#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. 

 


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Till next time,

-Ed