#046: Three Things You Need to Outsource (Even if You’re New)

In this week’s show, I’ll share 3 smart ways to boost your freelance income by outsourcing tasks that others can do better, faster and more cheaply.

It may not make sense to do them all at once. It depends on where you are in your business and what kind of work you’re doing. But at some point, you should seriously consider delegating some of these functions.

I’ll explain what these tasks are, how I outsource this work, what companies I use and what my experience has been.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

Today I’m going to talk about three business functions that are time consuming and, most likely, other people can do better, faster and cheaper than you.

  1. Proofreading/light editing
  2. Transcriptions
  3. Bookkeeping/accounting

#1: Proofreading and Light Editing

When I launched my freelance business, I quickly realized how difficult it is to proofread my own work.

I realized that in order to grow my business and rates, I had to deliver a higher-quality, error-free product.

I started using ProofreadNOW.com. At $11 per 500-word page, this service is a no-brainer!

They can turn around your document in as little as one hour, although most of the time I opt for the more cost-effective 24-hour turnaround.

They have two proofreaders go through your document, which helps ensure they catch all errors.

These days I use ProofreadNOW.com for every client project I write. My clients consistently comment on the quality of my drafts. And I’ve become a better writer as I’ve learned the mistakes I make repeatedly. 

If you decide to use them, please consider entering my name and company name (Gandia Communications, Inc.) in the “Referred By” field when setting up your account. That gets me a small referral credit on future proofreading work, which helps support the work I do here at High-Income Business Writing. 🙂

#2: Transcriptions

The first case study I ever wrote for a client took me more than 20 hours to do. One of the reasons it took me so long was because I had a 45-minute recorded interview to pore through. I spend more than four hours playing back the interview, taking notes and jotting down quotes.

Since then, I’ve learned that using a transcription service has many advantages over taking notes:

  • During the interview, I can focus on what the interviewee is saying instead of taking notes.
  • With the transcription in hand, I can easily scan the document and get a clear picture of the story.
  • I can use the “Find” command in MS Word to look up key words or phrases in the conversation.
  • It provides me with key “chunks” of the story, in the customer’s words, already typed up. I can copy, paste and edit this text more easily than typing it myself.

A 45-minute interview costs less than $50 to transcribe. A 30-minute interview costs just over $30.

To record the conversation, use a free conference call service. I use freeconferencecall.com. Some of my colleagues use freeconferencecalling.com.

The transcription service I use is Capital Typing. You can get transcriptions in five to seven days (standard) for about $65 per recorded hour. For a higher fee, you can request 24- or 48-hour turnaround.

After using these guys for seven years, I approached them about becoming an affiliate partner. If you contact them, just tell them I sent you.

My contact at Capital Typing is David Jonas:

david@capitaltyping.com

If you use their service, I earn a small commission — which again, helps support this show. But don’t feel you have to use them. The point is to find a service you like and send work their way.

#3: Bookkeeping

I’ve always understood the value of partnering with an accountant. 

In 2005, I outsourced my tax preparation to an accounting company. In 2008, I gave the same company my bookkeeping business. Today, the only thing I’ve kept is invoicing.

You can hire a CPA for your taxes only. Or you can hire a bookkeeper only. Or you can do both!

If you want a bookkeeper, do a Google search for “mobile” bookkeepers. “Mobile” bookkeepers come to your home office and do all the work in YOUR computer (keeping all your information in your hard drive). Or you can use an online system like FreshBooks.

Whichever route you go, make sure you get someone who already works with and understands freelancers/self-employed people.

Focus your time on what you do best. Let others help with the rest. 

 


Want More of This Stuff?

Want to get more tips and strategies for boosting your writing income? There are three ways you can enjoy these tips and strategies, share them with friends and help me grow this movement to banish the starving writer syndrome:

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Finally, if you have a question you’d potentially like answered on a future show —or if you’d like to be considered as a guest for a future episode — please let me know: ed at b2blauncher dot com.

Thanks again for your support!

Till next time,

-Ed


Post Categories: Podcast, Running the Biz

Leave A Reply (12 comments so far)

  • Helen Fosam

    Hi Ed,

    Amazing set of information and advice. I will definitely implement. Thank you for all you do to help improve what we do.

    Sincerely,

    Helen Fosam.

    • edgandia

      Thank YOU, Helen!

  • justin pugsley

    That could come in handy — many thanks for those resources. I really don’t enjoy doing transcripts & proof reading!

    • edgandia

      Thanks, Justin! By the way, I’m almost certain that ProofreadNOW will proof British English if you request that in the notes field.

  • Guest

    This is incredibly helpful, Ed! I almost didn’t read the post because I thought, “Nah, I’m not at a point in my career where I can consider paying to outsource stuff.” Then I read your post. I’m so glad I did. I had no idea proofing could be so inexpensive. And the time savings on transcribing could be totally worth it depending on the project. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • edgandia

      Super! Great to hear this opened your eyes to the opportunities for outsourcing, even early in your freelance career. Good luck!

  • Mark Soroka

    Great advice, Ed. I could see myself outsourcing all three of these tasks. I would like to add another possible task to outsource. For writers involved with a more complex project like a book, research is often very time intensive. There are many research specialists who could provide this service at a reasonable cost. That helps to free up the writer for other things. I haven’t hired a research assistant yet but I could see myself doing this in the near future.

    • edgandia

      I agree. The trick is finding the right research partner … and using him/her the right way. I’ve found that for some projects it’s best to do your own research, as it enables you to uncover key points that will help drive your article or paper in a different/better direction. But there have been a few times when I could have really used a research pro’s help!

  • Lisa Rothstein

    Hey Ed, Thanks for Capital Typing as a resource! Not only do they come with your recommendation…those rates are some of the best I have seen.

    • edgandia

      You’re welcome, Lisa! They do great work. Just as important, they always deliver on time, which is important for me.

  • Hello Ed, great article! I like to add my two cents. When looking for a bookkeeper or accountant, make sure they work on cloud based software. This way you can review your financial status anytime, and your software is always updated.

    • edgandia

      Good point, David! I’ve opted to stay out of it completely and just snail-mail them my paperwork every quarter. They then send me financials and a transactions report. But I have access to the QB file, and they have full offsite backup. However, I know other people prefer to have access to that info 24/7, so that’s something to consider.

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