#045 – Creating Rich Systems with Latoya Dixon-Smith

Do you ever feel like you’re doing things on the fly in your business and can’t keep up?

You’re maybe sacrificing all your time to give your clients the best experience and you feel like there’s GOT to be a better way?

Well, there is and if any of this feels like you, this episode with Latoya Dixon-Smith is for you.

Latoya is a fellow creative here in my area, Greenville, SC. She’s a wedding photographer, mom of a 6 year old and a 2 month old, as well owner of Systems for Photographers.

I invited her onto the IDP, because I love how she shows up in her own business. To me, it’s the perfect blend of automation + personality or humanity that saves her time while providing a fantastic audience experience, I can only imagine how fantastic her client experience is!

She’s gonna share what systems are + how you can create them inside of your business!

Enjoy the story.

More Goodness:

Full Transcription with this week’s gut check questions:

Marie Masse: Okay, Latoya. I’m just ecstatic to have you on this podcast! I found your Instagram in the fall, and I remember how I found you, which was by searching the hashtag #greenvillecreatives and fell in love with your Instagram feed right away.

It’s this perfect blend of just this value bomb after value bomb of information on all things systems, but then also there’s enough humanity there to where I feel like you’re still a person on the other side of that feed.

So, welcome! Thank you so much for being here.

Latoya Dixon-Smith: Thank you, Marie, for having me. I’m really glad to get this time to sit and chat with you, especially learning that we were in the same area, it was really cool and seeing that you have this platform, so I’m just really grateful that you invited me along.

Marie: Thanks, yeah. So, tell us a little bit about who you are, and what you do, who you help, and what you’re doing right now.

Latoya: Okay. So, a little disclaimer. I’m nursing right now. My husband and I, we welcomed our second child, baby girl Leanna, back in December of 2018, and we also have a six year old son. So, just for anyone listening, if you hear some sounds in the background, that’s just my daughter nursing. No big deal.

But yes, I’m also a wedding photographer. My wedding brand is called One Union Studios, and I specialize in couples portraiture as well as weddings and elopements, and then of course, Systems for Photographers is where I help photographers understand and organize their business back end. More particularly, their CRMs, to help them manage the day-to-day and streamline their business processes. It’s something that I really nerd out on and I love to help other photographers with as well.

Marie: I love that. Can you explain what a CRM is?

Latoya: Right. Thank you for asking because sometimes I overlook that fact. CRM, it stands for Client Relationship Management, or customer relationship management. It’s just a tool for you to kind of have a dashboard of your clients. Think about it as your hub…

Anytime a client inquires with you, if you start a client project with them, you can manage everything from one portal or dashboard.

I use a CRM that allows me to have my clients inquire. So, you think about if someone wants to contact you through a form. You can host forms there. You can send out contracts, invoices, all sorts of things with a CRM. It’s just really a good way to keep track of what you’re doing instead of using a bunch of different things that can essentially do the same thing, but having it as an all-in-one just kind of helps alleviate the task of managing even more than what you can accomplish with just one single CRM.

Marie: Okay. Yeah. I’ve been seeing you sharing a lot about Dubsado?

Latoya: Yes. Dubsado.

Marie: Dubsado. Yeah. They clearly must be your favorite? You’ve been using them a while?

Latoya: Yeah. I think I’ve been with Dubsado for a couple years now. I actually didn’t start with Dubsado. Before, I think I was using PayPal to send invoices to clients, and then I realized that wasn’t necessarily the most efficient way for me to do it. Then I had heard about 17hats, which was the first CRM I started using.

17hats has a few integrations with Fundy Designer Suite, which you can design albums and things like that, that are more tailored and geared to photographers. So, I was with 17hats for maybe a year or so, and then I’d heard about Dubsado.

Dubsado has a free trial, so with the first three clients that you have in your dashboard, you can do business with them for free.

Once you go to the fourth client, then you can get into a paid subscription. I decided, with the free trial, to just try it out, and I just fell in love with Dubsado simply for the fact that it was a lot more user-friendly, in my opinion, and it had the flexibility to customize things a lot more than I was able to do with 17hats.

I liked the design as well. So, for any designers, too… design totally matters in how your platforms look. But Dubsado was just really flexible for me, and I could see that I could grow into it as well, which was another selling point for me.

Marie: Yeah. For sure. The user interface, to me, matters so much and if it matters, to us, it’s for sure going to matter to your clients—the way things look and feel as they’re going through getting a contract from you, or filling out a form, or whatever the case may be. It makes so much sense that it’s an area that you’d want to pay attention to.

