One of the great things about starting a photography business is that everything, from the creative side of the work to the business’s rate of growth, is entirely under your control. The flip side of having your own business, of course, is that you’re just one person with an entire business’s worth of tasks to manage. It can get a little overwhelming at times, but one thing you can do to take some of the load off of yourself is to hire a virtual assistant. A lot of people wouldn’t think of hiring an assistant for a creative career like photography, because our work feels really personal to us. However, there are plenty of administrative, marketing, and other tasks involved with a photography business that can be outsourced to VAs successfully.
In fact, most email-related tasks can be outsourced to an assistant. You can have them compile and send out your email newsletter, respond to client inquiries, organize your inbox, and do just about any other email management you can think of.
It’s pretty easy to keep email communications feeling personal even when you have an assistant running them; just provide some snippets or templates written in your own personal voice that your virtual assistant can use to piece things together. Or, if you plan to have a long-term relationship with a virtual assistant who can handle in-depth communication tasks for you, find someone who is able to adapt to your voice and write original content that sounds consistent with the brand you’ve built so far.
On average, people spend ¼-⅓ of their workday handling emails, and even if this number is likely to be a bit lower for photographers, you’re still saving yourself a ton of time by having someone else do the work for you. Don’t be afraid to hand off the bulk of the email work to someone else, and know that you’re always free to step in and contribute if you feel that something needs a more personal touch.
Social media is a big part of being a small independent business these days. Regardless of your personal feelings about social media, there’s no denying that Instagram, Facebook, and other social media can be critical to getting your name and your work out there, especially as a photographer. But between advertising, strategy, content creation, and management, there’s a lot to keep track of with your professional social media pages. When you get a virtual assistant to handle those things for you, the only part you have to worry about is approving things before they go live.
Once your website is set up, it shouldn’t take a huge chunk of your time to maintain, but you will have to update it occasionally. New copy, blog posts, scheduling info, and other details relevant for your clients should be added on a regular basis. This allows people to have the most current information on your services and assures them that your site is still active (let’s be honest, if you see that a site’s most recent post is from nine months ago, you might hesitate to reach out). It should be relatively simple to make a note of the needed changes and pass them on to a virtual assistant to be implemented.
I know you might be hesitant on this one, but hear me out. Editing is where we do half of our creative work as photographers, so it might feel at first as though outsourcing editing tasks is dishonest and could completely change our brand. The truth is, there are lots of editing tasks that can be completed by a virtual assistant without changing anything in terms of your personal style and creativity.
Do you watermark your photos before publishing them online? Or resize them to look better on social media platforms? These are things that you can explain quickly to an assistant and trust them to take over in the future.
Another great example of an editing task that can be outsourced is the use of Lightroom presets. The whole point of presets is to save you time while allowing you to keep a consistent personalized look across lots of different photos, and having an assistant apply presets to large batches of photos only makes it more efficient.
For example, let’s say you’re an All Access Embrace member and have access to a huge library of presets, including new presets as they get released. By combining this membership, the versatility of Lightroom presets, and the help of a virtual assistant, you leave yourself free to focus on creative tasks. You just pick the look you want to try out and make the final adjustments on your edited photos until they’re perfect; your Embrace presets and VA take care of everything in between.
You may not need help right away, but as your photography business grows, there will likely be more and more places where you could make your life easier and your workflow more efficient by hiring a virtual assistant. With fewer repetitive business tasks on your plate, you’ll be able to dedicate more time to the parts of the job that you love most, so don’t be afraid to give it a try.
Share this story