I'm Ali - a photographer who built her business from the ground up and wants to help others do the same.

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“Where Do I Start?” Series: Workflow

July 27, 2020

I’m taking it back to about three years ago, almost to the day. I had just started my business and I remember getting my first REAL, legitimate inquiry on Instagram from someone I didn’t know. She wasn’t even a friend of a friend. She was a lead though. And I wanted her to book so badly.


Thankfully she did! But then I was like, “Uhhhh…okay, so I have someone who wants me to take their pictures…but I have no good way to get a contract to them, to collect their money, to set expectations or prepare them for the session. They don’t know when they are going to get the images back…how many images am I going to deliver? How do I deliver the images?” So. Many. Questions.


What didn’t occur to me was that all of these questions could be solved by sitting down one day and defining a WORKFLOW. A workflow is a predetermined path that each client embarks upon when they book with you (heck, even when they inquire with you). It sets up expectations for the client so that they know when to expect and what to expect; it keeps me from having to reinvent the wheel each time I have a new client; and, overall, it just alleviates a lot of headaches and makes the business more efficient.


So if you were to sit down and define a “workflow” for your clients, here are the top five questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do I want my client experience to look like (formal, informal, emails vs. texts, client gifts, correspondence, etc.)?
  2. What have been bottle necks for me in the past (onboarding a client, writing emails, post-production, etc.)?
  3. How do I fix those bottle necks?
  4. Am I getting the results I want from my sessions? Why or why not? (Think in terms of preparing clients for sessions–a style guide, preparation guide, posing, lighting, etc.)
  5. Do I answer the same questions repeatedly (contract questions, logistical questions, timeline questions)?

Answering these questions [honestly] will help you narrow down the areas that are pain points for you and pain points for your clients. In turn, this will help establish a workflow that works for you, your clients, and, therefore, will promote the type of brand and experience you’re ultimately trying to achieve!


If you feel like you need more help with establishing a workflow, tune back in on August 10, 2020, to learn more about the Workflow Module of The Photography Framework! This is my complete wedding client workflow (that can also be tweaked to use for portrait clients), including all of my email templates and the systems I use at each step of the way!

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