I'm a bit of a systems junkie and for good reason. When you're a one person team you've got to maximize every minute of your day. Entrepreneurs don't have time to waste on disorganization. Great systems allow you to grow your business and keep super happy clients coming back for more time and time again. Read on for the 5 business tools I can't live without. Most have discount codes or will have one coming soon.
Honestly I was a hot mess before Dubsado came into my life. My business was a chaos of email and documents being shared from random platforms. The client phone calls and consultations happening randomly throughout the day with endless back and forth was eating up way too much time. The secure online contracts and client portal were the first thing that drew me in. Then I got really excited about the embedded forms on my website that bring new inquiries directly into the CRM system.
The ability to easily keep track of each project is invaluable. And there are so many other goodies like scheduling, calendar syncing, Quickbooks syncing, task boards with tasks you can assign to different team members. But the real winner for most entrepreneurs is the automation. You can automate emails to remind clients of payments that are due or send them questionnaires they need to complete.
Not only is Dubsado a fantastic home base for your business, the company itself is just bom. The basis of their business is kindness, friendliness, and great customer service. Long, long ago when I was first looking into CRMs I had trial accounts for all the major ones. Being with Dubsado is like going to work every day with the most awesome entrepreneurs you could image. They are literally always there to answer any questions you have. Dubsado is what made me a systems junkie. In fact, I love it so much I studied it and am now offering Dubsado Done For You, a complete streamline and setup of your system. So, if you're interested but don't have the time to learn a whole new system check that out at the link below.
Flodesk is the email marketing platform of your dreams. Back when I had Mailchimp I never ended up sending out emails because the system is too hard to use. With Flodesk I quickly make beautiful marketing emails that people actually open and read. If you're new to email marketing the Flodesk University is a fun place to learn. The templates are already beautiful and easily customizable to match your branding. The Email signup forms are quick to make and embed in your website. Segmenting my audience is one of the biggest features in my book. It's what originally brought me to Flodesk. Because I offer different types of services it's important that subscribers get only the type of emails they're interested in. Thanks to Flodesk email marketing doesn't take up a lot of time and isn't complicated. I probably wouldn't be doing any email marketing without Flodesk.
I also offer complete Flodesk setup or design and copy for individual email sequences.
I really struggled for a while to find a gallery delivery service I liked. Some are too expensive while missing key features I wanted. CloudSpot takes a few steps out of the gallery delivery process. My galleries are exported right from Lightroom. I can tag the galleries to keep them organized and easy to find. I import any necessary contacts and send out delivery emails. Reminder emails automatically send to clients at whatever timing I decide.
Complete control over deliverables
Ok, now here's where it gets good! In CloudSpot each gallery is actually called a 'Collection'. From the main collection you then create a 'Gallery' to deliver to the client. CloudSpot is the only gallery service that allows you to create as many different galleries from one set of images as you want. Why is this so cool? Because you can create a gallery to deliver to your wedding couple with one set of download parameters and then create a different gallery with say only the 'Getting Ready' images to delivery to the vendors.
Let's say you want to allow the vendors download access and not your client. That's easily done because every gallery has all of it's own settings and parameters. Then create another gallery from that same 'Collection' with only your absolutely favorite images and without download access to show in your 'Portfolio'. And speaking of the 'Portfolio' section, your shoots are labeled with categories so viewers only see what they're interested in.
Just like you can create as many different galleries within a 'Collection' as you want, you can also create as many 'Storefronts' as you want. Different 'Storefronts' can include different products and be linked to different labs.
CloudSpot integrates with Dubsado, so I can delivery gallery links right in Dubsado and they remain easy for my client to find in the client portal. CloudSpot also integrates with Plann, a social media scheduling service (more on that below). I quickly plan my social media calendar by accessing my CloudSpot galleries from within Plann.
Less client confusion-simple downloads
User friendly for you and the client
Beautiful gallery & interface
Automated reminder/marketing emails
Set custom storefronts with multiple labs for each gallery
Unlimited deliverable galleries from one Collection
0% commission from sales
Clients design their own albums right in galleries
Custom mobile apps
Integrates with Dubsado
Integrates with Plann for easy social media marketing
Images run through JPEGmini
Features I can't live without
*Affiliate program coming soon!
I have a background in social media marketing so I'm very familiar with the major social media scheduling services. When I found Plann I was pretty blown away by all the features and the competitive price. Plann is the social media scheduling app that actually teaches you how to market on social media as you use it. You'll find all the usual features included in most similar services like the ability to schedule and autopost content to all your social media channels and saved hashtag lists.
Plann has some very unique features you won't fine elsewhere. The copy ideas and content prompts based on your industry or purpose of posting make writing copy so much easier. They are the only scheduler that integrates with a gallery delivery service (CloudSpot) to easily schedule content right from the photography work you've already delivered. But they also integrates with many other services like Canva so you can pull your content right in. They even integrate with several stock photography sites to provide free content. The results section (analytics) also includes some unique features like an analysis of what colors tend to perform best for you. My favorite feature is the strategy section which allows you to visually understand and plan your unique strategy.
The Insta Retreat
If you're interested in learning how to market on Instagram in a truly authentic (yes, I know that word is so overused these days) way I highly recommend this course by the wonderful Sarah Tasker. I followed her on Instagram and then listened to her Podcast for years before taking her course. Her voice and her style is so down to earth, so real, and so soothing. Thanks to taking her course, I'm now part of a global community of wonderful heart-centered entrepreneurs and creators. There are weekly live coaching calls with Sarah and you get access to the course for life. She is always updating the course and content so you can rejoin the course every year if you want. The Insta Retreat isn't just for entrepreneurs. It's a fun course to take if you want to be inspired to take more meaningful photographs to share with the world.
Share this story