As a digital marketer who works with wedding businesses and wedding professionals, I am always getting asked the same thing: What can I outsource? As a former wedding business owner, I know how close to our heart our business is. When I co-owned a bridal boutique & wedding planning company, the idea of outsourcing was kind of scary. What would I outsource? What are tasks I can even give to someone virtually? When you own your small business, hiring a ton of full-time, or even part-time, employees can get expensive. So a virtual assistant (and outsourcing your marketing!) can offer amazing services while being cost-effective!
I had the honor of being on This Week In Weddings, a podcast for wedding professionals! There I got to talk about everything outsourcing for wedding pros. We talked about what a virtual assistant is, how we can help wedding professionals, like wedding photographers, and tips on how to find one!
A virtual assistant is a self-employed worker, usually remote, who offers various services to clients. They are independent contractors, which means they provide their own benefits, computer, health insurance etc. This also means they set their own hours, pay structure, and rules for working together. Unlike an employee, you will have a contract with your VA or marketing team, and there will be contractual obligations between the two of you.The biggest difference is that a VA or independent contractor has their own skillset and does not need to be trained. They will need to be shown how your business works, but they are not someone you bring on to train and grow their skills.
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.
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!
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.
Pretty much anything! I know that sounds a little broad, but it is so true. From photo editing to email management, to research and spreadsheets, there is someone out there who can do this! Take a minute and think of all the day-to-day tasks you do, that are essential, but not in your zone of genius. Maybe you are a wedding photographer. Your zone of genius is taking pictures. That means items like blogging, Pinterest, Facebook, and other marketing are outside of this zone. While you might like to do them, they are outside of the service you offer.
If you spend 10 hours a week doing these things and charge $400/hour for your photography, that is $4,000 you could be making in your business by booking another wedding, or engagement sessions. Or, it is 10 hours that you could be spending with your family!
By outsourcing even just 10 hours a week of items, you are gaining back money, and time. A virtual assistant will cost you $30-$60/hour. So even hiring someone for $800/month, when you could be making $4,000+ a wedding, well you save money! Plus, you are hiring someone who is a genius in that task.
In this FREE guide, I list over 100 things you can outsource as a wedding business, wedding photographer, and more! Not only do I list them by category, but I also have a complete list by wedding industry! From hair and makeup to coaches, it’s all in here.
Some of the top requests are social media management. This can be Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Another is Pinterest – weddings are not just huge on Pinterest, but they are a great way to grow your newsletter list! By pinning consistently, you can grow your website views, target potential clients, and offer Freebie opt-ins to grow your list.
Some other tasks a virtual assistant can do for social media?
The biggest by far is blogging. Blogging is so important, especially for wedding photographers and planners. I mean, how else will a client know your work at a real wedding or a styled shoot? Posting a few images on social media is great, but a blog post can share the complete day. This will give your client more details on what you offer or your style.
I recommend having 30-40 images in a blog post, with at least a 300 word write up to go along. Tell the story of the day, what the couple envisioned, and the amazing vendors who made it happen. It is also important to implement a solid SEO strategy, from keyword research, alt tags, and meta descriptions. I have a blog post that goes over blogging, and why it is important, in much more detail!
But blogging is so time-consuming, and most people hate to do it. Let’s say it takes you 3 hours per blog post. You have to go through the images, cull and find the top 30. Then you have to do a 300-500 word write up, with keywords. Then you have to link to the vendors and do internal backlinking to other parts of your website. Next, you have to schedule and create a content calendar. That same blog post will take an expert, like Ava And The Bee, a lot less time. Which means if you have us do 4 blogs per month, you are saving 12 hours a month of time! That is a lot of your valuable time! You could be spending that time shooting another wedding, or enjoying a night with your family. Which is why you find someone like me, who LOVES IT!
Pinterest and blogging go hand in hand for your wedding business! This is especially important for wedding photographers and wedding planners. Since you have a lot of beautiful images, why not get more clients with it! Wedding inspiration is consistently a top search on Pinterest. Just take a minute to think about how many of your clients come to you with a Pinterest board. Most likely, it’s all of them! Brides no longer use magazines and cutouts like they used to. It is all digital, and all with Pinterest. Plus, brides are on there every day. This means you are constantly in front of them when you are on Pinterest!
I always recommend 1 blog post per week for my clients and having each blog Pinned weekly. This not only helps with SEO, by boosting how often you update your website, but it also gives you a ton of content for Pinterest. On Pinterest, you want to share 70-80% of your original content, with the rest inspiration. This means that having a weekly blog will give you plenty to Pin!
Another request is workflows. As a wedding pro, you probably use something like Honeybook or Dubsado, or maybe Aisle Planner or 17 hats. These tools are amazing and offer so much, but can be confusing to set up. A virtual assistant can help set up your workflows to get things automated easier! So when you get a client inquiry they can set up a workflow that sets this up for you.
Imagine having everything automated for you, from when the client is an inquiry, to after their wedding is over. No more spending time remembering to send invoices, follow up on past-due payments, or remembering to send them a client gift! Automation can make your life much easier. I have an awesome lady on my team who is the pro at this, and it helps our clients so, so much.
In the freebie, I have a list of well over 100 things that you can outsource, including some broken down by industry!