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Business Tips
Posted by Jana Ferreira
Updated: December 14, 2023

How to Scale a Photography Business Using 3 Types of Automation Tools

If you’ve just typed "how to scale a photography business” into Google, you’ve landed in the right spot. 

Let us guess… you’re a solo photographer with a successful business but you constantly feel like there's too much to do and not enough time. Let alone time to strategize how to grow your business and bottom line!

Scaling a one-person photography operation demands the skilled juggling of time management, client relationships, and evolving marketing landscapes.

A man juggling on the beach

In this article, we’ll put you on the path to scaling success with automation tools that streamline your business processes to make room for growth in your busy schedule.

We’ll unravel the magic of automation tools in three key categories: 

  1. Client management tools
  2. Project management tools 
  3. Marketing tools

1. Streamline Client Management to Start Scaling a Photography Business

The first step in gearing up to scale your photography business is to streamline one of the most time-consuming parts of running any business: client management. 

Imagine a world where all your client interactions, contracts, and invoices seamlessly converge in one digital hub, saving you not just time but also maintaining your sanity. 

This is the transformative magic of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRM software is one of the top tools for your photography business and a non-negotiable in our opinion. 

Here are just some of the things CRM tools can do for you:

  • Contact and client management
  • Project and task management
  • Communication and messaging capabilities
  • Workflow automation and reminders
  • Integration with other tools (e.g. calendar, email marketing)
  • Reporting and analytics

CRM Tools for Photographers

honeybook review

Now, if you’re looking to streamline consultations with an automated booking system, then scheduling tools will help you do that.

Most of these tools seamlessly integrate with your CRM, offering automated consultation bookings. The benefits are twofold: enhancing the customer experience and saving valuable time through automated appointment scheduling.

Scheduling Tools We Recommend

tidycal review

The next step in automating client management is to make the process of proofing images as painless as possible for you and your clients. 

Say goodbye to the days of USB sticks and cumbersome file-sharing systems. Online proofing galleries allow photographers to upload images effortlessly, providing clients with a seamless viewing experience.

Every online proofing gallery offers different functions. Here are a few key features to look for when making a decision:

  • Client feedback options 
  • E-commerce capabilities 
  • Customizable websites 
  • RAW image upload support
  • Slideshow and album design 
  • Adequate storage limits 
  • CRM features (yes, some of them include this too!)

Proofing Galleries to Check Out

CloudSpot information

Another set of photography business tools that should not be ignored is automation tools for print sales that help bring in additional revenue with minimal effort. 

These tools not only add to your bottom line but also simplify the ordering experience for clients. Certain online proofing galleries, like Pic-Time and SmugMug, excel in automating the print sales process.

2. Use Project Management Tools for Your Photography Business

Ever tried herding cats? If you've handled ten+ photography projects at once without the help of project management software, you’ll know what it’s like to wrangle a wild troupe of felines: impossible. 

In this digital age, it's not just about project management; it's about mastering the art of organization and productivity. Thank goodness for project management tools – the unsung heroes of streamlining everyday processes.

These organizational platforms help you:

  • Organize and manage projects and daily tasks 
  • Work more productively and with less stress
  • Visualize your projects to see statuses at a glance
  • Track project timelines (no more forgotten deadlines!)
  • Boost efficiency with automation and customizations that suit your workflow
  • Collaborate with your team effortlessly (if you’re not a solopreneur anymore)

A huge plus point is that many of these tools integrate with CRMs, and certain project/studio management software, like Studio Ninja, are made specifically for photographers.

These tools are available as online, desktop, and mobile applications, making them the perfect virtual assistants for photographers who are always on the go.

Studio Ninja project management software for photographers

Project Management Tools We Love

3. Automate Your Marketing Campaigns to Free Up Valuable Time

Now, let's talk about the heartbeat of business growth – marketing. 

Marketing your services is about more than lead generation; it’s about crafting a compelling narrative for your brand and establishing a memorable presence in the hearts and minds of your audience.

If a solid marketing strategy is the heartbeat of scaling a photography business, then automation is the rhythm that propels it forward.

Let’s face it, staying on top of social media marketing is a full-time gig. Planning, creating content, and posting on social media can take heaps of time out of your day… and then you still need to interact and engage with your audience too!

So, instead of spending every waking minute checking your platforms, why not automate some of those processes?

Marketing Automation Tools We Recommend

Hootsuite: How to scale a photography business with automation tools

Even though your work is visual and social media is the perfect place to market your services and show off your gorgeous work, don’t forget about one of the OG digital marketing platforms: email marketing!

When it comes to lead nurturing and sales, an email list is your secret weapon. Think of it as a community of potential clients eagerly awaiting your next masterpiece. 

Check Out These Email Marketing Tools

Once again, many CRM platforms include social media scheduling capabilities and email automation, so be sure to think about what you need out of the tools you’re using to see where you could skip unnecessary subscriptions and streamline your desktop as well as your workflow.

To Recap: How to Scale a Photography Business

In the grand symphony of preparing to scale your photography business, automation tools play the lead role, orchestrating efficiency and unlocking the door to substantial growth. 

We’ve covered how business automation tools for client, project, and marketing management will boost productivity and help you run your business more efficiently. We’ve even thrown in some recommended tools for you to check out.

Now, once you’ve streamlined your business workflow processes, it’s time to think about the true time thief… post-processing. 

Aftershoot swoops in as your knight in shining armor, ready to take tedious manual culling and editing processes off your hands and help you go from shoot to delivery in record time. 

Our AI algorithms are fired up and ready to automate your editing process and assist you in culling 10x faster than before. 

For more photography workflow tips, dive into our other articles on our blog. Here’s one that covers the basics: 3 Workflow Tips Every Photographer Should Know

Happy automating and bonne chance on your scaling journey! 🚀

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