Let's talk about delegation. If you, like me, are a creative entrepreneur that has put hours upon hours into growing their business from a small seed into a blooming orchard, you will share the feeling of dread as soon as someone suggests that maaaaybe you should delegate some of your workload. You might consider it for a short second (burnout is REAL and you can't be more than at one place at a time, so it does sound sort of appealing), until the "what IFs" start popping into your head.
What if everything I've worked so hard for will fall apart from one tiny mistake?
What if the person I delegate to doesn't understand my vision?
What if my brand name and reputation will be put on the line?
I could go on, but I'm sure you are far too familiar with those tiny voices in your head (sometimes they even shout - RUDE). Earlier this year I explored the topic of delegating before you're actually ready to do that on a live webinar, and I thought that I simply MUST share it with all of you.
Want to watch instead? Head over to the replay.
So, WHY should you delegate in the first place?
As entrepreneurs, we wear many many hats. So many that sometimes they start falling off, which is when you start feeling overwhelmed (not a great feeling, 0/10 - would not recommend). There's no running away from it if you want to keep scaling your business, but this is where the power of delegation can help you ease the stress and anxiety that being a self-employed creative brings.
I made this piece on a flight a few years ago when I was traveling in-between a multi-location job. I was stretched SO thin at that point but fast forward four years, and I could probably triple that page. This is when I realized that I needed help, and my only regret is not making that decision sooner. So learn from my shortcomings and listen up, because we're about to get REAL.
Make a list of everything you do.
All the busy work, all the annoying things you hate doing but that come with the territory, and also the things you love most about your creative job. Only when you do that will you be able to start figuring out what tasks from that list can you delegate.
PRO TIP: Make this a running list as you go about your day-to-day and keep adding to it. If you just try to write everything down in one go, you will probably come up short. It's only when you're keeping track of everything as you go that you realize you're doing ten times more than you thought you were. Once you're done with the list, make sure to share it with us and tag me (@thepigeonletters) so I can assure myself I'm not the only person that has to do THIS much. ;)
Speaking of sharing, I have SO many creative resources to share with you that can help with your workload. Make sure to sign up for all the goodies I send out twice a month - you won't want to miss them!
Done with the list? Cool, because now you need to...
Narrow it down.
What do you do THE most of? Let's say it's fine art and licensing. Of course you can't outsource the creative part - the part that brings you so much joy and fulfilment, so you're going to keep that for yourself. But what happens after you have finished a piece? You likely need to digitize it, format the files (ALWAYS always rename your files for optimal SEO - I'm watching you 👀), upload them wherever they need to be (usually, more than one place), do the email marketing...the boring stuff that CAN be outsourced.
Let's also not forget editing your images to share online. It can end up taking so much time to achieve a consistent look, which is why I've created Lightroom presets for you. There's six packs to choose from already- which one is your fav? If you're not sure how to install or use them, I have a quick walkthrough for ya.
You can hire an actual IRL assistant or a virtual one, it really just depends on your needs. If you need someone to pack orders for you a virtual assistant will be no help. Duh. So how do you find that special someone to help you along your creative journey?
Be specific when you're putting a call out.
Make sure you list all the tasks you want help with to gauge if the person applying is able to perform them. That will also weed out those that might not be suitable for the job you have on offer.
Once you've found someone that you think will be perfect for the job (it could be either a friend, family member or a complete stranger), make sure you give them all the training they need to understand your brand, how you work and what your expectations are. That will enable them to perform effectively and to your standards.
One of our lovely Flock members, Carrie Alyson, joined the live webinar to talk about how delegating ONE single task she hated changed her everyday work. If you want to listen to that part, skip to 39:00 in the replay.
Still not sure about delegating? Pin this blog post for later.