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From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 5 Steps to Outsource Content like a Genius

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 5 Steps to Outsource Content like a Genius

There’s no doubt, online content rocks! But creating it is another ball game.

Why? This is because on the internet, there are only two types of content: crappy content and EPIC FAIL. Crappy content is created with little to no research, poor grammar and is keyword stuffed. You can even smell the keywords from the article. EPIC FAIL on the other hand has much more time and work put into it. That’s why it’s epic in the first place.

So, as an entrepreneur who wants to create content that converts into traffic, subscribers or sales as the case may be, you need to know how to create content that rocks. But with the little time on your hands which should be invested wisely, you also need to know how to outsource that content and still get the same results or better as if you did it all by yourself.

But is outsourcing content all you need?

No!

You need to know how to outsource content like a genius, to a team that produces nothing but results for you. So, here are 5 steps to outsource content with little to no effort from your part.

1. Know the Purpose and Create Targeted Content

When the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable. And there’s a lot of online content that’s been abused. The first step to creating epic content is to know its purpose. You need to know the “why” of the content (that is, why are your creating it?) before even thinking about who you will outsource it to.

Online content is written for different purposes: clients, traffic, sales, engagement, etc. Content that’s created for engagement must always appear interesting and should speak the language of your audience.

Content written for traffic should be optimized with specific keywords and should be of high quality, especially if it is a guest post. Content written for clients and sales must subtly sell your services or products to the reader while still giving out maximum value. Your services or products would just be an option or a faster way to solve the problem you stated in the content. All this would help you have a clear Call-to-Action that converts.

Outsource it: Knowing the purpose of every piece of content you create is very important. This way, when giving your content team instructions, you’ll be able to make things easier by saying, “The purpose of this content is to attract potential clients to my services page. So, ensure you write in a tone that gives me authority and credibility.”

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2. Know Your Audience and Streamline Your Language

Every industry has its language. If your audience is a bunch of tax consultants, mentioning words like tax, auditing, equity ratio, allocation, etc is acceptable. But please don’t use those words when writing for Work-At-Home moms.

You need to know exactly who your content is aiming. Once you know this, you’ll then need to speak or write in a way that they would understand. The aim of every piece of content is to get the message across in the simplest way possible. Don’t make things complicated for your readers by using technical language, all in the name of appearing professional.

Outsource it: Specify that you want the content to include the language used in a specific niche. This way, when giving your content team instructions, you can add that, “This content is written for people in the tax industry, precisely tax consultants. So ensure you use words that they use every day and that directly speak to them.”

3. Know Your Competition and Use Them as Leverage

Every business has competition and the goal is to not only be better than your competition, but to be different. Why is it important to know your competition? Well, this helps you and your content team know what qualifies as “quality content”. Here’s what I mean;

Communicating ideas with others can sometimes be hard because they may not understand what you qualify as a good result. What you need to do in this case is look for a quality piece of content created by your competitor that is worth emulating. This piece of content, which could be any of the different types of online content, must be the kind that you propose would bring the results you want.

The next step would then be to make yours’ different, using your competitor’s content as a benchmark. In other words, the quality of content you would create must not be less that of your competitor. This gives you some form of leverage for you because you’ll add something to yours’ different or better.

Outsource it: Do a little research to find content that’s extraordinary. It may not even be from your niche. This way, your content team would have a defined direction and know what you qualify as a good result when you add, “Use this guest post by company XYZ as reference for this content. Look at how it was crafted to suit their audience, the content structure, length and tone. I want you to create something like this but make it unique. Show that I offer solutions in a way that’s different from others.”

4. Use a Content Framework to Save Time and Effort

Every piece of content on the internet has the most basic form of a framework which is: Headline, Introduction, Body, Conclusion and Call- to-Action. However, if you want content that converts, you should go deeper than that and define each part of the framework.

After studying the content from your competitor, you would be able to outline the content framework used. You can easily do this by simply answering some specific questions such as, “What headline formula did he use?”, “Does the introduction include a story that outlines the problem or is it just engaging?”, “Is a pattern interrupt or cliffhanger used? If it was used, where?”, “How detailed are the sub points?,” “Is the conclusion actionable? If it isn’t, how can I make mine more actionable?,” “Did the Call-to-Action blend in with the content?”

Outsource it: Using a framework gives your content team a more detailed overview of how the content would be created. You can add to your instructions, “See how a story was crafted to show the problem that tax consultants face when auditing large firms. Ensure to include a pattern interrupt at the beginning of the body that hooks the reader to read the sub points afterwards. Although the conclusion was not actionable, make mine actionable so it takes the reader one step forward toward solving his problem.” Once the content is studied and a framework created, you can then assess it, make corrections and move to the next step.

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5. Use a Draft That Leads To Smashing Finished Content

The purpose of drafts is to simply guide you on what to write. It also makes content creation super easy because it allows you to just “fill in the gap” when creating the final content.

As an example, let’s pick the basic framework one after the other.

The introduction

After the headline, the introduction is the second most important part of an article. Miss it here and you won’t get readers to go through the rest of the content.

So, the best way to capture readers in the introduction is to appeal to their emotions. How?

1. Through stories.

2. By relating with their pain and giving them a solution.

Whichever one you choose, the main aim is to get the reader connected.

The draft could have an introduction like this:

————————————————————

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State the pain associated with [subject of article].

————————————————————

Afterwards, your introduction should also contain the solution; the magic pill that the readers want. But you don’t just state this directly. Saying it like, “the following are 20 ways…..” can make the reader lose interest. The best way to say it is using the “Pattern Interrupt” if this is the way you want to go.

The Body

It’s in the body that you directly state what the reader is about to learn.

As for the points, you must have thought them up even before creating your draft. Also, every point comes with an explanation and an actionable give away. However this could differ depending on the content framework and kind of article.

————————————————————–

1. [Point 1]

This is where we show the reader how to …..

Next, we give an actionable way the reader can implement [Point 1].

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2. [Point 2]

We show the reader how…..

Next, we give an actionable way the reader can implement [Point 2].

————————————————————-

[Point 1] and [Point 2] will actually be replaced by the actual points.

This is just assuming that we’ve 2 points in the article.

The Conclusion and Call to Action

Here, depending on the framework, you summarize everything you’ve discussed so far. But most importantly, you end the story that you started in the introduction. If your story, in the introduction, states the pain the reader faces and the solution you are providing, the conclusion would show how the reader’s life would turn out if he/she implements your points in the article. Remember, you are writing to appeal to the emotion of the reader, and not just their common sense.

Outsource it: Request for a draft from your content team. You can add something like this to your instruction, “After studying the content framework of the guest post, send me a draft of what you would include in the final content. This draft should give me a brief overview of just what you would write in each part of the article. Once I make any necessary corrections and approve this, you’ll be able to create the final piece faster.”

It’s almost impossible to receive crappy content after following these five steps. Outsourcing content has its headaches because not every team member can easily translate what you qualify as quality. Therefore, you need to give them something to work with.

By knowing your audience and creating a content framework that speaks to their needs, you’ll receive outsourced content that brings the results you want. The good thing is you don’t have to do the work yourself. This ultimately saves you time and gives you a better Return on Investment. Just ensure you outsource content to someone who can get the job done!

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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