Why Outsource Instagram?
Social media has become such an integral part of business today. With people spending more time on social media than ever before, the opportunity to market to a bigger audience has become huge.
While Facebook is arguably the most popular choice, Instagram comes in at a close second. From real estate and restaurant to marketing and fashion, brands are recognizing just how powerful “IG” can be.
Carrying out an Instagram marketing campaign is easier said than done, however. With all the tasks that you need to do to make it work, finding time to run a business while growing an Instagram following may be too much to take on.
The good news is you don’t have to carry the world on your shoulders because there’s always that option to outsource Instagram to more capable hands.
Determine Which Tasks You Want to Outsource
Outsourcing is a huge decision.
Let’s be honest. It’s not easy to take that big of a risk, especially when the fate of your business hangs in the balance. It’s also no secret that you’ll be spending money on this endeavor. You can’t be too careful when you face such risks.
Despite the risks mentioned, choosing to outsource Instagram still makes sense, both from a financial and logistical standpoint. Not only will you be able to cover everything, but you’ll also give your business a fighting chance to compete.
Before you take a leap, it’s important to plan everything. You can begin by identifying which tasks you need to outsource.
As an image-sharing platform, content is obviously crucial when it comes to Instagram. You need something that’s fresh and attractive and you need it consistently. While free stock photos can be enticing, producing original content is still the way to go.
With that being said, hiring a professional photographer would be a smart move. With a highly-visual audience hungry for quality content, having someone with experience and artistic touch will put you in a good position.
You have to remember that you are competing for people’s attention. You have to give them a chance to notice your brand. Posting original, high-quality photos is a good way of doing that.
A professional photographer would know how to capture a brand’s message. Hiring one is definitely a better investment than letting a friend or a cousin do it for you using a smartphone. If you’re going to outsource Instagram, hiring a photographer would be a good first step.
2. Caption Writing
Writing captions for Instagram posts can be fun if you have the freedom and time to do it. Unfortunately, you don’t get a lot of that as a business owner. Your focus is on finding ways to grow the business.
While the choice of image may be considered as the most significant part of an Instagram post, the copy that goes along with it is equally important.
The truth is, you don’t have to be a prolific writer to create good Instagram captions. It will work to your advantage, however, if you outsource Instagram caption-writing too. This is especially true if the product or service you promote caters to a very specific demographic.
It’s important to realize that the copy doesn’t only have to describe the image posted, but also has to use your brand’s voice. It should connect with your audience and attract engagement.
3. Hashtag Research
Besides Twitter, Instagram is the other social media platform where hashtags are deemed important. They’re not just used for aesthetic purposes or for the content to look “cool”. Hashtags can actually help the post appear in searches.
With that being said, it’s fair to say that picking the right hashtag is crucial because it can either help the post get seen by more people or render it totally irrelevant.
You don’t just pick a hashtag because it looks or sounds good. The hashtag you use should make sense not only to the image but for the entire brand itself. Picking the right hashtag requires skill and research. It requires strategy.
For instance, most people would usually go with hashtags that are used in several thousand or even millions of posts. It’s not an unusual reaction considering the number of people or brands using the said hashtag. The more the hashtag is used, the better, right?
Well, not entirely.
While it is tempting to use such hashtags, the competition is far too significant for a post to be seen with that kind of number. It is for this reason that hiring a freelancer who specializes in hashtag research makes sense.
The act of posting or scheduling posts may look trivial, but if you are the type who likes things organized, this simple act will take time and effort.
Planning social media posts in advance makes a ton of difference.
Some companies plan their content months in advance, some even a year ahead of time.
As a precaution, it would make sense to pre-schedule content instead of posting it all the moment they’re supposed to publish. This is the reason why scheduling apps like Buffer and Hootsuite come in handy. They allow you to batch schedule posts, saving time and effort.
When you’re too busy running a business, posting can be too time-consuming for you to handle. Though it is not difficult, it can still take a huge chunk out of your busy schedule.
Another important factor to consider is the optimal posting times that work for your brand. This is probably already predetermined based on your social media strategy. Having someone whose focus is purely on posting can make things easier on your part and give you one thing less to worry about.
Instagram is not just about sharing content. In fact, that is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There are more things that need to be done.
This is where the “social” part of social media comes into play. After all, you can’t just expect people to come and like or comment on your posts. That’s not going to happen if you’re not “socializing” with other accounts.
With social media, it’s “you scratch my back, I scratch yours.” If you don’t engage with your audience and other, similar accounts, how can you expect them to engage with you?
Doing social media outreach for at least thirty minutes a day would already go a long way. By liking other people’s posts and commenting on them for half an hour every day, you are effectively building relationships.
Building relationships is what social media is all about, and relationships are integral to growth. If you want to cover more ground, choosing to outsource Instagram engagement activities is smart. The virtual assistant you’ll hire for this task will have nothing to do but focus on engagement.
