Today I'm continuing my series for photographers in which I share tips for organizing and systematizing your workflow. And when I say "workflow," I don't mean it in the narrow sense of post-processing. I mean the entire customer experience and set-up of our businesses. If you're just joining us, click here to find a complete list of the posts in The Workflow Series and get caught up!

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the importance of systematizing. For the next few parts of this series, I'm going to share some helpful tools that will make it easier for you to do just that. Today we're starting with the most foundational tool of all -- the workflow checklist.

A workflow checklist is key for systematizing your workflow. Using one for each and every client will help you to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and that all of your clients have a consistently high level of service. When used well, you can see at a glance where you're at with each client and what your next steps are. They help you to accomplish your larger goals such as updating your website, getting your weddings published, and providing images to vendors after the event. And they are a key part of the foundation you will need to lay in order for your business to grow. As mentioned in Part 1, when the number of clients you are serving grows beyond a handful, you simply cannot keep everything straight in your head. Having a workflow system in place that includes the use of a workflow checklist will help facilitate growth.

Our workflow checklist is a one page paper -- front and back -- created in Word. We print off one for each wedding and keep it in the client's file. The checklist is divided up into three section -- pre-wedding workflow, equipment prep, and post-wedding workflow. Ours is color-coded with the tasks that I'm responsible for in red, and the tasks that Sara, my full-time office manager, is responsible for in black. If you are working in a team environment, a workflow checklist can really help with communication between everyone working on the event. For instance, Sara can check our list to see if I've done a step that is required before she is able to do her part, without having to ask.

My workflow checklist is something I have developed, tweaked and added to over the course of my 10 years in business. When I first sat down to write out the steps I wanted to accomplish for every wedding I worked on, the list was relatively simple. Over time I have added to the list to achieve various goals and to beef up my customer's experience.

My wedding workflow checklist is available for purchase here. It may give you some ideas that would help you shape your own checklist, but you can just as easily build our own from scratch. Start today by writing down everything that you want to happen for each wedding. Do you want to deliver images to vendors? Include that on your list and think through the smaller steps involved in making this goal happen. Do you want to submit your weddings for publication? Include that on your list as well. We have several steps on our workflow checklist that allow us to accomplish these goals for each and every wedding. In addition, I have a task on my workflow checklist that helps me to make sure my website portfolio is updated with my very best and most recent work after each wedding. And we send out client surveys (which I'll be sharing more about later in this series) that help me to get valuable feedback and collect testimonials for my website from clients when they are most excited about their wedding images. These are just a few ideas for how you can use your checklist, but the sky is the limit!

Remember the key is to start your list with what you do today so that it is manageable. Don't put off starting on the road to systematizing until you are overwhelmed. Start today. Over time, as you are able to delegate and outsource more, you can add to your list and accomplish more tasks that will raise the level of your clients' experience as well as help you reach your larger business goals.

I hope you found this post helpful! I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and what has worked for you in the comments below! To find out about more resources I offer photographers, or to purchase my workflow checklist, click here!

Click here to read Part 6 of this series -- Using a Calendar for Reminders
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