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Transcript: Hello, and welcome back! Today I am talking about a question that I get all the time, and that is outsourcing. How do you outsource in your wedding business? Again, I’m Sarah, I’m a videographer, so I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’ve seen other videographers do. I’ve also done my time in photography, so I’m going to speak to how photographers can outsource, and then how other wedding pros can outsource just general administrative tasks. So, let’s dive right in.
What you may or may not know is that outsourcing editing for photographers and videographers is extremely common. Anyone who has been in the game for more than five years or so and is doing a large volume of weddings, they are more than likely outsourcing. Now, outsourcing can feel daunting, and some people even think it can feel dishonest. And I wanted to spell a couple of myths about outsourcing, and about outsourcing editing. And then we’ll move into talking about outsourcing more administrative tasks.
So when we’re talking about outsourcing editing, something that a lot of people come across as people who do not outsource their editing, like to use it as some kind of marketing piece. Like, “I don’t outsource your stuff, I don’t ship it off to random people, I handle everything myself, it adds this personal touch,” and that’s fine. And some people do very boutique work, and their editing style is very proprietary to their workflow in their style, and they don’t outsource and they never will, and that’s fine. You do not have to outsource if you don’t want to. But the people who are outsourcing who are doing higher volume, or maybe they’ve just really found an editor who works so well with their style, and they are outsourcing and continuing to outsource– that is a great thing. It frees up that artist, that photographer, that videographer, to do awesome work during the week. And it’s allowed me, in particular, to put out YouTube content like this to put out educational content, and to hit my turnaround deadlines without killing myself. Because editing takes so long, it takes like 40 to 60 hours. Sometimes 80 hours for a video package, like it is weeks of work for one film. And photographers know to like it is so many hours for one wedding. So, outsourcing is a great option. There are lots of places you can go to outsource your content, I’ve linked a few at the bottom that is very reputable sources.
So, I want to talk about how you go about finding the right editor for you. So when you’re outsourcing your editing, as a videographer, or a photographer, it’s important to understand that that editor is going to get you like 80 to 90% of the way there, you’re probably not ever going to find an editor who can directly do everything, complete your style and exactly the way you would do it. And you also as a business owner, it’s your responsibility to go back and quality control everything, just make sure everything is perfect, maybe touch up a few things here and there, make sure it’s your style and it’s what your clients are expecting.
So, there is no such thing as an editor, an outsourced editor, who’s just going to do it exactly the way you would, that’s not the way it works. You can get that kind of structure when you hire on a team and you like you salary somebody physically with you, and you have complete control over bringing them up and teaching them. Most of us are never going to be in that kind of situation to hire staff. There are very few studios that do that and they do an awesome job. But for the majority of us, that’s probably not what we’re going to be doing. That’s what you want to do go for it’s more power to you because that sounds amazing. So, that’s kind of how an editor works.
Another thing too is when you’re outsourcing to an editor, you have to work with them, you have to give them feedback. And it takes a while to get them up to speed to where they’re performing at that 80 to 90% of what you need to deliver to a client. So no matter what you should always expect to be coming back in quality checking, and maybe tweaking a couple of things to make it your signature style or to just do the things that you know how to do that maybe the editor doesn’t. It’s very common for this to be the way it is. When you’re hiring an editor, it can be stressful and it can feel really scary because you’re giving up control of something you’ve always had control over. So, don’t be afraid to send an editor a wedding, don’t be afraid to send them a project. But don’t ever send an editor a project to test them out and try to hire them for the very first time. Do not send them a project that you have to deliver on some kind of timeline or that you have to deliver at all. Do not send them a wedding that is due, send them a wedding you’ve already done and I know this can be like, “Wasn’t that a waste of money?” No, you are protecting yourself and you’re protecting your clients and that is never a waste of money. You’re going to send them a wedding you have already completed, and you are going to see how close their finished product is, to the way you edited that product. So, if it’s photos or video, you’re gonna see, is that editor coming back with stuff that’s very close to my style? Did they do a good job? Did they do their research? Did they nail it? Or is this somebody who even if I was telling them and giving them my feedback on how they could improve, do they have the skill set to get there? That’s why you cannot send them a wedding that’s due in a week, because you got behind, and you’re just expecting them to come back and do it 100% that’s not the way it works. You have to assess their skill set and say,
“Okay, did they do complicated editing? Did they do the things that it took me a long time to learn? Are they worth their beans? Or do I have to go back and completely redo this whole thing, and it’s not gonna save me a ton of time. And I don’t know that they even have the skillset for me to give them constructive feedback for them to get to the level I need them to get to.”
