If you’ve been following me for a few years now, you know that workflows are one of my FAVORITE topics to write, educate, and share about in my business. Heck, I’ve created an entire 8-module course all about workflows called Photography Workflow Mastery (ahem, the cart is now open for this course so click the link to learn more and get special pre-sale pricing!)
But, something that’s come to my attention lately is that not everyone is fully in the know about workflows and how they can transform your business. If you haven’t heard of or used workflows in your business yet, you might be wondering…what the heck is a workflow? And how does it work as part of my existing business structure? What does a workflow actually DO?
So today, I am here to clear things up and give you a better understanding of what workflows are and how they can help you automate and streamline your business.
So without further ado, let’s dive into some workflow basics!
What is a Workflow?
Think of a workflow as a recipe. A workflow includes all steps and/or resources you need to complete a project. It’s a repeatable task list and system for automating and streamlining everything for your client work.
Workflows allow you to automate tasks in your client project’s life cycle so you can automatically send out emails or certain file types at the cadence of your choice (i.e. send this email 10 days before the session)—so you don’t have to remember to.
What’s Included in a Workflow?
A workflow includes all communication, client experience, and admin tasks, as well as any tasks necessary to actually complete your service. Here is a comprehensive list of the “items” that make up a service based workflow.
- Chapter Headings / Stages of the Workflow:
- I like to view workflows in sections, or stages. Think of these like book chapter titles for each stage or “chapter” of your workflow.
- These would be the MAIN things under each chapter. The umbrella that holds all the subtasks for each section.
- Subtasks are the smaller, more detailed portions of your larger “main” task
- Due Dates
- Due dates on tasks and subtasks throughout our workflow help us to stay on track, and diligent in our performance during projects.
- Assignees (if applicable)
- Use this function in a workflow if you are assigning tasks to other team members
- Client Education
- Client education is could be useful information, advice, or blog posts as it relates to planning and preparing for their session with you
- Email Communication
- Any email communication (TEMPLATED out to save time!)
- Client Gifts
- What client gifts you send, what stages of the project you send them and reminders to prepare the gift when sending is around the corner
- Client Meetings
- Any client meetings you have throughout a projects life span
- Documents that need sending to clients (Pricing Guide, Brochures, Welcome Guides, Questionnaires)
What Type of Workflows Can You Create?
You can create a workflow for just about anything in your business that requires a step by step process for completion. A few examples of things you can create workflows for include:
- Photography Processes
- Blogging Process
- Newsletter Writing
- Answering Leads
- Social Media Routine
- Editing Videos
- Hosting a FB Live
Where Do Workflows Go?
Workflows live inside your CRM or Client Relationship Management software. No matter if you’re just starting out in business, or you’re 10 years in, it will be vital to your growth, your sanity, your client experience, and your business’s organization and efficiency to have a CRM in place.
A CRM is a client or customer relationship management software that has the ability to house all of your project data attached to client work in one place. From contracts to invoices, quotes, proposals, emails, questionnaires and more, your CRM is going to serve as your organizational hub for nearly every piece of information you need to convert clients, communicate with clients throughout their project, and retain long term loyalty with clients from beginning to end in their customer journey.
Having your business set up in a system like HoneyBook or another CRM will ensure that nothing is slipping through the cracks on your backend, and your clients end.
You’re able to take on, grow and expand your business to new heights because of how much easier it is to manage projects, and it’s an all-in-one-solution so you finally don’t have to use dozens of different tools for contracts, invoicing and everything else that comes with running a business.
Common Mistakes People Make When Creating Workflows
#1 – It’s not consistent
#2 – It’s not written down
#3- It’s not automated
#4 – It’s too broad (aka your tasks are too big)
#5 – There’s no deadlines
#6 – You are not communicating with your clients, enough
#7 – It doesn’t include any client education
#8 – You are not using templates for sending emails, questionnaires and brochures
Where Do I Start?
Well, I thought you’d never ask 😉Getting started with workflows can be intimidating and overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve been there. There are so many different steps and stages to the workflow, it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s why I’ve made it a mission of my business to offer different types of support to help creative entrepreneurs create, implement and use their workflows & systems to streamline their life and business. From DIY workflow templates to one-on-one coaching, I’ve got something for any creative who is looking to get started with workflows and learn how to use them to transform their business systems from hot-mess to hyper-efficient.
Click here to learn more about one-on-one coaching and done-for-you workflow implementation services. My team and I offer full service workflow creation + implementation into your CRM. We will walk you through creating all the steps of your individual workflow and then we will draft it and implement it for you! If you are looking to start using workflows immediately in your business, this is a great option to pursue.
Click here to learn more about my signature course, Photography Workflow Mastery. Photography Workflow Mastery is an 8-module, video based, go-at-your-own-pace course that gives you an in-depth step-by-step guide for every single aspect of your photography business. This photographer’s workflow A-Z will help you get streamlined and start running an efficient, profitable business that doesn’t make you cry of overwhelm.
The Laura Lee Creative Shop is FULL of helpful tools & templates for photographers including individual workflows + templates (i.e. the post-production workflow or wedding photography email templates) all the way to workflow bundles that include the complete wedding + portrait workflow templates. If you are interested in doing a self-guided, DIY workflow implementation, this is a great place to start!