Guest Article: Three Things You Could Do Today, IF You Weren’t Sitting At Your Desk EDITING

Three Things You Could Do Today, IF You Weren’t Sitting At Your Desk EDITING
by Kate Byars

This is part 2 of a 2 part series. Read part 1 here.

When you first outsource your editing and editing-related tasks (color correcting, retouching, laying out albums), you’ll be in for a bit of a shock. By hiring someone to do those things for you, you free up a lot of empty calendar time which wasn’t there before.

No doubt you’ll be wondering: What do I do with that time? And, if you were like me when I first outsourced, you’ll also be asking yourself, “Why am I paying someone to do my editing when it appears that I have plenty of time to knock it out during the week?” In essence, there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth as you wail, “WAS IT ALL WORTH IT???!!!”

Yes, dear photographer, I have been there.

But, let’s rewind and review why you outsourced in the first place:

  • You were spending entire weeks editing.
  • You wanted to grow your business.
  • You wanted to start being the CEO and Art Director of your company, instead of spending most of your time being the Order Filler.

And, most importantly:

  • You recognized that if you spend your week editing, your company will most likely not exist in a few years because you have not had the time to get new clients.

In the time that I used to edit, I now sit down with a cup of coffee and make a list of Business Building Activities that I can do that week. Here are a few of my latest. I hope they help you too!

Get On The Happy Client Bandwagon
Once upon a college part-time job, I was a Starbucks barista. One of the biggest ‘take-aways’ from that time was learning an internal company slogan that Starbucks baristas live by: “We want to surprise and delight our clients.” Wow! What? Starbucks doesn’t want to just make and serve coffee well. They want to create unexpected joy for the customers that walk in their door. I love that.

Each quarter, I dream up a way to “Surprise and Delight” my photography clients. I use Shoot Q, an online client database and workflow manager to keep track of all the clients that I have had to date. When I am ready to drop some joy and delight into my clients’ mail or email inboxes, I pull up all of the notes, addresses and other information I need on each client to send something extraordinary.

Get Your Education On
Most of us photographers don’t have a Masters Degree in “The Business of Photography” (Does that even exist? If so, sign me up!). So, it’s up to us to educate ourselves on both business and photography. Erin Verbeck, of The Joy of Marketing often says, “Give Yourself an MBA in business books!” I agree!

My latest read is “Rework” by 37signals. It’s an especially good pick for those of you that are new to the business of photography and need to make a bit of a paradigm shift away from corporate culture and toward the freedoms of entrepreneurship.

Make Extra Sure You’ll Be In Business Tomorrow
If you are going to be in business tomorrow, you need to think about getting new clients today. Time for new lead generation is THE most important reason that I outsourced. For an easy way to get started on thinking in this direction, check out this Joy of Marketing webinar where one of my favorite photographers and business women, Sarah Petty, talks about this.

Kate Byars headshotKate Byars is an Atlanta-based photographer specializing in South Asian weddings and in interior-design focused family portraiture. Visit her at