A Simple Secret for Boosting Your List Profits

You’ve heard the fortune is in the list, and that is 100% true. But if we’re going to be a little picky, we might elaborate and say the fortune is in the relationship with your list.

You see, just having a mailing list of warm bodies isn’t going to do much for your business revenue. You need to engage these readers. You need to get them to read your emails. And you need to get them to take action by clicking on your links within your emails.

So, what’s the secret for increasing your response rate and boosting your list profits?

Simple: You need to develop a good relationship with your subscribers.

Think about it…

Let’s suppose a stranger walked up to you and asked for a ride uptown. Would you do it? Probably not.

Now let’s suppose you met a good friend on the street who asked you for this same favor. Would you do it? Probably. And the reason you’re more likely to do a favor for a friend is because you know, like and trust him.

Listen, you don’t exactly have to be friends with your subscribers, but they do have to know, like and trust you. Once you reach that level of a relationship, then you’ll start enjoying a more responsive list.

So how do you attain that sort of relationship with your subscribers? Like this…

Stay In Front Of Your Subscribers

Sometimes list owners get a little lax with their list. They put off writing to their subscribers. If they don’t have something in mind, they just don’t email. At other times, they simply forget to send out emails.

This is a mistake. If you don’t stay in front of your subscribers, they’ll forget about you. It’s out of sight, out of mind. That’s no way to develop a relationship.

Think about all the relationships you’ve developed offline. How did you do it? By keeping in contact via the phone, personal meetings, texting, social media and similar ways. But the point is, you connected with your friends regularly, which is how you became friends and grew to know, like and trust each other.

The same applies to your business relationships. If you want your subscribers to know, like and trust you, then you need to get an email out to them on a regular basis (preferably once a week).

Recommend Good Products Only

Every once in a while you’re going to run into promotional opportunities that could put a lot of money in your pocket, like a high-commission product with a high conversion rate. However, when you take a closer look, you may discover that it’s not a very good product.

What should you do?

Skip it. Your reputation and your relationship with your list is worth far more than any high-converting, high-commission product. If you wouldn’t recommend this product to your mother or best friend, then don’t recommend it to your list.

Place Your Subscribers’ Needs Above Your Own

You probably built a mailing list to make money, right? Of course. However, when you’re actually emailing your list, you need to put that thought aside – your readers are smart, so they’ll know if you view them as automated cash machines. Instead, you need to think about what is good for your list.

Zig Ziglar used to say (paraphrased) that if you help people get what they want, then you’ll get what you want too. That is absolutely true when it comes to building a responsive list. If you focus on giving your subscribers what they want and need (e.g., good solutions, recommendations and content), then you’ll get what you need too.

Conclusion

You just discovered three ways to build a relationship with your mailing list, which in turn will boost your overall profits.

You’ll be able to build a good relationship with subscribers through the Small Reports Fortune. Check it out at: http://www.smallreportsfortune.com/

How to Quickly and Easily Boost Your Email Response Rates (and Your Profits)

If you have an email list, then one of your top priorities is to boost the response rate of that list. In other words, you want to engage your readers.

You want them to click on your emails and then hang on your every word. Heck, you want them to sit by their inboxes waiting for your emails on your regular publishing days. And if you don’t get an email sent out, you want them to miss it so much that they email you to see if you’re okay (yes, this actually happens).

Truth is, a lot of marketers who start building a mailing list sort of expect all of these things to happen magically. Then they feel disappointed when their list seems more like a lumpy sack of potatoes then real, live human beings on the other side of those email addresses.

It gets worse…

Not only do these marketers have problems getting people to buy from the list, they even have troubles getting the list to do the simplest of tasks, such as “liking” a Facebook page or taking a 30-second poll.

