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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
Automations can play a vital role is eliminating the overwhelm inside your business and frankly your personal life. I don’t know what I would do without automatic bill payments and the little *ding* on my calendar to remind me when to pick up my kid from school. For this episode, let’s focus on what automatic communications and workflows can do for you inside your business.
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discuss how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.
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Hello hello, and welcome back to the Business First Creatives podcast. I don’t like to tell people that you’re not special, but I’m gonna tell you today, your problems are not special problems. I often get people in my dms, people in my emails, my personal clients and students who think that some of the things that are going wrong in their business is just them.
And I’m here to tell you today it’s not. If you’ve ever listened to a guest episode of this podcast, you will know that my number one question that I tried desperately to remember to ask every single person is, what was your biggest fuck up in your business? And what did you learn from it? And guys, I’ve had some real doozies. So I’ve had more than one person say that a client scheduled a session, they forgot to put it on the calendar.
And in one case it was a sunrise session and the client called to figure out where they were, and they were still at home almost an hour away from the beach. In another instance, this particular photographer did studio sessions at her home, and so the clients showed up and she was in a bathrobe with a towel on her head because she’d just taken a shower.
But forgetting to add a session onto your calendar is something that happens often. It is not just you. Same thing as forgetting to send clients, payment reminders and client questionnaires, and forgetting to actually follow up with the people who have indicated that they are interested in your services, but just haven’t finished the booking process.
So what I wanna talk about today is how to get over being overwhelmed in your business with automations, and more specifically, guys, I wanna say automations in your CRM. Now, if you don’t have a CRM A client relationship manager, this is probably not the podcast episode for you because while you can do some of these things outside of A CRM, The CRM is what centralizes all of your client communications, all of your client tasks, so that you make sure that your onboarding process is like a well-oiled machine.
I have spoken with several people who stayed with some pretty mediocre CRMs for a really long time, and their biggest regret was that they didn’t move to a more efficient CRM sooner. Now, here’s my disclaimer. You guys all know that I’m a Ssao certified specialist, but this is not me telling you all to run out and get Dubsado.
Most of you have CRMs that do a lot in terms of automations, and you’re just not maximizing. What you’re using your CRM for. Okay? So what I encourage everyone to do is think about a few of these things that I’m gonna mention today, and simply look at your CRM and see if they offer it or reach out to your cr m’s customer service, because a lot of you guys are sleeping on just asking customer service.
Can my CRM do this? If the answer is yes, great. I encourage you to schedule some time on your calendar and implement it within the next week. If the answer is no, maybe you do need to go shopping for a new CRM and I will have my comparison guide linked in the show notes. So let’s start with automatic follow ups.
When someone inquires with you, there is no way that you can mentally keep track of all of the leads in your business. Now, I mean, if you’re a young buck, not like me, who’s, you know, aging so gracefully, guys, but I feel like my memory is going. And so even though. In the past, I probably could have remembered every single lead in my business and whether or not I needed to follow up, that’s not my reality now.
So the first thing that I encourage you to do is create an email. That you will send clients if they have not completed the booking process within two or three days of you sending them the offer, the quote, the proposal, whatever manner it is that these people can actually book your services and pay you money if you send it.
And by day two or day three, they have not agreed, signed a contract and paid you money. I want you to follow up with them. Now, for some of you, this is gonna be easier than others. In Dubsado, you can actually have a workflow, watch that proposal, and if the form is not completed, that is actually the trigger.
Guys, two days after form is not completed. You can have Dubsado resend the form to them automatically. If you do not have dosa, you can set up a reminder. Or a checkoff task to where it will load it in the workflow, but you have to approve it going, which is what happens in 17 hats. Or in the case of HoneyBook, you set a to-do task and then you will have to go back in there, click the share button, and click resend your smart file.
But, In some manner, you can either automate that process or automate a reminder so that you don’t forget to do this. Guys, the money is in the follow up. If you are not following up with your leads are y. If you are just assuming that they are telling you no, I am here to tell you that is not it. People are busy.
Just like you can’t remember to follow up with them, sometimes people who have the best intentions of booking with you just flat out forget, because life happens. Now, what happens if they pay you? And then you need to collect a balance before your session.
The second automation that I want to encourage all of you to set up is automatic payment reminders.
No one likes to ask their clients for money. No one. So inside of your CRM, whether it is called a payment plan scheduler or whatever it is, you have an automatic way of asking people to pay you the money that they have already agreed to pay you. Now I talk about customizing emails everywhere. This is actually an email I would not customize.
You want it to sound robotic. You want it to sound like it’s an automatic payment reminder, just like those ones that you get for your credit cards. So that you are taking like the personal part of asking people for money out of the equation. It’s just like, Hey Susie, please don’t forget you have a payment due today of this much money.
Thank you for your attention, Colie. This is the only time that you have my permission to sound like a robot. So once again guys, we’ve got automatic follow up emails to the offer. We’ve got automatic payment reminder emails.
And the third and final thing that I want you to set up automatically is sending your client their questionnaire.
If you are someone who gathers information from your clients before a session, I highly recommend that you automate this process inside of a workflow. I do mine three weeks before a family session or six weeks before a newborn session. That way I know that my clients are getting the forms that they need in order to have a great session.
Now what happens if you send the questionnaire and they don’t complete it? I have a follow up email guys, five days after that questionnaire is sent. If they have not completed it, they get a nice friendly reminder from me to do so. So it is all about the automatic emails, guys, and these are ones that you should not have to customize.
Again, these are like the automatic payment reminders that you get for your credit card every single month.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed with the communication inside of your client experience, this is how you solve it, guys. Automatic emails inside of a workflow.
If you are struggling to do your automatic communications or to set up the workflows in general, you know I have a course, right? The CRM blueprint was specifically created for photographers to help you manage the overwhelm in the backend of your business. And so if you need that link, it is available in the show notes.
All right, guys. That’s it for this episode. See you next time.