A classic parenting comeback:
“So you’re telling me if everyone <<insert dramatic action here>> you would too?”
This was the response I got without fail each time I tried to reason with the phrase, “but everyone ELSE is doing it!”
… and I’m sure I’ll be on the parenting end of this exchange with my own daughter and son one day. They are only 5 and 2 right now, so I’ve got some time!
But the thing is, parents do tend to know best.
Their advice applies to business too.
I mean, you didn’t start your business to be just like everybody else, did you?
Didn’t think so!
So why would you hire someone just because it’s what everyone else is doing?
Being an entrepreneur is about being innovative, strategic, and action-oriented.
You’re likely reading this post because you’re considering growing your team now or in the near future.
If you aren’t sure if it’s the right time just yet, be sure to check out my last blog post. I break down how to decide which tasks you need the most help with to move the needle forward in your business. You can read it here.
So you’ve decided you’re ready to hire, but aren’t sure which person will help your business scale most.
In a perfect world, you’d have a whole team of experts supporting those big, beautiful goals of yours right away. But for most of us, this simply isn’t possible and we will want to make sure our first hire is both impactful and financially feasible.
In this post I’ll break down:
- The 3 most common first hires that will help you move the needle forward in your business
- The systems every entrepreneur should put in place BEFORE hiring
- & the value Virtual Assistants, Copywriters, and Social Media Managers can offer as you level up your business.
Let’s jump in so you can keep marching to the beat of your own drum while expanding your team and finding incredible growth in your business.
The 3 Most IMPACTFUL Hires for Entrepreneurs
#1 // Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants (VA’s) can juggle a variety of tasks. This is why they tend to be a first hire when solopreneurs are looking to grow their team. VA’s are usually known for taking on administrative work or recurring tasks.
Unpopular opinion: I think that this view of VA’s misses the mark completely.
At a time when almost everything admin-related can be automated, your VA has a much more important role. This person should be utilized for administrative tasks that automation cannot handle.
The challenge is, many people hire a VA as a knee-jerk reaction to feeling overwhelmed with small tasks. Instead of jumping right to working with a VA, you may want to take a look at your behind-the-scenes systems first.
Have you tried…
- Email Marketing through services like Flodesk.
You can use Flodesk to handle showing up for and nurturing your audience, welcoming new leads, and even guiding groups of clients through group programs.
- Schedulers like Calendly.
Scheduling platforms let clients find a time that works for them based on your pre-set availability. You can even sync Calendly with your Google Calendar and your CRM so everything coordinates.
- CRMs like Dubasdo or Honeybook.
Customer Relationship Managers can handle payments, communication, follow-up correspondence, files, scheduling, and more. I especially love using my CRM for automated, personalized, day-to-day emails. Check out this freebie I created for you to hone in on which CRM is right for your business!
- Considering the Cost.
I do not recommend just shopping around for the cheapest deal. However, I do recommend being savvy with your dollars. Paying to upgrade your subscriptions to gain additional automation features MIGHT be worth it. Sometimes business owners are hesitant to upgrade their accounts and pay for additional features but it could be more affordable and effective than outsourcing to a hired professional.
Let’s take a look at a recent exchange I had with one of my COO clients:
After this conversation, my client said, “I never thought about it that way.”
This client hosts an online community and was preparing to hire a VA to play a community manager role. Part of this role would have included sending emails to anyone who leaves the community to schedule an exit interview.
My client was already using Kajabi and mentioned that the next subscription level would have allowed her to automate this exact workflow, but instead of paying the additional fee, she figured she could assign that to her new VA to take on instead. In her mind, she was already paying for this service anyway. It didn’t FEEL like an additional cost.
She wasn’t expecting my reaction.
I pushed back.
Yes, I agreed, her VA COULD take this task on. But should she?
Together we figured out that this workflow would take about 4 hours per month for her VA to complete.
Her VA would need to…
– send the individual emails
– follow up 3 days later
– and schedule the exit interview.
This would likely cost about $100 per month for the additional hours of work.
