I’m glad you’ve asked because this post is here to help you, the photographer who might be thinking of hiring a VA. Exciting!
When we think of a virtual assistant we tend to think in terms of a virtual PA. Someone who runs your diary and deals will general admin tasks; all important stuff but a VA can mean any job that is done remotely.
A VA can be an IT specialist to a social media marketer. You’ll find industry specific VA’s and many will niche down again into specific work. Take a look at my previous post about outsourcing to help guide you through the process.
First, we need to talk about why you’re reluctant to hire a virtual assistant
Yeah, let’s get this out of the way right now. As a freelancer you’re probably a bit precious about your business. It’s your baby, you’ve nurtured it and you don’t want some stranger messing with it.
You need to let that shit go.
Hiring an outsider to perform stuff you’ve always done takes trust. That’s why it’s really important to build a relationship and find the virtual assistant that is right for you.
When you do everything yourself things suffer. And that’s because you’re not good at everything. Sorry.
This impacts on the stuff you are really good at because it means those things have to wait. Worse still, you’re doing jobs you hate. Very few of us love every goddam aspect of running a business. Take a look at my post about how a VA can help you.
Ok, let’s look at the jobs VA’s can do.
I can feel you already coming out in hives, easy there. Editing is personal and many of you will always do your own.
A VA can offer you various levels of editing. You can hire those who are familiar with Adobe to resize or add a watermark. If you find a VA that is also a photographer (like me) then you can check out their work to see if their quality of post-production is up to muster.
The photographer VA can actually be there for you in person. How cool is that! Plenty of photographers hire assistants and they can perform loads of different tasks to help you on one of your gig. Being a camera two is really useful for behind the scenes shots. If you rate them as a photographer then you might even get them to take some actual shots of the subject.
Social Media Management & Marketing
A handful of photographers are really good at this. They know the value of posting and engaging in order to gain clients. Some are really bad at writing content, don’t have the time or haven’t a clue about marketing, let alone have a decent strategy.
A Virtual Assistant can do all of that for you as long as you supply the images and you discuss your objective. Quite a few specialise in social media marketing and management.
I’m all about the blogging. If you have a website then you should have a blog. If you want to know why, you’ve guessed it, there’s a previous post on the subject. Good blog writing takes some planning and time to actually write. You can hire a VA to ghostwrite in the style you’re after.
You use text in everything. Your website, marketing material and template emails so when your writing isn’t great it has a negative impact on your business. A VA with a copywriting background (or someone who is good with words) will take less time than you would and will set you up with copy that will convert into sales.
Many of you have built your own website (well done). It will probably be a CMS (Content Management System) set up. You can get a VA to up date the content of your portfolio, new offers or whatever you want.
As your virtual shop window it’s something that should be reviewed and revamped fairly often. As a VA website building is something I do and there are quite a few that offer this, no longer the preserve of code writers and web designers.
You will likely have marketing materials, headed paper and invoices and that can all be designed and formatted by a VA. They can design this from scratch or use your existing branding.
Photographers and their files! If you’re anything like me you’ll possible have the worst filing system for your image files and by that I mean no system. It really depends where you keep the files, if they are cloud based then you can give a VA access to them and sort them out remotely otherwise it means them sorting them in person. If they’re local then that could be something they might offer you.
I’ve boshed out a little list of other jobs that are perhaps more generic but just as important.
- Creating Presentations
- Graphic Design
- Mailbox Management
- Client Liaison
- Appointment Management
- Travel Arrangements
If you’d like to find out more on how I can help you with your photography business, hit the logo below!