Beware the risks of outsourcing.
If you have ever outsourced marketing projects to get more stuff done, you may have run into one or more of these common problems, and had outcomes that fell short of expectations.
Basically, its hard to find competent all-rounders. In fact, these are some of the many reasons I decided to form my own off-shore consulting practice.
Mechanics not marketeers: Most outsourcers are what I call “mechanics”. They have a narrow set of specialized skills such as writing, graphic design, coding, and they are very good at what they do. But its limited because they are task oriented, not goal oriented. They have no experience of running a marketing organization and figuring out the strategy and tactics to drive sales leads through the multiplicity of media and channels. This leaves you to do all the heavy thinking.
Not subject matter experts: Most professional writers are writers more than they are technocrats or marketeers. It is sometimes a false economy to use non-experts, if you end up paying for it on the back-end with more rewrites and reviews. Writers that do know your industry inside out are a rare breed, and you should hang on to them. But be prepared for a hefty price tag, as the best are more expensive than your top product marketing managers.
Insufficient attention to detail: Having high standards is both a gift and a curse, and I have found that finishing up the last 10%, is often as costly as the first 90%. But when an outsourcer is sloppy and doesn’t get it right the first time, the burden of time falls on you, in extra review cycles. But isn’t that why you’re outsourcing in the first place – to save your time for bigger things?
Don’t do the heavy thinking: Sometimes when you outsource a project, you didn’t really think it through, you failed to consider various pitfalls, and generally did a poor job of defining project scope. It’s understandable, when you have so many things on your plate. Unfortunately, all too often, outsourcers just follow instructions, without questioning their validity. Before long, you are reviewing junk, and starting over. But by then, all the time you thought you were saving, is lost.
Bottom line: If you want the job done right, and want to save the maximum amount of your own time, don’t be cheap. Get help from someone who is expert in their field, and has as many skills as you. You’ll be surprised how many seasoned marketing professionals have abandoned office life, and now do all their business remotely over the Internet, at a much lower price point than employees and local contractors. In my case, I left my insane 70 hrs/week lifestyle in Silicon Valley and emigrated to the beach in Ecuador, where I now have the work/life balance I always wanted. Finally, I have time to enjoy my work, my family and my life equally. See what I can do for you.