The 5 Systems I Swear By in My Photography Business

Do you want to know what surprised me the most when I first started my photography business? 

It wasn’t the weird tricks I had to learn about my camera, it wasn’t the client questions, and it wasn’t my editing software… it was the amount of serious organization I had to figure out (and quickly) to run my business the right way.

Like, let’s be honest… I started my business and really *hoped* it would take off into something incredible. 

However, I definitely didn’t go into business as someone who had always thought she would be an entrepreneur, and in turn I had no idea about all of the things I would have to keep up with.

To be honest, I wish I could just go tap old Jess on the shoulder and tell her, “girl… FYI. Running a photography business is really just about 50% photography.”

But, hey! We live, and we learn. (And then we learn again. And again.)

And that, friends, is where something really important comes into play: SYSTEMS. 

Now, let’s go!

Wondering why you need systems as a photographer?

As a photographer, I know that you probably got into your business thinking you needed one thing: a camera. But, I’m here to tell you that you need a lot more than just a camera — you need systems. See, systems are exactly what help you to do everything from managing your own tasks to communicating effectively with your clients. Curious? Here are what the right systems can cover for you as a photographer:

  • Email communication: Ooooooh, lemme TELL ya about email templates. The *best.*
  • Client relationship management: There are systems that can give your clients their own hub to communicate with you and find things they need (like contracts and deliverables).
  • Invoicing: With the right systems in place, you can invoice your clients directly and never spend time chasing down their payments… like, ever again.
  • Training: You can record training sessions for current and future team members that you can continually refer to, but you can also record things for *yourself* (like editing shortcuts and SOPs).
  • Workflows: I could scream about the power of a great workflow for hours, and there are systems that help you map out — and stick to — a workflow. Beautiful.

Psst… there are tons more, too. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll figure out — like, real quick — that systems make you super excited and nerdy. They rule.

The 5 systems I swear by in my photography business

There are quite a few systems I use in my own photography business, but there are 5 that I hardcore swear by unlike my other ones. Trust me, here: these are the best of the best.

  1. Honeybook: Honeybook has changed my life when it comes to managing projects and communicating with clients  — it’s the very best of the best. Essentially, Honeybook is a CRM (or client management platform), and I use it to create canned emails, to collect payment, to establish and follow workflows, and to communicate with my clients. Hardcore life saver right there. Get 50% off of your Honeybook for the year using code “artofher” through this referral link
  2. Asana: Then, we have Asana: a platform that I’d describe as somewhere between a project management tool and a digital to-do list. You can create different projects and boards (as well as add team members) to your Asana to keep track of things, and I use it for everything from setting deadlines for myself to assigning tasks to my team.
  3. Full Focus Journal: Now, the Full Focus Journal isn’t a website or a software… but I still consider it a very important system of mine. I primarily use it as a method of setting goals and continually keeping track of them, and it’s been a really transformative tool in my business as I’ve worked to grow and scale.
  4. Loom: Loom is a screen recorder extension that I use *all* the time to keep track of tasks and steps I take in my business. I’ve actually used it the most to define and record my SOPs, which has made it super easy to onboard new team members and also to refer to myself.
  5. Dropbox: My filing system in Dropbox is basically my lifeline in my business, and probably the #1 tool I’d recommend for fellow photographers. I have a mega-organized filing system in the cloud on Dropbox that makes it super-simple to find images and outsource when I need to. 

Now, here’s the truth: the systems I use in my photography business might not be the systems that end up working for you. The key is to keep testing and trying out new systems until you find the right ones for your business… because, when used correctly, they’ll change your dang life.

If you’re diving into systems as part of your own personal branding photography journey, my new course — Personal Branding Breakthrough — is truly *made* for you. The course is a comprehensive guide to all things personal branding photography, and will teach you everything you need to know to run your own incredible business — systems and all.

Join the waitlist here.

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