Today, I’m going to share with you why having a photography workflow and systems in place in your business is ESSENTIAL for sustainable business growth.
Because let me guess. You become a photographer because you LOVE taking pictures, and you started your business with a fire under you, so excited to be chasing after your dream, living life behind your camera, documenting incredible moments for people, capturing memories that will last for generations.
SO DID I.
What I didn’t dream of was spending 10% of my time behind a camera, 80% behind a computer and 10% on the only important things in life [ya know, eating, sleeping, having a social life, showering]…
But that was my reality. And, in order to explain why workflows and systems are so important, I need to explain why I got to this place.
I think it’s time for a story…
3 years ago I was drowning in my business. Honestly, I wasn’t even treading water. I had my hands thrown up, my head under water and I was shouting for the life raft.
My organization (or lack there of) in my business was a total disaster that forced me to work day in and day out on my business. Cull. Edit. Blog. Email. Order Chinese food. Nap for 4 hours instead of sleep for 8. Repeat.
And then when it finally came time to quit my 9-5 job I thought I was home-free. I thought I’d be shooting all the time, going on vacation, taking time off, closing the office door at 5 and saying sayanora to my computer for the day. I thought that quitting meant I would finally have the freedom and flexibility I so desperately desired. I thought entrepreneurship was going to be…well?…Easier. (AHEM** – I was wrong.)
This was a better representation of my reality: I had quit my 9-5 job to work a 24/7 one. And I was sacrificing time for all the other great things in my life. Like my family. My boyfriend. My friends. Self-care. (What even is that!)
I knew things needed to change, but at the time, I wasn’t sure exactly what actions needed to taken. At the time, I was struggling with #allthethings.
- Culling was a nightmare. (You want me to go through HOW many photos?)
- Blogging was sporadic and inconsistent at best (and non-existent at worst).
- Editing took WEEKS. (Chained to a computer is not my idea of fun)
- Marketing was a laugh.
- My client experience was average at best. (I wasn’t wowing anyone getting their images back between 4-10 weeks after their wedding as promised.)
- And my social media game plan was not a thing.
I felt trapped. Like all the hopes and dreams I had of having freedom and TIME in my business and my life were slowly being crushed.
But then things changed. I found my stride.
And I developed my own, powerful systems and workflows to get ahead and get my LIFE back.
And doing so has helped me in numerous ways, like being able to:
- Take 7 weeks off throughout the year for vacations.
- Save approximately 30-40 hours PER WEDDING on my post-production workflow.
- Get my portrait workflow down to between 2-3 hours total.
- DOUBLE my income by creating raving fans in my business.
Building workflows and systems were the life rafts I was desperately crying out for in my business. I spent a long, long, long time figuring out all the ins and outs of a GREAT workflow. One that allows me to not just work in my business, but ON my business. They allow me to be PROACTIVE and not REACTIVE with my work.
They allow me to shift those percentages so that I’m living life and I’m behind a camera just as much as I’m behind a computer. Because LIFE and PHOTOGRAPHY is what I signed up for. Not sitting behind a screen for 18 hours a day.
So why are workflows and systems so essential for your business… what’s the real benefit of all this?
- They ensure nothing falls through the cracks with clients because we always know what’s been done or what has to be done in the future. When we don’t have workflows or systems, we can’t be fully prepared for what’s on our plate.
- They allow you to be efficient because you’re doing things the same way every time.
- They give you peace of mind and organization. (HALLELUJAH!)
- They help you give your clients an unforgettable, consistent experience worth raving about. You’ll be able to wow your clients, raise your prices, and increase your profits.
- They can literally help you 10x your productivity. I estimated that I saved about 35 hours a WEEK after building out my workflows and systems.
- They help you sustain business growth because you’re not in maintenance mode all the time.
- Most importantly, you’ll be able to spend more time with your family, your friends, and the other things that set your heart on fire.
- They’ll allow you to deliver your client galleries in record time.
- They drastically reduce the overwhelm and stress from your business processes.
- So much more. Seriously. They just help you save so much time so you can go out and LIFE YOUR LIFE outside of your devices and screens.
This is just the beginning, and part 1 of the series. Stay tuned next week for Part 2!!
Here’s to less work and more life, friend!!!