After years of running a photography business and trying different tools to manage my business, I decided enough's enough. You know how hard it is to find the perfect calendar for the year? Well, it's even more difficult to find one tool that actually helps me manage my photography business rather than increasing my workload.
Of course, I started by putting together a binder to help me manage my clients, one to collect addresses, another to track payments. I ended up with ten different binders on my desk and realized what an unprofessional way it was to keep things organized.
I sat down one day and decided to create a tool, specifically designed for photographers just like me that wanted a convenient way to manage ALL aspects of their business online. The best part about it is that it's free for life, and if you absolutely love and want to upgrade you can upgrade to the pro plan for $5 a month. It's 100% online so you can easily access it from any device, and use it when you need to.
You’re probably wondering what this amazing essential studio manager does, so let me tell you!
When you first land on the site, you can go sign up. (it's free and you'll only need to enter an email and password to get started)
WATCH THE VIDEO TO GET A PEAK INSIDE THE NEW ESSENTIAL STUDIO MANAGER!
I just added a new client, which package they booked, their payment amount, created a new session (which automatically added it to my calendar) and started a session checklist for that client and all that info is added under 60 seconds! ⏰
I love it when things looking pretty, but love it even more when it's easy to use and functional!
And remember - it's FREE to sign up!
From here we give you a snapshot of your business and what you have been doing. You can see how many clients you have, how many sessions you have booked, tasks you have completed, and how much money you have earned. And it's all in one place to give you a visual on how you're doing.
The Session Checklist covers everything from sending out that very first welcome email to sending out the very last ‘thank you’ email and EVERYTHING in-between -ordering prints, sending reminders, creating a blog post, etc. You have everything listed for EACH session, and all you need to do is check the step or steps you completed and hit update. It will calculate how much you have completed (it will tell you what % you've completed). You’ll see exactly where you are for each client, what all has been completed, and what still needs to get done. Best of all, you will know exactly on what date something was completed. What I love about it is when I’m working on multiple sessions at once, I know exactly where I am for each of my clients.
What better way to stay organized than keep all your booked session dates and important reminders in a monthly calendar?! Each month has it’s own designated page. You will know exactly what important dates are coming up and won’t have to spend any additional time checking to see if you already have something planned on that upcoming weekend. Each month also has an additional space to add reminders or notes, so if there’s anything else you want to add, just add it there.
Anytime you create a session a button will appear allowing you to add it to the calendar so you never forget a date.
This page is where you can ‘add a new client.’ You fill out all of their information, name, address, number, e-mail. You can even add who referred them! Look at this as your little black book of clients. This page is also perfect for sending out any type of e-mails to your clients. You will have all of your client's e-mail addresses stored in one column and can copy the entire column and email them your latest specials and updates. Pretty easy right?!
This is where you can store all your sessions, both past, and future to help you stay organized. Sessions allow you to store information on all your sessions so that you don't forget anything. In the Sessions section, you can store information such as clients, the status of the session (deposit received or paid in full), date and time, location, package amount, package chosen, and any notes you may need to include.
I've added this page because I love to-do lists. There is something so rewarding about checking off tasks and completing what needs to get done. This page is here for you to add all your to-do-list tasks in one place. You'll also have two columns, one to write when it needs to be done by and another for the official complete date.
Track every type of business expense on your personal ‘Expenses’ page! Running your own business takes a lot. It is SO important to track your expenses so you know what you’re spending on your business and can get the most back in taxes at the end of the year. I know this is probably one of the hardest things to remember. I used to be terrible at keeping track of this. I would stuff receipts into a little folder or somewhere in my purse and ‘promise myself’ I would remember to organize it once I got home. I even had a little notepad that I would track my mileage with…lets be honest. I know i’m not the only one who misplaced that trackpad and lost half my receipts ;)
Here is your ONE page that will track ALL of your expenses! Just add the date, memo, category & amount and you're good to go! There's even a spot for you to add your gear's serial number (for all your camera and tech gear!)
NEW RELEASES ARE COMING!
Best of all is that we are constantly working on adding more to the site every single month to make it even more amazing for photographers. If you have a special request just let us know and we will work on getting it added! We are currently working on a potential client tracker, daily business checklist, and a task manager on the front page to make it even easier to write down everything you need to get done.
managing your business is about to get a whole lot easier!