Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, then you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator and this is the business Journey podcast.
Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And today I'm going to be sharing the top five tools that I use in my business. So really excited to kind of pull back the curtain and show y'all how we do things gonna be great. Now before we get too far, I did want to let you know about my free posing class that is available right now to watch. If you feel like posing is your weakest link when it comes to family sessions. Or you're just like not super confident you feel like your clients are like awkward and stiff. Whenever you're posing them. You maybe you just need like fresh inspiration for family posing this class is for you. So it's called the keys to effective family posing goodbye awkward and stiff. So in the class I walked through, you know some things you want to keep in mind when you're posing. So my favorite posing, posing prompts and different ways that I post my families. So you can check that out, it's linked below or if you want to type it in, go to Rebecca rice And I know that that will be helpful for you. So be sure to check that out, especially as we're like getting into photographing fall sessions, it's a great time to implement what you learned. So go check out that posing class. Now let's dive into the top five tools that I use in my business. I'm sure if you've been around for a while most of these will not come as a huge surprise. But I still wanted to kind of peel back the curtain and talk through a few of these, just so that you can get a better understanding maybe of how we use them in our business. So the first one my absolute favorite tool that we use in our business. And also I should mention before I before I tell you the tools, all of them are going to be linked below. Some of them have discount codes attached if you want like to check it out at a discounted rate. But some of these are free. So you don't need a discount code. Okay, my first tool that I use my business is my absolute favorite is Trello. Now Trello is a free, like online business management tool you can join today completely free, and it is just wonderful. So this is how we keep everything in my business organized. I was like thinking back to like, how did I even get on Trello. And I think it's a mix of like I saw several of my favorite educators, they use Trello. And then I tried it and I really loved it. It's like an alternative to Asana. If you're familiar with Asana, I tried Asana, but I think I liked Trello better, because it's a lot more visual. To me there was like more flexibility and what I could use it for. So I love it. And then when my integrator cat join my team, she loves Trello. So at that point, we were like all in on Trello, because it just worked well for both of us. So we use Trello for absolutely everything from you know, planning our blog content to like my my photography client workflow, which I'm actually going to be talking through next week, my photography client workflow of what that looks like. But we plan everything, all the steps in Trello. So Trello has different boards that you can have. So like we have a blog Planning Board, we have a photography client, workflow board, I've got a mini sessions playbook board, things like that. And within each board, you can organize by lists, and then each list have little cards. And in the cards you can put like as many checklists as you want. And so any workflow that we have in our business is like housed in Trello, things like that. So it just helps especially as like I started growing my team. It was vital that we had our workflows and how to do things in our business, like how to optimize a blog for SEO. We have a checklist for that. And it used to just like live in my head. But as I started adding team members and outsourcing and things like that, it became so vital that it lives someplace outside of my own head. So if you've never this is like a side note, I wasn't even going to Talk about this. But if you've never written out your processes for how you do anything in your business and everything, like how to deliver a gallery, how to upload photos for your blog, or how to schedule your social media or whatever, even if it's just you right now, in your business, you're solopreneur, you don't have a team, I suggest highly suggest writing out your processes in something like Trello, so that you can keep track of it and just have it somewhere. That way, when you do start outsourcing, then you already have your processes written down, and you can easily onboard somebody and share it with them so that they know the steps to take if you want to take it one step further, you can use loom, which is also a free program that basically does like screen recordings. So we love loom because we do like a loom video walking through something and then write out the steps in a checklist so that if somebody learns visually, they can watch the loom. And if they like checklists, then they can follow the checklist. So that's Trello. And it's our all time favorite. I feel like I'm learning every day like new ways to use Trello. I know a few of my friends are also obsessed with Trello. So we like always, like bounce Tips and Tricks back and forth between each other. So if you like found a cool thing to do in Trello, like, please let me know because I will nerd out with you. But anyway, so that's Trello. The second tool that I use all the time in my business is dubsado. So dubsado is our CRM, it's our client relationship management tool. And it is where we house all of our clients, our contracts and invoices, any communication, we're doing one on one with our client, you know, like automated emails, sending our final info, email, client experience guide questionnaire, things like that, that's all housed in dubsado,
I don't know where I would be without my CRM, we would for sure lose clients,
