Have you ever wondered how stock photography can improve your business? This week I had the chance to answer that exact question in my guest post for Simplifying DIY Design. Most business owners don’t realize just how much they can save through quality stock photos. In my post I break down three ways stock photography can save you time and money, and a few tricks to get the most out of this great investment.
Kara, the woman behind the screen at Simplifying DIY Design, is a graphic designer and blogger who provides clients with design tools for online marketing. Simplifying DIY Design’s templates are another great saver for business owners! I love how well our businesses complement each other. It was such a blast to get to share my thoughts on the Simplifying DIY Design blog and talk a little bit about how Hello Stock Photography was born.
Nobody ever tells you that when you start your own business, you will be the CEO of everything. And I mean EVERY single thing. When I became a photographer, I thought I would spend at least 90% of my time taking photos. That seems logical, right?
Believe it or not, taking photos only accounts for about 10% of what I do. I spend my time editing, emailing, scheduling, blogging, selling, pitching, posting on social media, making phone calls, designing, marketing, developing my website, driving to locations, strategically planning…oh yeah, and occasionally taking photos.
As my businesses have grown over the years, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two. Most importantly, I have accepted that I cannot do it all, and I will go crazy if I try. Every business owner will inevitably learn this lesson – sometimes the hard way.
What sets an average business owner apart from a successful business owner is figuring out what to do with this information. You built the foundation of your business, and now it’s time to spread your wings and watch it grow. There’s a limit to what you can do by yourself, and once you reach that limit, it’s time to outsource.
I know firsthand that it’s hard to pay someone to do work that you could do yourself if you just had more time. It’s even harder when your business is barely profitable! However, if you aren’t keeping up with the many aspects of your business, you get caught up in what I like to call the Market-Work Cycle:
The only way to break this cycle while continuing to run a profitable business is to take a leap of faith and get some help. Getting help doesn’t have to mean handing over all of your hard-earned profits, and this business investment will actually make you more profitable in the future.
So, are you ready to outsource? You’re probably wondering where to start.
Have you heard of Fiverr.com? It’s a freelance service marketplace that allows you to find the perfect person to help you with business tasks, big or small. The biggest benefit to using Fiverr is that you can find an expert to do exactly what you need for a specific job in a relatively affordable and efficient way. Some projects start at only $5!
You can find sellers for just about anything – writing content, editing images, designing brochures, updating your website, managing your Instagram, running Facebook ads, designing a logo…the list goes on and on. I have personally used Fiverr many times in my businesses. It’s a great tool to use, especially when you’re just starting to dip your toes into outsourcing! Fiverr can be a little hard to navigate at first, but I have some tips that will make it worth your while:
First, read a lot of reviews. Each seller has a rating (assuming they’ve completed gigs), and reviews from past clients. I always look for someone who has a cumulative rating very close to 5 stars, and I also read quite a few of their reviews. If a seller has completed over 100 gigs with 5 stars, you can be pretty confident they’ll do a good job for you as well.
Next, reach out to the seller before purchasing their services. Ask questions about the specific job you want them to do, and make sure they are comfortable with it and understand exactly what you want. If the job you want them to complete is beyond the scope of their listing, the seller will often offer a custom quote.
If you have a large project you are ready to outsource, start small. Pay a seller for a smaller task first to make sure you are satisfied with their work. When you are happy, you can talk to them about the larger job and see if they can do it. Sending a smaller project first is a safety net for your business. It ensures you aren’t wasting money on someone who doesn’t do quality work.
Raise your hand if the idea of doing LESS housework while still having a put-together home makes you way too excited. That sounds like a dream to me! Outsourcing doesn’t just have to be for your business.
You probably feel like home life should be 100% separate from your work life, even if you work from home. Of course, you are right. But, you are also wrong. You’ve heard it time and time again, but it is true – time is money. You can’t get time back once it’s gone.
Even if you work a lot of hours every week, you can still have more free time to spend however you want by taking advantage of outsourcing home tasks. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
It’s all about deciding what you want to do more of, and what you’d rather outsource to someone else. Here are three home tasks that are super easy and affordable to outsource:
You may not be able to afford (or feel comfortable hiring) someone to write your content or design your ebook, but did you know you can have groceries delivered for about $2 plus tip each week with Instacart? We all know that grocery shopping is a huge time suck, so outsource it and use that time for something you actually enjoy!
Is it just me, or does laundry seem to be a never ending cycle, especially when you have kids? Pick up laundry, wash laundry, dry laundry, fold laundry, put laundry away…and then two days later it’s time to do it all again. There’s about a million other things I’d rather do than laundry.
Did you know there are services that will pick up your laundry directly from your house and drop it back off when it’s all clean and folded? It seems like something that only the rich and famous can afford, but I’m excited to tell you that it’s not as expensive as you’d think.
There’s a laundry service near me that does it all for $1.15 per pound. I haven’t given it a try yet, but to me, it’s worth paying $30 to be able to spend more time with my family and more time focusing on my businesses. Seriously, I may never touch my washing machine again!
HIRE HELP WITH HOUSEKEEPING
How many hours a week do you spend cleaning toilets, dusting, and scrubbing your floors? Not enough if you’re like me, but that’s beside the point! Outsource the housework you can’t stand doing to a professional cleaning crew. Another idea is to outsource it to a teen neighbor (or your own kids) who might be looking to make a little extra cash. Even if you can only pay for a few hours a week, it will free up that time for you to be doing something more enjoyable.
GET HELP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
A full time social media manager, though worth their weight in gold, can make a big dent in your balance sheet. What exactly does a social media manager do? One of their main tasks is sourcing images that fit the clients? brand to post on their social media accounts.
A tool that social media managers often take advantage of are stock photos. Stock photos are so useful. They are pre-edited, styled photos you can purchase and use for your brand without crediting the original photographer. They save you time and money that you would have spent hiring a professional photographer. You can find stock photos for A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. If you actually took the time to track the hours you spend sourcing images, you would be shocked (and maybe slightly annoyed at yourself).
Though stock images are an (inexpensive) investment, they are worth every penny. I source all of my images right here from Hello Stock. With new collections added regularly, you can find the perfect photos to align with your brand and content.
Still not sure how you would use stock photos? I use them for a huge variety of projects, but mainly: Pinterest pins, Instagram stories, in-feed Instagram posts, Facebook posts, and blog posts (like this one!).
When you purchase a stock photo collection, it is yours to use however you’d like (except you can’t sell them as your own, obviously). They can instantly be downloaded right to your computer or phone. How awesome is that?
If you’re still not convinced about how life-changing stock photos can be for your business, sign up for our email list and get 10 free images to get you started!
Outsourcing is a valuable tool for business owners, work from home moms, or just busy people in general! You don’t have to feel guilty about paying someone to do the tasks you don’t love. You should feel proud that you are taking control of your life and your time.
Outsourcing has freed up countless hours for me in the past few years. It has allowed me to grow my businesses into what they are today. Without this help, I never would have been able to grow!
Do you already utilize outsourcing? If not, what is the first task you are going to outsource?