The best way to simplify your photography service to create more ease, is to become more intentional with your time, values and deciding on what your version of success is.
I am really intentional about not selling my service as a Dubsado Set-up Service, because although Dubsado is a tool that my clients can use to implement and improve their systems and client experience it’s not the solution to the underlying root causes of them feeling guilty about not having enough time to give their clients the best service, feeling overwhelmed, burnt out or trapped in the busyness cycle.
This is a problem, rooted in a culture that values the glorification of busy!
When I started my first business almost 10 years ago, it was in the age of “fake it till you make it” and “hustle, hustle hustle”. And oh my goodness did I hustle! I would work till all hours of the night, have my phone permanently glued to my hand and do just about anything to be “successful”. When someone asked how I was, I happily said “Busy” and wore that statement like a badge of honour.
Add on having a family a few years later and my to-do list became endless! I was balancing motherhood, with an overly full work schedule and it was only a matter of time before it would all come crashing down. I have been through many seasons of burnout (most of them I completely ignored), and pushed through because I was “superwoman”, and I could do it all. That’s what I was supposed to do right? To be Successful? Have a perfectly organised life and calendar?
Although I tried to slow down and create healthy boundaries around my work (and phone), deep down I truly believed that I was the problem. And that the solution was only one life planner or productivity hack away!
I would streamline, systemise, use every hour of my day to the fullest potential. But it didn’t help (sometimes I would feel relief and feel on top of things), but soon I would be straight back to feeling overwhelmed and like I was drowning in my work. It wasn’t until 2020 when we were all forced to slow down that I was able to reconnect with myself and what my heart truly desired that I could see how I could finally reclaim my time and enjoy the incredible life I had already had right in front of me!
The truth is our mainstream culture and capitalism wants us to be busy and disconnected from ourselves. While I can’t fix this for my clients, I can use my work as a way to highlight this and find a way to lighten their load.
So how do you start to simplify your photography service?
Relook at your photography services and see if there is a way to simplify or declutter!
Often when we start our businesses we create services & offers to please everyone. And while I do think that is helpful at the beginning of your business journey, there comes a point where it’s better to relook at your services and decide which offers are going to move your photography business forward in the right direction? Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should.
Something I found helpful was to write out which offers brought me joy, gave my clients the best result and supported the future I wanted for my business. Once I was clear on the offers, I worked out how many I could realistically offer in one month and checked to see if the pricing was in alignment with my “enough number” (my income goal that would make me feel comfortable, support my family and allow me to live in alignment with my values). I then decided how many hours I could realistically work every week (while still prioritising my family, mental health and my own needs and desires).
What I realised during this process was that only one of my offers really supported this, and so I decided to go all in on making that service the best it could be. But you could choose 2-3 services depending on the work you do and your goals.
Be realistic with your time, and prioritise what is most important to you!
Time is your most precious resource, and in all honesty something that I still really struggle to deal with. As a working mum, my responsibilities go far beyond just the physical work I do in my business (and while my family heavily relies on me earning an income, there are certain sacrifices I am willing to make in order to have more time). For example, I am very happy to live more simply if that gives me more time with my family during the week.
Bearing this in mind, try to design your photography services in a way that supports you and allows you to be realistic with your time.
(I do want to acknowledge that I am incredibly privileged to even be able to make these tradeoffs and sacrifices, and I think that there should be far more help for woman, especially those from marginalised communities )
Think of the bigger picture when you want to simplify your photography service
I also think it’s helpful to decide what is this all for, why are you doing this work in the first place and what impact are you trying to have through the work you do. For me, it’s helping women reclaim their time, and doing business in a way that is meaningful and sustainable.
I really do believe that streamlining your photography business and having a system to support you is the best way to feel less overwhelmed and deliver a meaningful experience to your clients. But if you don’t take a step back and look at the bigger picture and the root causes of you being busy, you might just find yourself straight back where you started.
That’s because it’s not enough to streamline your photography business, you need to simplify it as well. And the only way you can simplify your business is to know what’s important to you, where you are headed otherwise any path will do!
In fact I would go so far as to say that simplifying your offers is equally as important and has certainly made all the difference in my business.
That is why when I work with you I only want to focus on one service at a time, so that we can truly dive deep into who your clients are, what transformation they truly desire and how we can support them through the work you do (while taking your own humanity and needs into consideration).
Before we even open up Dubsado, we take a step back, analyse your goals, your vision and purpose and what has led you to doing this work. We then create a strategy and action plan that is going to help you and your clients achieve their goals. It’s not enough to build a system and process in Dubsado if you haven’t laid a solid foundation.
It’s only once we know where we are headed that we can create an experience & system that will serve you and your clients in the long run – and ultimately help you simplify your photography service. It’s only by being really clear on your values and where you are headed that you can truly get out of overwhelm and operate from a place of creativity and confidence.
If this really resonates with you and you want to find out more – head on over to see how we can work together. Or sign up to my email newsletter where I share more tips on how I run a thoughtful & intentional business rooted in slow business values & principles.