What makes some photographers more successful than others? It's not their location, or even their photography. It is the systems that they have in place to streamline their business!
In this training, we share the evolution of our own systems, checklists, and workflows and give you tips on how to create the best systems for your photography business to decrease stress and create more organization and efficiency, so you can give your clients an even better experience!
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Transcript of Video Training
Paul: Hey, and we are live.
Melissa: Hey. Welcome everyone.
Paul: We're using new software, so let us know if you can see it.
Melissa: Yes, always an adventure in the Pruitt household here.
Paul: If you can hear us and you can see us, let us know.
Melissa: I see some thumbs up, so I see Ann, and Martin, and April. Let us know if you can hear us.
Paul: Yeah, this is the first time we can actually see on our screen, we can see what you're saying. We have the screen a little bit far away though.
Paul: Are you able to see that?
Melissa: I, absolutely. Yep, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: Okay, good. I'm going to need glasses. I see thumbs up. If you can let us know, if you can hear us and see us, that would be great. There is a little bit of a delay, naturally with these lives.
Melissa: April said, "I can see and hear you." So awesome.
Paul: Awesome, awesome. We needed one validation at least.
Melissa: Yay, just one.
Paul: Hope everybody's doing well. We just came back last weekend, we were ... Where were we?
Melissa: We were in Jamaica, and it was hot. But it was beautiful, but it was host.
Paul: Yes, we did a Destination Wedding. Yes, it was very, very hot. Very blessed to have those opportunities. Once or twice a year we do Destination Weddings. We are very, very excited. Very, very fresh. I tell you, if you haven't taken a break in a while, definitely strongly recommend taking a breather, taking a refresher. It's amazing. We kind of ... I wouldn't say we 100% unplugged, but we definitely unplugged to the point of, we didn't actively talk business.
Melissa: We didn't actively talk business.
Paul: We kept up to date on client communication and everything.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: But we were very present to actually enjoy that. Hopefully guys do that opportunity for yourselves as well. I see Anna's in here, is that Karen? Lynn.
Melissa: Karen, Karen's in here. Awesome. We're getting some people rolling in.
Paul: Excellent, yes.
Melissa: We're excited about today's topic.
Melissa:'Cause it's all about streamlining your business using systems, checklists, and workflows. This is a question that comes up all the time, about how to systemize your business, and the workflows, and everything like that. It's something that we love to talk about, and we want to share with you what we exactly do in our business.
Paul: Exactly, I'll tell you what. Without systems, and I know I was there for a while before Melissa came in. I thought, I think we all have a system, no matter what it is. But sometimes it's a system that works against us, that it creates ... I think naturally we want to be busy, so what we do put into place end sup becoming really stressful. I know that's when you came into the business, that's where I was at because I had certain systems there, because I think all of us naturally, when you get a little busier, whenever you do a repetitive task you're like, "Oh, okay." You slowly figure out, "Maybe I should do something." I was copying and pasting when people replied to me. I would send a certain email, I would copy and paste that email. I think that was a little bit more advanced. I think some people literally ake the time-
Paul: ... To spell out and reply every single time. Oh, can you read that?
Melissa: Yes. Karen said, "Just shared with my photo group, this is exactly what I've been working on-"
Melissa: "... Starting in a new studio range, a rampant of systems and workflows to make sure all goes smoothly, smooth, and professional." Yeah, that's what it's all about. I think one of the things, and we're going to talk about this a little bit. As an entrepreneur, we need to be really disciplined, self disciplined. When we get-
Paul: Mm-hmm (affirmative), it's hard.
Melissa: ... Into this business because we don't want a boss telling us what to do, we want to be able to have our own schedule, do our own thing. But the challenge is, is that when we do that and we do our own thing, like you said, sometimes it works against us. This is one of the fields that we have to be so self disciplined, I think to a T because we can end up sabotaging ourselves without these systems in place.
Paul: Right, she took all the words out of my mouth, I'll tell ya.
Melissa: I did.
Paul: You can tell we're a married couple now. Everything that I say, you say, and vise versa. It's the exact ... But it's very true. It's something, if you think about it, when you ... A lot of us, when we get into the self employed world, if you've never done this before, you showed up for work because you had a third party that expected you to show up for work. You went into a business hopefully with an established business, that actually had policies, and procedures, and task lists, and systems in place that got them a desired result.
We're in Wilmington Delaware, there's a lot of major corporations that are in our area. I know a lot of friends that work at the local banks and the chemical companies. They sit down, they go through two, three, four weeks where they're training so they know, because a lot of stuff is government regulated. They know they have to do things exactly the same A, B, C, A, B, C. That'll them get them the desired result, right?
The irony though, is when we become self employed, we want to get away from all that, we're like, we don't want to ... Say bye to the man type thing. We don't have big brother over our shoulder anymore. We want to let loose, right? The irony is that we end up self sabotaging, as Melissa said. We start sleeping in, we're doing our laundry in the middle of the day, we're checking Facebook all day long.
Melissa: Yeah, Facebook can really drag you down fast.
Paul: We're doing all these random things. Social media, where it's in a non productive way, is that we will find every reason, every excuse in the world to keep us off track. In the moment, it's less painful. But long term wise, we just slowly are self sabotaging ourselves. It's something, one thing ... Those of you that know my backstory, is I had to go through this myself. I bought a book years ago called, "The E-Myth." We highly, highly recommend. The author is ...
Melissa: It's by Michael Gerber.
Paul: Michael Geber.
Paul: It's something that if you ever have a chance to read that book, I think it's in like 70 different languages.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: It's an incredible, it's, "The Entrepreneur Myth," it is, "The E-Myth." In that book, it makes you break down these things. You create systems and everything. I had to do that when I owned my real estate company. I was one office, then we went to two, then a couple years later I was at eight offices, over 200 people working for me. We had to have checklists, systems. I couldn't have a client, or even one of my employees or staff members, have a different experience of one location versus another, right? There's a reason why major, major companies, like when you go into a food chain or anything like that. You go into one in LA in West Hollywood, and you have a burger or whatever. You're going to get the same ... Whether it's good or bad, I'm not saying which brand you're going to. You'll get the same level of experience than you will if you went to Philadelphia and went to the same type of place, because they're following a predictable system that gets the result over, and over, and over again.
Paul: I tell you what, we're always stressed when we don't have these systems.
Melissa: We're excited to share with you a little bit today, our story, backstory, and how we evolved, and how we're continuing to evolve. We're going to dive in. Before we get started, just wanted to say a big thank you to 17 Hats, for sponsoring this webinar.
Paul: Yes this, yes.
