How Much of Your Brand Can You Outsource?
Updated: Mar 12
This is a common question that a LOT of business owners ask, often because:
They don't have a lot of time ⏰
They lack the expertise ⭐️
They just don't want to deal with it 🙅♀️
The good news is, there isn't anything wrong with any of these reasons!
The reality we're currently living in (with today's caffeine-fuelled, solopreneur startup-culture) is that most of us feel this pressure to wear all the hats in our business... and that can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
Outsourcing is a SMART way to get the most "bang for your buck" with limited hours on the work clock.
That being said, there's the right way to do it, and the wrong way to do it, especially when it comes to your branding. First of all, it's important to understand that...
There's a difference between outsourcing a role and an identity
A role is a "job" that anyone can do. It has specific tasks involved, and as long as those things get done, it doesn't really matter who does the job.
An identity is who you are — with your unique flavor, perspective and past experiences. This affects how you get a job done, and this can be critical depending on which role you're playing in your business.
A good way for me to illustrate this is to use this analogy...
A babysitter can never replace the mother. The babysitter fills in the role of being "caretaker" for the baby while the mother is away, but can never replace the connection the mother has with her baby... it's just not the same. 🐣
Your brand is the identity of your business
And that's something that only you as the business owner have the keys to. It's your baby, and you have a special connection with it that can't be replaced.
Only you have the vision for what you want to create, and that's not something that can be outsourced to some branding agency.
That being said...
It's OK to work with professionals to refine your brand...
And different explore ways that you can be sharing it with the world. Generally speaking, branding professionals (at least the good ones) are trained to "co-create" your brand together with you.
("Co-creation" is a fancy term that means "creating together with").
Their job is to work together with you to extract and refine the vision you have for your brand, and offer their creative expertise to help you position your brand strategically in the market.
A good way of thinking about your brand is to see it as an uncut diamond. It's beautiful by itself, but is rough around the edges and has a much lower market value than a diamond that is cut and primed by a professional. You can't really use a diamond until it's cut! 💎
So back to the original question...
What's considered "OK" to outsource with your branding?
Generally speaking, anything related to the vision of brand CAN'T be outsourced, while anything related to the execution CAN be.
Let me give you a few examples to better illustrate this:
You CAN'T outsource the idea & vision behind your message, but you CAN outsource the professional copywriting ✏️
You CAN'T outsource the idea & vision behind your vibe, but you CAN outsource the professional design 🎨
You CAN'T outsource the idea & vision behind your brand presence, but you CAN outsource the day-to-day tasks related to maintenance ✅
Needless to say, this is why co-creation is so important! It's a very nuanced way of working where you bounce back and forth with a professional to continue "chipping away" at refining your vision.
If I were to use another analogy to better explain this...
It's like you bringing some raw ingredients to your friend's house (who also happens to be an amazing chef) and telling them that you want some help making a very complicated dish. You're craving a very specific palette, but you don't have the skill to cook it yourself.
Your friend gets started with the dish, but stops frequently to get you to taste test the food to see if it's close to what you had in mind. As they cook, you watch them closely and find yourself getting inspired to try something as well. (It's your dish, afterall)! You start making suggestions about, "oh maybe a little pinch of salt here", or "what if we tried adding cheese instead of onion"?
Very soon, you'll have a dish that BOTH of you created that is even better than what you had originally imagined... and it's all because you co-created to make it happen! 🍝
But what happens if you have a personal brand?
It's similar to having a business brand, but with less flexibility on the outsourcing because you ARE your brand. The bad news (for some) is, you can't build a personal brand that you're detached from.
This means that you DO have to interact with your audience. It means that you DO have to create your own content. It means that you DO have to be present. People want you see YOU, not the stock pictures or sleazy quotes that perpetuate the internet.
And this is great news for some, and bad news for others 🤷♀️
Honestly, I see personal branding as a powerful vehicle for personal growth. It challenges you to show up and fully embrace some parts of yourself that feel ugly and ungraceful. It gets you connecting with the people around you on a deeper level, and it holds you accountable to the expectations you set with yourself, and with others.
And funny enough... of all the things you can outsource, you can't outsource your own growth.
Need some support with that?
Something I always tell my clients is that I actually don't have any of the answers you're looking for... you already have the answers deep inside. My job is just to help you extract your vision and refine it. You're the one behind the driver's seat!
If you're looking for someone to co-create with, you can book a quick call with me to learn more about how I can be supporting you with your branding and see if we're the right fit to be working together! 👇