Running a business has so much to do with work-life balance and managing your time. It is, in fact, key to be good at it so that you can do more of what you became a photographer to do; shoot. With life constantly throwing new tasks at us, new social media sites to keep up with and, hopefully, more clients to respond to, it can be very overwhelming. Finding shortcuts are crucial to managing it all and below are 4 apps, that I personally use, that I’m sure you will find do just the thing.
Every time I see a new social media site I simply want to jump off the bridge (but don’t have the time to drive to the nearest one). There’s another social media venue for me to keep up on? As if Pinterest, Google+, Google Pages, Facebook, Facebook Pages, Twitter, and LinkedIn weren’t enough. Who can keep up with all of them and still run a business? You can.
Buffer is an app that’ll allow you to simultaneously post to all of the social media sites that I mentioned above, plus some. Not only will you be able to post content everywhere with just a few clicks, but you can customize each post as well keeping Twitter to 140 characters, tagging people on Facebook, adding hashtags on Google+, and setting different privacy settings for each.
Best part? Buffer analyzes your different social profiles to see when the best time to post is. It’ll also gather data for the posting you do through Buffer so you can see what your top performing posts are and perhaps repost them.
As a business owner you can deduct the mileage driven for work-related trips like going to weddings/shoots, meeting clients and networking events. It’s not easy to keep track of, in fact it’s annoying, but MileBug makes it easier.
This app will let you track your mileage in multiple ways including saving favorite trips (like the drive to your studio or airport), GPS tracking, and manually inputting values. It generates reports for you to hand right over to your accountant at the end of the year. Best part is you can try out this app for free before committing to it. Your wallet will thank you during tax season for keeping track of your mileage accurately!
If you’ve ever heard me speak, you’ve most likely heard me rave about this app for both desktop and mobile. It’s hands-down the number one time-saver in my studio for the mundane task of writing emails. It makes responding to inquiries, booking brides and handling new employees super fast and simple.
Text Expander allow you to save email templates (called snippets) within its interface and assign abbreviations to them. The program runs in the background of your desktop so that when you’d like to use one the snippets, all you have to do is type in the abbreviation you made for it and PRESTO the whole e-mail pastes right in. For example, when I receive an inquiry that I’m available for, I type in “IA” for “Inquiry Available” and my typical inquiry response email shows up. If I receive an inquiry that I’m not available for, I type in “TOOBAD” and in goes my “I’m sorry I’m not available” response. If I don’t hear back from an inquiring bride, I type in “FU” to follow up.
You can add other features like prompts for filling in blanks in your templates or going with the newly updated mobile version (and syncing your templates). Text Expander is free to demo, and then you can buy it after your demo expires, which is actually pretty fun since it summarizes how many hours you’ve saved by using the product. It adds up very quickly to gain back your time and grab it now.
There’s nothing that’ll set your day in an upheaval like trying to find something in a pile of similar shaped things, especially in your purse (hey ladies – we all have messy purses!). It’s so easy to get frustrated over the little things like lost club cards. Tearing apart your house to find what you need will leave you with another mess to deal with later.
I’m a huge saver-type person so I belong to every free coupon, card-carrying club known to man. I can save 10% at Staples? Sign me up. You’ll give me coupons for buying my dog, Tico, treats? I’m there. Before I knew it, my key chain and wallet had more plastic in it than a recycling factory and anytime I wanted to use one of my discount or club cards, it took a handbag dumping to find it.
Card Star takes away every one of those pieces of plastic and lets you put them right where they belong: in the recycling bin. Now when I sign up for a new freebie club, I scan the barcode into Card Star and throw the card away before I’m even finished checking out with the cashier. No more plastic, just cold, hard, saved cash and a warm fuzzy feeling whenever I look in my clean (okay, cleaner) pocketbook.
There are new apps coming out every day, so always take the time to look for new ones to better your business and make your whole life run more efficiently.
Discover additional apps and tools to use in your business with our free Guide: 27 Ridiculously Simple Hacks to Transform Your Wedding Photography Business. Download your copy today to implement time-saving solutions!