Have you heard of the website FullStory?

Latoya: I have not. What’s FullStory?

Marie: Oh, man. You’re probably gonna spend a lot of time on here! You put just a little piece of code onto your website, and it then tracks every single interaction with your website. You can replay it like you’re watching Netflix, but you’re binging on what people are doing on your site.

Latoya: Oh, yeah. I could definitely spend some time on that.

Marie: Yeah. And it’s free. It’s so cool. I’m in the middle of a trial right now, so I’m just getting to know it. There’s heat maps and all that fun stuff, so you can see what people are clicking on. It’ll tell you where people are trying to click, but there’s actually nothing there that’s clickable. It just gives you so much insight on how people are using your website.

I’ve seen you offer these things called Whiteboard Sessions. What is that?

And, also, I can see people listening to this and thinking, “Okay. My solution is I just need to go check out Dubsado and then I’m good to go.” What kind of work do people really need to look at to build a strong, solid system?

Latoya: Yes. That is a great point. I always tell folks that a CRM or any sort of tool at all is not going to be the answer to your problems. It may be something that we use to help correct or to help minimize some time consuming processes in our business, but it’s not a simple solution that’s just going to fix all your problems.

In fact, it could actually create more problems if you don’t really think about it from a really strategic way.

Or, at least try to figure out how you can use it in the best way you’re able to.

So, Whiteboard Sessions from my company, Systems For Photographers, is really a time where we can sit one-on-one and go through what it is that you’re doing in your business.

We go through each process step-by-step in order to figure out what’s going to give your clients the best experience possible, what’s going to save you the most amount of time, and in that time together, we determine, “Are there any things that you can either delegate or automate?”

That’s really where those time savings come in, whether you’re using Dubsado, or whether you’re using any other sort of platform to help you conduct business. A Whiteboard Session is a time to just lay out the process step-by-step and see, “Where’s there opportunity for you to, first and foremost, improve the client experience?”

You don’t want to make things too complicated for your clients. You want to make sure that what you’re offering is very clear. That’s another reason why I love a tool like Dubsado, is because I was able to, whereas I wasn’t able to do before, include photos and things like that to kind of tell the story of my business; tell the story of my brand.

We talked about documentary photographers running into the issue of not really being able to communicate exactly what it is that they do and the value that it provides to someone looking for that type of photography. You can show that very easily in a CRM as you’re presenting your offers to your clients.

Not that I’m dismissing any other platforms, but Dubsado’s one that I’ve just grown to love even more. Not just the fact that they have a great user interface and things like that, but their team has also been very supportive, and they have a great customer service.

But going back to the whiteboard session…

I find that a lot of my photographer clients are doing a lot of things on the fly and from memory.

And that’s great.

I’m a mom, so I know being able to multitask is a great trait to have.

Even though we don’t do everything 100%, we can do a lot of things, accomplish a lot of things, in a small amount of time. However, in business, you want to make sure that you’re giving your clients the best of you that you can. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything.

That’s the key: to try to figure out what is it you can do.

Where would you like to spend more of your time with your clients? Some people like spending more one-on-one time and in-person meetings. Some people like being on the phone. Others, they don’t like being behind the emails as much. And so, there are things that you can do with this system that you can automate, or at least have something to where you can not spend as much time on, whether it’s a candid email or having forms already laid out, and things of that nature.

With the Whiteboard Session, again, looking at things step-by-step at each individual process just kind of gives you a holistic view of what it is that you’re doing, and show you where you can add more value to your clients.

Marie: I love that you brought all of that up, because I think it’s so easy to think “system,” and it feels like it’s this thing that you have to hack to make your business be more like “whatever every else is doing,” but it’s not like that.

Your systems can be super tailored to yourself, your personality, and, like you said, things that you like to do, like getting on the phone for this one particular conversation, versus automating that.

Maybe you create a one-time video and you send that out instead of having to pick up the phone for that whatever conversation that needs to be had. I really love that.

Like I said, I think “system” sometimes feels like this thing that you need to hack, but it’s not. It’s an experience that you’re creating.

Latoya: Yeah. For sure.

It definitely doesn’t have to be robotic or stale. I think some people fear the words “automation” and “systems” and think that, “Oh, man. Clients are going to feel like I’m like a robot and they’re not going to feel like it’s a personal experience,” and that’s not true at all. It actually gives you the flexibility to create that experience however you’d like to.

