006 4 Ways to Get Your Work Done Faster
Streamline your processes and get work done faster. Learn 4 ways to automate your work as a photographer so you have more time to shoot.
As a busy photographer, you know that time is money. That phrase drives me crazy but it’s the truth. Every minute you spend on administrative tasks or editing is time that you could be spending on marketing, shooting, or just living your life outside of work.
That's why having streamlined processes in place is key. By creating a system that works efficiently for you, you can free up more time to focus on the things that really matter - like taking gorgeous photos that make your clients swoon.
Plus, when you have a consistent process in place, you're able to deliver your work to clients faster, which means happier clients and more referrals. It's a win-win!
So, how can you streamline your processes as a photographer? It all starts with taking a step back and evaluating where you're spending the most time. Are you spending hours sorting through emails? Do you dread the editing process? Once you identify your pain points, you can start to find ways to make those tasks more efficient.
Maybe that means setting up personalized auto email responses or outsourcing your editing to a trusted professional. Maybe it means investing in tools and software that can help automate certain tasks.
Whatever it is, remember that the goal is to make your life easier and to give you more time to do what you love. So don't be afraid to experiment and try new things until you find a system that works for you.
And always remember, streamlined processes aren't just about saving time - they're about creating a better experience for both you and your clients. So how can you streamline our way to success?
Let’s start with the pain points for photographers: website design and copywriting, portfolio management, marketing, social media management, client communication, booking clients, prepping for the session, shooting for a fast edit, editing, delivering galleries quickly, following up with clients, getting reviews, getting referrals, getting the clients back in the door for more.
Do any of these sound like pain points to you? Can I tell you a story for a minute? I started Taylr Made Marketing for wedding photographers because I know that if one of these is not systemized then the whole process can stop working. If one of these isn’t working correctly, it could be the piece that stops you from getting booked. Fortunately for you, I know how to do all of these well to get you booked so you are in the right place for help.
How can you streamline each of these? Well let’s take a look:
Website Design and Copywriting
When it comes to your website, having the right site that communicates your brand clearly and effectively and guides your clients to getting booked with you is essential. I remember my first website. It was black with a basic camera logo and my name. I thought that photos popped best on black background, but I didn’t think about my brand. Photos do pop best on black or white backgrounds because the eye isn’t tinted with another color. What I mean by this - if you’ve ever been to a kid science museum and played with the gray scale chart you will see the same gray as darker or lighter based on the black or white around it. This is the same with color images. If your background is green, it can have a magenta cast on your images. So your background does matter. Beyond that, my whole story is about joy and I had a black background. My website was only showing images and didn’t have any personalization to it. It was horrible to say the least. I didn’t know what I was doing. But later I understood that my website was the main thing holding me back. I knew if I could only have a better site, I would stop losing people coming to my site and start booking. I knew this because I was looking at the data of where I was losing people and it was my home page. So
I found a solution. Showit. Showit was designed for wedding photographers and has expanded over the years. Showit has templates perfect for photographers starting out. After you get past the starting phase, you will want to have a custom designed and branded website for your brand. Look for a web designer who can create a custom site, help you find your USP and communicate it clearly through custom copywriting, and who understands how to get photographers booked. Yes, I’m talking about us. This is what we do for our clients. Website and copywriting is one of the few A La Carte services we offer because I know that it is a make-it-or-break-it thing for photographers. We also include the design service for all of our yearly clients and you can find out more about this at taylrco.com.
Showit’s templates can help you right now, where you are at. Many of the designs tell you what type of words should go where to help you get the website up and running super fast. For you copy, I highly recommend taking my free AI ChatGPT course or the full course. I will help you go through the steps of getting started with AI so you can quickly write conversion focused copy to help you get sales. Streamlining your thinking and writing is something that you will want to do for your business.
AI can also help you choose the best images for your portfolio. Ai only looks at technical ability in the photos, but what is more important is the emotion. Show 10-20 images from a variety of sessions that are consistent in style and that speak to 1 client only. Choose images that show joy, laughter, love, tenderness. Go through your images and refresh your portfolio twice a year. If you are new and your photography is getting better and better each month, then switch out your portfolio images with your new style each month. Eventually you will have a consistent portfolio and not need to update it as often. Changing your portfolio after every shoot is not necessary and will take up so much time so stick with it twice a year and your clients will love your work.
As a photographer, marketing is an essential part of growing your business and attracting new clients. But let's be real - it can also be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially if you don't have a plan in place.
The key to streamlining your marketing efforts is to create a system that works for you. Here are some steps you can take to create a streamlined marketing plan:
- Set goals: Before you start any marketing activities, it's important to set clear goals for what you want to achieve. This will help you stay focused and ensure that your efforts are aligned with your overall business objectives.
- Create a content calendar: A content calendar is a great way to plan out your marketing activities in advance. This could include blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, and any other marketing initiatives you have planned. By planning ahead, you'll save time and ensure that you're consistently putting out high-quality content. You can also download our free marketing calendar from Taylrco.com.
