Welcome to Keeping it Candid – Wedding Photography Unfiltered for photographers who want to keep it real. I’m your host, Sandra Henderson, international wedding and family photographer and educator with a Marie Kondo style approach to running a business – you know, keeping things simple and getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy!. More importantly, I’m a strong enneagram 3w2 who is obsessed with tacos, and my love for travelling is one of many things that drives my passion for all things systems, workflows, and beating burnout as a business owner. Join me twice a month for a candid, behind the scenes look at what it’s really like working as a wedding photographer – where I’ll give you actionable steps to take your business to the next level. Absolutely no fluff here, friends! So grab your favourite notebook and pen, and let’s dive into this week’s episode.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Honeybook! Do yourself (and your business) a favour! Get 50% off your first year by starting a trial – all you need to do is visit share.honeybook.com/sandra. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
You wake up in the morning, make yourself a cup of coffee, and take your time getting ready for the day. When you get into your office, you check your email. You reply to every single one until you’re at the infamous ‘inbox zero’ with the click of a just few buttons. You draft up proposals for three new clients and send them out. Then, completing your to-do list for the day, you finish editing a wedding and send the gallery out to your client…
… when all that’s done, you look at the clock, and it’s only noon.
You grab yourself some lunch and enjoy eating it away from your computer. You start brainstorming for a passion project you’ve been working on. You meet up with friends for dinner and drinks. And when you crawl into bed that night, you’re not weighed down with worries about the next day ahead.
This isn’t a “too-good-to-be-true” scenario.
It’s what your life can actually look like with one of the most important systems you’ll ever have in your business – a CRM System.
If you’re not familiar with the term, CRM stands for Client Relationship Management. There are so, so many options out there for CRM Systems, but when Honeybook finally launched to Canadian residents, I jumped over immediately and have never looked back!
Without Honeybook I wouldn’t have been able to successfully grow my business over the last three years. Period. I was too burnt out trying to do all-the-things on my own.
It gave me the ability to seamlessly run things behind the scenes, which also meant my client experience was up-leveled, too. Being able to give my clients an incredible experience in every aspect, not just when they’re in front of my camera, is a major factor in getting rave reviews, and more importantly, referrals. It creates a chain reaction, because the happier my clients are, the more confidence I gain as a business owner. It’s truly a win-win!
Honeybook let’s you create a project for each individual client you have, and has an amazing feature called Automations that allows you to apply a workflow to any of those projects. Within an automation you can include anything from general to-do tasks, template emails, questionnaires, and so, so much more. You set a date or timeframe for each, and from there, there are two options:
The first – triggering a notification on that date you’ve set to remind you to do a task or to send a questionnaire, for example
Or, two – triggering an email, questionnaire, or whatever you may need, to auto-send on a specific date without you ever having to be at your computer.
It’s fully customizable to suit your needs as a business owner! The first option is what I use, myself. Honeybook will automatically populate whatever task I have built into my automation, but it won’t send send anything on my behalf. I have to go into the platform and look after it myself! This gives me the ability to customize my templates if needed and just puts my Type-A, control-freak mind at ease knowing that everything is going out as it should be.
It frees up so much mental space, too, because it takes all of those items in all of my automations, and puts them into a single task list. Then, it sends me notifications based off of the all the dates I have set for every single client. This means no little things fall through the cracks because I’m not having to remember every detail for every client at all times. Everyone is getting the same, consistent, experience from start-to-finish each time because it’s built into my automations. This is especially important during peak busy seasons when I can often have 30-40 active clients at a time.
Since I’m saving so much time by not having to type up every individual email myself thanks to things like templates, and I’m not scrambling to fix problems because I forgot to do something important, I’m able to focus on booking more clients, taking time off, and working on personal projects!
Honeybook is also fully customizable in so many other ways, like keeping things on-brand with my other spaces like my website and social media platforms. Combined with the automations feature, my clients aren’t just receiving boring, corporate-looking documents. They’re receiving user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing digital brochures, pricing guides, contracts, invoices, and questionnaires.
I love getting feedback from my clients about how much they appreciate such an easy experience. Their contracts can be signed online, payments can be made through their invoice, questionnaires auto-save as they’re filled out so they can be referred back to later – I always tell my clients that I want our time together to be simple and enjoyable for everyone, and that includes the times we have to take care of the things that are typically not so fun.
Now, speaking of those invoice payments – being able to accept credit card payments is definitely one of the top ways my business has grown since I started using Honeybook. I know a lot of business owners stray away from accepting credit card payments because of the processing fees associated with it. But here’s the thing – on average, businesses that accept credit card as a method of payment receive upwards of 12% higher sales revenue after processing fees than those that don’t. So, for example, in a year where you’ve generated $50,000 in sales, you have the opportunity to grow that to $56,000 just by accepting credit card payments. That’s $6000 more revenue annually without having to do a single bit of extra work.
And isn’t that the dream, friends?! To be doing less work and be generating more revenue?! I know it is for me.
Now, if you’re already using a CRM system but want to make the switch to Honeybook, or if you’re new to the world of CRM’s and are ready to get started, I have some good news for you!
First – you don’t have to worry about doing all the leg work yourself. As my amazing business coach, Candice Coppolla always says, you shouldn’t have to do business alone. Honeybook has a team of Pro’s who can help you get your systems and automations up and running exactly the way you need them to, including onboarding information from other CRM’s. You can also book a clarity call with me! I’m a Honeybook Educator and there’s nothing I love more than helping other wedding photographers gain clarity in the backend of their businesses. And the cherry on top? You can save 50% on your first year with Honeybook by visiting http://share.honeybook.com/Sandra
So friend, I hope this has inspired you to start fully utilizing your CRM systems, whether it be Honeybook or something else, to really start growing your business this year. The specifics I talked about can be applied to most, if not all, CRM systems. But, if the system you’re working with doesn’t offer any of these features, like branding, online payments, automations and workflows – it might be time to consider moving on to something new. I promise it will be worth it! Streamlining doesn’t just mean making things easier for your clients – it means making things easier for you, too, and as always – you absolutely deserve it.
Thanks so much for listening to Keeping It Candid: Wedding Photography Unfiltered with Sandra Henderson! You can find full show notes from today’s episode at simplysandrayvonne.ca/keepingitcandid. In the meantime – let’s connect! You can find me on Instagram @simplysandrayvonne, and on Facebook in the Wedding Photography Unfiltered community! If you’re loving this podcast, I’d be so honoured if you’d go ahead and hit that subscribe button and leave me a review!
Until next time!
Sponsored by Honeybook. Get 50% off your first year by starting a trial! https://share.honeybook.com/Sandra
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May 17, 2022