There are a lot of tools I use to run my business, and they might be helpful for you to run yours! Below you will find my list of go-to programs or sites that I use – both as a photographer and business owner (not all of them might be pertinent to your type of business, but then again, they might!):
Note: Links marked with * are affiliate links which means I get a little something if you decide to go ahead and purchase through my link/referral code.
Client Management System (CRM)
For keeping all my clients in one place, setting up automated workflows, taking online bookings, signing contracts and connecting to my account management software, I use 17 Hats*. It really works for me and has the bonus of being able to have multiple brands with one account – which means I have a client list & workflow for my family photography, and then another for my branding and business.
It has been a real game changer for me, and would highly recommend it, or another that works for you, to help save you a lot of time in the running of your business.
If you are interested in getting yourself signed up to 17Hats, you can just click on the image below or the link above.
To keep all my accounts in order I use Quickbooks Self Employed. There is also normal Quickbooks if you are a limited company. I love how easy it is to connect everything to all my payout services, including PayPal Business. It does seem to get glitchy with my bank sometimes, but I think the problem is on the bank’s end rather than QB’s. One of the things I most love about it is the reports it generates, not just Profit/Loss, but also your Self Assessment! It is basically all done for you ! All you have to do is copy the numbers onto your online form and you are done. I think the time it saves for that along is totally worth it!
To take payments online I use both Stripe and PayPal Business. Stripe connects directly with my CRM and so all my data stays together, which helps when you need a business overview. A lot of people are familiar with PayPal, so I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about that! Stripe takes a cheaper percentage than PayPal, but I think offering both options will make customers feel that you are a safe and reliable provider, as they have the PayPal guarantee.
To deliver my images I use Shootproof*. It is really easy to us for both me and my clients, it connects to my payment methods, allows me to create albums within a gallery – which is great when I deliver to business clients, as I offer both high resolution and web optimised images to them. They don’t take a commission which is good, and also allow you to create an automated workflow and email sequence. This is really handy to save time, which is so important when you are a one-woman band, like me!
For my videos, I use Vimeo. I find the platform easy to use, responsive, and a bit more private than YouTube. Depending on the tier you use, clients can download their high resolution video straight from there. It also makes embedding videos onto your website really easy too.