March 19, 2020
Over the years I’ve learned there are some business tools that are essential to running my photography business. These are the tools that I’m in every single day making sure things are running smoothly and I’m on track!
The business tool I’m in the most is Honeybook! I’ve been using Honeybook for about three years now and I’m constantly impressed by how the platform has evolved over time. Honeybook is a client management system in which I build out a workspace for each one of my clients. From there I’m able to send brochures, contracts, invoices and questionnaires to make sure all of my brides and grooms can find everything about their wedding photography experience in one place. On top of that Honeybook allows you to build out your own pipeline so you can see a quick overview and know exactly where each client is in the process. My personalized pipeline has almost twenty steps!
My favorite part of Honeybook by far though is its task management piece. When I onboard a new client I know that there are specific tasks I want to do throughout my time working with them. I used Honeybook to build out a workflow that times each project out so I know what tasks to do halfway through our time working together to two weeks out. These tasks populate for me as reminders so I know each client is getting the information they need and having a great experience!
Want to try Honeybook yourself? Get 50% off your first year by using my referral link!
Flodesk is the business tool that I used for email list management. It’s an easy to use tool that allows me to create modern, beautiful designs for my email list. Flodesk comes with pre-prepared templates that can be customized to fit your business needs. I typically start with a template, switch out my brand colors and photos and then adjust the content to fit what I’m sharing about with my email list that week. The best part is that Flodesk also helps you mange your list, sorting them into different categories depending on their interests. This is particularly helpful so I make sure I’m not sending business advice to brides and vice versa!
I only just started using Flodesk recently, but I also loved that you can create workflows for your audiences. When someone new signs up I didn’t want them to just start receiving emails without any explantation, so I created a three step welcome in Flodesk for each of my audiences. This business tool allowed me to welcome them to my list before I started sharing articles, advice and deals! Want to try Flodesk for yourself? Get 50% off your subscription using my link here!
My whole world revolves around my calendar! While I’m usually a pen and paper kind of girl (most of my business plans and to-dos are mapped out in a handy Moleskin!), my Google Calendar is one of my most vital business tools! Google Calendar helps me balance both business, personal, and content creation all in one handy place.
I break down my Google Calendar into six categories that are all color-coded for easy viewing. They are work events and sessions, weddings, reminders, my personal plans, plans I share with Kyle, and business content. It’s been really helpful to see a broad overview of when weeks are starting to get busy and I might need to block off some personal time so I don’t get overwhelmed. On top of that I love using it to map out my business content!
I look ahead at what upcoming work events, sessions and weddings I have and map out in the business content category when and on what platform I plan on sharing them. If I have a lot of events coming up I’ll drop more than one idea on the calendar and then can easily move it back to the next week if I don’t get to it or need something to fill in that space instead. This has made planning ahead for blogs and emails so much easier and allowed me to stock up on some of my content before it’s even the week it needs to be shared!
The last business tool I rely on is Excel. This might seem like a basic one, but it helps me with two key tasks that I do every single day! The first is money management – every time I receive a payment or purchase something on behalf of my business it’s tracked in my Excel documents. I even break down my expenses by category and track my mileage for each client project in an Excel sheet so that come tax season I’m prepared and have everything in order for my accountant.
The second key task I use Excel for is inquiry tracking! Inquiries for weddings in particular can come in all at once or spaced out so it’s key to have all my data in one place. For each couple that inquires with me I keep track of their names, venue, wedding date, date they inquired with me, how they found me, if we had a consultation and if they booked. This data may seem tedious to keep over time, but after doing it for five years I now have a ton of information on where most of my clients are coming from and when they inquire. This gives me great marketing insight about where and when I need to focus my efforts!
I'm a Virginia wedding photographer serving the DMV and worldwide. I strive to balance the composed with the candid and capture vibrant, timeless images for my couples.
Six years of wedding industry has taught me a lot! This quick guide is designed for you two to get your wedding experience started with just a few easy steps!