Melissa: It's their one of, we're going to talk a little bit about 17 Hats as well. They're an awesome team over there. Thank you to 17 Hats for allowing us to educate, and talk a little bit more about your photography business.
Melissa: Let's get into systems.
Melissa: Let's talk about, why don't we start where we started?
Paul: Where I was at?
Melissa: Let's talk about the evolution. This is a little story time, but it'll kind of show you. You probably, as we tell this, relate to a lot of the things that we were doing, and weren't doing quite the right way.
Paul: Right. I find that there's two challenges, where there's the lack of systems where you're not doing things consistently, so then you don't have any clients or anything. Well with my background of marketing, sales, and branding everything with the real estate world. When I lost everything, those of you know, in 2008 I went to zero. I lost everything financially, and had to rebuild my life. What happened though, is at least I had all that knowledge on how to position myself, how to go out and market, and brand. I went from zero, to what we're doing very purposefully.
I was taking those $25 gigs, those $50 gigs, anything to survive, right? What happens is, when you're in survival mode, you're making these choices that are going to get you in trouble because you're not consistent with anything, and you're trying to grab at everything. Melissa came in where I went through that period, I went through the building period, and there I was in a very busy state. But I didn't create the proper systems along the way. She was amazed, 'cause people, entrepreneurs always have the perception like they put out, especially on social media like, "Oh, I'm busy. Blah, blah, blah." Some people really legitimately aren't.
Where in my case, I was. I think at that point, two and a half three years ago-
Paul: ... I was still doing, at that time probably right around six, 700 head shots a year.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: I was just coming down, 'cause I was burning down at 50 weddings a year, and I was coming down. I think 35 is what we did that year. I had another thing, the Santa Experience that sold out. What happened was, I was totally stressed out. I was working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When I was eating, I was answering calls. When I was spending time with David, I was on the phone replying to emails. There was no boundaries set, right? 'Cause I didn't have any systems, I didn't have anything in place. What's so chaotic is without these systems, and I know 'cause you experienced it, 'cause she was ... Initially I was like, "Oh, can you help me clean out my email box?" I think is where it all started.
Melissa: That was a nightmare. I was like, "Uh, uh, help." Yeah, so my backgrounds in psychology. What's interesting with this, I came from a very systemized background. Where we had to take notes on clients, and situations from A to Z, to a T. Walking into this situation where there wasn't a clear system, it was a little scary. It was also hard picking up where we left off. I think that was one of the biggest things that I realized, is that we would get a lot of business coming in, and we'd do really well with that initial contact.
Melissa: But then those leads would just kind of go out into never ever land.
Melissa: Sometimes they would recover, sometimes they wouldn't. Most times they didn't.
Melissa: We're going to talk about it in a little while, some systems that we did to recover those leads, and get a better return on our investment for having the resources going out for getting those leads, and obtaining them. The systems piece was really important. But then we decided when we sat down, we really decided to dive into this, that we needed something because again, when you have systems in place, you're going to eliminate a lot of that busy work. I think that's a lot of times, as entrepreneurs, if it's not busy, then we make it busy. But it might not necessarily be the busyness that you need to do to move the needle towards growing your business. There's a saying that says, "Busy equals broke." You don't want to necessarily be busy, but you definitely want to be purposeful with the way that you're doing and running your business.
Paul: Right. Before we got into the technology end, we definitely did everything manually. We did everything by hand, and I just wanted to show you a couple things. Even some things that still survive today, that we use-
Melissa: ... Yeah, and I also, I don't want to knock manual.
Paul: Yeah, yeah.
Melissa: There's nothing wrong, and we still to this day, do a lot of pen and paper. Again, if you process information differently, some people do really well with computer and processing information that way, and looking at a screen. Other people od really well with writing down pen and paper. I happen to do both, because for me I like my checklists, and writing things down. That's something we could talk about another time with having that capture list to capture all those ideas that you have, that come in the middle of the night, and going through them. The pen and paper definitely works a lot, as well as the computer systems too.
Paul: Right, just want to say real quick hi to Cami.
Melissa: Oh, from Ontario. Awesome. Hey.
Paul: In Ontario, so awesome. One of the things we still do is, we have a folder that we have for every client. This is one of our wedding clients here. This was from a couple years ago. This is our, at the time, our package for, which was a $7,000 package. Our average wedding client invests approximately $6,000 on average. We're in a marketplace that is $1,500 on average. Definitely above average. One of the things that we still do to this day, is we still keep track of here's when the payments are coming in.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: I know all, I'm looking at this backwards. I know here, every single time I can see that we signed the second photographer, the clients name, any notes from meetings, I chicken scratch on the back so she can make it out later on.
Paul: It's something that we have still all the paperwork. We even, at the time since we update our packages all the time. Now what's great is we do have this online, so we can always track it. But before, I used to have a habit, since I changed our pricing all the time, I would take the one that I currently had at the time, and I would make a note on which one it is, and I would leave it in the folder. That way later on, if for some reason a couple years later I'm taking out a canvas, or I up the price on a package or something like that, I know what this client actually had.
You know what's great? This actually does have, 'cause-
Melissa: Oh, the checklist. Yeah, there you go.
Paul: My old checklist system, which we don't use this specifically anymore, is we did take the time in every single wedding client that we had. Now, this was like stage one as far as getting organized.
Paul: I had just had a previous assistant help with this, right before you came in and were helping out.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: What we realized is, it's invisible. In a moments glance, you couldn't see everything, right? I didn't know, when we close this folder and it's sticking up. And the whole reason for the folder, we like to take this into a meeting-
Melissa: We did.
Paul: We take this, a portion of it, on the wedding day as an example.
Paul: I look at it just like going to a doctor's office.
Melissa: I was going to say, it's just like a doctor's office, or a chart, or anything like that. We-
Paul: Yeah, come in, real quick glance.
Melissa: ... Mm-hmm (affirmative), we did that, again in the psychology field, where we would write notes, and just, it would have all the client information on there. What's great is that no matter what, whether it's Paul that picks up the folder, or I pick up the folder, if you take good notes ... And that's a good thing, you have to make sure you take good notes. You can pick it up and really-
Paul: I'm a horrible, I'm a horrible note taker.
Melissa: I'm usually the note taker nowadays. But when you pick up the folder, you can really pick up and see what conversations you had with the client-
Melissa: ... Where you left off with whatever they're at. That's really important as far as with the system goes, and keeping good track.
Paul: Yeah, so what I did is we developed, 'cause we had so many different wedding packages. We developed this piece here, and it changed per client, or per wedding package.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: There was different things that made sense, that like this is the gold package at the time, or silver package at the time. This had the relevant steps that we had to do. Like I was beginning to say though, is the challenge though is outside of a meeting, or on a daily basis, like pulling a file and looking at this. The moment we close this up and we put it over on the side, it was invisible. I didn't know where anybody was at any particular time.
