25. Policies and Workflow: Contracts, Client Agreements, and Lawyers
Don't start a newborn photography business without considering the legal side. In this lesson, Kelly walks through creating policies, contracts, and client agreements. Learn how policies help your client understand what to expect and also offer you some legal protection.
Policies and Workflow: Contracts, Client Agreements, and Lawyers
the segment we're going to talk about policies and workflow something that not a lot of businesses have in place when they first starting out and I know that when I first started there was there was nothing absolutely nothing and you know what it was actually really bad on my behalf because I'd already studied business I have a diploma in business and you know so I should have known better and it took me a really long time to realize that you know I've got nothing in place I've got absolutely nothing in place when I should have so when it's when I started to sort of think about you know like where am I at what am I doing what direction my going in I've got to stop putting some of this in order so that I can actually protect my business and move forward with you know with where I'm at and what I'm doing having certain policies in place for your clients in your sessions it it's just kind of make everything you know flow smoothly throughout the whole contact that you have from with your c...
lients from start to finish they need to know what your policies are and you need to be able tio to tell them and share that with them so they know what to expect if you don't have policies in place they're just going to continually have questions they're going to be like our well why why haven't I got more images or you know why haven't I got my photos yet and when can I expect to see my photos in all of those things having policies in place you know there's so many different ones right from you know what your clients expect out of a session of right through all the legal documents that you require a swell to run a business and it's going to change in your status in your country wherever you leave the legal the legalities that you need to cover yourself with they're going to be there gonna vary so it's up to you to make sure that you get um advice from the right people a swell so taking the time to put these things in place is is really important and you know if you don't have anything to protect you you could lose it all I mean if I had somebody injure themselves on my property whether they're paying for a session or not you don't have to be even covered by insurance um if you're not charging is a load of crap I'm sorry if you've got someone coming into your space whether it's a ah hired space or whether it's your home if you don't have insurance is to cover you you could lose everything if somebody if a total of falls down your stairs or if they trip on a piece of equipment or they fall over you know anything and they injure themselves or if a baby is injured god forbid in a session because certain safety precautions have been taken you could lose everything and that's something I'm not prepared to do because my husband now long no longer works for an employer so we're working together and if I find lost everything then we'd be we'll be out in the street and it's not a not a place where I need to be right now so having legal contracts between you and your clients having client agreements so they know where they stand and where you stand really really important and your insurances you know your public liability insurance is there's going to be different companies all around the world that provide those and its contacting different cos you know I use a specific company in australia that is recommended by the association the pp that I'm a member ofthe so we've talked through what I do and then I've also talked to the difference in different insurance agency that covers all my home and contents insurance as well so making sure that I'm covered from every aspect from the minute my clients arrive to the minute that they leave you know I just I would hate to have anything happen because I've said it before precaution is always better than cure your client contracts a client agreement sorry that's just that's just something so that you and your client are on the same page it has to be in place you need to have something so they know where they stand what their rights are as a client and that you know where you stand with your your client as well and then your legal contracts this is something that we've actually worked really hard on with their solicitor because I don't think that many people out there know that when you were signing a contract on behalf of your child they can then turn around your child when they're eighteen and if something inappropriate has been done with those images or that particular person becomes a very high profile actor or celebrity of some description and those photos resurface you could be in a lot of trouble so you need to have certain legal contracts in place to be able to protect you and your business because I would hate for someone to come back and at may and eighteen years ago you know you made a profit or an income from that photo that photo was used inappropriately and then be sued for that so talk to a lawyer talk to a solicitor find out what your rights are as a photographer and make sure that you know what the different laws are in every state every country because they will vary and yeah like you've got to think for the future not just today or next week or next month you could think you know in eighteen to twenty years from now what could possibly happen you know if I want to create a book with my images or I want to use some images to advertise with and then they resurface because somebody gets hold of them then then you you just don't know what could possibly happen in the future as well or you know that child could have a terrible falling out with their parents and turn around and sue the appearance for signing on behalf of them and them actually not being you know a voice at that time of decision so yeah you know take the time spend the time talked to the right people get advice that's what we had to do I didn't post online you know where did you get this from where did you get that from I didn't copy other people's legal documents I went and got my own made for me and my solicitor won't do them for anybody else because he's made them for me and I've paid him for his time to do that and they are expensive but I would rather pay that you know that amount of money to be covered and be able to keep everything and then not have any sort of issues later on down the track let's move on how do you communicate your policies and your procedures with your clients so my clients get this at the first point of contact when they inquire and they're all excited there's like having a baby you know we want to find out what your pricing and information is they usually just thinking at that point in time how much it gonna cost I like their photos they don't know all the other information so I do include that with them because if they decide that my process fits into there budget or you know they loved my work and they they don't care what my prices they also need to know at that point in time what my procedures are on what my policies are so at the end of my pricing information they are provided with a whole heap of information but it sets the scene any expectations for what it's going to be like to have a session with me it tells them everything that they need to know so there are no questions if they don't read it then that's that's not my fault I have provided with them with that information if for example a client does then contact means is you