Do you have a solid contract in place?
I cannot stress this enough you guys! Templates are junk! They’re not specific, they may not apply to legal requirements in your specific state or country and frankly, they are not going to get the job done.
With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve seen people who sell said templates selling extra “bundles” of protection clauses and sections to add to your contract. Yes SELLING THEM. Adding a clause now when a contract is already signed doesn’t do you much good. And changing the contract makes your clients think you don’t have your shit together. These companies are profiting off of THEIR OWN LACK OF COVERAGE. Which should tell you, their contract template wasn’t great to begin with or it would have been able to protect you regardless of what is happening in the world.
My advice, hire an attorney to write your contract for your specific business practices and to advise you on what is actually legal. Each state has different laws for things like sales tax, rescheduling policies, refunds, etc. For the price of one of the most popular contracts I’ve heard photogs using, I was able to get a fully custom contract and a 1 hour consultation to review it. Also, just because you put something in a contract, doesn’t mean it’s automatically legal. Think non-refundable payments guys…you do not want to mess around with this.
When I asked my attorney about how COVID-19 would impact my contract, we read through specific sections again. She was able to reassure me that my contract indeed protected me in this situation. She advised me on how to address potential postponements and best practices using the contract we already have. I did not have to change a damn thing because we were legit to begin with. She also makes sure to send updates when CA and federal laws change so we’re always up to date. This is the advantage of having a legit attorney.
Have you written down your business policies and procedures?
What happens if you can’t do something that needs to be done in your business? Is there someone who can help? If you don’t have written policies and procedures in place, your business will suffer.
We use Honeybook to automate our business. We’ve got workflows, templates and all the good things Honeybook can do to help your business run more efficiently!
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Do you have a workflow in place?
This has been a complete game changer for our business. Again we use Honeybook to automate most of our business and manage our projects.
For example, we have about 10 tasks in our portrait photography workflow.
First, we send a confirmation e-mail once the client is officially booked with their session date, time and location.
Next, we send some links to our Pinterest for outfit inspiration and ideas. We also ask about location if we haven’t already.
Then, we usually wait a week or so and remind the client about locations if they haven’t already confirmed one they want.
A month before a session, we send another e-mail with some session prep tips and ideas for outfits again. We also encourage clients to find outfits sooner rather than later and give encouraging tips on finding the best clothing for their session.
The week of the session, we check in again and remind them of the date and time for the session.
The day before their session we send another reminder.
A few days after the session, we e-mail them and let them know what to expect next. We tell clients this at the session, but people forget. It’s just nice to send them a reminder they can refer back to.
About 4 weeks after the session we send an e-mail asking for a review. We share the links they can review us on and let them know we loved working with them.
Finally, 1-2 months after their session, we send an e-mail asking about products and prints. We offer complimentary consults for wall designs or card designs and make sure our clients know we’re here to help.
Most of this list is totally automatic with Honeybook! In your workflow, you can set timeframes for these e-mails to send. Just add the template to your e-mail templates and then to the workflow. I like to name my templates something like “Maternity – Initial Confirmation, Maternity – Week of Check In, Maternity – Post Session” and so on. Then you can easily identify which template you want to add to your workflow. We get tons of great feedback from clients on these e-mails, and it helps our clients feel taken care of.
And don’t worry, if you don’t want e-mails to be automated. Just click the “Approve Before Sending” option on Honeybook when you set it up. Honeybook will remind you of your weekly tasks so you can stay on top of things! The workflow feature is amazing and will save you so much time!
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What’s your social media status?
If you aren’t active on social media, you are literally missing out. It’s a huge disservice to your business and your bottom line.
Social media is a great place to connect with people, share your work, talk about your business and cultivate a community of clients who love and support you. This means that when it comes time to buy something, they want in because of YOU not necessarily because of what you’re selling.
I used to struggle with what to say and what to post, but once I figured out that my followers cared more about me than the pretty wedding decor, I have not only been able to grow my following, but grow an engaged following that comments on my posts, shares my stories, replies to my polls and we just have the best time!
Download our FREE 1 week of social media prompts HERE.
Are you using an e-mail list?
We recently made the switch from MailChimp to Flodesk and we are NEVER going back! Not only do they have amazing templates to get you started, but you can save brand colors, fonts and logos to easily customize any e-mail. The workflows are a breeze and they even have funnel pages where you can customize a page to funnel traffic into different segments of your e-mail list. Whether you’re sorting clients by their interests or segmenting different types of subscribes, Flodesk makes it so easy!
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