AS IF: the blog


Outsourcing – it’s not just for corporates


In this post PR Pro Lianne Robinson – looks at how freelancers can outsource the business of running a business.

Yesterday my website finally went live! Well ok, it’s a holding page but it’s a start. I actually bought my domain name two years ago when I decided to take the plunge into the freelance world. But the reality is that work gathered pace quite quickly (thank you Sam ;-)) and I have been so busy since then helping clients manage their PR and marketing that I haven’t had time to do my own. And while I’ve managed to get a home page up, the rest of the content will simply have to wait until I catch a breath!

And I know I’m not alone in this. In fact, the chap that designed my ‘holding page’ said that he has had the exact same thing on his website for over seven years. He just hasn’t found the time to do it yet.

I was going to do it. But the truth is, designing a website and sorting out all the technicalities around hosting it is not my sweet spot. So it kept falling further and further down my to-do list.

A friend of mine recently asked for some help with marketing her new VA business (Virtual Assistant for those who like me didn’t know). I thought she was crazy at first. Being an ‘outsource’ resource to help busy business owners manage their admin – who would do that? But when I looked into it further, I saw that my friend was joining a whole army of other VA’s who offer this exact service. And who have done so successfully for many years.

And it dawned on me. My clients outsource their PR and marketing needs to me. They simply don’t have the time or the expertise to do it themselves. I looked at my own business. It wasn’t just the website that I had outsourced. My logo has been designed by a local graphic designer. My accounts are done by a local accountant….without realising it I have outsourced much of my own business admin. It’s not even that I can’t do any of these things. It’s just that these skills are not my forte and it’s far more efficient to let someone who is an expert in that field take the pressure. And if I want to find time to sleep and spend time with my son over the next twenty years then I need relinquish total control.

Being a freelancer can feel a bit isolated at times. You work for yourself and it’s a real driver. I often put in 18 hour days because I love what I do and it’s really easy to get carried away. But you can’t be a jack of all trades and expect to have a life at the same time. It took a couple of years to see it, but by letting the experts take care of certain tasks it’s a huge weight off my shoulders. Not to mention the fact that these tasks are now actually getting done! It took me two years to outsource my website – it took the designer five days to get it online.

Now I can focus on what I’m good at. And spend more time on the work that actually excites me! My only regret is that I could have done this all two years ago. But I guess that’s the learning curve that comes with the territory.