You’ve been trucking along solo since the beginning, but as your business grows, the demands on your time increase. Something’s gotta give, but should it be your blog or your article contributions, your newsletter or your e-books? Making the decision to outsource areas of your business doesn’t have to be brain-busting. Read on for three signs it’s time to pass your content on to a ghostwriter (plus one thing you really need to consider before you pull the trigger).
Your time is better spent doing other things
As a business owner, you’re pulled in a dozen directions 100 percent of the time. Even if you enjoy updating your company’s blog, it might make more sense to spend that time at speaking engagements or developing new products or streamlining your delivery process. A simple way to decide if DIY-ing your writing is worth it is to assign yourself an hourly rate. Come on, throw out a number! Is your time worth $10 an hour? I don’t think so. How about $50? $100? $350? Now we’re talking. If your writing is bringing in more business than your time is worth, it might be a great investment, especially if you enjoy doing it. But if it’s not—or if it’s eating up time you really do need to allocate to other areas—consider hiring a freelancer to pick up where you need to leave off.
You don’t like writing, period
My brother is a science guy. He’s a whiz are organic chemistry, which boggles my mind, but when it comes to writing, he’d much rather take a pass. Sound familiar? If writing feels like a chore (or like a long-delayed dentist appointment), why are you still tackling it yourself? There are, of course, things that you really do have to do yourself (like, ahem, going to the dentist). But writing doesn’t have to be one of those things (and neither does shipping or web design or social media if you equate any or all of these tasks to torture). Consider this: What’s the stress and utter hatred of the activity costing you, mentally, and what else could you accomplish with the energy you’re wasting? Lots, I imagine.
Your results so far are more “eh” then “excellent”
You may like to write. You may have time to write. But your writing might not be doing anything for you, your brand, or your bottom line. Some business people view writing as a cathartic exercise, and that’s what sharing ideas through words does for them—and that’s fine. But for many, many others, writing in the form of blog posts, articles, and e-books is marketing. And marketing is how you get more eyes on your products and services, convert more interested people into paying customers, and transform those one-time customers into serial purchasers. As you think about outsourcing, mull over what you want your company’s written collateral to do. What’s the end goal? What’s the dream? What would be the best thing that could come from a blog post or a quick e-resource? If you’re not accomplishing those goals solo, it’s time to bring on a pro.
But wait! Before you hire, DON’T automatically outsource to the cheapest option
Price should not be your only consideration. Do you have a budget? Of course. But before you establish it, you need to do a little research into the typical going rate, and then allocate the funds necessary to support your content marketing needs. You can absolutely find a gem of a writer offering below-market rates, but you’re risking quality (because to make a living, that writer is going to have to take on more projects to make ends meet) and constancy (that writer might move on to clients willing to pay more once he gets established in the business). Before choosing someone clocking in below their competition, have an honest discussion about pricing structure, time frames, revision policy, and goals. If you and your potential ghostwriter are heading in the same direction, you’ll have a far more harmonious working relationship.
Your turn! What’s driving your decision to outsource? Share your thoughts in the comments, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!