Obviously, a problem like this doesn’t have a one-step solution. You need to work on managing your subscribers’ expectations and engaging your audience with good content. However, you’ll also want to use these three tips for boosting your response rates…

1. Test your subject lines.

Your subject line is the most important part of your entire email. After all, if your subject line doesn’t do its job (which is to get people to open your email and start reading it), then the rest of your email is wasted. No one will read it. It will go straight to the trash alongside the Viagra spam and emails from Nigerian princes.

That’s why it’s so important for you to spend time crafting compelling subject lines. But it’s also important for you to test these subject lines. Virtually all the major autoresponders and mailing list managers (like Aweber.com) give you the tools and analytics to split-test your subject lines on emails to see which ones improve your open rates and conversion rates. So stop guessing what subject lines work and start testing!

2. Provide a clear call to action.

The next method for improving your response rate is to tell your subscribers exactly what you want them to do when they reach the end of your email. This is referred to as a call to action.

Examples:

  • Click here now to claim your free report…
  • Click here now to register for this exciting workshop…
  • Click here now to enter your coupon code and save a whopping 50% off the regular retail price…

Point is, be specific – take your subscribers by the hand and explicitly tell them what to do. It may seem obvious what to do, but you’ll boost your conversion rate with this simple tip.

3. Send multiple emails with the same offer.

Sometimes people don’t read every single email we send. (I know, shocking… right?) Sometimes people do read every email, but they don’t take the action went want them to take. In the case of a product purchase, they may decide to “think about it.”

So here’s what you need to do: send out multiple emails for every product you promote. This not only helps build the value of the offer, but it also makes your subscribers more familiar with the offer – both of which will boost conversion rates. And yes, it also helps ensure those subscribers who skip emails will see the offer.

How many emails you send depends on what you’re selling. However, you’ll want to promote the offer in at least three separate emails. That helps build familiarity with the offer, as well as making sure most subscribers see at least one of your emails.

Conclusion

These tips all seem pretty simple, but don’t overlook them. They’re powerful and proven ways to boost your response rates so that you can start making more money with your mailing list.

Additional help for boosting your email marketing and building your subscribers can be found at the Free To Fee Systemhttp://www.freetofeesystem.com/

Five Surefire Ways to Get Subscribers to Open Your Emails

Ever hear that the fortune is in your mailing list?

It’s true. But only if you know how to get your subscribers to actually open your emails.

I don’t know about you, but I yawn every time someone tells me about the size of their mailing list.

You know why? Because if their subscribers aren’t eagerly opening every single one of their emails, reading them, and clicking the “buy” links, then list size doesn’t matter. It’s the responsiveness of your list that matters, not the size.

The first step to building a responsive list is to get your subscribers to open up your emails. Here are five ways to do it…

1. Write irresistible subject lines.

One of the keys to boosting your open rate is to write emails with click-worthy subject lines. Generally, this means your subject line should present a benefit and/or arouse curiosity.

Let me give you a couple examples:

  • Who else wants 100% more web traffic?
  • How to lose weight quickly and easily…
  • Impress your friends at your next dinner party…
  • The secret anti-aging method found in your fridge…

Now it’s your turn. Ask yourself, what is the single biggest benefit someone will receive if they open up your email? Whatever that is, present it in the subject line. If possible introduce curiosity (the last example above is a good example of a curiosity-arousing subject line).

2. Create a recognizable “from” field.

If your subscribers know you by your personal name but your email “from” field is your business name, they may not recognize your email. If they don’t recognize it, they won’t read it, they’ll trash it, and they may even hit the “spam” button on it.

So be sure you’re using a name that your subscribers will recognize instantly.

3. Provide great content in every email.

When your subscribers first join your list, they’re likely to read every email you send them for the first couple weeks. As such, be sure to provide great content right away to impress your subscribers.

The more impressed they are at the outset, the more likely it is they’ll keep opening your emails in a month from now, a year from now, five years or more.

4. Give your subscribers what they want and expect.

Whether you know it or not, you’ve created expectations in your newsletter about what kind of content you’ll send and how often you’ll send it. If you suddenly “re-purpose” your newsletter for any reason, your open rate is going to plummet, and you may even start losing subscribers.

