AskPat 669 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 669 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a sweet question from Mark, but before we get to Mark's question, I do want to thank and tell you about today's sponsor which is DesignCrowd.com. They help entrepreneurs and small business owners outsource, or what's called crowdsource, custom graphics, logos and web designs from designers all around the world. DesignCrowd has more than a half a million designers from over a hundred countries, ready to help you with any creative and design projects you might have. So check them out at designcrowd.com. That's D-E-S-I-G-N-C-R-O-W-D dot com, to learn more. And you can get started at designcrowd.com/askpat for a special VIP offer just for you. So designcrowd.com/askpat.
All right, now here's today's question from Mark.
Mark: Hey, what's up, Pat? It's Mark here from New Zealand, where the Internet was invented, and now we're home of the fastest dial-up internet in the world. Woo-hoo! I run a website called gigsthatwork.com, where we purchase gigs for SEO and we review them on our website to see how well the results work. I just want to know, if you can share with your audience, how you go about outsourcing. How do you get the best value for money, and what websites do you use? Where do you go, and how do you get your website looking so amazing? If you could share that, that would be great. Thanks, Pat, April, and Pat's mom and daddy. See ya.
Pat Flynn: Hey Mark, what's up? Thank you so much for the question today. When it comes to outsourcing, the best thing you can do to get the most value for your money is, first of all, understanding exactly what it is you need to be outsourcing. Too many people hear about how great outsourcing is and they just try to outsource random things and when you go at it without a plan, it can often work against you. You also have to realize that outsourcing is something you want to do where you just hand off these things that you continually do over and over and over again to people who can do them, often times, much better and faster than you. And I think that's really important to understand because at some point you're going to need to let go. That's the number one thing that I had to learn over time.
Just recently, actually, in the past couple years, I finally learned to let go of things that I loved to do but I know I shouldn't be doing such as editing this podcast. That's why I have amazing people like Mindy. Woo-hoo, Mindy. I know she's editing this right now and probably smiling and blushing because she's awesome. But she deserves credit here because she keeps the show running and puts it together. That's why we have sponsors on the show so we can pay amazing people like her. So thank you, Mindy, I appreciate you.
People who can help you, you need to let them do the work. I know too many people who outsource who end up spending more time managing the people that their outsourcing. Which works against them, obviously. You don't want to micro-manage. So that obviously comes with the question; well how do you find the right people? It depends on what you're trying to do. I would initially start with understanding is this something you want just done once? Or is it something you need done over and over and over again. If it's something you need done over and over and over again, you might want to consider having people come on full time, or at least part time to start out with. Or having them work for you on a contractual basis on stuff that, again, happens every single month.
Initially, if you want to get started with outsourcing and you want to test it out just to see what's it like and get used to it, which I would actually recommend and that's how I started, you might want to use a site like upwork.com. Which will help you discover with it's like. Get that feeling of what it's like having somebody else do something for you. So if you have a one time project for example, or even if you have something you do over and over and over again and you want somebody to just do it for you once, just to see what that's like. I would use upwork.com. Upwork used to be called Elance or oDesk. That's where you can actually find a ton of different people to do all kinds of different things that you might need done.
I've used upwork.com in the past, back when it was ELance to do everything from voiceovers for e-books to e-book design and layouts to legal help to … Gosh, I mean writing. Article writing. All kinds of stuff. The other part that goes along with that though is, on a site like that you want to make sure you find the right people by, first of all, looking at their portfolios. Looking at their testimonials from other people who have hired those people. And also, looking at the messages that you have between them. You definitely want to contact and actually reach out to these people and message them and see what their response time is. See what the language is like, because a lot of times these people who you'll be outsourcing to are overseas and you don't want language to be a barrier. That's why most people go with Filipino hires. You can use a site like Virtual Staff Finder if you're looking for somebody full time or half time, because they vet out those Filipino workers. That's run by my good buddy Chris Ducker over there, who actually has this business in the Philippines. He's in the Philippines. I'm half Filipino too, and I've used that and I've had very much, great success with it.
I don't currently work with VAs from overseas, because my team is all local now. Local in the U.S. And the big difference there, and the big reason why I wanted to pay a little bit more and I felt it was more valuable to have my team in the U.S. versus overseas was because I wanted to build a team where they felt like they could have a say in what was going to happen. Or go out of their job description to make things better.
What I mean by that is your VA's overseas, a lot of times they're only going to do what you tell them to do and nothing more. Because they don't want to overstep those boundaries, especially in the Filipino culture. I mean, I know. I grew up with a Filipino mom, and a lot of my friends are Filipino. The culture is, you do what you're told, you do it great, and you do it well, and you do it on time. But you don't overstep your boundaries, and you don't overstep the boss. And that's very much true when you work with a VA in the Philippines.
So if you have this repetitive task that you continually do and you want to hire somebody, you have a standard operating procedure or an SOP, maybe it's something you've done and you've taken a note of every step along the way and you just want to hand that off, well that could be the perfect situation. But if you're looking for a team member to really kind of be a part of the team, to be behind it, to look for other ways to help improve it beyond the job description that they're supposed to do, then you're going to have to look a little bit more local.
So, yeah, that's what I would recommend, and that's how you get the best value for your money. And also just making sure that they're doing the work that they need to do and, again, you just have a clear, conscious mind of what it is that needs to be outsourced. I think that's the most important thing. I would start by reading Chris Ducker's book Virtual Freedom. In there, there's an exercise called the three lists of freedom, which you do, and I'll tell you about it right now, but again, I recommend checking out that book. It is an exercise where you list, just in a column or a spreadsheet or you can write it down, three columns. The first column is a list of things that you just don't know how to do, but needs to be done in your business. So those are obvious things that you can outsource. So things that you just don't know how to do but need to be done to have your business run.
The second thing are things that you just hate to do. So again, things that need to be done for your business but you just hate to do them, but you probably do them right now just because you have to. That's another list of things that you can outsource. Then number three, and this is the hardest one, is the list of stuff that maybe you love to do, maybe you're great at doing it, but you shouldn't be doing it as the business owner. And this is for me podcast editing. I love editing the podcast, I love being creative behind there. But my time, I know, needs to be spent elsewhere and on bigger and better things. Which is why I'm happy to work with people like Mindy, and other people who edit my other shows to get things done, because I need to do what I need to do.
Again, read that book. It's going to change your life. Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker. And Mark, I hope this answers your question or at least gets you thinking about what else you can do to outsource or help you get the right approach to outsourcing. But it all depends on what you want to do and how you want it done and whether you want to do it just one, which I would recommend hiring somebody just for one project. Or if you want somebody half time or full time to do some repetitive stuff for you that you're going to do over and over and over again, then you go about it that way.
So, thank you so much, I appreciate it, Mark. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt, all the way to New Zealand as a thank-you for having your question featured here in the show. And also for inventing the internet. And I want to thank everybody else out there who's asking questions because the show wouldn't exist without you, of course. This is called AskPat, and I'm here, but you need to ask questions too. So thank you so much to everybody who's asking questions.
If you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here in the show, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page. There's a record button, just hit record, use whatever mic you have available. You don't need to sound great in terms of sound quality, that's my job, you just need to ask questions. And so, I'll be here for you when you're ready and I'll answer as many as I can.
Thank you so much again. I appreciate you. I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Until then, here's a quote to finish off the day by Brian Tracy. He says, “Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say thank you to everyone you meet, for everything they do for you.” So to finish off, thank you for listening to this show. Thank you for spending time with me. And thank you for checking in next week, because we have some more shows coming your ways. Thanks. Bye.
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