Categories
Virtual Assistants

3 Easy Steps to Outsource Logo Design to a Freelancer

 

Did you know you can outsource logo design? This is actually one of the best tasks that you can outsource. Logo design requires not just design skills but also branding and marketing knowledge, as well as a particular talent for logos specifically. This works for both when you need a logo designed from scratch for a new business or an update to your old logo.

 

You can also get the best deal when you outsource logo design. You have access to a much larger talent pool, and you’ll get more competitive rates.

 

What is a Freelance Graphic Designer?

 

A woman with color swatches drawing on a tablet and typing on a laptop.

A freelance graphic designer is a graphic designer who is not bound to a company or employer. They can work on many projects for multiple clients at the same time. They get to decide how many of these tasks or jobs to take on. This usually means they are the ones responsible for locating work or clients. They manage and negotiate their own hours, their own modes and methods of payment, and the terms of their own contracts. 

 

How to Outsource Logo Design to a Freelancer?

 

To outsource logo design, you must first hire a graphic design freelancer or freelance team. This individual or team will handle the task on a per-project basis. This is as opposed to hiring someone to do this one-time project in-house, or pulling someone off other projects to do the logo design.

 

Step 1: Determine Your Budget and Timeline

 

There are two main things you need to consider before you outsource logo design.

1. Budget

First, you need to determine the amount you are willing to spend on the project. Four things that may influence the rates of outsourced graphic designers are the country they are from, skill and experience level, and scope of the project. 

An entry-level graphic designer will cost you less, but may not provide the same quality, may not be as efficient, and may not have the software or tools to carry out the task to your high standards. You also need to consider if they have worked with other companies before. This experience might affect how they handle professional relationships. This is not always the case, though. You may find a talented graphic designer that meets your needs at beginner-level rates. If you’re outsourcing logo design specifically, it will be beneficial to ask for the designers’ portfolios and see if you’re willing to take the chance based on their talent. 

Naturally, the more complicated you want your logo design to be, the higher the price tag. 

2. Time

The second most important thing is laying out the timeline for your project. You need to ensure that you set up enough time to properly onboard the graphic designer. Let him or her know all the necessary information to produce acceptable logo samples. It’s very rare that you will find a graphic designer that will completely and immediately understand your aesthetic or vision for the logo. 

Depending on how much freedom you give them to create, you may need to set up multiple meetings for additional brainstorming and updates. You need to consider the time it takes for the conceptualization and creation of the logos, reviewing what they make, setting up meetings for revisions if necessary, and time to apply these edits. The more information you give them up front, the less you will end up paying in terms of revisions and redos.

Note: There are multiple factors that can determine how long this process will take. Make sure to set your expectations based on your budget. It’s important to communicate your preferences clearly off the bat. However, make sure to remain flexible to any suggestions your graphic designer may make.

 

Step 2: Determine What Kind of Image You Want. What’s Something you Definitely Don’t Want, and Something You Do?

 

As mentioned above, the more information you give your graphic designer, the better. This can save you a lot of time, money, and stress in the logo design process. Give your graphic designer an easier time and remove most of the guesswork. It’s better to provide them with as many details as possible that you think will be relevant to the creation of the logo. Then, let them decide how that informs their design. Remember that your logo acts somewhat like a summary of your business, so it’s better to over-explain. 

What type of information might be relevant? 

Brand details

If you have existing colors that people already associate with your brand, it’s important to communicate that. Color is one of the most important parts of brand recognition and identity. 

You also want your logo to blend with your website. Provide information on past graphic design projects, too. This may be necessary if you want to maintain a consistent style. 

With that in mind, you must know your aesthetic preferences before you even choose the graphic designer you work with. This includes images and image sizes, fonts, shapes, and the design language as a whole. Make sure to collect samples of other logos or other resources so that your designer has something they can look to for reference. 

Your mission, vision and values – the message you are trying to convey through your brand – can actually be helpful to inform the logo design. Your target audience and their age-range is important, too. 

Type of business or industry

This can inform the design. For example, sports, fashion, technology, financial management, animal rescue, pet care, etc. These would need different approaches.

The “tone” of your business is also important. This is how you choose to present yourself to your target audience. Are you more playful or professional? Comical or serious? 

Competitors

Including competitor information makes it so you don’t make a logo too similar to theirs. 

Finally, think about any designs or elements that you dislike and specifically want to avoid.

 

Step 3: Finding A Good Fit For You

 

There’s a lot that goes into determining which graphic designer is the best for your needs. 

Experience and Skill Level 

While experienced doesn’t necessarily mean better, it does most of the time. Any skill that is honed for more years will be more refined. It’s more than just how many years they have spent practicing their art and technique, either. It’s also about how much experience they have working with clients, and with design software like Photoshop or Procreate. There is a technical skill element on top of their artistic talent. That is why designers tend to indicate this on their resumes.

Portfolios

You may look at resumes for degrees and years of experience. When it comes to graphic design, however, the portfolio is probably the most important consideration. Portfolios display the talent, skill level, and style of the designer. When you outsource logo design, you yourself should have a basic idea of what you like or dislike in a design. You may be willing to take a chance on designers with less formal work experience if their designs fit your vision or aesthetic. 

Reviews and Past Projects 

An experienced graphic designer will have worked with other clients and businesses in the past. Check and see their work history. Most freelance marketplaces also have a rating system. This means you can check the reviews and see how they deliver results in a real working relationship. 

Interviews

Outsourcing logo design is more than just finding the right skill, it’s about finding someone you can work well with. Working relationships rely on the ability to communicate with each other effectively. You also want to hire someone that tackles the job with passion and enthusiasm. Ask yourself: Do you believe they will be a good fit for your team? Will they work well with others?

 

Where Can You Outsource Graphic Design To?

A globe on a table with a smartphone and money.

 

You can outsource graphic design to freelancers on freelance marketplaces or hire through graphic design agencies. These platforms help connect global talent to businesses in need of expertise at more affordable rates. The best ones will typically pre-vet anyone who applies to work with them.

You can expect to encounter top-notch, highly skilled individuals on the more exclusive platforms. Additionally, you can usually find reviews or ratings of these freelancers from previous clients to help inform your hiring decisions. 

Below are some of the marketplaces where you can find freelancers to outsource logo design to. 

 

  1. FreeUp – hires only the top 1% of freelancers and has a No Turnover Guarantee 
  2. Upwork – “the world’s work marketplace” that makes connecting with talent easy with their  multiple options and Talent Scout 
  3. Toptal – expert and pre-vetted graphic design talent
  4. Fiverr Pro – vetted and verified talent for as low as $5 per project

Contact us for agency referrals or individuals we can recommend.

 

Pros of Outsourcing Logo Design

 

1. Cost Savings

You can significantly cut down on costs related to hiring and maintaining in-house staff, such as salaries and benefits. Also, these designers have their own software and tools – something you would have to purchase yourself if done in-house. Plus, you can hire on a per-project basis which is significantly cheaper than full-time hiring. If you want to know how Outsource School can help you save $5000 or more each year, click here

2. Brand Consistency

When you are able to afford a professional graphic designer, you can benefit from their expertise. These designers know how to create a logo that not only reflects your brand identity but also ensures the design language fits the other elements of your brand persona (like your website). This promotes brand recognition with your audience.

3. Get Things Done Faster 

Freelancers typically work on a per-project basis. This means the sooner they finish with one, the sooner they can free up their time to take on more projects. This doesn’t mean they will rush their projects, it actually means they are more dedicated and more incentivized to meet deadlines. 

One of the benefits of hiring an experienced logo designer is their experience makes them more efficient. They get things done at a faster rate through their streamlined processes without compromising quality.

4. Global Talent Pool 

Outsourcing opens you up to a literal world of options. Local talent may be great, but you might find yourself benefiting more from international talent.

 

Cons of Outsourcing Logo Design

 

Social media icon designs on a laptop screen.

 

  • If you don’t give enough information to work with or maintain a healthy amount of communication, your designer won’t know what you want and you could go back and forth trying to figure out what you want. 
  • Revisions and other changes may incur additional costs. Make sure to clarify this beforehand. 
  • There could be cultural or personality clashes with your internal teams and the outsourced party. This is why interviews are important. 
  • If you outsource logo design through freelance marketplaces of ill repute, you have no guarantee of the quality of the work they produce. 

 

Conclusion

 

Outsourcing logo design is simple and carries a number of benefits. The risks that may be involved in outsourcing can be avoided by due diligence in research, preparation, and onboarding. If you want to find out our top 5 picks for outsourcing web design, click here.

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

7 Reasons to Outsource Content Marketing

 

To outsource content marketing, you must understand that content and marketing have an interesting relationship. What you write on your website or post on social media platforms shows people the type of business you are. The more valuable your content is to people, the more likely they are to dive deeper and start considering your products and services.

This is where content marketing comes in. This form of marketing is less about the explicit promotion of your company and brand and is more so a display of the value that your brand can offer. It gets people interested without flashing a bright sign in their faces. 

Content is king. However, not everyone has the resources necessary to maintain the demands of an effective content marketing campaign. In this article, we will walk you through 7 reasons why you should outsource content marketing.