Melissa: Right, right.
Paul: Who do we owe an album to, or return a phone call to. Who should we follow up. That was the chaos, because we were very, very busy. You were talking earlier on about all those leads coming in.
Paul: I called them trash can leads, because it was like I'd drop the ball on it. I was busy with the work, and I'm sure some of you can relate. Some of you, even if you're not busy with physical daily work within the business, life happens, and takes you off track, and you don't get back to people.
Paul: Then like two days later it's kind of like, "Oh, I meant to get back to that person," but something distracts you. Three or our days later you go into that awkward state like, "Ah," you start justifying in your head like, "Uh, maybe I shouldn't contact them, because not it's weird. I should have followed up."
Melissa: Because we know that in the process of a relationship, there's three stages. There's planting seeds, there's nurturing, and there's harvesting-
Melissa: ... That's kind of like with your crops.
Melissa: Planting, nurturing, harvesting. A lot of the pieces that were missing was that nurturing phase-
Melissa: ... Because it wasn't in our phase as far as with where you left off. I think for you, and for me too, we're both a little bit visual. Visual, to actually see where we're ... I think, are you going to lead into this one here?
Paul: Yeah, yeah, I'll show you.
Melissa: This is the next piece. Visual wise, this was a really helpful system for us. We evolved from the folder into-
Paul: This is just, we have a couple of these. I'm just going to show you.
Paul: This is a whiteboard.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: I'm going to go ahead, 'cause I'm blocking so you have to talk about it.
Melissa: Yep, go ahead. This is the whiteboard, and this you can kind of see here, having to do, this one in particular was with client albums. We would have the name of the clients, when their event was, if they selected their images, and throughout the whole process. This, every single line here, goes through the entire process, and you would check it off as far as where you were in the process with that client.
Paul: Yeah, we don't actively use this.
Melissa: We don't actively use that.
Paul: I had this sitting in the garage.
Melissa: Right, but that was another system that we had. Think about the way that you learn, and think about the way that you process information. If you're more of a visual person, you definitely want to have those visual cues around you, whether it's a folder, whether it's a whiteboard, whether if it's an old fashion Rolodex.
Melissa: I know one of the things that you had talked about, and I even used this to, in my life coaching practice. Where you would write down client contacts on a piece of paper, index cards, and have them in little slots. There's lots of ways to do systems, you just have to figure out what's the best way to do it for you, with the way that you process information. If it's something that's going to be sustainable, and something that you're actually going to follow through with.
Paul: Yeah, so as an example, the index card system. This is something I used to teach real estate agents around the United States, that weer a little bit like a fear of technology. It's something that, it might still work for you.
Paul: Some of you might be on a budget, you're just starting out. You might not be able to do the electronic side, is what you can do is you just get a simple ... Go to Staples, get an oversized, get the oversized ones, index card box. Get the dividers, 30 days. One through 30, they have them. Get those dividers. What it is, it's a client follow up system that allows you ... It's manual, it's old school. We're going to be talking about new technology in a few minutes here. This is just something, a system is better than no system at all.
Paul: If you're talking to somebody today and you're like, "Oh," and you know in your mind you made some notes or whatever, "I need to follow up with this person in ..." Maybe, today's the 21st as an example, maybe on the 30th, you're going to follow up with this person. What you do is instead of leaving it up to your mind, where I know we have a habit of saying, "If it's not in the calendar, it doesn't exist."
Melissa: It's not real.
Paul: It's not real, so it's something that if you leave it up to your mind, so many things are going to distract us these days, that we're going to drop the ball, right? This is an old school way. What you do is you take that index card, that client you're talking to. You have a divider, one through 30, which represents days of the month. You're just going to go behind number 30, pull it back, and put that card in there. What happens is when the 30th comes, it's the first thing in the morning, you're doing your daily schedule, your daily rituals. The first thing you're going to do in the morning is you're going to lift up, you're going to pull everything out that's in the number 30 as an example, and you're going to go through and follow up with all these people. It could be an email, or call, or whatever.
This way those leads don't go into the garbage can.
Melissa: Exactly, yeah.
Paul: Yeah, so if you don't have a computer, or the finances to have a streamlined system that can do a lot of that work for you, that's still a system I would recommend to do. Again, something is better than nothing.
Melissa: Yes, yes.
Paul: If you leave it up to this, we're going to forget about it.
Melissa: 'Cause there's so much going on, so much going on. Let's talk about how we evolved from that system, to where we are now.
Paul: Okay. In between, was the copying and pasting of emails.
Paul: We realized, like using wedding clients as an example, we knew that when people contacted us for weddings, I knew that on average, the majority of the time we were answering three different types of emails.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: Your date is not available, that means that we're booked, or it's a personal thing, so they're going to get that reply. Your date is available, or you didn't give us a date, we need to identify that. We knew we had three. What we did is we created these little boiler, old school boiler plate replies, that kind of covered all the bases. It was very natural, very conversational. Then what I did, and then Melissa did, is we just customized the first line or two of it, right?
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: That was very effective. Again, the challenge was, it was like ... The three or four days later, the five days later, when we're in the grind and doing everything.
Melissa: Kind of forgot about them.
Paul: Forgot about them.
Paul: We didn't follow up properly, right?
Melissa: Yeah, then you're like, "Oh, what happened to Susie that was asking about the wedding and was like oh ..." Then thinking that's where you go, in that awkward, "Oh, should I reach out to them? It's been awhile."
Melissa: It created that time lapse. It was just all over the place as far as that goes. It wasn't sustainable that way.
Paul: Right, right. We use those checklists that we showed you. We went through those manual checklists. That was an improvement from nothing, to having that at least. Then we just got to a certain point ... You know what? I think I was at ShutterFest two and a half years ago, and go through the whole rah, rah, and 17 Hats actually had a booth there. All these shows, there's always specials, right?
Paul: So it's like, "Oh, I'm going to buy into it."
Melissa: "Go do this."
Paul: Yeah, so we buy into it. I got the product at the time, and seriously it was ... In order to do it right, like create the full system, we knew it would take some time, and some energy, and some effort. I just, I kind of bought this thing, and it just sat on the side.
Melissa: Yep. It sat for about, I think it sat for about, what? Almost a year.
Paul: Yeah, probably more than a year.
Melissa: Almost a year. Almost a year. Where, I'm sure many of you can relate, where you've bought products, some services-
Paul: Some overwhelm.
Melissa: ... And it sounds great, and then you get it and you're like, "Oh my gosh." Then you don't do anything, it sits on your shelf.
