I still remember the first time I heard someone use the term "O.P.M." (Other People's Money). It was probably 15 years ago and I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard. Without really understanding what it meant or how to do it, I knew it was something I wanted to master and had to master even.
Lately, I've been thinking more and more about a similar concept: O.P.T., which stands for Other People's Time. In similar fashion, it's leveraging other people's resources to accomplish things that enhance your business. In essence, this is what employees are all about. A business owner takes on a financial commitment to have the use of a person's time and skill set to ultimately make money on that investment.
For many of you, taking on employees is not possible or realistic based on where your businesses are at. Heck, some people just don't want to deal with employees. However, that doesn't have to keep you from using O.P.T.
One of the things I particularly like about considering the use of O.P.T. is that it forces you to think in terms of systems and starts you on the path to maximum efficiency. I would venture to guess that about 85% to 90% of what most of us do could be handled by someone else. It's difficult to give up control, though, and most of us aren't organized enough to even begin to have a clue about how'd we'd hand something off.
Now, before you dismiss this as just another pie in the sky post about outsourcing and virtual assistants, you should know I plan on showing you 5 simple, yet potentially time consuming tasks you really should consider outsourcing. This is basic stuff that most SEO'ers (regardless of what level or how much you do) have to deal with on a regular basis. This is the power of O.P.T. at a very effective level.
Here are 5 areas that I feel are safe to leverage O.P.T. for:
This one gets thrown around a lot. I would advocate a little bit of a different approach though. You need to determine what link building strategy/strategies you feel will work best for the rankings you're trying to achieve, then have someone else perform the actual tasks themselves. This keeps you in control of the process, but lets you replicate your initial efforts over and over for minimal cost. Where many sites have gotten into trouble, especially with recent search engine updates (specifically Google), is when they hand everything over to a supposed "expert" and have no clue what is being done on their behalf. It's not rocket science to come up with a link building strategy, but there's also no reason you should be spending your valuable time actually creating the links.
Blog/Site Setup I'm amazed at how clueless people are about simple site hosting and some of the underpinnings of what makes a site work. You don't need to be a tech head to at least have some idea about how to secure a domain name, set up hosting with one of the big providers, get a blog installed, and get the thing configured with some base plugins and settings. Given the sheer number of sites that have covered this even in just the last year, there really is no excuse to not be familiar with it. That said, this is another set of tasks that can take some time that you shouldn't be messing with. Go through the process, define what you're after, then leverage someone else's time for it. Chances are you won't do it often enough to have it memorized, so paying a few bucks to have that tech head that you don't want to be do it is money well spent. Just don't use that as an excuse for not learning what the essential bits and bytes do.
Filler Content Content is another hot button for the gurus to gravitate towards. There are thousands of article writing services available online. And I LOVE IT! Frankly, I don't want to write on my various sites and blogs every day. I want to slack off a little here and there. I also don't particularly enjoy rewriting content to use on various multiple link building or other content sites. O.P.T. is the answer. Spend a few bucks and have some decent, topic-focused content written for you, but don't cheap out and get crap stuff. Find a couple of good writers whose time you can leverage to fill in some of the holes on your site or blog with decent content. If you run multiple sites, there's no way you can have time to do it all. Anchor content, though, that is the heart of your site or blog, should be written by you. Don't make the mistake of trying to have someone else do that on your behalf, unless you're paying a very good writer or employee.
Social Media Account Creation - Across all the sites First off, you should have social media accounts set up for all of your businesses, sites, online personas, etc. That's a no brainer. Now actually doing the work to set up those accounts is something you should be using the power of O.P.T. for. I recently had a service set up 300 social profiles for me. They had it done in less than a week and saved me HUGE amounts of time. Will I use all 300? Of course not. I'm focused on 6 right now. But when the time comes, I want to engage an audience on a different social network, when my account is ready. I also don't have to worry about a poacher beating me to it.
Creatives The final O.P.T. safe area is creatives. This is a more personal one as I'm just plain no good at creative stuff. I can tweak things and create some simple banners and the like, but it's just not in me to think on the creative level. Leveraging someone else's time for creative tasks saves me time and likely adds years to my life in saved frustration alone. Everything from ad banners to site design, info graphics to email templates. I try to O.P.T. it all. Different individuals and groups are used for various creatives, but I try not to focus on anything other than that end result that's delivered.
Those are the top 5 for me. You may have a different list. Regardless, you should be thinking about how you create defined processes and systems out of the regular things you do every day, every week, every month, and find other people with time to start doing those things for you.