Whether you’re super type A or a little more go-with-the-flow, there is one tool that you just don’t want to live without when it comes to running a business, and that’s a client relationship management system, CRM for short! This type of system is essentially a hub or one-stop-shop for everything you will need to do for or with your clients! This includes obtaining and storing any contact information, scheduling/dates, contracts, emails and templates, invoices/payments, questionnaires, and more!
My personal favorite is HoneyBook because it is the most user-friendly and efficient! I’ve never had a task that HoneyBook couldn’t handle!! Plus, their customer service and dedication to small business owners is impeccable, which makes me LOVE being a part of the HB community!
If you think you can keep track of every little detail in spreadsheets, sporadic Word docs, or in your email, just know there’s an easier, less-stressful, and way more organized way to run your biz! Investing in HoneyBook from the very beginning of my business (seriously, I think I had 2 paying clients before realizing I needed a better system and making the leap!) was by far the best decision I’ve made! I not only FEEL organized, but I look incredibly professional right off the bat to my clients!
HoneyBook allows me to send my clients contracts, invoices, questionnaires, etc. in a click or two, have them sign and pay everything securely online, and provide an incredibly professional experience. It’s convenient on both ends, and I love that I can make my client’s and my own life and easier with this system!
Interested in trying out HoneyBook?! Here’s a 50% discount on your first year!
This one is simple to explain – culling down thousands of images in Lightroom takes FOREVER! PhotoMechanic is a program that cuts your culling time in half, making the process SO much faster! It’s a one-time-purchase of around $145, and it’s honestly a lifesaver when it comes to saving time and frustration.
I simply ‘ingest’ (aka upload) all of my memory cards from a wedding or session through PM and while it is still importing the full-resolution files into the folder I designate, it’s showing me a much smaller-sized preview of each image, which ultimately makes the loading time WAY faster. I can cull quickly using color labels (1 – pink, 2 – red, 3 – orange, etc.) and import only the culled images I want to work on into Lightroom!
Ever wonder how people pair multiple images together on their blog? Or how they resize them with a nice border? Although you could use a Photoshop or Lightroom template, it’s a much slower process having to design and save every individual file. BlogStomp is one-time-purchase of $50 for a program you will download to your computer!
You simply export your full-resolution images from Lightroom into your designated folder, and then you will pull those images into BlogStomp to prep them for your blog. You can select multiple images, choose the style of collage/design you want, and hit ‘Enter’ for it to pair, resize, and save your new image! The stomped images are what you will upload to your blog! This is a HUGE time saver and a great resource for quickly creating collages for anything from blog posts to social media graphics and more!
There are so many amazing options for gallery delivery systems, so take your pick of the lot! I’ve used Pass Gallery from the beginning and love that there are some awesome features like:
-10 Year Backup for Each Gallery
-Unlimited Galleries (Paid Version)
-Marketing Tools for Offering Discounts and Coupons
-Easy Gallery Shop Ordering System and Partnerships with Reputable Printing Companies
-Personal Brand Attributes Infused into Each Gallery
You truly can’t go wrong with Pass, Cloudspot, or Pictime! I highly recommend an online gallery delivery system as opposed to only offering USB drives or delivering through Google Drive, iCloud, or DropBox. Although those options could work, the aesthetic, ease of usage, and ability to brand your galleries is immeasurable when it comes to standing out as a professional!
I use Planoly to help me plan out my Instagram feed and content as far in advance as I want! It helps me create a cohesive grid and organize my content quickly on my phone or computer! I love that Planoly has a super robust and jam-packed FREE version that can do plenty before ever having to pay! I’ve always used the free version and the only limitation is how many images per month you can upload! I find that I very rarely reach it anyway! Again, there are multiple options you could dive into for planning like PLANN or UNUM! I’ve just found that Planoly works the best for my personal taste, but a planning app in general will help you create your dream Instagram aesthetic, without having to constantly pull out your phone every time you need to post!
Here’s an extra one for anyone who is working with team members! I have a virtual assistant who helps with a ton of back-end work that I have, so she often needs access to my accounts! LastPass allows me to grant access to certain people by auto-filling in my account information without them being able to see it. So, they can log in when they need to without having to know or ask for your password every time! It’s a little bit of a clunky system, but it works and makes passing on tasks to team members A LOT easier!
Interested in learning more?! Check out my 3 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business where I dive into the first few ways I got my business off the ground!
My Top Tools List
*Please Note: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you decide to purchase from the link provided. There is no added cost to you!*