Is Micro Outsourcing The Key To Your Success Going Forward?
Today I’m asking the question is Micro Outsourcing the key to your success going forward, but what do I mean by that and why does it matter?
Well put simply the more you business grows the more you need to Outsource parts or increasingly larger sections of your business to release your time on the key sales, product development and relationship building that really matters and this is where Micro Outsourcing really comes into it’s own
What could only be described as a rash of Micro Outsourcing sites have sprung up recently and they make perfect sense for both the person on a budget when they are starting out and to be honest used correctly they still make sense for those of us who take things rather more seriously
So back to what exactly do I mean by Micro Outsourcing sites? well in this interpretation I mean sites that advertise fixed price jobs or gigs as they tend to be known for between $4 and $30 Dollars, in this range you can get just about anything done
On the face of it they sound great but as always it comes with a critical caveat emptor [buyer beware] for those of you not of the Latin persuasion, get it right and your work is done in 24 to 48 hours at a great price, get it wrong and massive frustration
and delayed projects await, I know I’ve seen both sides
Get it right however and you will recommend the people concerned to your subscribers, welcome to the world of Micro Outsourcing
Planning For A Successful Micro Outsourcing Campaign
Planning and research are everything in getting your Micro Outsourcing campaigns to work the right way, first of all you must be absolutely clear what you want, with unclear instructions your outsourcer is taking an educated guess and you will not get what you want, result frustration, wasted time, plan well and you will benefit every time, it may take a few minutes longer to start with but believe me it will be worth it
Always check how the market views them, Micro Outsourcing sites use a review and rating system, read them first before ordering, if they are not rated asked them a question and watch the response, is it customer friendly? is it done quickly? pay close attention because this is likely to mirror your actual experience when using this person
Get all of your support materials together and put them in a zip file like win zip, many Micro Outsourcing sites only allow you to send 1 file at a time and you don’t want to find this out just as you are 75% of the way through your order, again been there done that
Next think on a personal level, explain to the outsourcer that if this gig works out you are looking for somebody to do this on a regular basis, in life we work with nice supportive people who make our lives better, just because they are low cost does not mean they are low value, build relationships and watch your service levels rise dramatically
For those of you used to the traditional outsourcing sites you will find the lack of bid time and endless form filling a breath of fresh air, Micro Outsourcing is simply and straightforward all the gigs are already planned out, that said if you want something extra or different just ask the question, I always do, just remember the relationship part as your doing this
So Where Do I Find These Micro Outsourcing Professionals?
So where you may be wondering do you find these Micro Outsourcers? good question, a search on Google will give you a couple of the most popular but there are a great number now just waiting to make your life so much more straightforward
Lets start with the best known of these Micro Outsourcing sites one called Fiverr as it’s name implies all gigs are $5 Dollars, yes you read that right just $5 Dollars, would you like the 2 million hits a day this site gets? thought so, you can get everything, right down to somebody singing happy birthday in a celebrity voice
Next up comes Gigswood they offer gigs for between $4 and $19 Dollars, it’s perhaps my favourite Micro Outsourcing site, it’s just had a major revamp and again the range is huge, in all cases you can also post wants on the sites, just sign up, it takes two or three minutes and your ready to go
Next up is a site called Zeerk slightly wider cost range between $5 and $25 Dollars, again a big range and again another popular Micro Outsourcing site, a quick look on the front page alone comes up with some great gigs, well worth a further look
Lastly in my roundup of Micro Outsourcing sites is one called Gighour almost unbelievable but their gigs start at just $1 Dollar and range up to $7 and all combinations based on that, I’ll leave you to draw your conclusions on appearance but the content is deadly serious and great value
So it goes without saying that this is a subject with plenty of mileage in it and I will doubtless return to it at a later stage but for now my advice is if your not already doing so start Micro Outsourcing
Can We Take Advantage Of Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage?