That is the process of hiring an editor and it can be a little stressful but it’s so worth it once you bring somebody up to speed. Now, bringing someone up to speed should only take roughly three to four projects. If they’re still not tracking with you after that, move on to another editor because they lack the skillset and they just can’t they can’t do it right now. Maybe you can circle back to them in a year once they’ve built their skill set. But if you’re outsourcing, you need someone now who can produce good content. But you need to give them the time to learn your style, learn what you need from them, and maybe teach them a couple of things and let them develop their skills for you. It’s really important to not rush them and not give them projects that are due, that you’re gonna freak out if they’re not ready because that’s gonna put an unfair expectation on that editor.
So, those are my tips for finding an editor. Give them lots of time, give them feedback and give yourself like three to four projects worth of time before deciding, “Yes, this is an editor, I can work with long term or no, this is an editor that I just can’t bring up to speed right now, it’s not going to work out I need to find somebody else.”
Another popular way to outsource is to outsource administrative tasks. So, when you’re looking for someone to outsource administrative tasks to you’re generally looking for what we call a virtual assistant and these are people who you’re probably not going to be meeting with them in person ever. You’re going to be like Skyping with them, working with them virtually, so online. And virtual assisting is a massive industry and people who are virtual assistants do an awesome job. So, if you are just drowning in administrative work, or there’s work that you’re looking at that you’re like, “Man, someone else could do this so easily and it would save me so much time and I am willing to pay them to do it to take it off my plate,” you are a great candidate to start looking for virtual assistants.
There are so many different kinds of virtual assistants in the world. There are virtual assistants who specialize in certain things. So, if you need somebody who is just a great social media manager, and that’s all you need outsourced, you should be looking at a virtual assistant who specializes in social media management, or maybe just a social media manager– and outsource that to them. Talk with them, let them know what you expect, and what you need, and then hand it over, and let them run with it, and you can work with them, and let them know to give them feedback, what you like, what you didn’t like it, etc, etc. That is the process you go about hiring a virtual assistant. You’re basically hiring an employee onto your team, but they’re working for you on a contract basis and they’re working for you on their own time. So, it’s important to give them deadlines, timelines, let them know what you expect from them, and let them do their work because they do this for a living is the way it works. Some virtual assistants are just one person and some virtual assistants are like an agency. So, it’s multiple people working in a virtual assistant capacity, which is personally what I use.
Virtual assistants can also range in pricing, which if you’re a photographer and a videographer, or pretty much anyone in the wedding industry chances are, you’re not rolling in the dough. Very few people in the wedding industry make a ton of money, it’s a side job for a lot of people. So, the money may or may not be there to hire someone super experienced or stateside, international virtual assistants are a really popular option. It’s personally what I use, and I love it. My team is in the Philippines, I’ve linked them down below as well. They are so good, they’re an agency, they have multiple people. So no matter what I send them, they have someone capable of handling video editing for my YouTube channel like you’re watching right now and people who can do some emailing for me, they can help me get together my email campaigns like, they can just do so much when you’re hiring on an agency, they have every skill set. And the pricing for people stateside, obviously, America’s very expensive, we’re kind of in like an economical crisis right now, it’s not super cheap to hire someone stateside. The average cost I got from virtual assistants was anywhere from like 30 to $80 an hour. And for a lot of wedding pros, that’s not very feasible. So, looking internationally is a great way that you can get awesome service for a lower price point because their cost of living might be lower in another country, and the American dollar can go further for them, so you are taking really good care of them. And they’re making a lot of money, but you’re also staying afloat financially.
So, if you’re not rolling in the dough, consider looking at it like international VA is because it’s a great option. If you do have the money and or if you just really want someone stateside, it’s a great option. You’re gonna pay a little bit more of a premium for them and hopefully, their skill set makes up for that and they’re going to do an awesome job for you. I can’t imagine why anyone who calls themself a virtual assistant, wouldn’t be a good virtual assistant but there are some awesome people stateside as well, I’ve also linked them below and they just know what they’re doing, they’re getting after it. I’ve worked with them, or I’ve talked with them, and they’re just great.
So virtual assistants can do anything virtually, that you throw their way you can outsource things to other companies. So, I outsource my client gifting to a client gifting company, which I’ve also linked below. And this is a girl she is stateside and she crafts these gorgeous baskets and boxes for my clients. And so all I have to do is send her my client’s addresses and she sends them a gift on my behalf and it’s amazing. There are so many ways you can outsource these little things. And then your virtual assistants can handle everything from setting up personal doctor’s appointments to managing your social media, anything that can be done over the phone or online. A virtual assistant is a person to get that done.
So, I hope that helped. You get an idea of like, what you can outsource and how it works, and all that kind of stuff and I hope that you find someone who works awesome for your team and you can take some of the load off and free yourself up to work on some higher-level things in your business and serve your clients the best. We’ll see you next time.
Next week, I’m putting out a video that is specifically about Pinterest because Pinterest is kind of confusing and there are a couple of things that you need to know about the platform. So, I’m doing a deep dive on Pinterest in my next video so check it out. I’m gonna link it here in the comments, and when it is live and take a watch because I think it’ll help.