Friday, April 08, 2011

After The Wedding: Salesflow/Workflow Part 7 - 10 Steps To Getting The Order Out The Door

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Late LR The beginning of this post has changed about 3-4 times over the last two days as the bear kept nipping at my heals all day yesterday and again today.  I was sure I could get the post up but it was another day of too much going on and too little time to complete the project.

I had a meeting with one of my favorite clients in the morning to discuss her daughter’s upcoming wedding. I photographed this upcoming bride and her sister’s Bat Mitzvahs years ago.  It will be really fun to have the opportunity to be apart of Allyson's exciting wedding celebration and reconnect with the family again in September.

Fifteen minutes before the FUSION webcast was to begin I was just wrapping a meeting with my coaches for next week's Digital Master Class [link].  From that meeting, we went right into the webcast "Fusion Now More Than  Ever" with Ariane Fisher and everyone loved it!  See following post to view it again.

PhotoPro Summer-School Today I'm working on putting the finishing touches on our PhotoPro Summer School.  PhotoPro Summer School [link] is an unprecedented educational, social, entertaining experience happening in Lexington, Kentucky this summer.  We've got a great line up coming your way July 9, 10, 11, & 12, 2011. You can read more about it in a post to follow below.

So, today I just decided to wait till I had all my ducks in a row before hitting the “POST” button.  The bottom line is this – you have one heck of a lot of content in today’s posts.  I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy all you find here today.  I’ve split all the info into three posts which should populate soon so you can easily bookmark what appeals to you most.  Hope you like the reads – ENJOY!!!

Here're we go...

After The Wedding: Salesflow/Workflow Part 7 - 10 Steps To Getting The Order Out The Door

Today also marks the last in the series of articles I've been doing on studio salesflow/workflow.  After the selling, the rest is pretty easy. 

Sales Groth The last two articles were probably the most important in the series.  I discussed sales.  No, more importantly, I discussed success.  That's pretty hard to come by in today’s market if your a  wedding photographer. Currently, up to 80% of wedding photographers are doing it part time.  That was not surprising to here when I read it yesterday morning right here at the PhotoLoveCat blog.

So I hope you will re-read those last two posts - they are important if you want to make photography more that just a passing fancy.

So now let's move into a bit more of the workflow.  What happens after the client selects their gift images and images for their album?  Time to go to work.

1. The first thing to take care of is the billing.  I review all sales with our bookkeeper who will ready invoices and ask for deposits for the additional orders. 

2. Next I review any special client requests with Jennifer, my studio manager.  It's up to her going forward to get the order out to the client in a timely manner. This meeting will include any special retouching/image enhancement requests, album design preferences, and whatever else we need to accomplish guaranteeing that the order will look spectacular for our client. She'll make the notes and ask for clarifications as needed. Now it's into production.

Lightroom Network YES 3. We have Lightroom 3 running on a network in my studio so the process is pretty simple. Here is the link to how we accomplished that right here.  Be sure to check all related links at the end of this article for a follow up Lightroom link too.The first chore is move through all the selected images and get them looking great in Lightroom.  We spend most of our time in Lightroom only heading over to Photoshop for the heavy lifting like exit sign removal, head swaps, liquefy requests, etc. 

4. Once the image adjustments and enhancements are complete, another of my team, usually LaDawn puts a second pair of eyes on these corrections and enhancements. This helps us really fine tune the images.  If something was overlooked or a bit askew color-wise, the review by a second person will usually find anything overlooked with the the first pass. It's a great policy for really having your images the best they can be for your client.

WF - LumaPix5. The next step in the production process is the album design. This now falls to LaDawn - she is such an expert in this department.  Our software of choice is unequivocally LumaPix: PhotoFusion. LumaPix is simply the fastest design software on the planet earth.  By the way, I just talked with the good folks at LumaPix and we can now offer LumaPix at a SPECIAL PRICE through our Digital Resource Center with the purchase of our Lights, Camera, Action Package.  More details right here.

DAZNOTE:  I posted a very detailed webcast on album design and LumaPix right here - just hit the PLAY button below to watch the show again.  I need to point out that this webcast was aired during my Captured By The Light Tour [link] when we were offering LumaPix at even a slightly more reduced price. 

The PRICE SPECIAL is the best we can do now, but it still the best price anywhere for the software.  I'm not trying to make this a commercial, just trying to avoid any confusion with some of the talking points in the video. 


By the way, you can find the first LumaPix Webcast right here – both are a little long but really worth the watch.

WF album0 6. LaDawn can have a 200 image album design knocked out in about 5 hours - I told you LumaPix was fast!  Once designed, she'll let it bake for a bit and then come back to it the next day for additional revisions. 

Once complete, you guessed it - another "pair of eyes" takes a peek at the design. That's usually Jennifer, but I sometimes get involved at this point. Once again, this second look let's us refine the design even more. It's this policy that let's us push the look of our finished product up to Mercedes Benz level of quality.  Sure all these extra steps take time, but that's the product I choose to deliver to my client.

7. QImage UOnce the album gets the final staff OK, it's time to render the pages out of LumaPix.  We export the album pages as Quality 12 JPEGS.  It's takes a few minutes of computer processing time but is rarely an inconvenience.  The page images are then transferred over to our printing computer where they are queued up in the QImage software - about $99 and then sent to our Canon iPF 8100. We prefer QImage to RIP software because of it's convenience and inexpensive price.

8. The album pages are printed three to a sheet.  WF - SheetsWe cut the album pages into individual pages so they can be easily fed through our coating machine.  You've got to coat inkjet prints to guarantee print durability and longevity.  Our coated prints mounted in a Zookbinder’s album have a shelf life of over 200 years!!! That's quite a value proposition for our clients. Now even great-great-great grand-daughter will be able to see the original album in all it's full color glory.  Isn't technology wonderful.

WF Coating machine 9. Once pages are coated, we do the final trim, check for accuracy one more time, securely package all pages for shipping, and send to Zookbinders for final album assembly.

10. A few weeks later, the album arrives and is checked again.  We gather the rest of the ordered prints, add promo materials (i.e. family/baby portrait offers), check invoice for accuracy, and call the client to set up an appointment for final delivery.  The rest is history - the client loves the finished result and hopefully is showing her album all around town telling her friends and family how much she loves the album and what a great experience it was working with David A. Ziser Photography ;~)

Related Links:

Business Day Thursday: FREE Webcast Today & Running Your Business after The Wedding Shoot - Part 1
Business Day Thursday: After The Wedding - What Happens Next: Part 2
Business Day Thursday: After The Wedding: What Happens Next - Part 3
Business Day Thursday: After the Wedding: Workflow – Part 4
Business Day Thursday Continued On Friday: After The Wedding: Workflow - Part 5
After The Wedding: Workflow - Part 6, Making The Sale Or How To Be An Order Maker, Not An Order Taker
Technique Tuesday: Lightroom Jailbreak - Running Lightroom 3 On A Network
Friday: Lightroom 3 - BIG Crashes and Easy Fixes

Hey gang, that's it for me today.  There's a ton of information in today's post so I hope you enjoy the read and the videos.  Next week we begin my Master Class so things will once again be a bit hectic. Be sure to stop back - I should have some great images for you to see and a story or two to tell.

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you next week,  David

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