I got to thinking after my post on Friday if there was another opportunity that we were missing when it came to Micro Outsourcing and that was in the form of Arbitrage
It struck me that for those people with coaching programs or those who offer consultancy services there may well be a whole new opportunity here using Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage
At first glance it might touch on a question of ethics but then you have invested a lot of time establishing which of the Micro Outsourcers would work in this way, which ones you could include in an Arbitrage program, those of us who have used these sites will recognize the principal of kissing quite a few frogs to find the prince or princess as it were
So in some respects far from being unfair using Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage offers a great saving to the end user whilst still allowing you to make a fair charge for your time, after all you are selling your knowledge and in this case that knowledge is the quality workers that will get the job done on time at a great price
For those of you not clear on my meaning here by Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage I am talking about the difference between what you buy a service for and the price you sell it, the normal process in other words that we take for granted when we walk into any retail store
So we are used to paying for it in the high street, in the shopping mall and in every other form of commercial transaction we take on board so surely Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage is just a natural extension of everyday business that requires us to make a profit, to reinvest in our businesses and to pay our team
Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage Is A Normal Commercial Transactions Then Right?
On that basis Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage is just a normal commercial transaction and we should look for the opportunity in it instead of seeing it as a slight of hand, if you are anything like me I recommend Outsourcers on a very regular basis for their high quality work, so probably more fool me for not taking any commercial gain from it
Just step back and think a moment of how many Micro Outsourcing transactions you might undertake in a week, the time you invest to find the good people, the money you have wasted on the people who promised but who failed to deliver or who were just down right bad news and you start to see that putting forward the best to your clients make Arbitrage a very fair system
By doing this you are taking away other peoples risk and wasted time and making their Micro Outsourcing experience a good one, it really just reinforces the argument for Arbitrage, you have undertaken the selection process in the way a recruiter does when recommending staff the added bonus is you have actually consumed the service so you know first hand that it works
From my understanding a whole underground industry has grown up around Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage with people advertising their re bundled services in offline publications and on none related service based web sites, effectively they are becoming knowledge brokers
And this really brings us to the reason that the majority of people go online for, if you can be the bridge between the people with a problem on one side and the people with the solution on the other side you have the opportunity to make money, the bigger the problem generally the bigger the cost of the solution
Thinking Outside The Box On Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage
So by thinking outside the box on Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage you are just leveraging your knowledge and your past research and a degree of your previous frustrations into a new form of business opportunity, it is just an extension of the principle that Edward De Bono taught us about putting on the different thinking hats
I would say that Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage is also an natural extension of Spencer Johnson’s teachings in his various one minute manager books and audio programs that taught us the ability to step back and see a bigger picture was vital
I think one of the things that come across from reading through the comments are that a number of you are not yet
Outsourcing in your businesses, if you want to get things done quickly, with a minimum of frustration and to a high standard I would say it’s essential
So in conclusion this is really an natural extension of how we do business, we have invested the time and sometimes the related frustration in finding the really good people and in weeding out the bad ones, so far from being unethical there has never been a better time to practice Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage
Is It Really Possible To Automate Your Online Business?
Is it really possible to Automate Your Online Business?, I ask the question because for most people online the gap between what they do and automation is huge
The promise is many sales letters over the last 6 months has been all about how to Automate Your Online Business and by this I don’t just mean auto blogging of which there are many tools out there, I actually mean taking you out of whole processes in your business
No by Automate Your Online Business I refer to you only doing once what you probably do all to often, everyday tasks, the kinds of things that suck you into time consuming activities over and over again
So the first process that must be on the Automate Your Online Business list is to write or better still to outsource and have written a series of Auto responder messages, a thank you message for when people subscribe letting them know how to get their gifts or information
Now you may be thinking that’s making work not reducing it but you do this once and then it’s off your list of things to do, in the end the more ways you can Automate Your Online Business the more time you will have to focus on what really matters
Following on from this is having a FAQ’s or Frequently Asked Questions section on your site, this really helps to Automate Your Online Business as it helps your subscribers to instantly get the answers they want and stops you missing support answers that you need to answer, we all know that when people don’t promptly and helpfully answer our questions we seldom stay with that business
What To Outsource To Automate Your Online Business?
