I started with lots of paper folders. I literally had a mountain of paper fallen of my desk.
I now use 17 hats, it lets me know where I am at with every step of the client process. A reminder will pop up that a client hasn’t paid or signed a contract by the deadline. Easy to use and can be done from my iphone. It took awhile to get the hang of it though. There are lots of option Studio Cloud, Honey Books etc. Look into the one that is right for you.
When Google was down the other day for some reason or another, I was able to log onto 17 hats and look at my calendar there and immediately tell a person if I was open on a date.
I once had a client whose wedding date was on my calendar as February 22nd. February 1st I shot an out of town wedding with a five hour drive back home. As I am just getting undressed in the morning of February 2nd I get a call from my bride. “HI Tree” “Hi Sarah! Why you calling?” “haha Tree are you coming up to the hotel to do getting ready shots?” It hit me then my fat fingers typed in a second 2. Her weddings was today. Luckily I did not double book and I have extra cards and batteries and ran out the door. This is why you need a good organization system! I was darn lucky and the bride never knew!
Educating your client- this is where blogs and newsletters are great. I encourage my clients to ask me questions and also try to get them to sit down and make a timeline with me well before the wedding day. This is usually their first wedding. Do they know that you need 45 minutes for formals of that many family members or that their venue will let them on the roof top for photos? I know a lot of photographers get upset and annoyed when couples keep asking questions but the more questions the less confusion! Hopefully all of the information in your contract, blogs and newsletters does this for them and they will not have to ask you!
The first six months that I had 17 Hats I opened, looked at the screen for 30 seconds and closed it. Finally in my slow time I spent two whole weeks making templates and emails. I was a lot of work up front but worth it in the end. Now if I see that a clients of mine keep asking the same question I know I should add it into my template. In the end those two weeks spend save me far more time and sanity.
They have an online market were you can buy templates so you don't have to spend as much time as I did making them but I'm a cheapskate!
New Year is coming what better time to get organized!
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