Remember this graph? We doubt it’s based on true statistical data. But most of us can certainly resonate with the representative chunks in the pie—the percentage alone might vary depending on how well each of us chooses to manage time.
You can change this—and match reality to perception to a large extent. That of course means changing or refining your business workflows and processes.
A practical solution is using photography workflow tools for productivity, and outsourcing some of your business processes. Let’s look at some of them.
1. Image editing
Post production—which involves image editing, post processing, or retouching—is undoubtedly the most time-consuming business operation in your workflow. For some, it might also be a deal-breaker with customers, most of who want their pictures within a month of their wedding. If you aren’t delivering your images before the competition does, you’re a long way away from snagging the big orders.
Outsourcing post production to a reliable service provider can save you several days of work. Some of the most popular names in the business are: MyLavalu, ShootDotEdit, and Photographer’s Edit. Most of them do a good job of matching your usual style, and deliver the images within a couple of days.
2. Client communication and workflow management
How do you keep track of all the tasks in your workflow? There must be a way to automate most of the repetitive tasks. Indeed, there is.
We had reviewed 17hats a while ago, and we find it to be very efficient at streamlining your workflows and saving several dozen hours of your time that you’d normally be spending on activities like sending quotes, agreements, invoices, questionnaires, and so on.
Besides, there is always a competitive advantage in responding to prospect queries as soon as you receive them. With workflow management applications like 17hats, you’ll be on top of all your workflow processes without spending most of your non-shooting time on repetitive tasks.
3. Album design
Not all photographers enjoy designing wedding albums. If you aren’t all for customization and creativity, you can choose to use some popular album designing applications like Smart Albums, Fundy Designer, or AlbumStomp. Smart Albums, in particular, automates the whole process—all you need to do is drag and drop the images and it auto-arranges them based on existing templates. The proofing process is also a breeze.
When it comes to marketing your services, there are repetitive tasks and there are creative tasks. With the latter, there isn’t much you can do to automate or streamline the execution. With the repetitive ones, however, you can use a variety of tools to manage and schedule your activities.
A few recommended tools are:
- CoSchedule for creating and managing a “posting” calendar, if blogging and social media posts are a big part of your marketing strategy.
- Latergram for Instagram schedules and tracking.
- Evernote to build a library of articles that you come across and wish to read later.
- Feedly to organize and manage your feeds from all the photography websites that you visit regularly.
5. Website management
Building a website from scratch, managing bandwidths, and regular maintenance can be a pain in the neck. Downtimes are the last thing you need. A simple solution to this problem is using a content management system (CMS).
Squarespace is a good example. With a CMS, all you need to do is update your portfolio whenever possible and you have nothing else to worry about. Sites like Squarespace are also search engine optimized, and their templates are responsive—which means you have a web portfolio that’s not just easy to manage but is in tune with the times.
It must be pretty evident by now that you can save a lot of time by outsourcing your workflows or using tools to manage them. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be a rockstar photographer. Really!
If you think there is a workflow activity that is eating into your non-shooting time, do let us know. We are sure there is a solution for that!