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. Hi, Friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And today I'm going to be walking through my photography client workflow, basically, the steps that my clients go through with me, you know, in the back end of things and so some of it I've talked about a lot things like my, you know, client experience guide, and my final info, email and stuff like that. But there's other backend pieces to my client workflow that I wanted to share with you guys. So we're gonna walk through that today. Before we get too far, I wanted to let you know about my free posing class. If you're a family photographer who struggles with posing either you're like not confident and you feel like you're winging it, maybe posing is like for sure your weakest link, whatever it may be, if you feel like you can level up your posing game in your family sessions, then this free class is for you, you can sign up today, I'll link it below or if you want to type it in. It's Rebecca rice The class is called the keys to effective family posing goodbye, awkward and stiff. So my goal is that you would walk away from that class with actionable steps that you can take in your very next family session when it comes to your posing. It's been so fun to hear the feedback from students that they watch this free class and then immediately, you know, they have a photo session that weekend, and they apply the stuff and see an immediate difference, which is so awesome. So I know that can be you. Go check out that class today. Okay. Um, so walking through my photography client workflow, I'm gonna do my best to explain how this looks. I know. Sometimes I'm more of a visual learner. And so when I was like thinking through this, I thought, Oh, I don't know if this should be a YouTube video instead. But I'm going to try to do it just as a podcast episode and walk you guys through this. So for my photography client workflow, I mentioned last week, the top five tools that I use in my business, one of those was Trello. Now Trello is how I keep everything organized in my business, from our blog, to our clients, to our social media, all the things. So we have a Trello card, that is my photography client workflow. This does not replace dubsado, we still have dubsado, which I'll get to in a second. But in Trello, every client has their own Trello card. So if you're not familiar with Trello, it's a free business management tool, you can go listen to last week's episode where I talk more about it, you can go check it out. But with Trello I have one board for my photography client workflow, and every client has their own Trello card. So they get their own card with their own basically massive checklist of all the things that we do to make sure that that client gets served well, outside of you know, dubsado. And when I do mini sessions, all of my minis, like one date of minis goes on one single card. So we don't have you know, 18 different cards for the mini sessions. We've
got one mini session card for each like set of minis. So in our Trello card, all pertinent information for that client goes on that card. Yes, it also goes in dubsado. But we like to have it in Trello. Also, because the way that we like kick off our workflows and stuff, and like the team members that are doing different pieces in my business, it just helps to have it in both places. So in the description of the card, we're putting the client's name, their email, the location of their session, you know the date and time, anything that we need to know quickly. All that information goes in the Trello card in the description. And I mentioned that that Trello card also has the massive checklist that we follow to make sure every client gets served well. So every little step that goes into the booking process of like filling out the form that we use to have their contract and invoice send and kick off the workflow in dubsado. We have our whole like leading up to the session. In, these are the things that we make sure happen, like making sure that their final payment was made. We have like three different checkpoints to make sure final payments are made. Even though dubsado sends out a reminder for final payments, we still have like three different checkpoints in our Trello card to make sure that that final payment gets made. Because last year, we ended up delivering galleries by accident to families that had not made their final payment, and we lost $10,000. I'm like not exaggerating. $10,000 of people that didn't pay final payments, but we delivered their galleries. Of course, we tried to get the final payment after but I mean, who's going to pay a final payment if they've already received the gallery? Yes, it's stealing. Yes, it's frustrating, but it happened. And so this year, we were very intentional to make sure that final payments get made. So anyway, that's like some of the checklist we have like our whole post processing from once we take the photos, we have to put the photos on our hard drive, back it up, call the photos, get them into Lightroom edit the photos, every single step that goes into post processing and delivering the gallery isn't a massive checklist on that clients card so that we know that every client goes through every single step and we don't miss something. So that's like our first part of our client photography workflow is Trello. So that's where we are keeping track to make sure every little piece gets done, our checklist has like I don't know, 50 items on it or something because we get very, very specific. And you know, you may think well, that's not really necessary, if it's like just do in your business. But I'm telling you one day, when you add other hands to the pot, you start outsourcing and maybe hire a virtual assistant or something like that, it's going to be so helpful to have this workflow written out so that you can teach somebody else how to do a portion of it. So anyway, that's Trello. That's like the main part of our workflow. Now I mentioned dubsado. So we send all of our contracts and invoices and any like additional emails, like the, you know, questionnaire, the client experience guide, that final info, email, all of that goes through dubsado. So all of our clients are housed in dubsado. And they get all their forms and everything, our clients don't have access to Trello. So while that's helpful information for us, dubsado is a great way for us to serve our clients well on the client. And so they can see all of that kind of stuff. So that goes through dubsado. From there, we have a private editor, and we use Lightroom classic CC to edit all of our images. So we sent basically put our images into Lightroom classic CC once they're ready to be edited. And then we include smart previews. And that's how we send them off to our editor. So we just send instead of having to send like all the raw images, that would be a pain to send to our editor, we actually just send the Lightroom catalog that has the smart previews, that basically allows our editor to edit the images without actually having the files. So they edit in Lightroom, they send it back and then we're able to go through and make like final tweaks in cropping or, you know, exposure or whatever. And then we can export our images from there. So once we do that, we deliver our galleries using shoot proof that is our gallery delivery system.