know are you know just wondering what the time frame is I can simply refer them back to my pricing and information and making make sure it's been worded in a way that is specific it's clear it's concise and it's to the point and in a professional way you have to have these in place and that way you know your client's going to trust you and build that you know that confidence within you so it says in there you know the best time to contact me is during your pregnancy to book position don't book me after you've had your baby because she could miss out so they've inquired but sometimes people do inquire but they don't necessarily come back and bookie straightaway you know what they need to know right now that if you are enquiring you need to book me now because I might not be available later on down the track communication is always the key and then you know I will make a tentative booking based on your judo I also tell them which will go into a little bit in a little bit that if for example you're judy happens to change after you've booked me just keep me updated on what that process is and also you know I'll wait to hear from you when you arrived home from hospital and in there there's a sentence that says the ideal time to photograph your baby is six to ten days that's also that same sentence is also included in the very first email that this this pricing guide is attached to they need to know that I'm want to photograph their baby during this time frame don't go home from hospital and then wait two weeks to contact me and say oh we're home because that baby is now a little bit older it could be you know it could have developed certain things like act baby acne or colic or I might not be available then because I've actually written your due date down and I can gauge whether you know you're going you know roughly estimate it could be a week before it could be a week after or it could be two weeks after but I want a photograph that baby during that time because for me that is the best time to photograph a baby and that's when I like to photograph them so that when they looking at all the images on my pricing information they're looking at all the different baby photos on every page I want to be able to give them that they're seeing that and they're thinking I want my baby photographed like that best chance for me to be able to provide that as a product for my clients is during that six to ten days so it's just making my life easier and telling them and giving them that information that they need to know and then it says the session's going to take two to four hours because I like to take that time you know for feeding and cuddling decision revolves around their baby and I like them to know that I'm not going to rush through that because you know their comfort is my priority during that time and you know your session faded covers this is I love this it covers my custom style photography decision fee covers your private online gallery with approximately twenty images it does not include any prints or digital files you need to put that in there it also says you know um that the obsession fei will be deducted from your choice of package so this session fee is payable at the time ofthe decision and let's just say for example it's two hundred fifty dollars and then it's you know the packages say for example fifteen hundred dollars then they only own me once they've placed their order twelve hundred fifty dollars so it's almost like a deposit towards that but at least I'm getting an amount of money on the time of decision for that and I like to think that because that amount that they're paying right then and there comes off that that they think all will I don't have to pay another fifteen hundred dollars so it's making making more of a deposit as opposed to an actual session fee that's on top off the package I think we have a question are your legal documents such as your liability we were separate than your policies such as you get x amount of images and are they signed a different times so my legal contract that I send out to my clients that's coming it doesn't get sent out that that this point they're getting a list ofthe my terms and conditions and then later on once they've decided to book me that's when they get that but we'll come to that in a second it also says in approximately three to four weeks down the bottom there you're going to receive an email from me and it's going to have a possible to online gallery they know they can expect the gallery in three to four weeks I also tell them that at the time of the session so it's something that I'm continually you know reiterating to my clients so that they're not thinking when did she say that it's actually written and it's also being verbally told to them at the time of decisions so their expectations are met and then I say three to four weeks god forbid if I go over that but I try to communicate with my clients as much as possible and you know if I have a sick child or anything like that you know I'm I'm staying in touch with them and up to date but if it's under that three to four weeks which ideally that's where I would like it to be I'm you know I'm exceeding them I'm like oh wow we weren't expecting it for another week or so that's great you're making your client's happy by doing that always have a questioning period and then that way you know if you I can get it done sooner it makes them happier um you're online gallery these things were really important you need to tell them how long is that going to stay open for you know when you give them the password for their online gallery two weeks from that date tell them you're online gallery would remain active until this day give them a date given something to put in their calendar or on the phone in the calendar or something like that because if they don't know they might forget which a lot of people do anyway even if they do know like mae but at least I've got something to sort of you know give them a guideline a tight time frame it's like any of us you know if somebody says I'll do this I know my husband if I give him a deadline it's done if I don't he just takes his time plods on through but that's fine that's him give people did lines they need to know their boundaries it makes them feel like you are running a fully professional business um also once full payment is received I'll continue to say this don't order anything for your clients until full payment has been real saved and then you will go through and it's allowed to two weeks two to three weeks for delivery that's because sometimes albums take a little bit longer you know my campus prince take probably around a week to have made and then my other products as well but albums do take a little bit longer to have made so that's fine they expect that and then any on order or any unordinary jizz will be archived and your gallant once your gallery has been archived they will be a feat of reopen it because it actually takes my time to upload that gallery you're I never delete files for any client I keep them they're stored on hard drives the backup backing up system is really important they backed up on three different drives I've got a raid system which backs you know everything from my computer up and then I have ah hard drive for my unedited rule files and then I have a hard drive for my edited files and they're stored and dated and put away said that way if something was to go wrong god forbid touch wood I've got people's images because you know things happen we live in countries where there are storms floods cyclones and people could lose it all in queensland where I live we've had two major floods in the last bush five years so people have lost images and I have been able to provide them with