In order to run a successful business you need to make sure you have basic managerial systems in place and running smoothly. Even those of us who are super organized can find it difficult to manage our client base. Once I had a good system in place, I was able to give better service to my clients and in return see a growth in sales and business in general.
So today I am sharing with you the 5 things I do to have successful client management.
Over the years I have transitioned my client management. I have used what I like to call “duct tape” systems, the kind of systems you put together because you have no money starting out and just need something to keep track of what is going on. Let me be the first to say that I am proud of my duct tape systems and they definitely worked. However, as my business grew, my client base grew and my cash flow grew. I needed to upgrade to some more “sturdy” systems. So, today’s post will actually praise both the “duct tape” and “sturdy” systems, because I have intertwined both to find my success.
Implement a Client Management Software
I have fallen in love with ShootQ. Their motto is “Shoot More, Work Less.” Sounds good, right? The best part is that it holds truth. I am able to focus on more shooting but also on building other areas of my business.
ShootQ is the first place I go when I have a new inquiry come in through email. I immediately create a profile for this prospective client and send out the first pre-made email! Yes, you heard that right pre-made! I currently have 13 pre-made templates that will tend to all the different stages of my client management. My most favorite part is that I can schedule all of my emails! It’s been a huge blessing to my workflow.
I also use ShootQ to create a home for my clients. This is where they access and sign their contracts, view their balances, and find information regarding their sessions with me. Everything remains right there on their client page, where they can access at any time and at their convenience.
A bonus for me is that I can sync my calendar in ShootQ with my Apple calendar.
I will say that if you are new to this program it can be very overwhelming. It takes some time to get used to. With that said, you must know about their excellent customer service. You have help at your fingertips whenever you need it. They offer
- online tutorials – help search
- video tutorials
- phone support
- email support
- and you can even schedule a one on one session with one of their experts! This was great for me because I had someone walking me through every step while getting my system set up. I could stop him whenever I needed and ask as many questions as I needed.
Although I do not use shoot Q to it’s fullest capacity (yet), I am ok with that, and I want you to know that it’s up to you how you use it to successfully run your business.
Yes, that’s right, I totally rock out a file folder system in the Melissa Lynn Hunt office. I’m a paper and pencil kind of girl. I do admit that I have phased out quite a bit of my filing and manage a large majority via the computer and mobile device. I simply feel that there is a need for some filing for my client management.
Once a client has booked and paid for their session, I immediately create a file folder for them. Inside the file folder I will put a blank ordering invoice and a portrait pickup form. This is because I hold in-person-sales (IPS) sessions, also referred to as ordering sessions. These forms will definitely be used when that time comes. Sometimes, I will print off emails I feel the need to have record of. I will also place notes in this folder. For example, I am the queen of post-it notes. If I need to leave myself a reminder pertaining to this client, I will grab my favorite sticky note, jot it down, and stick it in the folder.
There are many virtual calendar options out there. I have found that my Apple Calendar works for me! I can access it from all of my devices and everything syncs via iCloud. As I mentioned above, I can sync it to my ShootQ calendar. So instantly I know that my bookings are getting placed on my Apple Calendar. However, I am a nut and to be extra cautious I will also manually add a client booking on my calendar. So yes, I will have a shoot listed twice. You never know when one system will fail, right? Maybe I’m just nuts!
I also use the reminder/alert feature on the Apple Calendar. Being a wife, mom, business owner, dog wrangler, and social butterfly, I have a tendency to get my days mixed up! I set two alerts for all things booked on my calendar. The alerts are very helpful and keep me on top of things.
If my clients are on social media I immediately get connected. I follow them, they follow me. It’s part of the process. Getting to know who my clients via social media is very beneficial. I can better serve them when I know who they are. I also want to make sure they have access to me. I post a lot about who I am and what my business is like. They are better informed and more connected by following me. I do believe that social media doesn’t paint a complete picture and therefore I have in-person meetings, but that’s another topic for another day.
Add a New Contact
This is simple, but important! As soon as you book a client add their information into your phone! If you are like me, you don’t answer a phone call when the number is unrecognized. Once my clients are in my contact list I can better serve them by answering their call when it comes through. It’s also important for me because I text with my clients. I mainly text with my high school girls. We text about outfits and session details.
I hope that you have found my list of 5 things helpful in some way!! If you are interested in using ShootQ and would like more information or have questions please feel free to ask. I would love to know if you have found success with another program? I would also love to know what you do to better your client management. Maybe I can find your suggestions helpful too!
If you are looking for more tips, advice, and business guidance you will be excited to know that I have just what you need! My best bud Brittany Lauren and I have dreamed up the most amazing opportunity for other photographers to learn our secrets to our success. If you have been following us on social media (MelissaLynnHunt and BrittanyLaurenCreates) then you know we’ve had something in the works. Next week we will finally reveal all the details!! Follow the blog daily to learn more and be ready for when the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT goes live!