Melissa:It sat there for about a year. But then it wasn't until later on, we're really ... Again, we're still having the same struggle and we're like, "You know what? We really need to ... We have this product-"
Melissa: "... It's supposed to do all these things. Let's see what we could do to put it to action, and really start to utilize it so that we can work smarter."
Paul: Right, yeah. It's something that, it really took us ... Those of you know that Melissa and I got married last month. She's officially my wife. I think this is our first, is this our first-
Melissa: This is our first ... Yeah, this is our first webinar as a married couple.
Paul: ... First, yeah, as a married couple.
Melissa: Yeah, yes.
Paul: That's awesome, that's changed. With that, what was interesting is when we went to interview our friends that are photographers, that ended up photographing our wedding originally, we realized through the process, 'cause how we signed the contract with them and everything, that they were using 17 Hats.
Melissa: We're like, "Whoa, this is amazing. Why aren't we doing this?"
Paul: We were still doing, we were doing physical contracts and everything.
Melissa: Yep, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: Up to that point in time. With that, we're sitting down, we're reading it line by line to everybody. This just blanked out-
Melissa: There we go.
Paul: ... I hope we're there still.
Melissa: There we are, we're here.
Paul: The screen saver just went on that was like, "Ah, what just happened?" Can you give us another thumbs up? Let us know that we're still here. It's something that, it was just like, "Wow, that was a really seamless process." But in talking to those guys they were like, "Oh, you know what we did? We had to basically buckle down for a week, learn the system, create the workflow that we wanted."
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: It was like, "Wow." Melissa and I, we're good with that, that what she did literally was in the calendar, she blocked off time. She went on all kinds of blogs, all kinds of websites, learned off little bits and pieces off of a whole bunch of people, and that's where we ... Maybe, have you guys, have you been delaying doing something like this? Maybe 'cause it's like ... The old saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time," right?
Paul: To me, the big huge elephant was going into a program like this, and having to create, from scratch, every single line item. Every single thing, right? That we had to do. What was cool at least, was at least we did have some checklists.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: We did have some systems, we had the boards and everything. It was like, "How do we take that, and put it into an electronic format?"
Melissa: Yep, mm-hmm (affirmative), yep. On a side note, this is a concept that we call, "Deep work." Where we really focus and buckle down. This is something that you should really consider doing with your business, if there's any of those tasks, or big projects that you've been putting off. It's not going to get done unless you really focus in, and hone on. For about a good week, I honed down, and began ... Paul was saying, really, 'cause at that point in time, I mean I was doing everything from scratch. It was kind of like going on blogs, reading about it, learning about it. You have to almost become a little bit obsessed, whatever the project that you're working on, obsessed about it, obsessed about learning about it, so that you can better yourself, and really be able to produce whatever product you want from it.
Paul: Right. You want to acknowledge-
Melissa: Yeah, so everyone's thumbs upping. Anna's here, Sonya's here, Bill's here-
Melissa: ... Hey, and Chuck.
Paul: April said she's very visual.
Melissa: Where is that? I missed that.
Paul: Up there.
Melissa: Oh up there. Oh, April. "I'm very visual." Hey April. Yes, so yeah. Everybody said ... Their thumbs up, so I guess-
Paul: What did he says?
Melissa: Whose ... Oh, Gabriel says, "I like to use a couple items like At Line Month Planners, and Notes on iPhone, which you can add as reminders to the calendar of the phone." So yep, yeah.
Melissa: We love our calendars, we use Google Calendar for all of ours and we share-
Paul: We sync, yeah.
Melissa: ... We share our calendar.
Paul: We see all that.
Melissa: I handle the calendar, that's a whole other story.
Paul: Yeah. If I touch the calendar, I screw things up. She has so many pieces.
Melissa: Yeah, we learned that right away, that what our strengths were with that. I was like, "Let me just do the calendar, and all the appointments, and everything like that." But yeah, as far as honing down on that, it was a process of really honing down, buckling down. Really think about that as far as any projects that might be a little bit scary, putting in the time, and you can get it done if you really focus in on it.
Paul: I'm just curious real quick, would any of you that are watching right now, maybe give us some more thumbs up if you would like us to ... Maybe we can do like a behind the scenes, and show you our steps.
Paul: We can take our wedding photography system, and show you our workflow, step by step on the steps that we take.
Paul: Let me know if that's something that interests you guys. If it does, if we get a few people that are interested, we can ... With this software, we have the ability to screen share. We can show you behind the scenes on what we use every single day of the week.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: It's something that we'd love to ... I think it might help for people to see, here's the timeline, and here's the things, the flow that we do. I see thumbs up-
Paul: ... From before, and I know there's a delay. I know there's a delay on this.
Melissa: So put like, thumbs up, thumbs up.
Paul: Yeah. If you guys can give us another thumbs up, that way if you're interested, we can actually screen share right into our account, and show you from a visual standpoint, what Melissa sees every day, and also the workflows that we use on a daily basis.
Paul: If you guys have questions, feel free to pop them up as well.
Melissa: I think people now, since we're talking about workflows, let's talk about exactly ... Gabriel says, "I am into landscape, wildlife, and real estate." Awesome.
Paul: Oh, sweet.
Paul: There's taking three different directions.
Melissa: I know, three, so that's three different things that you could do as far as your workflows.
Melissa: With the workflows, what's important is to really sit down, and almost what we did at that particular page of the stage, is we outlined everything that you would do with a client, from beginning to end. And really what it's all about, is creating that perfect client experience.
Melissa: There was a lot of things that we were doing really well, as far as with the emails that we had talked about-
Melissa: ... When we're talking about weddings, 'cause we're continuing to talk about that. With the clients that inquire, there's three initial emails. They either gave us the date, didn't give us the date, or ... I'm sorry, they gave us the date, or we're not available on their date. Or, we didn't get a date from them. There was kind of like a choose your choice there. There was a lot of things that we were doing really well, but there was things that we definitely saw that we could do better, as far as with enhancing the client experience touch points throughout it.
Again, remember, for weddings for example, that client is with you for a long extended period of time. Throughout this workflow, we really sat down and we talked, "Wouldn't it be cool to send an email at this point of time?"
Melissa: "Wouldn't it be great to send a card, or a little gift at this point of time?" We sat down, and we went through that client experience workflow. As well as, the actual wedding itself. Then the post-production piece. Which, that's an entirely different workflow as far as with the images, and delivering deliverables, and that experience too.
