April 24, 2024

Scaling Your Business Through Smart Outsourcing

This is a special edition of A Media Operator, sponsored by SEBPO. In these sponsored deep dives, we dig into a specific topic and go into much more detail. I hope you enjoy it!

As businesses continue to evolve after the pandemic, people’s perceptions of where work gets done have changed. It used to be that running a media company required an office in New York City. Then, the pandemic showed us that people could work from anywhere and still get their jobs done, which has helped clean up people’s P&Ls quite nicely.

But as we unlocked the ability to do our jobs anywhere, some companies have realized that limiting our hiring pool to a single city—pre-pandemic—or a single country is very limiting. There are incredibly talented people all over the world. The woman who designed the AMO media kit is based in Barcelona. I have another person who helps me with operations based in the Philippines. The majority of the freelance writers for AMO are over in London.

The problem with outsourcing is that it can be hard, and that perception holds people back from even starting. Not to mention, media companies are unique. Understanding how to traffic ad campaigns, for example, takes time to learn. Pulling reports from ad servers and putting them into a format that advertisers will benefit from is a lot of manual effort. And so, you have to find people, train them, and then supervise and ensure that the work is getting done to your specifications.

And when this happens, many operators take a step back, concerned about the quality of work that’s going to get done. Overcoming this is a major burden for operators. It has been for me as I’ve made my first outsourced hire. However, it doesn’t have to be. And for media companies specifically, this is where SEBPO comes in.

SEBPO launched in 2006 to serve advertising, media, and technology companies. Since then, the company has continued helping them scale their businesses, save money, and reallocate resources into more strategic initiatives that help their clients succeed.

Because of its specialty in media, the SEBPO Team can develop very clear training programs with their clients and teams to ensure that any outsourced work is getting done to the right standard.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can scale your business with SEBPO, contact their sales team today or click here.

Still unsure? Then keep reading…

Framework for Outsourcing

Before we just run off and start outsourcing, it’s important to put together a concrete plan and deeply appreciate where to best deploy these outsourced resources. The reality is that these are people who are doing jobs, and to maximize our investment, we probably need to plan.

It helps to develop a framework for thinking about it. When speaking with SEBPO about this article, they offered a concrete way of thinking about it through three steps: Scale, Save, and Succeed. It might read like PowerPoint language, but bear with me because it is a good way to break down an otherwise very complex topic.


As the saying goes, “You can’t fix a problem without first admitting that you have one.” The same is true for scaling. If you blindly throw resources at your business, you’re going to either overspend, irritate your employees, or introduce additional inefficiency. There’s a reason that so many tech companies have fired thousands of employees and seen little drop in efficiency. Oftentimes, more is not better.

But when growing quickly, it can be hard to truly appreciate how intentional our scaling efforts need to be. The same is true for outsourcing. Before we can benefit from scale, we need to understand where we need the most help. To do that, we need to conduct an audit of everything that’s getting done at the company. Some of the questions you want to ask include:

  • Where are there hang-ups?
  • Where are internal teams spread thin?
  • Where is communication breaking down?

With each of these questions, you can start to better appreciate where opportunities exist to improve operations. But which department to start with? I’d look at revenue-generating tasks for a couple of reasons. First, if you can streamline that, it has an immediate impact on profitability, which everyone loves. Second, it’s client-facing, and by rethinking your resources, you can become a better partner. I’ll get to that.

And so, dig into things like:

  • Ad Ops and trafficking ad campaigns
  • Gathering client deliverables and sending them screenshots to prove campaigns are running (hard to imagine, but people still like to see it)
  • Generating reports of ad campaigns
  • Answering customer service emails for subscribers

The list goes on. But I’ve heard stories of media companies not sending their best practices guide to advertisers until right before the ad is supposed to start running. How can the advertiser get the best bang for their buck if Ad Ops and account management are scrambling to communicate with the partner?

This is an obvious opportunity for outsourced talent in coordination with account management. Outsource repeatable tasks like data entry, logging, and sending basic information. Use your internal staff to talk to the partner about how their campaigns are performing.

The point here is that you minimize the likelihood that an advertiser will churn because you now have the resources to get many of those repeatable tasks done ahead of time. Additionally, you minimize the likelihood of your employees churning because they’re not stuck doing this more monotonous work. This is a win-win across the board.


One of the things that I learned about hiring a lot of people is that it inevitably introduces a lot of middle management. In some respects, this is natural. However, with things like weekly 1:1s, quarterly OKRs, and annual reviews, management starts to become a full time job. In other words, less work gets done on the business and more work gets done managing people.