Being us creatives, that’s the beauty that we have. That’s the advantage that we have in trying to figure out what works best for us. It doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s. With the White Board Session, it’s totally custom to the experience that you want to have with your clients. There’s some people that I’ve worked with, they like to be as hands-off as much as possible, and there are others who want to engage a little more. And so, whatever works for you.

Whatever you want your brand to convey on how you want to do business, it’s totally up to you in how to reflect that.

Marie: Yeah. I love that! One area that I’m really curious about from you is: measuring what’s working and what’s not.

For example, I’ve been going from lead generation all the way through the customer experience through my programs… and really paying attention to what people are paying attention to, what they’re ignoring, where I could do better, where it seems like things are working seamlessly.

But one area that I struggle with is tracking that. Meaning, having a place where I can look at that from a bird’s eye view. I’m wondering if there are tools or strategies that you’d suggest for something like that?

You’ve kind of got your system in place. Now, how do you manage it, and make sure that it’s working, or looking at where you could improve?

Latoya: Yeah. I’m going to give Dubsado more praises here. I love that they have the feature to see your workflows at a glance. So, any current projects that you have, even any leads that you have, you can see. It shows you. It has a visual indicator of where that process has started, or stopped, or where it’s paused for whatever reason. With these indicators, you can see where it stopped. Almost like a progress indicator, showing you how far along you are.

What I like to do is, if I notice that a workflow hasn’t progressed, that’s an indicator for me to either go back and follow up, or if I have added automated reminders inside of that workflow, I can kind of trigger those as well.

Another tool that I have used before for project management is Trello. I really love Trello.

Trello, Asana, those are other project management tools where you can kind of set up what you’d like to have your business workflows look like on a step-by-step basis. It just takes you to go in to manage where these clients are stopping or starting in the process to see. Like you said, what’s working, what’s not working.

I used to do this when I was doing more commercial photography work for local businesses and brands. I’d set up, in Trello, a dashboard, and say, “Okay. These are my prospects.”

I’d have a list of businesses in the prospects category. In the next category, I’d have the first initial contact. So, I was doing a little bit of cold calling and cold emailing. Then, I’d have that next step in that dashboard. So, the initial contact, then, under those cards in Trello, I’d put a due date. I’d follow up maybe within seven days.

Trello would send me a reminder to check up or to follow up on that lead to see if Have they responded? If they responded, what was the response? I could leave little notes in there. The next step in the dashboard would maybe be a follow up call or a follow up email just to kind of move things along. Then, I’d also have another column for if they decline.

For whatever I’d anticipate the next step to be, I’d have a column and I’d just move the cards over to where what the action step was, or what the business had replied and said would be something that they’d be interested in, or what have you. It was just another way for me to manage those without having them to put them in Dubsado until they were an actual client. I’d recommend anyone who wants to try it out, Trello is totally free. I actually use it for both personal and business reasons, but it’s totally free. You can create a dashboard for yourself to manage what’s going on with what types of clients, so that you can make sure you’re not leaving money or opportunities on the table if you need to follow up with a client, or follow up with a prospective client, and just see where you’ve left off in that process.

Marie: Oh, man. That is SO good! I never in a million years would’ve thought to use something like Trello to manage my conversations prior to somebody becoming a client. That’s so good.

It just brought back these memories of when… I haven’t taken on photography clients in a few years, but I remember when I’d get these inquiries in, or if I wanted to reach out to somebody in a cold contact type of a way, I’d put Post It notes in my planner of, “Follow up with this person,” and then I’d have to try to remember, “Okay. Why am I following up with them?” and I’d go into a folder in my inbox where email conversations were. It was so just not streamlined.

THAT (Trello idea) is beautiful. I love that.

You were already saying some of your client’s fear of being too automated, too robotic. What are some specific ways that you can make automation and systems feel more like YOU? Meaning, human, as far as using automation. Maintaining humanity, I guess.

Latoya: Right. You actually mentioned one. You can use video. You can use audio and video if you still want to have your clients see you and get your vibe, get your presence, without actually meeting them in person. Or if you want to meet them in person, that’s something, too.

I’d say don’t feel like incorporating systems means that you have to be present or not be as present as you want to be. Designing a system is there for you to make it look and feel how you want. Now, you’ll find that, as you grow, which a lot of people, that is a goal of them in business is to grow, that you will either run out of time or run out of resources. You’ll find that you’ll want to delegate or automate at least somewhere in that process.

