How to Track New Client Inquiries with ShootQ by Leeann Marie

Managing leads in a studio can be difficult: multiple clients to track, responses to send, and information flying everywhere! Winning a wedding or portrait client’s business is a big deal – so what’s the best way to get them to sign on the (electronic) dotted-line? First you have to get their attention, and keep it!

I’ve heard multiple times from brides that a quick response is greatly appreciated, and the smartest sales tool out there is the art of the follow-up! How can you get both?

ShootQ Lead Workflows help you easily manage your leads, respond quickly with the click of a button, and maintain communication with your promising inquiries.

ShootQ has the capability of managing your leads in a simple lead “bucket” system. I always encourage my ShootQ clients to use the categories that have been set up for them as much as possible. It can be easy to forget who is …

Read more →

5 Rules for Better Website Design by Leeann Marie

Your website is your storefront, and in today’s marketplace it’s increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd in a virtual world. Consumers are bombarded with web-content on a daily basis, so keeping your audience’s attention is challenging.

As a professional photographer, you may be working harder and harder to drive traffic to your website. Perhaps Facebook, Pinterest, and SEO are guiding prospective clients to your work, but once they are on your website are you able to keep them there?

Making your website simple, easy to navigate, and user-friendly will increase your chances of converting visitors to fans, or (even better) paying clients.

Consider 5 areas of website navigation and design:

Tell them who you are: Post your logo and location in a highly-visible area. There’s nothing worse than coming to a website and not knowing if you’re in the right place, who owns the content, or even where they are located in …

Read more →

Best Business Practices: Part 2 by Leeann Marie

Since Spring is here, we’re sharing a series of Best Business Practice posts featuring the team of ACEs. Get to know them and learn how their tips and tricks will streamline your studio this season! As any ACE will tell you, the reality is you can’t do it all. Successful photographers understand this, which is why they begin with a clear vision for their business.

Start by asking “Why?”

The most valuable question you’ll ask throughout the lifetime of your business is “Why?” When you’ve established a clear purpose and goals for your business, frequently asking yourself why you do what you do will hold you accountable to your overall vision and keep your business on track for success!

So, why do you do what you do? First identify what your business “stands for.” List the top five things you want your business to stand for and edit your list until you have one statement that accurately …

Read more →

5 Ways Workflows Saved my @$$…and could save yours too! by Leeann Marie

Since Spring is in the air, we’re kicking off a series of Best Business Practice posts from the tried-and-true team of ACEs. Get to know them on The Photo Life and learn how their tips and tricks can help streamline your studio!

I’ve tried my hardest to keep a mental to-do list. Laying in bed at night, thinking of all of the things that need to get done and promising myself, “Yes, I will definitely be able to remember this in the morning if I just make the list into a rhyme.” And inevitably, so many of my to-do’s were to-forgotten’s!

Business can be overwhelming, especially when working with numerous clients over the course of the year. You are in charge of keeping track of new leads, wooing potential clients, contacting upcoming clients and remembering to place product orders all at the same time. That’s a daunting to-do list to keep in order, but …

Read more →

Pinterest for Wedding Photographers by Leeann Marie

Continuing the social media theme this month, The Photo Life team is sharing another helpful article about how photographers can use Pinterest to market their business and engage with their clients. Many photographers have asked us to keep sharing info about this new social network that’s spreading like wildfire! Special thanks to Wendy Roe and Matt Herron for their contributions to social media mega month!

The social media to-do list gets longer every day. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging it seems like there are a lot of platforms on the modern wedding photographer’s daily list. Well, get ready, because there is one more to add – Pinterest.

