Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding & portrait photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali Photography is a wedding & couples' photography business based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or teaching other photographers how to save time in their biz, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand toasting with friends & family!
If you’ve been around for any length of time you’ll know that I love all things productivity and efficiency related! One of my favorite ways to be extra-productive in my business is to take advantage of batching tasks.
Science shows that we lose seconds of productive work every time we switch between tasks. It takes our brains a little time to re-focus and hone in on the new task and close our minds to the one we had just worked on. Batching tasks tries to avoid task switching to maximize our brain power and knock out work in record time!
Batching tasks also helps organize my months and weeks in an easy to understand way for my business. It takes a lot of guesswork out of when to complete #allthethings that I have to juggle as a business owner wearing a lot of hats!
Here are FIVE ways to think of batching your time for your photography business!
1. Marketing Schedule – Monthly & Weekly
Marketing your business takes a LOT of time and involves a ton of tasks in order to get that Facebook album, Instagram post and blog post up for any given week! I try to batch my content creation so I can spend more time week in and out focusing on actually engaging and having conversations on social media (trying to bring the social back in social!). There are a couple of ways that I try to batch my marketing work!
First, every quarter I’ll decide which blog topics that I want to focus on given what season it is and what type of sessions I want to focus on. For example, in the fall-winter I’ll focus on booking brides for the upcoming year, the spring I’ll focus on UVA grad portraits, and the summer I focus on education! Each quarter I mark what blog topic will be published for each week, create a draft for it in WordPress and try to give myself a rough outline to work off of for each post! This saves me SO much time when I go in to start writing the content!
Monthly, I go in and try to hammer out four blog posts all in one day! I get really focused and don’t allow myself to get distracted by anything else. Sometimes I don’t finish EVERY blog post but generally I make a lot of progress and set myself up well for the rest of the month! From there, I’ll make sure to go ahead and pre-schedule my corresponding Instagram posts and emails for each blog post! Repeating each task (writing the blog post, scheduling out insta, scheduling out the email) allows me to run through them faster since I’m just repeating the same motions again and again rather than trying to cram the tasks in on any given day. I used to batch all my marketing tasks on Mondays but I’ve found that giving myself a Monthly Marketing Day helps me focus in and get a LOT of this work done on just ONE day out of the month giving me time to work on culling images and getting a jumpstart on editing weddings or portraits on other Mondays in that month!
2. Days / Times Each Week for Client-Related Tasks
Another nifty way to batch is to give yourself one time during each week to look into HoneyBook and knock out all of your Tasks from client projects out at one time! I go in on Tuesdays and check which tasks (essentially any emails/questionnaires to send) I have due for that day and also for the upcoming week and knock them out all at one time! This will only work if you have Workflows assigned to each project! Each of my Workflows have corresponding tasks & emails that are automatically assigned based off of the project date which saves me SO much time!
I also have a Client Board within Asana for internal nitty-gritty client-related tasks that I check in with on both Tuesdays & Wednesdays. These tasks make sure that I get EVERYTHING done from prepping for a session, editing it to gallery delivery to marketing a session or ordering any client gifts! You can view a Calendar View or a List View of the upcoming tasks and easily check them off to make sure you don’t miss any small detail.
I’ve talked about holding a Monthly Duty Day on the blog before! Monthly days give me the opportunity to knock out a TON of little tasks that would randomly pop up on any given day and get a proactive jump on them at the beginning of the month! I go through and pay off credit cards, check over finances for the biz, make sure my website & portfolio are up to date, and check over wedding day questionnaires! I also have a “personal” monthly list to keep track of all the little life things as well like making sure to
4. Batch mileage & transactions monthly
Another quick little tip and trick from yours truly is to batch all your mileage and your transactions on a weekly or monthly basis! I personally batch all of tracking mileage for shoots on a monthly basis and stay on top of attaching receipts to business transactions in Quickbooks on a weekly basis and be sure to look over it on a monthly basis to make sure I didn’t miss anything! Quickbooks makes these both a breeze so if you’re looking for an app to help track finances AND your mileage all in one, I’d definitely recommend it! Here’s the referral code to get 50% off your first year.
My last batching tip is to go through a quarterly refresh system! This refresh tackles all parts of the business from checking in on yearly goals & refreshing my vision for the business, getting a birds eye view on revenue goals, evaluating how my marketing strategy and website are converting, cleaning up my digital files & office space, checking in on how my client systems are doing and what could be fixed or added to create an even more intentional experience and a whole lot more! I created it based off of The Productivity Zone’s Fresh Start Systems and have added my own tasks as I’ve gone along. Each quarter I give myself 1-2 days to zoom out and take more of an analytical, CEO-approach to viewing how the business is running. I always end the 2 days refreshed, ready to tackle big projects in the business with clarity and direction, focused on what the next 90 days are bringing and knowing that the business is well taken care of with all of my “maintenance” tasks checked off!
If you’re looking to kick overwhelm and disorganization to the curb and ready to get started with batching within your own business but need some help knowing where to start, then check out the Resources Vault for an all-in-one approach to systemizing and organizing your photography business! The Vault walks you through putting systems in place to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine WITHOUT the headache of not knowing where to start or getting overwhelmed with the process of organizing and creating systems that work for your life and business! If you have any questions on batching in your own biz or about the Resources Vault, be sure to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!