Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp

Lesson 16 of 35

Tracking and Packing an Order: On–Location

 

Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp

Lesson 16 of 35

Tracking and Packing an Order: On–Location

 

Lesson Info

Tracking and Packing an Order: On–Location

Today, we're going to talk about tracking and packing your orders. If you keep an organized system for doing this, you're gonna have a lot of success in your studio when it comes to not dropping the ball on things. You're going to be so much more efficient at the way you upload orders to the lab from receiving orders from the sky to packaging them and making them beautiful for your clients. And I know this may sound like a pretty mundane thing, however, getting a really good, efficient system in place will make your life so so much easier. So today, it's all about orders and production and getting a good system in place for doing that orders and production, I guess I want to ask you the question, have you ever, like, dropped the ball on something I can? I have so many stories of types when I just screwed up royally, and that kind of mayhem in your life doesn't do you any good, and it ends up costing you a lot of money on the back end. Have you ever forgotten like that? One five by seve...

n and an order, and then you have to go to the lab and spend twelve dollars, ordering one five by seven, it just makes you want to play your hair out or things like your prints come backed with rainbow banding digital banding in them and you have to reorder the print again your order to canvas instead of the print the client ordered which ends up costing you a a bunch of money were you can't remember which client goes with which image that sounds nuts, but in my industry when your niece two newborn babies if someone orders a picture of their child just a little more baby and you don't have that properly labeled sometimes you don't know which baby belongs toa which adults and that can get really embarrassing in a hurry so you don't want these kinds of problems and trust me, I've had a lot of every single problem I've just explained to you I have had and of course always there's that dreaded phone call that you get when can we pick up our order and you realize, oh my gosh, I haven't even placed the order for their product yet. I don't want you guys tio have these kinds of problems because this kind of mayhem is what takes your business downhill in a hurry and of course that affects your brand it affects your bottom line, it affects your cross of goods and that's something we want to avoid so what you want? What? I want you to look at this as this lesson as a foolproof system for ordering products from the lab and packaging them in a conveyor belt or assembly line fashion that keeps everything in one spot that keeps all your ducks in a row it crosses your teas and dot your I's so you're never having to re order prints where there's mistakes you're never having to call a client and tell them things they're going to be late. That kind of thing doesn't happen of course it does, but the goal is to minimize these problems as much as possible and even if you're a small shop and you're only doing a few orders a month getting a good system in place right now especially when you have the time to do it is critical because then when you do start getting the influx of clients which I know you all are going to have happen, you're gonna have a foolproof system ready to go and you'll never look back and everything will be completed and processed like a well oiled machine. So what I'm saying is is when you properly track a client's order, you won't misstep, you don't lose anything you and your business are reliable to the client and what does that add up to? That adds up to good customer service, a wonderful impression of your business and finally the big picture a brand that's absolutely unstoppable, so first we're going to talk about the paperwork trail we're going to talk about from ordering from the ordering appointment, the sales appointment with a client was with you two actually processing the images that they've ordered and uploading those to the lab whether it be an album, a basic printer stand out yeah, or digital files. How are you taking all these components of the client's order and logically and efficiently making it happen to produce that product for a client? I want you to note how lauren cross checks with the lab she's going to be, you know, talking us through an order because she's, the one in our studio who does does most of the packaging at this point. I hired her on about a year ago to do that for the longest time, I did it all myself. But there is a point in your business, and you may be already there right now where you realize that cost effective wise, it makes more sense to actually hire somebody to do that kind of work for you, so you can then devote your hours to more complex work, like a marketing your studio, thinking entrepreneur lee and kind of making plans for the future. I guess I should say so she's going to be cross checking with the lab, the orders versus the ordering sheet she's going to be checking in balancing everything, make checking for quality control. She has me sign all the artworks so that they have that value of authenticity associated with them and she's going to show you packaging consistency and yeah this is what we like to all think of when it comes to a brand we really want the fancy packaging and everything to look really for fund open for the client that's kind of the fun part about being a portrait studio our wedding studio you get to make things look beautiful at the end and the client is so excited it's just like christmas to open up their order so that packaging consistency you want to make sure everything is packaged the same all the time so there's those consistent results for the client and then of course proper labeling and checking things off there's nothing worse than packaging in order not labeling who that belongs