For instance, there are quite a few marketers who promote something for a friend just to help out the friend. But if the friend’s offer doesn’t match the subscribers’ expectations, those subscribers aren’t going to be as willing to open the email next time.

Let me give you a specific example…

Example: If you have a science fiction newsletter and you promote your friend’s romance novel, your future open rate may decline because you’re not giving your subscribers what they want and expect.

5. Build anticipation.

Still another way to increase your email open rate is to build anticipation for future emails at the end of your current emails.

Example:  “Keep an eye on your inbox, because in just three days from now you’ll discover the #1 trick for getting a puppy to stop chewing your shoes, instantly!”

Conclusion

You just discovered five surefire ways to boost your email open rate. But you know what? These methods are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to boosting your open rate and creating emails that get results.

How are you coming along with building your subscriber list? Find out some terrific methods with the Free To Fee System at: http://www.freetofeesystem.com/

How to Motivate Your Freelancers

Whether you have one freelancer or 100 freelancers on your team, you want to motivate your freelancers to be productive and turn out high quality work. And you want your freelancers to be happy so that they stay on your team and keep performing.

So how do you keep your freelancers happy? How do you motivate them? By following these five simple tips…

Praise Good Work

Yes, your freelancers are working for you in exchange for money. But your freelancers are also human, which means most of them will appreciate a kind word. So don’t be stingy with your praise. Tell your freelancers when they’re doing a good job.

Tip: For best results, offer specific praise. For example, “You did a great job on this graphic even though you were under a tight deadline – and you even got it in early!” Or, “This sales letter is absolutely amazing – it’s already converting at 5%!”

Make Your Expectations Clear

If you leave any room for guessing when you give your freelancers a project, then you’re just leaving room for disappointment.

So, be sure to always offer detailed project briefs so your freelancers know what you expect them to do. And if you have other expectations – such as wanting an update every 24 hours – be sure to make those expectations clear too. The more you and your freelancers communicate, the happier everyone will be.

Use the Sandwich Tactic

Sometimes you do have to offer a critique of the freelancer’s work. If this happens, then sandwich the critique within praise.

Example:  “You did a great job with this report – the introduction in particular is perfect. However, page 5 needs a few tweaks… [explain tweaks]. Again, that’s for all your hard work!”

Offer Bonuses

Your freelancers will most appreciate cash bonuses, such as an extra 10% or 20% “tip” that you put on top of the regular payment. But from time to time you may offer other rewards, such as paid time off or gift certificates.

Tip: Be sure to tell the freelancer exactly why they’re receiving the bonus, which will encourage them to repeat their good performance!

Do note that you can actually offer bonuses in two ways:

  • Announced bonuses. These are where you offer a bonus if the freelancer achieves a specific, measurable goal. The easiest way to do this is to offer a bonus if the freelancer completes the work before the deadline. Indeed, many freelancers will do “rush jobs” for a premium price (meaning those employers who pay more get sent to the front of the freelancer’s work queue).
  • Unannounced bonuses. These are the surprise bonuses you offer for a job well done.

Avoid Micromanaging

Your freelancer is an independent contractor. He’s also an expert in his field. And like you, he’s an independent business owner. Just as you wouldn’t like it if someone watched over your shoulder and tried to dictate how you do your work, neither would your freelancer appreciate this.

Yes, you can make requests of your freelancer. And yes, when it comes to the quality of the work, you can certainly set criteria. But you cannot force your freelancer to do things like:

  • Work certain hours or be available during certain hours.
  • Accept every project that you offer to him.
  • Work certain days.
  • Work a certain number of days.
  • Be available through certain channels, such as on Skype.

Note: Some freelancers refuse to take calls, because it tends to eat up a lot of their time. If they spend 30 minutes on the phone with you, and they’re not charging you consultation fees, then you’re using their valuable time that they could be spending on a paid project.

