Happy Wednesday, friends! I definitely had to just double check to see what day it was, but thats how this time of year goes for me! 😉 It’s my slower season, but I make sure it doesn’t feel slow with the amount of projects and dreams I take on! It can be so hard to balance life and business, but what about just all the things in business? There are SO many things we do behind the scenes to stay relevant, serve our clients, and grow our businesses, but sometimes we just don’t have the time..until we start outsourcing! 😉 So today, incase you haven’t already guessed it, we are talking all about outsourcing!! 2018 was definitely the year of outsourcing for me! I put it off for years worried about paying someone else, but turns out, I actually made more money. Like a LOT more. Adding someone to my team who could take on all those small tedious tasks like pinning blog posts, sending newsletters, and commenting on social media platforms was LIFE CHANGING! Those things are all actually super important, but I was putting them off for the “big projects” so having someone else take them on actually helped my business GROW!
Here is a list of everything I outsourced in 2018 and who did it:
-Instagram Planning // VA
-Newsletters // VA
-Pinning Blog Posts // VA
-Creating Pinterest Friendly Pins With Images Blogged // VA
-Wedding Image Editing // Photo Editor
-Bloom Retreat Newsletter // A Copywriter And A Newsletter Strategist
First off, lets chat about how to know when to outsource! I think it is super important that you have a very clear idea of your business finances before worrying about paying someone else! Obviously you shouldn’t outsource if you can’t afford it, but you also don’t need to take anyone on full or even part time by any means! My virtual assistant works for me 5 hours a week. This is usually 1 hour M-F, and just those 5 hours off my plate allow me 5 hours to focus on bigger things! Once she got trained in and used to the tasks, she was actually flying through them and finishing them in less time which meant I either paid her less for the week or had her do something else on top of that to fill the hours! You are the boss!
Second of all, it took me FOREVER to get to the point of outsourcing, because I was convinced that no one can do things the way I do things. Turns out, outsourcing the things I really don’t have time for or just hate doing, was really easy! 😉 I was no longer stressing over them, and after about a week of my assistant doing them, I realized they were getting done exactly how I’d want them done because I trained her well. You have to take the time to train and answer questions in order to get the most out of this relationship!
Now, if you just don’t know what to outsource because you are a control freak like I was, I have a tip for you! Make a list of every single task you do on a daily-weekly basis! Be very specific and write it ALL down! Once you do, go back through and circle the things you could outsource! Once thing I still haven’t outsourced is my emails. Communication is one of my strengths so I choose to keep that task, but getting around to sending newsletters and updating Pinterest was something I only got around to here and there so it was an easy outsource! You get to decide what you do and do not outsource!
Once you have someone, start training them! I talk about how I train in the Q+A below, but just be organized, and take the time needed to train them, you won’t regret it! It seems hard at first because you hired someone to give you more time and now you are spending that time training them, but it won’t take long, and the return on your investment is SO worth while! Hang in there! 🙂
Q + A
Q: Do you incorporate your outsourcing into pricing to cover it?
A: Great question! Since I have been in this industry 8 years, my packages are to a point where I make what I need to make so that was not really an issue! Also, like I mentioned above, I actually started making MORE once I outsourced so it actually balanced out very well! However, let’s say you are struggling with not getting your clients their wedding galleries on time, or just despise the editing process, outsource it! Just make sure that you are adding that price into your packages to cover it so you are not losing money or not making what you need to live!
Q: Where do you find people to work for you?
A: I used a few different platforms! First, I posted in the Honeybook opportunities that I was looking for a Virtual Assistant, and I also put a small description of tasks they would be doing! I linked an application I put together in Jot Form (Type-Form is also great) and the applications started flooding my inbox! I also posted in a few Facebook groups like Rising Tide Society. Groups that were filled with all different types of creatives was key! I was very picky in the “interviewing process”! First step was going through all the applications. If there were barely any words I immediately deleted the application, because the effort was not there. Then, I went through again and “starred” the ones that stood out to me. These were people who took time to introduce themselves, give me a look into their background, and showed sincere interest and gratitude in the opportunity to work for me! Once, I had those I scheduled Google Hangout interviews with them! By this time I new exactly who I wanted, and I am SO glad I was picky because she fit my business well, and served me even better!
Q: Do they know exactly what they need to do each day?
A: Yes! I use Trello to make an outline of their week! This is literally what they do every day M-F every single week! If there is anything that needs to be added I just add it on there! You just have to be clear about what needs to be done, when it needs to be done by, and your expectations!
Q: How do you express what you want done and how you want it done?
A: This sort of ties in with the last question, but the way you train your VA is key! I made a really long training PDF with all my usernames/passwords, tasks broken down to every little step, and even how I word things! Tell your VA it’s ok if they ask you questions as they learn or if they ever are unsure about something! This will allow you you to continue to train them, and they will get things done exactly how you want them done!
Have you outsourced anything in your biz? What would you love to outsource?