But, you can use things like video. One tool I use is Loom for screen-sharing. You can also record video on Loom. I have a photographer friend that any time a client submits an inquiry form, he has a video that pops up that welcomes them to his business, introduces himself, a little bit about what he does, and he tells them, “Okay. Thanks for filling out this form. In a couple days you’ll receive a email.” Or, maybe they receive an email that tells them the next steps. Again, that’s a way for him to kind of get in front of the client without necessarily meeting them right then and there.

Things like Zoom where you can conduct virtual meetings is helpful, especially if you have a lot of clients who are out of town.

With technology, there’s an endless number of ways that you can still maintain your humanity, but use and leverage these tools in order to do business a lot more easily, in order to get in front of more people.

Because, for me, I’m a solopreneur.

There’s only one of me in my business right now. I have contractors for other things, but I want to maximize the time that I have in my business. Also, one of the goals for my business is to support and sustain my family. I don’t want to be working so hard to maintain this household and not be able to spend time with my family. That would just defeat the purpose.

At some point, I’m going to have to employ these tools in order for me to get the desired end-result, in order to spend more time with my family.

So, just kind of thinking a little bit outside the box and thinking: what is the desired goal that you want your clients to have?

Is it that you want them to learn more about you and learn more about the look, and the feel, and experience that you want them to have with you? Then, of course, yeah. Use things like photos and video to enhance that experience.

Maybe an email is not going to cut it, but maybe a video would. Or even just different checkpoints or check-ins that you can have automate with your clients that would prompt a one-on-one conversation. But, again, it still keeps that sense of: This is a person that you’re doing business with. Not a robot.

Marie: There’s a few things in there that I really liked. I loved that you were talking about you want this business to support your family. I think that’s so important to pay attention to what you’re doing so that you can make sure you’re not just in motion, but you are actually moving toward results. There’s such a huge difference there.

I was also just thinking, too, with all these opportunities that we have to really provide a personal experience, even with automation, I think another thing that those of you listening could really think through, too, is (and I’m curious what your thoughts are too, LaToya) on paying really close attention to where your leads are in terms of how warm they are when they first interact with you.

Like, LaToya’s photographer friend who has the video that pops up when they fill out the form. I think that could be so powerful for those of us. I know so many people have said they get these inquires that just feel like they’re rate shopping and they’re not aligned with, “Yes. I want this story documented.” There’s a huge difference in the type of inquiries.

Paying attention upfront, too, not just in the client experience system, could be super powerful.

Latoya: Yeah. And I find for me, at least, Marie, that … You talked about paying attention to those inquiries.

I have a question in my lead capture form of, “How did you hear about me?” or “Where did you find me?” Something like that. I find that’s a huge indicator of the approach that I need to take with that particular prospect.

If it’s someone who found me on my website, I feel like they’re a little bit more informed about what I do and how I do things, as opposed to someone who may have heard about me through a friend, because a lot of times if you get a referral from either someone you’ve done business with before, you’ve worked with before, or someone who’s just recommended you, that’s usually when I get the folks who are kind of rate shopping and wanting to compare prices, really.

That’s when I know that I have to put in a little bit more work on the front end, to express and convey the value of what I offer beyond the price point, as opposed to someone who’s kind of done a little bit more research and come to me from my website, because they’ve probably browsed around a little bit and they’ve seen my work.

I also have starting prices listed there, too, to where they understand, after they’ve reached out to me, that at least there is a little bit of an understanding of the budget that they’re prepared to spend is going to be.

Marie: Yeah. Man, that question is gold when you really explain how you can use that, “How did you hear from me?” Seriously. Alright. I’m going to switch topics just a little bit. You just had a baby, and you’ve got a six year old, and you are, it seems like, ON IT when it comes to consistency at least what I see on your Instagram.

I’m curious, how are you managing your energy to keep up with all of this? Do you have a system? Do you know what you’re going to post about in advance, or do you plan that out, or are you kind of doing things in the fly?

As far as getting in front of your audience consistently goes, how are you doing all that?

LaToya: Well, that is the golden question. I would say it’s definitely changed since having my daughter. Before, everything was a little bit more planned out. I’d schedule posts in advance, sometimes three months in advance, and that would really save me a lot of time, but now that she’s here, time is a little bit more focused on her as opposed to scheduling things on social media and things like that.

It’s definitely helpful when I am able to do that, though, but I also have to schedule in time to engage, because I think it’s even more important to engage and to be giving value, as it is, just to be on social media just for the sake of posting.

