Have you been thinking about outsourcing, but not exactly sure what you should outsource or how to even start the process? I’m sharing the exact steps I took when I began to outsource, and what I decided to take off of my plate.
What’s going to move the needle forward?
The very first thing you need to do is to figure out what is actually moving the needle forward in your business. If you’re not sure, take a look at where your top clients have been coming from. And if you’re not sure, be sure to have that as a question in your contact form. Knowing this will help you figure out what marketing efforts are working for you.
One of the reasons we outsource in the first place is so we can have more time back, so how amazing would it be if we not only outsourced the things that needed to actually be done, but we stopped doing the fluff things that really aren’t moving the needle forward?
Here’s an exercise I want you to try – write down literally every single thing you’re doing in your business, both big and small. Then, circle the things only YOU can do, and this is going to be super eye-opening. Now, we are going to take it a step further – underline the things that are bringing income into your business and moving the needle forward. The other thing I want you to do is look at that list, and see if there’s anything that can be eliminated.
I understand that it can be hard to imagine anyone else doing these tasks. I mean, our businesses are like our babies, but what I realized from not outsourcing is that I was holding myself back in my business by not clearing these things off of my plate because I didn’t have as much time for the things that were moving the needle.
How to outsource the things that are moving the needle forward
Hire someone on
This is probably someone we would bring on as a subcontractor to start and we train them. This is great for small admin tasks. When I got to a point where I needed a lot of help, I hired an amazing assistant who helped me with appointment setting and sending out emails. I showed her how to do everything and she was able to handle those tasks for me.
Hire an agency
Unlike bringing someone in-house, when you hire an agency that specializes in a certain task, you can add someone to your team who knows something that may not be your strong point. For example, I don’t know how to design a website, so I outsourced that and it got done so much faster and better than I could’ve ever done it!
There are a ton of great resources out there, like Imagine AI for editing.
What I outsourced first
As a photographer, a great place to start is editing. We spend a ton of time editing, so whether it’s Imagine AI or you want the personalized touch of an actual editor, that’s a great thing to get off your plate. I know you may not think someone else can do it like you, but I promise your clients won’t notice if something is slightly different than how you would normally do it. And you can always check it and send it on, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re just sitting there editing rather than finding better ways to serve them.
Now, as you’re growing, you will notice that some of those admin tasks are taking up a lot of time. Even if sending an email doesn’t seem to take long, it adds up and takes away from focusing on your business. This can be the scariest step for photographers, but bringing someone in a few hours a week to do admin tasks is HUGE!
When it comes to automating, look at your CRM and see what you can do. For example, I love Calendly because it sends my clients reminders about their sessions and meetings with me, so I don’t have to remember to send out reminders because Calendly automatically does that for me.
One of the things that moves the needle in my business is clients finding me on Google, so I started to blog regularly so I could have a good SEO presence. I trained someone to do that for me. And while you may think, “Well, Christa, you aren’t writing that yourself,” the clients that have booked me didn’t book me for what the blog post said, they booked me because they found me online, so I’m not going to spend that time and effort writing a blog post when they probably aren’t reading the whole thing.
Where to start with outsourcing
Start with an application form to send out, and there are a few things you should look for:
- Decide if it needs to be in person or remote.
- Look for someone who is willing to grow with you. Let them know it starts off small, but there’s room for growth both in hours and income.
- Have them submit a 2-3 minute video on why they should get the job. This gives you the chance to see if you resonate with their personality.
Post this application wherever you can, and then chat with the top 3. Someone might look awesome on paper, but maybe when you talk to them, you learn they may not be a good fit. Or vice versa. You may see that they missed a few things on their application, but you chat with them and realize they would be a perfect fit.
If you bring someone on, do a paid 30-day trial period so you can truly see if both you and them feel like it’s the right fit.
I do believe that as you grow and scale, you should have someone to take these things off your plate. Yes, a lot of things can be automated, but what has made my business so powerful is that personal touch of being there to help my clients. And it’s given me so much time back. I promise that you will not regret taking that first step in clearing more off your plate.
In this episode, we chat about:
- Thinking about the things that move the needle forward in your business
- How to outsource those needle-moving tasks
- What I decided to outsource first
- Where to begin with the application process
Connect with Christa
More about the Uncapped Photographer Podcast
The Uncapped Photographer Podcast is a podcast for established photographers teaching them how to uncap their offerings and setup in their photography business without the burnout. Every other week, Christa Rene Robinson will share the clear and concise actions you need to take to grow your photography business. This is the info she WISH someone had told her much, much sooner that would have allowed her to grow even FASTER!
This podcast is for you if you are ready to hit the next level in your business and income so you can build the life of your dreams!
Christa is a wife, mom, and photographer turned business coach with 10 years of experience in the industry. If you’d like to connect or work with Christa, reach out to her on Instagram @christa_rene. You can also learn more about her on her website https://christarenephotography.com.