I’m not gunna lie. Every time I hear the words “Just use [insert your favorite DIY design program here], it’s free!”. I die a little inside.
I mean, I totally see the attraction.
- The programs do offer a free version
- They literally have ALL the templates to choose from
- You’re keeping your hard-earned cash in your bank account
Don’t get me wrong, when you’re starting out, I’m all for DIYing the heck out of EVERYTHING. But once you’ve got a solid foundation and you’re ready to grow it’s time to ditch those design templates and any other task that’s not in your zone of genius.
Because when you’re growing a business, DIYing is actually pretty darn expensive.
The two biggest objections I hear when it comes to outsourcing design are:
- “I can’t OR don’t want to spend the money”
- “Why would I pay someone for design when I can do it myself for free.”
I’ve heard my clients present these objections time and time again. I get it! I’ve said them myself. Most recently in regards to copywriting.
After an eye-opening conversation with some fellow business ladies, I realized just how much DIYing — or in my case, attempting to DIY — was costing me. Then I tossed my objections into the trash where they belong.
Lemme tell you a little story.
About a year ago, I decided it was time to update my website. After being in business a few years, it was time to focus on a niche and rework the messaging on my site. So I wrote a list of the tasks I needed to do to complete the update — in reality, it was a long and detailed list — but in short, it went something like this:
- Write copy
- Take some pictures
- Design main pages
- Add new client work
It’s important to have your copy before starting a new design (that’s a story for another time). So I set to work writing my main pages.
I spent hours combing through websites, noting bits of copy that I liked, and trying to rework their messaging to fit what I do. I must have gone through half a dozen or more Google Docs writing then scrapping copy. I couldn’t seem to get the words out.
Anyone can write, right? So why couldn’t I get these words on paper? This went on for about 6 months…
In case you don’t know me, writing is NOT my zone of genius.
After so many failed attempts I honestly just gave up.
At first, that looked like being too “busy”. I’d cover it up with, “I have this deadline to meet for a client.” or “So and so asked me to meet them for coffee to discuss business.” I was busy doing business things, so it was ok to let my website slide.
This evolved to me not showing up to promote my business. I’d go to a networking event — you know, when we could do that kind of thing — and reluctantly hand out my business card. Or I’d preface our conversation with a dismissive, “This is my site, but it’s all old work and really needs to be updated.” I didn’t want anyone to look at my site.
Do you think that made me sound confident in my work? Do you think it was helping me show up as the passionate, get ‘er done, and get results design professional that I am?
So I just stopped showing up.
I stopped networking, I stopped posting on social media, I essentially stopped telling people that my business and services existed. From the outside, it looked like I was out of business.
I estimate that I spent 50+ hours attempting to DIY my web copy.
Let’s say for example I charge $100 an hour. That’s 5000 bucks.
I could have made $5000 if I’d spent that time working in my zone of genius designing killer documents.
And that’s just straight time for money. That does not include:
- The opportunities lost by not showing up to promote my biz.
- The wasted mental energy of having that task sitting on the back burner for so long.
- The drain on my creativity every time I sat down to write and instead ended up spinning my wheels.
⬆️⬆️⬆️ If that right there isn’t enough to make you book a call and get on with the task that’s been holding you back, keep reading, I’ve got more. ?
Outsourcing the thing!
Okay okay, so I finally decided to outsource my web copy. Wanna know the results?!
- I’ve saved hours of time. Like probably another 50 plus hours. And the copy I would have written myself wouldn’t have held a candle to the copy Sarah Zerkel wrote for me.
- I sound like a serious business owner. And I don’t mean suit and tie serious, I mean like open for business and ready to help my clients accomplish their goals serious. My copy speaks directly to my ideal clients which means I now have a website that calls in the exact clients I want to work with.
- I’m actually moving the needle forward in my biz. Receiving my copy was like the green light that signals the start of a Mario Kart race. I’ve redesigned and launched my website, had brand photos taken, been connecting with new aligned prospects weekly, and I’m showing up on social sharing valuable content and actually talking about my work.
