Ask any wedding photographer what their to do list looks like during a busy wedding season and the reply will often be a sigh! I get it! When you are in the throws of photographing weddings, editing and not to mention continuing to market and grow your business during this busy time – it can often feel like it is all too much to do!
I was the same in the early years of my business until I decided to take a different approach.
I am not afraid to admit that in school I was a little bit of a study freak and was that nerdy student who got a kick out of scheduling my study timetable. I know, the words “get a life” spring to mind!!
I couldn’t understand how I could be so organised in school and university yet when it came to planning my weeks work I was a disaster! There was so much to do and simply trying to remember what I needed to do next was just not enough.
I decided therefore to make 3 changes to my workflow that gave me back the free time that I had left my 9-5 to achieve and also allowed my business to run more smoothly.
- I went back to school!
Well not really but I did go back to the approach I took in school to schedule what I needed to do before my exams. using a monthly planner I set out what I needed to achieve each month and then pencilled it it when it would do it and how long it would take. Being able to take a birds eye view of my month not only allowed me to see what was achieveable and to know that was I wanted to get done was possible in the time I had to do it. But it also gave me the peace of mind to know that everything was in hand and would be taken care of. I then broke this down into manageable weekly tasks – those that needed to be done every week – invoicing and blogging and those that would be one offs that month – designing a particular album, meeting couples and wedding fairs for example. Now I had a handle on what each week would look like I could approach each working week with a sense of confidence in what I was doing and where my business was going.
2. I added systems and automation
One major change that I made in my business was to start using 17 Hats. 17 Hats is an all-in-one system for managing your wedding bookings. You can create projects and auotmate workflows to send questionnaires, booking forms, invoices as well as create email templates to speed up your workflow, with timely reminders of what needs to be done next. I love it and it has given my business a sense of systemisation that still allows for a personal touch.
3. Create the right environment for work
When I was in school and for a time in university the internet was non-existent. Social media like Facebook and Instagram were but a distant dream. I think the lack of distraction of being online meant that I simply got my head down and did my work. So I began to adopt that approach in my work like. I now switched off email, log off social media and go about each task in the time I have set to achieve it. It has been revolutionary to my business and allows me to get so much more work done during the day, with time scheduled in between to check my email and get back to urgent enquiries. I would so reccommend it, especially if you are the type of person who is easily distracted and allow yourself to feel like you are working when simply you are scrolling up and down your Facebook page!
I hope these tips have helped and wish you happy scheduling planning!!