I get questions from makeup artists who want to know more about outsourcing. I totally get it and I am a HUGE fan of outsourcing in your makeup business. It has been such a game changer for me; I couldn’t have grown nearly as quickly or done half the things I wanted to do (ahm, like writing an actual BOOK) without a team of brilliant freelancers that I can rely on and trust.
I also know how scary it can be to direct funds to this, especially when you haven’t yet hit the financial milestones you want to hit. In your heart, you know you have to spend money, to buy more time for yourself so you’re not always “in the weeds” of your business, but I also know that’s easier said than done.
So, in this blog post, I want to talk about how to know when it’s time to outsource in your makeup business, and I’ll share some of my own personal experiences that will hopefully help you as you make this big step in your own business!
Be honest, does any of this sound like you?
You have soooo many ideas but no actual time to execute them because you’re constantly answering emails, promoting your business, and doing whatever it takes to get more clients booking with you. You’re spending 90% of your time on admin stuff and maybe 10% of your time on the actual makeup stuff that you love.
By the way, I recently interviewed Melissa Street, an incredible production makeup artist, for my podcast and I was shocked to hear that even an eight time Emmy award winning artist is still dealing with so much of the admin work, bookkeeping, and other un-glamorous stuff. So if you are feeling bad that this is just you, trust me, it’s not.
Maybe you’re booking clients consistently, but you’d like to double or triple your bookings so you can rely more on repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals rather than constantly husting to get your name out there and stay front of mind. A virtual assistant can help you get your name out there and make the kinds of fruitful connections that will lead to more clients!
One thing that I think is super important to point out is that outsourcing doesn’t HAVE to mean hiring an actual human being. It can mean investing in a really great client management system, like Honeybook, which is my personal fave. In fact, I’m a Honeybook educator and if you sign up using my referral link, you’ll receive my email templates free!
Speaking of email templates… that’s another way to outsource some of the work you do. I’m not just talking about my templates (but they are really great, if I do say so myself); there are a lot of great templates out there for things like client communication, contracts, invoices, etc. that you can just rinse and reuse over and over again, which will save you TONS of time. The minimal investment for these systems is sooo worth it.
So, you’ve decided to outsource in your makeup business… where do you start? You can start with places like Upwork and Fiverr, and I’ve had some luck there, but you will be weeding through a lot more candidates to find one that fits your needs and is trustworthy enough. But, the upside is the rates are typically lower.
1 – Facebook Groups
If you’re a member of any Facebook groups, like the Rising Tide Society or other groups for creative entrepreneurs, there’s a really good chance you can find someone there. A simple group search with “VA” or “virtual assistant” or “social media manager” are good places to start.
The bonus with searching here first is that you are not hiring blindly. People have already recommended people they know and trust.
2 – Social Media Posts
I’m always a big fan of reaching out to your own network. Create a social media post asking people to DM you if they know of a reliable VA and state how many hours you’re looking to hire someone for and what tasks you think you want them to do. Chances are, there’s someone in your network already who is a rockstar at those things!
I found my first VA by searching the hashtag #virtualassistant on Instagram. I followed several different accounts that resonated with me, signed up for their email list, and found my perfect match this way.
3 – Upwork
There are lots of competitor sites to Upwork but I have found some amazing people on Upwork. I only recommend hiring on Upwork if you are laser focused on exactly what you need and know your exact budget. When you create your account and post a job, you’ll likely receive many applicants — so give yourself some time to review and interview.
4 – LinkedIn Jobs
I would say that hands down that the quality of applicants on LinkedIn jobs is par none. I put out a job posting along with the rate I’m willing to pay and I will usually receive a whole bunch of responses from really qualified people who are looking to make some extra money, build their client roster, or round out their skills.
Have Patience And Don’t Settle
It might not be a fit immediately, and it might take a few tries to find the right person, but trust me, it is WORTH it.
After 3 years of business ownership AND one failed business AND one VA relationship that never “clicked” AND 3 years of blood. sweat. and tears (lots of tears), I decided it was time to let go of some of the things that were holding me back!
I saved up enough and hired a virtual assistant that I actually found on Instagram. She had a background in copywriting, which was perfect because I needed help with all the things: keeping (and aligning), my brand, my copy, and let’s be honest, keeping me on target with my goals.
After that, I hired several more freelancers because I realized how much more I could create when I had the everyday admin stuff mostly off my plate. I’m more of an “ideas” person so that stuff really bogs me down. Since COVID hit, I’ve had to scale back, but my plan is to grow my team back up again once I am able. It’s just so liberating to be able to hand things off to qualified people who you can trust.
When you’re just starting out, or really whenever, it is SO important that you’re paying attention to ROI (return on investment). You don’t want to hire people or spend money on systems or tools to help your business if you can’t be sure that investment is going to pay off, aka make you money in a reasonable amount of time.
To ensure that I’m making a smart investment, I normally start with a smaller project that I need help with. This way, I’m not committing to a big spend and I can see if we click. If it goes well, I can move them into a monthly retainer.
But, I also like to have a 90 day trial period with anyone I hire. If we aren’t jiving or I don’t really see ROI or feel like I’m less stressed, I let them go. It sucks to do that, but business is business. You have to do what’s best for you and your bottom line.
I recently interviewed Kim Baker, and she said something that really stuck out to me. She said, “Why would I try to do something myself and waste so much time and energy when I can hire someone who already knows what to do and can coach me through?”
When I transitioned my business to add makeup artist coaching, my goal was to help people get past that awkward and frustrating growth phase so they could do more of the work they love and make a living doing it.
So, if you’re at the point where you want to invest in some services and systems to save more time and grow faster, I would love to be that resource for you! I have a few options that I know would help, depending on where you’re at in your business:
1 – Makeup Artist Templates – For every hour you’re doing makeup, you’re probably spending three times that getting your kit ready, emailing the client, and sending proposals, invoices, and contracts. It really adds up and cuts into the time you could be spending with other clients. That’s why templates are so amazing! You buy them once, and you can use them forever. Take a look at my template shop here.
P.S. If you want to try out one of my templates for free, you can grab my client inquiry email here! This free download is literally the template of the email I use when responding to general client inquiries.
2 – Book an Instagram Audit – Posting without a strategy is a huge waste of your time. I really do believe Instagram is where it’s at when it comes to finding clients and building a brand. But, you have to be intentional and strategic. I do 30-minute audits where we talk about your bio, your hashtags, content curation, captions, and so much more. Learn more about Instagram Audits here.
3 – A La Carte Coaching – I am always happy to answer questions or point you in the right direction. Or, if you want to pick my brain in a 1:1 call, I do offer a la carte coaching for makeup artists! We can talk about anything you want, from your website to your packages to restocking your kit. Learn more about my a la carte coaching services here.
What’s the Side Hustle Makeup Artist Academy? I’ll be launching this course in late 2021 and it will give you everything you need to know to start your side-hustle makeup business smartly, authentically, and successfully. Sign up for the waitlist here
At the end of the day, my wish for you is that you stop trying to do it all. You deserve to have the makeup business of your dreams without running yourself into the ground. I really, really believe that.