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The business side of running a Photography Business…{Northern Virginia Photographer}

It’s not all fun and shutter clicks around here…someone has to not only turn on the lights, but make sure the switches are in the right places too, LOL!

Seriously, I’m wearing a lot of different hats in this business and it isn’t just “photographer”. Running this business means marketing it too – from planning ads, to designing ads, to budgeting for ads, to monitoring if they are working or not! And accounting for it, and well, actually “BUILDING” it.

And we also have to make sure all the environments are ready to go – from planting new flowers to building new sets.  We do get help when we can, or when the job is too big for us – and I’m very open about the vendors we use and when we use them.  We LOVE Wildwood Landscape and Matthew Bowe Design Build…two vendors who give as much to their business and their customers as we do to ours.  And for that, we are indebted to them….

Oh, and maintaining web sites and our web “presence”… that’s been the goal of this week actually. Our internal systems for following up with new business leads and tracking booked sessions needed a little tweaking, which turned into a major change in the entire way we do things. Of course. I don’t keep anything “simple”…

Over two years ago I went to the CLOUD option with all my image workflow files – and that was a really great switch.  The software now automatically updates so I don’t have to spend days installing new versions, and resetting up my preferences every time the company changes something important.  AND it’s cheaper in the end, too…so another WIN!

Last year I went to an all online accounting system -and I will NEVER look back.  It’s great, has a clean interface, and I’m completely mobile in my accounting now – HUGE PLUS!  I can work on accounting from anywhere, anytime I have a minute.  Win!

Earlier this year we had to change our gallery website for your image proofs too.  That was another big job, but in the end the system is now more “modern” (which in the online world is very important) and looks cleaner and easier to use too.

This year we needed to focus on our client systems – lead generation, session follow ups and the information “flow” you receive from me from the time you first inquire about my business to when I tell you that your order is ready to pick up!  In between re-setting up the systems, the auto replies, moving contacts and already planned sessions for this year,  we had a chance to update our all the actual information you received (and when you received it)  and it needed a little tweaking.  So although it was a TON of work to change everything around, I think it was actually for the best in the end as now it should all “flow” better.

All in all we manage four web sites – a “main site”, a “seniors only” site, a blog, and a Gallery site.  In addition to that we keep on top of our Facebook pages (personal and business), our Linked in presence, a YELP page, a BING presence, GOOGLE presence, online marketing booklets we digitally publish, and more.  And we try to do all that as seamlessly as possible so all the information you receive is the same, and accurate.  And all of that is in addition to the software products we use behind the scenes to keep the business going.

Improvements to the “systems” take a lot of time and patience, and yes, investments…but in the end we want to stay as current as possible with all our web sites, programs and procedures so we can focus as much time as possible ON THE ART side too!

Just thought you might want to know….

 

#studiophotographer #photographybusiness #artofphotography #photographybusinessmanagement #virginiaphotographer #loudouncountyphotographer

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