So what should you Outsource to Automate Your Online Business? in truth everything that isn’t about building relationships, ask yourself an honest question, have you ever felt a sense of overwhelm in your online business? now be honest here because it happens to everybody, at the start when the technical challenges simply frustrate you beyond belief and as you get established and you have many unfinished projects part finished
So to Automate Your Online Business you need to be brutally honest here, which of these projects will either (A) make me money (B) satisfy a customer need or (C) do (A) for you and (B) for your customers because if it doesn’t do that it’s not a priority
Next list out all the tasks that you could Outsource, this becomes a time verses money equation, many everyday tasks can be outsourced for between $5-$20 Dollars, you will spend a day writing a spec for all these tasks and you will get them back completed in 24-48 hours, suddenly 6 outstanding projects can be down to one or two, now you really are starting to Automate Your Online Business
Now a classic mistake with this particularly when it’s a task you do over and over is to place the order with just one person, I would suggest you do this with 4 or 5 people let me explain why, 1 will make excuses and not do it, a couple will be okay, maybe a bit slow, 1 will be good but need too much follow up and the final one will be first class, they may even suggest ways of making it better than you thought possible
You’ve spend $50-$100 Dollars instead of $10-$20 Dollars but in the process you’ve found the person your going to work with from now on, this will truly Automate Your Online Business, just think of the time and frustration you’ve just saved yourself going forward for less than the cost of a meal out with friends
So Where Are The Tools To Automate Your Online Business?
We touched on auto responders earlier, personally I think Aweber are the best company in this market, their ability to deliver is the critical difference, along side that I would also say Get Response yes there are cheaper ways but if you don’t get your message opened then it doesn’t work
My next suggestion to Automate Your Online Business is a little left field but bear with me, if you get 100 to 200 e mails a day as I do, most of them selling Clickbank products and not actually helping you grow your business then they are just slowing you down, a few minutes each day weeding them out to leave the 5-20 who actually combine valuable information with the odd sales message, we all need to eat sometimes will be much more valuable
Now you can read those 5-20 e mails, take on board what they say and look at the recommendations they have, only buy a product if it offers a solution to a problem that is pressing in your business, if your not going to use it straight away it’s not going to Automate Your Online Business and could end up gathering dust on your hard drive
Next up would be essentials PDF software, personally I think Primo PDF is really simple to use, just drag and drop the file onto it, FTP software for updating your squeeze pages etc Filezilla is really straightforward, if in doubt outsource this function and finally an HTML editor, I would recommend Kompozer again really simple, all of these really help to Automate Your Online Business and all from memory are free
So with a little bit of lateral thinking most things can be automated, I would suggest that you keep relationship building in house, certainly to start with, later on you can hire an affiliate manager, now that really will Automate Your Online Business but we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here
So in closing if it’s not getting done you automate, you outsource, that day spent planning your next months work will pay you back many times over, share your experiences with your subscribers, both good and bad, if a service or product sucks tell them, if it saved you time or money or both certainly tell them, so with that in mind I would like to hear your comments on today’s post and the ways in which you Automate Your Online Business
Are We Honestly Making Enough of Local Marketing Opportunities?
I was thinking over the weekend that sometimes we get a little blinkered, we look out at the billions of people online and yet we overlook the Local Marketing Opportunities that we ourselves take advantage of everyday as consumers, there’s a whole world of opportunity within a 20 minute radius of our own front door
Think for a moment of your circle of influence, your Mastermind Group and how many times you exchange ideas and you are all fairly experienced in the online world, then think how little most people know about online marketing in the offline world,what you have is one of the most fantastic Local Market Opportunities, let me explain why
Part of this is about Google, now love it or hate it the great bulk of online searches go through it and at the moment Google are trying to encourage local businesses to exploit their Local Marketing Opportunities, now get this figure, less than 3% of businesses are taking this up
Now you would have thought that this market was highly competitive, chocked even with competition, the truth as you can see is vastly different, can you start to see a massive opportunity in the Local Marketing Opportunities market? because I can, it’s huge and it’s a logical extension of what we already do
But How Does My Market Have Anything To Do With Local Marketing Opportunities?
