For photographers, having the right business and studio management software is essential to running a successful studio. Starting out you’ll find yourself not necessarily needing anything but as your business grows eventually you’ll run into more problems without having anything in place. I’ve noticed it in my business and with photographers I’ve outsourced locally where their first session was flawless but as they’ve gotten busier their follow-up and organization have gone straight downhill.
Setting a process up from the beginning can not only set your business up for success from the start but customer retention, marketing, and all other avenues of your business will be an afterthought as you can let a lot of software handle your day-to-day with automation.
There are many options available, ranging from low-cost solutions for small businesses to enterprise-level systems for larger operations. The biggest factor in choosing any photographer is going to come down to two things…price and features. A fortune 500 company won’t care as much about price but we as photographers need affordability, especially when we’re starting out.
Having spent years in marketing and photography I’ve tried an abundance of solutions and ultimately I’ve settled on one which I consider the best CRM for my photography business.
What works for me may not work for you so depending on your needs, choose the best solution to help you manage your business more efficiently. With the right software in place, photographers can increase their efficiency and save time while providing excellent service to clients.
Photography is ultimately a popular hobby for most, and many people dream of turning their passion for taking pictures into a thriving business. Before taking the plunge and choosing CRM and studio management software, it’s important to understand what exactly you need to get your business off the ground.
You can’t have a small business without the right equipment. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business for a while, it’s important to have the right equipment for the niche you’re targeting. If you’re just starting out investing in the right equipment will pay off before any software solution for your business will so don’t be afraid to splurge on items like cameras, lenses, and tripods.
In order to be successful in any industry, it’s important to have a strong understanding of how it works. This is especially true for photographers, who need to know about things like licensing, copyright law, and contracts. By taking the time to learn about these things, you’ll be able to protect yourself and your business from potential legal issues down the road. The software will only do so much you still need to understand what you’re using it for and be able to deal with any issues that come your way.
Last but not least, it’s important to have a passion for what you do if you want to start a business. This doesn’t mean that you have to love taking photos 24/7—but it does mean that you should be passionate about your work and always strive to improve your skills both with a camera and without. What I mean by that is you need to make sure you’re learning how a photography business works. Don’t get me wrong the images and art of it will be important but if you don’t know how to generate leads, manage your reputation and handle client expectations you’re going to fall flat.
If you’re not as passionate about being your own boss or growing a business then photography should continue to be a hobby, as it’s very difficult to succeed in this competitive industry.
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, the software is designed to help businesses manage their interactions and relationships with both current and potential customers. In today’s digital age, a CRM
is more important than ever for managing customer data and driving sales growth.
There are many different types of CRM software available on the market, each with its own set of features and benefits. However, all CRMs share a common goal: to help businesses build and maintain strong relationships with their customers.
Here’s a closer look at what a CRM is, why your business needs one in 2022, and how to choose the right CRM system
for your needs.
What is a CRM?
is a software application that helps businesses store and track customer data, nurture customer relationships, and drive sales growth. A CRM
can be used to track every interaction you have with a customer, from their initial contact with your brand to post-purchase follow-ups. CRM systems
are an essential tool for sales teams, as they provide valuable insights into each customer’s needs and preferences. This information can be used to guide future interactions and sales pitches. Additionally, a good one
will automate many of the tasks associated with sales and customer management, freeing up your team’s time to focus on more important things.
In short, because your customers expect it. In today’s digital age, customers are used to being treated as individuals with specific needs and preferences. They expect companies to remember their purchase history, personal preferences, and contact information.
If you don’t have a way to track this information, you’ll likely end up frustrating your customers with generic or irrelevant communications. This can damage your brand’s reputation and cost you, valuable customers, in the long run.
A good system allows you to collect data on every customer interaction and use it to create targeted marketing campaigns, segment your customer base, personalize your communications, and much more. In other words, a CRM system
helps you deliver the type of personalized customer experience that today’s consumers expect.
Additionally, it can help you increase sales by streamlining your sales process and giving your team the tools they need to close more deals. Automating repetitive tasks and providing valuable insights into each customer’s needs which helps you close more deals in less time.
Finally, it can help you improve communication between departments by giving everyone access to the same customer information. When everyone is on the same page about each customer’s history and preferences, it becomes much easier to deliver consistent service across channels.
Not all CRMs are created equal—so it’s important to choose one that will fit well within your existing business processes. Start by evaluating your business’s specific needs and goals for using a CRM system.
Once you know what you need from your CRM system, you can narrow down your options by comparing features and pricing plans until you find the perfect fit for your business.
There’s no question that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are essential tools for businesses in today’s digital world. If you want to deliver the type of personalized customer experience that today’s consumers expect—and drive sales growth at the same time—then you need a good system in place. Luckily, there are plenty of great options on the market today designed to fit every business need and budget. So what are you waiting for? Start shopping around for the perfect CRM solution for YOUR business today!
If you’re a photographer, chances are good that you didn’t get into the business for the sake of keeping your finances in order. But whether you like it or not, accounting is a vital part of owning and operating any kind of business. That’s why it’s important to have some sort of accounting software in place to help you keep track of your income and expenses. But with so many different options on the market, how do you know which one is right for your business? Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular accounting software programs favored by photographers.