Alternatively, the upgraded Kajabi subscription was only about $40 more than the basic subscription per month. If she decided to go for the upgraded Kabjabi subscription, her VA would be able to pour her time and energy into the community management tasks my client was hiring her for in the first place.
By assessing her budget needs AND her values, this client essentially got back 4 hours of her VA’s time. This time can now be spent on projects that matter MORE while building efficiency in her business.
How to know if it really IS time to hire a VA…
VA’s are talented and you want to be able to leverage their skills and optimize your work together. You can avoid boring this person with simple tasks that an automation tool could easily handle.
Instead, hire a VA to truly engage with your audience. They can provide a better client experience for everyone who interacts with your brand at each touchpoint.
When their skills and expertise are strategically leveraged, hiring a VA can provide a big bang for your buck. They do a whole variety of things for what tends to be a more affordable price. This helps stretch a tight budget right out of the gate for more impact in your growing business.
It may be time for a VA if you feel like your systems are working fine, but you need a more custom and personalized solution. Here is what to look out for when deciding if hiring a VA will move the needle forward in your business:
- “You need somebody with the human touch.” Yes, the Spice Girls said it best. Sometimes your automation systems are not enough and your clients need additional support and guidance through their experience working with you.
- You use special apps or software in your business that require regular attention and know-how.
- You need a point-of-contact for current clients who may have unique questions or need support during your work together.
- Onboarding and Offboarding tasks that may require someone to review applications or conduct a live interview about a client’s experience.
- Bookkeeping and tasks that require human oversight, and cannot rely on AI to get the job done right.
- Systems maintenance and updates. If you find it tough to streamline your automated systems, a VA can do regular check-ups. This will ensure your systems are serving your current needs and working efficiently.
# 2 // Copywriter
A copywriter (not to be mistaken with “copyright”) is a writer who uses psychology, persuasion, and marketing principles to connect with your ideal audience and move them to take action. These writers help your audience identify with and choose your solution to overcome a problem.
A lot of businesses opt to hire a copywriter on an “as-needed” basis. Yes, you can find a copywriter to quickly whip something up on Fiverr or Upwork. But the true value of a copywriter is in their ability to capture your voice and interact with your audience strategically.
COO TIp: While outsourcing a freelancer on Fivver might save you some cash in the short term, investing in a copywriter will pay off tenfold in the long run.
If given the time to get to know you and your business, this person will be able to craft the right words to spur your audience into positive action.
Your words are like a 24/7 salesperson. They represent you at all times, even while you’re sleeping or on a well-deserved vacation. A strong copywriter will ensure that your 24/7 salesperson is working optimally rather than snoozing on the job!
What a Copywriter can do for you…
- Research to ensure your messaging is strategic and speaks to your ideal client.
- Find creative ways to recycle content to help your words go further.
- Take on the time-consuming tasks of writing and editing.
- Capture what’s in your brain and make it more digestible for your readers.
- Help you define and maintain a consistent brand voice across all platforms.
- Create consistent content that your audience can value and trust.
If you are newer in your business, hiring a copywriter may not be in the cards for you just yet. That’s okay! You may want to try to create your own content and copy for a while. Copywriting is a wonderful skill to have as an entrepreneur because it can shape how you market and sell your products.
Have you tried…
- Outlining your content pillars. Content pillars are a great way to compartmentalize your writing in an easy-to-follow way. To get started, brainstorm any and all topics related to your business. No idea is too simple! Once you have these mapped out, start to categorize them. Remember, you can also include topics that are indirectly related to your business.
For example: One of my content pillars, for example, is sharing glimpses of my life as a parent and moments with my two kids! Rotating between 3-4 content pillars will keep your content fresh, add variety, and will help you avoid the dreaded writer’s block!
- Time blocking to carve out time for writing. Setting a specific time each day or each week might be a game-changer for you. Some entrepreneurs like to reserve one specific day a week as a CEO day to only work on their business instead of in their business. Writing for your business could be included in this CEO Day agenda.
