Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Catherine Park from Backoffice Pro.
For entrepreneurs who are just starting their business, outsourcing can seem like an intimidating task. What if the content that’s produced isn’t up to your standards? What if your marketing content sounds like it’s coming from someone else? What if your new social media manager posts something that goes against your brand?
We’ve all been there. The truth is that these are legitimate concerns that never go away. But there are steps that we can take to calm these fears. Let’s go over the the top methods that your business should use to outsource marketing.
Clearly Define Your Strategy
One of the mistakes that so many beginners make is that they try to outsource their tasks without a clearly defined strategy. You need to define exactly what you need, how it will be accomplished, and what tools will be required. Most importantly – document it.
You should also have your entire marketing plan laid out. Everyone on your marketing team should have access to this strategy, including your contractors. If you’re worried about them sharing your information with others, then have them sign a confidentiality agreement.
Interview the Provider
I don’t care how experienced they are or how great of a pitch they gave you, always interview providers before hiring them. Try to get as much information as possible. They will probably have a very specific process for performing different tasks, so gather as much details as you can about the way they work.
One of the biggest lessons that you’ll learn once you start working with outsourcing providers is that not everyone is a good match. No matter how experienced a provider might be, you should not use that provider if you have doubts about that provider. Outsourcing is about finding a good match.
Create a Content Calendar
In marketing, it is important to have a system that slowly rolls out new campaigns in a strategically planned order. If you don’t have a content calendar, then stop what you’re doing right now and create one.
Let’s look at a quick example of creating a content calendar for an SEO marketing campaign:
A business has a specific list of keywords that they know their target audience is searching for, so they decide to launch a marketing campaign that produces theme-based content every month. As such, they would lay out each theme on a calendar, outsource the content creation, and share that calendar with their provider.
Selectively Outsource Social Media
Social media is probably the easiest job to delegate if you’re new to outsourcing, so I recommend that you start here. First of all, you should note that social media should never be fully delegated. You still want to post things on your own to maintain your profile’s authenticity. With that in mind, the task of finding content to share, or scheduling tasks, could be outsourced.
Before you delegate social media tasks, I advise that you develop a set of written rules for posting on social media. This makes sure that your vendors will not post content that you don’t deem appropriate. Post these rules on your website so that everyone can see your policies. Make sure whoever handles your social media signs off on this policy. This is important because it only takes one inappropriate post to completely derail your entire campaign. Having a public social media policy protects you from potential PR disasters, and followers are far more likely to forgive as long as you take quick action.
How do you outsource your non-core business tasks? Do you have any tools that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
About the Author:
Catherine Park is a content marketer presently working with Back Office Pro, a Business process outsourcing company. A writer by day and a reader by night, she loves working in the ever-changing world of digital marketing and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing. You can find her on Twitter here.