Do you ever get to a session and realize you don’t even know the names of the people you’re photographing? Or oops, you forgot to send the invoice until this morning so you haven’t been paid?
I’ve definitely been there and felt so embarrassed! There are just so many moving pieces and bits and pieces of communication that have to go out before a session. And when you are managing multiple clients at a time it’s inevitable that you’re going to forget something.
That is, unless you have the right systems in place. When I learned that I didn’t have to have a ton of different softwares to do things like send emails, questionnaires, contracts and invoices, and instead could have a CRM (or client relationship management) tool that would do it all and even automate it? That was a game changer.
On this week’s podcast episode, I’m sharing more about how a CRM helped my photography business and made me look more professional, allowing me to charge those higher rates with integrity. I specifically get into why I chose Dubsado and what I love about it too!
If you need a system in your business to help you get all of those behind the scenes things in place, the Dubsado Summer Sale is on now. You can save an additional 30% on your first purchase on top of the sale price with my code ‘dearkate’.
Have questions about Dubsado and if it’s the right system for you? Hit reply and ask away! I’m happy to help!
p.s.I’m working on some one-click templates so you can have beautiful forms to share your pricing and questionnaires with your clients without all of the design work! Take a sneak peek below!
About Kate Hejde
Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps photographers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success. Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through courses, group coaching, and 1:1 mentoring.
When I first started my photography business, I was piecing together all kinds of free software or low cost software to try and keep track of my clients. I was using PayPal for invoices. I was using Google forms or. Jot form or mach forms, all different solutions to try to keep track of contracts and questionnaires. And then my email system was a total mess of all of those things and trying to keep all of those parts and pieces together for clients was a disaster. I was also using PDFs to send clients my pricing information and half the time they didn’t know how to download a PDF or view a PDF and a lot was getting lost in translation. Which is where in stepped, a client relationship management tool or a CRM. I have tried a few different ones over the years. The first one that I messed with was 17 hats. Then I spent a lot of time on Pixify and finally moved into Oh, which is my current favorite and has been my favorite for several years now. So much so that I have become a certified specialist for Dubsado. Today I want to talk to you about what a CRM can do for you and specifically why I love Dubsado. So let’s get into it. One of the biggest things a crm does for you is help you keep track of inquiries and clients with a CRM. Your client inquiries are coming into the CRM and you’re sending out your pricing information, your contract, your questionnaire, your invoice, all of that, from this one program. So your going from all of those parts and pieces from different programs into one software that does that all. This helps you keep all of the parts and pieces for that one client tied into one file basically, within that software. So no more searching through your emails to try to find where that questionnaire was. Did I send that questionnaire? Where’s their invoice? How much did I say I was charging them? All of those things. It’s easy to find right there within your CRM. Number two, is that it also helps you keep track of the inquiries that are coming in. So sometimes you’re getting inquiries into your email and you’re not seeing them in a timely fashion, or you think you’ve responded to them and you haven’t. And. Things kind of get out of order with a CRM. When those inquiries are coming into that software, there should be like a list of your leads or your inquiries that you can then track. And you can keep track of where you are in the process with each of those people as far as booking goes, and it helps you also keep track of, if you are making sure to contact everyone that has contacted you. Third with a CRM is automations. This is huge. For me, especially having the ability to automatically send an email when someone inquires with my pricing, with information for them helps me to take some of that kind of mental load off of myself and make sure that the client is getting a seller experience and getting the information that they need right away. Also with these automations, what can happen is then say the client decides to book. They fill out their proposal or agree to the pricing in whatever way that that CRM works, then you would produce a contract and an invoice for them. And walk them through all of those next steps of getting booked automatically. So it doesn’t have to have that slowed down, back and forth. Between the photographer and the client, it makes it so that everything can run with like less friction and just more smoothly and more quickly. For example, the way that I have my system set up, when an inquiry comes in, I get an email alert, but they also get an automatic email with. Details about my sessions, my pricing frequently asked questions. They can then choose what they want to purchase and what they want to book with me. They can put in a date that they want to book and move to the next step of the process automatically without me ever, having to physically contact them. So, what would happen next is they would receive the contract in the invoice. Once those things are complete. My system is set then to send them what the next steps are in an email. And send them their questionnaire automatically based on their session, date, and all kinds of really cool things that can happen. And it takes, again that mental load off for you. When I wasn’t using a CRM half the time, we would show up to a session and not know who I was taking pictures of. I had the person who had contacted me his name, but I didn’t have the questionnaire because I had forgotten. Or I had forgotten to send the invoice or the contract. I had always forgotten some step of the process when I was doing all of these things individually and without automations. So with this CRM, I’m able to make sure that I get all of the steps in the experience taken care of and I make sure that all of my clients have the same experience and that they have that great customer service from the very