This is a guest blog from Kara Hubbard, a photographer business coach and educator who owns TOGRAFY. She specializes in email templates and back-end business workflows and systems. Learn more about TOGRAFY here!
The most effective way to set yourself apart as a photographer is to create an unforgettable experience for your clients. In this business, an exceptional client experience is everything.
Obviously, delivering a gallery of fabulous photos is also essential, but when your clients talk about you to their friends, they are going to talk about their experience, and what you did to go the extra mile for them. After all, photographers are a part of the service industry, and your first priority is to serve your client.
So, what does your client experience have to do with a client management workflow? The best way to ensure that your photography clients have a positive experience throughout your entire process, is to make each step as automated and simple as possible. Workflows can streamline your client’s experience and support your business in a big way.
What is a workflow?
First things first, what is a workflow? A workflow is a series of steps, tasks, or experiences that you create, build on, and follow in order to keep yourself organized and efficient and give your client an incredible photography experience. They include pre-written emails, proposals, and brochures that you typically send to your clients throughout your client experience. Workflows are necessary to keep your business running smoothly and consistently from first inquiry to gallery delivery. They allow you to stay on track, AND make sure that your client has an effortless experience. This frees up time for you to serve your clients in bigger, more creative ways!
Who needs a workflow?
Everyone! I firmly believe that every single photographer needs a well-organized, semi-automated incredible workflow. As you establish yourself and gain more clients, staying organized can become more difficult. The more clients you have, the more necessary it becomes to have a solid workflow in place to keep your business and your clients organized. Organization and client experience are two crucial pieces to a successful photography business. Since starting my coaching business, I have seen a lot of talented photographers fail to thrive because of a poor, or non-existent, workflow. If critical steps fall through the cracks, especially those that contribute to your client’s experience, your photography business can fall apart. Workflows are the glue that quite literally hold your business together!
Why do you need a workflow?
I have already talked about how workflows provide organization for you and a positive experience for your clients, but those aren’t the only benefits. Workflows save you time. And for small business owners, when you’re saving time, you’re saving money.
I know that you don’t have the time to type out every single email you send to your clients, and with a well-organized workflow, you don’t have to! Your workflow will allow your clients to feel completely taken care of every step of the way. You’ll be able to create a hands-on experience for them, while allowing yourself to be hands-off and focus on other tasks.
With a well-worded automated workflow, your clients will never know the difference. They will just assume that you’re writing every individual email they read. With the time you’ll gain, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business and nurturing your client relationships in more personal ways.
When do you implement your workflow?
Once you’ve built or purchased a solid workflow, implement it right away. As soon as you receive an inquiry from a potential client, implement your workflow. Putting every single inquiry into a workflow allows you to easily automate your business and know exactly where each client is in their experience. Inquiry workflows include multiple touch and entry points for your client to book your services – and once they book – start the next workflow!
How do you automate and manage your workflows?
To maximize the value of a workflow, you’ll want to automate as much of the process as possible. And that’s where client relationship management tools come in. They will make your life so much easier. They are absolutely worth the investment. CRMs like Iris Works will be your new best friend and will allow you to build your email templates, proposals, and brochures into your workflows. From there, you can completely automate or semi-automate everything. Once you build an efficient workflow, you can be almost completely hands-off.
Where can you find a solid workflow with proven results?
If you’re not sure how to build a workflow, or if you don’t have the time to invest in putting a functional workflow together, I’ve got your back. With my photographer coaching business TOGRAFY, I provide my clients with pre-made, customizable workflows that are proven to improve your business process and your client’s experience. I make workflows for nearly all photography niches including portrait, wedding, engagement, newborn, and even mini sessions (even birth and boudoir are in the works!).
Already have a workflow that needs some tweaking? I can help there too! Head to my website and schedule your free consultation call. Together, Iris Works and I will come up with a plan to help your photography business thrive.