Photographers: Using Dubsado To Book Mini-Sessions

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As a total Dubsado nerd and virtual assistant for creative entrepreneurs, I receive a lot of questions about how to use it efficiently in your business.

If you’re not sure what Dubsado is, I literally run my entire business from it. That’s right: contracts, invoices, scheduling, emails, accounting, and more…. All in one!

Dubsado has a feature called workflows, which allows you to automate parts of your business so you can spend less time in your inbox and more time doing what you love.

*Can I get an Amen?!*

One question I’ve gotten from a lot of photographers is if you can use Dubsado workflows to book mini-sessions without lifting a finger. The answer is YES! So, that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you today, everything you need to know to automate your mini-session booking process from start to finish.

Are you ready to nerd out with me?! Let’s do this!

First, you will need the following canned emails already written. Trust me, this will make everything run much smoother!:

  • Sending Contract/Welcome Email: saying you’re looking forward to working with them.

  • Confirmation Email: information about what outfits they should wear, the location of the shoot, and your (or your assistant’s) day-of contact information.

  • Session Reminder 1 Week Out: reminding them of the day and time of their session. Include the location again, and use smart fields like “appointment start date” and “appointment start time.”

  • Session Reminder 24 Hours: reminding them today is their session. Include the location again, and use smart fields like “appointment start date” and “appointment start time”.

  • Thank You Email: thanking them for their time and informing them when they will receive their edited photos.

  • Gallery Delivery: a template for you to use and customize the link per client. If you use a Gallery Delivery System that you can send emails from, you may not need this one.

  • Follow Up Email: thanking them again, asking if they like their photos, and requesting referrals and a testimonial.

Next, create a mini-session workflow. Only include the following steps in the workflow (trust me):

  • Send contract immediately after workflow begins with the “Sending Contract/Welcome Email” attached. Make sure the contract does not need to be changed per client, it has to be generic and have simple smart fields like “Client Full Name” linked in it.

  • Send “Confirmation Email” immediately after client signs the contract.

  • Send “Thank You Email” 1 day after the session.

  • Create to-do to be added to your calendar to send them “Gallery Delivery” email with their edited photos back within your typical time frame.

  • Send “Follow Up Email” 2 weeks after you will have delivered their photos.

Next, make a scheduling template with the times you can shoot. In the Advanced Settings of the Scheduler, check the box "require deposit to secure booking" and enter in the price of the shoot, which means that no one gets on your calendar until they've paid in full. Also in Advanced Settings, add two reminder emails at the bottom, 1 week before (Session Reminder 1 Week Out) and 24 hours (Session Reminder 24 Hours). After you’ve set this up, copy the scheduler (you'll see the little link button on the left when looking at your scheduling templates).

Note: From what I’ve gathered, photographers typically like clients to pay for mini-sessions in full right away because they’re discounted, which is why I’ve listed it this way. If you just want them to put down a deposit and pay the rest at a later date, when you check “require deposit to secure booking” just put in the deposit amount. Then, simply add “Create an Invoice” with the remainder whenever you’d like them to pay the rest in the workflow.

Next, create a lead capture form for the mini-session. Include fields like name, email, how many people you’ll be shooting, and whatever else you need to know about your client before you take their photo. Make sure each answer maps to a smart field, if applicable. Now, go to the Settings of the lead capture, take the scheduler link you just copied and paste it as the redirect URL. Finally, while you’re in those Settings, click “apply a workflow” and select the mini-session workflow you created.

Now, just click “share” on the lead capture form and embed the form on a mini-session booking page on your site andvoila! This way, your client process will look like the diagram below:

So friend, how does that sound?

I know, that was kind of rhetorical. Because the answer is obviously knock-your-socks-off AWESOME!

If you need any help setting this up, feel free to head over to VA for a day and book your free, 15-minute consultation with me to determine if i’m the gal to help you.

Best of luck designing your workflows and booking your mini-sessions with ease, so you can focus on taking and editing photos rather than sending emails!

If you have a photographer friend who you think would benefit from this post, I’d love for you to share the love and send it to them. Friend, I want nothing more than for photographers to stand in your place of power and let Dubsado (AKA your new personal assistant) handle the rest!