69. Find the best software for your photography business

Are you constantly feeling too busy and finding it hard to stay on top of all the things? There’s actually software you can use to speed up your workflow and stay on top of all your clients.

In this episode, I’m sharing my favorite software that will help you run your business more smoothly and help you save time. 

When you run a professional business there are bound to be a bunch of expenses. And I have to admit I have always wanted to spend as little as possible and that can easily be an obstacle if you have the same mindset. And well. If you have a tendency to spend too much that can also be a problem, but that’s not what we’re tackling today. 

Spending money on software that can free up your time and make your life easier can be part of what helps your business MAKE money. 

A CRM can save your life (or business anyway)

So I want to start with something that can make a huge difference on so many levels, a CRM: Now if you haven’t heard of CRM before it stands for Customer relationship management, and it’s a powerful tool that can help your business in all the things that relate to your clients. From keeping track of all your inquiries coming in to sending out invoices, booking appointments, signing contracts, and sending emails. 

My favorite is Dubsado and I’ve used it for a few years now. It has freed up an insane amount of time for me. Or well, to be honest, it is the reason I didn’t quit photography altogether back then. I was struggling so much to stay on top of my leads and client experience. Is Dubsado perfect? No. But if you want to get a CRM until you find the perfect one you will have to live without one. 

Ok, so let me tell you how I use it. 

I have a contact form in Dubsado that I have embedded on my website. So when someone fills it in a new contact shows up in Dubsado. From there I can send out emails. And I have lots of email templates stored, so I can just pick the one I want to send, modify it, maybe add a scheduler or a form or a contract and send it out. 

So easy. When dates get booked they get added to my calendar automatically. It’s a lifesaver. Or a business saver anyway.

It takes time to set up, or it’s a bit of an investment if you get help to do it, but I definitely recommend it if you have many leads, many clients, an extensive client process or you just want to automate and simplify things. 

Listen to Charlotte Isaac talk about client workflow

Episode 36

Sign contracts digitally

If you don’t want a CRM but want to be able to sign contracts in a simple way I recommend you use software that lets you send and sign contracts digitally. I use Adobe sign, which is a part of the Adobe Suite, but you can pay for just this feature if you want it. Before when I didn’t want to pay for anything extra I used digisigner.com which also worked fine. 

Use Gsuite to have all your assets in one place

Another very helpful software I use is Gmail and the whole Gsuite. And no, it’s not the same as any other email. Because one thing that’s very important to me is that I can use my own domain in my email. It makes it that much more professional and no one has to guess what my email is. As long as it ends with my domain I will get the email. 

More than that, you can set up filters and automatically sort your emails into folders, and schedule emails to be sent at specific times. 

Since I use the whole Gsuite I have a Gmail calendar, documents, sheets, forms, and all the things. It’s so easy to have all the things in one place, and it’s very affordable. 

Speed up your culling and editing process

But let’s talk image workflow for a bit. I import and cull my images using Photo Mechanic. That lets me rename the images right away, add them to multiple hard drives, automatically name folders, and most importantly cull the images extremely quickly. I can cull a wedding in an hour, but I do actually usually go through the wedding twice before importing the photos into Lightroom

And Lightroom is of course one of my favorite software. I do pretty much all of my editing there, most of it using a single preset. That I of course modify. I keep all of my images in a single catalog and do everything from here. I can easily open and edit a photo in Photoshop, When I outsource the editing I export the folder as a separate catalog and then import it again when it’s done.  I upload my images directly to my website using a plugin. And I also have a plugin that creates new projects in Pic-time and uploads my images there. 

Pic-time: the most beautiful client gallery

Pic-time is such a beautiful and customizable client gallery. The photos are laid out in a lovely way, you can decide if your clients can download high or low res images or if they should just choose which ones they want. You can also set up a shop inside Pic-time, but what’s available really depends on what country you are in if you want to avoid extra import fees. 

When my images are done I also have JPEG mini as a plugin that compresses the images. And that might seem like a little detail, but if your images are a fraction of the original size without losing detail, you can save a lot of money on storage and it can also be a part of making your website faster because your images will be lighter. 

Location scout online before going outside

If you are a photographer who shoots outside, do weddings, elopements, and those things, you probably have to do location scouting. A tool that I’ve used a lot, especially when planning elopements in places far away, planning out timelines, and looking for the best sunset location for example is Google Earth. It’s free and a lot of fun. You just plot in the location you want to go to and the date and time and you can see how it looks, the direction of the sun, and you can kinda wander around. Of course, it can’t replace actual location scouting, but it’s a great supplement. 

Key takeaways

To sum it up, make sure you are using software to support you in your business. You can find a way to speed up your editing, automate your client workflow and stay organized.

Right now I’m offering My Power Hour, which is a two-hour session that dives into one of three different issues. You can choose to have a website that works for you, build profitable packages, or get more bookings.

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69. Find the best software for your photography business

hi, i'm ingvild

This podcast is all about education and inspiration for photographers. A sustainable business is profitable and lasting. Instead of short-term wins you want to make sure you’re doing things that matter. Both to yourself, and to create the business you want. The goal of this podcast is that it will help you build and structure your business around your life, instead of the other way around.