All posts tagged Marketing

Review: The Easy Client & Money Manager from The Modern Tog

Easy Client & Money Manager

As we are about to spend time talking about workflow and In Person Sales, the timing of the launch of the Easy Client and Money Manager by Jamie Swanson of The Modern Tog couldn’t be more perfect! This easy-to-use Excel workbook organizes your money and your client workflow all in one convenient place!

I’ve talked to many photographers over the years that guess at what their sales averages are, how much profit they are making, or any number of profit related questions. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start my photography business so I could spend time crunching numbers. That is definitely NOT my specialty!

When Jamie first talked about doing this with Excel, I was not so sure. Excel is not my thing, but Jamie is a spreadsheet guru. She has worked hard to create this system to help you keep track of the financials related to your studio. With the PDF, it is all laid out and easy to follow along and use. I’m converted! I can use Excel like this!

There are many other software solutions out there that do similar things, but this is a simple and effective option, and it is one low cost instead of monthly payments. You will receive the Excel Workbook, the User Guide (a super-detailed PDF) and several how-to videos will get you up to speed in no time! If you forget something, there are reminders throughout the workbook that help keep you on track.

It Isn’t Just About Accounting

This workbook is so much more than just a simple spreadsheet. You’ll be able to:

  • Keep track of each sale and expense in one easy place
  • Get a snapshot of your income & expenses at any time, allowing you to make smart business decisions
  • Make filing Sales & Use Tax reports a breeze, as you’ll have everything you need in one convenient place, right at the click of a button
  • Create invoices & track sales with ease all from within the workbook
  • Never forget important details about a client using the Client database
  • Track your client workflow so that everything gets done on time, giving you satisfied clients that refer you to their friends.
  • Keep track of networking efforts with vendors by adding notes & reminders so that you never forget to follow up
  • Easily track your business mileage and equipment sold throughout the year

There is also a BONUS Reminder worksheet, which will keep you from forgetting important things throughout your year, such as reminding clients when payments are due, avoiding late fees by paying expenses on time, and tracking client birthdays & anniversaries.

Normally $129, right now through April 18, 2013 you can get all this for only $89! Get your copy of the Easy Client and Money Manager today!

Purchase the Bundle with The Photographer’s Pricing Guide Workbook

The Photographer’s Pricing Guide Workbook is the perfect companion to the Easy Client & Money Manager as it will help you learn exactly how much you need to be charging to make your desired profit goals. No more guessing at what you should be doing!

Right now you can get both the Photographer’s Pricing Guide Workbook ($99 value) and Easy Client & Money Manager ($129 value) for only $139. That’s a savings of $89! After the launch period is over on April 18, 2013, the bundled price will be $189. So get them both now before the price increases!

Is the Easy Client & Money Manager Right for Me?

Do you dread dealing with the financials of your business? Have no clue where you are at financially? Then this is definitely something you should look in to using. Jamie has a number of reasons that you should consider it listed on the Easy Client and Money Manager page. Best part? It comes with a 14 Day Money-Back Guarantee! See the site for all the details.

Requirements for the Easy Client & Money Manager

This workbook does require Excel. It will not work properly with other software like Open Office. It will appear to work correctly, but the complexity of some of the formulas will be broken.

You also need to be in the United States; this version is optimized for the United States and its tax laws. They hope to release a version for other countries (such as the UK, Australia, and Canada) in the future.

Would I recommend it?

ABSOLUTELY. I wouldn’t be writing about it here if I didn’t. I will still be using ShootQ for my client management system, where I keep my contracts and client details, and ShootQ automates my invoicing. Where this fits in for me is tracking financial information; ShootQ only captures a portion of that for me. With this, I can track so much more and get a better snapshot of where my business is at financially. The Easy Client and Money Manager will be a huge asset to tracking your financials and your clients, and will make up for the cost with the huge profits you will be making in no time!

Disclosure: I was provided with a free review copy of the Easy Client & Money Manager. It is freakin’ AMAZING. This review is my personal opinion, I wasn’t told what to write. The links in this review are affiliate links and using them helps keep me pay for my gluten-free red velvet cupcake habit. YUM.

What Business Do YOU Want to Create?

What Business do You Want to Create?

I’m about to start a series on my workflow process, which will dive in to how I proof my images, how I do in person sales, and more. Before I start this series, I want to talk about one very important, crucial thing in your business: YOU.

