With busy season in full swing, it can become overwhelming to keep up with increasing demands. Not only are you still shooting weddings, you are gathering all of the necessary items for clients’ weddings you have just shot. On top of shooting and fulfilling client orders, you have a photography business to run! Here at ShootDotEdit, we understand the struggles photographers face (especially when it comes to your post production workflow). Here are some tips for staying ahead and having the most successful busy wedding season yet!
Assess your Workload
As you take a look at the tasks that are currently on your plate, it is important to create a list of upcoming deadlines which require immediate action so you can stay on track. Part of catching up is making sure you avoid falling behind on any upcoming deadlines that will set you back even further. Once you understand the situation you are currently in, you can devise your plan to get out! Using the list you created, identify the specific task that needs to be completed in order to check it off the list. Prioritize your crucial deadlines! If you know you have an album that needs to be sent to a client within a certain timeframe, make sure that you also list out the steps it takes to create the album. Some parts of the process may take longer than others, so you need to prioritize those, as well.
Set Short-term and Long-term Goals
As you make the lists to complete your work, it may become overwhelming to look at everything that needs to happen over the next few weeks. Make sure to break your tasks down into more manageable portions. Keep your goals measurable and realistic to help you see the progress made and to keep yourself from getting too overwhelmed. Remember the Five Step Process for setting goals.
Your long-term goal will be the end goal; it will be what you want to accomplish this year, whether that means you increase your bookings, have happier clients, or grow your business in a way that you may not have done before. When creating short-term goals, think about smaller items that you can accomplish now that help you reach your end goal. This can include sending out wedding albums to every client before the date you originally promised.
Tip: Create incentives for yourself once your goals are accomplished. For example, if you reach one of your goals, treat yourself to a new purchase or a nice weekend away.
Stay in Communication with Clients
If you’ve fallen behind, the worst thing you can do is NOT keep your clients up to date. Letting clients know what to expect – even if it’s a revised turnaround time – goes a long way toward keeping your positive relationship intact. Your clients are excited to see their images. Letting them know what to expect will help ensure that their frustration doesn’t overshadow their excitement. Be realistic. Make sure that any revised timetable you give your clients is accurate so that you can deliver.
If your turnaround times are later than your clients expected, find ways to give them an extra “thank you” for being patient. Try a gift credit for prints, extra album pages for free, or a favorite print that you frame and send to them. Help keep the experience positive, even if the process takes a little longer than usual!
Outsource Time-Consuming Tasks
In your business, post-production and album design are common areas that create bottlenecks. They can easily be addressed and fixed for faster turnaround times with the help of a specialist! Teaming up with an editing partner to help you get caught up on your shoots quickly is paramount. Then, you can get images to clients on time, rather than continuing to fall behind.
Whether it’s hiring someone to help you with album design or teaming up with a wedding photo editing service, such as ShootDotEdit, avoid pushing aside help when you find yourself behind. It is tempting to think that you can dig yourself out when you are buried in deadlines, and it is easy to put off finding a partner to help because you feel overwhelmed. The sooner that you can start working with partners to get back on track, the better. Don’t wait to ask for help until “things slow down.” That time may never come! Getting a plan in place for post-production and other areas of your business NOW will keep your business running smoothly as you breathe a sigh of relief at the end of this busy season.
Keep Track of Problem Areas
Something else you can do is to keep track of the areas that are slipping and work on them later. Are you not getting to all your emails? Are you falling behind in your blogging? What bottlenecks exist that can be eliminated to get a faster turnaround? Keep track of these areas and write them down. When the busy season has passed, go back and revisit these processes. How can you tweak them to improve on them next year? Consider how you can learn from this year to do better next year.
Making decisions under pressure can hurt you. Once you catch up with your workload, go back and improve upon your processes. You might decide to partner with a specialist or use a new app to help you lighten the load. Always be thinking of what the next step can be, since it will help you and your business continue to grow.
Fight the burn out! This season is exciting and filled with amazing opportunities for you and your business to grow. By staying focused and positive, you can reach your goals and delight your clients. Discover how you can speed up your workflow with our Guide, 27 Simple Hacks to Transform your Wedding Photography Business!