Can we all just pause for a minute for a moment of silence for the fact that I am *actually* sending out an educational post after weeks, months, years of wanting to do it. I know providing education is something that a lot of photographers do, and while I don’t consider myself an educator, I am extremely passionate about business + all things entrepreneurship. Over the past couple of months I have a handful of aspiring photographers reach out to me and ask how I got started + how I’ve been able to maintain my business for eight years. So, I figured a series of blog posts is the best way to address some of the more common questions.
To kick the series off, I wanted to share my favorite digital photo tools with you that have helped me bring my business to where it is today. In addition to hiring Megan as our brand manager, and outsourcing some tasks, I could not run this business without these tools. These apps + web services help me use the same, streamlined workflow seamlessly from one shoot to the next. In addition, we use a very specific Session Workflow sheet to create a cohesive approach for post-session responsibilities. If you’d like to get your own free copy of the exact workflow sheet we use, click here to sign up for the SHP newsletter and you’ll get your copy immediately! Whether you already run a creative business or are just starting out in photography, these tools are a time saver and will keep you organized and on-track.
- Honeybook – If you haven’t taken advantage of this all-in-one booking system, you don’t know what you’re missing. This is what I use to send out all of my contracts, proposals, and questionnaires to my clients. It is hands-down the biggest time saver for me and allows me to easily manage so many aspects of the client experience. Honeybook allows me to view all of my projects at a glance and reminds me to keep things moving along. Reminder emails, client nudges, and payments are all automated through this system and it makes the “business” side of things a breeze. If you want to give it a try, click here to receive a 50% savings for your first year!
- Tailwind – We use Tailwind to manage two of our largest platforms: Instagram + Pinterest. To say this system has been a game changer for our business would be putting it mildly. We can now schedule posts on Instagram + pins on Pinterest, analyze the reach of posts, learn what content gets the most interaction, network with other creatives, and use custom curated #hashtags to find our target market. The best part? It’s one of the only programs available that will automatically publish your content….join me in saying “No!” to apps that use push notifications to remind you when to post! With Tailwind, we are able to schedule content well in advance and it automatically posts at the best time for our followers. Finally an algorithm that’s on our side!!! You can also view your feed as you upload, so you know exactly what your new “9 squares” will look like. Get your first month for free via our referral link here.
- Mailchimp – If you haven’t set up a newsletter system yet, you’ll need to sign up for this service. Mailchimp has allowed us to draft beautifully designed content and deliver it directly into our follower’s inboxes with the click of a button. Their user inter-face is super easy to use, allows you to customize so many portions of your email design and free for most needs. We’ve also used it to set-up landing pages like the one included in the first portion of this blog; yep, the workflow freebie is powered by Mailchimp!
- Google Calendar – I love using Google’s built in calendar tool to keep up to date on upcoming commitments and make sure my entire team is on the same page. It allows me to view all 6 of my team member’s schedules at a glance which is so crucial for my associate photographer program’s success. You can find this feature inside of your existing Gmail dashboard. Best part? It’s free!
- Pixieset – Pixieset is our solution for gallery delivery! Clients receive a custom email when their images are ready for viewing and they can download, share, and order prints right from the linked private gallery. The modern, streamline look is another bonus and it’s so easy to use (for both us and the client). If you sign up here you’ll get an extra 250 MB of storage for free!
6. Unfold – If you’re on Instagram, chances are you’ve seen a photographer or blogger using this mobile app! We use Unfold to create beautiful, on-brand story content that look high-end. While Instagram offers a variety of font options, we just love the clean, consistent look we get with templates on Unfold. Bonus points: it’s available on both Apple + Android platforms.
And that’s it! I know six is such a weird number to finish this post with but those are the six apps we use consistenly every single day. I can’t guarantee that is will make your work day as a random photo shoot in the middle of the day with cold coffee (see post below), but I can guarantee a whole lot more organization. I hope you love them as much as we do! With Love, Stacy Hart
Are you a starting out in photography and want tips + tricks + inspiration? Click here to see more blog post for photographers!
I enjoy building personal relationships with other business owners and helping them create a brand + system for success.
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