I do almost all of my communication with clients through email—not by phone, texting, or facebook messenger. Email helps me track all of my correspondence, and keeps me organized so I don't miss anything! There are so many details to keep on top of as a wedding photographer, and many of those are subject to change throughout my clients’ wedding planning process. Locations, dates, times, and details of rehearsals, morning prep, first looks, ceremonies and receptions can be hard to keep track of if you’re communicating on multiple platforms. All of my communication with clients is available in one spot for easy access.
It is easy to let emails go unorganized.
Since the details in my emails with clients are super important to my business, it is essential that I keep everything organized. Thankfully, I kind of geek out over being organized, so I have enjoyed fine-tuning my email filing system over the years. I’m at the point now where I have a completely empty inbox, with all of my communication sorted into folders. My wife, on the other hand, currently has 593 unread emails in her inbox, and that can feel kind of stressful! It’s a very satisfying feeling to open my email and see only 1 or 2 unread emails pop up.
How I do it:
Each one of my wedding clients gets their own assigned folder in my inbox. Assigning them a folder helps me to track all of our conversations throughout the whole process and puts them in one spot for quick access. If a client messages me on any other platform regarding specific details for their wedding, I always move the conversation back to email. It’s easy to forget details, so having them all in one place is essential.
Any emails that require an action (I need to reply to, or waiting for a reply) stay in my inbox. Any finished conversations which require no action are either put into their appropriate folder or archived. Everything archived is still searchable in Gmail. This declutters my email and helps me stay on track of my communications. This way, no messages will be forgotten or overlooked. Additionally, each client folder is housed in a parent folder for the year, for example: 2018>Alex and Alyssa
I also have a folder for Inquiries. This folder helps me keep track of potential clients that I need to follow up with. As soon as I have an inquiry, the email gets thrown into that folder. If we move forward, I move them into the folder for the year, and if we don't move forward, they are archived.
Folders are great ways to save anything you want to be able to access quickly. I have a folder for anything educational and helpful for my own business, as well as communication from a beginner workshop that I hosted.
I recommend going with a separate, professional email that corresponds to your business. It's worth the $5.00 a month with Gmail to get a business email. It helps to keep personal email separate, and a business email is more professional than a regular Gmail account.
Chancefaulknerphotography@gmail.com < firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask them in the comments!
COMING SOON: How I send and reply to emails.