Paul: Right. I tell you, we had to go through, I think we went through like three times. We first were like, we did all the technical things like, "Okay, with this client ..." We actually put our workflows into different chunks. As an example, with weddings, and some of you that do newborns, and boudoir, and-
Paul: ... Seniors, all that. It doesn't matter what niche it is, it's like, okay, some clients, you might have a digital delivery. Some of you do that. Some of you might have an in person sales opportunity, and you're going to direct people into doing canvases, and albums, and other things. Well it's like, well we can activate a workflow, like a certain checklist, certain system, that's for the people that are relevant for in person sales. That would be different than somebody that was just a digital delivery. It's something that, don't think one checklist solves everything. We treat our client prospect, like how we're communicating with people, before we actually make them a client. When they're in the prospect, like a lead state, they have their own workflow that we go through.
Again, before, everything was going into the garbage can. If those people did not respond instantly, we ... I look at the Hail Mary pass, is Melissa and I. When we talked about it ... We went through the whole technical thing the first time with our workflows. Then we went back and we said, "Okay, what would be," exactly what Melissa said, "The perfect client experience? What are the little things that we're missing, that would just make it ... We might not necessarily do it today, but if we were the client, we would be a raving fan because of the followup, and these things?"
Then later on we came back and sweetened it even more. We were like, "Okay, let's put in some content in between. Can we create an article? Maybe if these people are going to be doing an engagement session, can we give them tips on how to dress properly for their engagement session, or how to choose their location properly?" These are things that were kind of like the icing on the cake, the sweetening pudding on top type thing.
Melissa: Yeah, yeah. A lot of people too, one of the ... People that hesitate on doing things, systems that are automated is that they feel like it might not be personal.
Paul: Oh yeah.
Melissa: We actually found that we became more personal through this process-
Melissa: ... Because were having more touchpoints. We were able to personalize each message that we had with the people, and then also too, it was just something we didn't have to think about.
Melissa: In the past, we would always have the best intentions of doing things.
Melissa: Again, if you leave it up to your mind and don't have a system in place, that's where things fall through the cracks.
Melissa: Then this was, allowed us to really to have a process that was automated, that we didn't have to think about it, and it allowed us to be more personal with our clients.
Paul: Right. Yeah, so do you want to read-
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely.
Paul: ... There's some, yeah.
Melissa: We have some comments here. Sorry, I'm going to stand up.
Melissa: Ron said, "As a former IT Project Manager I'm used to having, using a day planner organizer, that seems to be working." So awesome.
Paul: Good, good.
Melissa: Karen says, "We aren't just selling photographs, we're selling the experience too. Good workflows equal better service, better experience."
Melissa: Absolutely Karen, that's exactly what we're talking about.
Paul: We're all about selling the experience. 150%.
Melissa: Yep. Thelma gave a thumbs up, so maybe that has to do with us sharing.
Paul: Yeah. Okay, we'll do that.
Melissa: Then Bill, hey Bill-
Paul: Hey Bill.
Melissa: ... Said, "Yes, I'd love to see more. I've pretty much copied your wedding workflow from Profitographers, about trying to come up with some steps I need for that, and more like a standard portrait workflow, which I can then copy and paste for other workflows. I like to keep everything separate, body scapes, boudoir, family, individual portraits," and that's a really good point Bill. Yeah, because you definitely ... With the workflow, once you've got one going, you can utilize it, but in different niches.
Melissa: And really make it a little bit more personal, make it make more sense. Something that you might do for a wedding client, might be slightly different than a head shot client.
Paul: True. The Profitographers that he's mentioning is our, we now call our, "Photographer Entrepreneur Inner Circle." It's where we have several hundred members that are in there. What's really cool Bill, which you'll really be excited about, because you most likely grabbed that inside of the Wedding Photographer Bootcamp Course that we have in there for all of our members for free. Is, when we show you this in a second, like everything going down, what's really, really awesome is that 17 Hats approached us, I think Vanessa Joy, Melanie Anderson, and Sal Cincotta, and the-
Melissa: The Harris Group, yep.
Paul: The Harris group. Five of us all together, and about a month ago, they actually asked us to push our real world workflows that we do, into something that they launched called the, "Template marketplace."
Paul: Instead of what you just grabbed out of there with those checklists that we have, the old system. Seriously, all of our workflows that we physically use on a daily basis, we didn't create these for 17 Hats benefit, we actually created them for ourselves.
Paul: And literally, they were able to take that, 'cause they asked us to do it, and they pushed it inside of their 17 Hats marketplace. Now it's a shareable thing. Now, if you don't wan to do what we did, where we spent over a week and many, many, many hours, and going through, and massaging it over and over again. They have an investment that they have people make in it, but it's something that they can ... Like the workflow literally could be pushed right in-
Melissa: It's right there.
Paul: Every single email, our actual emails, our actual replies, or followups, our systems and everything. He referenced that he'd like to see behind the scenes.
Melissa: Yeah. Let's go do that.
Paul: Are you okay if I do a screen share?
Melissa: I think for some people, this might be really helpful. Especially if you're visual, you'll be able to see it, and we'll show you exactly what we're talking about.
Paul: This is you just creating a workflow, like in different programs and products that are out there, outside of 17 Hats. They should probably call it something different, but it's something that, again, taking it and going step by step that is duplicatable for you with every client. That way every client has an extremely, like a raving fan experience over, and over, and over again. Instead of just haphazardly hoping ... "Cause the worst thing in the world is to drop the ... When you're inconsistent, then you watch your ratings online go all over the place.
Paul: 'Cause somebody, wouldn't you be mad if you went somewhere like a restaurant, and you were treated a certain way and you're like, "Oh my God, this is incredible," right?
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: Then you tell all your family about it, then they all go to the restaurant, and they're not treating anything like what you had-
Melissa: And they have a horrible experience.
Paul: It was like totally different experience. It's 'cause the system wasn't consistent. Maybe you just got lucky and had the right server at that time, but no congruency, right? It's about giving a credible customer experience every single time, where you don't ... And what we love about it, is it's actually less stressful.
Melissa: Like I said, you don't have to think about it. Just even before we show this, as an example, we talked about going to Jamaica. We didn't talk about business, but we kept up with the business.
Melissa: And with these workflows and systems in place, we were just able to pick up where we left off, and didn't even have to think about it.
Melissa: Didn't take too much time out of the time that we had, and we had more time to spend on the beach, and spend with each other. Yeah.
Paul: Right, so what we're going to do is I'm going to screen flow this, okay?
Melissa: Yes, here we go.
Paul: We're going to need you guys to let us know if you can see this. Oh, there's ... Let me see. Yep, okay I think. Can you let me know, guys, if you see ... When that pops up, I can't actually see it.
Melissa: Okay, see it.
Paul: You can stand up, and you can login.
Melissa: Let me get logged in, and I'm going to go ahead and ...
Paul: What this is about, we want to show you step by step if a new client ... Can we do that?
