Whether you are just starting your business or you’ve been going strong for years now, finding the right work/life balance is nothing short of a big challenge. There is always that push and pull to be present for your business, to put in those hours to get it where you want it to be. But because family is so important, we find ourselves working into the late hours of the night or early morning just to get it all done! The only thing that is going to lead to is burnout. Today, we’ll explore balancing family and photography, and the systems and automation to help you carve out more time for the things you love.
Let’s get started by discussing the backbone of your business – client management. It’s no secret that running a photography business involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work. There are emails that need to be sent out, new inquiries to respond to, receipts to send…the list goes on and on and on. Client management really is the meat and potatoes of a photography business. Making sure the experience is smooth, professional, and personal is so important to your business.
But all those little steps that come with keeping up your client management can be so time-consuming. Before I started implementing the right systems to help free up my time, I was spending hours on my computer between pick-ups and drop-offs, after bedtime, on the weekends. Now we know that when you are first starting out a business, putting in those extra hours is just part of the deal. But once you have established yourself and gotten a good foundation, it’s time to find the right systems and tools to free up your time! Who doesn’t want more time in their day after all? More time to meet with clients in person, more time to hang out with friends, to be with your kids or spouse, or to watch that tv show you’ve been dying to binge!
This is where client management tools come in…aka your business best friend. HoneyBook, Sprout Studio, and 17hats are just a couple of client management and small business tools that could be great tools for you. These platforms offer features like contract management, invoicing, and even client questionnaires. By automating these processes, you can free up valuable time and energy to focus on both your passion for photography and your family. Just remember, these platforms aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Take some time to look into different platforms and see what meets your needs best! Personally, I use Sprout Studio, and it works best for me! But everyone’s business and needs are different, so be sure to do your research!
The next area of your business where you can set up systems and automation to free up your time is marketing! When it comes to marketing, email campaigns remain a powerful tool to stay connected with your audience. Now if you’ve been listening for a while, you know how much I love email marketing and how much I believe in its power as a way to bring in new clients. If you have only been sending emails out to current or potential clients via Gmail, Yahoo, etc., you need to stop! I know it might seem simpler, but it is not saving you any time or helping you bring in more clients through email campaigns! If you want to take a deep dive into the power of email marketing, check out my email marketing series on the podcast.
But to keep it short, with customizable email sequences and the ability to segment your audience, you can send tailored messages to your clients without spending hours drafting individual emails. This way, you can keep your business thriving and connecting while also having time to be present in other areas of your life! Some email marketing tools that I love are Flodesk, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, and Constant Contact. Just like with the client management tools, do your research! Find what fits your needs and your budget best. A lot of platforms offer free trials which are a great way for you to get inside the platform and see if it really fits your style and needs!
Social media is another crucial aspect of any modern photography business. And it’s another area that can take up a lot of time without proper planning and automation. Scheduling tools like Plann, Later, Planoly, and Buffer can be lifesavers when it comes to making the most of your social media with little time and effort! These platforms allow you to plan and schedule your social media posts in advance, ensuring that your online presence stays active even when you’re spending quality time with your loved ones.
If you aren’t already creating content for your social media platforms in advance, I highly encourage you to start! Consider taking one or two days a month to batch out content, design the graphics, create the reels, and write the captions. Then, just plug everything into a scheduling platform of your choice, and boom! You have a month’s worth of content done! This is such a great way to save yourself time each month, and a lot of scheduling platforms have free options, so it doesn’t have to be a big investment! If you aren’t sure where to start with automating your business, this is a great and easy first place.
Now, let’s talk about organization. As senior photographers, we juggle countless tasks. These tasks can quickly pile up and if we aren’t staying on top of things, some can easily slip through the cracks or be forgotten about. This is where project management tools come into play! Trello and Asana are fantastic project management tools that help you stay organized and focused.
By creating task lists and setting deadlines, you can ensure that you’re meeting your business goals while also having time to do the things you love outside of work too!
You might be a to-do list master, but even the best of us can get overwhelmed, especially during the busy seasons like prom and graduation! Consider taking advantage of one of the many project management tools to help you stay on top of things. Assigning out to-do’s, listing tasks by priority, and sending yourself reminders are just some of the benefits of using a project management tool.
Remember that these tools are here to support you, not replace your personal touch. Automation enhances your ability to make meaningful connections and frees up time for what truly matters – creating memories and spending time with the people and things you love. Now it’s time for you to do a little business evaluation and see what systems and tools your business needs to start implementing to make your life easier! You might be a superhero for your business and your family, but no one can do all the things at once. It’s okay to bring in some extra help so that you can be your best and most present self in every area of life!
If you need more help with growing your senior photography business, making 4 -figures per senior session, and becoming the go-to senior photographer in your area, The Seniorologie Semester is for you! You can learn more about it by visiting www.seniorologie.com/semester.
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