My Favorite Business Systems and Tools (to help me keep my sanity)
I don’t care what kind of business owner you are, creative or not you need to have systems in your business. They’re what will keep you on track and moving forward, without all the stress of digging through notes and paperwork.
Okay, maybe you’ll still dig through notes, but you’ll at least have a system behind it. I’ve found several handy online tools that help me streamline my business so I can focus on my clients. This allows me to work more efficiently so I’m more effective and can turn it off at the end of the day to spend time with my kids.
So what are these magical pieces of technology? So glad you asked!
Started by The Rising Tide Society, this irreplaceable tool allows me to create templates for client agreements, set pricing structures, automate invoicing, send reminders to clients and more. It was designed for photographers but the tools are helpful for any creative business owner. It really streamlines my whole client onboarding process and allows me to set and forget invoices and payment plans. I don’t know what I’d do without it! Use my affiliate link and get 20% off!
Another must-have for photographers, ShootProof allows me to share photo galleries with my clients. They can choose the photos they love right in a password-protected url in the application and also share their photos on social media quickly. Clients can also tag photos for touch ups, so there’s no guessing which of the many photos I share with them they want tweaked. ShootProof been a huge time-saver for me and has really improved my clients’ experiences! Use my link and get started today with a free gallery!
While I love PhotoShop, Canva is an easier, faster way to resize photos and create graphics on the fly. Even better, its “magic resize” feature in the paid business plan takes any image and resizes it to fit in any social platform you choose. You can also add your colors and your fonts to your brand, making it incredibly simple to add a quote or your watermark to your photos. Click here to see my blog on how you can use your styled stock images in Canva for fast marketing images. There’s also an app, so you can use it on your phone or tablet too.
One of the go-to social media schedulers, CoSchedule has a plug-in that allows you to add it to your WordPress site–making it easy to load your blog and schedule your social at the same time. When used with your website, CoSchedule will also measure the effectiveness of your headlines so you can make tweaks to make it more clickable. You can also use its Chrome plug-in to curate content from other websites. This is one the best marketing tools I’ve found!
Sharing and storing many large files at once was a challenge until I discovered Dropbox. It’s basically an external hard drive that stores your files in the cloud. I don’t ever want to lose someone’s precious memories because of a technology failure, so keeping an extra backup in Dropbox puts my mind at ease. And I’m able to easily share them with clients and printers when needed.
I don’t know many business owners who haven’t discovered Trello yet. It’s the perfect management tool to keep track of notes, record inspiration, write down ideas and even draft blog posts. It also allows you to manage your time and projects with templates and cards you can easily move around. There’s both a paid and free version, but the free version is robust enough for most!
I feel like I have a pretty good handle on most systems in my business, but I always keep my eye out for new things. What are some of your favorite systems and applications? I’d love to check them out!
Questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Crystal Hollman, Crystal Clear Photography, 2017