Melissa: Yep, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: If a new client came in, and we went from zero. Let's say they were wedding inquiry, like what you would do, just to show the workflow.
Melissa: Sure. For those of you not familiar with 17 Hats, and it just takes a couple minutes to load in here, 'cause again with internet, and the different software. This is what happens when you show up. What I love about this, is this is my daily dashboard, which tells me what exactly I need to do for the day. Usually down here, I have emails that I need to attend to, but I already did all those for today, so there's nothing on there.
Let's go ahead and talk about workflows. I'm going to go over here, and I actually have me in here. There I am, as a client. You could see here, for each individual client, you can personalize, they have their own page. What's cool about this is you might have a client with different projects. This one for example, I put project as a sample for a wedding. Let's say if this particular Melissa, she had a wedding, but she also was a head shot client, maybe she was interested in a family portrait, whatever the case might be. You can assign different projects to the same client, and 17 Hats tracks that so you kind of know what project you're working on.
Going into workflows, let's assign, and I'll show you the wedding, since we've been talking a lot about weddings. Wedding prospect system. Now, we have a couple workflows for weddings. I want to show you first, the prospect system. These are individuals, like Paul was talking about. When we get people that are inquiring, and they want information about a wedding. This, again, it's step by step to really take you through the whole process. When you break this down, we really made it broken down as much as possible. Even things that seemed really simple, maybe we should put that in there, to put it in there.
Again, a lot of times we take advantage of things, and we did that for us, and we did that for everyone else that were using these templates. A lot of times, people just wanted to know what the next steps were. Did you want to add anything here?
Paul: Yeah, can you just explain what a workflow is?
Paul: We use that word a lot. People might not necessarily understand.
Melissa: Yep, so a workflow is really a system that includes to-do lists, emails, checklists. It's not only the communication that you have with clients, but it's also reminders for you on the backend, what exactly needs to be done. Taking this client through an entire process, an entire experience. For example here, you can see here when we get a client that comes into the workflow, one of the very first things that we do is we input the information into 17 Hats. Now, 17 Hats has systems in place too, that you can ... If people are inquiring, it goes directly through 17 Hats with the lead capture form, so you can do that as well. We kind of have that as one of the steps.
Again, next step here, determine availability for wedding date. Then let's get into the emails, because Paul was talking a little bit about these emails. The initial email we had talked about with the three ones, the date is open, the date is not open, or ... I'm sorry. Yeah, the date's not available, or the date has not been identified. Those are those three initial emails, and depending upon when the client gives the information, it depends on which email that we send.
Let's just say that they sent the email, it was a date that we were available. We have the workflow, the email already setup in the workflow, where it's basically, it's kind of just plug and play. You put in the information, their name. What's awesome too, about this workflow, is let's say for example someone inquired about a wedding, and it was at a venue that you have photographed many times, and have a great relationship. You can add something really personal here too or ... So, "We love photographing, photographing, at The Waterfall. It is a beautiful venue."
Again, this is where you can add that personalization to your emails. But it's all written out for you, and it basically ... In the emails, it gives a nice starting point. Again, this is where when people are inquiring, that we give them a starting price, we give the information about us, and it really just gauges that conversation. That's the first email that we send, and we would just push send to send that email.
What we talked about too, is going through an entire sequence ... Oops, wrong one here. Yes. Going through this entire sequence here. Paul talked about something called trash can leads, and what we were finding is that we were doing ... The old way, we were doing really, really well with sending that initial email, but then the followup systems were not in place. Sometimes we would kind of forget about that we sent that email, or it just ... There was no consistency with it.
What's cool about this, is that we have a followup email. Again, depending on which one that you choose, we have this followup email go five days after the client inquires. You can actually, I'll show you here. If they were open, I would put five days here. Five days, so that reminds me, five days. Then that will pop up in my dashboard five days later, after that initial inquiry, that I need to send that followup. This is a really simple email, this is the email. I don't know if you noticed that first email came from Paul with all the information, but the second email comes from me. It's just basically, "Hey, just following up. We emailed some information, and we wanted to know if you received it. We would love to meet."
I'll tell you what, this email, it's so simple, but it recovers a lot of our lost leads. Sometimes, typically with brides when they are inquiring about photography, they're going out to a lot of different photographers, and sometimes they get confused, sometimes they're price shopping, sometimes they're just trying to find the right fit for them. They might forget. They might not get back to you, or they might be overwhelmed, or maybe there's another party that's involved with the decision making process. Maybe they have to talk to mom and dad, they have to talk to fiance, whatever their case might be.
This is just a nice soft reminder that five days out, that we need to follow up with them, and just checking in. We get a lot of people that come back and say, "Oh my gosh, yes. I'd love to meet with you. Sorry it's been so busy." Sometimes we'll get the email, "Sorry, you're out of our budget." That's okay too. We actually appreciate those emails, because we would much rather get, "Sorry, you're out of our budget." And be able to move on, then just kind of wonder what happened to that particular client.
Then what's cool too, is that even after that, you can see all these emails. Now, for some point, if they do schedule a consult, you would check that off, then you would assign them a different workflow at that point, which I'm going to show you in just a minute. Down here, is our 30 day followup. This is really great too. 30 days after that initial inquiry, we followup again just asking, "Hey, just checking in. Are you still looking for a wedding photographer? We would still love to meet."
Again, it's that 30 day. Again, what Paul was saying, those trash can leads, really start to initiate the conversation. We have had people that actually ... I mean, I can think of a couple from last year, that were, we thought they were gone, long gone. And they would end up, I think they ended up ... The one bride I'm thinking about, she had picked a wedding date, then they ended up changing the wedding date and they still remembered us. With that 30 day followup, we were able to recover that, and we actually photographed her wedding. Did you want to add anything here Paul?
Paul: No, I think the most important part is that these ... I'm not sure if you covered this, but some of these emails, or actually a majority of these emails, you have it setup where it doesn't automatically go out.
Paul: It's something that, it pops up ... Can you show maybe like when you login? They're seeing this, right? This is attached to the new Melissa, my client.
Melissa: Yeah, Melissa who?
Paul: What do you actually see? Like your real-
Melissa: Let me see if it'll popup, 'cause I did all my emails this morning, so there was nothing. There was no to-do list.
Melissa: I did everything all this morning.
Paul: In reality though, when you login, 'cause I know a lot of us are the visual. When you login ... Now, what's really cool is it syncs-
Melissa: It would typically be here.
Paul: ... It syncs with the Google account, like the Gmail, or the Google Calendar. You normally would see the to's right here?
Melissa: Yes, I would normally see ... Well, I have to do this, but I would normally see emails that I need to ... But you can see here, these are some to-dos. Some of these people, I haven't, I need to go back and check through because I had an old system, then I changed it to a newer system with that.
