A lot of us have drastically adjusted the way we do business during the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, I didn’t use any contactless business tools because I didn’t need to. However, I now have so many no-contact photography business tools and I’m trying to figure out which ones I want to keep using and which ones won’t make sense.
Some contactless photography business tools, like Zoom, might become more obsolete in our business as the pandemic starts to die down. But, some contactless photography business tools, like business texting and live chat, are only going to become more popular.
So, in an effort to keep you up to date with the most popular business tools for photographers, here are the top photography tools I’ve used throughout the pandemic that I plan to use far into the future.
Business texting is far and above my favorite tool that I’ve implemented for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic. I would say that I was a little bit behind this curve, though, since many of my friends had started using business texting a few years ago.
If you are like me and haven’t really heard about it, business texting is essentially a way for your clients to get in touch with you through text. If you work for yourself, you may be wondering how this is different than simply giving your phone number out to your clients. Here’s how.
When you have a business texting platform, like Podium, all of the text messages that you receive from your clients go straight to one app on your computer. Business texting platforms like Podium track whether you have clients that are waiting on your responses and how long it takes you on average to respond to them.
This not only ensures that you don’t miss out on any new leads, but it helps keep you on track.
Business texting platforms like Podium also allow you to send invoices directly to your clients’ phones. It is proven to help you collect invoices far faster than sending them via email.
Since the best photography business tools are the ones that help you get paid faster, business texting is an absolute must.
If you’ve been following PhotographyTalk for a while, then you know we love writing articles filled with tips for photographers to earn passive income and one of the best tools used by photographers to bring in passive income are online shopping platforms.
Online shopping platforms are really easy to set up on any website that you already have. You can offer specific prints for sale. You can offer your clients the opportunity to have their prints put on canvas, on coffee mugs, or in photo albums. The possibilities are endless.
While most photography business tools simply help you to run your business better, when you use an online shopping platform you don’t actually have to run it at all. The technology does all of the hard work for you, so you can focus on implementing other photography business tools.
A lot of photography business tools aren’t actually specific to the photography industry. This is definitely the case with virtual programs. I know that I’ve been attending virtual work out sessions since the pandemic started, for instance.
However, you can implement virtual programs into your photography business even after the pandemic ends. What these virtual programs will look like are completely up to you. For example, you can run a weekly session where you teach people some basic tips about a specific photography niche, like wedding photography. Or, you can offer photo shoots over Zoom, which is surprisingly what a lot of photographers have been doing during covid.
The important thing is that you are teaching your clients about something they’re interested in and that you’re charging them for these services.
Virtual photography business tools like Zoom may also help you reach an audience that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, either due to their distance from your hometown or due to conflicting schedules.
I’ve written many photography business tips about the importance of making your website as accessible as possible. Live chat is one of my favorite photography business tools that help you do so.
Podiumoffers a live chat tool that actually directly links the live chat feature with their business texting feature. If you do opt to work with Podium, you can expect your live chat feature to look like a small chat box on the bottom of your photography website. This chat box will ask potential clients for their name, their phone number, and their message. Then, you can immediately respond to them via text message.
Since we live in a digital world, clients are going to be far more willing to work with you if you offer them options like live chat and business texting so that they don’t have to carve out any time from their busy schedule for a phone call or an email chain.
If you don’t already use touchless payment for your business, you need to start. I have written pretty extensively about the different touchless payment options, but let me give you a condensed version here.
My favorite touchless payment option is the option that Podium links to business texting. Your customers can enter their credit card information directly from their text messages. I’ve found it to be the fastest and easiest way to always get paid on time.
You can also get payment readers that will allow you to read someone’s debit or credit card via NFC technology. This is my second favorite option since it will still require your client to be in the same room as you. However, if you ever sell your photography work at trade shows or art shows, it’s a really good option.
Of course, you can also use any one of the hundreds of online payment services like Paypal and Venmo to bill your clients.
The important thing with these photography business tools is that you offer as many of them as possible, since it is very likely that different clients will be accustomed to using different payment methods.