How (And Why) To Outsource Your Instagram Marketing

outsourcing for your solo business

outsourcing for your solo biz

I love being on Instagram. I love sharing my tips and ideas. I love interacting with people. I love searching through hashtags and finding awesome new people to follow.

(I also love shopping via Instagram -- which isn’t so great for my bank balance.)

What I don’t love is taking photos or creating graphics.

As a copywriter, I’m happy to admit photography and graphic design are not my strengths. Needless to say, I was wasting a lot of time trying to do it myself and still not getting the look and feel that I really wanted for my feed.

As soon as I could afford it, I outsourced my image creation and curation on Instagram. And it’s been an awesome decision.

In this post I’m going to share with you how I went about outsourcing my Instagram images and why I’m more in love with Instagram than ever.

How I went about outsourcing

As luck would have it, a client I was working with brought on a junior graphic designer to help me manage their Instagram feed. She’d curate images in line with the strategy and I would write the captions. It worked really well and their feed started exploding (in the good way).

I realised that I could do the same thing with my own feed, so I asked that graphic designer, Angelina, to work with me.

The first thing we did was sit down and discuss my Instagram strategy and branding. We then arranged a photoshoot to capture a bunch of images for my feed.

Now, at the start of each month, I send Angelina a list of tips, quotes, and brands I want to mention on my feed. She then curates images and creates graphics and puts the whole lot in a shared Google Drive folder.

All I need to do is grab the images, add captions and schedule them with ScheduGram.

The results of outsourcing

Now that I don’t have to worry about the visual stuff, I have more time to actually engage with my followers and create new content I think they’d love.

Of course, paying for something like this only makes sense if there’s a return on that investment.

And I have to admit, I was slow to see results at first.

But recently the engagement on my feed has taken off -- my email subscribers have grown, I’m getting copywriting enquiries directly via Instagram, and I’m even getting comments IRL from people about how helpful my feed is.

The big thing for me was ensuring that I maintained control over the content of my Instagram feed (I am a copywriter, after all). So I didn’t want to outsource the entire management of my Instagram feed. Every caption and comment is me.

How to outsource your Instagram marketing

Now, you might love creating images for Instagram, but maybe there’s another business task you’re doing that would make much more sense to outsource. If you’re thinking of outsourcing, here are my tips for making it work based off of my Insta experience:

Know what your objectives are

Make sure you know why you’re outsourcing a part of your business. For me, it was because I wanted to have an Instagram feed that felt branded and cohesive to help me find new clients.

For you, it might be to grow your engagement, give your brand a clearer “voice” or simply save time on something you don’t enjoy doing.

Figure out how much control you want to maintain

You might be happy to outsource all of your marketing, a part of it (the visuals or captions) or maybe only the stuff that followers wouldn’t notice (like ‘liking’ certain hashtags or finding new people to follow).

I would never get someone else to write my captions because I want my voice to come through, but you might be happy to let a copywriter who gets your brand to do it, while you take your own photos because maintaining control of your visual look is more important.

Do your research

When it comes to finding someone to outsource a part of your business to, spend some time looking for the right person. I was lucky that I’d previously worked with Angelina and already knew how well we worked together.

Seek out recommendations (Editor’s note: We highly recommend the ladies in the OWS Directory!) and take a look at what that person is doing on their own feed or for their clients. Ask them about their collaborative process and what they’d need from you to make it work.

The truth about outsourcing

A tip: As soon as you start investing in a part of your business, you start to take it a lot more seriously. Putting money into my Instagram has made me treat it as a key pillar of my marketing funnel, rather than just a fun place to hang out. And it’s definitely paid off for my business.

Would you ever outsource all or part of your Instagram marketing? If not, what would you outsource? Let me know in the comments below.

PS -- Not sure where to start in evaluating potential pros? Our Prior to the Hire ebook has you covered.

Prior to the Hire ebook from One Woman Shop

Why I’m an Instagram Convert

Instagram Convert

I’ll admit it - I used to be one of those people who said “I just don’t get it” about Instagram. While my One Woman Shop partner, Sara, was counting the days until she could start using Instagram back when it wasn’t available for all devices, I was decidedly holding out.

But since implementing the #OneWomanShopBaton and now #coffeewithaview, I can safely say this: I, Cristina Roman, am officially an Instagram convert.

If you’re also an Instagram junkie, none of facts below will be news to you. But if you aren’t yet on the #InstaBandwagon, here’s why I love it and encourage you to consider using it in your solo business:

It’s not just photos

When I was under the impression that Instagram was “just photos,” I didn’t see much value in it. Once I discovered that you can do quite a lot with the captions and hashtags, it was a game-changer. Now, I periodically search relevant hashtags, like #solopreneur, #solobusiness, and #creativeentrepreneur, to find women who might be interested in the One Woman Shop community.

There’s an incredible amount of engagement

Facebook and I are on rocky terms, but Twitter and I are in it for the long haul. But despite my love of the little blue bird, I have to admit that Instagram posts get far more engagement- both likes and comments- than most Facebook posts and tweets. Research proves it (this Business Insider piece says engagement on Instagram is up to 50 times higher than on Twitter), and so does our experience with One Woman Shop’s Instagram account.

It’s user-friendly

Instagram is ridiculously straightforward. Still haven’t grasped the ins and outs of RTs, DMs, favorites, and lists on Twitter? With Instagram, you “heart” a photo or you comment. That’s all.

It adds a human element to your business

Those behind-the-scenes photos we post of our inbox after an #OWSchat or the #coffewithaview pics from various coffeeshops and poolsides in Antigua, Guatemala? They add a human aspect to our business, which we think is pretty critical as a solo business owner. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the #OneWomanShopBaton, it’s that our community loves a little “inside” peek into the lives of their fellow solopreneurs.

It capitalizes on mobile

I won’t bore you with stats about the increase in mobile usage worldwide, but we all know it’s happening. (The fact that Google has changed its algorithm to emphasize mobile certainly says something). Instagram is nearly 100% mobile-based, which means it effectively capitalizes on the growing mobile trend. Grabbing the attention of potential One Woman Shop members while they’re grabbing a latte or riding in a tuk tuk (as the case may be) = priceless.

Of course, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

The few downsides of Instagram

You can’t add links on Instagram, so it’s a bit hard to track who is coming to your site because of your Instagram presence. Anyone who finds and follows you on Instagram has to make the extra effort to track you down elsewhere online.

Also, Instagram- more so that other social media networks, in my humble opinion- contributes to the comparison trap that we solopreneurs are often so guilty of entering. Instagram is most often a perfectly curated stream of the highlight reel of people’s lives and businesses; we rarely see the less-than-perfect moments captured.

But speaking of Instagram and transparency! We want to do our part to show what running a solo business is really like, which is why: