I still come across some photographers that don’t have photography business deadlines set for when they will deliver their images. When their customers ask when they get their photos they always give an estimate when they think they can have them ready.
Usually, you want to make them happy, and you promise something fast.
That will give you lots of stress because you always underestimate the amount of work that is piled up on your desk. Until it is too late, and you want to cry under a blanket because the pile seems too big to handle, and you don’t know where to start anymore.
So make a fresh start today and set some deadlines for different parts of your workflow, here are some reasons why:
Deadlines will keep your clients informed and happy
When a customer books you, they usually have no idea what the standard procedure is. So in order to keep them trusting you/ feeling at ease/ comfortable with you, you always have to keep them informed of what will happen next.
I make it a habit to always in every email or communication I have with my clients tell them what will happen next.
e.g. “Here is your preview, hope you enjoy it. We will continue working on the rest of the images that you will get within the next four weeks.”
Always knowing what the next steps are will keep your clients from wondering what is next and will prevent them from doubting you. You are in the lead, they are the customers and they don’t have to wonder if everything is alright.
If they doubt you once, you are losing credits. If they do that twice, more credits will be lost. And you have to make up for that during the rest of your contact moments or worse, during your shoot with them.
So always keep your clients informed and happy.
Photography business deadlines will give YOU peace of mind
When a client gets a clear deadline they know what to expect. This will satisfy them more than expecting something early but not knowing for sure. We always tell our clients six weeks, and that has never been a problem. We usually deliver them early, but it’s awesome to have that space in your calendar to move priorities once in a while.
Our ShootZilla dashboard gives us an overview and with that comes the freedom to do stuff we like. In the overview, we can see in one glance that, for example, editing of images still has lots of time before the deadline is due.
Even when there are six weddings in progress of delivering we can still go out and socialize with our friends! We know that our tasks are still within their promised deadlines so we can enjoy our free time guilt-free!
[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]Related: Start your workflow process with this free workflow chart for photographers [/content_container]
Deadlines prevent unnecessary emails that you have to answer
When clients expect their images in 4 weeks, they will not email you until those four weeks have passed. This saves you from getting more emails (when do we get the images??). But also gives you a standard answer so you will not promise something in the heat of the moment. Since we are all in the business of making people happy, it’s sometimes difficult not to make those promises.
Deadlines provide you with a way to over-deliver
Another benefit of setting deadlines is that you can over-deliver. For example by giving them a preview of their images after a few days. Or offering all images a week early.
If you don’t set a deadline and communicate it with your clients, you can never over-deliver… Without a clear deadline, you might be under-delivering without even knowing it! For example when your client’s expectations were to receive the images earlier.
Remember the golden rule: under promise, overdeliver!
Hope you liked the second blog! Keep shooting & stay organized!