27 Reasons Why Photographers Should Hire a Virtual Assistant
Is there such a thing as a virtual assistant for photographers and photography businesses? Absolutely! You can outsource all types of tasks and projects to virtual assistants, which are listed here.
Hey, friend. Are you a photographer? If so, then I gotta tell you, I’m jealous. I took a photography class in college and honestly fell in love. While I understood the concept of the rule of thirds and other aspects like aperture, I could never grasp the camera myself. In other words, I’m jealous of you and your talent.
I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to art. I’m the type of person who genuinely enjoys spending an entire afternoon strolling through museums. I’ve been to DC twice, and I love going to the art and history museums when I’m there. The art museum located in my hometown is also well-known for its exhibits and welcomes photography on a regular basis. Because it’s an art.
Photography is art, and you’re the artist. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hobby, a side hustle, or your full-time gig, it’s simply art that the world needs to see. See? I told ya that I get a little nerdy when it comes to discussing artwork.
Whether you’re still working part-time or you’ve owned a full-time photography business for years, then you know that there is a lot of work involved. Networking is important so you can tell more people about your business. Bookkeeping is important you want to get paid. Reliable contracts and invoices are essentials so you and your business are protected. And marketing is critical if you want to book new clients.
We’re all human. It’s tough for one person to do it all.
Yikes! Don’t worry because you’re not alone. All service-providers, including me, have to think about these things to. As a virtual assistant, I’ve learned a thing or two about outsourcing and how helpful it can be to growing your business in a healthy, sustainable manner.
What is a virtual assistant?
Here is a quick definition: A virtual assistant is typically a self-employed contractor that you can hire to perform professional administrative, technical, creative, and/or marketing services. In other words, a virtual assistant (otherwise known as a VA) is someone you can hire to complete certain tasks without providing the costs of supplies, taxes, insurance, or benefits.
One of the best ways to scale your photography business?
Fact: There are lots of business tasks to take care of on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. But, who ever said that you had to be the one to do all of them?
Photographers Can Outsource Marketing
I wanted to mention marketing first because 1.) these are the type of services I offer, and 2.) I truly believe that marketing is the most important aspect of your business.
1. Website Management
We’re living in fun times. Web providers like WordPress, SquareSpace, and Wix make it easier than ever to publish a website at an affordable price. On the other hand, it takes a lot of time to learn the backend of a website, master it, then begin the design process and finally fill your site with content.
Phew! If you made it that far without hiring help, kudos to you. When I first started with SquareSpace, it took me months and months to thoroughly learn the backend. But, you may not have had the time or energy to learn something new.
2. Managing Your Blog
Writing blog content is hefty work all on its own, but then you have to consider everything else that comes with it. Once the copy has been written, you have to actually upload it into your website and publish the content. However, most people skip over the stepping stones that are necessary to help your website rank on sites like Google.
Which leads me to…
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If you’re unfamiliar, search engine optimization is a profess of preparing web content to appear in a search engine’s results. There are a series of steps taken to make this happen including keyword research, labeling images before uploading them to your website, and applying a meta-description to every web page and blog post.
4. Social Media Strategy
Before you can create content, you have to plan it out. Otherwise, your social media can turn into a convoluted mess. When it comes to content creation, it’s always a good idea to get feedback from somebody else before you post. It’s incredibly helpful to get a second opinion that’s coming from a different perspective.
5. Social Media Management
Many of the business owners I’ve worked with have stated that they can’t stand social media. If they could have successful marketing without it, they tell me they wouldn’t both with social media at all. But as long as it’s here, they can hire people like me who genuinely enjoy it. Virtual assistants can use schedulers like Later, Planoly, or Tailwind to schedule content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
6. Social Media Advertising
Advertising on social media is extremely affordable (Facebook ads start at $2.50), but most business owners are intimidated by them. They are so many types of ads, and which platform should you choose? What should you advertise? Where should you advertise it? Questions like these can be answered by an expert and implemented by a strategist.
7. Instagram Hashtag Research
Hashtags are the talk of the town nowadays, aren’t they? I’ve been researching Instagram hashtags for a few years now, and you can say I’ve created something similar to a coin collection.
While I have a massive list already provided, I do believe that every business is unique. Therefore, hashtag research performed for that specific business’ needs will be really beneficial. Hashtag research should be done every business quarter or every three months. Typically, I recommend looking for 80-100 Instagram hashtags so you aren’t using the same ones over and over again. This obviously takes some strategy and time to do it, so you can hire a freelancer or virtual assistant to take care of it for you.
8. Instagram Engagement
Engagement on Instagram can mean a lot of things to different business owners. Basically, it’s searching through the gramosphere (as I like to call it) and like/comment/follow other Instagrammers that I believe may have an interest in my content. Here are some ways that I personally perform “Instagram engagement”:
Follow relevant hashtags and “like” or comment on posts shared within those hashtags
Return the favor and engage with Instagrammers that initiate engagement on my Instagram posts
9. Creating and Managing Email Newsletters
Most of the creative entrepreneurs I work with use Mailchimp or ConvertKit as their email marketing software. Both of them allow you the ability to customize and brand your email newsletters. You can hire a virtual assistant to create your email templates, brand them, fill them with content, and schedule them out for you!
