Before Liza, I’d hired a new SMU student as an intern nearly every semester for 3-4 years. While they definitely helped me out, I didn’t invest as much money in them or time training them because I knew they were a short-term solution. As a self-diagnosed control freak, I have a really hard time letting pieces go and not just doing everything myself. Especially as someone whose personality and voice IS their brand, it’s made delegating very difficult! While the interns helped in some ways (like taking my photos for blog posts), I didn’t delegate tasks that actually would’ve taken work off of my plate. Because of that, it took me a long time to see the value in investing in someone!
After I started Sussex Style Watch near the end of 2018, I realized I was under water and really needed help. I was doing literally everything myself for both my site and SSW, including editing photos, creating every collage, writing every blog post and newsletter, creating unique content for Instagram for both pages, etc. And as you guys all know, I’m someone who posts consistently every day – it’s not just a blog post or newsletter a week over here! After my last intern finished up in the spring of 2019, I decided it was time to make a change.
I knew I wanted to invest more in my business and hire someone who I could fully trust to help me with creating content, so I could have a better work/life balance AND to free me up for bigger projects. For example, if I hadn’t hired Liza, there’s no way I would’ve been able to start doing Capsule Wardrobes! I just didn’t have the bandwidth. Hiring her was the best decision I’ve made for my business in a long time!
Over the last few months I’ve received questions from other bloggers and small business owners about how I found my employee, what tasks I have her do, and what I’m going to do when I move to Chicago! I thought I would answer those things here – feel free to comment below if you have any other advice for small business owners looking to hire!
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR EMPLOYEES?
When I first started looking a few years ago, I posted job listings to LinkedIn. To be honest, I wasn’t super successful there in finding the right fit – I believe this mostly has to do with the actual business I’m in vs the candidates not being qualified. As a fashion blogger, I’m looking for someone with a similar aesthetic and writing style to mine, which isn’t actually that easy to just pick out of a site like LinkedIn. After that, I actually contacted my old sorority house at SMU to share the job listing in their weekly newsletter! That’s how I hired my first SMU intern, and from there it was mostly word of mouth. By the time I was fully ready to hire an actual employee, I decided to give posting the job on Instagram a try!
I honestly have no idea why I didn’t do this sooner! The easiest way to find someone with my aesthetic is going to be to fish from the pool of people who already follow me and like my style. I shared the job posting on InstaStories and was thrilled with the response! I ended up interviewing a little over a dozen people (I pre-weeded some people out after reviewing their resumes), and had it narrowed down to two great candidates. There was one girl my age and who had a ton of experience, and Liza who is quite a bit younger but the experience she had was very on brand (fashion and home/interiors). Both were great writers and had some exciting ideas for what I could do to diversify my business and add value. Ultimately Liza was the best fit for the position! She’s in a web and app development program and was only looking for a part-time job while doing said program, which worked perfectly for me as I was testing the waters with my first real employee. I was nervous about committing to a full-time salary right away, so it really was a match made in heaven! She was also already experienced with WordPress and Adobe Photoshop, which made her so easy to train. She picked everything else up so quickly!
WHAT DOES YOUR EMPLOYEE DO FOR YOU?
Below is a list of tasks Liza’s helped me with over the last eight months! Each week is different based on what’s going on, if there are holidays or big sales, how many collaborations I have, etc. But just to give you an idea of how many hats she’s had to wear!
- Creating collages and writing text for Sussex Style Watch, Under $100 collages for the LikeToKnow.it App, sale roundups, etc
- Pulling articles and writing blurbs for my Friday newsletter
- Updating THE SHOP each week with new items I’ve found
- Scheduling posts to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest using Hootsuite and Tailwind
- Testing links in the Capsule Wardrobe PDFs
- Brainstorming content ideas
- Comment on blogs and Instagram accounts I follow
- Back end maintenance like updating my editorial calendar
- Assisted with events
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN YOU MOVE TO CHICAGO?
Once I get settled in Chicago I will definitely be looking for full-time help. Having Liza on board has opened my eyes to the many benefits of investing in a quality team, even if it is just made up of two people! She’s made my life easier, created amazing content for me on both my site and Sussex Style Watch, and the work she has been doing for me has opened up my schedule to work on even bigger things (like my Capsule Wardrobes)! I cannot see myself going back to being a one-woman show after that. While I’m getting settled, Liza is going to continue working for me remotely which I am SO grateful for! Her web and app development program ends at the end of this month, and she’s considering extending her training in that field – if not, she’ll be looking for a full-time job here in Dallas this summer! She’s got a big trip to Japan coming up in May, so will be working for me remotely at least until then. Praise be!
If I were staying in Dallas I would 100% hire Liza full-time if she wanted to continue working for me. As I also need assistance with things in person (photography, for example), I need to find someone who lives in Chicago for the full-time role. Needless to say, I am incredibly sad to be parting ways with Liza this summer! She’s been such a joy to work with and helped me in so many ways. Thank you, Liza!!!