those which is great and I think we have one more question before I move on for instance you're too weak gallery when it ends do you send like a remand er e mail the day before letting them know when the day ends or if you've sent out other documents like the contract or something that they have to sign do you send remand her emails galore like how does it work so communicating with your client again it's a must when it comes to that two week period for their online gallery ending you know myself or my assistant melissa will just send them a little reminder email on that date it's written in our in our system that we need to do that and then what we say is you know I just noticed that your galleries is about to expire they don't know that galleries expire or not your gallery is about to expire do you have any questions is there anything that I could possibly help you with I'm not saying your gallery is going to end today you need to place an order is there anything I can help you with do you need some help with your decision you know that customer service in that level off understanding between you and your client is going to go a long way sometimes it might just be a simple I've gotten or you know we've had some stuff come up when we have an extension I'll gladly give someone extension if they lived a little little jim it lee have a reason for one but I just recently because I'm away at the moment I had a client who I had extended the gallery for another week at no extra cost that's fine it just got left open because it was a simple email but then she wrote back and it was like I'm really sorry but we're not actually going to be able to place an order until march because we've had to move house that's fine I've let her know that that is absolutely fine out out what I can do is just close your gallery down and reopen it when you're ready to order if you just let me know but I have to remind you there is a fee off thirty five dollars to reopen that gallery so put a faye you know that this is thirty five dollars off this one it's now fifty dollars on my current pricing because that's gone up a swell my time that's taken to upload that like if if I'm not doing it melissa's doing and I have to pay her by the hour so that's time out of her day where she could be doing other things for me that she's going to sit and reload somebody's gallery and I am paying her by the hour so it's really important that you have to cover those costs at all times but yes communication all the time is definitely key on dh it will remain published for seven additional days once you do have to reopen it so then another time frame and sometimes you know when you're going back to that gallery sometimes like when they have grand parents or family members that that might wanna order an image you can open it reopen it for them that's fine that's you know but it does come at a fee so always stick by your policies if you're going to put them in place you know you need teo to stick to them but you know have a little bit of questioning where needed on listening to them because they really appreciate them so yeah that's just going into it a little bit more in depth so we can see it but I've talked to battle that um when it comes to charging charging for your work you need to be really clear in your pricing in the way that you sit it out so I have a lot of fun making my pricing guide and choosing the image is there going to be included in it but I always choose images like I've said before that I do create in a normal everyday session I'm not going to include stuff that is a little bit mohr say advanced or complicated or things like that because you know then I'm sort of putting their expectations a little bit higher and their baby might not be suited to some of those those poses and things like that as well so that way if if I could do something a little bit beyond that and they get something that's completely different unique from me they're like wow you know look at this it's so much better than all those other photos that we saw because their baby so you know we get to create some fun with this and I love it when you know I've got a baby in the studio and I'm like I k right you know your baby is just a dream I've got this incredible idea let's have some fun with this and they are the like the idea or they don't so yeah it's all got to do with that but I can't yeah just wondering if anybody has questions about the policies in particular or particular things that you are struggling with right now with regard to policies and client interactions because I was wondering if your legal things is that do you have everything digital or do you actually fend peeper for them is it you know penny paper yes oh my legal contract which is going to come in a minute we're going to go down through a few more slides and we'll talk about when I send that out so putting all that in place is it's going to be my work flow in a minute but if they do get a digital copy and then they get a paper copy at the time of the session so yeah they get both versions another question yes is there a specific type of lawyer we should be looking for because I contact a couple but they say they don't work with this kindof material okay so we've had the same solicitor lawyer for our family for probably the last sixteen years and he's looked after all our property purchases and things like that so I shouldn't think that that would be an issue but if but because we've had that same lawyer he knows us and we're well like right this is what we're doing now this's where we're taking our business we need to be able t create a contract for that and then he's worked with one of his paralegals to put that in place for us so yeah if if you're current solicitor is not comfortable with it it might just be a matter off you know googling lawyers in your area that do that type of thing you know that do that type of contract jewel thing so um I know that my friend who is a solicitor in a lawyer in brisbane in australia she is currently working with a lot of this type of thing so you know it might be something that she it could potentially give advice on I'm not quite sure but our our particular lawyer he's got a private practice he says not retired but he used to have a very large law law phone in the city when he was a little bit younger but now he's moved out to the suburbs and and he's created a ah working environment in his house like I've got a working environment in my house and we have to compare the they're re formation of our garages that's quite funny but yeah he's looks a little bit more professional than mine in in the office way so but yes communicate with your your current solicitor a lawyer that you that you've used for other things if you have and ask them if they can't do it can they recommend someone because they might be able to recommend someone to you definitely yeah another question are you requiring the session fee at time of booking like the full session fee or partial session fee how do you work that good question actually because I used to take at the time of booking I used to take a session fee and then you know a few things happened and I had teo you know either return there they're booking fee and I know that I say that it's un refundable but um you know for me I had a couple of clients that lost their babies or had instances where things didn't quite go to plan and and you know that was really heartbreaking so I didn't want to keep their money it's just not something I can do so they're told that decision phase actually do at the time ofthe decision it's payable at decision and then that way I don't need to if they forget to pay it previously as well I don't need to chase that up either but you know it's reminded