Is it time for you to start outsourcing your post-production? As a photography business owner, you should be focused ON your business versus getting stuck IN the minutia of operational tasks. Many wedding studios struggle to get images to their clients in 2 weeks or less. It’s not that clients are over demanding, it’s not that you have a slow computer, it’s not that you aren’t working enough hours in the day, etc…It’s that YOU are the bottleneck of your business. You shoot a wedding and sit on it for weeks dreading the task of culling, editing, or sending sneak peaks to get a client off your back. Is culling/editing so personal to you that you can’t outsource it to a team that can turn it around in a week? Don’t think like a creative, think like a business owner. Why not leverage a team of professionals to offer better service to your clients and generate more revenue for your business?
Step 1. Outsourcing Your Post-Production
The first step in solving any problem is realizing there is a problem, right? You must take a step back and look at all the time you spend focusing on production tasks that have nothing to do with generating revenue. Especially when it comes to editing your own work. You justify editing to save money, let me tell you that an editing team is cheaper than your salary let alone all the opportunities walking away while you aren’t responding to clients.Culling and color correcting a wedding are 2 tasks that take most of use 6-8 hours to complete, likely more time. That requires you to lock yourself in a room and stay offline. Your business cannot survive on you being offline for 1-2 days straight, this is the first thing to throw over the wall. Find an editing team and outsource to them, let the professionals take over.
Step 2. Automate with Cloud - Based Management Software
Automation must come into your ecosystem for emailing and invoicing clients. There are plenty of cloud-based business management software companies. Find one that fits your business and let them take you through the iron boarding process. These are all turn key solutions that allow you to let go and deliver better service. Once a client pays a deposit, you should have pre-shoot emails educating them on what to wear, tips and tricks for makeup, how a professional photographer will pose them, etc. Then the day before a shoot, an email goes out as a reminder of where and when to be and pump up their excitement for the shoot. Day of the shoot, an email goes out thanking your client for choosing you and what to expect after the shoot. These are all emails that can be automated in a system that you are plugging in personal data for the clients. This is what you should be spending your time doing instead of editing, setting up systems to scale your business with. Run your business with automations, don’t let the business run you.
Step 3. Get Organized
You need a task management app as well to store all your daily to-dos. It should have a calendar, tasks management system, automation flows for statuses of task, etc. This is where you would store client meetings, shoots, sales sessions, etc. to stay on top of being a business owner. This is where you spend the start and end of your day checking in on your team, steer the ship and keep this thing moving at a fast pace. You likely need a person you can lean on whether that’s your partner or find an assistant. Now you might be thinking why not hire them to do all that stuff above right? An assistant should be there to keep you organized, keep you on task for marketing content and focused on generating revenue. They can start doing in-person sales as well as the consults for potential clients. Imagine having the time and mental capacity to start pre-qualifying customers to being your client and finally selling products to them. You now have the time and profitably to increase net revenue without shooting more. This is where your head should be, not playing catchup on editing and emailing every day. I cannot stress this enough; YOU are the bottleneck of your business and preventing it from growing or stabilizing the growth you have. Take a step back and look at your daily tasks, where are you getting drug into the business and start there. Outsource everything you possibly can. You’ll get there if just reallocate your time to working ON the business. You’ll find in a team/company and automation software to keep you moving like a boss and not an employee.