to them nothing teo unwrap the entire thing see whose order it is trust me been there done that and I have multiple t shirts from that incident on the assembly line organization lauren has her system down where she knows exactly where everything is in the production room she knows exactly how to create a system for order by order if she has one order to package or ten she knows how to keep everything on track and organized so that there are no mistake with any persons or clients order and finally she provides client education materials about album care, portrait care off that kind of stuff goes in with the order to help provide the client with written documentation about what they ordered and how to care for it which is super important because we want their prints toe last and again all that does is add to that level of customer service and branding and finally she'll talk about promotional materials and things she may or may not be putting in the order to help convince the client to maybe come back to us for a repeat visit so that they stay our customer for life and those small promotional marketing materials can sometimes be the key between ah client never coming back to again or maybe forgetting about you two saying oh we should join the baby plan that looks great or yeah we did a senior session with susie but oh my gosh when she comes home for college next summer we should do a family session those kinds of promotions that you khun ad into your package after the fact that one final touch point that you could give your client to maybe convince them that it might be a good idea to be a repeat client all those things are good things and if you notice and look around other businesses in different industries many do this exact same thing and I really encourage you that when you patronize another business of any kind, whether it be the grocery store or your hairdresser or however, take note of how they're promoting teo you and how they're trying to convince you and marc it to you to come back to them and do a repeat visit because really what it comes down to it guys, eighty percent of our business comes from twenty percent of your clients and those repeat clients and word of mouth referrals are absolutely a gold mine when it comes to keeping that client circle going, keeping those people coming back. Teo and finally, lawrence going to discuss the final checklist, how she marks off to the rest of us that things were done on our client workflow board, the kind of hub and center of the entire studio and how she notifies blended that you know, it's time to contact this client and let them know their order is in for us. Our state gold standard is to have the client's order at the lab within an hour of their order appointment does that seem fast? It is fast, but we do it every single time and we've developed a system for doing that and that's about what we're about to show you in this lesson and when I'm hoping it will do is it will teach you that by being speedy, efficient with incredible quality you khun turn around in order to a client and less than a week and when that happens the client is still on the emotional high there's still excited about their image is their super excited to get the product in their hands and when you couldn't deliver that product to them in less than seven days. There's still riding that wave and you're referral numbers are going to go up, I promise you because of that and again, all that does is contribute to the brand it contributes to your reputation in the community, and it contributes to your referrals and ultimately your bottom line. Let's, take a look. So I'm now upstairs in my computer and the client has just left the ordering appointment and from here it's my job to take the pro select invoice and turn it into an order that I can upload to the lab. So I just first of all, I wanted to show you what happens here with their invoice, and normally I would have the paper invoice next to me, but I wanted you to see it on the screen here. So this is basically what would be printed next to me as I'm referring to the order sheet. So this family had a newborn session with us has been a fact you saw this family earlier in the course when we photographed their little baby, abigale and henry, and they went ahead and ordered a twenty four by thirty six print and they ordered they went ahead and ordered the digital files, the large ones. So with that they got the proof books complimentary. They also got a set of birth announcements complimentary and you can see she ordered two sets of birth announcement. So she got credit for one of those which put us at a total order of thirteen fifty five, which is a really, really typical order for us. So the two products that I need to be worried about to order, since she already took her digital files, and her proof box home that was included with her kind of instant gratification, take home order for doing created collections. All I really need to worry about are the birth announcements and the large print that we will be printing for her. So this is her art piece. This is what she purchased, and this is what she went with us. Faras the art product in step one of create your own collection. So I kind of wanted to give you a big overall picture of what happened here, and then we'll go ahead and start going into pro select, and actually working with this order. So this is her invoice inside pro select it's exactly the same thing that I just showed you, but in pro selects formats, rather than in paper format or pdf format, so you can see that this is the prince she ordered and then this is the back of her card and this is the front of the card. We have her digital files of course that doesn't include a thumbnail and the proof books which she got credit for it so I'm gonna get and close this out and you can see here are thumbnails that they looked out at the session and you can see where the shopping cart icon shows in pro select where something has been purchased it's also part of a layout