Tea for two: Workflow chart

This series has a been a long time coming, but it has always been held back by the fact that I did’t have a title it. I’ve always wanted to do blog posts on how I run my business, some technical things, and general advice for newer photographers, but I couldn’t ever come up with a title that fit. I recently met with some photographers and, over a cup of tea, we all shared how we run different aspects of our business. And that’s when it hit me – it was the perfect setting, in my opinion, of how to share my thoughts. Non judgmental, not abrasive…just a couple gals sharing what they’ve learned, from one heart to another. Over tea. I recently launched a coaching program and whenever I’ve had a client Skype with me, or the ones that come in person, I’ve had a cup of tea – usually peppermint or Teavanna’s Maharaja Chai/Samurai Chai Tea Blend – and we start getting down to the nitty gritty. So it became that “Tea for two” sounded like the perfect title for a series where I talk to you one on one about how I run my business and the things that have helped me stay afloat along the way.

To kick off the series, I thought I would blog about my workflow chart, because it’s something that I’ve had a LOT of photographers ask me about over the year. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a system in place for each client so that you aren’t scurrying around wondering if you ever mailed this clients USB or sent that clients order to print. Here is an image of my workflow chart:

Here’s how to make your own workflow chart:

1. Write down EVERY task that is in your workflow. Mine has everything from “blog wedding” to “send promo materials to venue”. They are all tasks that I do with every wedding and there are quite a few that re really easy to forget when I’m in the throws of wedding season.

2. Make your chart in Photoshop if you are photoshop-savvy, or purchase a template from Design Aglow. And make it pretty, because you’ll want to look at it more often if it’s pretty. Use your signature fonts and brand colors, add your logo, and make sure it’s something that beckons you to it…otherwise it’s easy to forget.

3. Get it printed! I use WHCC because their print quality is awesome and their turnaround time is amazing! I print two 12×18’s, horizontal (one with the actual workflow and one just with the grid). I also print two copies of each so I have one for the current year and one for the following year.

4. Hang it! Preferably in a place where you will see it often. Mine is actually right in front of my face, above my desk. My following year one is on a side wall. This will vary, depending on your personality. You may be the typ (like me) that wants it right in front of you, or you may do better off without having it constantly distract you. hang it in a place where it will be most effective for you! As for frames, I purchase the Ribba 20×28 frames from ikea, which are super cheap, and match the rest of my apartment well.

Because I know you will inevitably ask what is on my workflow, here it is:

  • Mail Booking Gift
  • Create +site
  • Add clients as FB friends
  • Schedule engagement session
  • Write engagement session story
  • Cull engagement session/send to ShootDotEdit
  • Blog engagement session
  • PASS engagement session
  • Mail mid-engagement gift
  • Order wedding gift
  • Write wedding story
  • FB sneak peek
  • Cull/ShootDotEdit wedding
  • Backup wedding
  • Blog wedding
  • PASS wedding
  • Facebook album
  • Design wedding album
  • Submit to weddinggawker
  • Submit for publication
  • Mail USB/Thank you
  • Vendor galeries
  • Venue promo materials sent
  • Print/mail album

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