re you struggling to create effective processes for your growing photography business? If you’re struggling to sustain a more balanced lifestyle, it’s time to invest in automation! Here are four incredible ways to use workflow automation using a studio management platform like Iris:
- Online booking so that your calendar is easily managed.
- Automated emails so that your clients are kept well-informed.
- Workflows to keep each shoot on track and on time.
- Questionnaires so that you get all of the information you need about your clients prior to the shoot.
Let’s be honest… clients prefer an online booking experience. It’s so much more convenient and way faster! Who wants to send multiple emails back and forth to solidify the most convenient shoot date and time anyways? Plus, communication can get lost and delayed, meaning you miss out on booking that client.
We book our hair appointments online, we make online reservations at restaurants and air travel, so why not book online for portrait sessions? More importantly, you can book clients while you are actually photographing - which is what you do best!
Using a studio management system, your clients can sign a contract, pay their invoice, and secure a spot on your calendar all in one step. We’ve found that clients overwhelmingly prefer booking with a photographer who offers online booking.
Email can be an absolute time suck for any industry. There are some super easy ways that you can start spending less time in your inbox and focus on other, more important things. Stop rewriting responses to emails that you send to every client!
In Iris, you can setup emails that are unique to each type of photography that you do! After receiving inquiries, set up emails to automatically respond, easily letting your clients know that you’ve received their message. From there, you can attach a brief questionnaire to learn more about what they want and link them to some of your most amazing work. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a shoot or enjoying some personal time with your friends; your clients will hear back from you right away.
Once a client has booked a shoot with you, try setting up a shoot prep email to get them ready! You can include a “What To Wear” guide and some suggestions for your favorite locations. This is a fantastic time to attach a questionnaire to learn even more about their objectives for the shoot and what they’re going to do with the images you make together. By finding out more about your client ahead of time, you can easily make a strategy for upselling additional products!
A few days before the scheduled shoot, create a confirmation email that gets automatically sent out. In your automatic reminder email, include a link to the location and provide any additional specifics! You can set expectations on when your client’s images will be ready so that you’re not fielding emails right after the shoot. Finally, include your cell phone number so that they can reach you should anything come up!
There is absolutely no reason to not have a thank you email queued up for the day after their shoot. We suggest linking your social media feeds or even sending them a sneak peak gallery to start building excitement!
Most photographers claim that the number one obstacle to getting started with any studio management software is creating workflows that actually work. There’s a huge misconception that workflows take too much time to develop, creating overwhelming feelings and ultimately accomplishing nothing! Iris has made it easy! Here are a few steps to take you through the process of getting started:
Write it Down
Write down every task that you plan to do with each client from start to finish. To have the biggest impact, make sure that you do this thoroughly for each type of photography that you offer! From inquiries to thank you notes, write down each task that you need to accomplish and think through any emails that may be part of that process (booking confirmation, session tips, reminders, etc.)
Check the Times
Note the timing of each task. Does it happen before the session? How far before the session? If a task falls after the session, think through the timing of how long after the session you want to reach out! Workflows are built with tasks, emails and to-dos on each side of your photography session.
Understanding which items can (and should) be automated is where things start to get really good; this step is where your studio management software can make the magic happen! Review your workflow notes and indicate which steps in your workflow that can be automated.
Gather Your documents
If you don’t have pricing or “What To Wear” guides, now is a great time to get those created (or updated if you haven’t in a while!). Take this opportunity to think through what you want to ask on your questionnaires and forms as well.
Once these steps are complete, it’s just a matter of placing the pieces in your workflow and setting the timing for each task! You’ll be well on your way to ensuring a great client experience from beginning to end.
If you need a place to start, Iris offers template workflows for free - PLUS, you can use workflows from some of our Iris Ambassadors by purchasing their curated workflows in our Marketplace.
Photographers use client questionnaires before sessions to gather a variety of details prior to a session. Sending client questionnaires before your sessions is important for the planning process and client experience. You may gather information such as:
- Client’s contact information
- Kids names and ages
- Preferences for the session
Don’t forget – what happens after your session is just as important! You can use client questionnaires to gather feedback that will help your business grow immensely. In addition to requesting reviews on Google or your business page, you can request client feedback directly through Iris and incorporate this into your workflow.
Getting feedback can be scary sometimes, but it is absolutely necessary to make improvements in your work and how you operate your photography business. Learn what your clients love, what they didn’t like, and take that information to heart in order to make future sessions even better.
Give it a Try!
It doesn’t take much to trial Iris. For CloudSpot users, we have setup a special discount. You will get Iris for $1/month for three months by using code: CloudSpot (case sensitive). This special expires applies to a Monthly Premium Plan and expires on March 1, 2021.