In sum…

Happy, motivated freelancers are loyal freelancers who eagerly give you their highest-quality work. Be sure to motivate your freelancers using all five of the tips you just discovered!

Learn more about building your business the right way with The Six Figure Seller: http://www.sixfigureseller.com/

How to Write a Project Brief That Gets You Great Results

Do you want to get great results from your freelancers?

Then I have two words for you: Eliminate guesswork.

Your freelancer isn’t a mind reader. He doesn’t know how you like your projects completed. He hasn’t seen samples of projects that you do like. And so he’s not going to get your project exactly right unless you offer details… and lots of them. The best way to do this is by offering a detailed project brief.

Now, the details you put into your project brief really depend on the type of project.

So let me give you two examples of the types of details you need to include in a project brief – one for a typical writing project, and one for a simple graphic design.

Writing Brief

Maybe you need some writing done, such as an article, blog post or ebook. Here’s an example of the kinds of details you should provide to your writer:

  • What do you need? Is it an article, blog post, ebook, pre-sell report, paid report, ebook or something else?
  • Word count? Word count is specific, page number is not. That’s because freelancers can adjust the page count by adjusting margins, type face and similar elements.
  • Who’s the intended audience? For example, “new dog owners who just got a puppy and don’t have a clue what to do next.”
  • What’s the topic? If you have a working title, include that as well.
  • What’s the purpose of the piece? Is it to get traffic, build relationships, sell something on the backend, satisfy a customer… or something else?
  • What is the tone? For example, are you looking for an instructional tone? Authoritative tone? Sales tone? Conversational tone? It’s best if you can show samples of the tone you’re seeking.
  • What are your requirements? Do you want the piece written in a certain way, such as optimized around a set of keywords? If so, provide the keywords. Or do you want the piece written with plenty of examples or stories? If so, provide these examples and stories, if possible. (Especially if these are supposed to be your personal stories.)
  • What all do you want included in the piece? Here you should provide a detailed outline. For example, if it’s an ebook, then provide an outline of all chapters and subsections.
  • Provide research. If you already have good sources of information, then pass these links and sources along to your freelancer.
  • Show samples. Whenever possible, show your freelancer samples of writing pieces that you like. Just be sure to say what it is you like about these samples. (E.G., “I like the conversational tone in this piece.”)

Graphical Design Brief

Let’s say you need a simple graphic, like an ecover or a banner graphic. Here’s an example of the details you should include in your brief:

  • The general specs, such as the dimensions and resolution of the graphic.
  • How the graphic is to be used – online, offline, in print, on t-shirts, etc.
  • Colors you’d like used. (Provide samples.)
  • Graphical elements. Whenever possible, provide samples. For example, if you want a dog in your graphic, then tell what kind of dog. And, if possible, provide a stock photo that the designer can use.
  • What text you’d like included.
  • Font face.
  • Your vision of the graphic – how do you imagine it should look?
  • The “feel” of the graphic. Is it funny? Serious? Does it bring warm, loving thoughts to the viewer… or does it look sophisticated?
  • Samples of similar graphics you like. Be sure to specify what it is you like. For example, “I like the colors on this one but I like the overall feel of this other one.”

In sum…

The more details you can give to your freelancer, the better your end results. Be sure to encourage your freelancers to ask plenty of questions, too!

Additional business help can be found at The Six Figure Seller. Check it out at: http://www.sixfigureseller.com/

How to Hire a Freelancer

Maybe you have just one prospective freelancer that you found through a forum ad. Or maybe you have a whole slew of freelancers bidding on your Elance project. Question is, are all these freelancers qualified for the job?

Point is, don’t make a hasty hiring decision. Instead, do your due diligence and hire the best-qualified freelancer for the job. Here’s how…

Step 1: Check the Freelancer’s Feedback. If you’re hiring a freelancer from a site like odesk.com or elance.com, then check the freelancer’s onsite feedback ratings. You’re looking for a pattern of good comments from a wide variety of people over an extended period of time.

