I hear it time and time again in my local Rising Tide Society Tuesday’s Together meetings and see and read it daily on Facebook groups. Everyone is afraid to delegate and outsource. And I get it. Trust me. I used to cling so tightly to everything in my business, and I really struggled giving up control. I almost felt like I was failing it I couldn’t do it all by myself. “I’m an entrepreneur, and this is my business! I have to be able to wear all the hats!” But I quickly realized, that there were so many things I was doing on the back end of my business that I didn’t enjoy, and that weren’t in my zone of genius.
So in 2016, I made the leap into outsourcing one thing in my business. Then another… then another… and another. And now, I have a team of three part-time assistants and a few subcontractors that all help me run my business on the back end so I can focus my efforts on the things I LOVE and the things that produce income (like taking pictures, mentoring business owners, and creating content
So before we dive into 20 things you can begin outsourcing or delegating in your business, let’s quickly talk about how to figure out what you should hand off!
Here’s a quick exercise:
- Rate everything you do in your business on a scale of 1-5 of love it or hate it. All the MAJOR things.
- All the things you don’t NEED to do yourself, or the things you don’t like doing, begin researching people or companies that can help you
- Figure out which income producing activities you can do and only you, and figure out what $5, $10, $25, $35 dollar tasks you can begin handing off to a company or an assistant, freeing you up to do more of the income-producing tasks.
- For the sake of easy math, and using photography as an example… if your editor costs you $7000 a year, but outsourcing that task enabled you to take on 4 extra weddings at $5000 each, wouldn’t that difference of $13k be worth it? (Trust me, the time you will save on some of the things you can outsource will give you the time to focus on marketing and money making activities that you need to do to keep your business running!
Having team member or outsourcing tasks is not a bad thing, it means you are growing and you are focusing on the things that are most fruitful for your business!
Pro Tip: In 2017, I hired my first assistant from Rock Solid Virtual Assistants–my assistant, Tracy is the owner and she has been the biggest blessing in my business and my personal life! At the end of 2017, I hired a second assistant through Rock Solid so that Tracy could move into an admin role and my second assistant could help with more project-based work!
What’s incredibly amazing about Rock Solid Assistants is that Tracy helps her clients match with the perfect assistant! There are multiple assistants under the Rock Solid brand, and based on your needs, she pairs you with the perfect person to help your individual business! GOSH! I can’t express how amazing this has been for my life and business. If you’re in a position where you’re looking to get some things off your plate, I literally could not recommend Rock Solid Virtual Assistants enough! Seriously email them, and wait for your life to change.
If you have no idea where to start delegating or outsourcing, here’s a list of 20 things you can outsource in your business to get you started. (Obviously, you don’t have to outsource all these things, this is just a list of all that’s possible!!)
1. Email Detox and Management – My administrative assistant goes into my inbox before I do every morning and she sorts through all my emails. She forwards any receipts or invoices to my bookkeeper, answers any quick FAQs that she knows the answer to, schedules any meetings requests, and then sorts the rest for me to go in and answer (things like questions from my photography clients, or other client emails!
2. Scheduling Meetings – I really despise scheduling meetings, and always found I would procrastinate on those emails in my inbox. Now, my assistant schedules most meetings for me, or we use a Calendly link so that clients or coffee chats can easily and quickly schedule what works for them on a time block in my calendar I’ve set aside for meetings.
3. Formatting Blog Posts – I love writing blog posts, but formatting them is something I don’t need to do, and there’s a lot that goes into it. My admin assistant now takes my Google Docs and formats them into WordPress for me, selecting the featured images, doing the alt text, selecting the category, writing keywords, etc.
4. Formatting Newsletters – Just like the blogs, I love writing newsletters, but I don’t need to be the one to put them into Convertkit. I hand off my Google Doc, and once my assistant reads through and edits it, she formats it into Convertkit (and makes it look pretty), and then edits which subscribers are getting it, and schedules it out.
5.Powerpoint Creation – I love writing the outlines for my presentations and webinars, but my assistant absolutely loves PowerPoint and is a whiz at it! I am certainly not gonna complain about that! She takes my outline of notes and puts it into a lovely powerpoint with stock photos and my photos, and then put my outline into the presenter notes! It’s amazing, and then I can focus on making the content incredible.
6. Travel Planning – I personally don’t hand this off since I’m a travel-obsessed nut. But, my assistant is as well, so if I ever chose to hand this off, it would be in good hands! Your assistant can research travel prices for you, book flights, book your rental car, book hotels, and research what restaurants and things to do are in the area you’re traveling to! It’s lovely, but travel planning is fun for me, so I still enjoy that!
7. Invoicing, and Sending Proposals – This one is a no-brainer! Since my contracts, invoices and proposals are all in HoneyBook*, I send my couples a brochure to select their desired package and then HoneyBook will automatically create a proposal, invoice and payment schedule. My assistant can easily go in and adjust the payment schedule based on their project date, and send it off with my email template!