which tells me that that's what they put into their their birth announcement here, so from here I can go over the layouts and view exactly what she did order for her layout which means that it's a product that has a template and it was her card. Now clearly this is not presley grace king this is henry ash off and so on that was not his birthday, nor his weight or height so I need thio fix all these statistics but this is basic just of how the card is going to look and then the back of the card it's very simple. We let our clients show full screen images the birth announcement mintz can be showcased in a frame or something like that so the client sees it as a little gift for their family and friends. Okay, so what I'm going to do from here is now I need to actually place the order with the lab and I need to create this card. I need to create the twenty four by thirty six print and set it off the lap. So what I'm gonna be doing is going up to production in pro select, so I'm right now in time exposures, pro select software, I'm going to go up to produce hi res images and I'm in the pro version of the software, so here is the birth announcement card, and it looks like the uh oh, it looks like the front of my card what's accidentally put in the composite a single image, prince, but that's okay, too, so I'm going to create the front of the card first, okay, so I'm simply going to check the box there. If I needed to do any final retouching to the image, I can highlight it here and pressed open in photo shop and post like would tell photoshopped to open this thing, this image, I'm going to go ahead and just leave it, as is for now, and produced the card right away and then change the date and the statistics on there, tio suit the baby that I'm working with and not necessarily what's in the template, so to do that. I'm going to say keep opening photo shop I'm going to make sure that the images being saved where I wanted to so you can see it I taught you earlier in the month from how we organize things the client was in the raf older well now she's in the proofed folder so the ash off images air right here they are ash off newborn raw ashok newborn cold and then the final p s t s that I showed the client and that's where I want pro select to save the final j pegs of this card so that I could find everything in one place so once that happens I'm going to go ahead and press press make high res images right here and pro select will tell photoshopped open it will open the card template it will open the client's image file and replace the image inside the car template exactly how I haven't laid out here and exactly how I did it impress like so we're gonna go ahead and say make high res image and you'll see press like to start working and in just a few seconds I can go over to photo shop and you can see here I have the card ready to go and the layered files ready for me to change so I'm gonna go ahead and just move my windows up here so you guys can actually see what I'm doing and you can see the presley grace king obviously this is a different baby, but this is our standard announcement template that we offer to all clients who purchased the large digital files so I'm gonna go ahead and type in the baby's name this is henry adam ash off I'll go ahead and make that text a little bit smaller so that, um it fits in the space I'm gonna go ahead and make it sixteen point and I'm also going to go ahead and change the color to match the blue in the maybe just a little it's kind of more of a gray, according to facebook or if excuse me according to photo shopped there we go I like that color so that it matches his skin tone and also the colors within the within the image and he was born on august twenty ninth, two thousand fifteen so again I will go ahead and make that smaller and put it in the blue color, so we'll grab that blue color press ok and he's a boy, so I probably won't do the flowers next to him since, uh he's a boy, okay? And we're gonna go ahead and make that blue as well so that the text stands out so I'm just adjusting things to make it fit him and he was seven pounds, five ounces and twenty inches long and his family is not echo and david parker king I'm going to make that the same color is that and I'll change that to the ash off family okay, so there we go that card I considered done all I have to do is save it and you can see pro select made a folder for me of five by seven size images which is where the card is and this is the card here the old version of it that had the wrong text and information so I will go ahead and highlight that and save it as a j peg and save it over the top yes replace please okay, so now the front of my card has been created and it now says henry adam ash off instead of presley grace king or whatever the previous name was on the template so now I just need to go ahead and make the back of the card and put our new logo on it as well as the front of the card or the twenty five twenty four by thirty six print and we'll be good to go so I'm gonna go ahead and check this box same make high res images this will be the back of the card go back into photo shop I'm going to go ahead and open up my logo here and we're going to go ahead and to our secondary logo, which is our um j that we put on things. I'll go ahead and add that to the document will probably make it a little bit brighter so that it stands out. And since we just got this logo, I haven't actually turned this into a action yet. But I will. So this is the long way of doing it. But that's ok. At least it gives you an idea of the starting point for this. So then I'll bring my text tool in and at our website on here. So w w w dot jule dash images dot com make that in all caps go and the same color as the watermark, and voila, there is our water mark on the back of the prince. All go ahead and emerge that. And save that as my card. The other half of it so all labeled us as the back. So I know press save and that is ready to upload to the lab and I'm happy with