Step 2: Browse the Freelancer’s Portfolio. This is where you check the freelancer’s samples.

Example: If you’re hiring a writer, then check if the writer has an engaging writing style. Or if you’re hiring a designer, be sure the samples look crisp and professional.

Tip: If you need your freelancer to complete a specific task, you may ask for samples which specifically demonstrate the freelancer’s ability to complete this task. For example, if you’re looking for a technical writer, then ask a freelance writer to provide you with technical writing samples.

Step 3: Research the Freelancer’s Background. If you like what you see so far, then your next step is to go to Google and search for the freelancer’s name, company name, website, email address, telephone number and other identifying pieces of data.

Tip: Be sure that the research you uncover pertains to the person you’re searching for. For example, a name like “Mike Johnson” is extremely common. They may even both be freelancers. While an identifier like an email address or telephone number may have previously belonged to someone else, it’s unlikely that it belonged to someone with the same name as your prospective freelancer. So if you match a name to another identifier, then you know you’re looking at the right person.

Step 4: Review the Freelancer’s Rates. Your next step is to look at your budget in comparison to the freelancer’s rates. The reason why this is Step 4 is because you don’t want to shop around based on price.

Instead, you want to first find a qualified freelancer – one you know who’ll do a good job for you – and then see if they fit into your budget. Otherwise, if you “bargain shop,” you’ll end up getting what you pay for (pay peanuts and you get monkeys).

Step 5: Interview the Freelancer. If this is a freelancer with whom you hope to establish more of a long-term relationship, then you may want to interview the candidates. If you can do it in person, great. Otherwise, you can interview the person by phone or via Skype.

Tip: Keep in mind that this step will eliminate some perfectly good candidates, simply because they prefer not to do interviews or talk on the phone. If you think you have a good candidate yet they don’t want to do an interview, then you can go to Step 6.

Step 6: Test the Freelancer. Don’t immediately hand your newly hired freelancer your most expensive, most important and/or biggest job. Instead, start small by giving your freelancer a series of little tasks to do. If he does a good job, then you can give him more responsibility and bigger projects.

Example: Let’s suppose you’re hiring a writer. For the first few projects you may have your writer complete small tasks, such as a pack of five articles, a set of blog posts and short report. If you’re happy with the results, then you can start giving your writer bigger tasks, like a full-size ebook or bigger article orders (such as 100 articles).

In sum…

Don’t just hastily or blindly hire the first decent-looking freelancer who comes along. You’ll get much better results if you take the time to do your due diligence.

You’ll be further ahead in your business when you get the assistance from the InfoCoach. Check it out at: http://www.jimmybrown.com/InfoCoach/

Where to Find Good Freelancers

Sometimes business owners decide they’re going to start outsourcing. And so they place an ad and hire the first freelancer that answers the ad.

But that’s a mistake.

You see, there are a lot of qualified freelancers floating around online. But for every good, competent and reliable freelancer, there’s an unreliable freelancer. This is the person who misses deadlines, turns in sloppy work, or maybe doesn’t even bother turning in any work at all.

Doing your due diligence will help protect you from the sub-par freelancers. But if you want to find the very BEST freelancers, then you’re going to need to cast a wide net. This means finding and attracting as many suitable candidates as possible, so that you can find the one who’s perfect for the job.

Here’s how to do it…

Search Google

The key to finding a lot of freelancers on Google is to use a variety of related searchers. For example, if you’re searching for a writer, then you might search for:

  • Ghostwriter
  • Freelance writer
  • Article writer
  • Article ghostwriter
  • SEO article writer

Or if you’re searching for a programmer, you might search for:

  • Programmer
  • Freelance programmer
  • Freelance coder
  • Freelance scripter
  • Software coder

Tip: Be sure to check both the regular search results as well as the sponsored (paid) ads that appear to the right and on top of the regular search results.

