Sharing the work load is an important part of realizing your full potential as an independent musician. This article provides a step by step guide for how this can be done without losing money or control over your work.
Guest post from Ariel Hyatt's Cyber PR
You will never achieve the success you want it if you try to do it all alone and try to take on things that stop you dead in your tracks or waste your precious time.
I can not stress this enough: You must learn to delegate, and get the stuff that stresses you out off of your plate.
Two issues are up for you right now from 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)
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 logistics?, PR & Marketing? Do you just need someone to help you file papers and organize your home office?
Step 2: Write A Job Description of each 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 Task
I urge you to take the time to do this BEFORE you get anyone started! 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 around delegating. Imagine that the person you are writing these guides for has never done any of the tasks you are about to assign. Type them out in a step-by-step format.
This is crucial to your success with delegating because when people are left to their own devices they may not perform in the way you want and expect them to and this will lead to defeating the purpose.
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 / VA handles it well. You want to create a system of checks and balances so and make sure to check work often. This is another pitfall that you want to avoid – checking work early and often and correcting what may get off the rails will ensure that the tasks get done right the first time and get done well!
Hold Them Accountable
Inspect and comment on their completed actions and be honest with your feedback. If you do not inspect the work it can easily get off course.
Create Google Docs that you can share with your team that can be updates as things shift.
and use Asana to assign and track all tasks (we love it here at Cyber PR)
Now: Go Get Help!
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:
These websites 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 to get 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 and leave a courteous message asking them if they require internships and if they have any students who like music and may be interested in working for your record label.
There is always a class that is studying marketing and PR and 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 hat you would be happy to come to the class so that the students can present their ideas to you. This extra time you may just change their lives by showing them what it’s like to work with a “real” artist and yours, as 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 Your Super Fans & Motivate Them
Ask your mailing list if anyone on it can give you a few hours a month assistance in exchange for free tickets, T-shirts, beers at the gig, or even an hourly fee.
Email Signup At Gigs
You can also create a column on your email signup list that you pass around at gigs asking – 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.
Their amazing tools help you give away a full-length album, EP, live concert recording, acoustic set or single in exchange for for fan email addresses and postal codes for every download.
In some cases you do get what you pay for so you may want to spend some money. This does not have to break the bank at all – here are some of my favorite places to go for paid help!
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.
I know that this may seem like a lot of steps to get some help, but think of all the extra hours you can get back if you do this right the first time.
A Few Fabulous Articles & A Podcast to Help Motivate You!
Here are 3 fabulous additional articles that will help you with your delegation journey:
5 Creative Steps to Simplify Your Life
By my dear friend Michael Shoup who writes this from an artists perspective.Pay attention to the part where he talks about the time vs. money ratio.
How To Work Well With Your Virtual Assistant
Dorie is a new friend of mine and she has a superhuman way of managing her own productivity. She has many articles on Forbes about working with a VA. This is a great one to start with.
The Creative Warrior Podcast with Jeffery Shaw Rory Vaden- “How to Multiply Time”
This is a must-listen to podcast to give you a new way of thinking about time management – which will help you get to delegating much faster with Rory Vaden, where he talks about his book “Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time”
Rory says something perfect which I want to leave you with as it ties in perfectly with why delegation is crucial:
“Creative people will have a massive advantage when it comes to productivity because significance more naturally aligns with the natural strengths of a creative person.”