1. Save Time

A man looking at his watch in front of a laptop

The creation of excellent content and formulation of an effective content strategy takes a lot of time. You need to conceptualize the topics you will discuss, how many posts you will make in a week, and schedule when they go up. That’s all on top of writing the actual copy. Depending on the platform you post to, whether blog posts on your website, email marketing, social media, or for organic ranking purposes (SEO), you also need to optimize your content and build your strategy around those mediums. Imagine how many hours you would spend. 

Marketing your products, services, or business, in general, is certainly an essential business activity. Content marketing is a facet of that. However, you can save valuable time and effort when you outsource content marketing over to seasoned professional writers.  

If you want to know how outsourcing can save you up to 4 hours, click here.

2. Save Money

US dollar bills and an hourglass.

One of, if not the most attractive, benefits of outsourcing content marketing is the costs you can cut down on. 

Imagine how much it would cost you to hire full-time, in-house writers for your content marketing needs. Not only do you have monthly salaries to consider, but you also have to think about employee benefits like paid leave, bonuses, and other overhead costs like electricity, water, and transport fees. This would grow for every person you hire.

Now think about how many writers you would need to hire to run an effective content marketing strategy. What happens when your business grows and content demands grow alongside it? You will have to hire more people, and your costs would end up multiplying. 

You could hire less experienced writers and train them yourself. However, you would still need to think about recruitment and training costs. Not only that, but think about how much you would also need to spend on the software and tools required for content creation, management, and marketing. 

Outsourcing content marketing to freelancers or agencies means that you:

  • don’t have to pay hefty employee benefits or overheads. 
  • don’t have to worry about hiring or recruitment costs. 
  • get talent that is typically already pre-vetted and experienced.  
  • can easily hire more writers as needed and as your business grows by simply upgrading your plan with your partner agency. 

These are some of the places where you can outsource content marketing

3. Publish More Content

A woman typing on a laptop.

When you outsource content marketing, it allows you to be more productive in terms of the number of posts per week. However, the benefits don’t stop there. It also allows you to publish posts for every stage of a customer’s journey. It’s more than just relaying information. It’s about creating content that generates quality leads, nurturing those leads, and converting them into sales. 

Aside from blog posting on their websites, content strategists also make use of content such as ebooks, webinars, videos, email marketing, social media posts, and whitepapers. This requires a lot of research, planning, mapping, and scheduling. This type of effort may not be possible for your team to do consistently and effectively on top of managing other core processes. When you hand over these tasks to skilled content marketers, they come with an understanding of the buyer’s journey and what content should be created for each stage.

Marketing can be incredibly demanding and needs careful attention in order to be effective. The focus of your in-house team might be split between content creation and other operations. Conversely, when you outsource content marketing, you get a dedicated team that takes care of your content strategy. They can direct their resources to focus solely on maximizing your leads and conversions.

4. Access to Professional Writers

A woman writing in a notebook with a mug in her other hand that says, "Be happy".

We already mentioned how experienced writers could save your team time, but it’s more than that. Professional writers know how to write and communicate the voice of your business accurately and effectively. They also understand which content strategy will be most effective for you and bring valuable industry knowledge to the table.

An effective content strategy requires expertise and experience surrounding the specific industry that you are in. When you outsource content marketing, you gain access to these strategists. They typically possess knowledge about your ideal target audience, where they are, and how to best represent your company to them. Even if they don’t possess that knowledge off the bat, they know how to find that information quicker and easier than your team would.

These content strategists and writers know how to write engaging content. They understand what goes on in the heads of site visitors and how to best relay information to them. Not only that, but they typically also have more technical expertise like how to write SEO-friendly content. Plus, it definitely helps to have a new pair of eyes. Sometimes a fresh perspective could mean a world of difference. New ideas can inform and even transform and level up the way you go about your content creation.

5. Increase Productivity

People with laptops and notebooks working together at a table.

When you have a seasoned captain running the ship, you can expect that the processes will be smoother, efficiency will improve, and more gets done. 

Because you have expertise and experience on your side, they can typically churn out valuable content at a faster rate without compromising on the quality. While you may previously have been able to do 1-2 blog posts a week, hiring from an agency or freelance marketplace could make multiple cross-platform posting an affordable reality. 

Not only that, but the time you would typically invest in content strategy, planning, and creation goes into other important areas of business growth. While they handle the content, you can think about improving customer retention, delivery times, streamline processes, etc. 

Additionally, you can learn and share these 10 productivity tips from the founders of Outsource School with your hires. In that post, they share what they have learned over the 10 years they have been entrepreneurs. These will help you become more successful business owners.

6. Increased ROI with Content Marketing Strategies By Experts

A woman calculating the cost advantages of outsourcing.

You can reach the level of ROI you are targeting by investing in experts. With a steady budget plugged into your content, you can consistently produce quality content. Quality always improves ROI. 

Content marketing isn’t just about monitoring your return on marketing investment (ROMI). You also need to know how to improve content strategies. When you outsource content marketing to experts, you get the benefit of their experience in terms of what works to bring in higher returns.

7. Flexibility to Focus on Other Projects

A man holding a notebook and writing on a pad of paper next to a laptop and other office materials.

One of the main reasons why people outsource in general is to free up their core team to focus on other, higher-priority business objectives and core activities. You and your team need to focus on building, improving, and maintaining the processes that make up the foundation of your business. These can be areas of product development, customer relations, customer experience, general management, etc. 

This is especially true if your general marketing team is caught up doing content creation instead of coming up with campaign strategies and how to implement and manage them effectively. 

With an outsourced content marketing team, the individual members of your team can do what they do best. Make the most out of the talent you hire and allow them to bring their unique value to the key areas of your business.

Conclusion

Outsourcing content marketing can free your team, save you valuable resources, allow you to scale quicker, and positively impact your bottom line. Just remember that when you outsource content marketing, you need to make sure that you have your hiring and onboarding processes all laid out. This will help you make sure that everybody knows what’s expected of them. Then you can avoid unnecessary misunderstandings that cost you time and money.

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

A Guide to Outsource Live Chat Support

We can think of a hundred different reasons to outsource live chat. You probably have, too! So, we decided to do this guide for how to outsource live chat.

Have you ever been caught in a back and forth email exchange with a potential customer asking basic questions on how to navigate your site? Have you lost leads because they gave up halfway through their customer journey? 

Well, that’s just a couple of areas where live chat support might be a helpful addition to your website or app offerings.

What Is Live Chat Support?

Live chat support is an extension of customer service. You can outsource live chat so a customer or site visitor can have real-time conversations with a virtual assistant.

This form of instant messaging uses software that is integrated into a business website or app so that buyers can easily access it and ask questions regarding the website itself, a specific process or action, and even sales talk. You may have seen this in the form of a small pop-up, widget, tab, or window. It is usually located in the bottom right corner of a website that offers goods or some type of service.  

There are several ready-made software solutions and plugins out there if you want to add a live chat feature to your support repertoire. However, live chat is more than just having the feature, you need to be able to outsource live chat to sustain it. Then it can be a truly effective communication and service tool to enhance the customer experience.

How Does It Work?

A collage of a live chat button.

Live chat support is as much about the software as it is about the assistants behind it. With live chat, your customers can talk with a real person in real-time. They can also share other information like images, links, and other files. When you outsource live chat, you can also collect useful information from interactions and save transcripts of conversations for future reference.  

Some advanced live chat features include interactive messages where live chat AI can detect commonly asked questions and key words and generate a set of responses that you can click on. These automated responses are helpful both to the customer and to the live chat agent who won’t have to type out the same answer every time. Sometimes, people ask a question that isn’t frequently asked. Other times, the generated options are not what they’re looking for. Don’t worry, though, because the software usually notifies the dedicated live chat service agent as soon as they enter the chat. This means that the chat is monitored.

How Does Live Chat Support Benefit My Business?

Offering a live chat feature could significantly improve your customer satisfaction levels. When a site visitor feels cared for right off the bat, they are more likely to become a converting customer. 

Below are some of the reasons why live chat is popular among buyers and could be beneficial to your business.  

Accessible

Navigating an unfamiliar website and its services can sometimes be perplexing. You can make it easier for customers by giving them the option to access live help. When you outsource live chat, they have access to support any time, no matter where they are. This is more intuitive than having them try and find a contact page just to ask, say, how to find a different page on your site or app.

Flexible

If a visitor is on your website and is having trouble during a process in their customer journey, live chat allows you to meet them where they are and give them the opportunity to explain what they are having difficulty with. More advanced software will even tell the chat agent where the customer is exactly and what the customer was doing beforehand to provide more context and a better chance to rectify the situation.

Immediate

There’s a reason why instant messaging has become so popular over the years. Emails are industry standard and getting a reply in the span of a few hours will already make your customers happy. However, if you can give the same answer instantly plus be able to answer any follow-up questions they may have, they will surely be more appreciative of that as they can continue what they were doing and be one step closer to conversion. Even if they were to ask for a refund, being able to help them through that process immediately will display your care for the customer and will increase your chances that they will purchase from you again. 

Comfortable

The difference between email and instant chat is the formality. Emails tend to put pressure on the customer to be as literate and precise and clear when expressing the issue they are facing. This is not the case when it’s a live chat. This medium is quite familiar and casual and puts less demand on the customers to know everything about their problem or to fully contextualize their questions. Through live chat, the interactions are digestible and the agent can guide them through and help them understand what the issue is in real-time with less chance of miscommunication or delay due to incomplete info in an email.