One of the most popular accounting software programs among small businesses, QuickBooks Online offers a number of features that are tailored specifically for photographers. For example, there’s an easy-to-use invoicing system that allows you to create and send custom invoices to clients with just a few clicks. QuickBooks Online also integrates seamlessly with a number of popular photographer workflow Management Programs such as 17 Hats and ShootQ. And if you ever need help using the software, there’s an extensive online help center as well as live chat and phone support available 24/7.
Another top contender in the world of small business accounting software is FreshBooks. Like QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks offers an easy-to-use invoicing system and integrates with many popular photographer workflow management programs. One of the things that sets FreshBooks apart from other accounting software programs is its emphasis on automation. For example, FreshBooks can automatically generate and send late payment reminders to clients who haven’t paid their invoices on time. And if you’re frequently traveling for jobs, you’ll appreciate the fact that FreshBooks allows you to track your mileage and expenses while on the go via its mobile app.
If you’re looking for an accounting software program that’s specifically designed for creatives, Xero might be a good option for you. In addition to offering all of the features that you would expect from a quality accounting program—such as invoicing, expense tracking, and tax filing—Xero also has a number of features that are geared toward photographers (and other creatives). These include the ability to tag transactions with client names and job numbers, automatic import of JPEG receipts, and integration with over 700 apps (including popular photo editing programs like Lightroom).
While it might not be the most exciting part of running a photography business, keeping your finances in order is important nonetheless. Thankfully, there are now several different accounting software programs available that are specifically designed to meet the needs of small businesses—including photographers. QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, and Xero are all great options that offer features such as invoicing, expense tracking, mileage tracking, and much more.
So take some time to research each one carefully to see which accounting software program is right for your business.
Running a business isn’t easy and one of the lures of Honeybook is it was supposed to be an all-in comprehensive suite for any business, especially freelancers like Photographers.
I’ve tried Honeybook and while I didn’t hate it by any means it left a lot of features out when compared to what I ultimately landed on.
In this digital age as business owners, we are continually getting bombarded by trying the next “best thing” and often times we need to market our business on multiple channels. The problem is now we are needing a social media scheduler, a booking calendar, a place to store all our digital media, live chat, a website, account software etc.
Depending on how hands-on you’re going to be on the business side you’ve likely found yourself running into subscribing to multiple software packages that end up costing you more on a monthly basis and have no help whatsoever on staying organized.
What if I told you everything you needed could be included in one easy-to-use package?
When I stumbled into High Level I was left feeling a little overwhelmed but as I got my hands dirty and had the support of their community I realized that what it was capable of could take a lot off my day-to-day routine.
I was no longer chasing clients for money, nor was I chasing cold leads to book a photography session. All of this was handled within High Levels automation. Now, I did have to set up some of these features myself but when I found myself doing repetitive tasks (like asking for reviews) I created automation to run.
For example, you’ve just been paid and delivered your client’s recent photos for a photography mini-shoot. Imagine marking the job complete and an SMS going out to them asking them to leave you a review on your Google My Business or Facebook page.
I shouldn’t need to tell you the importance of reviews as a local photographer but if you haven’t ventured into this as a small business I will say reviews alone may just shoot your rankings in Google up to the point where you won’t need to do any paid advertising.
But that’s just one scenario as to why High Level is great, here are a few others:
Where any photography business should begin. Client management software is the lifeblood and arguably the most important feature of High Level. Some of the customer relationship management tools will help you segment any lead or client how you want which allows you to run automated marketing campaigns, follow-up, review requests, etc.
Best of all as your customer list grows you can send monthly newsletters or emails reminding them of the promotions you’re running this month. Email marketing is still the best source of income as the best business comes from existing happy customers. Chasing new customers each month can potentially be a thing of the past as you fill up your CRM.
As a photographer, this is likely a no-brainer and a necessity. Client management tools like calendars allow you to provide online booking and simplify your day-to-day process. Booking is likely going to be the lifeblood of your business, especially if you plan on running marketing campaigns or social media ads.
Calendars in High Level will sync with your phone, email, etc if you’re set up with something like Google Suite or Office 365. You can have multiple calendars for multiple events should you choose and if you have multiple staff members they will have access as well.
Picture this: You run a Facebook Ads campaign to a landing page for family photos where they pick a slot in times you’ve blocked off (say 4 pm to 6 pm for golden hour). They confirm, pay, and then get an automated text sent to their phone telling them thanks and the location you’ve chosen for this set of photos.
Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about booking the time and the follow-up?
High Level software also simplifies the review process. As a creative business, a lot of your potential clients are going to research you before hiring. If you’re married did you not take your time to research the team you hired for wedding photography?
There is no doubt, reviews help photographers and a great CRM like High Level can offload reputation management for your business quite easily.
Positive reviews not only provide feedback your future clients want to see but they also help with ranking increases in Google Maps. I’ve seen far too many times that busy photographers forget about this incredibly important aspect of their business. Fortunately High Level provides an easy solution for photographers to manage and generate reviews on the platforms most important to them.
