My Online Journey
The Critical Differences Between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking Why You Must Use Both
Like many people online I use a number of Outsource partners and in doing so it teaches you an interesting lesson, for the purposes of this post I’m going to call it the critical differences between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, at first they sound like two ways of describing the same thing but I see a critical difference
So what is the critical difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking and why does it matter? I personally think it’s at the heart of how we do business, it either releases our time or it causes us a lot of un needed stress as deadlines are missed with countless e mails and diagrams flying around in cyber space
When we come down to it Outsourcing is any one off project that you need to complete that you want to either release your time from or lack the technical skills to carry out without spend hours trying to learn, in short you know exactly what you want you just don’t know exactly how to make it happen
Out Tasking by the same measure is any task that repeats itself in your business that you need to get done, it’s important to your success but it can be easily placed in somebody else’s hands, do you start to see a critical difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking?
Why Differentiate Between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking?
So why differentiate between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking anyway? for me it’s really simple it’s about two things in my mind, a good Out Tasker is somebody that you will build an ongoing relationship with, who in effect becomes a remote member of your team, he or she has a skill set you need but vitally they have something else as well
You see the other vital difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking is your Out Tasker knows exactly what you want and delivers it fast, they appreciate your regular business and you in turn know that area is taken care of, an Outsource worker is by it’s nature a trip into the unknown for you
I have talked about this before but lets touch on this again in the context of Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, when establishing a new service that you will use on an ongoing basis it is best to place the work with up to 5 Outsourcers, why because you are market testing at this point, let me explain what I mean by this
Of these 5 one will probably just not do the work but will make excuses, one will do it poorly, two will do a good job and one will do an outstanding job explaining different ways to add value to what you are doing, we can quickly see that in the context of Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, number one is a non starter where as number 5 looks really good, the initial investment pays off right from the start using this approach
Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking Finding Those Key People
So we can see from the example above that a little front end investment will repay us many times over, it also perfectly illustrates the vital difference between Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking but where do you find these people, well in my post on Dec 3rd I talked about Micro Outsourcing and I listed a number of key sites to use there
I recently produced a 20 minute MP3 called Outsourcing Made Easy It covers the key Outsourcing sites that you can use, it’s a great starting point as it also discusses recruiting your own Outsourcers as opposed to just one offs, it’s an ideal introduction to Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking, it’s free with no one time offers involved
I think you need to shift your mind set to really get the most out of Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking but once you do you will see yourself getting a lot more done, in a stress free way and in a far shorter time
So hopefully you will start viewing these seeming related issues as two separate functions, one as one off projects and the other as a key relationship building exercise, as always I’d love to hear your experiences on Outsourcing Verses Out Tasking
How To Make The Best Of Your Online Time Management
My post on New Years Eve get me thinking about another key issue that makes or breaks our Online success, I’m talking of course about Online Time Management, in the end we all know if we get this one wrong then the rest is frankly pointless and there are 101 distractions, so how do we get round that?
Of course there is a lot more to Online Time Management than just what you do when you sit down at your desk in the morning, how you look after yourself from the first few minutes you wake up will feed through to what happens in terms of concentration later on
When it comes to Online Time Management the fact that we are creatures of habit presents a real problem because first off we need to deal with some bad habits before we get the real concentration issues and the first of those is taking care of you, so first thing that requires proper hydration
Next in our Online Time Management checklist is exercise, it’s not for nothing that 30-40 minutes exercise that gets the pulse up makes us feel great, for some of you that’s the gym, for others it’s jogging, me personally it’s cycling, have you noticed that maybe you had to push yourself to start with but after 10 minutes you are bursting with life, your body is creating endorphins which have a highly positive effect on the body and their 100% natural
Last off in our early day Online Time Management routine is breakfast,it’s not for nothing that breakfast is called the fuel of champions, healthy that is, the fried type will send your system back to sleep, if we are going to make a real change it starts with us because we are the only thing we are really in control of
So When WE Say Online Time Management We Mean Managing Ourselves
Lets be brutally frank here, if we can’t control ourselves we cant control Online Time Management, so if the lecture on how we start our day sounds harsh well we need to be serious about what we are doing because it’s the difference between 99% of people who get to the end of the day and ask what did I do today? and the 1% who get a huge amount done
Focus on distractions next, switch off the sound on your computer, your incoming e mails, your phone and allocate a period in the day to respond to these, next realistically plan your day out based around your maximum concentration periods, no more than 2 hours and then break and do something different to clear your head
Lets dispel one of the greatest myths,that of multi tasking, forget Online Time Management for a moment the human brain is not designed for it, attempting to complete multiple tasks reduces not increases your productivity, focus, complete one task then start the next or better still Outsource the next and release your creative thought process
In fact creating total focus is what Online Time Management is really all about, keeping your mind in the right now, we all know that there are so many distractions when working online,staying on track is essential
What Resources Can Help My Online Time Management?
In terms of in office your clear to do list is essential,you must know exactly what you are doing, I also find a timer helps in Online Time Management, you’ll find them in the kitchen department of any hardware store or supermarket and it’s a small investment that will repay you many times over
To learn true Online Time Management you need to go back to school and I would suggest the following to stop distractions The E-Myth will stop you just being busy and will teach you how to be productive, listen to his case studies and compare them to where you are now
Jason Fladlien has taught a huge number of people effective Online Time Management, in his Video series aptly named Internet Marketing Time Management he shows you how to create great results in the minimum time, this mans track record speaks for itself and I would recommend you watch and listen to what he has to say
Lastly I am going to recommend Stephen Covey’s The 8th Habit we are as Stephen describes knowledge workers and we need to understand what is urgent from what is unimportant, the 8th habit will teach you how to do this, it’s a vital skill set that anybody selling their knowledge must have
I personally believe that this subject is a make or break point for many people, it’s that important, so as always I’d love to hear how you achieve your focus and how you create effective Online Time Management
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
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
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
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?