What do you outsource or automate?

35 replies
  • SEO
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So up to my eyelashes in business (procrastinating on WF still :rolleyes: )

I am thinking of ways to take on more clients but with my current staff I just can't. So raising the question of what can I outsource? What can I automate? How can I do so without sacrificing control or quality?

I've already decided to start buying some of my content (thanks to my super secret ninja mentor!!) but I was just curious to see how everyone deals with the overload...

Edit: I thought about taking on another employee but I'm pretty happy with the group I have now and I don't want to bring too many people into the fold. Good old paranoia
#automate #outsource
  • Profile picture of the author ferrazzo75
    You want to eventually automate and outsource everything. You start with the things you can afford. You also try and eliminate the stuff you can't or don't want to do yourself.

    Last you get creative and find ways to slowly outsource everything! Unless of course there are certain things you choose not to
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  • Profile picture of the author nest28
    The more you outsource, the less you profit. I outsource things that I'm not capable of doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author ferrazzo75
      Originally Posted by nest28 View Post

      The more you outsource, the less you profit. I outsource things that I'm not capable of doing.

      I agree with your statement, However Time is equal to money. So if you value your hour at lets say 30$. If you can outsource something and get your hour back and still make money it is a huge gain for you.

      For example you value your hour at 30$. You outsource something that would take you an hour and it costs you 20$. Yes in cash you could of made 10$ more. However you did not spend the time and still made 20$! so 20$ plus the 30$(hour you saved) is equal to 50$. So in my opinion you profit 20$ in that example.

      It is all about how you value and prioritize your time. Hope I did not confuse anyone
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      • Profile picture of the author nest28
        Originally Posted by ferrazzo75 View Post

        I agree with your statement, However Time is equal to money. So if you value your hour at lets say 30$. If you can outsource something and get your hour back and still make money it is a huge gain for you.

        For example you value your hour at 30$. You outsource something that would take you an hour and it costs you 20$. Yes in cash you could of made 10$ more. However you did not spend the time and still made 20$! so 20$ plus the 30$(hour you saved) is equal to 50$. So in my opinion you profit 20$ in that example.

        It is all about how you value and prioritize your time. Hope I did not confuse anyone
        True, it's just that every time I outsource something I'm disappointed in the work that was done. I think it also depends on what kind of business your running.
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    • Profile picture of the author JoshMcNary
      Originally Posted by nest28 View Post

      The more you outsource, the less you profit.
      If a decision to outsource leads to less profit, you shouldn't outsource (unless it's beyond your capabilities). The point of outsourcing is to increase profit by allowing your business to do more things in less time.
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  • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
    Banned
    I always thought of outsourcing as finding the highest and best use for my time... If by paying someone $5/hr to do one thing I am able to use that freed hour to work on something that is worth $25/hr then I make money by outsourcing. IF I can find comparable quality work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexgw
      If I am facing the same situation, I go for outsourcing only. Automation might be cheap but it may ruin the quality. If our clients are dissatisfied with the service we provide, it may ruin my entire business.

      Yes it is true sometimes outsourcing may give us bad result. The key point is to find someone trustworthy. We must read the reviews of their previous clients and make sure he or she is providing reliable service and open to our phone calls regarding the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author smodha
    This comment....outsourced to my VA
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    • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
      Banned
      Houdini tell your VA what's up for me. Tell her to answer your skype messages instead of eating hash brownies and texting her boyfriend all day.
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    • Profile picture of the author ferrazzo75
      Originally Posted by smodha View Post

      This comment....outsourced to my VA


      Lol Good one! OP you should look into a Virtual Assistant also
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  • Profile picture of the author smodha
    Listen up FlakeIt...

    I'm on Skype. You're ignoring me...
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    I Sell What People Want. The Money Is A Bonus..
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    • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
      Banned
      How am I ignoring you if we are talking about Alaskan mentorships for the appearance impaired on Skype right now??
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulBaker
    I outsource almost everything. I don't use VAs but I have a number of regular service providers. It takes time to find the right service providers but it's an investment.

    I do my own architecture which is mainly keyword and monetization research.

    The point about valuing your own hourly rate is spot on. It also comes down to your motivations and situation.

