To outsource or not to outsource? That is the question.
As an entrepreneur, you know that you have the ability to get stuff done. After all, you created a business from the ground up. A lot of entrepreneurs wear every hat in the closet when it comes to their business. The creative hat, the financial hat, the marketing hat — the list goes on. But running a business like this can become draining and can even end up costing you money (not too mention your sanity) in the long run. So how do you keep things fresh in your business in a sustainable way?
The answer? Outsource. I know, it’s a scary word. Your business is your baby. You know exactly what it needs and you feel like you’re the only one who can do it right. It’s a huge leap to hand over even a tiny bit of control to someone else. But once you do it, you’re going to have even more time to work on the parts of your brand that you actually want to work on – the pieces that align with your strengths and interests. Developing projects that you’ve been putting on the back burner. Creating new content months in advance. Finding new ways to enhance your customer experience.
Outsourcing isn’t limited to the mundane tasks like payroll or taxes (even though those are important things to have covered). Creative outsourcing is just as important. Even if you run your own creative business, you can still benefit from outsourcing tasks that don’t directly tie back to the services you offer. And sometimes it’s better to have a fresh set of eyes and new perspective when you’re too closet to the details. Here’s a comprehensive list of things you can outsource for your business and how to find freelancers to make it all happen.
How to Outsource Creative Services
1. Brand Strategy
Hiring a brand strategist is a smart play for any business owner. Oftentimes, many are so eager to launch and they build out parts of their brand in piecemeal. This creates many inconsistencies (and confusion for the customer) along the way. You can hire a brand strategist when you’re first developing your business or if you feel like your current branding has become a little stale. So whether it’s your strength or not, outsourcing this to a specialist is a surefire way to bring your brand vision to life while you work on growing other parts of your business.
2. Logo Design
When building a brand, logo design is one of the first things people attempt to DIY. You can spend time trying to master this with online tutorials and video how-to’s. But if design isn’t something that comes naturally to you, the many technicalities to learn (from design to software) could be better spent on your customers or clients. So save yourself the stress and consider hiring someone who specializes in gorgeous logo design to do this for you.
Stock photos are good. But custom branded photography is king. If branding is how you stand apart from the pack, original photos are worth investing in. They’re one of the most compelling ways you can craft engaging content for your marketing. If creating visual content sounds way too time consuming for you, hire a photographer to help you create imagery of your products, of your brand lifestyle, and even of yourself. The unique imagery will make your brand memorable and help you stand out.
4. Content Marketing
Marketing may seem like a pretty simple task but as brand owners, we all know it’s not that simple. For product-based businesses, creating compelling content is a way to get potential customers to land on your site even if they’re not in the market for your product. For service-based businesses, high-quality content can position you as an expert in your field. If writing isn’t your thing or you simply don’t have time to churn out the amount of articles you want, create an editorial team by hiring freelancers to you help out. It may take some planning (and editing) on your end but you’ll be happy you got the help.
5. Website Design
You don’t have to be a web designer to create a website nowadays. But you do need to know how to navigate the many platforms out there, like WordPress or Squarespace, in order to launch. And this can take a lot of time. But hiring someone else to do this, especially if you’re on a timeline, will free you up so you can focus on the core of your business. Similarly, if you’re looking to relaunch on another platform because you’ve outgrown the one you’re currently on, you can also hire a virtual assistant to handle migrating your content over.
6. Blog Posts
You may consider getting contributors or guest bloggers to write for your site. Especially if you aren’t keen on writing or even if you just find yourself experiencing a spell of writer’s block. There are websites you can sign up to find guest bloggers like MyGuestBlog.com or you can frequent Facebook communities to find opportunities as well (be sure to download our Finding a Freelancer Cheat Sheet if you need some help finding the best Facebook groups to post in). If you encounter someone who’s great and who you think can provide valuable insight to your audience, then reach out to them!
Programs like Canva make it super easy to create your own graphics. That is, if you have the time. If you want to really personalize graphics for your blog posts, your websites and your social media accounts, consider hiring a graphic designer. You can also hire a virtual assistant to create new templated graphics per your brand style. Again, this will save you those tedious hours on something you either 1) aren’t an expert in, or 2) would rather spend on another part of your brand.
Copywriting may seem like an easy task but it can be a serious burden for some. Writing out all of your website copy in a compelling and engaging way can take forever. Do you ever just stare at your computer screen willing your fingers to type out something perfectly catchy but nothing happens? From web copy to email templates to newsletter campaigns, hiring someone to wordsmith all of your ideas so that they are succinct and perfectly communicated is worth it. If you consider copywriting a time suck of an activity, taking it off the table will make a huge difference.
9. Social Media Management
Managing your social media presence can take a lot out of your day. Coming up with a pithy caption, editing your photos, scheduling everything out so that you stay active – it takes a lot of planning. And if you slack off even just a little bit, you’ll see the consequences. Finding a freelancer or digital agency to help you out with this can be a serious timesaver, particularly if they specialize in strategy and not just execution. Having someone dedicated to schedule all of your posts, join various groups and pods, and manage your content will make a huge difference.
10. Video Content
Not including the time it takes to shoot a video, you can easily spend an entire day editing one as well. Making sure every little thing lines up. Deciding which transition works best. What song you should use. It’s so easy to get lost in editing your content. Good thing there are freelance video editors who can take some of the workload off your plate. When you feel like you don’t have the time, or you just really hate the way your video is turning out after hours of staring at your computer screen, consider hiring one. Your videos will get done and in half the time it would have taken you to do it with 100% less of a headache.
11. Anything Else That You Absolutely Hate Doing
A word to the wise: if it’s a pain in the ass, stop doing it. It will take up too much of your time and it won’t bring you joy. And if you don’t enjoy doing it, it won’t be sustainable and could end up being a point of resentment later down the road. If the one thing you hate is actually crucial to your business, find someone else who is better at it than you are and outsource. You’ll be happier and your business will ultimately benefit.
Where to Find Freelancers
There are a bunch of different ways to find freelancers to satisfy your creative needs. The most reliable way is through referrals from your business friends or some of your most trusted online business communities. This way you can have a little more peace of mind that the relationship will go off without a hitch. There are also a bunch of different websites where freelancers go to find work. Try UpWork or similar websites to find who you’re looking for. And websites like these show you ratings of each freelancer so you can get a good idea of the type of work you’ll be receiving.
You’ve spent a lot of time on your business, and you want to do everything you can to make it succeed. Sometimes what can help your business grow the most is reaching out for help from other professionals. Don’t feel like you can’t outsource creative services on top of your business services.
I’ve compiled additional tips and resources for you to leverage and start using today. Click below to download and see which Facebook groups to join and view a sample post that’ll get you a ton of responses.
If you need help with content creation or have visual and digital marketing needs, get in touch with us- we’d love to learn how we can work together.