Outsource the bulk of your to-do list, and put all your focus into growing your business.
You LOVE being a photographer. But recently feel more like a full-time editor, working part-time as a receptionist, who only very occasionally takes photographs.
Sound familiar? It’s time to outsource.
Outsourcing is an essential step in growing your business. Without it, there will always be a limit to how far your business can go, because there’s only so much you can do by yourself.
So you have a choice: make your peace with where you’re at, stop sleeping and eating, or widen your network so you can reclaim your freedom and keep moving your business forward.
Why should you outsource?
Because it allows you to make more money, whilst doing more of what you love.
Here’s the best piece of advice I can offer. You don’t make money from editing, or blogging, or replying to emails. You make money from shooting.
But according to a study by petapixel, only 12% of a photographer’s time is spent actually taking photographs. The other 88% is being swallowed up by editing, admin, culling and communication.
Just imagine if you could shed some of that 88%. You could spend more time with friends and family, take on more weddings and shoots, focus on marketing, build relationships with your clients, reply to enquiries and turn them into bookings. You could be living your life and growing your business.
But shots need to be edited, blogs need to be written, emails need replying to. Yes, these tasks do need to be done by someone. But they don’t have to be done by you.
Outsource to experts
A big advantage of outsourcing is that you’ll be enlisting the help of experts.
A good social media manager will have a better grasp of social media than you, because that’s their speciality. A copywriter and blogger such as myself will optimise SEO, allowing your blogs to reach the right customers and gain you more business. A VA will know hacks and techniques to streamline your workflow that you’ve never thought of. Outsourcing isn’t just a way of saving you time, it’s a great way of levelling up multiple areas of your business.
So all the things you’re an expert in, that require your personal touch, or that don’t take up much time, you can keep to yourself. But for everything else, outsource.
Giving up control of your editing can make you feel powerless over a big part of your business. Like sending your child off to boarding school for ten years and just hoping they turn out alright.
But just imagine not having to edit. The hours you’d save. All those extra weddings and shoots you could take on without worrying about all the editing you’d have to do afterwards. When my wife outsourced her editing, the difference in her mood, her business focus, and her general work/life balance was amazing. She’s never looked back, and neither will you.
The common worry for photographers is that ‘no one can edit as well as me’. The good news is, this isn’t true. Editing companies employ editors whose expertise lie in matching your signature style. They base their edits on examples you give them, and match the editing style your clients booked you for.
A lot of photographers I know swear by Photographer’s Edit. They have a great platform, deliver a professional service, beautiful edits, and also offer quite a few perks for regular customers.
Their cost is 25c per image for a standard edit, so around $200 per wedding. Too much? Think of it like this: a three wedding week will cost you $600 in editing fees. But without all that editing to do, you could take on an extra one or two weddings that week instead. And now you’re thousands of pounds up, in a week! AND it’s tax-deductible!
You’re buying back your time so you can spend it doing the thing that actually makes you money. And you’ll be shooting rather than editing, so it’s a win/win.
If you want to give Photographer’s Edit a try, here’s a 50% off voucher for your first edit.
2. Blogging and Copywriting
Your blog should be one of the main pillars of your marketing strategy.
But in my experience, photographers tend to think of blogging as something they know they should do, but never get around to. Like hoovering the car. And when they do eventually blog, they get frustrated because it doesn’t seem to have much of an impact.
And this makes blogging a perfect task to outsource, because it takes time to do, and it takes practice to do well.
A well-written, SEO-optimised blog can boost traffic to your website, pull you up the Google rankings, and funnel your perfect customers to your site. And then once they’re there, convert those curious customers into bookings. They can also be used to promote an additional service or add-on you offer. In short, regular targeted blogs can be a game-changer, making you more money for little-or-no extra work.
I’ve spent years writing for the wedding industry. My aim is to save you time and make you money by writing SEO-optimised blogs that attract your ideal clients and move you up the Google rankings. And while I’m writing your blogs to grow your business, you can be out shooting and making more money!
If you did want to cross this task off your list and have me work my magic on your blog, I have several packages I offer depending on what you’re after.
Get in touch today and we can have a no-obligation chat about how I can help move your business forward.
3. Virtual Assistant (VA)
According to Petapixel, business admin takes up the second biggest chunk of your time after editing. Whilst some of this will have to be done by yourself, a lot of this 18% can be outsourced to a VA.
Not only will a virtual assistant take a lot of tasks off your hands for you, a good one will streamline your workflow in a way that massively improves the efficiency and professionalism of your business. As with blogging, outsourcing tasks to a Virtual Assistant puts an important aspect of your business into the hands of a professional, saving you huge amounts of time and making your whole operation just that much more sleek.
My wife and I work with the phenomenal Lindsey Garvey. Humour and warmth combined with staggering efficiency, she’s completely transformed Rebecca’s business into well-oiled, mostly automated machine. And in doing so, has eliminated so many manual tasks that used to take up huge amounts of her time. When I’m busy enough to warrant it, I’m running straight to Lindsey for help!
Whether you need regular support on certain tasks, or ad hoc support with the fluctuations of your business, a VA is a great ally to help you continue with the growth of your little empire. And when you get to the stage where you need a VA, Lindsey is queen.
4. Dubsado (Client Relationship Management)
One of the big things Lindsey specialises in, which can save you a hell of a lot of time is Dubsado setup.
This CRM is perfect for photographers and allows you to fully automate pretty much every communication with your clients, from initial enquiry, through questionnaires, contracts, payments…everything all the way through until someone says ‘I do’. You can even have everything compleyely customised with your own logos and branding.
But it is a complicated system if you want to use it to its full potential. Lindsey offers different Dubsado services from a full set up to just advice on how to set up and streamline workflows. If you’re looking to save yourself time as a photographer, this is an absolute game-changer.
Just kidding, don’t be lazy.
6. Social Media
This is another thing that takes up a lot of time, but personally I think it should mostly be done by you. Instagram especially is a very personal platform. Reels and Stories allow you to show the world who you are, and build a personal brand. And so arguably it shouldn’t be farmed out to a stranger.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t consult an Instagram expert. The platform has so many facets and hacks that can utterly transform your business if used correctly. Rebecca Carpenter is an Instagram jedi and offers one-to-one mentoring sessions to help you transform your Instagram page. She’ll review your feed, your grid, and give you concrete advice on how to make impactful changes.
There are of course other social media platforms that aren’t so personal that you can get someone else to take care of entirely. Pinterest especially is incredibly time-consuming and can be managed by someone else without anyone being the wiser.
If you do want to outsource Pinterest to a social media specialist, there are thousands of them out there. A specialist will be able to build you a decent Pinterest account and attract customers to your site from there.
Having said that, if you set aside a few hours at the start of each month, you can use Tailwind to plan your posts. You just set an hour aside to arrange it so that new images fall onto your page every day. This is a good way of keeping your Pinterest board fresh without spending money on a SM assistant (who can end up being quite expensive).
I hope this has helped! Whenever you’re making the decision to outsource, think about this. Always weigh up the cost of the service against the extra money you can make shooting, or the value of the extra time you can spend growing your business.
And just because you’re an entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. Richard Branson says that if you “surround yourself with people that are smarter than you […] your business will thrive.”
If you enjoyed this blog and you would like for me to write for you, I’d absolutely love to hear from you. If you want to have a chat about how I can free up some of your time and help grow your business, get in touch today.