    I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. It makes no sense for me to not outsource when I can get quality work done for the price of a pack of cigarettes, a beer or even a loaf of bread (not prioritized in any order). I also have to base my own hourly value pretty high, not based on what I earn online but what I would earn if I went back to my day job.
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  • Profile picture of the author Campbell24
    What kind of businesses/sites are you running?
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  • Profile picture of the author smodha
    Tim Ferris has some good suggestions on his blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author New Comer
    I liked reading this post.....thanks for the input everyone! FakeIt, thanks for providing some motivation!
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    dope

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  • Profile picture of the author BrainCandy
    You can outsource all those stuff that you don't feel like doing or you are not good at. Don't outsource everything. Just do the things yourself you are good at, rest outsource!. There are different websites where you can find good freelancers with cheap prices. By following this you can actually focus on your niche and the rest business is on auto-pilot
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    Outsourcing is becoming a way of life

    Outsourcing provide you leisure time, more profits and reduced costs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    The only thing I don't outsource/automate very often is Money site content. Its rare to find excellent writers. Most of what is on the market is really just passable writing not great.
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    • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      The only thing I don't outsource/automate very often is Money site content. Its rare to find excellent writers. Most of what is on the market is really just passable writing not great.
      You nailed it, that is precisely the problem.

      And the funny part is that SEO forces people (other people not you) that would otherwise have no inclination to write... to write. It makes writers out of us all and in some cases that's just a square peg in a round hole. I had to learn my strengths; not to limit myself necessarily but to be honest with myself. In my case it was web design, yeah I'll say it, it's not my cup of tea. I had to learn but if it's not WP and it's from scratch... could get ugly. That's why I finally got a guy to do it for me. Freed me up to do what I'm good at and in my case I love to write.
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      • Profile picture of the author RimaNaj2011
        Don't automate anything. I don't even like to outsource. Find workers or contractors and delegate the work. If you outsource something, the company/freelancer will use their own methods and system. I'm a control freak, so I'd rather get someone and tell them exactly how I want it done.
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    Good writers is the whole thing indeed, stupid example, forum posting for direct traffic, hell no that you're gonna find a VA that can make useful posts, let alone write decent website content. Sure there are such people but they are limited in the amount of work they can deliver and often charge extraodinariy amounts.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    When you ask about things like outsourcing or automation, you're really asking about the scalability of your business.

    And this is something that needs to be considered before a business is started.

    One of the easiest ways to scale a business, is to have an ultra focused business model.
    A business model that provides and excels at one main service. This is something that most venture capitalists seem to agree with. Something that most business owners/entrepeneurs love to ignore.

    So my recommendations would probably be too extreme for you.

    If it was me, I'd tell you to stop providing content writing services.

    The formula = elimination before automation, not vice versa.

    I have no idea what your business model looks like, but trying to be everything is a great way to become nothing. Its a great way to dilute your brand too. Just keep that in mind.

    I would focus on whats most profitable/scalable, and junk all the services that are creating problems for you. Business owners can find content writers on their own time if they need. Or you can target businesses who don't need/want those types of services. You can still offer services that analyze their content and offer recommendations/changes, as that would be easy to scale.

    But sometimes the right choice is not automation, but elimination.
    4 Hour Work Week talks about this in great detail if you've ever read it.

    -Red
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    • Profile picture of the author FakeItTilYouMakeIt
      Banned
      Red I think you're brilliant, just to get that out of the way. I turned the problem around and around in my head but I can't figure out how to separate content creation and local SEO. I realize now that I wasn't specific enough in my description of the problem. I have to have content in many stages of the local SEO process, it's essential to link building and onsite SEO to name a few.

      I will say that I would never go with automation for content, I don't want to put my name or my client's name on anything that is of questionable quality. I just don't think anything good can come of that, even if it's one little article buried somewhere...

      But there are just not enough hours in the day to write all the content that I need. So then the question becomes: is it possible to find content from another source that will pass my quality standards and free me up to handle the more technical stuff and also to focus on growing and expanding my business?

      Today I wrote complete content for 2 small sites. New clients. Their existing content was dreadful. 24 pages total. Then 2 blog posts for 2 other clients because I wanted those posts to rank for secondary keywords so they had to be "just right". It's me. I'm a control freak and it's crippling my ability to run my company. Maybe it's not so much the debate over whether to outsource or not but simply that I need to delegate a little better.

      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      When you ask about things like outsourcing or automation, you're really asking about the scalability of your business.

      And this is something that needs to be considered before a business is started.

      One of the easiest ways to scale a business, is to have an ultra focused business model.
      A business model that provides and excels at one main service. This is something that most venture capitalists seem to agree with. Something that most business owners/entrepeneurs love to ignore.

      So my recommendations would probably be too extreme for you.

      If it was me, I'd tell you to stop providing content writing services.

      The formula = elimination before automation, not vice versa.

      I have no idea what your business model looks like, but trying to be everything is a great way to become nothing. Its a great way to dilute your brand too. Just keep that in mind.

      I would focus on whats most profitable/scalable, and junk all the services that are creating problems for you. Business owners can find content writers on their own time if they need. Or you can target businesses who don't need/want those types of services. You can still offer services that analyze their content and offer recommendations/changes, as that would be easy to scale.

