Rachel RofeMarketer and businesswoman Rachel Rofe talks about outsourcing to help her grow her business and improve her quality of life.

Can you tell me how you make your living? What’s your main business?

I have several businesses online. I do a lot of teaching people to market on http://www.Earn1KADay.com, and I also do niche marketing, affiliate marketing, product creation, coupon sites, traffic generation, and tons of other things.

How long have you been doing business on the internet for?

I have been a full time marketer since June of 2006.

Why the internet as a channel for your business?

I love the internet because it’s so mobile. You can do your work from anywhere. I love to travel, so working on the internet really helps complement my lifestyle. I’ve gotten to live in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, visit Europe, 49 of the 50 U.S. states, etc… all thanks to the internet lifestyle. It could be done with a B&M store I’m sure, but the internet is just… easier.

What first motivated you to outsource work?

I used to be a retail manager, so I definitely understood the importance of delegation. I also understand that 2 minds is better than 1, 3 is better than 2, and so on and so forth. When my business started taking off and I had more ideas than I could manage myself,
I looked outward.

Are the reasons that you first outsourced work the same reasons now?

They are the same, yes. I also have some new reasons too – such as I want to ONLY concentrate on idea generation and let other people do everything else. Before, I would still do some of the work.

I’ve also travelled a ton more since beginning outsourcing and I’m more emphatic than ever before about it.

What are the main benefits and advantages of outsourcing work rather than doing it yourself?

Where do I begin?

You get to only work on what you like to work on, which rocks.

You get things done much faster than if you were to do them yourself.

You get to save money (yes, save money! I have people writing GREAT articles for me at $3 a pop. If I were to do those articles myself, it’d take 20 minutes or so per article. If I wrote them I’d be valuing my time at $9 per hour, which is just above minimum wage. It saves a LOT more money when I let other people do tasks that aren’t crucial and I concentrate on the major money-making things.

You get to test out lots of different business ideas without being at the mercy of just one.

You get to bring in outside perspective that you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

You get to help other people make money online.

You get to meet great new people.

You get to leave your computer for weeks at a time, if done right, and still make money.

That’s just the beginning.

What kind of work do you outsource? Is there any work that you wouldn’t outsource?

I try to outsource everything besides idea generation (and even that, I get help on).

Some examples are: website building, article writing, traffic generation, blog post writing, backlink building, emails answered for me, copywriting, phone calls, and (especially!) technical support.

I have outsourced work, mostly writing, in the past but was disappointed in the reliability of some writers. Have you got any tips for managing distance workers, given the ‘anonymity’ that the internet can give?

Before I hire anybody, I ask for a few things.

First, I ask for a sample of their work on a topic *I* create so that I don’t get any one-hit wonder samples (or plagiarised items). For example, I might ask for a sample article on how to tie a blue shoelace and a pink shoelace together or something – something random that they couldn’t find online.

I also give tests to people before hiring to ensure that they know how to write good articles. I do this with Google Docs. People just read my training material and then take a multiple choice test to prove they understand my training.

If I DO hire someone, I give them a trial assignment before EVER giving them full time work. This way I’ve had 3 ways of testing them before I commit to anything. 🙂

What about quality of work particularly with non-English speaking people.

I’ve had bad experience hiring people from the Philippines, but excellent experience with Romania, Jamaica, and India (well… with India, it’s the single contractors, not the companies). Obviously different people will give you different experiences. However, because of the “economy”, I’ve found people from the U.S. willing to work just as inexpensively as people in other countries and with MUCH better output. Therefore I don’t worry about other countries as much, to be honest.

I’m all about being a world citizen, but I also want to make sure I’m giving top-notch content on my sites and if I can get perfect articles for the same price as non-perfect, there’s no reason not to go for that, in my opinion.

Any tips for communicating with your contractors? What tools do you use?

I have a VA who manages everyone, for the most part. We keep it simple with Google Docs. We used to use Basecamp but Google Docs is just as fine.

Do you need to train your workers?

When I ran my 100+ company (since sold) we had a training site where people were given tests on every aspect of their jobs.

Now I hire a lot of people who already know what they’re doing, but I also create Jing videos for people on the fly if they have future questions they need answered.

Any tips for people who would like to work as a contractor?

I’d say to go to elance, odesk, guru.com, and craigslist. You can easily bid for jobs on those sites and meet lots of people to give you work. I’d start out with lower priced bids until you establish yourself and then look for repeat work from the people who hire you.

What are your future plans?

To be honest, I like to just flow. I’m still working in the business models I’ve told you about, and we have some more ideas to beef up Earn1KADay.com and make it even better. I’m also continually working on ways to help people shine their greatest gifts to the world.

If you are interested in finding out more about how outsourcing can help your business, or improving the outsourcing that you already do, visit Rachel’s site http://happyoutsourcing.com/ where Rachel can help you outsource more effectively.

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