If you’ve ever felt bogged down by your workflow but also just not sure how to make it better, this post is going to help you rethink the way you should approach your workflow!
I want to help you perfect and streamline your workflow so you can gain more time back in your business and life, because honestly, that’s what it’s all about! I don’t want you to feel like you’re constantly running the hamster wheel on the backend of your business.. and today’s episode is going to help you get out of that.
Are you overcomplicating your workflow?
This post is all about simplifying your communication workflow after someone inquires with you and how you can streamline it to give you more life back. There’s a ton of different kinds of workflows in your photography business, but here we’re covering communication workflow and some things to think about when building yours out.
Let’s brainstorm some things to think about when building out your client workflow. Before anything, you want to make sure you already have your entire workflow built out. That way when someone fills out your contact form, you already have specific workflows in place so that all you need to do is click a button to initiate the workflow.
The way I do this is in Honeybook. That way I know it is 100% customized to how I want their experience with me to be, and have my emails, templates, and questionnaires be automatically sent to them so I don’t even have to think about it.
The pros to having a Client Management System such as Honeybook is that since I’ve done the work upfront, I am confident in the experience they will get from me based off the systems I’ve already built.
Now, once you’ve taken the time to do the prep work and map out your entire experience from initial inquiry to anniversary, it’s time to dig a little deeper and think about these things when looking at your workflow at an overview.
The right resources at the right time
I’m going to tell you about a time where I was inquiring to work with someone, and when we were emailing back and forth during the initial inquiry phase, they were sending me TONS of information, resources, feedback, things to think about, etc. all at once.
And honestly, I got all of that information back from them and I ended up going with someone else that took more time to connect with me and understand exactly what I was needing and looking for from their services.
So the point of this is to think about what exact resources do they need at that specific time in their process with you.
If you’re prepping them the month before their wedding day, they probably don’t want to know how they can arrange their reception space, or what lighting to think about for their ceremony. It’s too late at this point and all it’s going to do is leave them frustrated and feeling unprepared.
Same thing goes for during the initial inquiry process. They don’t need resources on how to best prep for their wedding day or elopement right at the time of booking. It’s just not important.
So my advice to you would be to go through your workflow and pinpoint where you have the extra fluff and rearrange it to be more impactful for your clients.
Overwhelm leads to no action AND poor experience
If you’re overwhelming your potential clients during the initial inquiry phase, there’s a higher chance they will not take any action at all because there is simply too much going on and it’s overwhelming.
You don’t want them to think they’re doing it all wrong or that they would have a lot of work ahead of them by working with you, you want to reassure them with ease that working with you will make their life easier and that YOU are the guide in their experience with you
You know how I always say that client experience is literally EVERYTHING you do in your business? Yes, this is included in that.
If you can provide your potential clients with the exact things they need at that exact time without putting them in a sense of overwhelm, believe it or not, that is providing them with an awesome client experience.
These are the things that subconsciously add up over time that may be things you don’t even think of or realize to be client experience, but they are!
That’s why when people think “Oh I already have a good client experience because I’m sending them a gift and a guide;” there’s SO much more to it than that!
But most importantly, you want your potential clients to take action. And by having too many CTA’s, too many resources, or too many things going on, they are more likely to not take any action at all. Therefore, not taking the next steps forward to book with you OR not completing the tasks you are asking of them.
I always like to think about how it can relate back onto you and what you can do to improve things on the client experience side to help bridge those gaps
Are you asking too many questions?
More is not better in this situation. There’s a difference between over-delivering and watering down a GOOD experience.
I am personally always looking for ways to condense down my workflow to be more efficient. I know a lot of people think they need this long and in-depth workflow, when in reality, the simpler the better. Like I said, I’m always looking for ways to condense it down.
Meaning, where can I combine some things so I don’t have to send a whole other questionnaire? Can I add that in my contract instead of having it in a questionnaire?
Can I put that as a resource link in an email instead of sending it as an entire guide? Or can I simplify that questionnaire so they don’t get stuck in overwhelm and end up not filling it out when I need them to?
Think about ways you can really condense things down.
A good question to ask yourself for EVERYTHING you have in your workflow is: What’s the point of this? What outcome am I getting from this and is it necessary?
Some good places to look for this are in your contact form, in your questionnaires, etc.
I see so many photographers and service-based businesses asking WAY too many questions in their contact form.
It also ties along with the last point of you don’t want to overwhelm them. And by asking too many questions up front on your contact form, especially if they’re not THAT relevant at that specific time, you’re running the risk of putting them in overwhelm and not taking any action at all.
So if your inquiries are slower, that might be a good place to start and look at.
Are you creating from scratch?
Are you creating your workflow from scratch, or are you building it based off of what you already have?
Sometimes it does take you needing to strip it all down and start over. Luckily for my students, that’s exactly what I had to do and now that I’ve built it back up, I’m giving it to my students to help save them a ton of time and efficiency for their workflows.
If you’re listening to this and thinking “Oh my goodness, I need some work on my workflows” I actually created a 2 hour 1:1 workflow intensive coaching option with me that you can sign up for if you’re looking for help but don’t want full on coaching at the moment.
I limit these sessions to 2 people per month, and you can snag your spot at racheltraxler.com/coaching
But basically, you can definitely work around the workflow you already have built up, or you can strip it down and start from scratch if you feel like it’s all just not working for you anymore.
The biggest thing is that you want to keep things simple without sacrificing the quality of the experience you’re providing.
Nurturing your clients with ease
If you don’t already, you really should make sure you have a solid nurture sequence set up in your workflow once you create it.
If you’re wondering what a nurture sequence is, it’s a sequence of emails that once they are booked and your clients, how you’re nurturing and providing them value as you’re guiding them through your workflow.
I talk to a lot of photographers and they are like “shoot Rach, I do NOT have a nurture sequence. I book them and then talk to them twice before their wedding day. But it’s okay because I include it all in their welcome guide.”
And I say to that… oh no. We need to get your nurture workflow set up.
Like I said, I had to strip down and build back up my entire experience so I’ve already done the work for you and created plug + play email templates with done-for-you copy you can take and plug into your wedding workflow from initial inquiry to anniversary. The link to those templates is here and I know it will be so helpful for you to build out your workflow and save you a ton of time.
Okay this last one should be obvious but I also see so many people not automating their workflow! Oh my goodness, this is the biggest game changer.
You need this in order to free up more time in your business and life. If you’re not using Honeybook or another client management system that has automation you’re truly missing out on the opportunity to scale your business. Because if you have to manually do work, that is not scalable.
The best way to run a scalable business is to have as much automation as you can. You can run your entire business on Honeybook and automate most of it.
The more you over-complicate your workflow the more you’re hurting your client experience.
So take these tips from today, sit down, and look over the workflow you currently have and see where you can make some improvements!
I am always cheering you on, because I truly believe when we can come from a place of serving, that’s when true connection and purpose happens.Be sure to check out more Gold Biz Podcast episodes here.