But think about it… you have someone with four direct reports, and then they hire a fifth. Every week, they’re spending 5 hours—nearly an entire day—on their weekly 1:1s. And if they don’t want to come into that meeting completely unaware, there is probably prep time. Not to mention, as you hire more people, you need to bring on more support staff, including HR, IT, etc. And if you’ve got people coming into an office, you may need more real estate.

It’s ineffective and, I would hope, something that’s never going to come back. Media companies will need to get nimbler and not deploy so much capital into middle management. That money should go into producing more for your readers and your sponsors.

So, by outsourcing, you don’t need to absorb all of those middle management costs. First, talent itself is less expensive in other parts of the world, and second, a good partner will handle that middle management itself. For example, you might have a head of Ad Ops who would have historically had a number of traffickers on her team, but now, their direct contact is the person at the outsourced company who is then managing traffickers.

But it’s important to pick the right partner who understands your industry holistically. Because they do this work for many partners, they can also suggest potential optimizations to your processes, improving things in a way that you might not have considered originally.


The outcome of all of this is that your business scales efficiently and saves money that can be better deployed into more important activities. It also strengthens your full-time team.

Here’s how… if you’ve got a remote workforce that handles all the back-end tasks, this frees up time for your people to level up. Imagine you have an account manager who needs to gather reports for advertisers and then contextualize that information for them. Well, if someone else was gathering those reports, your account manager could focus entirely on client strategy. That’s a huge win.

You should care far more about delivering value—both in the sales process and throughout the campaign—versus handling back-office tasks. Not all work is created equal, and it is far more important to do things that directly impact revenue, like talking with clients and trying to upsell them rather than doing repeatable work.

And what I also like is that, depending on where you outsource, it can turn your business into a 24-hour operation. During the day, your on-site team gathers requirements and sends them over to your outsourced team. By the time they show up the next day, the work is done as if they hadn’t missed a beat.

You grow, save money, and ultimately, generate more revenue. That’s how you succeed.

Overcoming Fears of Outsourcing

So, there’s an obvious framework for properly outsourcing a lot of this back-office, internal work that your team is wasting their time on. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t inherent fears tied to this. I get there.

But there are a number of things to remember when outsourcing that will increase the likelihood that you succeed and alleviate many of these fears.

First, documentation is critical. When you become good at something, you operate off muscle memory. I know exactly how to send an AMO newsletter without really thinking about it. But when you outsource, they don’t know how to do these things. And so, you need to document exactly what needs to be done and develop concrete standard operating procedures.

Second, you’ll want to track everything. This is closely linked to documentation but is worth noting. Fortunately, if you choose a reliable partner, they can track it all for you. Remember, this is about scaling in an efficient way. So, the partner can handle much of this. However, tracking also helps inform standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training. Ideally, your SOPs become so concrete that you’re no longer forced to do repeatable training. Your partner can do it once, train the team, and then operate.

Third, exhibit patience. I know it seems that certain tasks should be easy but refer back to my point about muscle memory. When you’re outsourcing, you don’t have these people sitting directly next to you. And so, when they’re getting booted up, be very patient and communicate clearly.

Fourth, remember that these individuals you’ve outsourced to are part of your team, even if they are not directly on your payroll. They are working to move your business forward. Like all humans, they take pride in their work. And so, share the information that they need to do their jobs as effectively as possible.

Finally, if it’s not working, say so. Sit down with your partner, talk through where there are problems, and if you need to replace talent, so be it. This is a communication business, and if you are unwilling to do that, it can be very hard to be successful.

However, this is a place you want to succeed because if done right, you can grow efficiently, save good money, successfully grow revenue, and have a more optimized team. That’s what I call a win.

Even with all of this, the thought of outsourcing can still be scary… Fortunately, that’s where SEBPO comes into play.

Are you unsure about developing an outsourcing plan? Are you unclear on what resources you’ll need? This is exactly how SEBPO can help.

Having worked with media companies for nearly two decades, SEBPO can provide you with the support and solutions you need to continue scaling, saving, and succeeding in your media company without any of the above fears.

And if you are growing for the first time and don’t have any standard operating procedures, that’s okay, too. SEBPO has worked with dozens of media companies over its nearly two decades of operating, so it can help you figure out the most effective workflows for your processes.

Contact their sales team today or click here.