Trying to decide when to hire a contractor in your web design business is something every full time business owner needs to address at one point or another. Kristen from Kristen Leigh has some tips on how to build a team including who and when to hire.
Back in 2018 I was doing everything myself.
Write blog posts: I did that.
Schedule blog posts: Me.
Pitch cold leads: Hi, my name’s Kristen 👋
Have sales calls: Yup, me.
Send proposals: Oh, Kristen again.
Create lead magnets: Me again.
Send emails to my list: You guessed it (me).
Design websites: Kristen once again.
Build websites: Really… who else do you think did that?
I was the definition of an overworked solopreneur trying to make even more money, reach more people, but not really being able to move the needle. Between marketing myself, onboarding new clients, and working with current clients something had to give before I experienced burnout.
But to give something up and remain a solopreneur meant scaling back my business. That was the exact opposite of what I wanted to do.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about – you’re experiencing that right now, too. You want to push past the $5,000 per month mark and move the needle toward your first $10K month. In order to do that, you need to amp up your marketing. But let’s be honest… where do you find the time to work on creating marketing material when you’re already working with multiple clients and are dangerously close to hitting your peak capacity for working hours?
Adding to your web design team
This is where hiring comes in. Before you say, “I don’t have enough money to hire a contractor and still pay my bills and myself”… that phrase “you have to spend money to make money” is absolutely true.
At the beginning of 2019 I hired my first two contractors. I took a look at what I was doing, what I wanted to be doing, and who I needed to hire to help support me on the journey.
My reasons for growing my team
The first thing I wanted to take off my plate (and that I didn’t really enjoy) were the small but time consuming and repetitive tasks that quite frankly, were not worth my time. That included things like scheduling blog posts and social media posts, researching potential cold leads, creating graphics, and some other task type things. Are these things important? Yes! They’re so important to the growth of business. I personally just didn’t want to do them.
The second thing was something I wanted to start doing: utilizing Pinterest as a traffic driving source.
When you’re determining what to hire for you need to think about two things:
- Do I enjoy doing this or am I doing it out of necessity?
- Would the CEO of a company be doing this work?
Learn when to delegate tasks
If you answered no to either of these questions, then you know it’s a task or project that would be better completed by someone else.
It was easy for me to pick what to give to a contractor. My biggest problem was that I didn’t know how long these things would take to complete. I didn’t want to pay someone for 5 hours a week or 10 hours a month for me to be unable to send them enough work to occupy their time. I would be paying them so I wanted to get my money’s worth!
I ended up hiring two people: a virtual assistant and a Pinterest manager. My virtual assistant worked on an hourly basis so if she worked only 2 hours one week and 5 hours the next, she got paid for 7 hours. My Pinterest manager was on a package basis and she basically just took control of Pinterest for me completely.
Benefits of adding a contractor to your web design team
After hiring these two people, I experienced my first $10K month. I stopped working an absurd amount of hours each week. And I was able to actually create a boundary between working from home and living at home.
Fast forward to 2020 and my needs have changed. I no longer have a Pinterest manager but I have a virtual assistant who helps me with so many things, including Pinterest. She has been the absolute best person I have ever hired to help me within my business. She helps me with:
- Scheduling blog posts
- Uploading content into Teachable
- Scheduling Facebook posts
- Scheduling Pinterest content
- Creating graphics
- And other things here and there
She is an absolute lifesaver! Without her I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do a complete update to Web Design Business Bootcamp in just 3 short weeks. See? Lifesaver.
Justin, my husband, is also a co-owner and part-time “employee” of the business. He helps with things like:
- Optimizing blog posts and the website for SEO
- Running Facebook ads
- Editing videos for our courses and marketing material
- Brainstorming new crazy ideas with me
- Supporting me when I randomly say “we’re creating this in just 3 weeks!” even if it seems impossible
There are three of us behind the scenes here at Kristen Leigh and without my two right hand peeps, I wouldn’t have been able to grow the business to where it is today, serving over 100 students inside Web Design Business Bootcamp in less than 6 months and regularly working on new content for our audience.
When should you hire a contractor in your web design business?
Simple. When you reach a point where the only option is to let something go or bring on help, that’s a sign that you should have started the hiring process months ago. If you’re there right now, dying to hit a $10K month and you’ve already raised your prices, then it’s time you invest in your business by bringing on a contractor.
Even better, if you’re reading this right now and you’re generating between $3500 and $5000, it’s time you start thinking about what you want to achieve. And once you’ve figured that out, think about what you would need to do to make that happen. Most likely, you’ll want to at least make one hire.
What type of contractors to hire
Making a decision to hire is one thing. Knowing who to hire is another. Here’s a quick list of things you could hire out and the type of person that could complete the work for you:
- Scheduling blog posts and social media: virtual assistant
- Create a marketing plan and strategy: social media manager
- Email inbox management: virtual assistant
- Schedule emails: virtual assistant
- Create an email marketing plan: email marketing manager
- Analytics: virtual assistant
- Pitch warm and cold leads: virtual assistant
- Assist you with designing websites: graphic designer or junior web designer
- Assist you with building websites: junior web designer
- Create graphics for marketing material: graphic designer
- Customer service: virtual assistant
- Pinterest scheduling: virtual assistant
- Pinterest strategy: Pinterest manager
Almost all task-based type work can be completed by a virtual assistant. When it comes to more strategy type things, you’ll want someone who specializes in the area you’re looking to excel in (ie. social media manager for a social media strategy).
You may not have even thought about hiring out parts of your web design workflow. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. If you much prefer building over designing, hire a graphic designer to design the mockups. That will free up your time to work on other things that fuel your soul and energize you.
You will be the best business owner you can be when you’re doing work that is aligned with your truest self. And when you’re doing work that is aligned with your truest self, that’s when the money comes in. When you’re radiating confidence rather than struggling to get everything done, that’s when the money comes in.
In order to be your truest self and work only on things that fuel you, you’ll need to hire some helping hands. It’ll be worth it – I promise.