Now at this stage I hear you screaming now I’m in the Care Home business or I sell Stress Relieving CD’s what an earth as that got to do with Local Marketing Opportunities well I would suggest a lot more than you think, you see this has more to do with being a knowledge broker than it does anything else
Remember my post on DEC 6 when I talked about opportunities in Micro Outsourcing Arbitrage? well here you are going to use the same principles for Local Marketing Opportunities only this time selling your knowledge through local businesses, the same businesses that only 3% are taking advantage of Googles attempts to encourage them
Lets look at some stats and prepare to be shocked, very shocked, 34% of local business searches are made on mobile devices and yet most local businesses advertise in directories, in local papers and through their websites, those that have them by just putting them online, the build it and they will come principle
Now in terms of tapping into these Local Marketing Opportunities you already know how the online world works, you just haven’t told anyone locally about it yet, now you are thinking but I’m bombed out at the moment anyway, I can’t do any more, relax I understand that, let’s think laterally for a moment shall we
Outsourcing Meets Local Marketing Opportunities
So how can we use Outsourcing to drive Local Marketing Opportunities? I think very simply, you are using your knowledge of this opportunity, you are helping local businesses to grow into the space let by the 97% who are not doing this and you are creating yourself as an authority figure in your industry and importantly in your area, ever thought this might be useful and somewhat lucrative?
Now you will notice that I mentioned Google earlier in the post, why Google, well simply because Google is giving local businesses their own free Local Marketing Opportunities it’s just that the vast majority of local businesses are blissfully unaware of it, our job is to bridge this gap
I mentioned a few weeks ago that in Arbitrage our task is to present a person with a problem to a genuine solution and in the process you make money, with Local Marketing Opportunities it is a highly ethical and potentially highly lucrative opportunity and if we don’t do it rest assured somebody else will
Is there anything out there that will give you the inside track on Local Marketing Opportunities you may be wondering? well I believe there is and I’ll probably come back to that in a few days
So with a little lateral thinking you can use your skill set in a whole new way in 2011, once established this will take under an hour a week per customer to maintain and yet the income opportunities are considerable, so I will end this post by asking for your comments on this subject and to pose the question I started with are we honestly making enough of Local Marketing Opportunities?
Why Should We Make Our Blogs Mobile Friendly?
The start of today’s post which asks the question should we make our Blogs Mobile Friendly came out of two things, number one being one of my readers telling me that she was struggling to read my blog when she used her Ipad as opposed to viewing on her computer, the second goes back to a discussion a group of us had a month or so ago
The second thing that really made me stand up and pay attention was the figures from Facebook, 52% of Facebooks audience view the site via mobile devices, so the message to me is loud and clear, we need to make our Blogs Mobile Friendly because otherwise this huge audience will go elsewhere
So I started to do a bit of research on the subject and found it was not overly difficult to make our Blogs Mobile Friendly, as is so often the case these days it’s a question of using a few plugins and supporting software to make it happen
I had it in mind to do a staged series of updates anyway which as you can see are currently underway and I also planned another round early in 2011, so whilst I can’t claim it as part of my original plans, making my Blogs Mobile Friendly will certainly be included in the second wave of updates
Now clearly there is a limit to the number of plugins you can add to your blog before it starts to slow it down and with Google wanting to exclude sites that take to long to load and I have to admit my general frustration and bailing out on sites that take forever making our Blogs Mobile Friendly is not without danger
What Should We Use To Make Our Blogs Mobile Friendly?
