After months of feeling completely overwhelmed and not knowing what the hell to do, I decided today was going to be the day.
I opened up my laptop and started designing a graphic. On the graphic it said “Looking for an intern!” I had toyed with the idea of getting an intern before but then my ego got the best of me and I thought, ‘You can’t hire an intern you only have 10k followers, you’re not big enough. People won’t take you seriously.’
So I sat on the graphic for weeks out of fear.
… fear of what my family would say, fear of what my friends would think, and of course fear of backlash from my followers.
Finally, I swallowed my pride and posted the graphic asking for help. I was shocked by the amount of responses I received. Shocked and flattered. At a mere 10k followers I received over 30 responses, which was amazing considering I thought I’d only have 2.
Standing at 16k+ now I think how silly it was to have ever doubted myself to hiring an intern. I mean, at this point, I could use a whole team! And don’t get it twisted, I’m not bragging over the amount of work I have… in fact my work is very different from other bloggers. I’m simply saying when you’re trying to grow any sort of business you are faced with things you may not be knowledgable in, people that aren’t great to deal with, and tasks someone else could do for you, so being able to have a team of people to help you with these things is a God send.
So if you think you’ve gotten to that point in your blogging career where you need all the help you can get, then it’s time to hire an intern. But how?
Hire an intern who compliments your skills
As I’ve mentioned before, you can’t do it all. It isn’t possible to be good at everything so you want to hire people who make up for what you lack. This means realizing your strengths and weaknesses and finding someone whose strengths are your weaknesses.
This is probably the hardest part because it takes a big person to admit what they’re not good at it. But it’s necessary in order to build a team.
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, each requirement is going to be different. So for example if you need to sell but sales isn’t really your forte, you may want to consider hiring an intern with a background in sales. On the flip side, if sales is your strong suit and you need to create videos in order to sell but videography is your weakness, then you may want to find someone who knows Final Cut Pro, iMovie, and/or Adobe Premiere.
Other skills to consider would be “soft” complimentary skills. For example, if you’re on the quieter side, you may want to consider someone who is louder and push you out of your shell. But if you’re the loud one you may want someone who is quieter to keep things in order. Gary Vaynerchuk and D-rock are a perfect example of this. Gary V is a loud seller while D-rock is a quiet videographer and together they’re a great match.
Opposites really do attract in the case of hiring an intern.
Hire an intern who is passionate & positive
As an entrepreneur/blogger things aren’t always going to be rainbows and butterflies so you need someone who will remain passionate and positive during these times. There really isn’t a way to gauge whether a person is this way or not other than by talking to them and feeling their energy.
Obviously, anyone being interviewed is going to be a little nervous, and if they’re not then you better recognize the fine line between cocky and confident. The last thing you want is an intern who’s telling you how to run your business. You want someone who is confident in their abilities but not afraid to ask for help. Someone who is super eager and willing to learn is ideal.
My intern now speaks in terms of “when”. She’ll say things like “When you’re xyz” or “When xyz does xyz” which is reassuring and comforting to have someone who believes in your business and is as passionate as you are.
Within minutes you should be able to hear the passion and positivity in your potential intern’s voice. If not, you may hear a lot of “woe is me” explanations and excuses for why things are the way they are. We all have things about our lives we want to improve but it’s a matter of seeing the glass as half full and making the most of what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t.
Someone who is passionate and positive will see any challenge as an opportunity and he/she will already have ideas and be excited to get to work before they’re even hired.
Hire an intern who kills the trial run
A trail run or a “test” is an extremely underrated request to give to a potential intern. I have found that the best way to really gauge if someone is a good fit is to see how your potential intern would respond to a common situation on the job, if hired.
You could ask something along the lines of how he/she would improve a current system in place or you could have him/her draft an email pitch to brands…
Depending on what you’re hiring the intern for, the “test” you give will be different, but I have found this extremely helpful especially if you’re stuck between a few different candidates. Plus, it keeps things interesting. You’re really able to judge a person’s work ethic by how much effort they put into a sample project.
Mind you I am not some hiring expert, I’m just sharing what has worked for me. You have to feel what’s right for you. If you don’t think giving a project is necessary then don’t do it. After all, when you know, you know, you know?
Have you ever hired an intern or are you thinking about getting one? Tell me in the comments!