Being a freelance photographer might look attractive – beautiful locations, exciting photoshoots, meeting new people. But you rarely think about the real pros and cons of this job, for example, the business side, which is just as routine and boring as an ordinary nine to five office job.
While at the start of your career, a pen and a notebook might be enough. But as you grow professionally, your client base will get bigger too. The many advantages of free tools such as Google Calendar or Google Docs/Sheets will only take you so far. You’ll eventually need to start looking for CRM software for photographers to suit your needs the best. Below you can find some useful tips on choosing a solution that will be both streamlined, consistent, and efficient.
What is a CRM?
CRM or Client Relationship Management System helps you keep track of your clients and manage your professional relations with them. It is an essential tool for anyone whose workflow is too big to be operated manually. A CRM will help you keep all your business information in one place where you can access it any time.
How to Know When You Need
If you doubt whether or not you need a CRM for your photographer business, here are three signs you should consider:
- You can’t fit everything into a spreadsheet anymore. You might’ve built a big client base by now. If you cannot arrange your projects the way you used to – it might be time to upgrade to some photography CRM software.
- You have more clients to work with simultaneously than you can handle. Trying to keep every detail about your clients in your head make you feel exhausted. With the right photography studio management software, you won’t have to think about anything, as you will have all the information regarding each client collected in one place.
- You spend way too many hours each week on administrative tasks. You can avoid filling in details about your clients manually by using a customer relationship management
Main CRM Benefits for Photography Business
CRM can be a real savior for photographers or any other artists, and here’s why:
- It gives you plenty of free time. Instead of spending hours managing your documentation, you can let CRM handle it. Instead, you can dedicate your hours to your craft or polishing your professional skills. Or you can spend that time relaxing. Giving yourself some time to chill might be a worthwhile investment in your business in the long run.
- It will be a massive improvement to your business It is nearly impossible to track all the emails, messages, and calls in your head. Even if you manage to do that, it probably will result in a lack of time and energy. You may stop eating healthily or stop spending time exercising or doing hobbies. With the right photography studio CRM, you’ll be able to get reminders about the necessary follow-up emails, calls, and other aspects of your business communication with clients.
- It allows you to distribute your time effectively. With a CRM system, you’ll immediately see which tasks are most urgent, all renewal updates, stages of the sales process for each of your potential clients, etc.
Features to Look for in a CRM for Photographers
Even though most CRM systems have more or less the same features with some custom additions, as a photographer, you might want to look for a specific list of requirements, for example:
- Most photographers charge for their services by the hour. If that is your case, a CRM system will help you calculate the client’s final price. You will also see your current timetable and will be able to estimate how much income you have each month.
- Lead generation and management. Even though you’re an artist, a business is still a business, and you’ll need to invest in lead generation, especially in the early stages. Managing your marketing and lead generation campaigns from your photography CRM can be very convenient.
- Payments and invoice management. Most CRM systems allow you to track the payment status of each of your clients by simply entering their name or email. Many systems also offer integration opportunities for electronic document flow. It means that you won’t have to print your contracts anymore – your clients can sign the photo contract online and save you time and money.
- Project progress. One of the greatest CRM features that can make a photographer’s life easier is the ability to see the current status of each of your projects. It is very convenient when you have many active projects at once.
As you grow professionally, it might become harder to keep track of all your activities. This is when professional technology like a CRM system can make your photography business a lot simpler. Make a list of your typical tasks and look for a CRM system that can cover them all. Let it cover administrative tasks so that you can shift your focus to what you do best – creating art.