I love you work and your posts. Thank you so much for being so informative and inspiring! I’m wondering about outsourcing… I’m getting busier every month and with 2 little kids to take care of and loads of editing to do I’m starting to really dread editing and wedding season doesn’t even start for me for another month… Do you have any recommendations for outsourcing?
Sincerely, Help Me Help Myself
Hey sweet friend,
I sit here, silent, remembering that point in my business when I felt just as you described: dread. Trust me, that feeling is toxic in your life and in your business so I am super thankful that you recognize that and are looking for a way to change! A few years ago I attended my first ever photography workshop (by chance) and I remember the speakers saying, “I didn’t go into photography to be tethered to my computer for 40 hours a week!” While I remember that line resonating with me it took me years to loosen the control grip that I had on every aspect of my business.
Fast forward two years later when I was working around the clock to turn my weddings around in two weeks time, spending every waking minute editing to stay caught up (and basically rarely sleeping), I knew I needed to change. I can’t even explain the freedom that comes when you start to outsource different aspects of your business. I mean think about it: you are a photographer, you specialize in photography (not accounting, not marketing, not editing, you are a pro at taking the images!) Why not give people who specialize in those other areas of your business the opportunity to help you out?
Here are three tips for outsourcing:
1.) Trust the process: sure, it’s super scary at first. You doubt yourself, your work, the process, but it’s only going to work if you relinquish control and give it time to let the dust settle. Once I outsourced one aspect of my business and saw how it changed my life, I went on an outsourcing spree. I have never worked less than I am today, thanks to my small but mighty team of helpers!
2.) Be a good communicator: your new “colleagues” are not mind readers, in fact, I’d put money down that they would love it if you clearly communicated your needs to them! Specifically with outsourcing, guide your editor to create images that are just as good as yours (if not better!) If you never tell them what you need, they will never know to do it!
3.) Allow people to make mistakes: chances are, if you are drowning in edits, you aren’t putting out your best work. Right? So give your editor some freedom, then some feedback! No one likes to be micromanaged, but guidance can go a long way!
Outsourcing is worth every single penny. I repeat: every single penny! Think of what you can do with the extra time in your life, plus you are paying someone to do what they love! For me, I cull the wedding, re-cull for blog/slideshow picks, I edit all of those (because I still love editing!) and then I send off the rest! It gives me the creative freedom to direct how the edits will go, my editor gets the chance to see my blog/slideshow and can match her edits to mine, and I can spend my time working through the story telling images of the day while she completes the rest! My clients get the absolute best images because we both care about our part of the process and in my extra time, I can focus on their client experience (and living life away from a computer screen!)
Outsourcing doesn’t need to end with editing (but it’s a great place to start!) Here are other aspects of my business that I currently outsource: email support, tech support, Facebook ads (for launches), accounting, book keeping, graphic design, weekly meal delivery via HelloFresh, and web design! Sounds like a lot, right? Well, I’ve never lived more and enjoyed my work more than I do and in doing this sort of work, I get to support a group of incredible women who love what they do, too!