Change can be hard for creatives to adapt to. In fact, for some, it can be the source of a lot of stress. But the fact is that some of most successful business people in the world have learned to embrace is as part of a constant strategy of improvement.
Last year we experienced a HUGE shakeup. For those of us in the wedding/event industry, we experienced change that has had (and will continue to have) massive impact on our industry. For those with enough experience, this type of change is nothing new, despite how drastic. If you think about our industry made the shift from film to digital, overcame the 2008 financial crisis, and now a world pandemic, you could say that seasoned photographers are well adapted to change.
But today I don’t want to focus on large scale industry changes…..I want to focus on the micro changes that you make in your own business.
As creatives, we tend to be creatures of habit. In fact, I would argue that creativity in an of itself is an antagonist to logic, a requirement for success in business (left brain vs right bran). Logic in and of itself will dictate that when something isn’t working, it must be fixed. So photographers tend to get stuck, prevented from improving because they are afraid to make the improvements necessary to push their business forward.
But as a successful photographer, you have to be willing to channel that creativity into the business side of what you do. If you take a day a week to pursue a single marketing idea, at the end of the year you will have spent 52 days working on your marketing. If you take a day a week to focus on your process, then in a year you will have spent 52 days improving your processes.
You can see here that a little bit goes a long way……
But as creatives sometimes we lack direction, we don’t know where to start, and with just a little guidance, that logic that we require to start a project can be overrun with the creativity we need to finish it.
So here are a couple of ideas for you to improve your business over the next 30 days…..
1. Document all of your processes.
When you create a repeatable process, you create consistency for your clients, and you focus on making a better client experience, you also make a training manual for all of your clients to follow.
2. Focus on automation.
Automation is literally the key to implementing your processes above. When your processes are automated through your Email service provider and your CRM, you remove the element of human error. I couldn’t run my business without automation, I wouldn’t even try.
If you need help with automation, you can click this link to purchase our marketing & automation course, The Booking Blueprint
3. Get a CRM….like right now if you don’t have one yet.
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Manager is the first investment you need to make in your business. This will allow you to handle contracts, payments, and send automated emails on your behalf. We recommend Sprout Studio or Dubsado to get started. Both are great options.
4. Outsource your editing
I am being honest, in 2012, when we were only doing 15-20 weddings a year, I decided to begin to outsource my editing. When I talk with other friends that run successful studios, there isn’t a single one that still handles this themselves, it’s not even a discussion. By outsourcing your editing, you make time for everything else your business needs. Post production consists of a LOT of tasks…..culling, color correction, album pre-design, creative retouching, uploading to a gallery, sending to vendors. If you are doing all of this yourself, you are wasting VALUABLE time marketing.
5. Create a database of marketing partners
This is a tip I shared in my recent WPPI presentation. We started putting this list together to track referrals we are giving and getting, and to target vendors that we really want to start working with. By creating a list of vendors that you want to work with, and tracking how many referrals you are giving and getting, you are giving yourself the chance to create a business that one day works for you, rather than you having a Job working for your business.
WPPI was a blast, and I was excited to begin teaching in-person again. Once our wedding season winds down a bit, we will share more info on the development of both Elevate360, and The Wedding Photography University.