I am SO stoked to talk about this topic! It’s one that can’t be talked about enough, especially for my audience ~ we wear A LOT of hats, I know that we struggle with feeling productive. So, before we get to all the good stuff about the better way to your photography business…Taylor, please introduce yourself to my audience.
TAYLOR: Oh goodness! Such a loaded question. Hi, I am Taylor Mobley, specifically I am the head of Taylor Mobley Coaching, a business strategist and a productivity and efficiency coach for small and large companies. Also, I am a global content creator, speaker and podcast host. I help companies develop their vision, create sustainable systems, build out workflows and automations and create ease and confidence in their project management and organizational skills.
BROOKE: I love it! Music to my ears; organization, productivity, all the things, time management, and just all the good things. I know we’re going to talk a lot about workflows, project management and how to feel productive in our businesses. As a photographer, let’s not even worry about the rest of the hats we wear, we have a lot going on and if we’re not careful, we can easily drop the ball. I’m so excited to dig into this.
BROOKE: So, something that I get asked all the time, “how are you doing it all?”. The truth is, I don’t do it all. I have systems, processes, automations and I outsource. I want to make a parallel here — I teach a lot of client management systems, this is Iris Works, Honeybook, etc. What we’re talking about right now is project management (the behind the scenes!), so, things you or someone else needs to be doing in the background to successfully run the business you want to have.
TAYLOR: We’re operating in the behind the scenes, baby!
BROOKE: Yes! Let’s talk about project management. What is it? What does it look like? And, then let’s dive into Trello a little bit, too.
TAYLOR: So, project management is the scaffolding of the business, the better way to your photography business. You need project management systems to hold your business up so you can walk underneath it. So you can be doing all the things inside your home (your business) without it collapsing on you. We need the scaffolding in place to be able to hold it up so you can do what is important.
These are the things that only you & your employees are going to know about, only you & your employees are going to see, but without it, things are going to start slipping through the cracks or crumble. You only have so much time in the day. You only have so much brain power, right? Eventually we get fried out if we try to do all this manually.
Project management comes in & says, “you don’t have to do all this manually, let’s get repeatable processes written down and automated so you don’t have to sit down & write down that email that you send out to every client.
You shouldn’t be doing things from scratch more than once time. It’s a waste of time. It takes away from client facing time. While it may not seem important to you right now, but you won’t be able to scale or expand the levels of your business without these in place. If you wait until you’re truly struggling, it’s a huge undertaking to take on after you’ve been working so long without them. It’s better to have these in place as you start & grow.
BROOKE: I love it! You brought up such a great point because everyone asks me, “when am I ready for that?” You’re ready RIGHT NOW! So, photographers, if you’re looking to the better way to your photography business & your goal is to book more clients, you need these things in place. Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed & your booked out for 6 months before you realize you’re dropping the ball in all areas and you need to implement a client management system and some project management systems, too. Do it, now.
It’s called an investment. You’ll see a ROI pretty quickly. I really dislike the hang-up of, “I’m not ready for that”. Yes, you are! This doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. You can do all this by yourself, which I we’re going to touch on.
TAYLOR: So, you start by choosing a project management system that you love. And, there are a ton of options.
However, here are my top three:
TAYLOR: So, I am a Trello girl through and through, I run my ENTIRE business on Trello. It’s exactly what you need & nothing more.
BROOKE: So good! I am currently using Trello in my own business, too!
TAYLOR: Trello is amazing. I stumbled across it about 3 years ago when I was looking to revamp some of my workflow systems & bring on a VA. I fell in love with it & didn’t even truly know how to use it, yet.
Some of the things I host inside of my own Trello account:
BROOKE: Yes. My team uses it for a lot of the same things.
So, I actually fell in love with Trello myself & started using it in the photography side of my business, too. I have a board titled ‘Sessions’, I keep track of where I am in the process of each session I have on this Trello board.