For all of these tasks, Rock Solid Virtual Assistants will take them off your plate and help you focus on the things you love.
PHOTOGRAPHY RELATED TASKS
8. Editing – I learned quickly that I don’t love doing repetitive tasks, and to me, editing full galleries wasn’t something that I had to do myself. Now, I edit my blog images, anything that goes on social media or my website, anything that goes in my couples’ albums, and then my editor is subcontracted and they sync to all my blog edits for the full gallery! If you’re looking for a company to handle this for you, I absolutely love everything Photographer’s Edit stands for.
9. Writing Blog Posts – I don’t delegate this, but at one point in my business I did! I used to write outlines of my weddings and then sent them off to someone to write out the full posts. I would send along my relationship questionnaire from my couples with the outline of the post, and they would flesh it out and format it. If you don’t like writing, this is a great thing to delegate because I believe that blogging is so important for your business!
10. Album Design – I enjoy album design, but I felt like other people were better at it than I was, and enjoyed it more! My mom is incredible at it and this has always been a strong suit for her, so after I edit the images, she takes my 2* edits and designs the album and corresponds with my couples on the design edits. If you’re hoping to get this off your plate, I highly recommend Align Album Design!
11. Culling – This is not something I handoff, but know plenty of people who do! There a lot of companies who will cull your images for you (Photographer’s Edit, Freedom Edits, RAW Digital Lab to name a few!) If you don’t like monotonous tasks, this might be a great thing for you to look into!
12. Client Gifts (Creating and Mailing!) – I love giving my clients gifts, but gift giving is not my love language. I am always the one shopping last minute, or after the birthday or holiday, and then feel guilty, and my least favorite thing in the world is going to the post office. So while I do the brainstorming and the creation of gifts, my mom puts the gifts together, makes them look great, and goes to the post office!
13. SEO – There are some things that I know are super important, but I don’t think they’ll ever be my zone of genius, and I feel like I’m wasting valuable time learning all the ins and outs of it. SEO is one of them, so this is something I would definitely outsource if I ever felt the need, rather than trying to figure it out myself.
14. Scheduling Social Media – An assistant can happily and easily take on social media scheduling for you. They can select images, write posts, plan your grid and actually post them for you!
15. Content Calendar Creation – If this isn’t your strong suit, I highly recommend delegating this! As a business owner, content creation is so important, but often times, we don’t know what and when to post. Delegating this to someone who’s great at planning can be invaluable to your business!
16. Moderating Social Media Comments – Looking to grow your Instagram following or just can’t keep up with the comments on your posts? Someone else can do this for you!
17. Setting up Podcasts – Well, I don’t have one of these, but very soon I’m hoping to start a weekly webinar series, and when I do, my assistant will be uploading the audio to iTunes, sending everything out to transcription, and creating blog posts from the content!
18. Creating Blog and Social Media Graphics – Not a designer? No fret! This is something you can hire out and your assistant or your hire can create all your social graphics, blog graphics and schedule them in with your blog posts!
These are all things that I recommend Rock Solid Virtual Assistants for.
SPECIALTY TASKS AND PROJECTS
19. Bookkeeping – I honestly think every business owner should have a bookkeeper if you’re a creative and numbers aren’t your zone of genius. It’s a time-consuming process that isn’t making you money, and it could be great to have someone come and speak knowledgeably about numbers in your business. I have an in-house bookkeeper (my mom! It’s her forte!) but I have heard such wonderful things about Steadfast Bookkeeping.
20. Accounting – Best decision ever! I know nothing about accounting or taxes aside from what I learned in college, so handing this off to an expert saved me so much time, headache, and money because they were way better at getting all the tax write-offs possible than I was! This is so invaluable! I use Engage CPAs, and they specialize in accounting for creative entrepreneurs which is quite amazing!
21. Website Design – Most people don’t have a keen sense of design, or mapping out a website, or the SEO backend of a site, which is why I’m always baffled that so many people attempt to do websites themselves! This is such a great thing to hire an expert for, and they will work with you to make your business and vision and brand come to life in the most wonderful of ways! (I love and recommend: Austyn and Brian Design, With Grace and Gold, Magnolia House Creative, Foil and Ink and The Palm Shop.
22. Contracts – I don’t even think this needs explanation. My guess is 99.99% of people reading this are not lawyers, so why try creating your own legally binding contract? I was thrilled when I stumbled upon Shop Creative Law* for my legal needs. They have templates for just about every type of creative business owner, and lo and behold, I found out I actually needed an LLC Operating Agreement, which is apparently the most important document you can have as an LLC! Whoops! I love that they cover just about any legal document you might need, and I can rest assured that my contract is solid. Because my goodness, providing a contract to your clients is just about THEE most important thing you can do! I highly recommend checking out Shop Creative Law.
So, are you in a position where you’re hoping to get things off your plate? What will you hand off first? Is there something you delegate or outsource that isn’t on the list? I’d love to know!
*Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links and I would love if you decided to use them. Affiliate links + referrals programs help educators like me to fund the free content that we provide on our blogs.