Melissa: But, so let me show you here, just as another example, then we'll move back into answering any other questions people have. We have here, a workflow as far as with the prospect system, but let's say they become a client, so you would assign them a different workflow. Oops, wedding client system, here. That's a whole different set. Just to give people an idea of what this looks like, we actually have this in three different phases. Again, for weddings it's a much longer process to work with that client, so you're with the client for a pretty long time and we go through each of these.
Again, remember our workflow is not just emails. A workflow includes checklists, it includes reminders for you. It's not just the communication that you give to the client, but it's also all the things that you're doing behind the scenes to really make that good client experience. Once a client books with us, we send a thank you email, we send a contract, and you can actually put your contracts in here, in 17 Hats as well.
We create that client folder that we talked about, we still use the paper folder. We have notes here to create the folders. If they have an engagement session in their package, we would assign them an engagement session workflow. That's a totally separate workflow. Some clients have that, some clients don't. We go ahead and assign their second shoot. We do this ahead of time in the past, what would happen is again, with Paul, with him redoing some of his systems, he wouldn't do that right away all the time. Sometimes it'd be a little bit last minute trying to get those second shooters in line. We do that right away as part of this workflow.
We have a questionnaire, and you could also setup your questionnaires here too, in 17 Hats. Where we ask questions to the bridge and groom, about their wedding day, and get all the details as far as what kind of formals they want, all the dresses of where they need to be, and it's just that day of information that we're going to need, that we go over with them a week or two before their actual wedding. You could put questionnaires in here as well too.
Then you see here, we have the wedding planning workflow. All again, this is all within the client system. This is the actual having that final meeting, this is a little bit getting closer to the day. You could see here as you get closer and closer day, there's stuff here's that's not necessarily having to do with anything behind the computer, but preparing the gear. Things that, again, things that we kind of took advantage of that we didn't realize that we were doing, but it's part of our workflow. Confirming with the bride and groom their hotel room numbers, if you're meeting at the hotel. The last thing that you want to do, is not know where to go when you meet them the day of the wedding, and which room to go to. You want to save some time with that by going straight to their room. Then shoot the wedding, then sending them a congratulations.
Then there's a whole post-production workflow, which is mostly checklists. This is going through the whole process, everything from backing up the images, to culling the images, creating your galleries. What's cool here is we have two different options, whether you do digital delivery, or you have in person sales, that there's two different options as far as with the workflows that you would use. You could either create that gallery and do the digital delivery, or schedule the actual appointment to have a viewing session. Then you can see as you get closer to the bottom, again, you don't have to think about it. One year from when their wedding date, the project date that you set in 17 Hats, we send an anniversary gift. I mean, how awesome is that, that a year that you actually remember your clients anniversary and send them a little gift.
Then also, a social media post, where we talk about the wedding. Again, this is the entire client experience, to give them the perfect client experience with the workflow, that includes emails, checklists, just to really make it seamless and very personal. That's with the weddings. Anything that you wanted to add Paul?
Paul: Yeah, we do this with head shots as well. We can come back to the seeing us again, when we click on this. Give me a second guys. This software's new to us, so it's going to make a minute. Let me go ahead and bring that back. All right, I think we're there.
Melissa: All right, oh, I feel like we're shorter now.
Paul: Yeah, what's up? Oh, because I changed the ... I was going to do a picture. Let's see, all right.
Paul: Great. That's just one example. This is something, hopefully you guys can see those. Just by having that, the system, the workflow that's in there, we don't have to think about any of that. That's the thing I want you guys to think about. Whatever you do, just creating a system in general, is going to change your life because you're going to give people better quality service right out of the gate. And on top of that, you're going to have less stress in your life, because everything will be played out perfectly. Again, this is based, you gotta keep in mind that we did this with the whole idea that this is the perfect client experience.
Could you sit down and go line by line, and create the perfect client experience no matter what your niche is? We've had some people that have gotten that workflow, and they've just changed it to their niche. They do boudoir, or they do newborns, and they actually change it. They don't do weddings, but they're like, "Oh, all these things make sense. I might not do an engagement session, but that could be the actual session itself, having ... Creating the post followup," and everything else is like boom. It falls right in line as well.
Melissa: Yeah, we really love the whole process, and the concept of this. Again, if it's something that you're interested in, something that you don't have to think about it. Again, it took us quite a bit of time to really get this together as far as the workflows. I want to leave you with just kind of four things to think about when you are creating your workflows. To really think about where you could put systems. What issues need systems? The four things you really want to just think about are things that you do on a regular basis. If there's something that you do all the time on a regular basis, that needs a system. For us, we found the emails. We were sending the same type of emails-
Paul: Yeah, same email over, and over again.
Melissa: ... Over, and over again. That's where a system is needed. Things that take a lot of time. As far as with invoicing, or contracts, or whatever the case might be. Those take a little bit more time. That needs a system. Things that frustrate you. If there's something that you just don't like to do, and it's frustrating you, create a system for it.
Melissa: Because it's going to make things more seamless for you, you're not going to think about it. Then the last thing is, things that are outside of your core competency. If there's something that you maybe need a little bit more help with, maybe that you need to lead through a process. If it just doesn't come to you like clockwork, having a system in place is going to help you stay in line with it-
Melissa: ... And go very seamlessly with it.
Paul: Right. It's something that, again, it's all about de-stressing yourself. That if you're juggling all of these balls, the moment that people throw more in, they all fall down, right? It's the overwhelm, it's the burnout type feeling. We don't want that to happen to you, and it's definitely something that we went through. Definitely when Melissa came on board with the company, she saw how busy we were, but also how burned out I was all the time.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: I would just have people contacting me more in a complaint style, because I just, I didn't get back to them. It's like, "Oh, that person didn't hire us to photograph their ..." Well, I never replied back because I was overwhelmed with all these moving parts all over the place.
Paul: Systems help with consistency. I'm telling you what, it's the consistency that creates success. It's doing things over and over again, that are the right things to do, that'll slowly progressively lead you to successful days, they'll lead you to successful weeks, successful months, and then you're going to have a successful year. It all builds. You don't just happen upon a successful year.
Paul: It's doing things constant and consistently, but in a systematic way, where you're not stressed anymore.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah, yeah. I mean, once you get the systems in place, it's great. Like I said, we were on the beach in Jamaica, and did a couple things with our systems, and then we were able to just enjoy the day.
Melissa: I mean, who could ask for more with that?
Paul: I know, that was an awesome feeling. Now, do you guys have questions? We're here, we're live right now.
Melissa: Yep, we'll take a couple questions before we head out.
