Whether you are just starting out in your business or you have been in business for a while, there are some amazing tools that can save you precious hours each week, not to mention systems that will save you thousands of dollars in administrative assistance!
Automating your client delivery processes and your marketing strategies, frees up your time to be working in your zone of genius (that's taking photos!) and growing your business. Many photographers end up getting stuck in the busy bee reactive tasks in their business, leaving them burnt out and overwhelmed.
The trick is knowing the right tools to use, while staying profitable in your photography business. I've tried and tested MANY different marketing and automation tools over the years, so you don't have to waste your valuable time with decision fatigue.
Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you purchase. However, the tools I recommend below are tools that I personally use myself.
Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop
As a professional photographer (and especially if you shoot in RAW), you need a conversion and editing programme to give your photos a bit of a "wow" factor. Lightroom enables you to quickly and easily cull, organise, edit & store your photos. Photoshop allows you to do more detailed retouching and creative edits. Two essential tools for every photographer's toolkit. Or get the full Creative Suite for editable PDFs with Adobe Acrobat; editing schmick videos with Premiere Pro and fast creation of client albums and marketing materials through Indesign and Illustrator.
This is the service I use for delivering client galleries. The best part? They take no commissions from your sales and there is a free plan to get started, so your business is able to thrive. There are also some awesome additional functionalities that create ease, cashflow and client bookings on autopilot, when you implement them in the specific ways that I teach in the Photography Business Accelerator.
If you don't have an email service provider, you need one. It's the first thing I ask when I mentor my students in the Photography Business Accelerator. I've tested a few over the years and Active Campaign is by far my provider of choice. There are dozens of email providers out there, some are free and will suffice when you are starting out but when you outgrow the functionality of the free email providers and have to change all your email links and opt ins, you will wish you had started with Active Campaign! The added bonus of Active Campaign is that I can share my own email sequences and funnels with one click with my Photography Business Accelerator students.
This single tool has been responsible for making myself and my Photography Business Accelerator students thousands of dollars and save hundreds of hours of time. You can confidently create create landing pages, sales pages, take online sales, create automated upsells and deliver downloadable PDFs in record time. Clickfunnels allows you to book clients on autopilot and bring cashflow forward. Plus I give all of my funnel templates to my PBA students in 60 seconds so all they have to do is insert their images and logo!
You need a domain name for your website if you don't already have one and this is the provider I use.
If you are starting out and building your website, I recommend using a wordpress.org blogsite and Siteground for your hosting. If you want a .com.au domain name, only certain web hosts will be able to host this for you. I personally use Siteground for all my websites and have found them to be reliable and affordable.
The key to be able to truly "work from wherever" is Dropbox. I have Dropbox downloaded on my phone, laptop and desktop, so that my files are synced no matter which device I am using. (Particularly if I am travelling and need to access images on the run). Dropbox also allows you to organise your documents and files and share specific files with specific clients or staff. Dropbox is free with an upgrade if you need it.
When you start your photography business, suddenly you have a million and one logins and passwords to remember. LastPass not only stores these in a convenient online place for you (so you only have to remember ONE password), you can also share your logins with your team without having to share your passwords, keeping security top of mind.
Tracking your profits and understanding your numbers is KEY to a profitable photography business. What gets measured, improves - and while using a spreadsheet might be ok for a little while, having visibility on your numbers on a day to day basis, makes a huge difference to knowing where your business is at financially. Xero integrates with your bank feeds AND you can create rules to code your recurring expenses and vendors - minimising the time needed to spent on reconciling your books (or paying a bookkeeper to do it) because Xero is smart! You can access on all devices plus it links to your Acuity calendar saving you even more time! Xero is a must have tool for any serious business owner.
I don't know how I managed my life before I found Acuity Scheduler! This is a GAME CHANGER for every photographer who wants to minimise all the administrative work in their booking process. Acuity is KEY to getting clients on autopilot, keeping you organised and reducing the too-ing and fro-ing between you and your clients. If you invest in ONE thing in your photography business, this has to be it. I show the students in the Photography Business Accelerator exactly how to optimise this tool for best results, through copying my process.
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