Depending on your budget, you can have this person perform outreach tasks for an hour or more depending on how fast you want your following to grow.
It’s important to note that increasing follower growth isn’t the only goal you need to target. Getting your audience engaged is equally important. Liking and commenting on their posts consistently is one good way of doing it.
Identify the Freelancers You’ll Need
Now that you’re done identifying the tasks you want to outsource for Instagram, the next thing on your plate is to find the right people to do them.
Fortunately, we are living in an age when hiring freelancers has never been so easy. There are dozens of freelance marketplaces all over the internet, each having an array of talent to choose from.
Before you start signing up for these services, however, it’s important to take time to create avatars of your ideal freelancers.
- How many years of experience should they have?
- Do they need to have an online portfolio you can look at?
- Should they be in the same location as you?
- How many hours of work do they need to give you every week?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself. The more specific you are, the better because you’ll be working directly with these people. If you want things to work out and to get your money’s worth, you should hire people that fit your requirements. As Nathan and Connor always say, “Never settle.”
When it comes to outsourcing, it’s more important to look for the right fit than to get someone on board right away. You need to look for someone you’ll have better chemistry with, and who can meet your expectations.
Set Your Budget
Before you start to outsource Instagram tasks, it’s important to determine the kind of budget you’ll be working with. Freelancers get paid either by the hour or on fixed price agreements.
Whether it’s an hourly or fixed rate, you want to make sure that the brand is meeting its goals and that you’re getting your money’s worth. You need to have a good estimate of how long these tasks usually take so you can set aside enough money. If you don’t you won’t be able to meet your goals and the entire investment could go to waste.
You don’t want to underpay a freelancer, either, because that will hurt productivity and commitment. Do some research and plan it all out because worthwhile outsourcing doesn’t come cheap.
Now that you’ve determined the kind of freelancers you want to outsource Instagram to, it’s time to hire them. As mentioned, there’s an abundance of freelance websites to choose from. It’s just a matter of finding the one that’s right for you considering what you can invest in the hiring process.
There are marketplaces that enforce something similar to a bidding system where you’ll be connected to freelancers that match your requirements. You are then given the opportunity to review their credentials and interview them until you find the right person.
If you don’t have the time to sift through resumes and filter out the qualified candidates, there is another option. There are freelance marketplaces that offer pre-vetted freelancers, which means they’ve already reviewed the resumes and filtered out the best of the best. All that’s left for you to do is have a quick chat with the freelancers you’re introduced to so you can confirm that it’s the right fit.
The great thing about hiring via freelance marketplaces like FreeeUp is that everything happens fast. As soon as you’ve submitted your requirements, you can be working with a freelancer within the next 24 to 48 hours. This is perfect especially if your need is immediate.
Onboard the Freelancer
It’s important to remember that hiring a freelancer isn’t the last stop in the hiring process. If you want a freelancer to be as efficient as you expect them to be, you need to help them do it. This is where a proper onboarding process comes in handy.
Onboarding is the perfect way for you to introduce them to the business.
Onboarding is your opportunity to set goals and expectations.
- Is there a limit to the number of hours you would like them to work each week?
- What sort of reports or results do you expect them to achieve?
- How often should they send progress reports, to whom, and through what channels?
- Do you need them to work within your time zone, or is it okay for them to work on theirs?
The best time to lay everything out on the table is before you start working with one another. This is also the best time to acclimate them to your system. Give them access to the tools they will need to perform their duties, let them look into any systems that they’re not familiar with, and introduce them to anyone they’ll be working alongside.
Do you use a project management app to keep things organized? Is there a scheduling app you prefer for them to use? How about an image-editing program?
The great thing about onboarding is you don’t have to do it every time you hire someone. You can have it documented or done via a pre-recorded video. Either way, the point is you’re going to help freelancers become more efficient by giving them a head start through onboarding.
Implementing an Instagram marketing strategy takes time and effort. With all the tasks that need to be carried out consistently, getting the right people to assist you will make a huge difference.
Choosing to outsource Instagram marketing is not only efficient time-wise, but it also puts your business in a better position to compete. Most freelancers are considered specialists since they have proven capable of sustaining a business on their own. Working with them gives you a competitive edge, giving your brand a better chance of getting noticed.
If you’re looking to grow your Instagram presence and attract better engagement, we would recommend you start applying these steps. Create a list of the tasks you want to outsource as well as the freelancer qualifications you’re looking for. Plan everything accordingly. Once you’ve got everything figured out, sign up for the freelance marketplace of your choice.
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Noel Rosos is a personal development writer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and founder of Life’s How You Live It, a personal development blog dedicated to helping people live the life they’ve always dreamed of. He is also a writer/contributor for Arianna Huffington’s wellness site, Thrive Global. He is an affiliate marketer, a full-time husband and father, and a self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST.