Stop giving discounts to everybody and their brother just because you want the business! Find out what to say and how to handle when friends and family ask for a discount on your services.
I know, I know, “You’re a creative, dagnabbit!”
You need chaos to create, your brain has #allthethings going on, you like it that way, and eff anyone who can’t deal with it.
And you know what? I get that attitude, I’ve felt it myself. 🙋🏻
Let me fill you in on a little secret though. That whole “but I’m a creative!” shit does NOT fly in the wedding industry. 🙇🏻♀️
Weddings are days with a thousand and a half moving parts, and ya know, just happens to be one of the most important days of the couple’s life.
No pressure to get everything perfect or anything…
Plus, sorry (not sorry), but you’re not just a creative, you’re also a businesswoman. 👩🏻💻
An entrepreneur. A badass boss.
Like it or not, you need business systems to get your shit together so you actually come off like the badass professional you are.
And I know that as creatives, the business ish tends to have us running for the wine. FAST. Which is why I’m here to be your systems spirit guide. 💁🏻
Today we’re just dipping our toes in the water - grab a glass of pinot and learn all about what business systems are and why you need them. 🍷
WTF are Systems?
Basically, systems are the key to keeping your biz shiz together. 🙌🏻
Your systems are all the guidelines, rules, and processes that you go through to do your job. I know, those words...guidelines, processes...they’re gross. But you need them.
Otherwise, you’re starting from scratch with each new client. Doing extra work, taking more time than needed, and generally making your own life and your clients’ lives harder.
But when you’ve decided on systems, written ‘em down and made ‘em real, you have a “formula” or directions to start with each time. And not vague IKEA-like directions, shit that’s actually helpful.
So let’s say a couple wants to hire you as their wedding photographer.
Here’s what that looks like without knowing your systems: 👎🏻
They contact you. It sits in your inbox until you remember to reply to it. You write them a new email letting them know the first steps to getting started with you. You write another email right after because you left out the most important detail.
More back and forth and disorganization, with you doing things as you go, until they decide to hire someone else for your special day.
But when you know your systems, it’s more like: 👏🏻
They contact you. You have a canned or automated email with everything they need to know next, that you can easily send off in 15 seconds. You DON’T forget anything important. They easily set up a conference call. On the consult, you have set questions and things to talk about, and can lay what happens every step of the way.
They’re BLOWN AWAY because you’re SO freaking organized, throw some money at your face to book their spot, and are consistently amazed by how professional you are right up until they tie the knot, and after.
And at the end of the day, all it takes to set up systems is *knowing your shit.* Knowing the who, what, when, where, and how of every situation. All things you already know, systems just make it “official” so you don’t have to do the thinking and work every time.
Gotta love not having to think, right?!
But that’s not the only reason you wanna check your systems before you wreck your systems…
Why You Want Systems All Up in Your Creative Biz!
Listen. There are endless reasons to get your business shit together. And all roads lead back to more clients, happier clients, more money, and less stress. But if you need to get more specific than that, happy to lay it out:
Systems set a foundation for each new client - you’re not starting things from scratch. You have set steps to go through, canned emails to use, document templates to rely on, and lots of fun stuff to decrease the amount of work per wedding.
They keep things consistent - when you’re following a set system and following directions, you’re way less likely to forget something or mess a step up.
Delegating gets easier - as your grow your biz, you’ll be able to automate and outsource a lot of the boring biz shit so you can focus on creative fun and your brides and grooms.
You look professional AF - just being real here. Being super organized and having smooth systems impresses clients.
Ready to come over to the dark side yet? Things are all alphabetized and color coded, it’s all kinds of pretty and just pure amaaaazingness!
For more about how to get your systems together and start looking like the pro you are, stay tuned for more on the blog.
For all my little blogging babies, it is time to grow up!
Does the thought of blogging make you want to just Netflix and chill the rest of the day? I was the same way before I figured out this ingenious way of making the client do 90% of the blogging work for me. That's right. THE CLIENT IS DOING THE LEGWORK FOR YOU!
We have all heard the importance of blogging regularly and consistently for SEO and showing up in search results, yada yada yada... That is great, grand, wonderful and all, BUT WHO THE HELL HAS TIME FOR THAT! I'm sorry, but I know I don't!
It used to be the bane of my existence. Truly. The thought of having to be all kinds of eloquent with my words and witty while showing off my bride and grooms' engagement sessions or wedding days was friggen exhausting. Let alone the time it actually would take to PUBLISH a post. That shit takes way too much of my time.
Everybody in the creative industry is always saying you need to, "Work smarter, not harder." Yeah, that is great and all but most days it is a struggle to even stay on task for more than 15 minutes, let alone be smart about the way I work. Am I right!?
Then I had an epiphany. I spent the rest of my workday making sure I would never have to consciously think about blogging ever ever EVER AGAIN!
So it is time for me to finally let you in on a GINORMOUS secret on how you, too, can get back those hours and do better things like watch a marathon of the Golden Girls on Hulu and not shower for a day or two.
Are you ready?!
If you are a wedding photographer, you typically get 2 blog posts per client assuming you do engagement photos for them, right? Instead of trying to find out all the crazy little details like how the couple met or when they first kissed or when they first rolled around in the sheets together, send them a form to fill out asking all the questions you would normally need to know. Then, you have all the information you need to draft up your post! Hell, the majority of the time I will format my posts to be like a Q+A series so all I have to do on my end is LITERALLY copy and paste their answers and throw a handful of photos into the mix. What would have taken you possibly hours to write and put on your wordsmith hat to be a creative little author just took you all of maybe 20 minutes, 10 minutes if you have all their photos set and ready to go in a folder on your desktop. That's right. 10 MINUTES FOR A BLOG POST!!!!!!
BOOM! Cue the damn confetti for DAYS!
Take a minute if you need to sit down because I know your mind was probably just officially blown. Now don't be too hard on yourself that you didn't think of this yourself before. We all have dumb days, weeks and even years. No but really, at least you know it now!
Want to know the best part of this all?? You can legitimately not even have to click a button or think about sending a questionnaire to your next client as long as you have a CRM program like my all-time fave, Dubsado. You can set up a workflow to run that will automatically email your client a questionnaire on whatever date you choose. Now if THAT isn't all kinds of rainbows and unicorns, I don't know what is!!
If you are thinking to yourself, well shit, that's a great idea but I don't have half a brain cell left with the start of the season and can't possibly think about putting one more thing on my to-do -- THINK AGAIN! Girl (or boy), I've gotchu. You can swipe the exact forms I use too.