Why Workflows Were a Lifesaver for Sara France & Made ShootQ Her First Choice

Photo: Sara France

 

Photo: Sara France

Before finding ShootQ, Sara France was drowning in spreadsheets to track tasks, and wanted workflows that enabled her – and her team – to stay organized without passing bulky files back and forth.

Now that she has ShootQ, she’s able to automate almost everything!

Her studio’s workflows are automated. Everything from invoices, emails, to new lead generation is automated and cloud-based.

According to Sara, “I didn’t want to do that work and needed to focus on growing my business. It’s much more efficient and takes less time. I don’t know how anyone has a studio without this program.”

In this case study, we’ll take a look at Sara France’s business and explore the ways that:

• In order to focus on growing your business, it’s important to have a solid management solution in place • Taking the time upfront saves countless hours over the long haul  • Cloud-based services allow photographers to access key …

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Case Study: Why ShootQ Makes Sense for Anne Almasy

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Photo: Anne Almasy

Anne’s search for a solution that would streamline her growing photography business led her to ShootQ. Because of ShootQ, Anne has been able to set up a faster booking process, better contract management, and streamlined business operations.

In this case study we’ll explore:

• Why early investments in your business do make a difference. • How keeping track of your business in one place, with access from anywhere, streamlines operations. • Why it’s important to find the best solution to manage a thriving photography business. • How to quantify the savings ShootQ provides.

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How to Track New Client Inquiries with ShootQ

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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 …

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One Photographer’s Journey from Part-Time to Full-Time

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When I started my part-time professional photography career, in the days of film photography (2001), I didn’t have higher aspirations to become a full-time photographer. I already had a full-time job in the corporate world, so I was perfectly content photographing on the side, especially since photography income was not paying my bills.

There’s a very different mindset for someone who does something on the side (and makes extra income) versus someone who does photography full-time. It’s not just the obvious things, like more expenses, etc. I think it’s also the way you think about photography – not just as a hobby, but as a business. As a full-time photographer, all the decisions you make affect what you do as a photographer.

The thing is, as a part-time photographer, I wasn’t seeking work. It just came to me. I was working for another studio, assisting with wedding and commercial jobs as well …

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How to Build a Studio Team

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When I started my business, I was solo, working out of my apartment while working a 9-5 job too. Needless to say, it was hectic. So I knew that IF I went full-time as a professional photographer, I couldn’t do it alone.

I am a people person; I love working in collaboration with others. So I knew that building a studio team would be essential to both my success AND my happiness. Today, I have three associate photographers who work in my office, helping me manage my studio.

Do you want to build a studio team?

A team looks sexy, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering adding photographers or staff to your growing studio, ask yourself a few key questions.

Do you want to be a boss? Managing a team means setting deadlines, dress codes, company policies and occasionally having to discipline them. Do you want to make more money? If that’s the …

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What I Learned from Buying a Commercial Studio Space

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As a multiple photographer studio, I quickly learned that having my staff work out of my home wasn’t the best option. Who wants their team members wandering around when you’re trying to finish breakfast? But I was still scared to death when I signed my first three-year lease for a 600 square foot space at over 600 dollars a month. What I didn’t realize was that during the next three years, I would grow my dream then BUY my own studio space. Here’s what I learned from buying a commercial studio space.

Why buy?

I hate paying someone else money. Doesn’t everyone? I’d rather invest in my own future. Buying a commercial space for my studio meant lower overhead for my business. A mortgage is typically less per month than rent.

Consider these questions I had to ask myself:

Should I buy a BIG building and then sub-lease space(s) to other businesses? Or, should I buy a …

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How to Create a Home-Based Photography Studio: Part 3

In Part One of this series, we discussed reasons for creating a home-based photography studio. In Part Two, we shared the Studio Self-Inventory, a list of questions that identified your priorities before getting started on your own studio project. Now, I have our finished studio to share with you, along with specific solutions we are using to maximize our space.

My first home-based photography studio was a converted spare bedroom. That 10’x12’ room felt VERY tiny, but it got the job done for baby and toddler sessions. It was also a great way to fine-tune my wish list for a bigger space. If you are itching for a studio but don’t have the budget for a renovation or addition, consider using space you already have while saving money for your dream studio. After having a small studio you will be that much more prepared to identify your priorities when you’re ready …

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The Fantasy vs. Reality of Becoming a Professional Photographer

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When we fall in love with photography, we go on an amazing journey of self-discovery and creative expression. Some of us begin to imagine a career as a professional photographer, filled with days of capturing glorious sunsets in remote locations across the globe, or attending glamorous parties and living the high life, all the while getting paid to do what we love. What a dream!

And it can be, absolutely. But for most of us, it takes many years of hard work, long hours, little pay and lots of business and marketing savvy in order to truly realize the dream.

One of the main reasons I started Photomint and decided to write Photography Business Secrets: The Savvy Photographer’s Guide to Sales, Marketing, and More is to counteract all the “feel-happy” business advice out there that highlights the glamour and omits the reality. There is a lot of fantasy concepts floating around, and …

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9 Ways We Survived and Beat Burning Out as Wedding Photographers

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I wasn’t sure I wanted to write this. I mean, even if it’s in the past, who wants to admit to burnout? What will our clients think? What does that say about us? I don’t ever want anyone to feel like we gave them any less than our very best and we have a reputation to uphold after all! But ultimately, I decided this was worth writing because I see a lot of burnout out there. It’s all over the place and I feel like we owe it to our clients to work together to push through it and provide them with something awesome, regardless of how we personally feel. If our story can help someone else do that for their clients, that’s all that matters. If our story can encourage someone who is currently burned out – to help them see that there is a light at the end …

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Why Photographers Outsource (and what it says about their business)

In talking with photographers about post-production work over the past few years, I’ve found that there are three primary reasons for outsourcing this work. What’s more, the reasons for doing so evolve over time and are often indicative of the photographer’s business maturity.

See if any of these reasons resonate with you.

“I’m so busy I will never get all this work done….what was I thinking?.….my clients will kill me….so will my family & friends, if I have any left. Heck, I’ll be happy if I just live through this…I can’t answer another ‘where are my images?’ question. HELP!”

We tend see more of these cases as the photography season advances. There were good intentions to get acquainted with an editor earlier, but there wasn’t that much work then and the photographer did it all. Now things have backed up and clients are getting frustrated.

This is where outsourcing post-production work can be a …

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