reminded to them that decision is due at the time of the session and payable because I mean you know just t take that in advance and then to not have that session like a couple of times I felt very it was very difficult for me to be able teo word how how sorry I was for their loss and you know here's your money back so I would just rather not take it and then you know you don't have to deal with that as well so but at the time of the session but yeah but everybody does it differently so you just do it what works for you but for me I'd haddock couple of experiences with with mothers that had had um you know a little bit of tragedy after they booked may so yeah I found kind of I had the problem with people no showing or rescheduling and not taking it seriously because I wasn't collecting that up front so I even missed a weekend with my mom because I had you know something that I was expecting them to false her on and they didn't so that's why I changed to making sure I collected upfront open to returning it in situations like that but do you ever have problems with people just since they don't have that money put out there that you know taking a little bit more seriously or just kind of thinking that can reschedule or no show yeah no I do get that but no I've never had someone not turn up and I think it's because you know when they're booking me I'm writing back I'm saying right I've documented your due date is now in my calendar you know and I'm giving them that information so we're going to go through my work flow from the time that the clients contact me because I think that's going to answer your question a little bitter but it's communicating with them you know I've booked you into my diary they also know prior to making a booking in my processing information you need to book may during your pregnancy because you know I may not be available after your baby's arrived I tell them you know I have limited sessions available somebody inquires and they give me their due date and I'm already fully booked you know I'm really sorry but I'm currently fully booked the more you let people know how busy you are the less likely they are to stuff you around but to have these policies in place and really inform your clients off them communicate your policies let them know you're running a professional business they can't does not turn up but I've been communicating with them that whole process and letting them know right you know you're set your your due date is noted in my diary I'm gonna wait to hear from you very soon and then we're going to arrange a time and session for your date I am available on blah blah blah they getting all that information so the way that I communicate with um you know if they don't just turn up that's fine but I think when you um when you don't take a booking that is going to be you know as a risk but that's okay because he's still even though I'm getting people to book me during their pregnancy you still going to get those enquiries as well from when people have had their baby that they like on no I don't really need to have my baby photographed and then all of a sudden the baby's here is like when we go to the most beautiful thing I've ever say it I'm gonna have it photographed you know we didn't think about it during our pregnancy we need to book somebody now but you know so sometimes it happens like that and you can take on those clients but yeah you do run the risk of that but for me personally I know that yeah I'd rather be in the position where I don't have to return it in a vulnerable vulnerable state for someone as opposed tio I'm just not turning up so yeah but once I've booked them in and I've allocated them a time the way that I communicate to that to them you know they need to be there that time I'm really looking forward to meeting you I tell them you know I've allocated that time for you sometimes when clients are running a bit late though and I haven't heard from them like oh my god they're not turning up and then I'll get a message saying you know I'm running really late I'm sorry so I reply with taking time it's all right and let them know that right let's move on honest or him clear about charges for additional work so we did talk about having to re open a gallery do you know what else I charged for I always tell them rescheduling if a client comes to the session and then for example you know one of their kids is sick during the session like a sibling or their baby is something on the lot then they're like our comm we just reschedule not without a fee because you've really taken up my time today put that as it as a policy rescheduling you know if your child is sick or unwell please reschedule with me prior to decision but one suspicion has started a new decide that you want to reschedule there's gonna be a fee to do that put that in place because it's taken me time to set my studio up it's you know that's a day that I could have had another client in there that I've turned away always put a ll the or additional charges in there for them to see as well and I suppose by doing that letting them know you re schedule there's gonna be a fee things like that you know lets them know that I am serious about this I value my time they're going to value me and they're gonna want to not miss that session with may so moving on to workflow huh I know it can seem really boring work flow but you know something you need to have in place and yeah I love that is this from the first client interaction to the delivery you need to just have those systems in place you need to know what they are so that you know when someone comes back you like not all writing a separate email we have heap of drops set up in our drafts folder and email so it's you know you've got a draft for an inquiry of good in a draft for not available you've got a draft for just a million drafts in there that we can use for that sometimes you need to add a little bit of a personal note to it a lot of the times we do but yeah you need to have those set up so for me when my clients contact me it's usually via my website or my blawg or even have a contact section now on my facebook page but when they contact me it asks him you know your name your e mail address your phone number your you know your subject event or due date and you know I sometimes get enquiries for other things as well and then your message you know let me know who are you me a message don't just put all that information in there even though I do receive e mails and there will be nothing in the body of that e mail but the subject line will say prices plays so there is even a draft email set up for those and thank you so much for contacting may tell me a little bit more about yourself when is your due date in a friendly kind of way because sometimes people have looked at that many websites I used to take offense to it but you know what they've looked at that many websites they just want to know how much you bloody cost sorry but they do and I'm the same you know like sometimes you're communicating and talking to that many people you like please just give me a price don't miss me around I just need to know I like your work can I afford you and things like that I said that is why I have you know the due date in there because I need to know whether or not I'm available for that because we book out in advance so when they've contacted me they get an email back and it's an automated message and it says you know you're going to get a response from may in twenty four hours I'm setting us a timeline to respond to them you know clients receive an eighty immediate email and then I have to follow that through and I must deliver what I promise that's really really important to keeping those client expectations don't say