This post is all about getting you the help you need to reach your goals, and it starts with learning how to delegate. That means handing off tasks that either don’t utilize your best skills or that drive you absolutely nuts. Instead, you’ll spend your time and energy on the things that actually move your career forward. It’s all about working smart, surrounding yourself with the right people, and making sure you’re on the path to the success you’re after.
Two things 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 to figure out what you want to get off of your plate. My guess is you already have a list of things at the ready! Are your social media tasks taking up too much time and draining your energy? Do you need help with time management, PR & Marketing? Do you need someone to help you answer emails or book your tour?
Step 2: Write A Job Description of Each Delegated Task
This will be cathartic as well as useful. You want to really think this through, write out everything you need someone to do just like you’re posting this as a job description. In fact, looking at actual job descriptions might even help! Be sure to include every nuance about what’s needed. You’ll be posting this so, take your time and be sure it’s conveying everything you need.
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, as well as the success of the person you bring on. 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!
But where can you find people to do this? You have a few options…
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 is a great way to get new promo photos or live photo shots!
This also works for film students.
Students learning about audio production may also need to record as part of their curriculum. Research which audio schools are in your area and call them up to see if they have any students who are looking for real world experience.
Identify & Motivate Your Super Fans To Help
Tap into your super fans to see if they’d be interested in helping out. You can start by reaching out to your mailing list to see if anyone 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
You already know how important having an email sign up list at your gigs is, and since you’ll be passing it around anyway, why not create a column on it that asks “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
Don’t forget to add a link to sign up on your website. It can help to add an incentive like a free song for sign up, or being the first to hear exciting news.
Add a signup box to your website using a free widget from Noise Trade to capture your fans who may want to help you.
You do get what you pay for so you may want to spend some money. 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.
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 won’t 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.
While this might initially seem like a lot of upfront work, you’ll save a ton of time in the long run and have more energy and hours to dedicate to the things you love.
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!