      But sometimes the right choice is not automation, but elimination.
      4 Hour Work Week talks about this in great detail if you've ever read it.

      -Red
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  • Profile picture of the author twilightofidols
    Outsource: CONTENT. For tier 1, and money sites. However, for money sites modify the content as you see fit for your on-page SEO strategy.

    Outsource: Manual nested spinning (this is very difficult to find someone who can do this WELL)

    Outsource: Projects that involve custom coding javascripts, php, etc.. if you aren't experienced with this

    Do not outsource:

    Small website tweaks
    On-page SEO
    Off-page SEO

    Never ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    The only thing i outsource is my content.

    Others are taken care of in house.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lanx
    i outsource where i
    1. don't have skills
    2. afraid of ocd

    lemme explain.

    i have no coding abilities, weird for someone who majored in comp sci, i just can't speak languages, i mean i can fix and edit code if i want, but i can't create it... much like i can proof read a term paper, but i can't write one.

    so i'll outsource whatever scripts web creation

    i know if i build a wordpress site for a client, myself... my ocd would kick in, i'd be like "oh we need this plug in here" or "we'll need this just right..."

    so i ignore the website

    i'm also graphically impaired, on a good day i could maybe draw a circle, curiously my stick figure skills work best in pictionary.

    so i outsource that as well.

    i hate writing... really i do, and for most writing... my personality comes out, and usually for this type of "bland" seo having a personality sometimes isn't good so i have to outsource that as well.

    i never outsource seo... that part is the part i can NEVER trust anyone, that is the part i do myself, oh and also smo as well.

    i mean i can tell my local clients "yea we'll try to make your website pink i have to talk to my graphical designer... you know how these artist types are!"

    and i can get away with that.

    or i'll be like

    "yea we'll try to program that feature into your website, but man these web programmers, sometimes it's difficult to talk to them with their foreign accents!"

    and i can get away with that.

    in the end, it's all about ranking anyway and that's what i can control 100%

    oh but i don't ever outsource content creation to any non english non white person... and it's not like i'm racist i'm asian myself, but dear lord i hate these 3rd world enlish ppl, when i outsource content i make sure to have a skype session to verify their...
    whiteness, lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      I only offer link building, and onpage SEO if people request me to.

      My work line is real simple:

      - Outsource content for the link building, got a team of 2 people from the US who do an excellent job, they also post it at my private network sites

      - Outsource link building on public sites, I provide these people with lists where to place the links as well as content in the shape of text of infographics, addresses for Local listings. Video's they can make their selves according to my instructions.

      So what do I do myself?

      - Answer emails (definitely not outsourceable)
      - Chat on Skype with potential clients (same same)
      - Track payments (need to login at Paypal so again only I can do that)
      - Organize / plan orders to be processed
      - Send reports to clients
      - Network maintenance

      That's how I can manage 100's of clients and still have plenty of time left. If you offer the full SEO package it obvious requires more attention from yourself on many fronts. It's the choice that I made right from the start.

      Sure offline clients pay better but when you add all the extra work, I value myself at $80/hour, and all the extra effort that it takes to gain new clients then this business model of volume works out pretty good.
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  • Profile picture of the author CTRTheme
    Banned
    Only articles and backlinks I outsource as these 2 are the most wasting time.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulBaker
      Originally Posted by CTRTheme View Post

      Only articles and backlinks I outsource as these 2 are the most wasting time.
      Hang on, you're a bot. How can you outsource?
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      • Profile picture of the author CTRTheme
        Banned
        Originally Posted by PaulBaker View Post

        Hang on, you're a bot. How can you outsource?
        Fiverr, and odesk, elance.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by CTRTheme View Post

          Fiverr, and odesk, elance.
          ROFL!! She actually answered that and did it well. There are plenty of bots at all three locations. You all need to quit bothering CTR she is way ahead of us all in bot technology.
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          • Profile picture of the author CTRTheme
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            ROFL!! She actually answered that and did it well. There are plenty of bots at all three locations. You all need to quit bothering CTR she is way ahead of us all in bot technology.
            I'm a world class bot and you can buy me for $150/month.
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            • Profile picture of the author PaulBaker
              Originally Posted by CTRTheme View Post

              I'm a world class bot and you can buy me for $150/month.
              I'm impressed and scared at how far AI has come.
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            • Profile picture of the author nik0
              Banned
              Originally Posted by CTRTheme View Post

              I'm a world class bot and you can buy me for $150/month.
              Wow that's cheaper then what I pay over here, we should hook up some time.
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  • Profile picture of the author ProSence
    Well, you can outsource those stuffs which you are not able to do, or it eats lots of time...
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