Let me just start this post by saying that I’m not affiliated with 17 Hats and am not getting paid in any way to write this. I just truly love this product and want to share my thoughts with you!
For quite a while I had heard about various client management software companies. I’m a naturally organized person (which is both a blessing and a curse), so I really didn’t think investing in software or a program was going to change anything for me.
Oh how wrong I was.
There are at least three major companies that basically all do the same things and charge roughly the same price. What I did, and what I suggest to everyone looking for something like this, is to take advantage of the free trials. Sign up, and go through the process as if you were both the business owner and the client.
I will say the the setup of 17 Hats can be a little overwhelming. But once you get everything in there, you never have to do it again, aside from small tweaks and updates to your info.
Email templates. These are seriously the best things ever. Most likely you’re sending the same basic responses over and over. When you get an inquiry, instructions on how to book with you, scheduling session times or meetings, etc. The email templates allow you to send an email with just one click and some small changes (like personalizing a name or date.)
Workflows. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t write something down like immediately, I will forget it. You can set up multiple workflows that are customized to your packages or services. For instance, I have a workflow for my weddings, engagement sessions, anniversary sessions, product orders, and second shooter jobs.
Multiple businesses. I love love love this feature! Along with my photography business, I also own a branding and graphic design business. 17 Hats allows me to have two separate accounts without paying for two. Alayna Parker Photography is my primary account, and then I have Darling Sunday linked to it. I can easily toggle between the two by a drop down menu at the top.
Branding. You can upload your logo to be used on all the documents the client sees, like invoices, contracts, etc. You can also choose the color of buttons the customer will click to match your branding colors. Another great thing about this is when you have linked accounts for other businesses, you’re able to use separate logos and colors!
Invoicing and contracts. This feature alone makes the price worth every penny! My clients love how easy it is to book, and I love how simple it is for me to send them everything they need! Clients can electronically sign their contract, pay an invoice, and see their payment schedule with just a few clicks. I don’t have to worry about printing off a paper contract, copying it, sending it to the client, they send it back, then I scan it and email them a copy. It’s all taken care of and stored in 17 Hats.
Client folders. Each client has their own project folder. I can upload files, make notes, and keep track of important contact information and details. Their contract, invoice, and workflow tasks are all stored under their folder.
Questionnaires. This is another feature that is a lifesaver! I used to spend a lot of time emailing my brides back and forth about wedding day details. Getting their timeline, shot list, and wedding day information is so easy. I can build a questionnaire with everything I need to know, save it for future use, and send it to the bride. She’s able to answer everything I need to know and write me notes or other details she wants to include.
If you have any questions about how to utilize 17 Hats, comment below and ask! While I don’t know everything about it, I’d be happy to help as best I can!
All content in this post is copyright of Alayna Parker Photography and can not be used or reproduced without exclusive permission.