Your initial reaction to outsourcing may be to say no. After all, if something needs to be done, then it needs to be done correctly, right? Despite this mentality, outsourcing is necessary for success; there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything yourself, and one of the easiest tasks to outsource is online marketing.
There are a host of benefits of outsourcing, but there are downsides as well. Let's focus on the benefits first.
Outsourcing can be a hearty boon to most businesses, especially startups. If you lack the skill set to get a necessary task done, then outsourcing it to an offshore worker can be a great way to focus on your strengths while still accomplishing everything you need to do for your business. You could outsource SEO work to a third-party firm and rely on them to revamp your website to generate the most organic traffic possible. You could outsource your marketing emails in order to find web design clients.
If you need a logo designed but have only rudimentary Photoshop skills, then outsourcing is a better use of your time. While you may be able to design a passable logo by investing 10 or more hours into it, is it worth it? By spending a small amount of money and outsourcing the task to someone else, you can have your logo done and still accomplish a host of other tasks. Whether this is worthwhile to you or not depends on how much you value your time; what is an hour worth?
That said, despite all the benefits, there are a few glaring disadvantages to outsourcing. Perhaps the first and most commonly felt issue is that of communication. Outsourcing means you must develop clear and cohesive communication skills with your offshore staff; failing to do so can result in mistakes or dissatisfaction with the delivered product. While many people can explain what they want easily enough in person, the same cannot be said for email. Take the time to read over any briefs you send and ensure they contain the necessary information.
Another downside is that you will have to train your offshore staff. While they may ultimately save you time in the long run, there is an initial investment of time necessary to ensure they know how to perform the tasks you need them to perform. This applies to more general staff; as a rule, those hired to perform specific jobs will already know what they're doing.
Finally, your work will be outsourced to people who are not as passionate about the job as you are. While your startup may be your pride and joy, to your staff it is nothing more than a paycheck. This doesn't mean they won't deliver the right quality, but it does mean they're not as likely to respond to you at 3AM when you're pulling your third all-nighter in a row in search of clients.
Whether or not to outsource is your decision. Take the time to evaluate the possible benefits and disadvantages and decided whether it is right for you.