Last year was the year I chose to really grow my photography business. And honestly, it was the biggest year of growth to date! I launched a new website, built an email list, launched mentoring services for photographers, and expanded my offerings, just to name a few.
But if it wasn’t for the tools I’m about to share with you, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it. These five tools are the very backbone of my business, and I’m so stoked to be able to give you a peek inside what I use to run my business on a daily basis. Ya ready?
The Top 5 Tools I Used To Grow My Photography Business In 2018:
1. Honeybook (My CRM)
One of the biggest tools I used to grow my photography business in 2018 was Honeybook, no doubt. Honeybook is a client relationship manager, (so it’s basically your personal assistant and the organizational tool of your dreams as a small business owner.)
Honeybook handles literally all of my client workflows, (both for photo shoots and mentoring,) and makes running my biz SO much easier.
Whether I need a bird’s eye view on where all of my different shoots/paying clients are in my workflow, or whether I need to send a contract or collect a payment from someone; I can do it all in HB. (And there’s an app for it, so I can literally manage my business from anywhere, at any time.)
Prior to using a CRM in my business, my stuff was all over the place. I didn’t have a “workflow,” and when I heard people talk about their workflows… I low-key felt shame about the lack of organization in my own business. If someone were to see behind the scenes, it would’ve been messy. I wasn’t responding as quickly to inquiries as I should’ve, I was taking too long to respond when I did finally sit down to respond… and my turnaround time for photos was embarrassing. Just sayin’. Oh, and process for collecting testimonials? Non-existent. 🙈
I first made the switch from 17 Hats to Dubsado, and then Dubsado to Honeybook – and Honeybook is definitely where I’ll stay. If you want to read all about why I made the switch (as well as get a BTS look into my workflows and systems,) you can find that right here! If you already know you need Honeybook, and want a free trial + 50% off your first year of it… I gotchu friend. It’s right over here!
2. My Website (On Showit)
Fun fact: It took me four years in business before I ever officially launched a website, (well… one that I was proud of.)
I’d bought website template after website template, trying to piecemeal a site together – DIY style. And none of it ever really “fit” or felt right. I wanted a website that would totally win over the hearts of my ideal clients, and make them NEED to book me asap. I was SO over trying to do it all by myself, so I finally took the leap and outsourced my website design to a professional. (Best decision EVER, btw.) Now, I have a website that I can’t wait to show off, and that I feel confident about my client’s stalking. Because it’s not just a template, it’s custom built to me and my style, and perfect for my ideal clients! 😉
But the best thing about my website is that my designer built it on a platform called Showit!
Showit is a drag and drop website builder. Meaning yes… no code needed. Therefore, I don’t have any frustrations with trying to make something look a certain way on my site and not knowing how! It’s seriously the best!
I remember I used to get so mad trying to work with templates inside of WordPress. They were just clunky and never looked “legit.” Now, I have a site that isn’t only beautiful but is SO easy to customize AND converts browsers into paying clients. That’s what matters most.
3. Convertkit (Email Marketing)
In 2018, I started an email list. I’d been telling myself I needed one for three years and had even bought multiple courses on how to create an email list. But honestly, the thought terrified me.
After chatting with my friend Samantha (you’ll learn about her in a minute,) I knew it was time. I had to do the dang thing. She helped me to learn Convertkit and know what I needed to be doing in there, (as well as put together the launch plan for my entire website and the Mina Marlena Presets!)
Through Convertkit, I was able to build my email list up through a “Coming Soon” page on my new website, which not only allowed me to actually have an audience (other than just on social media,) to launch my website to, but also allowed me to have a five-figure launch for the Mina Marlena Preset Masterclass… in 3 days.
Ya’ll… that’s a biiig deal for a lil’ girl like me that knew nothing about e-commerce. Moral of the story? Get yo self an email list yesterday!!! 😘
4. Instagram (An IG Strategy)
In 2018, I decided to get serious about creating an Instagram strategy to grow my photography business. I went from posting maybe once or twice a month to posting consistently 5 days a week. I started hitting it hard on Instagram because I knew that’s how I’d book more clients and make more sales.
It wasn’t until I spent time really nailing down a strategy for how to use my Instagram that I saw my bookings and profits grow.
Prior to developing an Instagram strategy, I was just posting things here and there that were laid on my heart or that I thought were pretty. Which is fine and all, but I wasn’t really seeing any return on investment for the time I was spending there. I finally spent the time setting goals for what I wanted to accomplish on Instagram. Then, I crafted captions and images that would reflect those goals. (If you’re not already doing this, girl – totally reach out and book a free strategy call with me to see where I can help you!)
5. Samantha Royer (Marketing Strategist)
Okay, so Sam isn’t exactly a tool… but she is an INSANE whiz-of-a-brain when it comes to marketing. Like I said earlier, Sam has been SUCH a huge resource in my journey to grow my photography business. Samantha isn’t currently taking on any new 1-1 clients for marketing strategy, because she recently pivoted her brand to follow what God’s laid on her heart. (Can I get an amen!?)
Recently, Sam launched her own platform for marketing education for Christian entrepreneurs. So if faith-based biz coaching (and all the marketing stuff you’d need to grow your bottom line,) is something you seriously nerd out over like me… get your butt on over to She Is Bold and sign up for the free membership.
Yes, you read that right. It’s free, and it’s legit. Remember that part I mentioned about having a five-figure launch? Yup. That was a lot of her doings. The girl knows her stuff. 😉
I hope you explore these tools and that they help you as much as they’ve helped me with growing my photography business! Got any q’s about using them? Totally drop a comment below!
*Disclaimer: This post includes some affiliate links, and I’d so appreciate it if you used ’em! Affiliate links help me continue to show up and serve you guys for free each week; so you win too! 😉
If you need help building, growing, and/or systemizing your photography business, totally reach out and book a free strategy call with me. Helping you flourish is what I do best. 😉
If ya liked this little gem, you’ll LOVE this guide on how to create a photography business with zero competition. (Cause that’s what we all want, right!?)
Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉
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