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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CRM: What It Is and Why You Need One

November 10, 2020

CRM is short for Client Relationship Manager/Management. A CRM is not a person; it’s a system that helps you keep track of your clients and where they are in your workflow.


Aside from my Simplified Planner, this is the most used organizational tool in my business. It organizes my clients, all of the forms attached to that client and his/her project (proposals, contracts, invoices, questionnaires, etc.), and the project dates attached to them!

In addition to that, it can do a beautiful thing called automation. Automation will make your life a wholeeee lot easier once it is put into place. Think of all the emails that go along with each client and each session. Let’s say it’s an average of 10 emails just to keep the numbers even. Let’s say you have 10 clients at once. That’s 100 different emails to press send on! But what if you had emails send automatically throughout the client experience and you didn’t even have to thin about it?! How much more convenient would that be? The answer is: 100% more convenient.


Additionally, I love that my CRM will connect with my bank account and does basic bookkeeping. I can categorize expenses and also run profit and loss statements straight from the same place I keep all client contracts and correspondence.


When I first started my business, I was piece mealing all of the client experience together and sending each individual email (and re-writing it every time…email templates are a lifesaver!) by hand. I didn’t even know that I needed a CRM. But looking back, it would have been one of my first large purchases for my business because of the professionalism that comes along with it. Not only did it help me curate and automate my client experience, but it also helped me take myself and my business seriously!
Some popular CRMs are:

  • Honeybook
  • 17Hats
  • Dubsado
  • Pixify

I encourage you to look into the different capabilities of each one in order to figure out which is best for you! I currently use 17Hats and love that it combines client correspondence and documents, as well as bookkeeping.

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