get-go. The CRM also helps me to look so much more professional than when I was using those free softwares. And I’m sending things in emails and in Google forms. And with my Google email address, having the CRM helps me to make sure that my clients see me as a professional and shows them that I know what I’m doing and helps me look like I have my shit together. Another great thing about CRMs is that they oftentimes include schedulers or proposals that just again, make it so much easier for the client to see all of the information available, to see your available times and to book without any confusion or without that kind of stop and go and back and forth with you. So let’s get into why I love Dubsado especially. Dubsado is super easy for me to use. I have a very clear understanding of how each piece of the puzzle fits together to give the client the flawless experience that I want. But even on top of that, Dubsado has so much beauty built into it. Everything that I send my client looks beautiful. Put together professional. I can put. Tons of images in the information that I’m sending them so that they can see my work. I can also include videos, which is amazing. When you include video, it just really elevates that experience for the client and lets them see into what you do. You can send them a personalized video through your Dubsado. Proposals with a hello and a welcome, or you could send a behind the scenes video, how you work, you could send a video showing them all of the wardrobe options that you have. Anything that you want to add into your proposals and your forms, and now with the new form builder, that Dubsado has just released those forms are even more beautiful. Your information can go edge to edge on the screen. You can change the fonts. You can change the colors. You can change the backgrounds to be images as well. It’s just stunning how beautifully they’ve put together this form builder and how easy it is really. It’s like drag and drop the different elements to build your forms, how you want them. The
point I want to make about Dubsado, is their automations and workflows are super easy to understand and to put together. The steps needed to make. One thing. I connect to the other are all pretty clear and easy to figure out. It just was something that really worked well for my brain and made sense. I was able to get my proposals and things up and running pretty quickly. There’s still honestly, a lot more that I can do with my Dubsado account beyond what I’m using it for now. I can put more steps in. Follow up things into my Dubsado that I’m not using currently, but even when I’m using it, not at full capacity, it’s so beautiful for my clients. And they see like this level of professionalism with it. The automations and workflows, as I mentioned before, really helped me to be on top of things. I can be someone who easily forgets to do one step or the other and dub cyto helps me to keep track of all of those things. Again, it also helps me keep track of those client inquiries. So I’m not losing people because there were times when I would get an inquiry and I just forget to respond to them. Or they’d email me back and I would forget to respond to that. But with Dubsado, I have a place to look and see where I am with each client and keep track of that process and to follow up with people. So it does help me get more bookings because. I am more on top of all of those processes. As a family photographer, I also am big on mini sessions and I use the scheduler that’s built into Dubsado for those. It makes it so that I can list out all of the times and spaces that I have available for mini sessions and post that to a public page and people can choose which session they want and pay for it. Fill out a questionnaire and book out all right there without any input for me. This has been a huge game changer for me with those mini sessions. I’ve done many sessions. My whole photography career have been in business for 11 years now. So I’ve been doing mini sessions for 11 years and with the schedule, or I’m able to just really send an email to my email list and those fill really pretty quickly now with that scheduler. And I don’t have that back and forth of which times do you have available? Which ones can I take? It’s just quick and easy. People can press a button and buy that session and it helps fill out my calendar and fill out my bank account too, because it makes it quick and easy for everyone. It also shows them what’s available. How many spaces are left and create some urgency too, with having that view of exactly what my schedule is. Lastly is the online contracts, invoices, and questionnaires. Having everything in one place keeps that back and forth to a minimum with your client. And it makes them feel confident that you really know what you’re doing. Your clients in Dubsado will also have access to a client portal. So they’ll have one place that they can log in and see their invoice. They can see their questionnaire, they can see the prep details that you’ve sent them. They can see your Q and A’s or whatever information you want to share with them. And you can share it to this one private place where they can look and get all of those details and not have to go searching through their emails. I know that our email accounts can kind of get overwhelming and busy. And full. So having the Dubsado software to keep track of all of those things for both the client and the photographer is huge.
Kate (2): 11:05
Dubsado is having their summer sale right now, July 18th through the 22nd, 2022. And the plans are marked down to $35 per month or $350 for the full year. You can use my code “dearkate” to save an additional 30% off on top of that. As a specialist, I get to offer you that little additional bump of savings and help you bring your price down. So that you can really save and get started with this. I am excited for you to try it out. If you have any questions about Dubsado dm me over on instagram. I am also working on some template forms for you. Proposals and questionnaires. That will be one click. So you can purchase a template for me, press a button and pull up a beautifully designed form. Into your Dubsado account and use those. So it helps you get started way faster on getting things going.
If you enjoyed this episode, please leave me a review on apple podcasts or a five star review on Spotify. By reviewing the podcast, you make it so that those platforms will share it to more people. And I would truly appreciate it. I will talk to you next week. If you have any questions for me or want to chat message me at dear Kate brand strategy on Instagram or Tik TOK. Have a great day.