8 WEBSITES + APPS THAT EVERY FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD BE USING
I really can’t believe that I’m coming up on two years of full time photography.
A lot has happened in that time.
A lot of wins, a lot of lessons (I don’t believe in losses)
One of the biggest learning experiences I’ve had in that time was the importance of setting up systems.
I’m big on automating the process as much as I can.
As a small business, my time is limited already. I want to at least spend as much time possible doing what I love most about the business, which is photography.
I want to go through some of the main tools I use in my business + how it helps me, maybe one or two will help you too.
Every business needs a website. I’m currently #TeamSquarespace for a couple of reasons.
First, I love there overall interface + design layouts.
It’s very user friendly + easy to use.
I have some experience with actually doing old school coding with html + css (shoutout MySpace!) but they have a drag + drop format so it’s really easy for me to buid out my site.
Secondly, they have some pretty great customer service.
When I first got started building my site, I had a couple of questions that I just couldn’t find the answers to by myself.
They have a live chat that is open really late + answer questions super throughly + straight forward.
The third reason (+ there are a ton more but I don’t wanna spend all just bigging up Squarespace) is that they integrate with other platforms that I use seamlessly.
This is a big one because I’m able to connect my other accounts on sites like Google Analytics, Printful + my next key website, Mail Chimp.
2) mail chimp
Email marketing is another common means of marketing in the photography business.
I’ve tried out a few but decided to stick with Mailchimp to collect my email addresses + send out email blast.
Mailchimp is pretty much the market leader when it comes to email marketing, so most apps + websites have a way to integrate with it.
The process of setting up was another couple simple steps.
I made a email list + whenever I have some big news to announce, I just send out create and email campaign + shoot it off (Shameless plug: you should sign up for my email list since you here already, just click here)
This is a good way to connect with your followers.
Big reason why I like email list, is yeah you can post on Twitter or Instagram but the actual amount of people that see your post is significantly lower than you think, especially if it doesn’t get high engagement in that first hour or it’s not paid advertisement.
With emails, you have a direct line to your customers.
You might not think email marketing is efficient but it’s a lot higher than you think, in fact a survey conducted says that 89% of Americans check their emails at least once a day.
So this is the website I use to send out contracts, invoices + to accept deposits for most of my clients.
When I first started shooting, I was only shooting friends + family so I didn’t see the need of all that paperwork.
It wasn’t until I had my first client cancel on me the day of without paying anything that I realized I needed to have safety measures in place so that couldn’t happen again.
That’s where Agree came in.
They were a super simple platform I could use to send out contracts out to clients.
They have contract templates ready to go that were super simple to modify. I could just go thru, click on a checkbox what I wanted my contract to say + hit send.
The clients would receive the contract, be able to make their deposit payment then Agree would automatically take the balance whenever I set the due date for.
The money would be deposited into my bank account in about 2 or 3 days.
Quick, simple + automated. Just how I like it.
Another dope feature with Agree, is you can tell when clients open + read their contracts too.
I use Quickbooks for keeping track of my finances.
I’ll be completely transparent here, I just switched over to them late 2018 but so far they have been great.
I linked all my bank accounts to the platform + keep track of all my income + expenses.
What’s dope about them is that I already use TurboTax to file my taxes so at the end of the year I can just export my data into a spread sheet + it’ll have all my information ready for submission.
I’d still highly recommend of working with an accountant on this.
One of the biggest things about being a small business is making sure you properly document + keep track of all your expenses so you can write them off at the end of the year.
Although Quickbooks may be cool, a few things may slip the cracks so it could never hurt to have a professional double checking everything.
Click here to sign up for only $5 a month, trust me. It’s worth the investment!
So Qapital is how I make sure I have money ready for my taxes.
As a small business, there’s a few things that I have to pay for like social security, income tax, etc.
Qapital is an app I have synced with all my bank accounts.
I have the freelancer tool turned on so whenever I make a deposit into my accounts for over $100, they automatically withdraw 30%
Not gonna lie, it’s gonna suck seeing that money leave your account the first few times lol
But trust me, when Uncle Sam hit ya up saying you owe $5000 you’re gonna be thankful you have that money stashed away, ready to go.
Plus it’s never a bad idea to have some funds stashed away in case of a rainy day.
Sign up with my Qapital referral code + you’ll get $20 for free deposited in ya account, just click here
6 ) pixieset
Boom, so Pixieset is a platform I been using for two years now.
Basically I use this to send photos over to clients after shoots.
Once they get the link they can favorite their favorite photos, leave comments for me to see + then I can go in + do my retouching + color corrections.
After I go in + do what I gotta do they can download their photos straight from there.
Quick + easy.
Besides having some great food recipes (if you not getting new recipes off Pinterest by now you sleeppppp) but it’s also a great place for moodboards.
I get a lot of inspiration from life in general but sometimes some visuals are good to help build out my moodboard.
They have everything from lighting techniques, poses, set design inspo, stlying guides, like everything you could ever need.
I typically send out moodboards to everyone on the team so they know their individual role/vision.
Helps keep everyone on the same page before + during the shoot.
Last, but not least Google Analytics.
Now this one is a very complicated one that I’m not skilled enough to break down.
But a quick synopsis is basically this:
We all know that Google is tracking us. This not a big secret at this point.
They actually probably know us better than we know our selves.
But if they’re tracking you, that means they’re tracking everyone else too.
That includes everyone that’s visiting your website.
This is useful data because you can get a better idea of how people interact with your site, which pages they love, which pages they hate.
With this you can better control what visitors get when they come to your page.
I’m far from an expert in the matter but I do know that big businesses use it to grow their business so I use it too.
For now, check out this video to get a better idea of how it can help you, maybe one day in the future I’ll do a post on that too.
Hopefully at least one of these sites can help you as a freelance photographer.
If it did, I’d really appreciate you liking the post just so I know this is some content you enjoyed + I can write more stuff like it.
If this information not for you, maybe you know someone else that ma need the help.
If so, just shoot them the link so they can check it out.
As always appreciate the love + support!