- Recycling content. Permission slip: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time! Could that blog post be re-purposed as an Instagram mini-training? Maybe that Podcast you did last month has some awesome points you can pull out into written content for your email newsletter subscribers. Taking one piece of content and turning it into MANY will help you reach more people while saving yourself a lot of time and effort.
P.S. You can TOTALLY use old material. In a pinch, dig something up from the past. Not everything has to be completely new and innovative.
How to know if it really IS time to hire a Copywriter…
- You have a million incomplete Google Docs floating in the Google Drive abyss.
- You hate writing and can never find the right words.
- You feel like the words you write miss the mark and want your writing to be more strategic in your marketing plan.
- You like writing but never seem to have the time.
# 3 // Social Media Manager
Social media can be a huge time and energy drainer. Not only is it a lot to keep up with, but if you’re like me, popping on to post a story eventually leads to drowning in Instagram Reels or “window shopping” on Facebook marketplace for furniture I don’t even have space for in my home!
Some entrepreneurs hire a social media manager (SMM) and hand over the reins completely while others still like to jump in and respond to DMs themselves from time to time. It’s really up to you how hands-on or hands-off you’d like your SMM to be.
Social Media Managers are experts at navigating the social world and can level up your digital game in so many ways.
What a Social Media Manager can do for you…
- Increase audience engagement and consistently interact with your followers. If you’re feeling like keeping up with DMs and comments is exhausting or sporadic, a SMM can jump in.
- Create on-brand graphics and content with strategy and intention behind them.
- Get your brand out there. You could have the best ideas and services in the world but if your target audience isn’t finding you, they may never know! A SMM can help you expand your visibility by optimizing your social accounts. They can coach you on hashtag strategy, share your message in Facebook groups, and even help you with digital ads.
- Save time and energy. Social media can be a huge time-eater. If you aren’t mindful, it can easily seem like you’re doing work, but in reality, the mindless scrolling can keep you from the business tasks that actually build momentum.
Have you tried…
- Batching content ahead of time. This is a great task to knock out in a time block! Reserve time each week to map out your upcoming content and posts. To help you brainstorm topics, consider upcoming promotions or services you will offer. You can also highlight frequently asked questions or seasonal topics related to your business. Planning this out in advance will keep you from feeling scattered. Batching content will save you so much time and stress.
- Social Media schedulers like Plann or CoSchedule. Once you have your content mapped out, you can use these schedulers to auto-post content for you so you can set it and forget it. These tools also let you visually plan out your posts and see your Instagram grid before you publish. Talk about leveling up your social media game!
- Graphics Creators like Canva Pro. While Canva absolutely does not replace a graphic designer, it can be a strategic tool for your business. With a Pro account, you can even create a Brand Kit with your brand colors and fonts. This allows you to easily modify any template to fit your vibe and your needs.
How to know if it really IS time to hire a Social Media Manager
- Being on social media is negatively impacting your mood or mental health.
- You don’t have a strategy and post randomly and intermittently.
- Social media is a big time-sucker for you and keeps you from the tasks that move the needle forward in your day-to-day life.
Let’s sum it up!
Bringing on a new team member can make a positive difference in your business. Better yet, hiring STRATEGICALLY can be a game-changer.
While expanding your team can help to alleviate your workload, it is equally as important to consider your systems and automation workflows. This may help you feel like your tasks are more manageable if you aren’t quite ready to hire.
If you ARE ready to hire, making sure simple tasks are automated will optimize your work with your new team member so they can assist with the high-touch portions of your business.
While each of these professionals can be a huge asset to any business, your first hire is a big deal! This is never a one-size-fits-all decision. This kind of investment is one you will want to make with your eyes wide open.
Now that you’ve evaluated what can be automated and systematized behind the scenes, you’ll be able to identify the best first hire for YOUR unique needs at this stage of your business.
Who are you considering hiring first?
Is there another position you’re considering hiring instead?
Let’s connect! I’d love to learn about the current state of your business and which tasks you’re needing the most help automating.
On a free Strategy Call, we can chat through any questions or concerns you have about this stage of your business so you can feel confident and supported.