What are the Pros & Cons of In-house VS. Outsourced Live Chat?

Software is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need the human resources to operate your live chat service. Let’s take a look at your two options to outsource live chat and the benefits and disadvantages of each. 

In-house

Managing live chat in-house entails that you will be responsible for handling all the hiring, training, software selection, and all other operations needed to get it up and running. 

Benefits

  • You and your employees can manage brand image more easily. 
  • You have full control of everything.

Disadvantages

  • It’s more expensive considering overhead costs like employee benefits. 
  • Less professional training around live chat operation means less effectivity 
  • No expert advice or guidance to help 
  • Might not be able to run the chat 24/7, which means potentially lower response times 
  • High influx of visitors might mean overwhelmed operators. Conversely, low influx could mean that they aren’t being used as efficiently.

Outsourced

Allowing a team to manage your live chat operations could mean letting go of control and stepping out of that comfort zone. However, it could also mean giving the reins to experienced professionals who can get you the results you are looking for. 

Benefits

  • All processes are taken care of. You can sit back and relax.
  • Get a dedicated, well-trained team handling your chat support. 
  • 24/7 ready support  
  • Semi-outsourcing could mean hiring a consultant to guide you through some operations. 
  • It’s cheaper.

Disadvantages

  • Investing in an outsourced team does hold a level of risk. 
  • Your brand image is on the line when you give the reins to an outside team.

Where Can I Find VAs to Help with Live Chat Support?

A man looking through websites on his laptop and phone, doing research.

Virtual Assistant Talent

Here you can hire a trustworthy dedicated chat support agent to handle visitor and customer questions and concerns. Level up your customer experience and increase conversions with a readily available live chat service.

20four7VA

If you want a full-service option, 20four7VA Virtual Staffing Solutions has you covered. Get connected with a virtual assistant trained and vetted to handle chat support functions. No long term commitments are required.

Express Virtual Assistant

As the frontrunner in terms of live chat support, you can’t go wrong with Express Virtual Assistant (EVA). Their company specializes in live chat and has extensive knowledge and experience on what it takes to run live chat all day, every day.  From recruitment to training, they make sure their virtual assistants will make your business more successful.  

How Much Does it Cost to Outsource Live Chat Support?

The cost to outsource live chat will fluctuate based on which country you decide to outsource your chat support needs to.  The price can range from $5-$60 per hour. This rate range applies to independent contractors, agency hires, and virtual employees. You can opt to cut costs by outsourcing to countries where the exchange rate is favorable and the cost of living is much lower than your own country. If you do, keep in mind that paying lower rates means hiring agents with less experience, poorer internet connections, and less-than-fluent English.

Take note also of the specific pricing of live chat software, services, and call centers.

What Do I Need to Consider When Hiring VAs for Live Chat Support?

Infrastructure – Make sure the software not only runs the basic functions excellently but also contains all the bells and whistles you want for your website chat support.

Culture – Make sure that you’re on the same page about the culture of your company to avoid clashing or miscommunication.

Competence – Make sure the service providers are knowledgeable and skilled at what they do and can deliver excellent results.

Experience – Make sure that the one you work with has extensive experience in the space and a good work record with other clients and projects.

Final Thoughts

When you outsource live chat, you get all the advantages of long experience and practiced skill. Outsourcing also helps to keep you safe from the risks of hiring an in-house team in an area that has flexible demand. With the right partner, you can also avoid the risks involved in opening up your company to outsiders.

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

How to Outsource Marketing to Freelancers and Virtual Assistants

When you outsource marketing to freelancers and virtual assistants, thee are some keys to keep in mind. In this post, we’ll go over outsourcing basics, training, where to hire, what to outsource, and key best practices.

How Does Outsourcing Marketing Tasks to Freelancers and VAs Work?

When searching for freelancers or VAs, most people go to freelance marketplaces. This proves to be more successful and reliable than posting on your social media pages and even potentially cheaper than putting out an ad post online. 

These marketplaces house tens of thousands of talented individuals from across the globe. They fall under hundreds of different service and skill categories like web design, eCommerce, and yes, digital marketing. These platforms usually let you review freelancer profiles and see their reviews and work history. Some even include a rating system where clients can indicate how well a particular freelancer did on the job. 

The typical process of hiring a freelancer to outsource marketing to involves posting a job on a marketplace or searching for them. When you find one that you’re interested in hiring, these marketplaces usually offer specialized ways of contacting them and setting up an interview. If you are sure of a candidate, you can start discussing rates. It’s worth noting that some marketplaces negotiate payments differently than others. 

Do I Have to Train Them in Marketing?

People talking and shaking hands around a work table.

Most freelance marketplaces have contract workers who are already experienced in the service categories they are under. The same applies for those who want to outsource marketing. A lot of these marketplaces advertise that they thoroughly vet their hires to ensure that these workers do have the skillsets and even the right work attitude before their applications are accepted. Some of these places even offer ongoing training to their workers to keep them updated on the newest and best practices in that field. 

Where Can You Outsource Marketing Tasks From?

1. FreeUp

FreeUp is a freelance marketplace that aims to connect businesses with the top 1% of freelancers and virtual assistants. One of their most popularly outsourced services is digital marketing. 

Waste no time getting to work with their fast onboarding processes. Their hiring practices ensure you are getting only the best of the best in whatever service category you choose. They vet thousands of applicants across the globe by their skill level, communication ability, and even personality. Not only that but they offer an account manager to help you make the best hiring decisions. 

Their “No Turnover Guarantee.” means that they will shoulder any costs applicable to replace any freelancer that quits on the job.

2. Upwork

Dubbed “the world’s work marketplace”, Upwork aims to provide businesses with more flexibility while at the same time providing talented workers with great work opportunities. With Upwork, you can find talent to outsource marketing to. And pay for their work only when you approve of the job done. 

You can find talent in three main ways on Upwork. Project Catalog allows you to browse pre-made templates that may fit your project needs. On Talent Marketplace, you can post a job request and wait for the applicants to roll in for review. Talent Scout is a service where a recruiter will help you find the right talented individual to suit your specific needs. (Note that Talent Scout is only applicable for those projects lasting a month or more.)

3. MarketerHire

If you want to hire digital marketing experts who have worked with top global brands, you may want to check out the MarketerHire platform. MarketerHire screens all freelancers from the perspective of being marketing experts themselves, ensuring that the hired applicants have proven experience and are among the best and most effective. 

They help match businesses with their ideal marketer. After filling out a short form and providing details on your business, they will review and assign a marketing manager to help pair you to the ideal marketing freelancer or team to fit your business goals and needs. This matching process takes no more than 48 hours. Most clients keep on with the suggested marketer for well over 3 months. The manager will also keep track of the working relationship. If the chosen marketer does not perform up to standard, they will assign you a new one. 

4. OnlineJobs.ph

The Philippines is among the top countries to outsource from next to places like China and India. OnlineJobs.ph is the largest marketplace for outsourcing Filipino talent to date. You can pick from thousands of profiles and resumes to find the perfect digital marketer for you. Their profiles are very detailed and include information such as their educational attainment, specialties, years of experience, working hours per week, and even their expected salary. 

Searching for talent is incredibly easy. There are two ways you can go about it. The first method is to post a job and wait for the talent to come to you. The second way is to simply search for the specific skill you need and scroll through the candidates. 

It’s worth noting that you can’t get in touch with any freelancer on the platform until you have purchased a plan from them. 

What are Some Examples of Marketing Tasks You Can Outsource?

People meeting at a table, writing on documents and discussing.

Market Research – This involves looking up the competition, looking at what currently is popular in your space, and can involve figuring out where your audience is most active. Researchers figure out what the best practices are currently, what your ideal buyers look like, and if your pricing is competitive. This typically informs your marketing strategy as well. 

Marketing Strategy and Analysis – This involves planning and implementation of a combination of tried and true and latest marketing methods to generate the best results. Strategists and analysts will come up with game plans for how to attract more customers, how to allocate your budget, etc. The analysts then take a look at your metrics, generate reports, and coordinates with you and your strategists to find the best plan of attack. 

Website Design and Content – You may not think about graphic design and content creation as marketing related tasks, but they do play an important role. When you think about brand recognition and brand identity, they are vital. Your website and your ad copy must communicate to your target audience who you are as a company. 

Campaign Management – This can involve setting up, running, and monitoring paid advertising on search engines like Google and Bing, social media campaigns on platforms like Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram, and email campaigns. This can also include hiring someone to run an organic SEO campaign to rank on search engine results pages.

What are the Best Practices When Outsourcing Marketing Tasks?

5 hands piled on top of each other as a symbol of teamwork.

1. Establish Your Goals Clearly 

Before you even begin looking for marketing freelancers or VAs, it’s important to lay out the parameters of a project. What specific skills do you need? What are your objectives? You need to know exactly what your needs are so you can find the right person for the job and be able to effectively communicate these goals to them. More than just listing the tasks that need accomplishing, it will benefit your business and your partnership greatly if you can convey what your vision is. This is especially important in marketing where your brand image, identity, and even the values of your company will be delivered through your advertising efforts and strategies. 

2. Choose Freelancers from A Recognized Marketplace

Some businesses are worried or are hesitant when it comes to the idea of outsourcing. These concerns can be mitigated by carefully selecting the marketplace or agency where you find your freelancers or VAs. The 4 platforms we listed earlier are among those that have a good reputation and are experienced and established in the space. You should also consider some of the unique benefits that each platform offers. Some have better support, better turnover guarantees, etc. When hiring, you may also want to consider freelance agencies that specifically cater to your needs. MarketerHire is one of those places dedicated to digital marketing services. This doesn’t mean that you won’t find an excellent marketer elsewhere, of course.

3. Communicate Effectively with Your Hires

This relates to the first best practice, but while the first one focuses more on initial onboarding, this time we’ll talk about the importance of consistent and clear communication. Letting them know your goals and objectives as a company is the first step to effectively communicating and avoiding any misunderstandings. However, if you want your working relationship to remain smooth and your projects to remain on target, it’s crucial to schedule regular updates and check-ins. 

Keeping your outsourced hires in the loop means they can adjust quickly to any changes that could affect how they do their job for you. For instance, if you are hiring a marketing strategist, they need to be updated as soon as possible if the ad budget increases or decreases. An extra $100 added to the daily ad budget could significantly change the way they go about planning. A closer communicative relationship also means that any feedback or changes you want made regarding the work can be acted on as soon as possible. A few hours every week could save you more time and money in the long run. You will avoid course-correcting because there was a miscommunication somewhere along the way. 

Conclusion

If you are thinking of outsource marketing tasks, you also need to be flexible. Be willing to receive their expert advice or recommendations. Ideally, these workers will have years of experience under their belt and will have worked with other clients. As your working relationship develops,  they will get more familiar with who you are as a company. They may then suggest a little tweaking to your plans or objectives in order to make your efforts more successful. Recognize that these individuals have valuable insights to bring to your business. The success of your project is about balancing your vision for your business and taking in the advice from seasoned professionals in the field to produce the best outcome. 

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

Can You Outsource Sales and Marketing? How To & Examples

 

If you’ve ever wondered whether you can outsource sales and marketing, this post is for you. Being Outsource School, our answer is, of course, YES! Not only can you outsource sales and marketing, but we think it’s a great idea.

What Does Outsourcing Sales and Marketing Mean?

Outsourcing is hiring an outside company or entity to manage certain business tasks or processes. When you want to outsource sales and marketing, this means that you are allowing an out-of-house team manage these functions. This hiring can be done directly through freelance marketplaces or via an agency. 

Marketing involves creating and implementing strategies to attract customers. Lead generation is their main focus. Sales, on the other hand, centers around turning those leads into paying customers. 

While these functions are related, you do not necessarily have to hire an outsourced team to handle both. You can outsource sales and marketing functions that you think freelancers can handle and keep the ones that you think are better managed in-house. You can also hire two separate outsourcing teams from different agencies if you wish. 

However, because these two departments have a close-knit relationship, you need to make sure that both teams are able to work and communicate effectively with each other and with you. Make sure they are aligned with your business goals as well.

What Are The Benefits of Outsourcing Sales and Marketing?

The words "marketing strategy" printed on paper.

1. Less Costly 

One of the main draws of outsourcing is how much you can save on overhead costs. Maintaining an in-house team does not come cheap. This is especially true when you take into account paying for worker benefits. Outsourcing to other countries that have lower costs of living typically means paying lower rates for the same quality of work. 

2. Access to Wider Talent 

Often, hiring locally can mean that your options are limited. This isn’t to say that local talent can’t get the job done. However, you cannot deny that dipping into the international market opens you up to a vast pool of talented individuals. 

3. Access to Experienced Professionals 

Outsourcing can connect you to teams and individuals who have been in the space for years and have worked with multiple clients. Their valuable experience and knowledge can be brought to your company at a fraction of the cost. 

4.  Enable Your Current Team 

Like we mentioned earlier, you can outsource sales and marketing without sending entire departments offshore. You can outsource for specific tasks that may not be core business activities. Often, this is done so that current team members can use their unique and valuable talents to further business growth. This is preferable to them being bogged down with menial tasks. Outsourcing allows space for your team to do what they do best (and what they were hired for in the first place!)

5. Faster Processes 

When you combine expertise with years of experience in the space, you get a more efficient machine. Allowing an outside company to bring in their tried and tested procedures and processes will always be faster than building your own processes from the ground up. Not only that, but you won’t have to invest in all the software, tools, training and other infrastructure needed to get your team to the same level of efficacy and skill.

What Tasks Can I Outsource to the Sales and Marketing Team?

A man holding a notebook and writing on a pad of paper next to a laptop and other office materials.

Commonly outsourced marketing and sales tasks include:

  • Graphic Design – This includes the creation of posters, ads, brand logos, etc.
  • Web Design and Development – Your website is a crucial part of your branding and a well-built site will encourage more conversions.
  • Email marketing – This includes cold email marketing
  • Social Media Marketing – There are billions of people using at least one of these platforms. Some of the most common ones are Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM) – Increase your site traffic through marketing on  both organic and paid search. 
    • Paid Campaign Management – Probably the most well-known form of paid campaigns are PPC campaigns on search engines like Google and Bing. This may also involve managing paid social campaigns.
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Your ranking on search engines dictates how much free organic traffic you get to your site. PPC and SEO campaigns are typically run simultaneously. 
  • Digital Strategists and Analytics – Data gathering and analysis is critical to the development and implementation of marketing strategies.
  • Market research – This involves target audience research and evaluating the competition.
  • Sales development representative – These people are responsible for reaching out to potential leads, prospecting, and qualifying those leads or making sure that they are the ideal customer who has the desire to make a purchase. 
  • Content creation/ content marketing – Curate content that is valuable, quality, attention-grabbing and SEO-friendly. 
    • Copywriting – This is all about drawing people in with the language you use in your advertisements. This is also termed as your “ad copy”.
  • Project management – These managers oversee the marketing and sales tasks, including all the ones mentioned above. They make sure everything is running smoothly. 

When Do I Need to Hire Someone to Help with Sales and Marketing?

There are several factors and considerations that go into making the decision to outsource sales and marketing. 

You may consider hiring an outsourced team when you:

  • have a business that is growing fast and you need the extra help. 
  • need expertise but would rather not go through the tiring, tedious, time-consuming and often costly process of hiring an experienced in-house team. 
  • want marketing and sales solutions but don’t have the budget to maintain an in-house team. 
  • need the guidance and advice of professionals who have been in the space a long time and have worked with multiple clients. 
  • want to free up your team members so they can focus on core business operations.

Where Can I Hire From?

Two people shaking hands to agree to outsourcing.

1. Marketstar

Marketstar has decades of experience in the realm of outsourcing sales and marketing. They adapt to the needs of the client and have been frontrunners in the space with their creative outsourced sales solutions. 

Marketstar’s sales as a service model is what makes their outsourced sales an effective solution. They focus on 4 key areas: people, data-driven insights, technology (tools and platforms), and process and training. 

Their comprehensive solutions and processes takes the weight off your shoulders. They can handle all of your sales and marketing needs. 

2. Fiverr

Fiverr is one of the largest freelance marketplace with over 500 categories of digital services including digital advertising, marketing and sales services. With Fiverr, getting connected with the talent you need is simple and fast. Payments for projects are only released once you have approved of the project. 

The base version of Fiverr does not come with a guarantee of the quality of the skill or work of their freelancers. Fiverr Pro solves this. Hire from a pool of carefully vetted freelancers with verifiable experience and expertise.

3. Thrive Agency 

Thrive Agency is an internet marketing agency. They offer a range of digital marketing services. Some of these are web design, SEO and PPC, and social media. This agency boasts a team of marketing specialists that you can tap into for your needs. You might need technical SEO for your website or social media management for your eCommerce business. Whatever it is, they can help.

Thrive Agency has a large team of experts with experience in a variety of marketing fields. This means that they are fully capable of handling just about any area of marketing. This gives you added versatility if you are dealing with a bunch of different marketing campaigns. This makes them a great choice when you want to smoothly outsource sales and marketing. They also have a great reputation among their client base of thousands, and in the industry at large. They generally charge more than other sales and marketing companies with less under their belts, but that’s because they deliver high-quality results.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of outsourcing marketing and sales tasks varies depending on the specific task or function being outsourced. 

For a few examples, a really technical task like SEO that requires experience and expertise could cost you upwards of $10,000 per month. Something like graphic design could cost $30-70+ dollars hourly. Depending on the type of content, specialized knowledge required, and word count, writing could cost $40-200+ per article. Then again, if you’re looking for entry level freelancers you can train yourself, it’s possible to find someone to hire for as low as $5-$15 dollars an hour. 

Aside from the task itself, pricing also varies depending on the country you outsource to, the skill level of the individual, the marketplace or agency you hire from, and the scope and length of the project.

Conclusion

Do not hesitate to outsource sales and marketing. We know that you have most likely heard some horrible stories from others who have tried it. The thing is, they probably did not have the right processes for hiring international freelancers and agencies. Outsource School exists to help you make sure that you are searching within the best marketplaces and making the best choices when it comes to online talent. We have many years of experience hiring online for multiple businesses, and we’d love to help you out!

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

5 Tips to Successfully Outsource Ecommerce Customer Service

Have you ever tried to outsource eCommerce customer service? If you have, then chances are you did not have a great experience. If you fared well, then you are fortunate enough to be in the minority. Customer service is a challenging area to hire for, even when you’re doing it in-house. When you outsource eCommerce customer service, it gets more complicated.