Ask Your Colleagues

If you know any fellow business owners, either online or offline, ask for their freelancer recommendations.

If you’re a member of a business or marketing forum (such as SitePoint.com or WarriorForum.com), then you can ask the community members who’d they recommend for a specific task.

Give more weight to the opinions coming from trusted, long-time members of these communities.

Post a Project

One of the most popular ways to seek out freelancers is by posting a project on a freelancing site, such as:

The key to attracting highly qualified freelancers is to offer as many details about your project as possible. For example, if you wanted to hire a ghostwriter, then your advertisement should include these details:

  • Exactly what type of content you need. Article? Ebook? Report? Blog posts? Be specific.
  • Purpose of the content. For example, is this a paid product? Or will you use it to get search engine traffic? Or for some other reason?
  • Word count. Use word count instead of page count, because word count is exact.
  • Topic. What is the niche and topic?
  • What sort of style or format you’re looking for. For example, do you want it written in British English?
  • What qualifications you’re looking for in a writer. For example, you may want the writer to be a native English speaker with experience in the niche.
  • Other factors. For example, do you need screenshots? Will you expect to have revisions included in the quoted price?
  • Budget. In other words, how much are you willing to pay for this project?

Look Offline

There are a variety of ways to find freelancers offline, including:

  • Searching the newspaper classifieds.
  • Looking in the telephone book.
  • Finding college students by placing an ad in the college newspaper.

Check CraigsList.org

You can browse ads placed by freelancers or you can place your own advertisement. Keep in mind, the more details and specifics you offer in your ad, the more qualified freelancers you’ll attract.

Example: Wanted: Copywriter to create a sales letter and five-part autoresponder series for a yoga video series. Experience in the health and fitness industry preferred. References required. Budget: $3500 to $5000.

Please send samples to [email]. Include the words “yoga letter” in the subject line.

In sum…

The key to finding the perfect freelancer is to cast a wide net. That’s why you shouldn’t use just one or two of the above methods – instead, use all five for best results!

Get the additional assistance you need from the InfoCoach at: http://www.jimmybrown.com/InfoCoach/

Type of Freelancers Do You REALLY Need?

You’ve started thinking about outsourcing part or even all of your business.

But before you actually start outsourcing, you need to think about your needs and what kind of freelancer can fulfill your needs. Otherwise, you’ll just end up wasting your time (and your prospective freelancer’s time).

The first thing you need to consider is what types of tasks you need completed. Specifically:

  • One-off tasks. This is when you hire someone to do a fast task, just once, such as creating a graphic for you. You don’t need to do as much due diligence with a one-off task, because you don’t have as much to lose.

Example: If you’re hiring someone for a $25 task, then it doesn’t make sense for you to spend a week finding the best candidate.

  • Long-term tasks. This is when you hire someone to complete a bigger project, one that may stretch out for many months or even longer.

Example: Perhaps you’ll hire a programmer to create a big piece of software from the ground up. Not only will the programmer do the coding, but you’ll want to retain his services for debugging and creating upgraded versions.

Nonetheless, you do expect your business relationship to end at some point, even if the exact date is unknown.

You’ll spend more time doing due diligence since you could waste a lot of time and money if you hire the wrong person.

  • Full-time tasks. This is where you hire someone on a full-time basis, where you don’t expect your business relationship to end.

Example: You might hire someone full time to field all your customer service inquiries.

However, check your local laws, because this person probably will be considered an employee as opposed to a contractor (which entails certain legal and taxation steps on your part).

Since you expect to work with this for a long time, you’ll want to do your due diligence as well as interview this person to find the best fit for your company.

Take a look at the tasks you need done – each of them should fall into one of the three above categories.

The second thing you need to think about is what type of freelancer can best complete your tasks. Specifically:

  • Copywriters. Some people confuse “article writers” and other ghostwriters with copywriters. Copywriters, however, write copy – this includes sales letters, classified ads and other marketing collateral. This is a highly skilled profession, so expect to pay more than you would for a regular ghostwriter.
  • Ghostwriters. These freelance writers create ebooks, reports, articles, blog posts and similar content. Do note that some writers specialize in creating certain types of content (such as articles), and some specialize in creating content for specific niches.
  • Programmers. These are the folks who code your scripts and software. Take note, however, that programmers aren’t necessarily software architects. If you need help developing your software idea and communicating this idea in your project brief, you’ll need to hire a software architect.
  • Customer service reps. This category includes people who field both pre-sale and post-sale inquiries. If you expect your reps to help close the sale, then you can expect to pay more (you may even offer base pay plus commissions). Also, if your reps need to field technical questions — such a software installation questions – then again, you can expect to pay more.
  • Marketers. This includes PPC managers, search engine optimization specialists, affiliate managers and much more. Some of these folks maybe willing to work almost purely on commission (such as affiliate managers), while the vast majority will quote flat, yet ongoing monthly rates for their services.

In sum…

Before you even think of hiring a freelancer, you need to take stock of your business so you know what tasks you need done. This will help you seek out the right kind of freelancer for the right length of time.

You can get the edge you need in building your business at the Six Figure Sellerhttp://www.sixfigureseller.com/

How to Save Time by Outsourcing

I could give you a long list of ways to boost your productivity. But the truth is, the single best way to get more done in less time is to clone yourself.

Yes, I know – it’s still scientifically impossible for you to actually clone yourself. But you can do the next best thing. And that’s to star outsourcing all or part of your business.

Indeed, you can outsource just about every part of your business, including:

  • Writing. This includes everything from writing articles and blog posts to creating viral reports and paid ebooks.
  • Copywriting. You can hire someone to create all your sales letter, classified ads, pay per click ads, email solo ads and other marketing materials.
  • Video and audio production. You can hire someone else to take care of all your audio and video needs, including creating viral videos, creating video or audio products, and creating video sales letters.
  • Design and graphics. You can outsource everything from a simple banner to a full-blown website.
  • Programming. You can hire someone to install a script, customize a script or create a new script for you from scratch.
  • Customer service. You can hire people to take care of all your pre-sale and post-sale inquiries.
  • Marketing. You can outsource certain parts of your marketing campaigns, including affiliate recruitment and management, AdWords management, list building, link building, developing a social media presence and much more.

Just imagine outsourcing one or more of the above tasks, and you can quickly see why outsourcing is such a time-saver for you.

So here’s how to do it…

Step #1: Find a Freelancer. There are several ways you can find a prospective freelancer, including but not limited to:

  • Running a Google search. For example, if you need web design, then search for “freelance web designer” or “professional web designer.”
  • Posting a job on Elance.com, vWorker.com or oDesk.com. Create a detailed description in order to attract the most qualified candidates.
  • Browsing CraigsList.org. You can also post your own ad.
  • Asking for recommendations from your colleagues. One way to do this is by asking for recommendations on a business and marketing forum such as WarriorForum.com.

Tip: Some forums, like WarriorForum.com, have a classified ads section especially for freelancers. You can browse these ads to find a freelancer, or place your own ad in search of a freelancer.

Step #2: Do Your Due Diligence. In a perfect world, every prospective freelancer would be a consummate professional. But this isn’t a perfect world, and not every freelancer is trustworthy, reliable or competent.

That’s why you need to do your due diligence to separate the wheat from the chaff. This includes:

  • Checking the freelancer’s samples to make sure he does good, high-quality work.
  • Checking the freelancer’s references. Yes, you should actually contact these references to see if they’re legitimate (and to get the reference’s more detailed viewpoint of this prospective freelancer).
  • Checking the freelancer’s feedback and ratings. This is only relevant if you’ve found the freelancer on a site like elance.com.
  • Checking the freelancer’s background. You do this by searching for the freelancer’s name, business name, website and email address in Google. Beware of red flags like a pattern of complaints.