that. So now the only final product I need to take care of is this twenty four by thirty six so since I am unl, are ging this? So I'm enlarging this rather large I'm going to go ahead and keep this open and photo shop and make sure there's no final retouching I need to do to it before I send it off to the lab right now pro select is telling photoshopped to create a twenty four by thirty six out of this image and it's doing so again, I go back to photo shop and close this out here uh there we go, go back to the shop and here is the image and if I needed to do any final retouching, which I don't really think I need to do, I could get picky about stuff and want to do it, but I think we're looking pretty good, nice and sharp good it's been saved already, so I know it's good to go on, you can kind of see that under my client folder again get a desktop! My images proved ash off and here's the twenty four by thirty six saved already post like does that whenever it runs anything through high raise production. Okay, so now it's just a matter of opening my roast ordering software, so I'm going to go ahead, go to my desk top one more time and open white house custom colors ordering software, I'll log into my account and I'm going to go to products at all order both my twenty five twenty four by thirty and I've already done this so I don't want to end up doing it again and pay for prince I don't need but I would go to photo prints lustre paper and then drop down to the twenty four by thirty okay then I will go to the ash off order under client images proved ash of images twenty four by thirty six and this will get dragged into my roast ordering software I'll place it how I want it in the frame add luster counting adeline and texture add white styrene and add to order okay, so that's gonna end up costing me sixty five dollars in seventy six cents from the lab and I would go ahead and place that order and check out because I can't order press products which is where the cards are and photo prints of the same order but I'll go ahead and say let's go to move on to press prints that will kind of pretend that I had checked out and ordered that I would like to continue yes please so I'm going to go to flat cards right here five by seven horizontal go back to the ash off order once again to my five by seven cards okay, I'm going to dio where's the front is over here here's a front hello cute little baby boy and then here's the back there and you can see now I can order my papers so I typically always order in the watercolor art water collar and remember she wanted two boxes, so I'm going to go ahead and press to their ad to order and then when I pressed check out you can see that my client's cards, the birth announcements are sitting here waiting I will go ahead and put an order reference so this will be ash off card and I would have done that same exact thing with the print I would have done ash off wall print and any special instructions that I want to send to the lab and then when I'm ready to go and I want to send this off, I'll just press complete order and my internet service provider will upload this file to the lab through this growth ordering software and from there that's where it goes to the lab and they're in charge it from their we simply wait for the ups man to deliver it, and from there lauren takes over to actually packaging the order in our production room, so the ups man just delivered some packages and I've started unpacking some of them and essentially what I'll do is all check here and see what we received, so it looks here that we have thes spencer newborn file and what I'm going to do is go over here to our records to find the spencer folder so once I have their folder, I'm basically just goingto refer to this to make sure that what we received is correct and it's really what they were so I'm looking here, cross referencing as faras what they received looks like they already signed on for the baby plan. They already received their digital files, so they're just waiting for their stand out and their birth announcements so we are in good shape, so I'm gonna take this off of here ands file that in here, just notifying julia that we received it and it's been packaged, simon in place that to the side and then start rapping and what I'll do first, actually is just basically make sure that the quality of this is upto up to our standards. So making sure that there's no banding and there's nothing that is gonna, you know, cause it to not look the way that we're wanting it to look for the final product we're giving to the client often times if I am unsure about this or I'm kind of iffy about something, I will refer to julia and kind of have purchase double check also with any artwork like this, I also want julia to sign it, and so we want to make sure that her signature goes on it before its package so I will grab her to get her signature miss giuliani? Yes, if you could sign that for me is that perfect? Thank you. You're welcome. So let that dry for a second make sure that we're not going to smudge it and I'm going to grab this bag. Basically, this is just kind of the first part of the packaging to make sure that we're you know, keeping it nice and clean, dry and making sure it gets home in one beautiful piece. So once that is dry and put it into this new bag just makes it look a little bit found your gonna put it in here wei will package it up tio home that closes for, uh then I'm gonna take this. You make sure that it has a little bit of extra protection here and then actually take this on dh usually I like to remove any extra stickers are tracking items are here and we will get it looking pretty sometimes. Is your sudden undone? All right, so we're gonna put this here and then I will tape it. I'm basically just gonna secure this to go home, making sure that it kind of just stays altogether. Okay? And then you some kraft paper for our larger items we like to package with this craft paper from here on in it's kind of just easy wrapping process of