1. Plan and Think Ahead

There’s a lot to think about before bringing in an outside entity to handle a task in your business. This can be especially true for a business operation like customer service. Customer service does require in-depth knowledge about your business and industry. When you outsource eCommerce customer service, the agents you hire must also adhere to your business ideals and values. We cannot stress the importance of careful, thoughtful planning enough when building a customer service team

List Out Tasks

Create a comprehensive and clear list of tasks and responsibilities that you want outsourced. If you want certain tasks done a specific way, you need to communicate that and make sure that hires are flexible to adhere to that. 

Create SOPs

SOP documents to outsource eCommerce customer service.

Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs are essentially a list of standardized procedures and guidelines. These serve multiple purposes.

Organization

One of the main goals of SOPs is to introduce structure when performing certain tasks for a project or for business operations as a whole. When you outsource eCommerce customer service, you want SOPs to guide that process.

Consistency

SOPs are also a form of quality control. They make it so that any product sold or service rendered is delivered consistently every time. This involves all the interactions that happen between employees and departments as well as customer interactions. You can think of SOPs as a kind of instruction manual for business operations.

Internal Communication

SOPs make internal collaboration and communication so much smoother. Teams won’t have to always double-check with their superiors or with other departments on tasks when there is a standardized procedure for it.

External Collaboration

SOPs can be particularly helpful when you outsource eCommerce customer service. For one, an outsourced team might have their own default procedures that they follow. There are cases where some of these procedures may be more streamlined or an improved version of yours. However, if you want to make sure they do everything based on your own set of standardized rules, SOPs make sure you stay on the same page.  

Another thing to consider is that an outsourced team needs to learn how you operate. Standard operating procedures can help make the onboarding process so much easier. You can save time on multiple meetings and back and forth emails confirming whether certain actions should be taken. This means that they can also get started much faster and be more productive.

When you have these kinds of guidelines in place, business tends to go smoother. You can increase the efficiency of processes and lower the risk of miscommunication and other potential errors that could occur. 

2. Build Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Three people looking at graphs and charts on a piece of paper.

Key Performance Indicators are defined as measurable goals that companies use to gauge how effective they are at achieving a key business objective. 

You can sort KPIs into two categories: high level KPIs and low level KPIs. 

High-level KPIs have to do with larger overarching business goals. For instance, if you want to sell 10,000 products in a year, a KPI could be to reach 2,500 conversions in a three-month period. 

Low-level KPIs have to do with smaller sections of a business, like specific departments. You can also track them on an individual worker basis. For a customer service department, a KPI could be to achieve a 90% and over customer satisfaction score. 

KPI Best Practices:

  • Make sure they are in line with your overarching business objective. Think of them as milestones towards a much bigger achievement.
  • Your KPIs need to be clear and measurable. When you set vague KPIs, or KPIs that are already obvious, you raise more questions than answers. For instance, if you want your customer retention rate to remain high, you can’t just put your KPI as “Make them happier”. You need to think about what areas of customer satisfaction needs improvement. So instead, you could define your KPI as “Improve email response times to below 20 hrs.”
  • They need to be realistic. It’s good to be ambitious but you need to make sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. Trying to force an unrealistic KPI can leave your team exhausted and unenthusiastic. Especially when you outsource eCommerce customer service, this can generally lower morale in an already isolated group that now can’t reach the goal.
  • Just as KPIs are milestones to bigger objectives, they are also made up of smaller, bite-sized steps and metrics. Keep it measurable and actionable.

3. Hire People with Experience

A man on the phone behind a desk with two moonitors.

The last thing you want is to outsource eCommerce customer service to someone who doesn’t have the necessary know-how. That’s where some of the hesitancy to outsource comes from. There are horror stories of inexperienced teams or individuals causing companies more problems than they solved. This has, unfortunately, tainted the reputation of the practice of outsourcing as a whole. 

However, it is likely that these companies who have had negative outsourcing experiences may have benefitted from knowing the right channels or platforms to hire from.  

Here are some things you should look out for as general guidelines when hiring from an agency or from freelance marketplaces:

  • Check to see if the agency or marketplace vets applicants before allowing them onto their platform to serve clients.
  • Review applicants’ histories to see verifiable evidence and results of their completed projects.
  • Check their education level and work experience. While higher education doesn’t necessarily mean better results, this is usually the safer route.
  • If you hire from a freelance marketplace, most of them have the ability for clients to review the ones they hire after a project is complete. Some less experienced individuals may have collected more high ratings than one who went to school for years. Checking the ratings will keep you from passing up an opportunity to work with a talented individual or team.

For some agencies, they display their client reviews on the front page of their website. They recognize how important these reviews are for the reputation of the agency as a whole. It’s common behavior for clients to be more inclined to purchase a product or service that has been tried and tested true. 

  • Check turnover rates and if they provide guarantees to set you up with a new hire if the first one doesn’t work out. Some marketplaces offer to pay for any applicable fees associated with the turnover process.

4. Get Customer Feedback and Ideas

Five stars in a row that show a high rating.

At the end of the day, you need to outsource eCommerce customer service to a team you trust. The only ones who will be interacting with them more than you are your customers. Make use of these multiple unique touchpoints. Don’t waste the useful data you can get from customers regarding how good or bad your support services are. Give them the option to review customer service as a whole and even ask them to rate specific areas of the service to get more pointed responses. Encourage them to make suggestions regarding how you can serve them better. Scrutinize their answers and carefully select the ones that are constructive and that you can consistently deliver on. 

Ultimately, your goal should be to make sure your customers remain satisfied and feel cared for. A customer that is cared for is a customer that is more likely to purchase from you again and have a higher customer lifetime value. They will not only stay loyal to your brand, but they will also endorse your business to their friends and family members.

5. Be Consistent and Provide a Good Post Purchase Experience

A man looking through websites on his laptop and phone, doing research.

Good customer service means being reliable. The more consistent you are with response times and with the quality of your responses, the more satisfied customers will be. 

Customer service that offers fewer features but more consistency will always be better than a jam-packed service that can’t deliver well on the basics. 

It is also important to remember that customer journeys do not end as soon as they complete a purchase. You still have to maintain good customer service in case they have a complaint about the product or they want to return the item. This shows that you care more about the customer than about what you can gain from them.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of thought that goes into outsourcing customer service. It’s more than just making sure you hire someone who is skilled, experienced, and reliable from a reputable marketplace or agency. You also need to plan ahead and make sure you are prepared to onboard and transition them into the job as smoothly as possible. Once part of your team, the success of your partnership will rely on your ability to communicate effectively and stay aligned on how business tasks are performed. Partner with an individual or team that knows the space, cares about your business and your customers. and will help you achieve your business goals.

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

10 Advantages of Outsourcing You May Not Be Thinking About

As global demand increases, the advantages of outsourcing have become apparent. Outsourcing has become a means for businesses to stay ahead of the game. This can be helping businesses expand by building out new departments. Sometimes, it’s improving performance through faster and more efficient processes. It can even involve filling missing roles so that a business can gain a competitive advantage by adding to their array of services. 

Whatever the case may be, outsourcing has allowed businesses to scale and handle a greater number of customers. Availability and cost-effectiveness as major advantages of outsourcing have made it a popular practice among small to large enterprises. 

In this article, we will be discussing these and other advantages of outsourcing that you may not be aware of. Let’s get started. 

1. Cost

A woman calculating the cost advantages of outsourcing.

Get expert-level skills while keeping costs down. 

One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing is the expenses you can cut down on. Whether it’s hiring, training, equipment, software, or other operational costs, outsourcing can shave off some of those overheads. 

You can think of outsourcing as renting a service, software, equipment, or entire department on an as needed basis. For instance, keeping on a full-time employee with a regular salary and benefits can be less economical than hiring an outsourced freelancer only when their skills are required. 

In some countries, labor costs are lower due to the lower cost of living. This means that you can get the same standard of work quality for less than you would if you were to hire domestically.

2. Promotes Growth

People having a meeting to talk about how outsourcing works.

Most businesses have a load of functions that are both repetitive and time-consuming. These types of tasks are a major drain on focus that should be spent on core functions. They are still important, but because of how much time they require, they can tend to hurt other vital areas. One of the top advantages of outsourcing is that it helps companies be better equipped to fill these needs without making sacrifices. In the end, it helps the business grow because the focus is restored to other areas. This means that the business can provide proper customer service, pull in more sales, and more.

Note that repetitive and time-consuming operations increase as a business grows. Think about paperwork and materials purchasing and appointment scheduling. It’s just part of how business works. As you grow, therefore, you are going to need more help to keep all these back-office tasks in check. You can, of course do what most other business do, which is pull people away from other tasks by assigning them this extra work. That will not help you grow. You might be looking at short-term savings, but ignoring the longer-term detrimental cost to the business. Don’t tie up expert human resources when you can outsource the extra work and avoid hurting core activities. Remember, these core activities are what make the business successful.

3. Save Time and Resources

An open yellow highlighter on a calendar page.

