COURTNEY AARON

I’m a Lake Tahoe based wedding and portrait photographer, and fan of unposed, giddy-in-love, melt-my-lenses-editorial-style moments … oh, and a t-shirts and jeans. 

HELLO, I'm courtney. welcome to the blog!

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COURTNEY AARON

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Thirteen years ago I slung a camera strap around my neck, and I’ve been capturing moments and memories that will be cherished for generations to come ever since. My goal? Put you at ease in front of the camera and document what matters and giving you something timeless in a fleeting world.

Hi, I'm Courtney

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My Biggest Behind the Scenes Timesaver

2017 was a major restructuring, rebuilding and reinvesting experience around here. One of the first decisions I made back in December 2016 was to invest in a client management software. I’ve remained organized in my own way, but after 11 years of mom-and-pop’ing it and realizing I could be saving way more time, it was time to go digital. It’s been such a timesaver, which translates into a life changer! The one I chose?

HoneyBook.

There are a lot of business management softwares out there and this one won me over on price, user experience  and how streamlined the communication in my business has become. The interface was easy to get the hang of and there are still so many features I have yet to incorporate. Everything from handling inquiries and obtaining questionnaires to building contract, timelines and receiving payments, it’s all done in one place and easily accessible to me on the road and in my office. Not to mention networking with other creatives.

The feedback from my clients, which is what was most important to me, has been fantastic! I love that it makes their experience easier and let’s the business side of our interaction quick, leaving more room to focus on photography!

Biggest Benefits:

  • Invoicing – My sessions fall into only a few categories. Weddings, Engagements, Family or the occasional custom freelance gig. With a little effort at the beginning, all my invoices are pre-done and all I have to do is proof-read, edit if needed and send off. This has saved me SO much time spent billing. I don’t even have to enter the email of where it’s going because….

 

  • Inquiry management – When someone inquires through my contact page (easy copy/paste code connecting to my Honeybook system), a client project is automatically created with their email, date and session they’re interested in and whatever prompts you have on your contact page. The who, what, when and why is automatically attached from the get go. Honey book even tells me if I have a conflicting project or prior inquiry on the date they’re inquiring right when I click to reply. Other neat features: Booking success rate stats, pie charts of where clients are finding you, among many others.

 

  • Email templates- From Inquiries, to questionnaires to second draft proposal emails, you can customize your email templates for easy and quick responses.

 

  • Client Communication- Through the Pipeline, you’re able to see which project is at which stage at any given time.  Appointment details, files and email copied are all in one place. You can set reminders to automatically prompt you when a client hasn’t yet viewed a file client or is overdue with payment. There are a number of features I still have yet to put into use.

 

  • Timelines- I’m able to send out timelines before clients book and it remains on file until we need to finesse it.

 

  • Questionnaires – Again, that pre-designed template option saves hours of third-party questionnaires or I pray you’re not sending out plain text email. I’ll admit, I use to send a PDF for clients to fill out and scan or mail back to me. I cringe remembering that system and the time suck it was for me and my clients.

 

  • All in one place– All files (timelines, questionnaires, proposals, etc) are kept in one spot for easy client access and easy mobile access through the app for when I’m on the way to a shoot and I need a phone number or session detail. The files and images clients send me in an email are also automatically stored.

 

  • Bookkeeping features – Payments, Expenses, Profit/loss and merge with Quickbooks – it’s all there.

 

Disclaimer: I do wish that Honeybook offered a way to customize the branding a bit more to match your own, but for the easy of use for me and my dear clients, I can get over certain aesthetics. 

If you’re interested in trying it out, use this link to receive a nice discount for your first year.

I did a few free trials with other software, and found Honeybook to have the easiest interface to learn, because who has time to set aside to change up the back of the house? Their team loaded my contracts, questionnaires and templates for me and from there is was just minor tweaks. After about a month, it was just a constant ‘why did I wait so long to do this’ feeling of relief.

While teetering on being too sales-y, I’m all about sharing what is working behind the scenes for my business. If you’re currently spending countless hours answering emails, drawing up quotes, handling payments and simply ready to let go of your grassroots efforts, you’re silly not to take the plunge into a client management software! The investment is invaluable no matter where you are in your business.

To be extra helpful, here are a few other management softwares that may fit you as well: Tave´, Pixifi, 17Hats, and ShootQ.

 

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