It is wonderful, I talk about it more in last week's episode, we will then upload all of our photos to shoot proof and deliver from there. We also upload a copy of our final edited images to Dropbox or to Google Drive, not Dropbox to Google Drive. So that's like a virtual backup for us. So we have like our hard copy on our hard drive, we have a virtual copy, not only in shoot proof, but also in Google Drive, just in case. And occasionally, like if I'm wanting to make a Facebook ad or something like that. And I don't have that hard drive with me, it's really nice to be able to go into Google Drive and find the photo that I'm looking for really easily without having to you know have access to my hard drive. So that's one reason we really like a virtual copy. There are other virtual backups that you can use. I've heard great things about stuff like Backblaze and stuff like that, for us Google Drive was just the easiest route to go. It's easiest to navigate and we just really enjoyed it. So we do not keep a virtual backup of our raw images. We do keep our raw files on the SD card until the gallery has been I think we keep them two weeks after the gallery has been delivered. So in the event that our hard drive crashes, we still have rods on the SD cards that we do not delete until two weeks after the session has been delivered. And then we deliver using shoot proof, which is just such an easy tool. And it goes really well with our clients. So that's our overall photography client workflow that they the back end of things. And just to like briefly recap, we have our big checklist in Trello. And then we have contracts, invoices, and automated emails in dubsado. We use Lightroom, classic CC for editing, and we deliver using shoot proof. Now, if you don't have all of these pieces right now, in your workflow, don't panic. It took us years to get all of this set up. When I first started, I wasn't using Trello, I wasn't even using dubsado, all I had was shoot proof. And I was using shoot proof to send our contracts and invoices, which if you didn't know, that actually is one of their features. It's not as robust of a CRM as dubsado. But if you're in your early stages, and you just don't need, you know, a big CRM, shoot proof will get the job done, you can send your contracts, you can send your invoices from there and center galleries. So it may be a good like starting point for you. I will say we did eventually outgrow it, where we got to the point that I was losing clients because it doesn't have a good like organization system. It doesn't have like good automations. So I was like manually trying to keep track of everybody. And eventually I did outgrow shoot proof for contracts and invoices, I still use it for gallery delivery. But we eventually had to move to dubsado to be able to keep track of our clients better. That's like our overview. I hope that was helpful for you. If any part of this was confusing, you're like Rebecca, I would really like to see this piece like visually how you do it in your like system, please let me know. And I can make a YouTube video about it to like, show you the visual side of it. I just figured I'd like try here first and see if I can explain it well. But if you're like Rebecca, that was mad, confusing, like, Please DM me on Instagram and let me know. And I can make a YouTube version walking through some of these pieces individually. I know that for us having a workflow in place like this has been so good, like so helpful to make sure that no client gets left behind that every client gets served well, and that they all experienced the same client experience. And so even if you start off with like a very simple version of a workflow, having something written out, like some kind of process that everybody goes through, is going to be really, really helpful to make sure all of your clients get served well and get served the same. So yeah, there you have it. Hopefully, like I said, hopefully this was helpful and not like super confusing. But if you have any questions, let me know and I'd be happy to help. So with that, we'll go ahead and sign off for today. And I hope you have an awesome rest of your week and I'll see you back this time next week. Bye guys.

85. My Photography Client Workflow