In this episode, we talk about outsourcing as a method to save time and keep you doing the work you love to do in your photography business. Oftentimes, we immediately think about editing when it comes to outsourcing for photographers but there are so many other tasks that outsourcing can help take off your plate.
When we take some of these things off of our plates, we get to work more in our zone of genius and oftentimes, it means we can even take on more clients, meaning more profits.
I talk about:
Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps photographers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success. Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through course, group coaching, and 1:1 mentoring.
Today’s episode is the second in a series on ways that we can save time in our photography business and really focus on the things that we’re great at and that bring us joy.
In the first episode, we talked about automations and five easy automations. You can quickly put into place in your photography business that will wow. Your clients. Today’s episode is all about outsourcing
Typically, when you hear people talk about outsourcing in the photography world, it’s about outsourcing editing,
but there are so many other things that you can outsource to.
When you think outsourcing you probably think big money though.
And maybe you’re not quite at a place where you’re ready to spend.
Here’s a little trick for you though. Find out what you want to outsource now and start building that into your pricing so that when you’re ready, you can make that leap easily.
When it comes to outsourcing, what I always look at is what weaknesses that I have or things that really just are time sucks and give me the dreads.
Most of these things are someone else’s strengths.
When something’s a strength for you, you can get through it really quickly. .
You work in your zone of genius and you can really pound out that task in a speedy time.
When you’re outsourcing to someone they’re working in their zone of genius.
And are likely much quicker at that task than you will ever be.
So by outsourcing those tasks your business is running much faster and your clients are getting a much better experience
And clients that get a great experience, come back. Building your business with referrals and repeat clients is one of the fastest ways to go
If you think through every task that you do, what can you let go of? It doesn’t have to be business related either. Some things you can outsource in your private life.
For example, meal planning. There are so many different ways you can, um, use things like home chef, or there are websites online that help you come up with a grocery list and, um, meals for the week. You can have your grocery shopping done for you either with something like instant cart or pretty much any grocery store now has pickup options.
This is something that I took big advantage of when I had my third baby. Grocery shopping with three kids was miserable and I started ordering online and have not looked back. When the pandemic hit and grocery shopping online became free for pickup orders for most stores, it really cemented my love of online grocery shopping.
It’s so much easier for me to be able to click through all of the things that we normally order and just add them to my cart and it does help prevent the kind of impulse buys that happened when I do go into the store. The other amazing thing about it is that I can shop with my recipes in my hand without having to go up and download a ton of Isles and it makes it really just so much easier and more efficient for me.
The amount of money that I was spending for delivery or for pickup was easily offset by what I was saving in time and in cutting out those extra expenses that happen to jump into my car a lot of the time at grocery stores.
Other areas you can look at outsourcing for your personal life are laundry. There’s the hamper service, where they pick up your basket full of laundry and wash and fold it. You can hire house cleaners. You can hire someone to do any just about any task in your personal life and that can open you up for more time to do the work tasks that you enjoy. The photography business things that really light you up.
On the photography business side, there are a limitless numbers of ways that you can outsource. There are editors that do like you’re retouching, which is what I personally use. There are editors that will cull. There are editors that will just do your Lightroom edits.
You can even just hand over all of the files from a session and get back the final product from an editor.
Outside of editing, we can look at running social media. I’m currently hiring someone just to help me with hashtags for my niche.
She sends me a list of hashtags each month and I use those on the posts that I was already creating.
You can also hire someone to write the captions for you and choose the images that you post and schedule everything out. Really you can outsource just about anything from the very smallest task to a full project.
Some other people you might consider hiring are copywriters to help you with your website words.
You can hire a virtual assistant to help you with managing emails or running clients through workflows. There are people to help you set up your ordering processes or booking processes for mini sessions or really any type of sessions.
On the last episode of this series with automations, we talked about a lot of software that you can use, and you can hire someone to set all of that up for you.
Of course, all of these things cost money, and I know that can be overwhelming.
As I talked about in the beginning of the episode, I think it’s really important to start figuring these numbers into your pricing and develop your cost of doing business based on what you want your business to look like.
The other thing I really want to note here though, is that when you’re spending money on these tasks, they’re saving you time.
And with that time, you can do more moneymaking activities.
There are some jobs that only you can do in your business and those are the ones that really do make you money. And if they’re not making you money, maybe it’s time to eliminate them or find a different system.
Outsourcing though helps you build your business so that it fits your life and so that you have the time to spend in the areas that you really love working on.
Now that we’ve talked about some of the things you might want to outsource and we’ve made a plan for how we’re going to afford them let’s talk about what the next steps are. First is creating a system for whatever it is that you want someone else to do.
Having a workflow and step-by-step instructions makes it really easy for someone else to step in and take over something for you.
Even when you’re handing something over to a pro, they need to know what your preferences are because everyone works a little bit differently.
When I decided to outsource my editing, I started by writing out every step of my editing process.
From opening the image to each action that I run, to what opacities they use on each action, and how I save.
The next step to being ready to outsource is finding someone to hire.
There are definitely a lot of different ways that you can do this. Personally, my editor is someone who I met in a photography group years and years ago and was taking on editing for other photographers.
I’ve also tried outsourcing editing to big companies that do more global edits at a lower rate but that wasn’t a part of the editing process that was really slowing me down. So I found someone who helped me with the retouching bit.
Copywriters and VA’s and people that help you with more of the business side of things are a little bit easier to find.
Websites like Upwork and Fiverr. If that’s how you say it actually it’s F I V E R R ,
have listings for freelance employees and you can make your own posting for whatever task that you want to hire out.
I’ve hired out a few one-off writing projects this way, and it’s turned out really well. And the prices are definitely affordable for me. .
Finally, it’s handing over those tasks. It’s going to be some trial and error to find the right person. And once you found that person, there might be some time to work out the kinks.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to hire them for every single time that you have that task to do. I love that most outsourcing options are not a big commitment.
As small business owners, we’re constantly weighing that balance between what we have time or money and making choices based on that.
I hope this episode has sparked some ideas for you of ways that you can save some time in your own business and tasks that you can outsource so that you’re bringing that joy back into your business and
letting go of those things that are weaknesses and time sucks.
I’d love to hear your takeaways from this episode. Take a screenshot and post it to your Instagram stories and tag me at dear Kate brand strategy. So I can see what you think.
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I’ll see you next week on how you pictured it.