10. Designing Email Opt-Ins and Freebies
It can get time-consuming trying to grow an email list. One of the first steps to growing an email list fast is offering free downloads for your audience to enjoy. A virtual assistant can gather the information for you, write out the copy, and design a PDF to give to your new email subscribers.
11. Designing Landing Pages
Why stop at outsourcing your freebie downloads for your email list? A landing page can help entice your website visitors to sign up for your email list. Landing pages have been known to increase conversion rates. So, if you’re using an email service provider like ConvertKit or Mailchimp, you have the opportunity to create custom landing page that promote your brand. Or better yet, your virtual assistant can do that for you!
12. Writing Automated Email Sequences
In addition to creating email newsletters, you can work with a virtual assistant to help you set up some email automation. Here’s why I love email automation so much: Once you set it up, it’s there forever. You may need to tweak or update your automated emails from time to time, but in the meantime, they’ll publish automatically whenever somebody new signs up for your email list.
Want to know more about your competition? Which keywords to rank for on Google? Need a content calendar full of blog post ideas? Your research as a solo photographer can be a never-ending to-do list. Hire a virtual assistant, and it’ll be done in no time at all!
14. Pitching to Brands, Businesses, and Magazines
Wedding photographers want to submit their portfolios to online wedding magazines. Food photographers want to pitch to restaurants, chefs, and well-known bloggers. If it drives you crazy trying to keep track of your initial reach out and follow-ups, you can rely on a VA to keep this process organized.
Photographers Can Outsource Creative Work
15. Photo Editing
Most photographers want to be in complete control of the editing process, and I get that. But, if you have a task that you do repeatedly, like watermarking your photos before publishing them on your website or social media, then you can train a virtual assistant to take over that portion of the work. Some other ideas for outsourcing could include resizing images, applying a Lightroom preset to all of your photos, or uploading your albums to Pixieset.
16. Assisting at Photoshoots
VAs don’t always have to be “virtual.” You can hire an assistant to help you out at photoshoots! Wouldn’t it be great to have somebody help you set up your equipment? Scope out the venue? Be a second set of eyes during the photoshoot?
17. Designing Social Media Graphics
There are several opportunities to create graphics specifically for social media: profile pictures, headers, and post updates. It’s definitely nice to log into an Instagram scheduler like Later or Planoly and see that your virtual assistant has already added 10 graphics to use on your content calendar.
18. Designing Photo Albums
Photo albums are probably the most important part of your business, since they’re a presentation to give to your photography clients. It’d be great to have some help with uploading images, placing them in your photo albums, and making sure they’re sent to your clients on time. Hire a VA to help you do this, and you' won’t have to worry about missing deadlines.
Photographers Can Outsource Administrative Tasks
19. Cleaning Out Your Inbox
That email inbox—yuck! Most of our are checking our inboxes around 15 times per day, which leads to less productivity. What if you could hire an assistant to manage your inbox? A virtual assistant could filter through the madness, and mark the priority emails for you to check. Or, if you’re feeling bold, they could respond to emails on your behalf!
20. Organize Your Inbox with Folders
There are lots of ways to get creative with how you organize your inbox folders. You can organize them by prioritization or the types of emails you receive or organize follow-ups with potential clients and current clients. Work with a VA who will help you decide which method will work best for your photography business. There is no right or wrong answer.
21. Booking Hotels, Airbnbs, and Flights
For all you traveling photographers out there, do you feel overwhelmed looking at your calendar and trying to make sure you’re not overbooking anything? You can work with an assistant to make sure that doesn’t happen! You can add a virtual assistant to your Google Calendar so they can help you organize your photoshoots, weddings, and the travel accommodations needed for each one.
Sometimes, you need somebody else to look over your work. If you’re writing descriptions for photo albums, an email newsletter, a blog post, or a month’s worth of Instagram captions, go ahead and let your VA proofread through everything. You’ll never have to worry abut grammatical or spelling errors on your published content.
23. Setting Up Workflows
Workflows are amazing because they help you stay on top of your projects and meet all your deadlines. Project management tools like Trello and Asana can help you lay out your work week. These are a great way to stay in communication with your team, especially if you hire a virtual assistant long-term.
24. Keeping Your Contact Book Updated
Got any data entry tasks that you keep putting off because they feel so tedious? If you need help gathering the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of the vendors and local businesses you work with, a VA can create a spreadsheet for you.
25. Watermarking Images
If you want to be in charge of editing your images, you absolutely can. But wouldn’t it be great if somebody else could add the watermarks to all your copyrighted images? That’s a simple task to outsource that can save your hours of time each month!
26. Labeling and Filing Images
It’s good practice to label every single image with the date and location of the photoshoot. (Or whatever will help you find the files in your computer.) But who wants to make time for that? Luckily, you can hire somebody to do it for you.
27. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software
If you’re using a software like 17hats, Honeybook, or Dubsado, then you can work with a VA to make sure your system is always up to date and organized.
This was a summarized list of all the tasks that photographers can outsource to a virtual assistant. However, every photography business is different. The photographer (that’s you!) can decide which tasks to take off their plate, based on their budget and how much it’ll help free up their time. Imagine how much your business can grow if you had a few extra hours in your work week.
If you’re interested in scaling your business and hiring a virtual assistant, I’d love to chat with you! You can check out my current monthly virtual assistant packages here as well as book a discovery call.