I have so much trouble giving things up, but because of that, I have developed my workflow so that it is super efficient…Although, my photographer’s scheduling workflow wasn’t efficient until recently.
Raise your hand if you have control issues! **Raising both hands over here.
My old photographer’s scheduling workflow
Before December 2018, I literally had SEVEN steps to booking one client.
- Email with the client to choose a date/time.
- Schedule the session in my software.
- The invoice and hope the client pays.
- A separate questionnaire.
- A separate contract.
- Schedule hair and makeup.
- Send a separate booking email with all the information the client needs prior to the session.
I seriously did all of that before the session was considered booked. Can anyone else relate?
So, I want to explain to you how I now have my booking process down to two steps, what software I used to do this, and why it’s important for you to look at your processes and where you can improve.
Efficiency: Photographer’s scheduling
The business dictionary definition of streamline: to improve the efficiency of a process, business or organization by simplifying or eliminating unnecessary steps, using modernizing techniques, or taking other approaches.
Every year, I look at different areas of my business I want to work on improving. In December, I looked at my client booking process and researched how I could make it more efficient. Seven steps seem a bit ridiculous don’t you think?
I decided to try Acuity Scheduling and oh my gosh my life got so much simpler. Now instead of seven steps, I have two. Yes, you read that right. TWO steps.
All I have to do now is send the contract using HelloSign after the client books(and pays) and schedule hair and makeup. Easy peasy.
This lets me get so much more done. Things like photographing more clients/marketing/advertising/blog writing/idea creating. The things that can make more money and bring in more clients- the things we SHOULD be worrying about.
Why should you look at your scheduling process so you can improve it?
Because why wouldn’t you want more time in your day? If you have a process that is time efficient and condensed down to as few steps as possible, not only will you have time to work on more things in your business, but it also prevents things like unsigned contracts or unpaid invoices floating around. Both super important things to keep your business going and safe.
An efficient photographer’s scheduling process gives you more time to work on your goals in your business because you aren’t spending all of your time doing those time-consuming tasks. And it gives you more time behind the camera doing the thing you ACTUALLY love to do. The reason you started this business at all.
Burnout: That real thing we all are afraid of
Freeing up your time in small areas like scheduling clients will also help to prevent burnout. We see photographers every day closing their businesses because they are tired and just not making enough money to survive.
Little things like improving your photographer’s scheduling process(and so much more) will give you more time to get away from photography so you can enjoy your life. This is so necessary. Be the person who works to live. Not the person who lives to work. Maybe it’s cliche, but give yourself time to make some memories with friends and family. When you get older, you are definitely not going to be saying “I wish I spent more time working instead of making those memories.”
It will also give you time to be creative with your photography. We all get in slumps. Sometimes you just need to carve the time into your schedule to create something different you can be proud of. You can’t do that if you are spending all of your time in your email trying to book your upcoming clients!
Scheduling clients is one of those time-consuming but VERY important tasks. Condensing your client scheduling workflow by using software that can do all the things for you will make your life so much easier, help you be more efficient in your scheduling, prevent burnout, and give you more time in your day to photograph more clients or work ON your business instead of IN it.
Perfecting your photographer’s scheduling workflow will help you find work-life balance. I promise it’s super important for your business and your sanity.