twenty four hours and then not respond for forty eight and this is one of the reasons you know I haven't administrative assistant because sometimes I can't respond in twenty four hours and I need her to do that for may because I'm setting those standards right from the very beginning if I don't come in with inside that timeframe I'm kind of leading them down a little bit are well you know twenty four hours I'm just gonna go with this other person who's replied to me straightaway sometimes when an email comes in and I'm sitting there and I'm doing all this stuff in it and I hit reply straightaway I get a response straightaway oh wow I wasn't expecting a reply that quick and that's great but be careful also that when you are replying to people like that it's in with inside your business hours because if you hit reply at ten o'clock at night and somebody sitting there and they hit reply they might want to continue to communicate with you at ten o'clock at night said that you're also letting them know that you're available twenty four hours a day and you are not reply within your business hours and don't let people think that they can contact you at all hours of night because I've I've had mentoring sessions with photographers and the like you know my client's emailing man texting man ten eleven o'clock at night and yeah you know they're having babies throughout breastfeeding at all hours that's fine the board but I've been there I've done that but you know set set those those guidelines for your clients and you know if you have working hours stipulate those they're stipulated on my facebook page has stipulated you know in other areas as well um you know and then potential clients we've done this they received the they reply from me within that twenty four hours and it attached is my pricing and information and this is where they start to get that thank you so much for contacting me you know please find attached my pricing and information if you have any questions blah blah blah you're three ideal time to photograph your baby is six to ten days it's all in there I really look forward to hearing back from you you know don't leave it hanging I look forward to hearing from you let them know that you want to hear back from them you appreciate the time that it's taken for them to contact you and a speedy response is is essential for anybody for starting out in business you know and you have to adhere to that and you are building you know that client experience right from the very beginning and that's where it starts your level of professionalism you know is displayed straightaway you no one wants the client has come back to me then they've gone over my pricing and information they've looked at all the other photographers that they've inquired with they've decided that they want to book you you know that's when I send them or what to expect god from decision to get them a little bit excited this is what you're going to expect from may shows them a picture of my studio it's prick all get to see what it looks like in there so they're starting toe already visualize what it's going to be you know I went for a photography session when my kid when my first baby was little and I had this idea of what the studio was going to look like and when I went in it was so different so I'm giving them that information so they can already start to picture themselves inside that space you're what to expect guide you know is going to include a ll the different elements from that session letting them know whether you are traveling to their home or whether they are coming to your home studio or your place of business and this is where we confirm the appointment so once they've arrived home from hospital and they've had their baby they let me know because once they've booked decision in that email I've sort of said to them you know fantastic when you arrive home from hospital let me know and we can arrange a time and date for your session because I don't want to sort of you know hassle them or do any of that sitting up for a new baby and especially if they're working up till the end they're busy they're tired a little bit vague because the prison pregnant and then they know that they don't have to contact me but I also say in there as well you know if anything changes in the meantime let me know and I can I can adjust that with in my diary so they've come back they've got home from hospital I sometimes get text messages from dad's the minute their babies arrived the baby's here I'm like great when you get home from hospital let me know and then we'll arrange a time and a few fishing because you don't know how long someone has to stay in hospital some babies are sent home the day off depending on where you live is well like I know in the uk in manchester um I met a lady who came in with her baby ferment for a workshop and she was eighteen and she was sent home a couple of hours out she'd given birth so different hospitals in different parts of the world have different procedures you know when you have a baby in the netherlands you know you're actually provided with a nurse took her home with or your your it's expected that you hire a nurse there are different things that happen all over the world and then you've got you know in china they're not supposed to leave the house for x amount of days after and they sometimes go on staying confinement centers which I got to go on working where they paid to be there for twenty eight days and they have nurses and they have systems but confinement centers there also have studio spaces for you to go and shoot in which is really cool so depending on where you are you know all those things are going to come into play so trying to find out that information from them and if you have a caesarean you could be there for five six days you could be there for three to four days it just depends on you so well I tell them you know I've got friday the thirteenth available for your session how does that sound does that work with you you know please find attached my client agreement keeping it short and sweet because they're tired it's so excited they usually a little bit overwhelmed because nothing ever prepares them for how much they're gonna love that baby they told all this is going to happen that's going to happen but the one thing they're not told is how overwhelming it's going to be for you in two to three days after you've had a baby you know you get those emotional things going on you look at them and you just burst into tears keep it short and sweet and to the point and the client agreement is attached for you to go over feel free to fill it in and bring it with you or there'll be one at the studio when you arrived which you can complete there and if you have any questions whatsoever please let me know I look forward to meeting you really soon so it's all very endearing to my client you know congratulate aum that's such an incredible time in their life they don't need to read a ton of information so then it comes the time for the session and they arrive and we've got you know them involved and they're having a wonderful time and it's their favorite part but it's such a small part of what we do in our work for the whole process from when they contact us when we deliver them their final product the shooting time when you think about it two to four hours such a small amount of time so a ll the other percy procedures and policies that we have in place in our workflow ah huge to running a seasick successful business and then you sneak peek of the end of decision that I like to do this we talked about this in social media or in the marketing segment of everything when we're using social media I like tio upload an image at the end of the day to give them a sneak