making circuits wrapped nicely for end product. Just making sure that it is kind of sticking with our brand and and looking really like a beautiful package and a beautiful present. So this is one of our larger items that we will go ahead and package like I mentioned in the bigger kraft paper, but there's kind of different packaging and different materials that go with, um, each individual order, so some of that looks a little bit differently. We're going to do the birth announcements next that's not quite as much packaging. Oftentimes we have orders that come in, have multiple items. And so what kind of package of those all together and make sure that they get the right materials that they're needing as faras asking them if they want to join our baby plan or making sure that they know how to care for their digital files and their albums and things of that nature. So with this particular order, I had checked, and I saw that they actually already received their digital files, so those already given to them, and so that tells me that they already would have received those materials. As faras caring for their digital files, and they actually already signed up for the baby plan, which is great, and that happens often during the ordering appointments to people get really excited about the opportunity to come back for more sessions. So if that's the case, I also I'm not worried about putting anything regarding the baby plan with this particular order, but it is something that we always like to promote as people are picking up their items, if they haven't already signed up, I think I'm gonna use this hanging, so basically, I'm just making this look like a nice gift, that you would give someone it's very much in julia's brandis faras kind of the all natural look with the paper, and then we usually use a bow, so go into my ribbon drawer here and on a boat with this, and then also we have a sticker that goes on it with our logo. Bo and stickers and tags also use one of these tags toe label, which family it's going home with on, then you have our stickers here that we just add like that, and this is the spencer family, so I'm gonna label it, spencer, and then attach it to the outside so that way they'll know when they come to pick it up that this goes home with some the next thing that I would package to go with their order are their birth announcements so same kind of thing I'm going to open this make sure that it is indeed their birth announcements obviously we won't have julia sign these but we are going to quality control those and then make sure that they get packets so a special box in here and I'm going to use for lows they actually ordered two boxes worth they're sending out a lot so I'm just gonna kind of do half and half for this particular box that goes on there and then same kind of concept I'm going teo used some of the sinner revenge wrap around these guys and then this will go into a small bag that will be kind of the final part of that packaging so I'm gonna wrap that up cut my rub in a little bit too short not a little bit may we do that make that a little bit longer this go around just to make sure it looks way want it so I'm gonna put this and then we'll put a small sticker on this just another opportunity to kind of use are we're handing so here's that just cut these ends a little bit and then I'm gonna grab a bag toe actually send this home in I'm gonna be really in particular about mambo here okay and I'm gonna squeeze over here and grab one of these bags put this in here, grab some tissue and then because they didn't receive ah, a piece of artwork. I am goingto grab some materials to put in with their order, just about carrying for their art way have a few different pieces of material that will go home, and this one is just carrying for your art. So I'm going to put that in here just because these two items are going to be going home together. I'm gonna add a little bo. This is actually perfect will use my ribbon here button to the top of this do one more tag just in case these get separated for any reason. And then these will be good to go on. I'm going to go upstairs to let belinda know that they have been packaged and are ready to go home. I'm gonna put this on here and then I would take both of the yes outdoor front lobby to wait for pick up. So now that we have the package ready to go downstairs, I'm gonna bring the client's file up stairs. I'm going to put this in the deliver portion and then I'm going to mark on our board, which is kind of I mean, this is the best way for us all to be in the know and kind of keep up to date on what has been received and packaged and who has been notified s o I'm going to come up here I'm gonna find spencer who is the plane? I just packaged I'm going toe put an x on here letting belinda and julia know that I packaged it most going to tell belinda that spencer has been packaged and so that way she can notify the family I hope lawrence explanation really helped you guys kind of see how you consistent eyes your own workflow and what I really want you to do is look at that now that's gonna be your homework assignment for this lesson I want you to really analyze your production and packaging workflow easier packaging consistent do you like it doesn't fit your brand and then get into the nitty gritty the details that maybe aren't so fun to look at but is everything in an assembly line clean order where there's no mistakes happening? Are you speedy? Are you fast at producing that order for a client and how can you get faster so analyze this, start writing it down, brainstorm ideas and then start prioritizing and how you confer, fix your system or improve it to make it more efficient and ultimately to save you more money so what I'm saying really is system izing your order workflow well, ultimately, make your clients so happy and you happy. You'll be spending less time in front of the computer, less time worrying about orders and more time with your families and living your life in your dream.