Starting on the theme of plugins I’m going to start with the WordPress Mobile Pack this is actually quite clever because it gives your users a range of options as to how they can use it depending on what device they are using and it even then remembers what device it is on subsequent visits, so a great way of making our Blogs Mobile Friendly, in fact it even has it’s own mobile analytics built in, very impressive
MobilePress is another wordpress plugin again it allows considerable flexibility allowing for creation of themes depending on the platforms used, it integrates with Audity which gives it analytics and also gives you the potential to include advertising into the mix
Another such wordpress plugin that allows us to make our Blogs Mobile Friendly is WPAudience it’s reach is a little more limited in that it’s integrated with the iphone but not the nokia platform, the upside is the interactive nature of this plugin which should keep people on your blog for longer
This next one offers both free and paid services and is called WPTap it is designed for touchscreen phones such as the Iphone,Blackberry and the various Android platform phones, in many ways the beauty of this plugin is it only changes anything when people view from a mobile device
So There Are Many Ways To Make Your Blogs Mobile Friendly
Lot’s to choose from then and now as always time to do a little due diligence before you proceed with making your Blogs Mobile Friendly, we know there are 5 times as many mobile devices as there are static computers and it’s only a matter of time before they are online, we ignore them at our peril
I for one can only see this segment of the market getting bigger so the range of supporting plugins and software can only grow from here, so as always I’d like to hear what you think, I’ve installed comment luv now so you get a link back to your latest post, in keeping with the season I’d like to wish all of your a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all make your Blogs Mobile Friendly
Is Forum Marketing Still Relevant For Selling Brand You?
When I first started Online everybody talked about Forum Marketing, it had it’s own set of rules, you had to add value to the conversation and whoo betide you if you tried to sell through it, that just was not done
Fast forward to today and at first glance the landscape would appear very different, certain leading Forum’s appear to endorse open selling from their sites, so what’s going on with Forum Marketing?
To get to the answer I think it’s important to understand what Forums do and why we visit them, generally speaking because we want a solution to a technical problem, we want the view of our peers or possibly most importantly we want to see what direction a conversation is going in
So based on that for some of us Forum Marketing will be evergreen, as relevant now as it’s ever been, we will always need help because we know that a life spent trying to reinvent the wheel is time wasted and that the opinions of many give us a better view, they won’t all agree with us but that’s just life isn’t it
So Can Forum Marketing Really Sell Brand You?
So can Forum Marketing really sell brand you? yes it can but and it’s a really important but your core audience is highly knowledgeable, so you need to add real value and if possible you need to answer in depth the key question in the thread you are reading
A quick search on Google won’t do here, an hour or two spent researching the subject thoroughly and then the same again presenting it well will, offer a solution and people will want to find out what else you know, add value first and the traffic will follow
You see your two constituencies are very different when it comes to Forum Marketing, the person seeking the solution is primarily the person you are seeking but the established Forum users will have a view too, if you can win over both you are starting to establish yourself as an expert in a highly influential field
The credibility factor in Forum Marketing is critical because it’s either going to open up an whole range of opportunities to you or it’s going to slam a door shut, the audience won’t think twice about calling you if you try and sell a product or idea that’s wrong but by the same token get it right and it’s a strong body of evidence to refer to
Product Creators Are Literally Using Forum Marketing To Sell Brand You
So how come products are being sold on sites like the Warrior Forum? surely this flies in the face of everything I’ve been talking about? at first that was my thought but in fact this kind of Forum Marketing makes perfect sense, can you imagine the sorts of products that regularly appear on a certain digital network doing so without getting torn to shreds here?
I’ll nail my colours to the mast here, if a lame product appeared here it wouldn’t last more than a day, in fact not only are many of the products sold via Forum Marketing very good they’re also very good value as well because many are being tested prior to final public launch
In my own mind I think that selling via Forum Marketing is actually a good idea, the scrutiny of your peers, critically the feedback of your peers, I recently brought a product that was subsequently updated twice within 7 days all based on the feedback of other forum users and it just carried on getting better
As you may have gathered I strayed away from Forums, I thought their credibility had been lost but that view has turned over the last 6 months and I’m a fan again, not in a me too sort of way but in a peer group way, so as always I would love to hear your views, I’ve added Comment Luv now so you get an automatic link back to your last post, let me know your experiences of Forum Marketing
What Do Online Resolutions Tell Us About Ourselves?
