Your 3 Core Photo Business Systems
An Interview with Meghan Doll of The Art of the Sale
Meghan is a portrait photographer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been in the photography industry for 20 years. Today she is bringing us her guidance and wisdom on what she calls the three pillars. These pillars are the foundation that hold up your photography business and without them your business could be in danger.
I think we can all agree that being a photographer and business owner can be overwhelming to say the least.
“[Your photography business] can also be really rewarding and really satisfying and it can provide you such a good life if you just learn the systems and what you need to know to make it last.”
Meghan describes three systems that every photographer needs that will take the overwhelm out of having a photography business. She chats with us more about these systems and why they are so important.
Let’s break them down!
System 1: Back End Basics
This includes everything from accounting, bookkeeping, client management, software and tools, etc. Every photographer can agree that the backend work is not always fun or exciting. It’s a little boring but you need to have a plan in place to implement all of it. If you don’t, you’ll soon be missing things and end up very overwhelmed.
“So learning how to manage your emails and what’s your client onboarding workflow? What are your systems for making sure that everybody’s getting everything they need at every point in that journey? Having that all dialed in it helps you, it helps your clients.You have to have that figured out“ [6:15]
System 2: Marketing Magic
“Once you understand your brand and what your brand’s purpose is and how your systems are set up in your brand, it makes the marketing that much easier because you have that system in place. You know who you are as a brand, what your morals and aesthetics are, what you’re going to serve people with, what your unique value is like, what your message is.” [15:12]
A few things to consider:
- How are you gonna educate your clients?
- What’s your branding and collateral going to look like?
- If you’re going to have follow ups, how does that system break down?
- How will you be reaching out to people for referrals? Do you have a system for that?
System 3: Sales Strategy
Everyone’s sales experience looks a little bit different, especially since Covid has changed the way we do things. Meghan does in person sales along with guided sales (virtual). She found that guided sales went nearly as well as in person sales as long as she had done all the work beforehand. This includes making sure the clients know what to expect and making sure she has a general understanding of what they want to buy.
Megan talks about some of the big things that she likes to focus on in her sales strategy. The first one is making sure that she has educated her client so they know exactly what to expect.
“Client education starts with every phase of your system . It starts even well before the client even inquires, they’re learning about how you’re, you’re teaching them what you’re doing, you know, in your social media, you’re teaching them on your website. You’re showing them exactly what you want them to do. So that by the time they inquire, it’s already sold, they know that they’re gonna buy something from you.” [23:01]
Early on in Meghan’s career she did a Groupon deal that taught her more than she could have asked for. The huge influx in clients showed her where there were major holes in her system. She realized the way she was doing things was not sustainable. Through that experience and her 20 years in the photography industry, she has her 3 Core Systems down to a science now.
Meghan has created a course bringing together her decades of experience to give you a head-start on setting up these 3 Core Systems in your business.
She has battle tested everything from client management to marketing and sales which takes the guesswork off your plate.
- Course is 7 weeks long
- Two weeks on each pillar (back end, marketing and sales strategy)
- One week on system failures- how do these things fall off track and how do we pivot?
- Weekly calls
- Business audits
- Live calls
Learn more about Strategic AF at: https://theartofthesale.com/strategicaf
(Psst… Strategic AF students get 15% off their Swift Galleries memberships, too!)