peak it gets them excited I always say to them no you know it's gonna be a three to four week wait for your gallery but what I'm going to do is get a photo for you today and do you mind if I upload that onto facebook for you and if they're not on facebook I'll email it to him because it's still going to share it with their friends and family if they are on facebook but they don't want it put on facebook or they say are would rather and not on your page but you know if you email it to us we'll put it on our page it's still got my logo on it it's still got my business name it's still a form of marketing and branding and I am giving them something I'm getting them excited because if three to four weeks go by or four weeks goes by and I'm running behind time and I have not showing them a single thing I don't know about you but I'd start to worry gotta hope those photos turned out you know I have that memory card didn't file or something like that I've got them so excited they can't wait to see the rest of those images because they already got a sneak peek and they know what to expect it's such a great way to reassure your clients and in the other hand it's such a great way to help mark it your business to reach more potential clients so three to four weeks later they're gallery is uploaded their emailed with I am you know the password for their for their gallery you can find it here there also given a link so they don't have to go searching for my website again because it's been a while since I've been on there they can click on the link it takes them directly to the gallery they put in their password you can send me an email with your order with your image numbers as to how you would like those printed in your chosen package if you have any questions at all please let me know I'm not forcing sales down their throat but I'm saying your chosen package you know what package is going to choose if there any is there anything I can help you with I'm there I'm available to them I'm letting them know that making reassuring them and the gallery's gonna look something like this they send me the image the image number and you know my new gallery in my new website it's gonna look it's going to look like this is gonna be great there new ones thie old one's a little bit different where they have to slide through and there is actually a number of the bottom where whether it's one to twenty or one two thirty or depending on how many black and white images aaron there there is a number but there's also this number as well so it doesn't matter which number they they give may it's it's really quite a simple process but that's how I've set my packages oppa's well to make it as easy as possible for my clients once they have ordered and they've sent me back they're e mail I'm gonna send them an invoice and you know thank you so much for placing your order I have attached your invoice for you there are payment options at the bottom let them know that sometimes they reply oh how do I pay because they're like I haven't even looked at the invoice because I know how much it's gonna cost let them know the payment options or at the bottom of that invoice because you know sometimes people are so quick to respond without actually looking at the information and I don't have time to continually rip I to information that's already given to them so answer the questions before they're asked really really important and I don't order anything once your invoice has been paid I will be in order your products and I will let you know as soon as they're available they've already got the information in the pricing and infer that sent out originally to tell them that it's a two to three way quite for their products that's fine they know that but if they happen to ask yu could just refer them back to that information really important that you don't order anything until their invoices paid because you know I've gotta cover those costs I've gotta pay for those products and I don't know things happen in people's lives they might not come and pick up those products so you need to make sure that you've been paid for that because once you've been paid for that they own it they come and get it and they're going to come and get it because they've spent all that money on it and once they packages arrived island let them know your order is here place for free tio come and pick it up if you would like me to arrange a career no problem at all I will do that you can you can have a career thief if you want to I tend to include things like that because it's going above in a book beyond for my clients and making their life as simple as possible and this is why my client's continue to come back and continue to refer me to everybody else because I'm making their life easy and I'm going above and beyond for them continually you know if it's a canvas order a big one they tend to come and pick it up or I can korea and then if it's a smaller package than I package it up really carefully I like to make it beautiful present it beautifully and you can use bubble wrap or what have you any former packaging but just make sure that you've packaged it so well that it does not get damaged in the process of you delivering that and yet do we have any more questions about any of that before moving to the next life uh we can check in with our studio audience I was thinking we could get through the workflow and then have yeah precision as well but we've got one let's go for it just if it's anything to do with that last segment and raven really quickly do you have a written consent or a signed consent for you do share the photos on social media or on the website I found for myself that people are okay with having for the shared on my website but not on social media yes so that's when I asked them at the time of decision is it all right for me to share that on social media and they usually tell me yes or no but my client agreement that is a male to them once they've told me that you know once we've sort of booked in that session they're home from hospital with booked in that time and date place find attach my client agreement I'll get a copy of it so I can show it to you but it's really important that your client agreement that has been created your contract had been created for your business by your solicitor I can't share mine with you so that it can be copied or use because it it's got a copy right on the bottom of it from my solicitor but it does have in there you know yes and no answers I made it so easy it's not a massive long document it's one a four page and it's got all the different things about you know the images um what they prove what they don't approve whether that could be used for advertising whether it could be put on social media they have to advise and then sign what they're happy with and what they're not happy with if they don't want me to use any of their photos for advertising I don't use them that's fine that's their choice I'm not going to use something if I don't have permission for it so that they caught that document that agreement is sent to them before they come for decision so it's once we've locked in that time and date it's attached please you know have a look over it feel free to fill it in and bring it with you or there'll be a copy available for you at the studio at the time of decision I've got that at the time and position it signed with what they're happy with so yeah one more question um for your products you're presenting them with materials that that sent to them explaining the product packages when they get there for the session are you bringing them out and like going over each one with them or do you just leave them displayed so that they have the chance to kind of walk around or sit and