You want to make sure your clients are getting what they need from you, that you stay top-of-mind, and if there are any questions that people have that you’re addressing them.

Even asking questions to get more questions to see where else can you fill in those gaps to where clients may need more information from you—that’s usually an indicator of what other content that I’d likely be posting, or where I’m spending more of my time to get in front of the audience.

How things have changed for me since having my daughter: I take more of an approach of inspired action. What I mean by that is, if I notice something that needs to be addressed, or if I notice that there is a gap that needs to be filled, that’s really what insights or triggers me to make a new post, or go on social media to make a comment, or share something with my audience, as opposed to just trying to line up a whole a bunch of topics and just throw it out there to see if it sticks.

It’s just been a lot more helpful. I find it to be a lot more relevant to folks whenever it does come from a place that I just feel it. I feel that it’s something that people need. I don’t have these visions of, “Oh, yeah, this is going to be helpful for someone,” I’m just very observant. Let’s just put it that way.

You can look through your feeds and see, “What are the questions that people are asking? What do people need?” and sometimes that just sparks an idea in your head. I think because it comes from a place of inspired motion or inspired action, people resonate with it a lot more. So, that’s something I’ve been trying to be more conscious of. Instead of just for the sake of putting something out there, putting something out there that I’m passionate about because I think people are really attracted to that sort of energy. You can show with your words, through your images, of course, that creativity, that passion. People really are attracted to that.

I found I’m a lot more successful in business when I do that. But, also, I’m not dismissing the fact that having a schedule and having a process for being present whenever your time’s a little bit more limited than it was before is super valuable. I think it’s key. It’s crucial.

On that end of it, I would say that finding some time to batch that content. For me, I like Instagram, work on my blog, and I’m starting a YouTube channel. For any of those, I’d have to spend some time to batch out that content.

I usually start with a blog post, because that’s going to be the content that’s going to stick around the longest. That, and on YouTube.

LaToya: I start with the blog post, because I think I can communicate things better when I write them down first. So, I start there, and then from there sometimes I can create social media posts. Then from there, create a script for my YouTube videos.

But the whole goal is to just set aside some time to just do it all at one time. If I know for the month of March I want to focus on this topic, then I’ll spend a weekend to outline those topics, write the blog post, have them scheduled on social media, or at least know that for this week this is the topic that I want to focus on. So, if I want to post two to three images or two to three posts this week, then this is going to be the topic that I’m going to focus on.

Then, another weekend or another week, I’ll set aside some time to record a video. Now, consistency is the hardest part, I would say, because with a baby, you’re guaranteed the time, but you’re not guaranteed the silence, and the conditions are not going to be the same every single time.

Like, right now, I think it’s the fact that I’m talking so much that she’s so quiet right now, so, it just kind of works out for me right now. But then, like I said, on the other end of it, it’s just being consistent, and going forward, and putting it out there, I would say is the hardest part. So, you can have tools at your disposal, like for schedule and social media scheduling, I use Planoly. If there’s a post that I need to come back to, it allows you to save the draft.

For things that are scheduled out more, like a week or months out in advance, I use Planoly in order to schedule things.

So, for me, it’s combined with inspired action and a little bit of the scheduling as well.

In order for me to do that scheduling, I think it’s most effective when I batch out that content instead of trying to be working on it constantly. That’s really where you’ll see you can save a lot of time.

Marie: Yeah. I love that you are doing blend of the inspired action realtime posting and batching. I think that what’s so important to know about batching is that it’s not just this rigid sit down and batch out a bunch of work, but usually… I learned from Susan Ferraro who’s drilled it into me that it’s our job to manage our energy.

It can be really tough to sit down and be like, “All right. Now I need to batch out a whole bunch of work.” But, I think that if you manage your energy just right, and you know what you need to do to get your energy up there, then even when you’re batching, it can come from a place of inspired action. You’re just not sharing it in realtime. It dripped out. Oh, I love all of that.

All right. Last question, I promise.

You submitted your Iconic Photo, which is this beautiful photograph of your son. Tell me everything about this photo; the backstory.

You made this picture, right?

LaToya: I did. I did. I took that photo of my son recently. I love it, one, because my son doesn’t really allow me to take a lot of photos of him. I know being a photographer’s kid is kind of hard. You always have that camera constantly in your face. I’ve respected his wishes and not taken so many photos as I would like, but I do have to get in those mommy images here and there. And he gets that from my husband. I swear.

