From Chaos to Control: How a CRM System Transforms Your Business

Being a photographer is not just about taking pretty photos. It’s also about running a business, and like every little business, managing daily admin tasks can be challenging and overwhelming. From the first enquiry to scheduling the photoshoot, sending the invoice and managing all the steps in between is not always easy to stay on top of things.

This is where CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems come into play.

This blog post is not just for my photographer colleagues but for any small business needing help managing and organizing daily tasks. I want to talk about how a CRM system changed my daily life as a business owner.

photo of a computer screen. CRM system are great to keep your business organised.

But first of all, what is a CRM System?

A CRM system is a powerful tool designed to streamline and optimize customer relationship management processes. Basically, it helps you to manage your interaction with clients and keeps everything in one place, from emails to bookings and invoices. All to stay more organised, saving time and providing a better and more professional experience for your clients.

There are many CRM on the market but I have been using 17Hats for 6 years and I love it. Believe me when I tell you that where once was chaos, now there is calm and control.

Core Functionalities of a CRM System

  1. Centralized Customer Database: CRM systems provide a place to store and manage customer data. This includes contact information, phone logs, shoot details, purchase history, communication records, and any other relevant details you want to keep track of.
  2. Lead and Opportunity Management: CRM systems facilitate lead and opportunity management by enabling businesses to track and analyze potential customers throughout workflows. By capturing crucial information at each stage, businesses can effectively nurture leads, identify potential opportunities, and convert them into loyal customers.
  3. Automated workflows: CRM systems can act as personal assistants by sending reminder emails, invoices, and following up with clients. This saves a lot of time and most importantly you will never miss important tasks.
  4. Create quotes, contracts and invoices. This makes it so easy to do sales. In the quote, clients can add or take away items so they are in control of how much they spend. The quote turn automatically into an invoice so nothing is required on my side. Contracts have electronic signatures so everything is quick and super easy.
  5. Customer Service and Support: A CRM system has the tools to deliver exceptional support. Businesses can provide personalised and effective customer service by having a comprehensive view of customer interactions.
  6. Business Insights: CRM systems provide excellent insights and reporting functionalities, giving businesses valuable insights into customer journeys.

Why Do You Need a CRM System?

If you are serious about your business you need to have a CRM system in place. Do you want to know why? As I mentioned before I use 17Hats, so I can talk with this experience in mind.

It will keep everything organised. You have your client page with emails address, phone numbers, home address, emails and phone logs and notes. You can see the purchase history and the bookings. Communication will improve and will be more personal. Having access to all your notes and conversation makes it easier to remember personal stories and follow up on them.

It will save you time. You can create workflows and automate most of your admin workload. This improves efficiency and saves time. For example, I have multiple workflows for each client, depending on where they are in their customer journey. I have a workflow that includes a few emails for the Lead phase. If they become a client they get moved to the booking, onboarding, after-shoot, and delivery phase. I have a birthday workflow so an email will be automatically sent with an offer on their birthday. All of this without me actually writing emails all the time!

It will make you look more professional. You can create quotes, contracts, and invoices. They can be automated and one triggers the other one. So when your clients accept a quote, it will generate a contract and an invoice. So if like me you are working with mums of newborns for example, and the quote has been accepted at 11 pm while you are sleeping, things will move and you might wake up with a new payment in your bank account.

Are you not sure yet?

In today’s business landscape, I believe a CRM system is no longer a luxury but a necessity. If you want to give it a go and see for yourself if a CRM can improve your business, I have a 17Hats Discount of 50% off your first-year. No brainer, right?

If you have any questions about 17hats just let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to explain more.

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  • Charity16 June 2023 - 20:31

    This is such great info! I didn’t know much about CRM systems before this post, so thanks so much for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa's Notebook20 June 2023 - 10:46

    I’ve never used a CRM for my own business, although I have worked with HubSpot for a client. I like the idea of birthday emails and such, I’ll have to check out 17Hats, thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Valentina20 June 2023 - 14:09

      I’m sure all CRM have valid features. I’ve been using 17Hats for so many years now and couldn’t do without it 😉 
      Thanks for reading Lisa!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie21 June 2023 - 07:42

    Wow, this sounds like something I should look into. I don’t want to fumble over things and right now I’m using Google Calendar but that kind of overwhelms me seeing all of the things I have to get done. Thank you for sharing, I’m going to check into it. I’d love to own a photography business!ReplyCancel

    • Valentina21 June 2023 - 15:52

      A calendar definitely helps, a CRM system does so much more. It’s like a personal assistant. Thanks for reading.ReplyCancel

  • Corinne4 July 2023 - 23:04

    This sounds very useful! I am more of a Google Sheets girl for organising. Making a move like this does seem quite daunting! ReplyCancel

    • Valentina7 July 2023 - 15:14

      Spreadsheet are great! I used to used them a lot, now less. But a CRM does much more – I love particularly the fact it sends for me email reminders, outstanding invoices reminders, there is a lot of automation that makes my life easier.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren5 July 2023 - 17:14

    This is a really informative blog post. Thank you for sharing your tips. 

    Lauren – bournemouthgirlReplyCancel

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