When you are first starting out with a photography business, it is easy to wing it, learn as you go, and put in place a process after the fact. However, being organized and purposeful in your actions will grow your business faster and more consistently. The key part in creating a reliable business is to create a repeatable process that you can move through with each client. I like to keep this process as a checklist and use one checklist for each client. It is up to you how you keep your checklists organized. Some examples of ways to organize multiple clients are: a white board with a column for each client, a checklist in Evernote, a printed checklist, or using a project management software.
No matter how you decide to organize yourself, you should be able to repeat the process pretty closely for each client. As you get better at managing your photography business, you can modify you process checklist so that you can provide the most consistent and positive experience possible for each and every client.
Here is an example of what you might do for each portrait client to ensure happy customers and a smooth process:
- After they initially contact you, email them your PDF brochure with more information about your services and your price list.
- Enter their information into your contact management system and add them to your email newsletter, if they would like.
- Arrange a call to plan their session.
- Get a signed contract.
- Collect payment.
- Reserve the appointment date.
- A few days before the appointment, give them a reminder email or call to confirm.
- Complete the session.
- Send a sneak peak with a few images.
- Complete photo editing and upload images or arrange sales session.
- Complete additional image sales.
- Fulfill image orders.
- Send thank you note and special gift.
- Ask for referrals and online reviews.
- Share images on your blog and social media accounts.
- Schedule automatic reminders to follow up with them at key dates, for example, children's birthdays or anniversaries.
Don't forget, not every step of this process has to be completed by you! Consider hiring help where needed, such as a website manager who can help you blog sessions or a lab to drop ship your orders straight to your client's home.
What is on your process checklist? How do you organize yourself to stay consistent with each and every client?