With 2010 racing to a close it’s perhaps a good time to consider Online Resolutions, those promises that we make to ourselves, our significant others and sometimes to a much wider audience, why do so many people set out with good intentions and yet fall so short on their promises?
Personally I think a lot of it is a lack of proper planning, in the offline world I was brought up to believe that you cannot manage what you cannot measure, as time progressed and I became the boss I in turn tried to ensure my staff also understood the importance of this, in short I think it can be boiled down to the following thought, failing to plan is just planning to fail, that may sound hard but in my experience it’s true every time
When it comes to doing business the same rules always apply, the medium may change but that’s all, when people make Online Resolutions they often do so against the backdrop of wild claims and false promises of instant success for no effort, be under no illusion that the very people selling you that idea will themselves have worked very hard to produce the product
Perhaps most importantly is the huge gulf between what people want to achieve from their Online Resolutions and how little they actually get done, Michael Gerber described this perfectly when he said most people are technicians, just doing it, doing it, doing it, the problem with this is it never achieves the result they are looking for and yet the never step back and ask why
Really when we come down to it Online Resolutions are really about goal setting and goal setting is about breaking seemingly overwhelming tasks down into small steps, to do today, to do tomorrow etc, it’s also about measuring your progress on at least a weekly basis and not allowing yourself the luxury of excuses, after all you can kid everybody else but if your like me you can’t kid the person who is harder on you that anybody else, yes I’m talking about you!
Online Resolutions The Gulf Between The Dream And Reality
If we look at the majority of people the Gulf between the dream in their Online Resolutions and the reality is massive, let’s look at why that is and let’s start with how most people do things online, next let’s look at their ideal life they mapped out, it’s as though the two lists never saw the same set of ideas in the first place
This was recently described to me as a bucket test, those things you want to do before you kick the bucket, now relate this to the list of things you are currently doing and ask yourself will my current actions achieve my Online Resolution and I strongly suspect the answer will be no, put simply you have failed your own bucket test
So how do you make yourself follow through on your Online Resolutions? I have a few suggestions, accountability partners, a person or preferably people who know of your goals, write them down and record them and send an MP3 file to each partner and get them to send their goals to you, now you are both supporting and gently cajoling each other at the same time
Now this of course shouldn’t be all about sticks to beat yourself with, don’t know about you but every once in a while I want a treat, so try this, agree a once weekly get together to share your achievements, either in person, on the phone or by e mail and tell your accountability partner how well they’ve done, just remember every once in a while your going to be carrying the big anti BS stick and you need to call them on it
Helpful Resources For Your Online Resolutions
So what resources can you use to try and make better use of your time, I’m going to start with Spencer Johnson and a book called One Minute For Myself a word of warning however if your friends borrow it don’t expect to see it back, I brought his book Who Moved My Cheese when I went to Spain on a business trip years ago, the guy who borrowed it is no longer with us and we all miss him dearly
My next resource would be from Michael Gerber, it’s an audio recording called The E-Myth Michael explains why most people are good at being busy, just not busy doing anything valuable, he explains how to set yourself free from your business and to achieve the true success you deserve with your Online Resolutions
Now I could go on with this but this next man was recognized when he was quite young as an exceptional talent, we are very lucky that both he and the foundation that bears his name still share the message today, if you truly want to achieve your Online Resolutions your library is not complete without a copy of Stephen Covey’s The 8th Habit
Stephen talks of a profound hunger for knowledge throughout the world, of people who have lost their voice and want to speak out, to find their voice, if you haven’t done so listen to this man, really listen, so in finishing up it just leaves me to wish you a happy and successful 2011, as always I would love to hear what you think, so why not send me your Online Resolutions