Paul: If you guys have anything that you're curious about, that you'd like to know. Again, we used to do ... We used to have two brands, our own company, and plus we had another brand. At the max we had nine photographers working for us, forced us into creating systems. That was for the wedding business. Outside of that, last year we did over 2,000 head shots, last year. But we're normally right around 1,000, we just had a big corporate client that came in, that changed that for us last year. It's something that we still handle like ... A lot of these are one offs.
Melissa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul: We do have some larger companies that get that volume up. But, most of them are one offs, so we're communicating back and forth. Then we do the Santa Experience, which is a whole nother follow up system itself. Let us know if you guys have questions, that's great. We're here to answer with checklists, systems, processes. If you don't have any, you do have a system, it could be the denial system. Where you are-
Melissa: The denial system. I don't think you want that system.
Paul: ... Or the stress system. Because no matter what you're doing now-
Paul: ... You are doing something that's getting results.
Paul: If you're in an avoidance state of putting something a little bit more formal together, it just ... You're grinding yourself over and over again.
Melissa: Yeah, everyday you wake up and you make a choice.
Melissa: You're either moving closer towards your goals, or further away from your goals. Systems are something that can really help you move closer to your goals. As human beings, we are wearing a lot of hats, we're juggling a lot of balls, we can't do it all. We try to, and that's where we end up dropping the ball because wherever you focus ... It's just, people always ask, "How do you have work/life balance?" I'm just going to say it, there is no such thing as work/life balance. There's no such thing as work/life balance. Whatever you put more energy into, if you're putting more energy into work for example, it's going to be taking away from somewhere else. It's just a matter of kind of being on a teeter totter, like a seesaw, and you're working your way through it. Sometimes you might be more involved with work and less involved with family, and sometimes you may be more involved with family and less involved with work, and you're kind of going through this little dance.
But systems can really help with the dance, so that you're not just ... We want to see incremental growth that grows like this, we don't want zigzags, and roller coasters.
Paul: Yeah, right.
Paul: It's all about consistency. If you're getting all of this, that means you're not doing certain things consistent every day, that'll get you that result. I think we're good.
Paul: Let me just double check to make sure, if we have any-
Melissa: While he's double checking, we want to thank-
Paul: I don't see any, I don't see any new comments. If you guys have any comments, please feel free right now, while we're live.
Melissa: Yep. We want to thank 17 Hats again, for sponsoring the webinar. We love talking about this kind of stuff, as far as the helping grow businesses, and systems, and business practices.
Melissa: If there's any topics that you would like to see us talk about, we certainly would love to hear from you. Let us know, you can email us at VIP@PaulPruitt.com, because we do these webinars on a monthly basis, where it's training for you. Thankfully 17 Hats is a wonderful sponsor that allows us to educate.
Paul: Right. I think that's it for now.
Melissa: I think that's it.
Paul: We don't have anymore. We had a lot of great questions there for today. Those of you that just tuned in, make sure you catch the replay, 'cause we went over our old system, how we progressed to the new system. I think I-
Melissa: We have one question, all right, here we go.
Paul: ... Okay, April.
Melissa: April. April says, "Do you find social media to be helpful?"
Paul: Yes. Social media is helpful in a sense that it's allowed us to be able to reach more people for a very minimal cost. You can hit very targeted, a lot of people very quickly. But it also can be your biggest negative as well, if you do not treat it properly. It can be a time suck, it can suck your life away, and you have to be very, very careful with the time that you're spending on social media, that it's something that's productive. You can make yourself busy all day long by liking, and commenting on people's posts. That's not going to move the needle for your business. It's something that I would definitely recommend that you create a daily schedule, and make sure that part of your daily schedule is you minimize the amount of purposeful time that you're spending on social media.
Now, if it's down time, or relax time or whatever, and that's your little go-to, 'cause some people, they're into gaming, or they do sports, or they have other hobbies or whatever.
Melissa: Or they like watching dog videos, like I do.
Paul: Yeah. The funny thing is ... But, social media, you have to understand that ... I'll use Facebook as a prime example, 'cause it's the biggest, right? They have teams, behavioral scientists that are part of their company, that create the platform to be addictive, emotionally addictive to us. When you're on and you see the new things that they did, when a whole bunch of people like something, it's like, "Bling, bling, bling, bling." That pops a little dopamine in your head, and you get excited. And it triggers a chemical response in your mind, that makes you constantly want to go back and check, and check, and check.
Their goal is, the more people they can keep on Facebook and not go somewhere else, the more effective it is. Definitely part of your daily schedule in all of this, is making sure that you minimize the distraction. I would put in ... Like, if you're addicted to the technology like most people are, put in time that's scheduled for productive time. Use it for learning, but also use it to build your platform. You need to be very specific in what you're targeting, and what you're doing with that.
Melissa: Yeah, good question.
Paul: Yeah, great question.
Melissa: Good question, yeah.
Paul: Anna says thanks.
Melissa: Yes, "You gave me the direction," so awesome. Yeah.
Paul: Thank you.
Melissa: We hope that you really take this information to heart, and think about the areas in your business where you can create systems that are going to work for you.
Paul: You're welcome, you're welcome April.
Paul: It was great talking to everybody today. Looks like we're coming up on the hour mark.
Paul: We want to be respectful for all your time. The longer we make these, the harder it is for people to-
Melissa: To watch it. They're like, "Ah, [inaudible 00:58:40]."
Paul: ... To watch the replay. It's something, that we keep that in mind as well. Those of you again, that just checked in. We went through the workflow, and we are very thankful that 17 Hats made us part of a very exclusive small group of people, that they have put our actual real world workflows that we use in our day to day business, that were meant for us, and never had the intention of it going anywhere else. Those are physically, were slid into 17 Hats marketplace. We've had a lot of people that have taken up on 17 Hats offer, and investing in those, that allowed them to kind of skip all the hard work and time that we put in to building all of those systems that you guys saw.
Melissa: So you're welcome, you're welcome.
Paul: You can just go click, and make a small investment, and then you have it there over and over again.
Melissa: Oh gosh, it would have been so easy if there was like a little click-
Paul: I know.
Melissa: We were up, I remember, it was like 2:00 o'clock in the morning night just being like, "What else, do we do this?"
Paul: I know.
Melissa: But now that it's done, it's done. And it's awesome.
Paul: Yeah, you don't have to think about it. Yeah.
Paul: Yeah, but it's great talking to everybody today, and getting to know everybody. We look forward to seeing you on the next training series. Until we talk again everyone-
Melissa: Stay profitable.
Paul: See you guys soon.
Paul: Let's see if I can get this to work guys. Here we go, let's see. This would be really cool ...