Summertime got you Frazzled? Here are my Top 5 Outsourcing Vendors!

My kids don't do camp.  So when summer comes around it takes a bit of an adjustment period for all of us to get our ducks in order.  We have lazy mornings, mid-day swim lessons and pool time, late lunches, and afternoon errands or play dates.  Which leaves me in a pinch.  I still have work to do.  But I have some great tricks.  Maybe you already know about these, or maybe they're new for you too.  I hope they can help you streamline your to-do list and regain some precious time back for summer.

Below are my top 5 outsourcing go-tos in the summer so I can still get my job done, stay sane, and have time for my kids:

1.  Part-time nanny or sitter.  Yep, I outsource my mommy responsibilities sometimes.  I schedule out my sessions and office hours into blocks of 2-4 hours, then hire (or this year it is plead) my nephew to come hang out with the kids (which he always does willingly, btw).  I don't feel guilty with them lounging around doing screen time while I try to catch up on blog posts.  They instead get some good cousin time in and I can efficiently get work done, then put it away.  Win/win.

2.  I use Later.com to schedule and post my instagram feeds.  It has been a life saver.  I have two (and soon three) accounts I manage:  one for my film 365, one for my business kimhildebrandphoto, and another one (its still a secret but you'll be the first to know)!  I used to email myself images, save them on my phone, then post them sporadically (aka when I remembered), and it was usually precluded by an "oh, shit, it's 7pm and I didn't post anything today!".  Well, Later.com changed all of that.  On this site, I can upload all images I want to use on all feeds into one big bucket.  I can then link all my accounts and schedule each post for each account at my ideal times.  Later.com even has a preview pane so I can do a quick check and make sure my feed looks well laid out and, ahem, beautiful.  How cool is that!  And the best thing?  They have an app, so i just hop on my phone, open IG to make sure I'm using the right account, then open the Later app and post the photo scheduled.  It even imports the caption I wrote.  The cavèat is, the free version allows me to use 30 posts (for all accounts).  So this means I still have to do some emailing of images.  But at this point I don't want to pay, and it is still so worth it!

3.  Bookkeeper.  I hired a bookkeeper early last year, actually, because I discovered I truly hate this part of my job.  So this isn't just a summer thing for me but it could be for you.  I send her my monthly checking and credit card statements securely through Quickbooks online, and she codes all transactions and reconciles all statements so I can a) get a quick snapshot of how my business is faring this month and b) have all my ducks in a row to pay quarterly taxes.  

4.  Editing.  Yep, you probably already guessed this one, but shooting film has been the single best thing I've done to free up my time.  No. More. Editing.  I've been keeping track of my time spent per session this year and compared it to how much time I was spending with digital, and the difference is staggering.  I used to spend at LEAST 10-15 hours per session (including email planning, shooting, downloading, culling, editing, uploading a gallery, sales, packaging, shipment, sneak peeks, blog post).  This year especially, now that I have my own Color PAC with Richard Photo Lab, my editing is virtually nonexistent save for the occasional head-swap and minor tweaks.  My time per session is now 3-4 hours max.  MAX.  I can shoot a session and not think about it for 5-7 days, then spend a couple hours doing the rest of the work until my clients see their images.

5.  Last, I now outsource any crazy technical computer stuff to Freelancer.com.  This company is amazing.  They find highly skilled freelancers to bid on whatever work you need done, from coding, migrating a website, SEO, designing a logo, and the list goes on and on.  I wasn't happy with my website but wanted to stick with Wordpress, so I hired someone to back up my website, install a new theme (while my old site still worked), and migrate my new website over while transferring and backing up all data.  It was only $100 and it took two weeks.  Most of that time was me designing the new site, though.  It took him 1 hour to make it live.  $100 for peace of mind is worth it to me!  I will definitely use them again.