Step #3: Start Slow. Once you do find a freelancer with whom you’d like to work, then start with a few small projects first.

Example: If you’re hiring a writer, then give this freelancer a series of small writing projects such as a pack of five or ten articles, a set of blog posts or a short report. Once the two of you build a good relationship, then you can start assigning bigger, more important and more expensive tasks to this writer.

In conclusion…

It may take a little time upfront to find the right freelancer. But once you do, the time-savings you’ll enjoy over the long run are absolutely priceless!

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How to Create Efficient Systems for Your Online Business

If you’re like most business owners, there are tasks that you tend to repeat on a monthly, weekly or even a daily basis. This includes tasks such as:

  • Creating products.
  • Writing content.
  • Updating your blog.
  • Fulfilling orders.
  • Handling customer service.
  • Hiring freelancers.
  • Doing your taxes.

And much more.

Many of these tasks are time-consuming; some of them are even tedious. And that’s exactly why you need to start developing efficient systems for dealing with many of these tasks.

This is especially true if you’ve always done the task in the same way, without ever considering that there may be a better or more efficient way of doing it.

Below you’ll find the steps for creating efficient systems. Yes, it takes a little time upfront to create these systems, but you’ll save time in the long run, making it well worth the investment.

Step #1: Outline the Steps of the Task

You’re going to want to look at each of your business tasks individually. Start by outlining every single step you take to complete a particular task. For example, the task of outsourcing a writing task might look like this.

  • Search Google for a writer.
  • Search the WarriorForum.com for a writer.
  • Post a project on elance.com.
  • Do the due diligence on the freelancers (list all the steps you take here, such as checking portfolio samples, checking references, etc).
  • Hire a writer (list all the steps you take, such as signing agreements).
  • Creating a detailed project brief.

Note: You’ll note that my sample above is somewhat abbreviated. When you list your actual steps, you’ll want to be as detailed as possible.

Step #2: Examine Each Step Individually

Now that you’ve listed every step in great detail, I want you examine each step. Ask yourself: “How can I make this step more efficient or otherwise better?” Then brainstorm at least two or three different ways to improve this step of the process.

Let’s go back to the freelancer example, where one of the steps is to post a project on Elance. You could improve this step by:

  • Creating templates so that you never have to waste time creating an advertisement completely from scratch.
  • Inviting trusted freelancers to bid on your project (which actually saves you time at the “due diligence” step).

Step #3: Get Input from the Experts

Now that you’ve gone over the process in detail, it’s time to bring in other experts. This includes:

  • Your colleagues. They’re regularly performing the same tasks, so they likely have some good ideas, tips and tricks for streamlining your process.
  • Your freelancers and employees. Not just any freelancers and employees, but the ones who’re performing at least part of these tasks. They can help you by giving you tips to be more efficient. Or you can brainstorm together to help them perform the task better and/or more efficiently.

Tip: Time is money for your freelancers and employees. As such, be sure to pay them for their time spent brainstorming. For example, you might get them on a one-hour Skype call, being sure to inform them upfront that they’ll be paid at their regular hourly rates for this hour.

Step #4: Put it All Together Into a System.

You’ve examined ways you can make a task more efficient. You’ve asked experts for their tips on making a specific task more efficient.

Now your next step is to pull all this information together into an efficient system, like this:

  • Write down the new system. This reinforces the steps so you remember how to do the task more efficiently the next time you actually have to do it. And if someone else is doing the task, such as an employee, then they’ll know how you want them to do it.
  • Gather and/or create your time-saving tools and templates right away.

Example: If you’re creating a system for writing articles more efficiently, then you might get a subscription to WordTracker.com for the next time you need to do keyword research. You might also compile a list of article title templates, to make titling a quick and easy task.

Conclusion

There you go – four easy steps to creating more efficient systems for all your business tasks. It does take extra time upfront, but the time you’ll save in the future – along with the better results you’ll get – are more than worth it!

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