Sorry for the sporadic posting this past week… as you know, we had some exciting news last Thursday! We announced we’ll be growing our company with the launch of The Everymom – coming April 2018! And it’s just been full-steam ahead with getting a host provider set up, planning content, hiring an editor, finding contributors, etc. I’ve also been running @theeverymom’s instagram account which is why you saw less posts on my personal account this past weekend… but it’s been so fun with so many amazing submissions and comments coming in from ya’ll!
With the launch, we also changed our company name from The Everygirl, LLC to The Everygirl Media Group, LLC since it will now be more of a collective of brands versus just the one. So that’s exciting! Very official.
I know I promised this post two weeks ago. But better late than never!
Alright let’s get started! Round two of q&a about my career, blogging, life at The Everygirl…
1. How did you know it was time to hire a full-time staff?
Neither Danielle nor myself had ever taken a business or finance class in our lives. Zoiks. So 2, maybe 3 years into running The Everygirl, we hired an accountant who was a referral from some freelancing friends. (Remember, we weren’t bring much money in or paying ourselves the first year so an accountant wasn’t wholly necessary at that point.)
He has is own business working with small businesses and freelancers. It was just what we needed. Not being at some massive firm made him more affordable and we had minimal needs so it worked out perfectly (bookkeeping, taxes, etc.). He set up a budget and financial forecast for us that year, and it was only at his advice that we could afford to hire someone full-time. We were so unsure and have always been very financially conservative – never completely sure what the next year, yet alone six months could look like. Our industry has already changed so many times.
But he was right. And we hired Allyson Fulcher (who was one of our first interns) as managing editor. She basically took over all of the day to day work like coordinating articles coming in from contributors and interns, planning an editorial calendar, posting to Facebook and social… but then quickly started spreading her wings and expertise in terms of organization and management. We just ran her complete career profile on our site – I highly recommend giving it a read! She’s one of the hardest working women I know.
Every other hire since then is based on annual financial forecasts. We now have an excel doc he created that we can plug numbers into to see how our budget looks month to month. It’s one of my favorite documents.
2. What would you do differently, if anything? (In regards to launching, growth, hiring… would you intentionally expand at the same rate if you had to start it all from scratch again?
There is truly nothing we could have done differently because the industry has changed and grown so much with us since we launched – so our ability to pivot along with it is why we’ve been successful. I would have loved to have expanded sooner but I’m not sure we would have known how or if that was even possible.
3. What has starting and running The Everygirl fulfilled in you that perhaps another job couldn’t?
Oh my gosh… creative freedom! A sense of purpose! A never-ending learning experience. New things to work on every week. An amazing network.
I’m guessing I could find these things somewhere out there at another job, but ultimately any decisions are up to my business partner and me so whether something moves forward or not is on our shoulders. It’s a lot of responsibility but I love that.
4. When freelancing or working for yourself, how do you know what to charge clients without sacrificing your worth but also not overcharging?
My advice for this is to look at what other people in your field are charging – a lot will post it on their websites – gauge where you are geographically and in terms of experience, and price accordingly.
If you’re a wedding photographer just starting out, and you see the average package from an experience Chicago wedding photographer who has been published starts at $4000, you know you should probably be significantly less than that… saying shooting for between $500-1500. At least as you grow your portfolio. Similarly, if an experienced interior designer is $200/hour and you’re just starting out, I’d start somewhere between $30-60/hr. just to get clients in the door and build your portfolio.
This is just to start out. It won’t be forever. Once you gain more experience – literally after three or so successful projects you’re really proud of and can share – you can start increasing it bit by bit… you’ll have people who won’t pay it. That is fine. Don’t work for free unless it’s some HUGE big name client who working for can help you and get you more clients.
This is why I always suggest starting that passion project on the side of your other full-time work at least to start out and grow a portfolio. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But unless you have some magical money tree or have been saving for a long while or second income or spouse who can financially provide, it takes time for that steady income to come in. That is ok and normal! Just keep chugging away!
5. What are some of the less glamorous things and tasks you need to do daily, weekly, monthly to run The Everygirl?
Oh gosh. So as the cofounders and owners of the business, all of the super fun (heavy sarcasm) administrative and HR and tech stuff falls to Danielle and myself.
Por ejemplo… I had five or six calls with GoDaddy last Wednesday – the last one at 10:30pm trying to get our new Everymom email set up. And our server. Calls, emails, meetings with our accountant, attorneys, HR, Payroll, office landlord, handyman… things that would usually fall to an administrative assistant, HR, CFO, team manager, CTO, etc. falls to us.
So while we do a lot of the fun, right-brain-type event, photo shoot, creative direction, we also do all of the left brain tasks, as well. We fortunately do LESS of it than before because we do have an accountant and HR consultant, but even managing and communicating with them takes time and they don’t do everything needed in those departments – for example, we look at applications and write and negotiate offer letters when hiring staff and bring on interns.
I’m guessing, however, as we continue to grow, more and more of this will officially come off our plate and onto someone else’s… and Danielle and I will continue to work on the next big thing. Which is how it’s been with everything all along. I used to do the majority of the graphics on TEG, and put out the [occasional] newsletter, and post to The Everygirl’s instagram. I now never have to do any of those things because we have super talented, capable staff managing it.
Fortunately though I really enjoy both left and right brain tasks so it’s really an awesome mix.
Bonus Question 6. How do you balance The Everygirl work with your own personal blogging? Do you try to keep them separate or are they always overlapping?
It’s simple: The Everygirl is number one. Blogging and anything else comes second. Which is why I didn’t blog for so many years… I didn’t have the time. Now that we have an amazing full-time team, my nights and weekends are a bit more open than used to be! I can actually “clock out” at 5:30pm (a lot of the time anyway). Sure when things get busy and I’m back to working crazy hours – a la this past week with The Everymom announcement – you’ll see the blog and my personal channels are the first thing to suffer.
And there is zero overlapping… with the exception of sometimes repurposing my blog content for The Everygirl only because The Everygirl has SO MANY MORE eyeballs it’s sometimes worth putting it on that platform, as well. Stories – even blog posts like this – take a decent amount of time to produce. So why not spread it around if the work is done?
That’s all for now! Until next week!
Submit any questions you have for me in the comments!
Read 5 Questions About The Everygirl and My Career: Part One here!
SHOP THE EVERYGIRL OFFICE:
I so loved the bonus question answer! My blog is always the first to go when I prioritize things behind my family, work, health and friendships. Which is how it should be! I always wish I had more time but that’s ok- I’ve learned to accept that my time scales and what I can do moves with that.
I love reading about how people have gotten their start at something they love doing! I have always loved jewelry and used to make some things and sell it. I had a number of people that bought regularly but didn’t know how to grow my business. Maybe I will get back to it and find a new way to grow it:) Thanks for your inspiring answers!