19 Feb 11 9:55 pm
I have made some silly mistakes the few times that I have outsourced in the past. Maybe what I learnt from those mistakes will help someone?
First of all I'd advise anyone to take time and don't try to rush any aspect of the project.
It's really important to fully explain what it is you want. This seems obvious but given your own closeness to your ideas, you can easily find yourself 'expecting' a writer for example to just 'get it', leaving out what to the provider could be an important detail they had not considered.
As individuals, we can and often do interpret things differently... Creating a detailed brief spanning the requirements of your project will not only help you to better understand the true nature of what you're aiming to produce, but also highlight any ambiguity.
Of course, a smaller project is much easier to define, but larger projects can be tricky.
Don't be too quick to accept proposals... I found that proposals will basically say.... 'I can give you everything you want and I am the best'!
But can they and are they? Though there are many good providers, there are always going to be those out to try and fool you.... On one occasion, a sample article was offered to me by a provider as evidence of his capabilities when in fact he'd just ripped it of someone else's blog! This nearly slipped past me and if I had not have discovered this, I would have ended up paying for a batch of articles belonging to someone else... not good.
... before you employ for an important project, post small jobs first and use several different providers. This way you can compare and pick the provider that satisfies your requirements closest.
An old saying I take to heart is 'fail to prepare and prepare to fail'...
Time is the biggest enemy of us all but, time spent in preparation is most important. I never have enough hours in the day and so I know from personal experience that this produces a pressure of sorts (If you find yourself in this position - just take a step back and look, rather than force a decision you're not ready to make).
I say this because when I have outsourced, it's time pressures, be it self inflicted or otherwise that lead me to outsource in the first place.. I think that in the past I have used this as an excuse to neglect some of the stuff that I already talked about.