You are running a wedding business, and are at that point where you know you need to outsource. You are feeling overwhelmed, and exhausted. And you know you should outsource to a virtual assistant or digital marketer, but you don’t know where to start.
This is something I come across each and every week at Ava And The Bee, and I know it can be overwhelming to outsource! Many times, outsourcing also means taking the time to look at your business, and see what adjustments need to be made. When you start to bring on a virtual assistant, or digital marketing team, you will also need to have some prep-work in place.
Today, I am going to walk you through the essential steps you need to take, before you outsource! We are going to cover how to prep your business, as well as how to prepare your business for outsourcing general admin tasks.
Think about what you need to outsource.
While you can find someone to help with virtually any problem in your business, you need to have a good starting point. It can be just as overwhelming to outsource 5 tasks at once, then it can be trying to do it yourself! So start to really think about the top 2-3 tasks you need to be done NOW. Focus on those, before diving into more tasks. At Ava And The Bee, we tackle the top tasks you need done. We are focused on creating a digital media strategy that works for your business while making it a stress-free transition.
By finding the top 3 tasks to start with, you are not only allowing an easier transition to outsourcing but are also ensuring it is much less stressful.
I like to ask my clients the following three questions:
- What is not getting done in your business that needs to get done?
- What are you not good at (or is outside your zone of genius) that needs to be done within your business?
- Which types of tasks do you need to outsource?
Be willing to outsource.
This might sound a little weird at first, but it is one biggest issue I have seen when people try to outsource. You have to be willing to let tasks go. I know this business is your baby. I know it means everything to you. And I know giving tasks to someone else freaks you out. What if they do it wrong? Will they be as good as me? I have had plenty of potential clients freak themselves out, and back out of hiring someone, or become impossible to work with because they really just can’t let go of the task.
Don’t risk jeopardizing your outsourcing by micromanaging, and being too scared to let go!
Some tasks might need a marketing team, vs a general virtual assistant.
Often, a general hourly virtual assistant is someone who is newer in the field. And while this is amazing, and where most people start, it also means they might not have the right background for certain items. So it’s up to you if you want someone who might need some time to learn, or if you want someone to jump right in and know exactly what to do right away.
If you have a lower budget, say around $300-$500/month, finding a newer Creative VA, who charges around $30/hour, will be the best bet! You might need to train them on some items, but you are also helping a small business, and they can grow with you as your business grows!
Ex: Blogging is an easy item to outsource, but you need to make sure the person knows not just how to write, but how to implement SEO. This might be a general VA, or might need to be a marketing company.
Ex: Website design, SEO, and sales copywriting are common items that need to go to people who have experience in this, and not all general hourly VA’s will have that.
So, for example, I started as a general VA in 2018 at $30/hour. Now, my business is a marketing agency. We have a team of three writers and two Pinterest experts, and I am Google Analytics certified. So we cost more, but that is because we are experts at what we do, so our clients can just hand off marketing needs, and we create the strategy and implement it.
Download our free workbook!
To make things even easier for you, we have created a FREE 19-page workbook and checklist, that will walk you through how to prepare your wedding business for outsourcing. This workbook will let you prepare your company today, so you can outsource tomorrow. It will walk you through how to find the top tasks you need to outsource, what your goals are, and what are the top three things you need to outsource right now.
Have a (realistic) budget mapped out.
The biggest issue I run into when talking to inquires is this: the budget. Most people do not have a realistic budget of what outsourcing costs. I will start this section with this easy tip: If you do not have $500/month to spare for outsourcing, your business is probably not ready to outsource. The reason is simple: even if you start with outsourcing $300/month, your list will grow. And unless you are willing to expand that monthly budget, you will not get the most out of your investment!
Most virtual assistants have an hourly rate, as well as packages. Hourly rates will be set up in “retainers”. This means you hire them for a certain number of hours each month. The most common hourly retainers are 10, 15, and 20 hours per month. You will work with them to create tasks to assign, and they will track how long these take. For retainers, you will pay upfront for all of the hours, and they do not roll over from month to month. At Ava And The Bee, we work on packages only, with a 6-month minimum commitment. This is because we know the value of working 1:1 for a long-term strategy.
A virtual assistant will charge $30+ per hour, with most in the $35-$50 hour range for creative services.
The second option will be packages. These are pre-priced packages, that include items for a flat fee. You will also pay upfront each month for these packages.
Some common starting rates:
Blogging: $150+ per blog post of 400-500 words and 30 images.
Instagram: $800+ per month, for 3-5 posts per week – engagement is an additional fee.
Pinterest: $400+ per month for Pinterest management.
Graphic design: $45+ per hour.
SEO, Website Design and Updates: $2500+ for a simple website, $60+ per hour.
For example: If you are looking for 4 blog posts per month, with Instagram management for 3 posts per week, expect to pay $1500+ per month.
Think about what you charge an hour for your weddings. If you are making $300 per hour at a wedding, would you rather be spending 10 hours a week doing blogging and social media – costing you $1500 a WEEK of potential client work? Or spend $1500 per month to have it done for you, by an expert?
Remember to have reasonable compensation. Yes, I know there are virtual assistants in the Philippines for $5/hour… however, they typically don’t have the right experience. Your compensation is going to directly reflect in the work. As a wedding pro, you know the difference between a $1000 photographer and a $10,000 photographer! A quality hire will give you a much bigger return on investment! Trust me – I’ve worked with many wedding pros who started out with someone at a super-low price, and were disappointed with the quality.
Be clear when assigning projects.
When you’re ready assign that first task to your virtual assistant, be sure that your instructions are clear and concise. Be specific in what you are requesting- explain what you need and why you need. It’s important to try not to leave room for assumption- if your task requires specific details, be sure to include that information.
Some common details we will need to know are:
- What software is required?
- Do you have specific online applications you use to complete this?
- What passwords and log-in information will your virtual assistant need?
Before starting, make sure to have all of the tools ready for your virtual assistant- including login information. I also recommend a password service like Dashlane or LastPass if you don’t want to share passwords. At Ava And The Bee, we use Dashlane to store all passwords securely, and clients can send passwords that way if they prefer.
Set up a shared service.
No matter what project, from blogging to Instagram, you will need a shared platform to share pictures, text, and files. I recommend a service like Dropbox or GoogleDrive! Create a GoogleDrive folder (for free!) and give access to your digital marketer or virtual assistant. This way, they have access to the files they need, without having to ask you each and every time.
Hire a team to do your digital marketing for you!
At Ava And The Bee, we make sure that your onboarding process is easy, and stress-free! First, we will have a discovery call, so we can get to know you, your brand, and your goals. Before starting each package, we will have a kick-off marketing strategy call, to get a clear idea of your message, who you target, and how you want to present your brand to your audience. We have a seamless, stress-free onboard- ing process, that includes a questionnaire, a private Google Drive folder for you, and will walk you through every step. We provide complete digital marketing strategies by utilizing Website SEO, Weekly Blogging, Monthly Pinterest Management, and Social Media support. Plus, we are wedding experts, and only work with wedding professionals, like you!