Your business is like a blank page in a notebook. Full of possibilities and dreams, with maybe some anxiety thrown in for good measure. What kind of business do YOU want to create? What does YOUR dream look like?

I see it all the times in forums: we are so flooded with information on how everyone else does things, that we start to doubt ourselves. To question ourselves. Doing things that don’t feel right or genuine or true to who we are, all because we were told that was how we had to do it.

Pricing. Products that you carry for your clients. How to take photographs. How to pose. How to edit. You have been a consumer all your life. You have instincts that are strong, believe in yourself. Trust that you know what to do that is right for you.

“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” – John Mason

This is my disclaimer post. Just because I do it a certain way doesn’t mean it is the ONLY way to do it. It is just how I do it. I’m not always right, and I’m always willing to learn new things. (Matter of fact, I know I’m wrong sometimes – see my previous post on how long I fought doing in person sales sessions!)

These are the things that work for me. They may work for you too. If you’re unsure of what to do, feel free to try them. If they don’t feel right for you, or they don’t work in your business, do not do them.

Your business is just that — YOURS. I’m sharing ideas here of what work well for me. I’d love to hear your ideas as well. I plan to feature other photographers in the coming months who will share how and why they do things as well. Some of them do things quite differently than I do them, and that is ok.

There are some crucial thing you must do in your business. Stay true to yourself. Be happy. Make a profit. Serve your clients well.

Trying to run a business that is a copy of someone else’s will only wear you down and cause you stress. It is like wearing cute shoes that don’t fit right and give you bad blisters and cramps in your toes. Really soon, you are not going to want to wear them any more. Running a business that way will have the same impact on you, it will soon make you hate it.

If something I suggest helps you out, fantastic! Consider this post my permission to use all that I’ve learned and to not use anything that doesn’t fit you properly. If you have learned something along the way, please share it with me as well!

Photo Credit: this lyre lark, cc license.

Why You Should Use a Consistent Avatar Photograph Everywhere Online

It is that time of year again! Time to get a new photograph of yourself – one that looks LIKE YOU, without a camera in front of your face, and get it online so you have a consistent avatar. Everywhere.

I just heard every photographer reading this groan loudly. Something about photographers, we would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

Put the camera away. I don’t need to see your fancy L series glass to know you are a legitimate photographer. When we meet each other at Imaging USA, WPPI, or just on both Twitter and Facebook, I want to know what you look like. Your clients do as well. People connect with people, and they want to see YOU.

We also don’t want to see your children. Or your dog. Or your logo for your business. Or your favorite football team. We want to see you.

The Story of the Red Wall

A few years ago my hair was shorter and darker (before I went natural and stopped coloring it), and I had a distinctive red wall behind me in my photo on Twitter and Facebook. When I went to WPPI that year, over and over again people would say, “I think I follow you on Twitter?” I would reply with a wave behind my head and say, “Red wall.” Then we would both laugh, and strike up a conversation. I joked one night that I was going to go to Walgreens to buy a piece of red posterboard and a stick and just have a fake red wall behind me at all times.

Point is, people recognized me. I looked just like the photograph I use online. Minus the red wall, of course.

You don’t walk around with a camera up to your face all the time. The point of social media is being social, and if you want people to remember you and connect who you are in person with who you are online, then you need to update your avatar! You are marketing YOU. Make sure people find you relatable!

Which Social Media Sites to Focus On

You can’t really go around and update every single site where you have an avatar or photograph of yourself, can you? No, that would be crazy! So often you sign up for sites and then never use them after the initial registration. We aren’t going to concern ourselves with those sites!

Where do you spend the most time online interacting with clients and peers? I’m willing to bet that you have five or six places that you can name that take up 99% of your time. Those are the places you care about. For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Gravatar and Flickr. I can change my photograph on all of those, plus add it to my boudoir blog, all within an hour. Then keep the file handy on your computer desk top, and any time you come across another site where you have an avatar, update that one too.

That is my snazzy new photo above on the right. My hair is longer, and a completely different color. I wanted to take one without glasses, because my glasses are hard to photograph, but if I didn’t have them on then you might not recognize me in person when we meet. I want my personal branding to be the same everywhere, so I use the same avatar photograph of me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Gravatar, and anywhere else I can online.

Speaking of meeting each other, I’ll be at WPPI this year, and I’d love to meet you! If you spot me, stop me and say hello!

Photograph above left courtesy of Marcelle Lucena, used under Creative Commons License.