Five Web-Based Tools I Couldn't Run my Photography Business Without
When I started my business, I had no idea how many online resources were available to help me be successful. And as I began researching solutions to solve problems I kept running into, it quickly became apparent that there is an entire world of online programs designed for photographers. It was overwhelming - I had no idea what would work best for me or where to even begin.
Over the years, I've tried a lot of things, and I'm finally at a place where the tools I use serve my business in an efficient and effective manner. So today I thought I'd share the solutions I've found in hopes that it will help my fellow photographers as they continue on their own journey to discover what works best for them!
1. Sprout Studio
For the first few years of my business I organized all of my client information within Evernote, but as I got busier I knew that I needed something more to keep my studio on track. Last year I used 17hats and I loved it, but when I saw Sprout Studio introduced at the beginning of this year I knew it was something special. From managing my inquiries and booking my clients to online galleries and album proofing, Sprout does everything in one place and keeps my business super streamlined and on track. They're still in beta (but set to launch to the public on November 4th!) and they still have a long way to go before it'll be perfect for my business, but they're definitely on the right track. They have the best costumer service I've ever seen (I mean. What business sends you a card in the mail on your WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!?!) and are incredibly responsive when their clients have suggestions and ideas. Seriously, ya'll. I can't say enough good things.
I've used Pixieset for my client's online galleries for years now, and in my opinion, they're the perfect solution to online photo delivery. Their galleries are professional, gorgeous, easy to use, and the backend has everything I need to customize the service to my needs. I love that Pixieset has a web based uploading system so I can access my photos from any computer and the way the online store attached to galleries is set up perfectly addresses my needs.
I used a separate Showit website and wordpress blog for the first several years of my business, and while I loved Showit, I hated wordpress. I wanted a way to get rid of Wordpress and integrate my blog and website, and squarespace was the answer. It took a while to learn how to use, but once I did, it was so easy to design and create my website to fit my needs. Honestly, there's so much I love about squarespace that it could be it's own blog post.
4. Amazon Prime
Let's be real. Lucas and I currently live in a small town with a population of 10,000 (on a good day) and nothing but a few small shops and Walmart. I have to drive at least 40 minutes to go to any real stores, so shopping on amazon just makes sense. With prime shipping I can have pretty much anything I need at my door within two days, so I order everything on amazon - from shipping boxes and supplies to lenses and batteries.
While I no longer use Facebook for anything personal, it's definitely the number one driving force behind generating new clients in my business. And as much as I'd love to separate from it completely, it just doesn't make sense. Every day someone new finds my work via my Facebook page which is an incredibly powerful thing. So I think it's here to stay.