Thursday, November 28, 2013

Get Other People To Do Your Dirty Work

outsource versus in-house road sign cycleAs an expert and thought leader, you should do three things: Think, Sell and Deliver. Are you giving yourself enough time to do these things? Or are you wasting time doing other tasks in your business ... tasks that should really be done by somebody else?

I'm not just talking about administrative and secretarial work - although this certainly applies to those tasks as well. I'm talking about some of the other peripheral things that are required in delivering your expertise. Things like:

  • Proofreading and editing written material
  • Editing audio recordings
  • Transcribing recordings
  • Designing better-looking PowerPoint slides
  • Web page layout
  • Designing workbooks and handouts

It can be very tempting to do some of these tasks yourself - especially when you know that you can do them in a fraction of the time it would take somebody else. But that's a common trap! And it can get you caught in a time-consuming, energy-sapping, costly routine.

Why should you change?

Here are four compelling reasons:

  1. Your time is too valuable. If you're wasting your time on this mundane work, you don't have time to develop and present your ideas.
  2. Other people can do this better than you can (sad as it may be to admit to yourself)! Stick to your own expertise, and buy in other people's skills where required.
  3. Other people can do this faster than you can. This might not be true the first time, because you might have to invest time teaching them. But in the long run, it certainly takes less of your time.
  4. It's more profitable, because it frees up your time to focus on income-producing activities.

Where do you find these people?

You might already know people who can do this work for you. In that case, why aren't you using them? Seriously - if you already have access to these resources, use them.

If you don't already have access to such people, you can outsource these tasks to "talent markets" - the name given to online sites that bring providers and customers together. These include places like, and They brings together suppliers and customers from all around the world. Not only do you get to pick from many suppliers, you also get highly skilled people offering their services. Even if you have used local providers in the past, it's worth considering these talent markets for your next job.

Outsourcing has other benefits, too.

Outsourcing to these global talent markets also has other benefits.

For example, compared to outsourcing locally:

  • It’s often cheaper
  • Providers are used to working electronically and remotely, and the talent markets facilitate this
  • You can review feedback and testimonials of their past work
  • You might end up choosing a local provider on these talent markets anyway!

Compared to hiring staff:

  • You don’t need to hire staff
  • You can bring together project teams quickly
  • You don’t need in-house skills

Build long-term relationships

It’s tempting to view these talent markets as a pool of on-demand resources for one-off jobs. Some people do use them that way, but it can be very frustrating. A better approach is to take a more long-term view, and use them as a starting point for finding reliable people for the long term.