look at them like do you feel the need to do that or is it once they've received the materials is kind of up to them to ask about them once they get their yes no yes no uh oh going to dip that now so when they do come in like I was explaining in that styles segment you know that south does start at the very beginning when you provide them with that that pricing information it's got images off the products it's got a ll the details and then when they come in for this decision the campuses of hanging on the wall of my studio the album is on the coffee table in front and I'm talking to them and planting seeds you know this is how a such decision is going to go they come in they walk on them into my studio and I asked them straight up you know when we shall baby last fit is a jew for a feed any time soon because I haven't told them to feed their baby before they leave home or anything because I don't know how far they've got to travel or anything like that and I don't want to interrupt this schedule because you know new mom's breast feeding moms are still working out you know what's going on and then if you've got a formula fed baby as well and it's fed two hours like it's it's fit every sort of three to four hours and I tell them that their baby's going to fit before this session and decisions at ten a m but it's already been fitted like it am not going to feed it again an hour later before they come or you know an hour and a half later I've got a working with their schedule so they arrived I asked them where they are come into my studio have a seat once they decide that you know whether we need to feed or not the majority of the time I tell them that you know it's best to start the session with a nice full tummy so that they sleep for a longer period of time and we're not having to sort of you know pick him up and stop star and we're going to keep them as comfortable as possible throughout decision they sit down I said let's undress the baby and then you can give them a little top up if they look like they need feeding if the breast babies if their bottle fed then I'll just make a note of when they're due to be fed next and I'll start if they're not waking up or if they're nice and content it'll all depend on the baby at the time when they sit down I leave the room and I say right I'm gonna give you I'll be back in five minutes I'm just gonna go wash my hands I'm going to grab my camera which I've purposely left out of the studio so it's an excuse to leave the room to let them relax when you leave a client alone like that I'm gonna answer your question a minute when you leave them alone like that to feed their baby they don't feel like they're having to give me one hundred percent of their attention they're gonna relax they're gonna feed and that baby is going to be relaxed and it's going to feed well because they're focused on it and then taking in the surroundings as opposed to trying to communicate with me and answer questions and they're still figuring it out of the breast feeding even second third moms you know they're still figuring it out it's not an easy thing to do and for some people it doesn't come naturally so I've got to give them that space to relax and and feed that baby well when I come back in I come in and I've obviously offered them a glass of water or something like that I sit down we start to talk about position I say ram and start on the posing bag we're going to choose a couple of different blankets do you have a color preference in mind and I said that I'm going to move on to my props and right in front of you is an album it's the album from my part packages and pricing so I'm putting another product in front of their face without selling it without saying he is the album that I sell you know it's really lovely look at the pages look how beautiful it is I'm letting them do that to themselves you know inside that album are heap of pictures showing you how the props used so you can get an idea of what you might like or if if you want to use them or not it's entirely up to them I want to give them what they want so they sit there and they flip through the album they turned the pages like I've said they smell it they feel the texture what sort of paper is this I get asked all the time or I really like this tornado or you know I'm not really sure about the tornado can you get it with a straight edge of course you can so I'm communicating and I'm selling my products to them in that way not in a way that shoving it down their throat all my other stuff at the end of the session you know like my lumi tiles and things like that it's all out in my office but I bring the man into my office you know what the end when they dressing their baby you know if you want to sit and feed your baby please take your time I'm just going to go out into my office when you're ready come out I've got like just a little contact details form so they can fill in you know the name address email the baby's age all their birth details for the birth announcement and things like that and then that way when they come into the office and they filling that out they start to look around my office and I'll show you a picture shortly of my office because you know I like to think that um that's my space that's where I spend a lot of my time during the day in during the night so it's you know welcome into my office have a look around here my products if you've got any questions at all about the packages you know this is the size of the loom it'll feel how heavy they are you know they really lovely there nice and shiny all of that kind of stuff I can answer questions there so they're getting a ll the info about their products there and then at the time of decision and then those follow up e mails that we've just gone through you know if you have any questions if we get to that to make two week mark you know do you have any questions about the products do you need some help with your decision so I'm continually putting it in their mind they know what the minimum fee is going to be based on my smallest package so yeah um also when it comes to that work flow you know when they're coming into my office they're seeing you know I've got all my folders up on the walls I've got filing cabinets and things like that and you know how do I keep track of all my clients that come in and out well number one is by email because I want to have everything written down I don't put my telephone number on a lot of things now because if it's if it's said to me in a mess if I answer the phone and I'm out and about and I forget to write it down I'll get homes get sidetracked by other things I might forget to make a note of something so email is best for me because you know I'm sort of in and out all the time but whatever works for you but this is just how I do it and you know prior to being a photographer I have have studied business have a diploma in business I was an office manager and I was a p a to a project manager for a large construction site I know how to run an office I know how to file documents I don't run a database system or a system on my computer where I have to enter in everybody's details things like that I don't do that because I'm old school but that's fine I work within you know the area that I know how to do it and I have a really good system in place that works for me and my business and my assistant is you know she's onto it she works very similar to me and the way that she does it and it's an entire paper trail so I could go back at any time and look at the information that they were provided with or the answers to some of the questions so I know where I'm at and once you know all those documents have been received from them like that contract there is it scanned and it gets filed