Hey gang, Dane here…
Ok, so I’m back home in Australia after my 6 week honeymoon around Bali and its neighbouring islands!
It was a fantastic trip but I’m happy to be home and I’m pumped to push my business and yours to another level.
This blog is where I’m going to write to you from now on instead of the long letters via email…
I’m doing that for a few reasons including the fact that I feel less restricted on my website than in an email. I can include a bunch of my own photos here (which I’m planning on doing more of instead of using those awful stock images), and also it’s easier to interact as a group in the comments section instead of getting my inbox flooded after each email (I love your replies, but I end up replying to a lot of the same question).
A couple weeks ago I emailed you about outsourcing parts of your business to free up your time and end up making more cheddar per hour.
The example I gave was something like:
If you earn $2000 doing a wedding and spend 6 hours shooting and 20 hours editing then you’ve made an hourly wage of $77/hr
But if you can outsource the majority of the editing for $30/hr and just do a couple of ‘super-edits’ as I like to call them, then you’re spending maybe $500 on the hired editor meaning you make $1500, but you’ve only worked a total of 8 or 9 hours!
So your hourly rate jumps to $187/hr.
Pretty insane hourly wage increase right? Plus you’ve got like 2 spare days (15 hours) to go out and find more jobs or just chillax.
I ended the email by saying “Let me know if you’d like some specifics on how to do this in your business”.
Well, I got flooded… again.
So many emails that I couldn’t reply to all of you. Sorry ‘bout it.
So here’s my advice…
1. Take Time to Find the Right Person
When you’re hiring someone like a second shooter, receptionist or anyone else – you don’t just pick someone on day one. Instead you interview loads of people over weeks or months before choosing who you think to be perfect for the job.
Take the same approach when hiring someone online.
Ask to see examples of their work. Have either a messenger conversation, or jump on Skype to have a quick chat to see what sort of person they are.
2. Don’t expect price is an indicator of their work quality
I’ve hired the most expensive staff who were horrible at the job I hired them for and I ended up doing it myself. And on the flip side I’ve hired the cheapest person and got incredible results.
Sometimes the best worker is just getting started and has lower prices, so don’t automatically assume if the price is low that they’ll suck!
The only way you can really know is by doing a job with them. But before the first job just go by their portfolio. Which leads me into…
3. Don’t trust their portfolio.
Now this is kinda uncommon, but sometimes people put the work of others in their portfolio.
I once hired a guy for some photoshop work based on his amazing portfolio. When he delivered the work is was total rubbish – I honestly could have done better work myself. When I went looking for a replacement I saw some of the original guys work in another persons portfolio! The new guy was more expensive, but he was the real deal and did a killer job.
4. Ask them to do a quick task before accepting the job.
If the job is editing then simply send them a RAW file along with an example of the style you want it to be edited in.
Give them a timeframe, like 5 minutes if it’s just one photo to make sure they’re not getting someone else to do the work.
When it’s done you’ll know if they’re right for the job or not.
5. Put a weird question in your job description.
When you create a job you’ll get about 30+ bids in a short time frame from people who just apply for EVERY job. They may not have the right skills, or have even read what your job is, but they bid anyway which wastes your time because you have to go in, read their template proposal that they’re sending to everyone and then once you realise it’s a template, delete it.
That’s a big time suck and it gets frustrating.
So add a really weird question at the end of your job description.
Something like “to make sure you’re not a robot could you please write the number ’182’ at the start of your first message to me? – Thanks!”
Now all the messages that don’t start with 182 can go straight in the bin!
6. Make sure they know it’s ongoing work.
People will usually lower their bid if they think they’ll be getting a regular income from your jobs, so let them know in the job description and you can build a better relationship from the start.
Now a few more details…
There are a tonne of sites you can use, but the one I’m most familiar with is freelancer.com – It’s been around for a hell of a long time (used to be called vWorker).
You simply post your job by selecting the type of skills you’re looking for (design, coding, assistant, etc), set your price range and then write up a description of what you need.
Then you’ll start getting bids almost immediately.
Once you’ve chosen your new employee make sure there is good communication and if they do a really good job send them a bonus – it will keep them motivated for future jobs.
These are tips from my own experience over the years.
The ultimate way to learn about outsourcing and build up a really good team is simply to do it! Start with something small like a little help with photo edits, or someone to help reply to your emails, then go from there.
If you’ve got any questions for me, use the comment box below.
Or if you’ve got experience you’d like to share, we’d all love to hear about it and learn together 😉
DaneP.S. I've consulted privately with 281 photographers over the last 24 months so I can give you the strategies that are working right now to grow your business to its potential, meaning you can earn an executives income doing work that you love without it eating away your entire life!
To get these strategies join me on this page so we can begin!