This post covers ways to get support and help by teaching you how to delegate. It’s hard to achieve the success you want if you try to do it all alone and continue to take on things that waste your precious time!
Two issues you’re thinking about right now while reading this:
1. You can’t afford to pay someone to help you
2. You don’t want to give up control (so you continue to do it all yourself)
Right? Get these thoughts out of your head and read on …
Step 1: Figure Out What To Delegate
The first step in your journey is you need to figure out what you want to get off of your plate. Is your Facebook Page hogging up too much time? Do you need help with time management, PR & Marketing? Do you need someone to help you file papers and organize your office?
Step 2: Write A Job Description of Each Delegated Task
You want to really think this through – pretend you are posting this as a job description for the perfect assistant. Include every nuance about what is needed. You will be posting this so this is a necessary step.
Step 3: Write A “How To” Guide For Each Delegated Task
I urge you to take the time to do this BEFORE you get anyone to start! Take a few hours to write a guide on each task explaining it exactly the way you do it. This is called systematizing and it will be critical for your success in achieving your goals. Imagine that the person you are writing these guides for has never done the tasks you are about to assign. Type them out in a step-by-step format.
This is crucial because when people are left to their own devices they may not perform in the way you want and expect them to. The more specific your directions are, the more you are setting them up for success.
Start With Small Tasks – 1 to 2 Hours at Most & Check Work Often
Start with small tasks that can be achieved in an hour or two to see if your new intern/assistant handles it well. You want to create a system of checks and balances while you’re still in the trust-building stage. Checking work and supplying necessary corrections early will ensure the tasks get done right the first time and avoid the possible pitfall of having to re-do this work personally or ask your assistant to repeat the task.
Hold Them Accountable
Inspect and comment on their completed delegated actions and be honest with feedback. If you do not check the work it can easily get off course. If your assistant is working for college credit make sure she provides you with a time tracking spreadsheet or an hourly list of all tasks they complete and support they provide. Create and share Google Docs with your team so everything can remain up to date while things shift.
Use Asana to assign and track all tasks (we love it here at Cyber PR).
Now, go delegate!
Here are some solutions to consider… this is my guide to getting the help you may need. I broke it up starting with free solutions that won’t cost you more than your time to options that you will pay for:
Getting Help FOR FREE
Get students to help you while they earn credit for school. This website will let you post as an employer for free – post as a record label (that’s what you are) and ask for help with PR and marketing. Offer college credit only. You will be amazed at how many young people who need credit for school are turning to these sites to find interesting internships.
Your Local College Or University – There are a few places on campus to try:
The Career Services department
The Internship Office
Music School or Music Business School
Communications / Mass Comm department
Look for classes on PR, marketing, and online strategy. I suggest that you connect directly with the professors. Leave a courteous message asking if they require internships and if they have any students who may be interested in working for your record label.
There is always a class that is studying marketing and PR. Those students need to come up with “marketing plans” and “publicity plans” all of the time. Ask the professor to have the class come up with one for you as an artist instead of a hypothetical business. You will be amazed at what a team of young people who are not jaded by the music business may come up with. Tell the professor that you would be happy to come to the class so that the students can present their ideas to you. Everybody wins in this situation – you may change their lives by showing them what it’s like to work with a “real” artist and they might come up with something brilliant that you never would have thought of on your own.
Photography and Film Schools
Students studying photography might just be delighted to take photos of an artist or band – they get an assignment complete and you get new images to use.
This also works for film students.
Students learning about audio production may also need to record. Research which audio schools are in your area and call them up.
Identify & Motivate Your Super Fans To Help
Ask your mailing list if anyone on it can give you a few hours a month. In exchange, give them free tickets, T-shirts, beers at the gig, or even an hourly fee.
Email Signup At Gigs
Create a column on your email signup list that you pass around at gigs. This should ask – would you like to be in our virtual street team? If they say yes you now have a funnel of potential assistants.
Email Signup On Your Site
Add a signup box to your website using a free widget from Noise Trade to capture your fans who may want to help you.
Paste / Noise Trade
Their amazing tools help you give away a full-length album, EP, live concert recording, acoustic set or single in exchange for fan email addresses. They also provide and postal codes for every download.
You do get what you pay for so you may want to spend some money, but just because you are paying someone doesn’t mean it has to break the bank. Here are some of my favorite places to go for paid help.
Upwork & Task Rabbit
Both of these fabulous sites list service providers of all types and bid against each other to work for YOU!
There are tons of categories, and you will find almost anything you need – graphic designers, copy editors, office assistants, writers, virtual assistants, etc. You can set the price you want to pay. The best part is they both have escrow so if the provider does not deliver a satisfactory job, you will not release your money until they do!
TIP: look at each person’s reviews and only use providers that get fabulous reviews and high ratings from users to avoid disappointments.
Hire a Younger Family Member
They may know how to work the Internet much better than you. Again don’t set them off to figure it out on their own – read above how we encourage you to check the work of those on your support team.
I know that this may seem like a lot of steps to get some help, however, think of all the extra hours you can get back if you do this right the first time.
A Fabulous Article to Help You! – How To Work Well With Your Virtual Assistant
Dorie is a friend of mine and she has a superhuman way of managing her productivity. She has many articles on Forbes about working with a VA. This is a great one to start with.
Ready to start delegating your own Social Media? Download our free Social Media Organizer now!
Another great post from Ariel! I’d like to add two points in addition to all you talked about – I find two obstacles my clients have around getting help is this idea:
“It’ll take longer to teach someone than to do it myself.”
My answer to that – you clearly haven’t fully created a system for that thing. Because if you’ve created a system for it – the system will teach your assistant how to do run it.
Don’t know how to create a system? Well, I have a class about that at the Artist’s EDGE Membership http://artists-edge.com/join – check it out!
The other obstacle is this idea:
Well, I can do it myself. Or I can do it better myself.
Oh – these are such traps! Just because you CAN do it yourself doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it yourself, even if you can do it better!
All the stuff that you’re doing yourself, that doesn’t involve your core genius is stealing time from your success. Let it go. Give it away. Spend your time and energy on the things that only you can do and that will bring you closer to your dreams.
Great insights and practical advise! There’s a lot musicians can delegate. I think though, it’s crucial to be truly involved in building the fan base and not letting others speak for yourself. Granted, maintaining an event calendar or a photo gallery can be totally outsourced. Answering fan questions though, must be done by the musicians themselves. Again, they could have someone gathering the tweets, FB comments, etc. that need to get answered but the actual answers should come from the musicians. Or, if this gets too overwhelming and there are too many “silly” questions or comments, differentiate btw. what’s coming from the team and directly from the musician via a special handle like “tweets coming from XXXXX directly are signed xx.”. Thanks for the great overview, Ariel 🙂
I agree with Elke, the reaching out to new potential fans and replying to fans I really do like to do myself but it also takes the most time. I love the article tho Ariel because one of my main goals is NOT to do everything myself. I have started spending on advertising, which is really helping me grow, and also doing more collabs which means I don’t have to mix and edit everything. Next, I want to hire someone to do a video instead of doing the entire direction, shooting, styling, hair and makeup and editing myself…….Help me Lord!
In the 90’s and 2000’s real estate investment speakers used to constantly harp on delegation. I did it sometimes but found that I could not count on or trust people so I have attempted to move to a business model that requires as little delegation as possible- like passive income from synchs, downloads, and streams. I delegated tour booking twice to established agents and it was a nightmare both times. I like to “ride herd” over as few people as possible.
These suggestions are very practical! In fact, a lot of things can be handed over to others sometimes if you have a complete system.
I’m so glad you found these useful Kathleen.