Ashley is the Photographer/Owner of Baltimore Girl Photography, a Family & Brand Photographer located in the Baltimore Metro area.
The 4 Apps I Couldn’t Live Without as a Photographer, Creative Entrepreneur & Wife
As a busy Family Photographer, Branding Photographer, animal rescuer, dog mom of three & wife to an equally busy hubby, life can often get super hectic- with a capital H.
To sum it up, it weren’t for planners, technology & a weekly planning sessions with my coach on Thursdays, I would likely fall apart at the seams.
Here’s the thing, running a photography business isn’t easy. Let’s be real, running any business isn’t easy. Allow me to get a let more real, frankly, adulting in general isn’t easy. Its hard.
I WEAR MANY HATS IN MY BUSINESS, FROM FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER AND BRAND PHOTOGRAPHER TO BEING THE MARKETING TEAM & THE DAILY ACCOUNTANT, TOO.
Many think that I “just take pictures”, but let me tell you, there is SO much more to being a successful entrepreneur in photography. At a given time, I juggle a family photography business, all the while simultaneously building my Branding Photography clientele, while handling other business duties and the duties of life. As you can see, I am one busy little bee. If you are like me, I sympathize with you. It isn’t easy keeping the balls in the air.
An example of a normal month means marketing, social media, monthly profit and loss statements, filing monthly sales taxes, daily emails, email marketing, updating and managing workflows, educating myself and finally, there’s taking portraits and editing them. The “just taking pictures” part, only accounts for about 10-15% of what I actually do as a photographer.
Whatever business you might personally be in, my heart is with you, because business is hard. It’s not for everyone. However, I do have good news for you if your an entrepreneur and have found yourself reading this blog.
TODAY, I WANT TO SHARE MY FAVORITE APPS TO HELP BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY.
These are all apps that can be found on Apple or Android, that helped me level up my own biz and create more time for productivity.
QuickBooks Self Employed– First, I have to share how I manage the never ending stream of business expenses and taxes as a Photographer. While I may get some backlash for this one, because most accountants hate the SE version of QuickBooks, I love it. It is particularly great for me, as I don’t need the invoice feature because I use my Client Management system for invoices. Right now, QuickBooks Self Employed is offering new users the first three months for just $7.50, which is 50% the usual price of $15/mo. Click here to sign up. It is a truly great asset for all creative businesses, from photographers to Etsy shop owners.
Every Dollar App– Next, we have another financial application, which helps me create a budget. As a sole proprietor, my business expenses are very closely related to my personal finances since I file one tax return for personal taxes and my business. I use the Every Dollar app with a special section added in for business expenses to track our spending on both sides and to set a monthly budget for all aspects of our life. Once a week, I take a few minutes to reconcile my personal and business bank accounts with my budget and ensure that I am not spending more than I should be. This application was created by the famous Financial Guru, Dave Ramsey. It is totally free for basic budgeting, which is what I use. If you are interested in checking it out, click here.
Shipt– Let me fill you in on a fact about me, I HATE GROCERY SHOPPING. It’s time consuming. It makes me hangry and I buy way more than what I need. I cannot stick to my list with so many options for yummy stuff shoved in my face. In comes Shipt to save the day! They shop for me! While you do pay them a small fee and tip, I still spend at least $100 less a month because my hungry inner-child isn’t doing the shopping and grabbing 200 extra items like Fruit Gushers and Pop Tarts. The best part is, I can use the hour or two it would normally take me to shop to be productive in my business or on the home front. I know most moms are super busy around the house and most business are super busy building and maintains a brand, who has time for groceries. Check out Shipt today, I promise you won’t look back.
Buffer– Finally, we have Buffer, which is an utterly amazing social media scheduling tool that allows me to schedule posts to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkden all in one place with the click of a button. I schedule a whole week at a time on Sunday and for the remainder of the week, I just pop on once a day to check my notifications and interact with a few ideal clients. Scheduling in advance keeps me from hopping down the social media rabbit hole like I am Alice in Wonderland, which I would most certainly do if I had to jump on to post every morning. Check out the link below the image below to see how Buffer can help you build your brand story today.
I hope you find these apps as helpful as I do. Let me know which ones you use or want to try in the comments. Keep your heads up, stay productive & keep pushing for bigger things my friends.