we would forget about them, and it would be awful. So dubsado is just amazing. I've tried a lot of CRMs. And that one, to me so far, has the best automations. I've looked into other platforms, you know, I'm not married to one I'd be up to switching if something was better. But right now, at the time of this recording, dubsado has the best one. So we love it, and we use it for everything, you can check it out, I know I have a discount code for that. So it's linked below. The third tool that I use in my business all the time is shoot proof. So shoot proof is our gallery delivery system. And it is just wonderful. It is very user friendly. It is easy for clients to use, it's pretty. And it just gets the job done. I like it because it does things that some other like gallery delivery systems don't do, like set up automated email campaigns and things like that, if you're in any of my courses that talk about upselling you guys know how we set up our upselling through shoot proof. So it, it's just wonderful. If you have not tried shoot proof, there is a free option that you can try. And there's like a fairly cheap paid plan too. So the link below you can check it out that one, I don't think it includes a discount, but it is an affiliate link. So if you do choose to join, I'll get a small kickback. And that's just a really easy way to help support me in this podcast at no extra charge to you. So if you want to check that out, my link is below. The fourth tool that we use all the time in my business is Google calendars. I am a huge fan of Google calendars. And we probably have like way too many different Google calendars. Um, but that's okay. So we like separate all of our things out like I've got one Google Calendar just for promotional campaigns. So when we're doing like a print sale, or like Christmas in July, or whatever, like we've we have one calendars that we can see all those promotions really, really easily. I love Google Calendar, because it integrates beautifully with dubsado, which again, was my CRM. And so when I book a client on dubsado, I have it linked to my Google calendar so that it automatically gets added to my calendar so I can see it from my phone or from wherever. And it is wonderful and so easy to use. Google Calendar is my friend. And especially since we added our associate team, I know not everybody listening has an associate team. People have been really curious about it. So I'm trying to like talk about it more. We have an associate team with 18 photographers in like six different cities across the nation. And our associate team uses the Google Calendars a lot because each associate has their own Google Calendar, where they mark off their availability so that when we're booking sessions for them, we know when they're available and when they're not. We're able to link things like our client questionnaire whenever a client fills out their questionnaire. We put that link in the like notes portion of their event in Google calendar so that our associate can vary easily go in and see who the client is the location of their session. And they can grab that questionnaire link to read through their answers and stuff like that. So Google Calendar has been a game changer lifesaver for us. You can color code it, you can have different calendars for all kinds of stuff. If you want like to know, when your email campaigns are going out, or your social media or whatever, you can have Google calendars for those, we love it. And it's a great way to stay organized and visually see everything that's coming up. People have asked if I use like a physical planner, I do, I use a combination of my physical planner and my Google calendar. So I do use both side by side. Because I have a team, it's like even more important that I have a virtual calendar so that my team can see what's going on too. I'm just like a paper and pen kind of girl. So I have my own planner. And every week I sync up my physical planner with my Google planner for that week. And so I'll go in, add my write my events down that I have coming up whatever meetings I have, or photo sessions or whatever, I write it down in my physical planner. And then that's where I will like put my tasks and check things off in my fiscal planner too. So I do use them side by side. And it's just worked really, really well for me over the years. Okay, fell last tool, not the last one. But the last one I'm gonna talk about today. The last tool that I use in my business that I absolutely love is flow desk. Now flow desk is our email marketing system. And it is wonderful. I call it the Canva of email systems. Because it's so beautiful and so easy to use, I have a discount code for that linked below in the show notes if you want to check it out. But I had tried a lot of email marketing systems before flow desk and flow desk by far has been the best one, just because the templates were so beautiful. It's like drag and drop, really easy to use. And there's so much you can do with it. I literally recorded an entire episode about flow desk, let me go back and see it was episode 77. Do you want to go check that out and listen to that where I talk all about flow desk and why I love it and how I use it and things like that. But it has been just wonderful in my business and in, you know, communicating with clients and booking out mini sessions and things like that. So flow desk, people ask a lot like, what's the difference between email sent in flow desk versus email sent in dubsado. And I always say flow desk is for any mass emails. So if I'm sending something to a large group of people, that happens in flow desk, things like now booking for many sessions, that email would be a flow desk email. If I'm sending something one on one to somebody like their final info email before their session that is done in dubsado. That way, I can just like keep really clear records of like what emails have been sent to that client regarding their session, and everything is just all together and easy to find. So that's like the differentiator. But I'm a huge believer in email marketing. And you can hear more about that in episode 77 When I talked about flow desk, and how I use it. And so I highly, highly recommend starting an email list if you have not already. I won't get into that here. But go listen to that episode. And you'll hear why. Okay, so there you have it. Those are the top five tools that I use in my business. Yes, we use more, a lot more. But these are the top five that I felt like would be most helpful for you guys. So I hope that this was helpful for you just to like, hear how somebody else runs things in the business. And I know I'm always intrigued for that. So hopefully you guys were too. If you have any questions about any of those, feel free to DM me on Instagram and I would love to help answer it. You can find me at Rebecca rice photography. And we can chat about all the tools. It's like I am like a closet nerd. So I love all things nerdy. So I would love to like chat with you about Trello and stuff like that. But for sure, like take me up on that and you know, hopefully I can help whoever way I can. Cool well with that. We're gonna go ahead and close out for today and we'll see you back next week for another episode. Bye guys.

84. The Top 5 Tools I Use In My Business