I hope my daughter is going to be different in that she likes the camera because those two, they are a piece of work. The conditions have to be just right. The universe has to all be … The axis have to be just right for me to get a photo of those two. But, on this particular day … I think it was President’s Day, actually. My son was home from school. He’s in first grade, so he was home from school that day.

It was a nice, warm day here in South Carolina, so we were able to get out and go for a walk. We took my daughter as well. It was just a good time. It was a great day for the three of us to get out of the house, get some fresh air and just go for a walk together.

I’m learning, as a mom of two now, that it’s so important for me to spend quality time with each of them individually.

With my daughter I get it anyway, because she’s nursing. She’s just really close to me, at least at this stage in her infancy. And my son, I’m having to be more intentional about the time that I spend with him.

It’s usually when he comes home from school and after he’s finished his homework, and my husband and I will kind of trade off. My husband will pick him up from school, will get home, and then he will get the baby, and then I will spend some time with my son. So, it’s just been really kind of a delicate time of making sure that each of them has their time with both parents.

So, going back to that day, my daughter was asleep. We still had her in the stroller. I had bought this backdrop system. It’s just kind of a roll up backdrop holder thingy. I don’t know what the correct term for it is, but it’s in our garage, and I haven’t used it in forever. When we got back from the walk, I had them in the garage. It was literally just natural light coming through the garage. He’s looking to his left, our right, towards the light.

Creating Rich Systems for Photographers with Latoya Dixon-Smith

My son has this thing where he’s always telling me, “Mom, I’m super strong. I have these big muscles.” So, I’m always telling him to show me his muscles.

He’s shirtless in the photo, and he has on his favorite Superman hat. He’s just looking out at the light.

And, for me, I just love this photo because it just reminds me… I guess it’s just kind of the typical mom story of, “Oh, my gosh. My baby is growing up so fast.”

I can just see the maturity in his eyes, in his posture, even the way he dresses, how he talks and this photo just kind of reminds me of all those things that I’ve come to know and love about my six year old.

My daughter gives me the baby feels all over again that he used to give me, and it’s kind of seeing her and then looking at him … It’s just really surreal. I always tell people, “I cannot believe I have two children right now.” It’s crazy, too, because they look so much alike. My daughter looks like my son when he was a baby. So, it’s like, “Wow.”

Starting all over again from scratch, but with a girl this time. So, that photo, for me, just really symbolizes just the growth and maturity of my son and I’m just excited for him, because he’s his own little person. I can just see that, especially through this photo too.

Marie: Yeah. This age is so fun, I have to say. My daughter … She turned seven at the end of October. She’s a Halloween baby. Yeah. It’s so fun. Their personalities at this age are just … They’re really coming alive. It’s funny because when she was five, I thought, “Oh, I’m seeing her personality,” but it just continues to get richer.

I totally, totally hear what you’re saying here, and I can see, looking at this photo, how it can stir all of that up. And that’s what I just love about photography; how you might see something on the surface. I see this sweet boy looking to his right … Well, his left. My right. Now, I know he’s looking out of the window.

It’s just so cool how you can see a thousand more layers into this than I ever could, because it’s so personal to you. These are the kind of photos we love to talk about.

Thank you so much, LaToya, for being on here.

Latoya: Sure. Marie, thank you so much for inviting me again to be on the podcast. It’s really an honor to be able to speak with other passionate photographers, and also encouraging others to share their stories in a more genuine way.

I really enjoy speaking with other folks and just kind of learning a little bit more about what they’re doing in their business, and seeing how we can create something that allows them to get more time back into whatever it is that you want to do, and having systems be the way to do that.

Marie: Yeah. Isn’t it like the oldest story in the book of hearing photographers say that they got into this to be a photographer, but they spend more time on just about everything else?

Latoya: Absolutely. Yeah.

Welcome back!

So, I titled this episode Creating RICH Systems, because after speaking to Latoya I realized this episode isn’t JUST about creating systems for your workflow.

My key takeaway here is that:

When it comes to systems, it’s important to pay attention to how you want your system to FEEL.

If you only focus on time-savers and customer experience, you may create a valid system step or process, but still be too automated or too giving of your time.

So here’s your GUT CHECK questions for the week:

  1. Where do you feel like you’re most scrambling in your business?
  2. Where are opportunities slipping through the cracks? I crazy loved her Trello board idea for managing contacts, that’s totally a weakness in my business!
  3. What cues can you create through your systems that provide insight? Loved Latoya’s “How did you hear about me?” form question idea.

Have a great week!

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Business Systems for Service-Based Businesses

Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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