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Seven lessons learned from outsourcing (almost) everything…

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My internet marketing factory works very fast since there are many people working in the system I made.

I’m currently hiring 4 people for 3 projects. It took quite long time to find these talents and make the system flow and below are the lessons I have learned since I started outsourcing almost everything.

1. Ask their rate before anything else.

After I’ve selected some candidates from the freelancing websites, I usually ask their rate as the first question in the interview. The reason for this is that I don’t want to waste my time explaining the project in deep detail to every person I interview. I usually talk about the result I want first and then ask their rate. For example, if I want to hire some people to do a reskin job, I’ll show them the game and the number of components they have to reskin and ask their rate. If their rate is in the range I’m willing to pay, I will explain the project to them in more detail and may negotiate the price.

2. A trial test can filter low quality workers out.

Before you decide to choose which workers to hire, you should make them take a trial test. Just looking at their portfolio and negotiating the price is not enough to discover good freelancers. Every person has beautiful portfolio, but you will never know whether it’s their real portfolio or not. I always make a trial test and also pay them to do it. If their quality suits my needs, I’ll decide to hire them.

3. Don’t waste your time on poor freelancers.

It’s not easy to find good workers even if you give the best interviews and check their portfolios carefully. I usually give my applicants one week to try what I order. Their performance and attempt are the main criteria I consider. If they talk a lot (it’s usually poor freelancers that do this) but their work sucks or they’ve spent a long time on it, I’ll not work with them anymore. Also, if they are absent for many days or don’t start working on time in the first week, no matter what reason is, I’ll fire them. Fire them as fast as you can if they are not good. Time and money are important resources and you shouldn’t waste them on these people.

4. 90% of pompous people can’t deliver what they say.

As I said, don’t trust any words from any applicants until you see their performance. As I’ve done interviews with many people, I’ve found that most of them always tell me excellent things that they just can’t. For example, one artist I hired 3-4 months ago came to me and told me that he was a very good artist and could deliver high quality work. I checked his portfolio and asked him to do a trial test. He done good work for me and I decided to hire him. Anyway, when we started working together, the first conversation we had included him asking me about overtime. He said good work required plenty of time to finish it. I was not okay with this because I think working 8 hours a day is more than enough, especially for graphic work, so I said no to him. One week later, all he could provide me with were just 10-15 game buttons, and they weren’t high quality either – just normal buttons. Yes, I fired him immediately lol.

5. Respond to your workers as fast as you expect from them.

This is another thing you should keep in mind when you start working with your freelancers. The first week, your team will not clear what you’ve ordered them to do so you need to answer their questions as soon as you can. Otherwise, they will not know what to do and go on Facebook. You will then end up firing them because you’ll think they are lazy. So, respond to your VA’s as fast as you expect from them.

6. Explain what you want your team to do clearly.

I usually create a to-do-list for my VA’s. This helps my team understand what they need to do step by step. If you use Basecamp, there is a to-do-list part where you can add tasks and due dates easily. I’m sure other project management tools provide these features too. Anyway, some people may still have questions about each task so you need to be prompt in answering them.

7. A project management tool is a MUST-HAVE.

There should always be a place where you can communicate with your workers. You may use email or Skype, but I think a project management tool is a better way to update and catch up on the project. There are records and tasks listed in the system so you can see what your team has done so far. Basecamp is what I currently use with my team. It’s free for the first month (with no credit card required) and you have to pay $20 monthly after that. You can add to-do-lists, set due dates, and assign tasks to members in your team easily. Also, it provides a discussion section for communicating with your VA’s. Uploading and downloading files can be done in Basecamp as well. The system will send the notifications for every activity to your email. It’s a good tool, and one that I have been using for many months now.

These are seven lessons I have learned since I started outsourcing almost everything. Outsourcing might be difficult when you start, but when the system is well-managed and your team understand what they have to do clearly, you will lower your workload massively. I hope this article can motivate you to try outsourcing soon. In the next post, I’ll write about how I lost $3,268 from outsourcing. Stay tuned!

About the Author Bank

Bank has been working in the affiliate marketing industry since he was an undergrad in 2008. His favorite traffic source is PPV (Pay-Per-View). In 2013, he started sharing his journey on this blog AlcheBank.com and developed AffLanders.com to help people create PPV landing pages.

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2 comments
kanawut says July 27, 2015

I just start outsourcing this month. just sign up to basecamp.

Do you have any software that can help monitor their computer screen or block their facebook?

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