Let’s talk about one of the most common tasks people outsource… bookkeeping.
Hop in my time machine and we’ll travel back to 2017 when I first started Waypoint Creative.
At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I found this cheap bookkeeping and invoicing software. I spent about a day each month collecting and inputting receipts. A full day! I was a new business with little overhead or expenses. There really wasn’t much to input, and it was taking me a full day.
Every time I opened the bookkeeping program I’d feel so much resistance. I didn’t want to be handling the bookkeeping, because I honestly had no idea if I was doing it correctly and it just felt painfully hard.
As I approached my one year business anniversary, I started noticing that my numbers didn’t seem like they were balancing. Instead of heeding this warning sign, I just kept plugging along.
I was trying to learn on my own, but eventually, I conceded. I needed the help of someone who actually understood business finance.
In January of 2018, I joined a business finance program led by the incredibly smart, passionate, and genuine Money Coach, April Stroink.
One of the first things she had us do was print off a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet.
My cheap bookkeeping program couldn’t even generate one of these reports, and the other I quickly realized was all kinds of messed up.
I was in total panic when I finally saw how messy my finances were. The entire year needed to be redone. I was due to file taxes in a month and nothing was right. I couldn’t even tell if my business was financially healthy.
Enter, Nancy. Bookkeeping extraordinaire.
April hooked me up with Nancy, my current bookkeeper. Within a couple of weeks, Nancy had redone my 2017 financial records and brought me up to date for 2018. The results:
- I now spend 3-4 hours a quarter gathering receipts and bank statements for Nancy. Rather than an entire day each month.
Do you know what I do with that extra 20 hours a month? I work in my genius zone. Designing beautiful and purposeful documents for top-notch entrepreneurs (just like you ?).
AKA bringing money into my business by doing what I do best!
- I have proper financial reports that I know how to read. Nancy sends me my financial statements every quarter. And thanks to literally 2 hours of proper instruction from April, I actually know how to read them. Once again, hiring an expert saved me time.
- I’m no longer stressed about my finances. I’m not wasting time and mental energy worrying about doing my finances every month. I can focus on serving my clients.
So if you’ve got a document to design and you’re thinking:
“I don’t want to spend the money.” OR “Why would I pay someone for design when I can do it myself for free?”
I challenge you to do these 2 things:
1. Do the math. Figure out how long it’s going to take you to DIY and see if it’s worth it. Maybe it’s 3 hours, or maybe it’s 50. I helped one client complete his report in half the time and earn over 10K in ad revenue — an increase of 185%!
- How much money could you make if you spent that time working in your genius zone instead?
- How good would that feel to stay inside your genius zone and not have to muddle through design templates ever again?
2. Write a list of the non-monetary costs associated with doing the design yourself?
Do you find yourself doing the dishes instead of designing the documents for your course that launches in 2 days? That’s a red flag right there — cause who actually enjoys washing dishes?
That procrastination doesn’t mean you hate your course, it just means you really don’t like design. The longer you put it off the more of your mental energy that task is taking up. Energy you could be putting towards serving your clients.
When you’re procrastinating on a task it’s a sign that you should hand it off to someone else as soon as possible.
- What opportunities are you missing out on by ignoring the task and in turn ignoring your business?
Protect your energy, hire out, and get that task off your plate.
Time Really Is Money, Friend.
But that doesn’t mean you need to spend more time doing ALL the things.
Once you see how expensive DIYing can get I’m sure you’ll quickly be able to identify some tasks that you’re ready to outsource.
And if it happens to be a document design that you need. Hit me up. I’m ready and waiting to lead you on the path to perfectly designed documents that serve real purpose in your biz.
Regardless of your outsourcing needs, drop a comment below and let me know what you’ve had success outsourcing, OR what you hope to outsource in the near future. I can’t wait to hear all about your business success!