Expertise 

Hiring skilled people saves you a lot, even if it looks like it’s costing you more. Think of it like this. They paid for their own training and went through years of experience and education to get to where they are now. The price at which they market their service is much lower than all the years and money put into making them experts in their field. Now imagine having to put aside funds to go through that process to learn to do those tasks at a high level, or train someone to do the same. 

Furthermore, the person you would have had to train outside of their skillset can immediately be launched elsewhere. Their efforts and skills can be used more effectively. When you look at it like that, you are getting great value out of outsourced services. 

The time it takes to find an expert through outsourcing is much less than the time it takes to “grow” an expert or go through a tiring in-house recruitment and hiring process. With outsourcing, you don’t make the same levels of commitment that you do with employing people. There’s a lot more flexibility for you.

Infrastructure 

It makes more sense to outsource a service for a specific operation rather than buying the space or equipment yourself. This goes hand in hand with hiring. Who’s going to operate the equipment if they aren’t trained? You not only save on expensive technology, but you also save on the resources it takes to get good at using it. 

When you’re not worried about a large chunk of your budget going to operations outside your core tasks, you can allocate more money resources into key areas of your business that are crucial for profitability.

4. Efficacy

A man writing notes in front of a laptop.

With years of experience and knowledge in respective spaces and specializations comes optimized and streamlined processes. A seasoned outsourcing company or independent freelancer will have tried and tested various solutions in the time they have been in business. They would understand what works best in general, what doesn’t, and the nuances in between, depending on the client business they work with. 

This means that work gets done efficiently. They know how to maintain quality while bringing you results as fast as possible. 

The more knowledge one possesses, the easier the work becomes. One of our favorite advantages of outsourcing is that it takes that pressure of accumulating knowledge off of you. The people you hire can handle the technical side of things and produce fast results. You, then, are free to go and do what you do best.

5. Productivity

A man holding a notebook and writing on a pad of paper next to a laptop and other office materials.

When experienced professionals are helming your operations with efficient processes, an increase in productivity is soon to follow. 

Additionally, another way to maximize productivity has to do with hiring based on time zones and working hours. You can hire someone who works the hours you are asleep and ensure that business keeps moving around the clock. You’re essentially doing twice the work while getting the rest you need to keep yourself in best form. 

You can also hire someone who works some of the same hours as you do and maximize productivity through close, clear communication. This way, if they have any questions or need clarification on anything, there is still a window for that.

6. Risk Management

An older man giving a thumbs up to a younger man on a video call. because of the advantages of outsourcing

Outsourcing is not the easy way out that many business owners think it is. Yes, it does make things easier, but it’s not a cop-out. One of the least known advantages of outsourcing is what a strategic tool it can be. Outsourcing the right tasks actually helps you to minimize business risks. This has a lot to do with hiring experts instead of winging it in-house. You can leverage third-party vendors and agencies who add to your expertise with the top solutions they offer. And you get all these advantages without taking on any of the risks yourself. You don’t have to train anyone, for instance, and if you hire a freelancer, you don’t pay benefits, either.

7. Flexibility

As a business scales, you need a team that can scale with it. Outsourcing makes it possible to scale without losing momentum due to personnel constraints and waiting on the traditional hiring process. 

A unique feature of outsourcing is its ability to allow businesses to expand temporarily to meet seasonal productivity demands. Not all companies are ready to manage full-on expansion. With outsourcing, you can take care of all your customers, and when the demand dies down, you can simply shrink back to normal size and hire again as needed.

8. Focus on Your Core Business

Two hands on a computer keyboard with a watch beside it.

Being bogged down with time consuming menial tasks means you cannot focus on the central parts of your business operations. Outsourcing these tasks means you and your team members can focus your efforts and expertise on the main engine of your company. 

For instance, you can hire people to handle the less crucial tasks of a bigger project while you tackle the most important aspects. Save hours by outsourcing repetitive and tedious but important tasks like lead generation, data entry, and bookkeepingYou can then focus on customer relations, brand awareness and reputation management,  product creation, innovation, and other foundational processes that got your business to where it is today.

9. Larger Talent Pool

Aside from potentially higher labor costs, hiring domestic could mean limiting your options and missing out on international talent. Hiring from countries established or specialized in the services you need is smarter. You get to explore a range of options from a diverse and wide talent pool that is not available in your area.

High employee turnover rates are incredibly detrimental to business flow. However, a few outsourcing platforms and agencies have fast or no turnover guarantees. In the event that someone quits, you can get a replacement in no time. Even if you hire on your own, you can find a replacement quite quickly to either hold the position temporarily or take over long-term. You don’t need to worry about compromising quality with outsourced solutions, either. As long as you hire diligently, you actually increase your chances of finding a great fit precisely because, and this is another of the greatest advantages of outsourcing, the talent pool is much larger.

10. Simplify Project Management

Two people pointing to a laptop screen talking about the advantages of outsourcing.

When you outsource, you can actually keep everything more organized. This has a lot to do with the greater accountability mentioned previously. When people work in the same office, there’s a greater sense of ease because you can walk over to someone’s desk at any time to ask them something. With a workforce spread out over several  cities and even countries, you have to be more cautious about staying on top of your game. That makes everyone take project management seriously.

Conclusion

When you outsource, there is an unspoken expectation of excellence. Mainly because outsourced work is not guaranteed on the side of the hire, individuals and outsourced teams work harder to please their clients. It is in their best interest to deliver outstanding results to maintain a good reputation in their space and maybe even earn the chance to continue working with the same client long term. This level of accountability makes outsourcing far less risky than it may appear. 

Part of service excellence in the outsourcing world is something you won’t find in-house. Business functions are often unaffected because they are separate from your business. For instance, if you lost power or internet connectivity, you have the peace of mind knowing that your outsourced functions are still running as normal. You don’t have to move the whole office to a cafe, or worse, cancel the day.

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

A Simple Guide to Outsource Data Entry Services Online

Do you want to outsource data entry services but aren’t sure where to begin? You’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll give you the simplified version of what data entry is, how you can outsource data entry services, and why you should do it.

What Is Data Entry?

Data entry is the process of collecting, organizing, computerizing, checking, and editing company, client, or customer data. This can include transcription of calls or meetings, admin related data entry work, raw data input, product description, etc. This may involve the use of special data entry software. Data entry is usually done multiple times throughout a business day and the type of data and load depend on the industry. 

A data entry operator is the person that handles the processes involved in data management. They are familiar with multiple formatting options, can manage a large load of data efficiently, and ensure the inputted information is accurate. Sometimes, these operators will also be tasked with generating reports based on the data they handle. They also have the responsibility of handling data with integrity and with respect to data privacy laws and regulations. 

Why Should I Outsource Data Entry Services?

A man using a laptop to outsource data entry services.

Accuracy

With years of experience and practice, the professional touch of a data entry specialist is delicate and precise. Their honed attention to detail and familiarity with data entry tools means you can depend on their work to be free of mistakes. Data entry workers have that vital skill of being able to input data quickly and in the format you require while ensuring that it is complete and correct.

Efficiency and Productivity

Human resources are important, especially in a smaller business or startup. The time that hires spend learning data entry practices is time taken away from other core areas of business operations. These areas need their specialized attention to take advantage of growth opportunities. And your data entry requires the same. When you maximize the potential of your team members, you maximize your profitability through efficiency and productivity. 

Hiring a professional means letting the professional do what they do best. This refers both to data entry specialists getting the job done in a time-efficient manner and your other hires using their specialized talents where intended. Time spent learning something new becomes time spent funneling the knowledge they already possess into your business. 

Cost

A woman holding several hundred dollar bills.

You don’t have to break the bank to hire a competent data entry specialist. There are several outsourcing platforms and third-party service providers out there where you can find vetted professionals to do the job at reasonable rates. 

Outsourcing data entry can help you save money on various operational expenses, such as:

  • Hiring, onboarding, and training 
  • Software and data entry tools
  • Overhead and equipment
  • Employee benefits  

Additionally, hiring from a country with a lower cost of living could mean cheaper labor costs that don’t sacrifice the quality of the work, provided you hire from a reputable agency or platform. 

Where can I Outsource Data Entry Services Online?

Depending on what you’re looking for, you can look into these major freelancing or outsourcing sites: FreeUp, Upwork, Fiverr, Onlinejobs.ph etc.

What are Things I Should Consider Before Outsourcing Data Entry?

Two women thinking ang writing on paper.

1. In-house costs vs outsourcing costs

Weigh if the cost of outsourcing a data entry specialist is cheaper than investing time and resources learning it yourself, building your own department or team, or hiring someone to do it in-house.

2. Security

Sensitive data needs to be handled by professionals who comply with data security regulations and up-to-date protocols. Choose a company that offers these security guarantees, has a spotless record, and has worked with other companies similar to yours in the past. 

3. Software 

The nature of your business informs the nature of your data management needs. Consider what the best data entry software for your specific needs is, and make sure that the agency or individual you are considering can use it. If you don’t know what software you need, it’s worth checking if they have a help service or blog that can give you information and guidance. Additionally, make sure the one you work with is up-to-date on the latest software and methods for data entry. 

4. Turnaround Time

Sometimes, speed is key, and it’s important to hire someone who can get a heavy workload done as fast as possible. This is something you can check based on their track record, client reviews, or by simply asking them how long it takes them to complete a task or project. 

5. Reputation

Research how much time an outsourcing company or individual has spent in the space, how many clients they have handled, and how many stellar reviews they have on their site. Reviews indicate a tried and tested service. This is a customer who has already worked with the company, agency, or freelancer you are considering hiring. 

Other considerations:

  • Check how easy it is to use their service and how streamlined their processes are.
  • If you find that you like working with someone, check if there is a way to ensure you work with the same person on future projects. 
  • Ideally, make sure that they have 24/7 customer support or at least a way to get a response to any inquiry in a timely fashion.

Pros of Outsourcing Data Entry

1. International Talent

There certainly are talented individuals around every corner, but they may not be the kind of talent you’re looking for or be at the level of expertise you require. Outsourcing introduces you to a much broader pool of experts and specialists from all over the globe who have the skillsets you are looking for.

2. Flexible Hours

Perhaps you are the type who wishes you didn’t need to sleep so that you could get more work done. Well, outsourcing can almost make that wish a reality. If you hire someone from a different time zone, the person you outsource data entry services to  can be awake doing work you send them while you sleep. Conversely, if you need someone to be awake when you are so you can communicate and coordinate better, most remote workers have flexible hours that cater to the preference of the client. Never miss a deadline again and even get ahead on some work.

3. The Professional Touch

When you pay for an expert of any kind, you are paying for years of honed craft. Data entry professionals are well-versed in online and offline solutions, accurate in their data input, and have optimized the way they organize data.

4. Competitive Advantage

Combining the expertise and experience they have, and the amount you save when you choose to outsource data entry services to specialist teams, you can get ahead of the competition and serve better rates for the products and services you offer.

Cons of Outsourcing Data Entry

Two people looking at documents.

1. Communication and Cultural Barriers

Clear communication is key, especially if you’re working with someone remotely. Recognizing a language barrier can be as simple as emailing a candidate and asking them if they speak English fluently or hopping on a call with them to verify. Other ways you can attract your ideal candidate is by listing “must speak English fluently” in your job posting or application requirements. 

Cultural barriers can be a little more difficult to spot right away. They also tend to pop up as you work together. When picking a country to outsource from, consider if they have worked with other companies or businesses from your country in the past. You can also request a test or trial period.

2. Data Breaches or Leaks 

The idea of sharing confidential information with a third-party can be a cause of hesitation. Ease your mind by hiring from agencies with a good track record and strong data security and privacy protocols in place. This way, you won’t have to worry about client or company data being stolen or exposed. You can also request hires to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for extra protection.

3. Divided Attention 

It’s common for freelancers and VAs to take on multiple tasks from multiple clients. If you don’t want their attention divided, you can outsource data entry services to a VA you are paying full time. Just assign them other tasks that they can do when they;’re not processing data.

4. Time Zones

Differing time zones can be beneficial. However, they have the potential to be a problem. This is especially true if a worker’s hours are not flexible. We’re not saying they should be available 24/7. If you have a 12-hour time difference, though, they may not be able to work during your business hours. This would mean that it might take them a while to respond. To avoid issues, ensure that they can accommodate your preferred time zone and working hours. That is, if you expect them to be on call when you are.

5. Less Control

When you outsource, you are giving partial control over to a third party. This can be daunting. That’s why it’s important to work with a partner you trust. You should also choose one that offers regular updates.

Conclusion

When you outsource data entry services, it can be risky. You are putting all of your data into the hands of people who are not part of your company. This can cause security issues and problems related to a lack of loyalty. These issues are not actually difficult to avoid, though. You can very easily set up security protocols and encourage integrity by using a proper hiring process and treating hires well, whether they are in-house employees, short-term freelancers, or temporary agency hires.

 

Categories
Virtual Assistants

5 Websites to Outsource Website Design in 2023

Have you ever wondered what your options are when you want to outsource website design? Here are 5 of our favorite websites to do just that!

1.  Digital Silk

A screenshot of the Digital Silk website home page.

Digital Silk is a creative digital agency that provides industry experts and top-notch web design and development solutions, among other services, to growing brands. They partner with companies like Sony and P&G. Their unique offers include consultation with a dedicated digital strategist and a specialist team to get you the results you want to see.  

With Digital Silk, you are regularly updated with consistent communication, reporting, time tracking and project management. 

Website Design Services

Get a custom website plus insights that will help boost brand engagement and conversions. Digital Silk will design your website with the experience of a customer’s journey in mind. They build websites that will appeal to your target audience in particular. With the tools that they use, they can examine activity on your website that informs how they design and optimize the conversion path. They also help you maintain a consistent and unique brand identity.

The Digital Silk process:

1. Get on an onboarding call.

2. The leading digital strategist will research competitors and formulate the best in-depth strategy.

3. The digital strategist begins building your personalized data-driven digital strategy based on your business goals, audience, and potential ongoing site improvements.

4. Digital strategists and information architects will document the platform’s current architecture and then create a new design and document these changes so that they can be implemented.

  1. After the site architecture is approved, they will create an outline of the structure of a website, or what is known as a wireframe. 
  2. They create a static image design to emulate what a user will see on the website.
  3. They begin frontend and backend development of elements such as the interface and CMS (content management system).
  4. Every aspect throughout every development step undergoes rigorous testing and checking against the original approved design. 
  5. The site goes live and is monitored by the Digital Silk team. 

For packages and pricing, you can request a quote from Digital Silk. 

2. Upwork

A screenshot of the Upwork website home page.

Dubbed “the world’s work marketplace”, Upwork is a platform for scaling businesses in need of new talent or skilled workers looking to partner with the right companies. Upwork’s mission is to connect work opportunities with the right talent for the job and give businesses the flexibility they need to grow. Their talent pool spans a vast number of disciplines and one unique feature of Upwork is that you only pay for work once you approve of the finished product. 

When it comes to web design, Upwork’s got no shortage of talent that specializes in web development, programming, and even some that can help with your SEO and content optimization and creation needs. You’ll be able to find web designers fluent in programming languages like Python and JavaScript, and others who can create your mobile site or even apps, no problem. 

The first thing to do when deciding on a website design is to evaluate what type of website it will be or what purpose it will serve.

Next, is to decide on a framework or layout for that website. This is where you decide where all the elements on a webpage will sit. 

Lastly, the third step is about making content for the website. Because content is integral to SEO efforts and attracting site visitors, this step is important if you want as many people as possible viewing your shiny new website. 

Website Design Service Options

1. Talent Marketplace

Create a job posting and let the professionals come to you. You have the option to shortlist candidates and check their profiles, work history, portfolios, and reviews to see if they are the best fit for the job.

2. Project Catalog

You can think of this as project templates that are pre-planned. Browse and purchase projects with an upfront price and clear scope right from the get-go. There are three service tiers offering different inclusions for various pricing and personalizations, depending on who you work with. All you have to do is give your project requirements and they will get it started. You pay once the project is approved.

3. Talent Scout

Meet with a Talent Scout recruiter, and after proving necessary info about your business needs, receive a shortlist of pre-vetted individuals that they think are a perfect fit for you. You can schedule an interview with them through Upwork contact features and choose your candidate. They have individual hourly rates with no other added fees. 

Note that the minimum requirement for your project needs to be at least 1 month in duration. 

Generally, with Upwork, you pay the fee of the hired individual plus an additional 5% Client Marketplace fee. 

3. 365 Outsource

A screenshot of the 365 Outsource website home page.

365Outsource.com outsources SEO and BPO services. They are based in the Philippines and offer managed and dedicated teams for projects of all sizes. 

Their solutions are meant to help businesses scale their profits and minimize the costs in the process. If you need someone to work full-time or part-time you can find talented individuals here at rates that won’t break the bank. Work closely with these dedicated specialists and don’t worry about extra overheads and employee benefits.

Their global outsourcing solutions combine the power of creativity, technology, and systems and processes carried out by outsourcing experts who have worked with multiple international brands. 

Website Design Services

365 Outsource houses an expert team of web designers. They are not only skilled in the technicals of website structure, color coordination, and layout balance, but also know how to make your website an experience that’s more than just a piece of art. They will consistently strive to maintain the personality of your brand and keep it consistent. Don’t worry because they will keep you in the loop throughout the entire process.

The 365 Process:

1. Make a project proposal and when you want it to be accomplished.

2. Select and purchase the right web design package for you.

3. Submit all the necessary information to help them design your website.

4. Start creating the design.

5. Finalize the design.

6 . Launch the website with support.

For packages and pricing, get In Touch with a 365 account manager for more details.

4. FreeUp

A screenshot of the FreeUp website home page.

FreeUp is the top solution if you’re looking to “free up your business.” Find the top 1% of pre-vetted talent to add to your team. Their recruiting and interviewing process has them go through hundreds of candidates to select the best and most reliable ones so you don’t have to. If you want to get in touch, simply put in a request and get connected in 24 hours. 

FreeUp’s “No Turnover Guarantee” ensures that you will get a replacement quickly if the hired person quits. FreeUp will also take care of any applicable costs. 

Website Design Services

The FreeUp hire and design process:

1. Make a free account. (Don’t worry, there are no added fees.)

2. Make a request for the type of web designer you need – e.g. WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, etc. FreeUp will connect you to at least one pre-vetted candidate within a business day.

3. Get on an interview with them and decide if the freelancer or agency is the right fit for you.

4. Your chosen designer will create your site design across your chosen platform.

5. Insert the designer into your own development team and work in a complementary tandem to get your site to where it needs to be.

