It’s come to my attention over the last several months through coaching and workshops there are a lot of photographers who are making more work for themselves than they need to. When you start looking at successful companies that are growing, there is something that they all use…. a client management system. Years ago, I realized that my spread sheets and google calendar reminders that I set to REMIND my clients of payments was work that I shouldn’t be doing. It wasn’t profitable in the slightest!!
Why was I taking the time and energy to mark the calendar and then schedule emails to remind clients to send a payment that I was going to have to then process, record and invoice? There are dozens of programs that will do this for me!
So, today I want to introduce you to the program that is the very reason we have never hired an office manager, ShootQ. At workshops, I teach that if I didn’t use ShootQ, I would have to hire an employee! It’s that simple. ShootQ does the everyday tasks of a secretary and then some!
So what all does ShootQ do and why does it save me time? Here’s a list of all of the ways we utilize ShootQ! And p.s. I must add that I don’t even use ALL of ShootQ’s tools… some of them just don’t fit into my systems but it’s still worth it! :
BOOKING PROPOSALS: When a client gets to the point where they are ready to seal the deal (and even if they aren’t 100% sure yet!), I can create an online booking proposal in ShootQ for them to review. It includes their package, travel fees, the contract, and a breakdown of payments and when they will be due. I have a time limit on booking proposals so that they can’t sit on them forever. They expire after a certain number of days.
BOOKING NEW CLIENTS (ALL ONLINE!): Once a client looks over their booking proposal, they can easily book online. They sign an online contract, they pay their deposit and then that comes to me and I sign the contract and it’s OFFICIAL! Once we see this come through in ShootQ, we add the “New Booking Workflow” card on Trello (to Michael’s Board, because he handles all of this stuff!). Don’t know what TRELLO is?! Oh man! Read about it HERE!
CLIENT ACCOUNTS: As soon as clients book, we send an automated email that shares about the timeline for booking an engagement session, how excited we are to work with them AND it gives them a link and password to their client account where they can update wedding day information (addresses, number of bridal party members, cell phone numbers, vendors, etc.) AND they can make payments at any time.
RECEIPTS AND INVOICING: I have a rule in my business that I don’t like to talk about money. That’s not fun and because I’m not a saleswoman, I don’t enjoy it. I like taking pictures and creating an experience for our couples… I don’t like emailing about payment reminders. Everything is automated so that when a payment is late, the client knows that it isn’t ME that is reminding them, it’s the system. I hardly EVER have to talk about late payments or invoicing issues with clients and I love that! They just pay online and immediately have a professional receipt that they can print and file away.
AUTOMATED QUESTIONNAIRES: Part of the booking workflow includes Michael scheduling the new KJ couple’s questionnaire to go out 8 weeks before the big day. So what does this mean for me? I NEVER think about questionnaires until it’s time to review them and make sure that the timeline is correct. I don’t have to remember to send them out and I get an email whenever my couple responds to their questionnaire! I have it in my Monthly Duty Day list to check my client’s questionnaires a month in advance to avoid mis-communication. Read about our Monthly Duty Day HERE!
MOBILE FRIENDLY!: Now ShootQ knows that for the longest time, their APP had some issues. However, it was recently updated and is working much better. We love this because we have all of our client’s information at our fingertips constantly! We also have the questionnaires on hand at any given moment as well! Lets say for some reason we left their folder in the car during the ceremony and now it’s time for family formals and I don’t have the list. Michael will pull up their questionnaire on his phone and the problem is solved!
PROJECTED INCOME: With a couple of clicks, I can see our projected income at a glance and this is so helpful in the midst of the slower seasons! I totally get that spreadsheets can do this for you! However, with spreadsheets, you are responsible for recording payments and income… with a client management software, you never think twice about that stuff!
ADDITIONAL ORDERS: Say my client wants to buy an album or upgrade it later. It’s very simple to add an order onto an account. This could also be because you need to be reimbursed for a mileage fee! It’s very simple to add on another invoice to a client’s account!
EMAIL TEMPLATES: I’ll admit, it takes a while to set this whole system up. That is everyone’s big hangup with systems like this. However, once it’s set, you’re FREE! :) I love that we have about 6-7 templates pre-made for all of our ShootQ emails and they are stored right within the system!
ShootQ is just one of many system out there that will transform your office life. We have used ShootQ for over 5 years now and we honestly haven’t needed anything more!!! If you are spending your valuable time with client management tasks, do yourself a favor and let a program do it FOR YOU!! :) You’re welcome in advance! And ps! Click here and you can try SHOOTQ for two months for FREE!!!
This shoot was supposed to happen about a month earlier on the exact day that leftover rains from a hurricane swept through Washington. I’m so thankful we rescheduled! Our reschedule date was absolute perfection! The temperature, the glow, the locations…. it was beautiful! Tyler and Abby’s outfit choices were wonderful and the leaves were full of color and still hanging on the trees.
When Michael and I were in our early years of dating, I would go on trips with his family for Thanksgiving and summer trips to West Virginia and I spent time with his cousins! “Bri-Bri” was so little! He’s the youngest of all of the cousins and it’s crazy to think that he’s old enough to be getting MARRIED! He’s actually older than we were when we got married!! We have known Shannon for years and we were THRILLED when we heard that Brian had proposed because we always hoped that would happen!!!
Maybe it’s just me…. but I feel like this fall is FLYING by! It seems like just the other day that I was sharing about three more KJ Students who are doing amazing things in their businesses! Well, this weeks marks the beginning of November and I have three amazing students to introduce you too!!!
This session is beautiful… if I do say so myself! It’s colorful, it’s vibrant, it’s full of joy and it’s also LONG! It’s a lengthy post because I just had so many favorites and I absolutely loved my time with these two last week! Paige, like a lot of our brides, is a photographer herself! She’s talented, full of life, energetic and creative. I felt the pressure to take this location that she knows well and make it look fresh and knew to her!! Nikhil is an audio engineer for Apple (which we think is fascinating!) and despite hardly ever wearing a suit, he wore one for Paige and made all of her outfit dreams come true!
I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!
Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!