How to Outsource to Freelancers Without Losing Your Mind
“I hired a Virtual Assistant (VA) once. It was a nightmare. I had to tell them how to do every little thing. It would have been quicker for me to do it myself. Renee, you seem to be lucky with your outsourcing. How did you manage to get good ones?”
One of the assets you can leverage in your business is people – especially delegating things outside your Zone of Genius.
But, most of us have had poor experiences with outsourcing, especially to freelancers. Me too. I’ve spent ages trying to explain and micromanage freelancers, spelling out exactly each and every little step (how I would do it), going back and double checking and it’s definitely not leveraged.
But now, I have a team who do not need micromanaging. Why? Because they’re working in their own Zones of Genius.
So, how did I do it? How did I find my dream team of superstars? I’m going to share with you my top three tips.
Hire people in their Zone of Genius.
If something is outside your Zone of Genius, in order for it to be done well, you want to give that job over to someone who is going to do it justice.
While it’s tempting to just find a “generalist” VA, you really want to make sure you’re getting someone who is in their Zone of Genius.
What do I mean by that? How do you know? Here are a few clues:
- Do they know how to do, what they do, better than you ever will?
- Do they have consistent, proven results with clients?
- Are they really clear about the problems they solve and the solutions they provide?
- Do they own their Zone of Genius and can they demonstrate a fresh perspective?
If you get someone in their Zone of Genius, they are likely to know more than you about that area and have suggestions for growth and improvement in those aspects of your business.
For example, my Content Manager comes to me with ideas and suggestions, she implements strategies and I barely have to lift a finger. I’m leveraging her expertise where they fill gaps in my own.
Before hiring your freelancer, get on Skype or Zoom and have a face-to-face chat. That way you can scope out whether they’re passionate and in their Zone of Genius.
Buy packaged Results, Not Time.
If you pay an hourly rate, you are going to suffer. Not financially, but mentally. You’ll be always wondering, “Could they have done that faster?” “How much time did they spend on x?” “Were they fluffing around on Facebook?”
And, it sucks for the freelancer too. Because, when they get more adept and proficient and perhaps quicker, they make less money.
So, find someone who is happy to do you a package. My Content Manager provides a set monthly package, so I don’t have to worry about how long it took her to do something.
E.g. Ghost write 4x blog posts per month, edit 4x podcasts, post to social media all for a set price.
With a set package, you know that you’re always getting the results you paid for and aren’t obsessing over the how and the how long.
If you find a freelancer who you think will be a great fit, but they’re still charging by the hour, negotiate with them, see if they can do you a set package instead. This will encourage them (hopefully) to step up into their Zone of Genius and own the results, not the time.
Appreciate your team.
I love my small external team and I make sure they know it.
People are the most valuable things in our business and our lives and it’s important that we show them that. Appreciating your team in many different ways is key, I think, to successful ongoing relationships with freelancers that go from strength to strength.
Appreciation doesn’t have to be monetary bonuses. Verbally telling them how much you appreciate their work is important. You could shout them out to lunch or buy them a ticket to a conference that will improve their Zone of Genius. Think outside the box.
There you have it. My three top tips to outsourcing without losing your mind.
What struggles have you had with outsourcing? What wins have you had? Let me know in the comments below.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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