in tow a folder onto a hard drive and the hard copy is filed into a filing cabinet under the the alphabetical order of their name and the three year so that they go into two separate documents and also like then the the piece of paper right at the end but I get them to fill in it's also got on the back you know ofthis office use only which means what products have they ordered what day were they ordered and all of that so we can keep track we're out with each client and it's running a system and having those systems in place so you know where you're at and you're not going oh god I can't remember if I you know what did I ordered that things like that we can go back at any point in time and find that information and follow things up which is really really important but you have to do what works best for you and your business so my filing system is immaculate my husband isn't constantly got to clean up his desk and like you have not filed anything so we have trays for receipts we have trays for you know outgoing expenses things like that and it is all filed accordingly and put into the right folders and put into the right filing system as well so make sure that you have a trail so at any point in time you can go back over your client information and know where you're at with them the systems that you put in place we'll show them how professional you are in your business they're going to appreciate that they really going teo love that so yeah it's so interesting and thank you for sharing your approach because like a lot of people maybe have moved teo a database or to some kind of digital systems so really appreciate that you do it the way that works best for you I'm curious if we don't hear from some of the students is so what what your approach is maybe that could be helpful for people what what's working for all of you with regard to that client tracking or our interactions I've recently discovered in it's an online program it's called seventeen had to have a retrial and I tried it and it did work for me and I appreciated that they have the free trial but what worked for me is that I can set up my own workflow I can have a newborn workflow a family session work flow and then I can put in what needs to happen like that the point of inquiry I need to send them this email and it can automatically do them where it can make it so I proved them but it keeps me on because I'm after having kids I'm so forgetful and so it helps me keep on that and although I didn't set it up to just automatically send things out without me approving it I get an alert and I say you know yes send this email yes now send this contract and it kind of keeps track of the flow and once they've signed the contract then it kind of crossed me what's next and it concerned reminders for them and I really like that cause I'm not good at remembering okay this morning I need to sit down but I understand my weaknesses I'm not good at that so I found a program that helps me with that and it's it's just a really good reminder for that and workflow reminder so I love it and keeps track of my contacts but I still do print out a hard copy of each contract that they signed even though it's online line print out a copy of their questionnaire because I do appreciate that digital can have flaws and so I do print that out and keep my own file as well so do I love I love that she said I've identified my weaknesses and I found what works best for may that is so perfect and you know it's seventeen hats I haven't heard of it but the fact that it offers a free trial to see if you can make it work for you and your business that is so perfect it is so incredible and the fact that it actually prompts you to do that because we can all remember where we're at with what we're doing you know so when my my claim more my clients or emailing me I've got certain folders set up in my e mail system as well so they get copied across into those and then those emails are backed up so you're being able to go back through that as a filing system as well online as opposed to a draw filing system works really well but yeah identify your weaknesses because you know we can't always seventeen hats came way we can't do it all we're not bookkeepers were not all lawyers we're not alone wonderful photographers that we all want to bay and we're not administrative assistance except for if you were previously in the life and all of those things so many things we're not you know there's so much involved with running a business you've gotta claim you know you've got to set up you've got to be creative you've got to duel those things and I mean you just can't do it all can you and we'll talk about I think that a little bit later on when we're talking about balancing your life in korea so yeah in our next segment we're going to talk about how to create what to expect from your session god
<p>Kelly Brown is a portrait photographer, specializing in newborn and baby portraiture. Her nurturing desire to capture her family as it grows led to launching her business Little Pieces of Photography in 2005.</p>
What an awesome class! I actually started watching this, not because I was interested in newborn photography, but because I thought I could pick up some good ideas for photography in general. Kelly is such an inspiring person and so professional and such a good communicator that she has a lot to offer any photographer. I actually have been inspired to try newborn photography and can't wait to implement the multiple ideas Kelly has so generously given. I think it is wonderful for the profession of photography that she has the spirit to freely share what she knows to help those who are seeking advice and knowledge. Thank you!
I cannot say enough to relay the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for this class. I was very fortunate to be chosen as a studio audience member for this course and what I have taken away from this class will never be forgotten. Kelly pours herself into this class both on the head knowledge of photography and the heart knowledge of building a business and making it work in your life. She is such an amazing soul and I will treasure this experience always. This class is so thorough and works amazingly both all on its own or as a supplement to her other classes. You will not be disappointed. Her knowledge, her demeanor, her care, is brilliant. She pulls you right in, and even as an online viewer/purchaser for the previous two classes, I was able to feel her connection with the audience. She is an amazing teacher!!!! Kelly rocks, Kelly amazes, Kelly loves! Buy it today!!!! You will not regret it!!!!!! And don't forget, purchases get TONS of amazing bonus materials including extra videos and PDF's and manuals. This class is a bargain!!!!!
I really have been so happy & blessed Kelly to learn from you! You are gentle and I love your spirit in which you share your "Art". I am a Nurse and worked Hospice for many years. Many of my co-workers and I recently lost our nursing positions due to department integration and have decided that my passion and love for taking photos of children and babies is something I would like to pursue. I am learning so much Kelly from the way you take the time to gently get the baby in position, follow the baby's lead and enjoy the parents and each moment of the creative process. I am not at all a professional and am just really learning, but am enjoying practicing on my friends children and babies and of course my 4 month and 4 year old grandchildren. Thank you for providing free classes as I would not be able to afford any classes at this time in my life.
You have a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing so eloquently! You have made a difference in my life. Patty from AZ