Thursday, July 3, 2008

When You Need a Little Help

This week I have been pretty swamped with work – a good thing, no doubt. I am also working on a new website and some new marketing strategies, so my sleep has suffered a bit. One of my clients has been discussing a possible big project that I am REALLY looking forward to finalizing. I'll have to juggle it along with all of my other projects and my responsibilities at home (mantra: school starts in eight weeks, school starts in eight weeks…) and I have been toying with the idea of outsourcing.

When I decided to start freelancing full time, I wasn't prepared for how quickly things would take off. I was very quickly overwhelmed with writing assignments and deadlines – I didn't know anything about establishing a work schedule, and I didn't know how to estimate how long it would take to complete each project. Experience is the best teacher, so I figured it out.

I also started thinking about finding a couple of other writers to help me out. I am so fortunate to have one very professional writer whom I have outsourced projects to in the past. She is great about meeting deadlines and all that good stuff. But I have also had some bad outsourcing experiences with writers who would send me some very professional samples of their work, but then turn in garbage when it came time to submit the assignment. And then of course there was that one writer who never even turned in the assignment… Experiences like that are more stressful than just doing it all yourself.

Some writers are successfully working
with teams of five to 20 different writers! Honestly, the idea of managing that many different people makes me nauseous. If things get too wild around here, I know I can count on at least one good writer. But who knows how long that will last?


Courtney said...

I am really enjoying your blog by the way!
Robert W Bly doesn't outsource his writing, instead he suggests getting someone to perform other functions for you. For instance, he hires people to do his research, admin functions, fed ex/mail, or whatever. You can probably hire college students who want to learn the business and just need a few hours/week for beer money. You could probably even hire a marketing student to help you with light marketing or something. Just some thoughts so that maybe people can still hold onto their writing gigs but get some help. I certainly don't have this option yet, but maybe someday. :)

Avid Writer said...

Hi courtney,

You know, that's actually not a half bad idea - I've been thinking about something like that on a smaller scale. I live close to a college community and just might look into this! Thanks for the suggestion!:)

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