Read to see what we’ve invested in as a brand to grow our business. As every business owner knows – you need to spend money to make money!
We’re grateful to operate businesses that don’t include a ton of overhead. As far as investments we’ve made as a brand to grow our business, we feel so lucky to not be bogged down by multiple thousands of dollars in expenses every month. That said, we still need to spend money to make money!
There are so many facets to business ownership – aside from taxes & health insurance (the super boring and stressful stuff) – we also need to invest in the operating tools to run our websites, deliver our galleries & films, bring in new clients, edit, manage each project we book, and more.
Here are a few of the best investments we’ve chosen to make as a brand to grow our business.
Every business needs a website. We’re in love with ours! Just over a year ago, we made the switch to Pro.Photo hosting. We’ve had our WordPress theme (what you’re looking at) through them since the beginning, and when they recently restructured to a managed self-hosting platform, it was a no brainer. We got to keep our existing site and now have fantastic customer service (which has come in handy multiple times), easy customization, and one less company to split our website needs between.
We write our blogs directly on our WordPress platform and import the photos using Narrative Publish. Could we simply use WordPress for the photos, too? Sure, absolutely. And for some blogs with minimal imagery, we do! When we’re blogging full weddings however, we love the ease of Narrative’s drag and drop design, and that you can include your Alt text/image descriptions, meta descriptions, and more. Plus, it helps us create just really beautiful blog posts. Pretty is priority, isn’t it?
Among the most recent investments we’ve made as a brand to grow our business was a SEO Audit by Green Chair Stories. SEO has been one of the most baffling elements of business ownership. It hasn’t come naturally to us and as such, has been lacking across the board. When Rachel announced they were offering audits now we jumped right on it! Working with Jessica was streamlined and simple, and we’re SO EXCITED to see the improvements to our SEO scores and rankings. Now, we’re twiddling our thumbs waiting on Google to catch up to all the updates she made for us. C’mon, Google!
Photo Editing Team
The decision to outsource our photo editing has been life-changing for us. It’s helped us gain so much time back! We happily work exclusively with Photographer’s Edit using the following process: I edit all previews & cull the gallery using a star and color flagged system; the culled gallery is exported and the catalog uploaded to Dropbox, and then submitted to Photographer’s Edit. They apply the edits I’ve made on my previews and send back the completed gallery. I then spend time completing any spot edits, cropping/straightening, and creating my black and whites. I love this process as it still allows us to have a hand in each step, but saves me anywhere from 20-40 HOURS on the initial coloring of each image.
Coffee & Childcare
Okay, maybe these aren’t exactly business investments, BUT they are a necessary part (and a good chunk of money) of business ownership for us. We live and breathe by our Breville espresso maker & beans from Jackie’s Java in Fort Collins. Our babysitter is a live-saver and I won’t be sharing her information because her availability is already far too limited. 😉
We made the call back in 2019 to invest a lifetime plan from Dubsado, our Client Relationship Management system. We’ve not regretted it for a second. Dubsado is the platform we use for all booking/scheduling – it’s how we send our invoices and contracts; it’s where we keep our calendar; it keeps track of our client contact information and keeps us on track with editing, blogging, delivery, and more. We under-utilize it – but that’s only because it’s so robust. It’s a 2023 goal to implement workflows and automation. Certain our lives will be fully changed once we do that.
Content Delivery Platform
Every time we delivery a completed gallery, it’s sent through our platform, Pic-Time. We’ve been impressed with the beautiful interface, user-friendliness, and the inclusion of the print shop. We don’t currently put a lot of effort into selling tangible prints (things like albums, canvases, prints, etc), but to have the Shop included and available for clients who are interested in purchasing.
And last, but absolutely not least important – you really shouldn’t work in this industry without a solid written-by-a-lawyer contract. We’ve worked with Allie Moore with Creatives Learn Law on contracts for both Basecamp Visual & Summit Mountain Weddings and it’s been one of the best investments to grow our business that we’ve made. We’d recommend the hell out of her, but she’s making a career change, and we couldn’t be happier for her!
What would you add to this list? We’d love to hear!
*Cover photo from our photo & video storytelling session with Lauren Rich Creative.
Ready to revamp the way you share your passion or space with the world? Get in touch today to start the conversation about your Colorado brand project. We specialize in telling brand stories in the Breckenridge, Fairplay, and Buena Vista, Colorado areas *but we’ll go anywhere for the right project!* and we’d love to talk about yours.