Monthly email to an existing subscriber base still continues to be the best tool for photographers or any business for that matter. High Level helps you set up email templates in which you can send monthly reminders to your existing clientele or new leads about offers and promotions you run.
Again, it’s not that you can’t do this in something like Mailchimp but as you grow so will the price. The issue I have with most email management systems is they always force you to upgrade to get the next feature or the next level of subscribers ultimately costing you more money as you grow.
I don’t know about you but I’d rather have one price that’s set for the rest of my business life.
From a marketing perspective, one of the biggest tools you’ll have at your disposal is your social media. While a website will be your main marketing hub, your social media like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook will be your online portfolio and how people will get to know you.
With more social accounts being added regularly the social scheduling in High level is more than enough. I create most of my marketing tools with the incredible tool Canva before trying to schedule a month’s worth of content through the platform.
Of course, there are other options on the market as a social media management tool but I’m trying to save you money 🙂 and this is more than capable of scheduling content for your accounts.
I’m sure a lot of photographers will argue with me on this but I still believe a website is your best marketing tool. Sure, it’s getting harder every Google update to make noise in search but the ability to send traffic to your content and your blog does help and certainly helps convert traffic.
That being said the need for one isn’t as great if you have a strong social media presence. As someone who is reading this blog post (if you’ve got this far) then it just proves my point.
Websites can go a million different ways. You can pay an agency tens of thousands of dollars or you can do it yourself and pay another subscription fee to something like WordPress or Squarespace (avoid WIX like the plague, it’s horrible for SEO).
But what if you could get a website as part of this monthly subscription too?
You can, and another reason to consider looking at High Level. Pre-made templates exist and you can have a five-page website up and running in a matter of minutes. You’ll have to customize it to match your brand and message but you can save thousands of dollars with this solution.
I’ll be honest, I’ve always been second best when it comes to sales and lead generation. I never had the capability or mental stamina to handle cold calling or cold emailing to try and generate business. I’m not the only one, in fact, a lot of businesses incentivize referrals in some form. Whether it’s through a gift card or flat-out cash businesses realize that your best sales staff are your existing customers.
Queue up a digital affiliate program.
With High Level you have the capability to take the sales process off your plate by customizing your own affiliate program. Depending on what you set your prices at the possibilities are endless, you can offer your existing clients 20% of every photo session they refer or just set a flat rate of money down or money off their next service.
Again, think of this in regard to the bigger picture. You can automate a lot of this process. Not every affiliate needs to be a paying customer but you could theoretically create an automation that sends the affiliate signup after they finish paying for their recent photography service.
Done right, an affiliate system can help your company reach further with customers you may not know ever exisited.
All the above is great and well worth the cost of High Level. Still, other photographers may lean on other software like Studio Ninja or Honeybook as the UX may just feel more comfortable.
What ultimately keeps me coming back to High Level and recommending it as one of the best crms for photographers is things like One Click Social Media Ads.
Having run a digital marketing agency for years I know that getting your hands dirty with the Facebook ad manager isn’t fun. Often times you’re overwhelmed with setup, split testing and trying to figure out which creative works best. There’s a reason why the job title “Social Media Manager” exists. There are careers dedicated to this field, wouldn’t you rather just get high-performing ads out there as opposed to having to take 20 minutes just setting one up?
Inside of High Level there is business software that does just this making Facebook and Instagram ads…easy. Three clicks and you can be up and running with ads that are designed specifically for photographers.
Here’s an example:
You’re a wedding photographer and looking to book out your summer calendar with weddings each weekend. We all know how lucrative wedding jobs can be so being booked up each weekend can almost allow you to take the winter off (depending on how much you charge lol).
With the High Level ad platform you can set up a couple of clicks to target people in your area who recently got engaged with your offer or elevator pitch on why they should hire you. This is incredibly useful for photographers as it takes all the time out of the equation you might need to learn how to master the ad platform.
Let’s face it, professional photographers don’t want to be social media managers but they certainly need to show their services on social media. There is no easier way to generate leads than with this platform.
Compared to the other two programs, High Level won’t ever receive the marketing budget or influence from it’s competitors and the biggest con is it will be more expensive than both. Where you need to look at is what you’re paying for all the other additional software you’re using now (or might be). Things like social media planners ($20), email marketing ($20), Clickfunnels ($97) etc etc and you can see why this will add up.
This CRM HAS IT ALL and the development team continues to build to extend it’s features. The price hasn’t changed once and likely won’t and it will handle everything that the other two talked about programs already do. Whether it’s invoicing or task management High Level has you covered and then some.
High Level is a powerful tool for sales and lead generation, especially if you’re not great at cold calling or emailing. With an affiliate program, you can easily incentivize referrals from your current customers. Additionally, One Click Social Media Ads make it easy to create high-performing Facebook and Instagram ads which will help you leave your nine-to-five job behind and allow your hobby to become a sustainable business.
Reach out to me via live chat or if you’re interested in seeing what High Level is all about then try out their 14-day free trial here. You’ll undoubtedly have questions, we all did but if you reach out Ill be happy to share my entire photography setup with you where you can import it with the click of a button.
I hope you enjoyed this!