I have so much trouble giving things up. Seriously, I didn’t hire my first Virtual Assistant until this year. For this very reason, I developed a photography schedule workflow so that it’s super efficient. When you’re doing EVERYTHING yourself, you don’t really have time to waste.
Raise your hand if you have control issues! Me in the corner raising both hands.
My old photography schedule 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.
For every single client, I literally did every one of those steps before the session was even considered booked.
Now, I want to explain to you how I 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: Photography schedule workflow
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 2020, I looked at my client booking process and researched how I could make it more efficient. Seven steps seem a bit ridiculous, and I didn’t want to continue to waste my time doing the same thing over and over.
I decided to try Acuity Scheduling and oh my gosh my life got so much simpler. Now instead of seven steps, I have one. Yes, you read that right. One step.
All I have to do now is schedule hair and makeup with my makeup artist. Easy peasy.
I’m now able to get so much more done. Things like photographing more clients, marketing, advertising, blog writing, idea creating. These are the things that can make more money and bring in more clients- the things we SHOULD be worrying about.
Why would we continue to waste our time on things that aren’t bringing in more clients OR spending more time with our family and friends?
Why should you look at your photography schedule workflow so you can improve it?
You need to look at your photography schedule workflow 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 photography schedule workflow gives you more time to work on goals in your business because you aren’t spending all of your time doing those time-consuming tasks. 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’re all semi-afraid of
Freeing up your time in small areas like scheduling clients will also help to prevent burnout. We see photographers every day who are closing their business because they’re tired and just not making enough money to survive.
Little things like improving your photography schedule workflow and process will give you more time to get away from business so you can enjoy your life.
As I always say, build sustainable freedom in your life so that you’re 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’re definitely not going to be saying “I wish I spent more time working instead of making those memories.”
It also allows time to be creative with your business, or passion projects as I like to call them. 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’re spending all of your time in your email trying to book or check in with upcoming clients!
Scheduling clients is one of those time-consuming but VERY important tasks. Condensing your photography schedule workflow by using software that can do almost everything 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 work on the projects that bring in money or work ON your business instead of IN it.
Perfecting your scheduling workflow will help you find work-life balance. I promise, it’s super important for your business and your sanity.
Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.