photo by chee gin tan via iStock
It can be really difficult to discern which apps for photography businesses are worthwhile and which are absolutely worthless. The frustrating thing, of course, is that it takes an average of at least a week or two to actually try new photography business apps. If you’re jumping between four or five different task management apps, then this means you are essentially losing a few months of work to this process.
I’ve done it. I know how frustrating it is. But, since I’ve done it, I also know which apps for professional photographers actually work (at least for my business). I also know that if you do a little research into different apps for photography businesses before trying them, you can save yourself a lot of wasted time since some of these deal breakers may be part of the advertising the companies do for these apps.
So, in an attempt to save you some frustration, I have put together a list of my three favorite apps for photography businesses. All of these apps for photography businesses are either free or they offer a free trial so that you don’t actually have to lose money, on top of labor hours, if you decide they won’t work for you.
I actually recommend Podium in a lot of my articles filled with photography business tips because I think it is that valuable.
Podium is an all-in-one messaging platform. This means that it pulls each and every message your photography business gets, from your text messages to your Twitter DMs to your email, and puts it on one easy to read platform.
It is genuinely the easiest way to make sure that you never miss an important client question again.
Podium also helps to streamline other aspects of your communications. For instance, you can send invoices directly to your clients phone via text message. Since something like 95% of all text messages get opened, you can be assured that your invoice is never going to get lost in Gmail. It also makes it easier for your clients to pay your invoices quickly, since they can do so right from their phones.
Podium also keeps track of all of this data about your communications. It lets you know how often it takes you to reply to client leads (which ultimately means you will get more clients) and it lets you know how long it takes you to get your invoices paid.
Plus, as I already mentioned, you can try Podium for free to figure out whether it will work for your business or not.
Now that you have your communications handled, you should move onto file storage. And there are no better apps for photography businesses in this category than Dropbox.
Dropbox is cloud-based storage that ensures none of your files will ever get lost, even if you accidentally throw your laptop into the ocean, while your external hard drive burns down in a fire. While that may seem implausible, there is a reason why it is recommended to backup all of your files in at least three places. Stranger things have happened.
Dropbox also allows you to send these files to other people, regardless of whether they have an account with Dropbox or not. If you have clients that are waiting on hundreds of photos from you, there is no quicker way to send those than with Dropbox.
Dropbox also allows you to collaborate with other people. You can manage your tasks with Dropbox, though I’ll be honest and let you know that I don’t use this feature. You can also track file updates so that you know which photos have been edited and which haven’t.
Dropbox also lets you keep all of your information synced constantly. As someone who has problems remembering to sync my photos up and actually save them, it has saved me more than once.
Dropbox does offer a basic account that is free, though as a photographer, I can promise you that you will run through this storage space pretty quickly. I have the Plus account, which gives me 2 TB of storage and it also allows me to link as many devices as I need to to my account. Since it’s only $10/month, I think this is more than worth it. If you have a business that you need to use Dropbox for, then you can buy any number of business plans, which range from $16-$20/user per month.
If you’ve been reading any of my blog posts for any amount of time, then you know how much I loathe managing my social media accounts. It’s so time consuming and it is something I genuinely don’t care about. For me, it’s draining and I’d rather spend my time doing things I love.
Hootsuite is one of my favorite apps for photography businesses for this exact reason. It saves me time so that I can spend it running the parts of my business that I enjoy.
Hootsuite has been around for a while and it essentially lets you set up a content calendar with ease. You can schedule posts across all of your social networks, and unlike other social media managing apps, it is actually really visual. So, building your calendar is easy. It isn’t like you are building your posts in Excel.
Hootsuite is also one of my favorite apps for photography businesses because it is generally pretty cheap. You can choose between a professional account that allows 1 user for $50/month or a team account which features 3 users for $130/month. I don’t know very many photography businesses that would need more than this.