Are You Organized?
I didn’t use to be, because getting organized is very boring and seems like a waste of time in the beginning, when all you want to do is food photography (or any other type of professional creative endeavor). Yes, it takes a lot of effort to get organized, but do we have a choice? Not really, if we want to become professional photographers. I can assure you that, in the long run, that effort will repay itself so many times over and you’ll be very happy you did that.
When Did I Get More Organized?
When my prospects and clients started to grow in number I realized I wanted to figure out a way to structure and streamline my processes for sending quotes, contract and invoices. You can of course do all this through any piece of software and create a pdf, but it felt better to try and find help through some online platform that was designed just to do that. I’ve been using 17Hats for quite a few years and I find it perfect for my needs. I’m not saying it’s the best one or the least expensive one, I’m just saying it gets the job done and I haven’t felt the need to look elsewhere. So far.
You can do a lot of things with it, including email and bookkeeping. I only use it for:
- Creating and sending quotes
- Creating and sending contracts
- Creating and sending invoices
You can easily create templates for the items above and make your workflow really smooth and fun (as fun as a very boring task can be, at least). I do not use the actual email integration (you could handle all your emailing from this platform if you wanted to), but I do use the functionality for managing the three things when dealing with clients or prospects.
How is this different than sending a pdf attached to an email?
This tool (or an equivalent one, there’s several out there) will allow the following:
- Your clients can electronically accept quotes and sign contracts
- Your clients can pay you electronically both via credit card and e-check/ACH (this option is extremely cheap).
- As the number of invoices you send out increases, it becomes really hard to keep track of payments and this tool gives you total control over that, including the possibility to send payment reminders.
If you’re interested in this tool, check out the tutorials they have created and please do browse around and see if there are other tools you might like better.
Why Is This Important?
Ultimately, this tool not only does make my life easier and more organized, but in particular, it elevates the quality of service I offer, as a professional food photographer. I believe you should continuously (I’d say even ‘obsessively’) aim at offering a service that goes way beyond your amazing food photography and makes you stand out because of the incredible experience people have when they work with you. There are thousands of photographers (pros and amateurs alike) who create incredibly stunning images, but only a fraction of those will deliver an incredible experience to their clients. We should be in that subset of photographers.
Thoughts? Please share your experience with the community by commenting down below. If you enjoyed this information, please share it on your own channels.
Thank You and Happy Shooting!