6. Review hours and billing on Thursdays.

Some freelancers on FreeUp offer set packages, but pricing usually depends on the skill level of the hired freelancer. For a web designer, the estimated pricing can range from $9-30 hourly for non-US and $35-75 hourly for freelancers based in the US, UK, and Canada. You can also discuss your project scope with candidates to settle on a fixed rate. You will not pay any startup or monthly fees for using the FreeUp Marketplace. 

5. Bop Design

A screenshot of the Bop Design website home page.

Bop Design is an award-winning boutique B2B agency that works exclusively with business to business companies looking to scale and create their own brand identity. Do you need a lively website that is always getting updated with fresh content? If yes, this service is a great choice. Bop Design does everything from web design and development to content marketing and other digital ad efforts. Hire an external B2B team to work together with your in-house team to achieve your business goals of brand awareness and greater market share.

Website Design Services

If you want your brand message to connect with your audience visually through your website, their B2B web design achieves just that. Their team of experienced professionals creates websites that hook your target customers. They have a lot of experience designing professional B2B websites for sectors like Technology, Healthcare, Engineering, Financial, and more.

With Bop Design you get websites that are:

  • browsable, enjoyable websites that streamlines navigation for the best content consumption experience
  • scalable websites that grow with your business demands
  • designed to attract the right customers and are optimized for conversion 
  • quick-loading

For packages and pricing information, schedule a consultation and get quoted a price. 

Conclusion

With these 5 websites to outsource website design, you are sure to find a solution that suits your budget and preferences. From freelance designers to fixed packages, you have the flexibility that you need to  get the website you want.

Categories
Virtual Assistants

How to Outsource Lead Generation to the Philippines

A man looking through websites on his laptop and phone, doing research.

Outsourcing lead generation can be one of the smartest decisions you ever make. Your business will always need new leads if you want to grow. The trouble is, the process of digging up these prospects is dull, monotonous, and takes a very long time.If you were to take that on as a business owner, you would be wasting a very valuable resource. If you hired locally for the task, you would be paying more than you need to. Outsourcing lead generation gives you the same or even better quality output for a much more reasonable cost.

What Is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the process of hiring an individual, team, or company “outside” your own to supply a good, complete a task, or manage a business process (as in BPO). This can be done remotely or by sending employees to work for the hiring company. You can outsource from within the country you operate in, or outsource internationally. 

Some of the most commonly outsourced business processes include customer relations and HR, manufacturing, accounting, research, as well as other front office, back office and non-core business functions.

Why Outsource to the Philippines?

Young Filipinos talking about work.

1. Top of the Charts

The Philippines is the first choice of many companies and is one of the top countries to outsource to alongside China and India. It has even earned the title of “Outsourcing Capital of the World”. One reason for this is the fact that they have been in BPO for about 30 years, and it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry within the country. With this kind of tenure in the space, you can be sure that their experience spells proficiency. Filipinos can handle your outsourcing needs with excellence and professionalism. 

2. Good communicators 

Not only are the majority of the Filipino population English speakers, but their culture of hospitality means they are also some of the easiest to work with. Outsourcing lead generation requires not only research skills, but also a high level of language and people skills. With Filipinos, you get three birds with one stone.

3. Diverse talent pool

If you look at any list of the most outsourced services in the Philippines, you’ll find quite a wide spread of talents and abilities. This includes creative skills like web and graphic design, HR and VA services, and accounting services. We have found that research skills, in particular, are at the top of the list. This makes them ideal for outsourcing lead generation.

4. Flexible hours 

Want your outsourced team to work while you sleep? Want to make sure they are when you are so you can delegate effectively? No problem. The majority of Filipino freelancers, especially those with BPO experience, are ready and willing to adjust to your hours, so differing time zones are rarely an issue. 

5. Labor Cost Savings

Because the general cost of living in the Philippines is lower than in Western countries, outsourcing lead generation here could save you big in terms of labor costs. 

What lead generation tasks can you outsource?

You can outsource almost any lead generation task you can think of, as long as it does not have to be done in person. Below are some examples to get you excited about the possibilities.

Cold Selling

Also known as cold calling, this is the practice of contacting a potential customer who hasn’t expressed interest in your business. This method of lead generation can be quite daunting due to the risk of rejection being incredibly high. Because unsolicited calls do not often return positive responses, you need to do a lot of them to get results. This also means that outsourcing lead generation to patient people is vital. 

If you start the process with emails, you need people skilled in written communication. This means that their grammar and spelling need to be perfect, but they also need to be skilled at writing clear and concise messages. When the time comes to get on a call with a prospect, cold sellers need to be prepared to answer their questions and market the services effectively and enticingly.

Social Selling

As the name suggests, this type of lead generation takes place on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Due to the nature of these platforms, it is much easier to connect with prospects. However, a certain sociable personality type is required. Someone who is overly business-like will stick out like a sore thumb. 

Although these platforms have groups and pages where companies can easily scout for their target audiences, skills are still needed. Outsourcing lead generation involves hiring people well versed in social media and who apply social listening tactics well. This means that they can better understand what your target audience is discussing, their general questions, needs, and more. 

There’s a lot going on here, but it is a vital step to increase your potential for building rapport and relationships. When you have an idea of the problem they have, approaching these prospective customers with a viable solution will be more successful than throwing darts on a board blindfolded and seeing what sticks.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is all about the buyer’s journey and cultivating relationships at every stage. The buyer’s journey consists of three main stages: considering they have a problem, looking for potential solutions, and deciding on a solution. Outsourcing lead generation must take these tasks into consideration. This part of the process is all about prioritizing leads based on their stage. The more likely they are to become a customer, the more effort you should focus on helping them get there. Another important aspect is follow-ups and personalized content targeting to encourage conversion. 

Audience Management

Along with lead nurturing also comes the need to be able to classify leads into targetable groups. When you monitor multiple leads and their journey through the sales funnel, you can separate them into groups based on their stage. This way you can cater the content and the communication style to fit the stage. 

Networking 

This is all about two things: finding the right customers for you and retaining the customers you have. This is about making connections and inquiring within a network for referrals. Once you get a customer, you want to keep them happy and even market other services to them or upgrade the ones they have already availed. 

When is the right time to  start outsourcing lead generation?

A smiling woman at a desk with a laptop on it representing outsourcing lead generation to the Philippines.

Outsourcing lead generation is all about finding the right person for the job. This is a research task. However, as you can see from the above, it is not a simple research task. It involves critical thinking and marketing skills, and more. This means that making the right hire will take time.

That said, the right time to outsource your lead generation work is when you have the time to avoid making a rash hiring decision. Make sure that you are not knee-deep in research tasks before you start looking. You should know what the process entails so that you can choose the best fit. However, you should not be so busy that you cannot dedicate the level of attention that you need to find the right person.

Where can you find a lead generation freelancer?

There are tons of options and platforms that house freelancers with a variety of different skills. Here are some examples:

FreeUp

FreeUp is a freelance marketplace that strives to connect talented freelancers from around the world with businesses that need their skills. They only allow in the top 1% as applicants are all carefully vetted to ensure quality skill level and quality attitude as well. They have a “No Turnover Guarantee” where they will immediately replace any freelancer that decides to quit and will take care of the applicable expenses. Additionally, they have support services via an account manager who can guide and advise you, and a support team is ready and available for you to contact whenever you need.

OnlineJobs.ph

With over 250,000 profiles, Onlinejobs.ph is presently the largest online marketplace for finding skilled and talented Filipinos to work with. You can be as passive or active as you want when searching. You can let the talent come to you by posting a job and waiting for applicants or you can take matters into your own hands and actively search through resumes to find the exact skills you need.  

VAAPhilippines

VAA specializes in serving Amazon sellers. Their virtual assistants in the Phil;ippines are highly skilled, meticulously vetted, reliable, and never stop learning. VAA will also be supporting you every step of the way. You can be sure that the lead generation assistant they select for you is the best fit for your business because the founders are also Amazon sellers. If things don’t work out for whatever reason, they will even replace the VA for free. 

How much should you expect to pay?

A man and a woman working with money and calculators.

The main factors that affect the cost of hiring a Filipino freelancer are:

  • Skill level and skill type – The more specialized the skillset and the higher the level of education and training they have received, the higher the rates. 
  • Experience – Freelancers that have worked with many other companies have an edge that entry-level freelancers do not. That experience is valuable, and therefore, will likely cost you more. 
  • Platform – Depending on where you hire, you could be working with fixed per-project pricing or hourly rates. These rates also differ per platform. Additionally, some platforms require signup, subscription, or other specialized fees in order to use their service. For instance, you cannot contact workers on Onlinejobs.ph without first signing up for a paid account. 

That being said, you can expect that, on average, you can hire entry-level freelancers for as low as $5 per hour. This can go all the way up to around $30 per hour if you’re looking for highly skilled lead generation experts.

Conclusion

Outsourcing lead generation to the Philippines is a very smart business move. Filipinos have a ton of experience working with peoples of various cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.

You do, however, need to make the effort to get it right. A bad hire can cost you dearly. Make sure you know exactly what you need done, and take the time to find that perfect fit. Outsourcing lead generation is so much more than picking some random person from an online listing and telling them to start Googling stuff.