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Are you a solopreneur trying to get your company off the ground? Trying to wear all the hats in your business works until it doesn’t. You find yourself working 80 hours a week with a constantly populating to-do list. The good news is that you can hire freelancers to help leverage your time and offer support so you can scale and grow.
Don’t let yourself be the bottleneck. Explore hiring one or more of these five professionals.
1. Virtual assistant
The easiest thing to get off your plate is virtual assistant work like data entry, customer service, email management and calendar organization. Anything that needs to be automated or taken off your plate reduces decision-making and small tasks that are not the best use of your time.
Virtual assistants often specialize in different kinds of tasks, so do a brain dump list of all the things you could outsource first. You might find that many of those tasks are related, like calendar and email inbox management. One virtual assistant might be able to handle several of the tasks on your to-do list so that you can focus on higher-level or revenue-generating tasks.
Use a test job with a new virtual assistant to see how they approach problems and meet deadlines. This will give you a good sense of their communication style so you can determine whether this has the potential to be a great working relationship over the long haul.
You can’t sell well without excellent copywriting. Even if you consider yourself a great writer, there might come a time when you just don’t have the time to be the primary copywriter anymore. You can suggest ideas and do final proofs if you’re that committed, but hiring a copywriter who understands your industry removes that heavy lifting from your shoulders.
For years as a copywriter, I worked directly with law firms. None of the busy attorneys had the time or interest to write copy, but it was also an essential part of their website and marketing plan. Handing the copywriting off to a freelancer gave them the best of both worlds: top-notch writing but none of the stress of managing it themselves.
When hiring a copywriter, ask to see examples of the specific kind of writing you’re looking for as this will narrow down the applications received to the most qualified candidates. You need to like their writing style.
3. Online business manager or project manager
A few steps up from your entry-level virtual assistant is an online business manager or project manager. These professionals can handle the strategic and team management aspect of your business. Think of them as part task-doers, part systems and streamlining advisors. As they learn more of your business, they’ll be able to more effectively help you scale and onboard more customers or other employees/freelancers.
An online business manager often plays a key role in strategy, serving as your “right hand” person, whereas a project manager ensures all deadlines are met and is involved in a role more specific to managing other team members, like the rest of your freelancers. There’s a lot of crossover between the two, so spend some time searching for people who might call themselves by either name.
4. Social media manager
Social media is a double-edged sword. As a business owner, you have to use it, but it also has the potential to pull your focus away from more important tasks. Once you’ve got a system in place, consider outsourcing it to a freelancer.
You can also onboard a social media manager to help you set up your system for creating social media posts and images, but make sure you provide them with necessary guidelines and instructions where possible. You’ll make it a lot easier on yourself by letting them run with solid details on their own.
If you’re producing a lot of content, a freelance editor helps to catch mistakes before they go out on your website or email newsletter. Getting the support from someone who is coming to each piece of content with fresh eyes helps you spot opportunities to tighten up the writing and prevents emails from readers critiquing your grammar or spelling issues.
Anyone who writes a lot will make mistakes. We’re human. So get another human to help save you from yourself and proofread things so they have a maximum impact.
Much like with hiring a copywriter, ask about the editor’s experience working in your industry or with your specific type of content. It’s one thing to edit academic journal papers for citation accuracy or full-length books for the overall flow, but you’ll be looking for something different with someone proofing your sales copy or a 300-word email.
Leveraging freelancers means that you’re getting more of your time back so you can focus on what’s important and drive your business forward. It’s an expense to use freelance talent, but it’s important to keep your role in a growing company aligned with leadership, strategy and things that only you can do.