mind readers, in most cases their culture is one of pleasing the people that they work for, and so they will try their hardest to execute what it is that you require, but in general they have no idea about life in the western world and so you can’t expect them to use their experience or initiative. If you don’t give clear instructions, do not expect clear results. This is a generalisation but it is often the norm, of course there are exceptions especially if you are willing to pay a little bit more for your offshore staff.
So what kinds of things can an offshore assistant do for you?
- Managing social media posting
- Devising content to be posted (80-90% of what gets posted can be created by the staff, the rest would be your blog, video, article etc)
- Carrying out market research on target markets/audiences/competitors
- Preparing content for review before posting
- Uploading content to blogs, then sharing blog posts
- Editing videos and uploading to platform like Youtube, then sharing that on other social media platforms
- Direct targeted messages on Facebook and LinkedIn to invite contacts to a call to action
- Managing Facebook and LinkedIn group, engaging with people and administrating
- Data mining online to generate prospect lists
- Managing email campaigns and newsletters – Using Infusionsoft, Mailchimp, Aweber, Get Response etc to deliver
This list has been supplied by Ezy VA, a unique outsourcing services. There are no Freelancers, all staff are assigned as permanent employees of a Philippines based company. This allows a business to find dedicated talent that is only interested in being a long-term part of their business.They now support over 200 clients worldwide.
Their mandate is not just to provide you with resources for offshore outsourcing, but to also provide you with what you and your business need for maximum leverage.