TAYLOR: It makes it so easy to organize and manage multiple people on one project.
BROOKE: Yes, it truly does. It’s a one stop shop for all things organization. I know you have a Trello 101 ECourse. Tell us a little bit about what they can expect in this freebie, Taylor. I know I have a lot of visual people in my audience & they’re going to say they need to “see it”…
TAYLOR: I’m that visual person myself. So, this is a 5 video ecourse. I walk you through the very basics & frills of Trello. The first video is “What is Trello” and then we move on to the more complex features of Trello. It’s all screen recorded, I show how to use all the functions through my own boards on Trello.
BROOKE: I love that SO much! This is going to be such a great resource for my audience!
We’ve gotten the basics out of the way. So, where do we go next? (BROOKE)
TAYLOR: The next step is figuring out what processes you need to do & what automations & outsourcing needs to happen. Now that you have the basics, you need to get a project management system, you know what the process is to setting that up. You need to determine what needs to be set up.
The beginning process is “what don’t I like doing in my business?”; there will always be things we wish we didn’t have to do in our business, no one loves all of what their business actually requires 100% of the time. So, figure out what is not in your zone of genius & what you don’t love to do and assess those.
For me, that is creating graphics, podcast management, blog posts & images. Those are things I don’t love to do.
I love talking to my clients, I love putting my face on social media, I love getting in Instagram stories, I love doing live streams and I love creating courses & content. Anything that doesn’t fall in the “love” section of my business, I delegate it, automate it and/or outsource it.
BROOKE: Oh I agree! Something I teach is to do a massive brain dump and just get it all out there. An ongoing list of all the daily things, weekly things and monthly things. Get it all on paper and then, schedule what recurs all the time (appointments, places you have to be) and get those off your list. Everything that is left has to fall into 3 categories: automate, schedule, and outsource OR even delete.
I think something to keep in mind, too, especially for photographers is the client journey: what can be automated, what can someone else do, what’s a major time suck that you don’t really need to be doing?
BROOKE: Sidenote: Some of y’all are holding on to editing like it’s your super power & it’s really not…FYI: that can be outsourced.
TAYLOR: Yes! I love that. I recently ran a mastermind with a group of photographers. We were talking a TON about editing and where to outsource that editing; boutique editors versus big box editing companies, it’s a whole thing, right? A lot of them said that editing is their biggest suck of time; they don’t enjoy it, they don’t know how to do it, they’re scared of it, they dread it.
BROOKE: Yes. If that’s where a lot of your frustration comes from in this season (because these things can be seasonal), outsource it. I edit 80%-90% of my work, but when it gets really busy, I outsource it. It doesn’t mean that I’m not in creative control or otherwise, I absolutely am it just means I’m handing it off to someone else that truly loves that process so I can spend my time doing what I truly love…
TAYLOR: YES! I hung on to it all for so long because I thought if I couldn’t do it all, I didn’t deserve to be a business owner.
BROOKE: Oh yea, any other control freaks out there — hand raised RIGHT HERE.
TAYLOR: It was one of those things, where I was like, “I don’t need help, I can do it all by myself”. It eventually got to the point where I was my own limiting factor. My business could physically grow anymore because I was in the way. I was literally in my own way of being able to scale and grow my business because I could not let go of things.
BROOKE: Yes, and I think that’s the hardest thing. Again, you’re going to come to a season in your business where you are what is standing in your way. You want to book more clients, you want to do more of what you love, but honestly the problem is you. You are standing in the way of the better way to your photography business.
TAYLOR: Absolutely and you don’t even have to hire anyone. There are automations & systems you can put in place to save yourself time.
BROOKE: Yes and in fact, I’m a big advocate that a client management system, like Iris Works, should be your first ‘hire’ because it can literally free up hours upon hours of your time.
Do you want to dive deeper into the better way to your photography business and booking more clients, regardless of what season you’re in as a photographer? Head on over to the Book More Clients Photography Podcast to listen now!
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