Class Description


Creating systems in any business is essential to its success. Learn how to run a business like a well-oiled machine in Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp with Julia Kelleher. 

Systems create a consistent experience for your customer and produce reliable results in your product. In this bootcamp, Julia will show you how to develop:

  • Superior customer service experiences
  • Efficient booking procedures
  • Time-saving product offerings
  • Reliable studio organizational plans
  • Streamlined sessions
  • Sales and pricing techniques
  • Images and ordering processes
  • File archiving techniques
  • Automated branding and marketing solutions
  • Systematized finance management 
By sticking with set systems, nothing falls through the cracks. Clients enjoy a predictable and upscale experience, sales are predictable (which makes your income predictable), orders are reliable and complete with no mistakes, and your numbers are usable!

Packed with incredible content, this bootcamp will help you build your photography business plan as if you could walk away and let someone else run it – reducing your workload, increasing your revenue and giving you more time for what’s important to you.

Find out exactly what it takes to develop go-to systems so your time is managed and organized and your studio achieves maximum efficiency in Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp with Julia Kelleher. 

PLEASE JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!

Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp is a multi-platform experience and we want YOUR participation! Please join us in this EXCLUSIVE FACEBOOK GROUP! You will be able to:

  • Ask questions related to the bootcamp content
  • Discuss the weekly homework assignments
  • Connect with a global community
  • Participate in weekly private Q&A sessions!
JOIN HERE: Julia Kelleher's CreativeLive Course Discussion

Reviews

AlwaysFashionGirl
 

I look at this course as a library of amazing and valuable content. Everything that any photographer ever needs to run their business and make it successful and profitable can find all in one place, this course. I always felt inspired by Julia's amazing business skills, she is one of the best in this industry. I have taken all of her previous classes before and never felt disappointed. Instead, I would feel more confident, educated, empowered and inspired. Every segment is packed with so much information and it feels overwhelming at first, but the workbook that this course comes with, gives you sanity and helps you to work through it. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone. You should decide if you want to spend 10 years to get all this knowledge that this course already has, or just spend $199 to get it all at once and not waste anymore time experimenting!? Your choice.

a Creativelive Student
 

We're only 1wk into this 5wk bootcamp and I have already gained so much valuable information {already worth every cent}. Julia shares so much about how to run a business, and do it in a way that's successful, profitable and enjoyable. Have already started working on a few new systems to help run my business better, and my customer service has already improved. Now to just spruce up my home studio to make it more visually appealing and comfortable for my clients :) Thank you so much Julia!

user-faa438
 

I am so incredibly happy to have taken the plunge this evening, as I bought this course! Today watching the course a lightbulb went off and I knew I had to have it! This is worth every cent, and I am so very excited to watch the rest and implement these teachings into my business. Its time to take charge and take my business back! I am so amazed after standing back and looking at my business from a distance, of how much i have been giving away. Not only of not only my pricing but myself. I have compromised for clients that aren't right for me. This is giving me the confidence and knowledge to say no, in a nice way, and to focus on the business I really WANT! Thank you Julia, you are an inspiration! An amazing women with impeccable business sense!