what apps & software I use for my business - resources for photographers
Over 2 years ago I started my photography business. I have been through trial and error with different programs and software and have found the follow apps and software to be the best for me in my business. Here are all of the apps & softwares I use for my business and a little bit of HOW I use them, so hopefully it helps you decide whether or not they are the right fit for you!
Squarespace: My Website! Squarespace is such a user friendly website platform, and if you can't figure something out by fidgeting around with it, they have a huge library of helpful resources! Squarespace is what I use to design websites for other photographers and I highly recommend it!
17Hats: My project management system. Oh boy, I would be lost without 17hats. I am going to be doing some vlogs (at some point) to show you just exactly how and why I use 17hats. But a few things about it. You can create projects, send contracts & invoices for signing and payment to clients. You can store contract, invoice and email templates that go along with your workflow. Speaking of workflow, you can create and apply workflows to you projects so everyday you login and know if there is something pressing that needs to be completed. One other thing I love is you can have multiple "brands" is what they call it. So I have a Photography "brand" and a Design "brand", so I don't have to mix design projects with wedding photography projects, they are all separate in their own "portal" if you will. Interested in 17Hats? HERE is an extra special link from me to you!
Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Indesign: These are the 3 main Adobe programs I use in my business. Lightroom specifically for all things photo editing and Photoshop and Indesign to make well-designed documents, social media graphics etc.
Canva: A online place to design SO many different things, and to be honest, a lot easier and user friendly then leaning Photoshop or Indesign. I have had a lot of fun in just recently starting to use this online marketplace to design highly professional items for my business.
Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest: These are the forms of Social Media I use, with a higher emphasis on Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram is a place I show who I am, my work, about my family and my hopes and dreams for the future, and Pinterest is where I pin my work to boards others can follow, repin and enjoy inspiration from, as well as, hopefully, being a place potential customers land when using Pinterest as a search engine!
Dropbox: Where I store ALL THE THINGS, well almost. I use Dropbox in a few different ways. This is where I upload all of my websize images to use when sharing on social media. I also use Dropbox between myself and design clients to be a place they put all of their images and copy for me to use when designing there squarespace website. I love dropbox because it is such an easy way to have what I need "in the cloud", accessible from anywhere! Start with Dropbox HERE!
Pixieset: My client galleries! This is what I use to upload and deliver all of my photo session/wedding galleries. It is beautiful, simple and has some amazing features to customize my clients open page, download options, ability to create favorites folders and even create and send them their own App with favorite photos on it to have all the time on their phone! If you are a photographer and want in on the amazingness of Pixieset; HERE is your very own special link!
Pixellu SmartAlbums, SmartSlides & Cloud Proofing: I use this software for all of my post wedding process, from creating slideshows with music and easy download for my clients, to creating album designs and proofing available through the cloud for my clients. Pixellu makes it so easy to enhance my couples experience with me!
Red Tree Albums: I use red tree for my album printing! They and BEAUTIFUL albums, and many options to choose from, you can send your client a client guide if you want to offer all of their options, as well as swatch colors to pick the color of their album! Once I am done designing an album, I export the page spreads from Pixellu SmartAlbums and then upload them to Red Tree Albums order page, pick all the design features and order!
MailChimp: You've got mail!! We are long past the times of AOL! :) Mailchimp is what I use to create and send emails to my newsletter subscribers! From forming landing pages for opt ins, to sending out campaign emails about what is happening in the April Yentas world. It takes some time to figure out what does what, but I also googled a lot of how-to ___ and got to know how to do the things I wanted to do. If you haven't started a newsletter, DO IT! It only takes a few minutes to set up and it is free until you reach 2000 subscribers. Add a simple footer on your website until you create some opt in opportunities for others, but just do it! Hop on my list to see what its all about!
Planoly: The Instagram planning app. I LOVE planoly for being a simple easy tool to plan out my instragram feed & posts. If you have a business account you can even auto-post! Once I have images in Dropbox I use those to bring them into Planoly, arrange my feed to what I like, create posts and then even if you don't have a business account, they make it easy to go in and copy your planned captions (along with hashtags that you can save) and then head over to Instagram and post! If you have not tried it out take a look HERE to try it out!
Buffer: The Facebook planning software! I made a decision to try and "separate" my facebook and instagram, ya know, no more of that share to: "this page" from instagram. I wanted to create similar posts on both platforms without, well, looking lazy to be honest. Planning my posts gets really important here and with Buffer you can plan and auto post your Facebook posts! See what Buffer is all about HERE!
Tailwind: Pinterest planning!! Well yeah, sort of! I use Tailwind to Pin for me. from planning my pins from my blog posts, to using their awesome new way of pinning from instagram! I use this so Pins are scheduled in a timely manner, they are stored to repin later, and I can add in the descriptions as well! They track analytics on your Pinterest too! Get a Free Month of Tailwind HERE!
Quickbooks Self-Employed: How I got through taxes this year BY FAR! Quickbooks self employed is such an easy to use and helpful tool to have when it comes to bookkeeping, profit & losses and even mileage tracking! You can open it up in their app and online. Their mileage tracker is AWESOME! It tracks everywhere you go so every week you can just swipe whether that trip was personal or business! Link your back accounts and categorize your spending! I easily printed out my report, and took it to my tax guy and that was all they needed, they make it SO easy! Enjoy 50% off HERE!
Okay, I think I covered everything! All the apps and software I use to run my photography business! I hope you take advantage of the links I provided to start getting your business organized and using systems that work!