- Track your results: Finally, it's important to track your marketing results so you can see what's working and what's not. Use analytics tools to track website traffic, social media engagement, and other metrics to see which marketing activities are driving the most results.
By following these steps, you can create a streamlined marketing plan that helps you attract new clients and grow your business without sacrificing your precious time.
And of course, if you need help with marketing, just reach out to our team - this is what we do and we are happy to help you.
Automate your social media:
Social media can be a huge time-suck if you're not careful. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that can help you automate your social media posting. Consider using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts in advance. You can also use Tailwind or Planoly.
It is so important to have consistent client communication. I know a lot of photographers can get stuck trying to write emails or get them out in a timely manner. Having the same email that goes out to every client at the same time in the process is key. These emails can easily be created in Honeybook. I’d encourage you to test different emails that go out to clients when they first contact you to see which get higher response rates. Streamlining and automating client communication will go a long way to get your bookings and save you time, plus you won’t leave a client hanging. I’d also recommend checking your email only 1-2 a day so you aren’t consumed with emails.
When it comes to prepping for your session, do you have a list that goes into your camera bag? What about a list of things you need to do to get ready for the shoot? Do you have a shot list written down or memorized? I highly encourage you to make these lists, specific to your process and look at them when you are getting ready. Look at the shot list during the session if you need to. You can also have your client walk in front of you to a new location as you quickly take a peek at your hidden shot list. The more you can shoot the same lighting conditions and shots for every client, the more consistent your work will be and the easier and faster it will be to edit.
Create a system for editing your photographs. Use AI. Use presets that you can easily customize for your images. Once you have a perfect edit for the first image in the same series where you shot in one location with one lighting style, you can simply copy and paste those settings or sync them in Lightroom to have all the similar images be edited the same way. Use the technology that is available to you to get your work done faster. I go over all of this in my style course and I give you starter presets to work with so check that out at taylrco.com under courses if you need more help with streamlining your editing or you want to make a signature fine-art look for your photographs.
Use the same gallery process for every session. I’ll go over my process in detail in the future, but for now, write down what it is you do once the images are edited. Do you label the images a certain way? Where do you export them? Where do you upload them? What settings do you apply to the gallery that get adjusted each time? What email goes out to your client to deliver the gallery? What is the process you go through? Write it down so you don’t have to think it through each time. This also gives you a checklist to go off of so you don’t forget anything.
When I worked at a wedding photography and videography company before starting my own business, we had a ton of clients who were all in different parts of the process. We needed a system that allowed anyone in the office to know exactly where that client was so we could pick up the communication with them. Back then, and this was 2005, we used a file cabinet for their files. Inside their file was a checklist that we went off. This made it so we never had to ask other people where they were at, we never had to think about what we were missing. A checklist can be the best thing possible for your business so you don’t miss out on getting reviews, referrals or simply making your customers happy.
As far as documenting, I highly recommend using a Google Drive and documents to set up the process for client communication, for your shooting process from packing your back to downloading the images, for your editing and delivery process, for how you show off your session in marketing and for your entire marketing plan and process. This way you take the hard thinking part out of the process and can focus on the doing. It also helps you hand this over to subcontractors when you decide to outsource. Which brings us to outsourcing.
Outsource Where Possible:
A lot of photographers will outsource their work like editing or blog writing. Of course I’m a huge supporter of outsourcing since this is what we do for photographers, but here’s why you should do it. When you choose subcontractors who are better than you at a specific task, your business will thrive. The downside is that it usually takes a lot of your profit to outsource and the majority of outsourcing comes before you book. If you outsource your editing and blog writing for client galleries, then you can work that price into your package price, but everything else comes before you get booked. Educational blog posts, pins, social media, all your marketing come first. Even hiring a virtual assistant to handle client communication comes before you book because they are communicating with potential clients, not booked clients. This is why we offer all of these services for photographers and we only get paid when you get booked. I set up Taylr Made Marketing to help with cash flow problems that all photographers face. Not only do you get the benefits of only paying when you get booked, but we are experts in your industry and know exactly how to get photographers booked with ideal clients.
You don’t have to outsource to have a successful business, but when you do, it frees up your time so you can be more creative. Also, when you use experts, you no longer have to go through years of training and testing to figure out how to make money - that time has already been invested for you and you can reap the benefits now.
So when it comes to streamlining your business, write down your process from start to finish, document what you do and create checklists, highlight the pain points and start to brainstorm what you can do to solve the problem or work smarter to create better photographers and a better experience for your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
That’s it for today. Thank you again for joining me and letting me help you grow your photography business. If you have any questions, make sure to join our facebook group: profitable photographer to post your questions. If you need help with any of your pain points or you are curious about business and marketing management for your wedding photography business, check out how we can help you at taylrco.com. Thank you again and don’t forget to share this podcast and subscribe for more.