What most people don’t realize about running a small business or when starting a small business, there are many many many moving parts. I probably actually spend 5-10% actually photographing weddings/seniors and the rest I’m working on the back end business work with tools to help me.

As a solo owner, I play lots of different roles (especially in this chapter of life, one day I’d love to hire a team of empowering women). For now… I’m the photographer, accountant, marketer, content curator, photo editor, client manager, graphic designer… and I do it all by LOTS OF COFFEE (Dunkin please sponsor me…)

There’s a lot of different moving pieces in my business to make it successful and I’m going to share with you how I manage it all!!! These 9 tools save me time and stress, & keep my business thriving.

1. Planoly

Planoly makes Instagram enjoyable and makes creating posts less stressful. Every Monday (I call it Marketing Monday, cheesy I know) I plan out my feed for the next 1-2 weeks and schedule it. This program (which is an app on your phone AND can be on your desktop so you can work from either) helps your feed look aesthetic to draw in viewers AND will auto-post for you so you don’t have wake up everyday thinking CRAP what do I need to post. This is AWESOME!

2. Honeybook

I talked about HoneyBook on my IGTV (highly suggest watching the video). HoneyBook helps me manage all of my clients and helps me create THE BEST consistent client experience. I would do anything to reverse time and use this program at the beginning of my business. As I talked about in my IGTV, it does all the thinking for me- Automatically sends emails and questionnaires, reminds me when I need to be in touch with my client, and this ensures I will always be my best which leads to happy clients (and happy clients = more growth and income)!!!!

I actually have a 50% off code to share with you! This price is insane. As I talked about in my IGTV, this saves me 20 hours a month and this codes makes HoneyBook for $16/ … that’s a steal. I’d pay $50+ a month to get myself 20 hours of extra free time (think about all that extra time drinking margs with the girls or time to take care of myself).

Grab your lifesaving code here!!!

3. Adobe Suite

Where would I be without my trusty Adobe Suite?! Adobe Lightroom, Premiere, and InDesign are my lungs. They add magic to all my photos, content, and guides. EVERY professional photographer needs Adobe. Period.

4. Dark Sky

If you don’t have this on your phone, download it immediately after you’re done reading this blog post. It’s the best weather app. I trust it wholeheartedly and it has saved me so many times during weddings or senior sessions. I love that it shows you how heavy it will rain and NEVER disappoints.

5. CloudSpot

CloudSpot is how I send my galleries to my clients. I love supporting programs that actually care about the experience they provide for businesses. CloudSpot is always on the works and staying on top of trends to make sure you deliver the best gallery to your clients.

I love that my clients can download, share, AND print their photos in 1 place. This makes it easy for them to share their photos with family.

It’s also easy to make additional income because from the gallery you can show print codes to encourage your clients to print photos. This is a bonus. Plus I just love seeing my clients print their photos.

AND I have a link for you to sign up for free. Bless amazing companies that want to help others! Here’s the link.

6. QuickBooks

This is a new program that I’ve added to my list of lifesavers. I’m kicking myself for not listening to others and using QuickBooks from the very beginning. Managing your finances properly is one of the most important components of having a successful small business. Did you know that most small businesses fail within 5 years?! Scary right. Track those expenses and revenues. Keep your business running!! This business tool will help you keep track of income.

7. Google Analytics

I know photographers who are in their 5th year of business and haven’t implemented Google Analytics into their marketing plan and I want shake them and say “AH GIRLFRIEND. YOU NEED THIS TO KNOW WHERE TO PUT YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS INTO.” Don’t be intimated by Google Analytics- there are millions of YouTube videos out there which can help guide you.

I love Google Analytics for three reasons- 1) it shows me how people are finding my site, 2) it shows me how people travel through my site (this tells me what pages/blog posts do best and areas need to be improved), 3) keeps me on track for growth- if I see a dramatic decrease in viewers a month that’s a red flag I did something wrong with my marketing

How will you know if you need to improve if you don’t know what you need to improve on? Looking through your analytics will give you these answers and give growth to launch your business farther forward into your industry.

8. Tailwind

Previously I’ve talked about Pinterest and why YOU NEED IT in your marketing plan. Also can you tell I studied marketing in college? Lol. I love it.

Tailwind automizes my Pinterest so like Instagram, I think about it once and the work is then done. EXCEPT unlike Instagram, you should be recycling your content more often. You can automize this all in Tailwind so you put the effort in once and it’ll post the content for months.

9. Unfold

We all are suckers for an ascetically pleasing Instagram Story whether you recognize it or not. Unfold is a free app that can make this happen! I use it for sneak peeks after sessions so when my clients share my Instagram stories they definitely grab people’s attention. View the app here! It’s the small business tools like Unfold that elevate your business.

 

 

PHEW. I just shared all of my inside secrets business tools. WOW.

Let me know, was this helpful?! Come tell me in my Instagram DMs. I’d love to share some more tips to help you launch your photography business!!!

 

I’ll put the affiliate links for discounts right here again!

Planoly

CloudSpot

Honeybook

 

Graphic for photography tools