Since Pinterest hit the social media scene it has become hugely popular with home decorators, exercise and beauty buffs, and above all, brides. It’s the new “place to go” for wedding inspiration, so wedding photographers in a moving marketplace should get familiar with the platform quickly …

Read more →

Consistency is King by Leeann Marie

The wedding and portrait photography market relies heavily on referrals, and one way to ensure that each referral is just as happy as their family member or friend who sent them to you is to provide an equally consistent experience. If you’re unsure of where to begin, consider the following: Products:

Are you ordering from the same vendors each time? Are you creating consistent products, so that two clients would see no difference if compared? Are you following the same process for designing albums, with policies to refer to if necessary? 

Pricing:

Is your price range on your website the same as it is when you send your client pricing? Does it all end in .00 or .99? Pick one. Are there logical jumps in pricing, and are your packages clear and to the point? Are the products listed out in the same order every time? How often are you changing your pricing?

Emails:

Are you direct, clear, and concise …

Read more →

Thumbtack: The Theory of Goals, Systems, and Making them Stick! by Leeann Marie

Leeann is a ShootQ Accredited Consultant (or ACE). Contact her to schedule a custom ShootQ consultation!

You’ve taken the time to write down your goals, whether that be on your favorite little notepad, in an elegantly worded blog post, or in the back corners of your mind. These goals are where you want to be, and where you envision your business to stand in the next few months or years.

But how do you make them a reality? That’s always the tough part, isn’t it? Moving your big goals into realized dreams is one of the most difficult parts of being a business owner and entrepreneur, but it’s done over and over again by some of the most successful people in the industry. What’s the key? Or better yet, what makes them stick?

Thumbtack is the theory behind turning goals into realities. The tip of the thumbtack is your ultimate goal. It’s that …

Read more →

Stop Wasting Time, Money and Energy in Your Business! by Leeann Marie

Leeann is a ShootQ Accredited Consultant or ACE. Contact her to schedule a custom ShootQ consultation!

It’s 2012, and a new year is here! A new year naturally brings changes, goals, and new adventures. Typically, as a business owner, the new year also brings a time to examine your business and asses how you can make changes – it’s a great time for improvement!

One way to approach change in the new year is to look at the way you do things in your business. Everything – from emailing to editing to shooting – is a process in your business, and every process inherently contains waste. There’s no getting around it – whether you are wasting time, money, or energy, there is always room for improvement.

Not sure where to start? Try using the WORMPIT technique to identify wasteful areas in your business.

W: Waiting. How can you reduce the amount of time spent waiting on images to …

Read more →

Dazzle Your Clients in 2012 by Leeann Marie

Leeann is a ShootQ Accredited Consultant or ACE. Contact her to schedule a custom ShootQ consultation!

It’s almost the new year, and booking season is right around the corner. New clients are knocking, and it’s our chance to dazzle them with the client experience.

In a world where word of mouth means everything, it’s no longer good enough as a growing business to just do an OK job. We need to “Wow!” our customers by exceeding their expectations.

This process of customer satisfaction can be illustrated in two distinct areas:

The Expected: Clients expect great pictures, prompt email or phone responses, and beautiful products with on-time delivery. They hire a professional to meet all of those expectations. For those who wish to charge peak prices, high prices come with high client demands. The expected area of customer satisfaction can be illustrated as “Duh!” or “Of course, that’s what I paid your for!”

The Excitement: Creating …

Read more →

I’m Not an Editor! A Case for Outsourcing. by Leeann Marie

Let’s be clear: I’m not an editor.

I was never trained to be an editor and I only know what I’ve picked up through various workshops, manuals, and online training.

But, like many photographers, I tried to be for awhile!

My editing style was somewhat consistent, but always based on “what looked good that day.”  I was falling into the never-ending pitfall of purchasing the latest and greatest actions to “play” with my photos. While it sounds like fun (and sometimes was), the images on my blog and my website were starting to look very inconsistent. Plus, I had no idea whether an image was bright because it was a sunny day in my office or because I had done something wrong in post-production.

In order to maintain a sustainable and profitable business, I knew I needed to produce work that was always consistent and beautiful! So, I started considering outsourcing editing. Once I learned …

Read more →