Are you making use of apps for your photography business? There are some absolutely fantastic apps out there and if you use them well they’ll make a huge, positive impact on the way you run your business.
Let’s look at 7 of the best in this video (or read the blog if you’d rather).
You already know that when you’re working ‘in’ your business you’re not growing it. Editing, emailing clients, sorting receipts - it’s all work that needs to be done but if you’re so busy doing those tasks that you don’t have time to work ‘on’ your business then you’re in trouble. Anything that helps you cut down your admin or take action on your growth has got to be a good thing, right?
Here are 7 of the best apps to help you do just that. You can find the links to each of them below the video.
If you currently have a plastic bag receipt and expenses system then please download this app asap. You’re going to love it! 1TapReceipts allows you scan and send your paper receipts or forward your email receipts to them. 1TapReceipts will then extract all the key information such as the amount, the category, the date and the supplier.
Believe it or not this app does have a free plan for up to 10 receipts per month but don’t worry if you have way more than that - it’s just £3 per month for up to 50 receipts and £5 for unlimited receipts. It’s a must!
This is a UK app. Check out ReceiptBank if you’re elsewhere in the world.
Unless you run a studio out of your home it’s likely you clock up a fair bit of mileage driving to and from shoots and consultations. You can deduct money for every mile you drive for your business meaning you can save a lot of money each year in tax deduction.
The problem is recording this. If you’re anything like me you forget and let it build up. And then when you sit down to do it (usually the day before you have to submit it to your accountant) not only is it stressful as hell and a crap use of your time, you also know you’ve not remembered every journey.
Well an app like Triplog is the answer. It uses GPS to automatically track and record your mileage so you don’t even have to remember to turn it on and off. All you’ll need to do is check your journey’s from time to time and record whether they were for business or personal. If you don’t want to use too much battery you can switch to one of Triplog’s brilliant semi-automatic settings. There really is a method to suit everyone with this app.
The app is free at it’s most basic level but you can upgrade to paid plans. However, the most you’ll pay is a few dollars a month which is more than worth it for that peace of mind.
If you sell your photography in-person then this app is a no brainer.
Today’s customers expect to be able to pay with a debit or credit card. It’s almost an inconvenience withdrawing cash these days. Yes you can email your customers an invoice after the sales session which they can pay using card but you know that comes with its issues. Delayed payments that you have to chase up, clients changing their minds about an order… not enjoyable!
And unnecessary! With iZettle you can be accepting card payments in person quickly and easily.
The app itself is free but you will need to buy their £30 card reader which pairs with your mobile device. You’ll then pay iZettle 1.75% of every card transaction which is a pretty good rate and all you need to do is adjust your pricing a little to take account of this.
iZettle makes you more money than it costs you, believe me. Team this up with in-person sales and don’t be surprised if you triple or quadruple your average spend.
If iZettle is not available in your country - then check out Square which does the same thing and charges similar rates.
I know I don’t have to convince you that a social media presence is important in the growth of your photography business but it can be really difficult to maintain and nurture your social media profiles, especially when you’re busy with other things.
It’s so vital that your social media is not only regular and consistent but also engaging and relevant to your dream client. The best way to make sure this is the case is to plan it out. And lucky for us there are loads of apps to help us do just that.
We’ve tried a few social media scheduling apps now and we always come back to Buffer. It’s simple, effective and doesn’t cost much. In fact - it starts at free.
All you need to do is tell Buffer when you’d like your posts to be published each day. It can even tell you which times of day are best for you. Then you simply create a queue of content to entertain, educate and connect with your dream clients. Buffer will send it all out on time to your audience. You can add to your queue at any time either by manually typing in a post or automatically sharing content from the web straight to your buffer account.
Just remember, don’t automate your social media posts and then forget all about them. If your audience take the time to comment on or share your stuff please engage with them and make sure they know you appreciate their time.
Buffer is a free app and you can sign up for the free plan which allows you to connect two social media accounts and schedule up to ten future posts for each of them. But if that’s not enough for you, upgrading to the $10 per month awesome plan allows you to connect 10 social media accounts and schedule up to 100 posts for each.
I love Feedly. And it’s a great app to talk about next since it links so brilliantly with Buffer.
If you’re always learning and you like to keep yourself up to date with what’s going on in the photography world then you need Feedly in your life.
All you need to do to get up and running with Feedly is add your favourite blogs, youtube channels and publications. Then Feedly will continuously gather together the latest content from these sources so that you can scroll through everything in one place and decide which to delve into further. You can consume it there and then or save for later.
With Feedly you’ll never be short of great links to share with your audience and, even better, you’ll be among the first to share them. You’ll also get into the habit of learning every day. Be sure to add sources that enhance your own education and make it a habit that you read one post or watch one YouTube video every day that enriches your own learning and development. Marketing blogs, sales blogs, social media blogs and of course, the togs in business youtube channel!
You’ll also be able to share great content directly from feedly straight into Buffer or whatever social media scheduling app you use.
Feedly basic is free and is more than enough for most people. But you can upgrade to a pro plan for $5 a month if you’re an incredibly avid consumer of online content.
I’m not sure I could love Trello any more than I do. It’s a tool for organising projects. I use it to plan, organise and implement my marketing campaigns - and you should too! I’ve tried many different ways of doing this and nothing comes close to using Trello.
It’s incredibly visual and perfect for us creative types. You can organise your marketing campaign into a boards with lists - kind of like the way you would use a giant whiteboard. You can then add cards to the lists in the way you might add sticky notes to a whiteboard. Except that you can attach everything you need for each task inside the cards. Documents, photos, graphics and links.
Your board is a working file. You can add to it, tweak it, update it any time you like. The order of the cards can be changed easily so you can prioritise each task and you can see at a glance where you’re at with your campaign, which tasks need done next and how it’s all coming together. You can add saved checklists to your cards and set a due date with reminders. There is even a calendar function so you can see your marketing campaign on a day by day basis.
If you outsource some of your admin or you work with a colleague then Trello is going to be a lifesaver. You simply add this person to your board or to specific lists or cards. You can upload all the items they need, tag them in comments and basically do all of your collaboration without leaving Trello. This is how Fiona and I collaborate on tasks.
I have put together training within the Togs in Business membership on exactly how you can plan an epic marketing campaign using Trello. You can check out the membership right here.
Trello has a free basic plan with unlimited boards and it’s likely that you’ll be more than happy with that. So not only is it amazing - it’s free too. Can’t ask for more than that…
This one’s for you procrastinators out there! Yes you who should be getting on with writing that blog post but instead you’re browsing Facebook with your glazed over eyes and drooling mouth. Yeah I see you.
It’s ok. You’re human. We look for any distractions we can find when we’re resisting doing the work we know needs done. Especially work that will grow our business. It’s called self sabotage and I know you’re familiar with it…
Well the Freedom app is not going to cure you of your procrastination but it will certainly help. All you need to do is program in a time and freedom will LOCK you out of all the websites you use to procrastinate. Social media, email, YouTube, Amazon, eBay. You decide which to include.
Once you’ve pressed start there is no way of accessing these sites unless you restart your computer. Freedom also locks you out on your mobile device too. So there is really no excuse for not getting your head down and attacking that work you’ve been delaying doing.
Freedom is a paid app but you can get a full year of it for just $29 and that’s a bargain when you think of the time that’s going to buy you.
So I’ve shared 7 of my favourite apps to help you grow your photography business. Now it’s your turn. What do you use that you couldn’t live without? Let us know in the comments!