1. Cloud Backup
In a business built on the images you capture, it’s critical that you rely on a cloud backup system that is robust and that automatically backs up all your files including documents, photos, music and movies. Look for a cloud backup provider that allows unlimited files, unlimited file size and has unlimited speed. Hard drives will fail at some point, so having a system in place to mitigate loss of digital files is a key component in preserving your client’s memories, your reputation, and your livelihood.
Cloud Backup Providers Worth a Second Look
2. Business Management
Everyone knows the cliche, ‘time is money.’ Avoid getting bogged down with busy work, so that you can focus on what you do best, capturing life’s most precious and inspiring moments. Easier said than done, I know, but there are a number of business management systems out there that does a solid job of streamlining mundane (although important) tasks. From billing to booking and everything in between, there is value in systems automation. Determine the time you spend completing administrative tasks, your budget and make a wish list of functions you’d like to have when reviewing the different business management systems. For example, are you looking for a system that will provide lead management or are you more interested in a system that provides a holistic approach to managing workflow?
3. Website CMS Platforms
Creating a website to showcase your art is one of the most essential parts of being a modern photographer. Your website acts as your own private gallery; an online portfolio, accessible to anybody for free. So it’s important that every aspect of it accurately reflects your story, your style, and is easy to navigate. Each platform can serve different functions and has varying levels of accessibility, so it’s important you strike the right balance between beauty and practicality. Some platforms, like WordPress, have the most flexibility and are extremely customizable, at the cost of being more complex to set up and requiring more website creation experience. Meanwhile, others such as Weebly or Squarespace are far easier to create and manage, but do not lend as much room for creativity when it comes to layout and visual effects. Then there are other platforms, like PhotoShelter, Koken and Zenfolio, which are designed specifically for photographers. You can find the benefits and downsides of each, below, through further reading. The choice is yours!
4. Website Monitoring Software
In order to grow a photography business, it’s important to know how your audience behaves once they come to your website. What do people like? What are people clicking on? Are they leaving quickly or staying to look around? These tools are free and extremely helpful in figuring out all these questions and more.
Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Search Console are all tied to your Gmail account. Simply create your account, add the Google Analytics code to your website’s header, and you’ll be tracking audience behavior in no time. You’ll be able to see who’s visiting, how long they stay, what pages they spend most time on, and so much more. Additionally, Hotjar is a heat mapping tool that you can install to your webpage that measures where people click as well as how far down they scroll on each page. This will help you prioritize onpage content and inform strategy on website layout and navigation.
5. Editing Tools
Editing software is arguably the most important part of photography, besides of course, a camera. While the vast majority of professionals use programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, there are some handy online photo editors that you can use for free if you’re a hobbyist or are just in a pinch. Below we’ve compiled some of the top-notch free photo editors on the web, as well as a couple of paid alternatives to Photoshop. These paid options are one-time payments, so they’re perfect if you aren’t a fan of Adobe’s subscription model.
6. Email Marketing Software
Email is an effective way to ensure your clients don’t forget about you and know you’re available for their photography needs. Given current social distancing measures because of the pandemic, it is critical that you shift marketing tactics to keep leads coming in. One way to do that is to lead nurture through a strong email list. Stay top of mind while potential customers are online, but can’t necessarily commit to an immediate purchase. Once restrictions are lifted it will be much easier to convert individuals using your email list because you’ve established a relationship with them over time. Just make sure that every email is crafted with care and offers value to your audience.
Fine art nature photographer, Scott Papek, had this to say about using email marketing, “Anytime someone is willing to give up their email address you better reward them with great exclusive content and special promotions. My newsletter is my most important marketing tool.”
Adding to Your Digital Toolbox
Managing your workflow and the administrative tasks associated with operating a photography business are essential to expanding your footprint in the digital world. We know there are many different online tools on the market and we hope the suggestions we provided make your life a little easier.
Do you have any favorite digital photography tools and solutions? Share this article on social media and tag us. We’d love to hear what photography tools you’re using.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.