Now I’ll be honest I love outsourcing. Why? Because I’d rather use my time to be creative, write, draw, or paint.
So when I learnt that you don’t need to be turning over huge sums before you can get going with outsourcing, then I was over the moon. As I know you will be too. I also believe that even if you are just starting out as a professional art business, it’s never too early to plan ahead. Did you know it is possible to actually hire someone fabulous from say the Philippines from as little as $10 ph?
What you don’t want to do is wait till you are too busy to search for your perfect VA (virtual assistant)! Instead use this time wisely to get in practice outsourcing small to medium one-off tasks. Then when you really want to be outsourcing all your marketing, Social Media and/or admin, you’ll already have the experience and feel comfortable do it.
Imagine never having to answer another email ever again.
The Three Stages Of Outsourcing:
Step One: Preparation.
On a large sheet of paper list out every single little task you do each and every day. Then on another sheet, go ahead and create three columns:
- List out what you HATE doing. These might be things like filing receipts, Social Media posting, website up-dates, or marketing in general.
- List out what you CAN’T do. This could be building your blog site, your financial accounts, writing email or web copy, photographing your art, etc.
- List out what as you grow you’d RATHER NOT do. Here this could be answering emails, answering the phone, writing blog articles, writing press releases – or whatever it is for you.
Obviously you will want to start by learning to outsource from column two first, then one and then finally three.
Step Two: Practice.
This is where you are going to go through the process of actually hiring someone to do a small task for you.
Start outsourcing tiny tasks to www.fiverr.com Fiverr is simply a site where you can have pretty much anything done for five dollars! Or multiple of $5 if it’s more complicated. Each task is called ‘a gig’.
I use this site for all my small and obvious tasks (so not design work so much). For example: cleaning up a video file, editing images, creating watermarks, adding opt-in forms to the website etc.
Fiverr is laid out in different sections, so search within the area you want, and then look into the sub-categories. I always choose to short-list to people who speak English, have multiple 5 star reviews, have lots of jobs in line, and preferably are a Top Rated Seller.
Then read the ‘gig’ listing, click through to find out more about the seller. But please remember they are often doing a task for a very small amount of money, so don’t send them questions or expect an email conversation. Choose, order, pay and be VERY SPECIFIC with how you want the task done. Leave no room for miss-interpretation. Even if this is a tiny task; then keep your description on file in case you need this done again.
This is where most people go horribly wrong – be clear, be polite, and keep it super simple. Sometimes it doesn’t go so great, so learn, move on and find another seller. This is the way it rocks.
Next select a small to medium task, write out the task description, and outsource to somewhere like www.upwork.com . This site and others are ideal for one-off tasks, although you can also find people to work for you part time on an on-going basis.
I love to use this site for things like copywriting, blog writing, editing, or formatting my Free Giveaway, E-Books or other digital products. Again, you can use this site for pretty much any task from your marketing to finances and everything in between.
You will need to either post up your job and then sift through the applications, or do a search through the individual outsourcers and approach them that way. Either way, you will need to set aside some time to do this properly. I have found some great people this way, and the more you put into describing what you are looking for, then better the results.
Again, clear communication wins every time. If the job is a bit larger, or you want someone to do some bits for you on a more regular basis, then you’ll want to interview them on Skype first.
Step Three: Perfection.
As you move forwards think about hiring someone full-time and then see how much time that would buy you back. Think about re-gaining studio time… Most people get scared here, because the thought of taking someone on implies a massive cost. But let’s be clear here, when you use these sites you are working with people mostly outside the UK/USA/Australia, and so it’s very common to get a virtual assistant from $5/$10 upwards. Then you can start at say 6 hours a week – that shouldn’t break the bank and work upwards. I will create further content on how to do this.
The most important part here is to recognise the benefit this will be for you and your art business as you grow. This is especially vital if you are starting up your business in your spare time, while you are still working a job. Every second counts, so don’t battle with the stuff you don’t want and can’t do – delegate!
So go ahead and hire out your first task – let me know how you got on. I love to hear your stories.