Spring cleaning for your wedding business in four key areas of your business

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Today we’ll be talking all about spring cleaning. Yes, you read that right. We are going to spring clean refresh and get rid of some very important things inside of our business that we no longer need and we want to make sure is up to date and ready to go for the busy summer and fall seasons.

I’m super excited to be sharing with you some of the checklist items I’ve collected over the years, whether I have done them weekly, monthly, quarterly. Some of these things I do yearly. I divided it up into five sectors that we can discuss all dealing with the backend of your business, the more admin things in your wedding industry business that you may want to clean out this spring.

Area One: Organizing and cleaning out your general business items

Auditing your finances & softwares

So the first sector we’re going to talk about is general business items, and what I wanted to touch on first is actually auditing your finances and your softwares.

Have a detailed spreadsheet that you can keep track of all of your financial income, expenses, and revenue projections.

So on the finance side, if you don’t already get yourself a spreadsheet, it is so important. I have one and I live and die by this spreadsheet. It is so freaking good with keeping up with my wedding business finances, my design business finances, and even my personal finances. That when I go and do my taxes for the year, I don’t stress like everybody else because everything is put into this spreadsheet and it literally keeps me sane categorizing everything and the details of everything.

I touch this spreadsheet every month, or at least try to. If I don’t do it every month, I definitely do it every quarter and I put down all of the expenses that I’ve had and I categorize everything. Every time I get a new project, I put in the project information there, spread it out within each of the months if they have a payment plan, and then I’m able to project what i’m making each month. It also shows me my business profit, my gross income, my net income, all of that fun stuff. It calculates all of that for me. So if you don’t have a spreadsheet like this for your finances, I’m telling you. You’re missing out.

If it’s something that you’re interested in looking at mine for, I can totally add it to my shop, or if you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to send that over to you.

Clean out & reorganize your softwares & tools to save you time in your business

So let’s dive into your softwares. Take a look at what you’re paying for currently with your softwares and tools. What are you paying for that you don’t actually need? Look at the softwares and tools that you have subscriptions to. Do you use everything? Could you get rid of some of the things? Is it unnecessary? Did you think you were gonna use something but you’re not actually using it?

Get rid of the subscriptions you don’t need in your business anymore

If you are not using it, you probably already paid for the subscription. A lot of them and nowadays are yearly subscriptions, so it’s not like you would want to cancel it. So I would challenge you to either try to put more time into that software and see if it’s something that can really work for you and you just haven’t really dove into it because it has felt overwhelming, or I would suggest making a note of it, creating a Google Calendar event about a week or two before that subscription actually ends, and make a note in there that you don’t want to renew it, and then you can go ahead and cancel it later in the year when it’s closer to that time.

Consolidate your tools where you’re able for more efficient workflows & to save you money

Also with softwares I want you to look at if there’s any softwares or tools that you can actually combine into just one software, one platform. I am a big fan of consolidating where we spent our time. That’s why I love of love Click up. It replaces so many different things for me inside of my business. It allows me to cut costs on so many different things such as time. You are losing energy and focus by having to go from one platform to another or from one tab to another. So click up is seriously my holy grail. Two of the biggest things that it helps me save money on is one – it actually has the ability to record your screen and store it inside of your click up. This is replacing something like Loom, which is incredible and that would be another expense that I don’t have to pay for because I have it in click up.

Another thing is it has automations already inside of it, and so I don’t have to use something like Zapier. Because most of what I wanna do with Click Up is either inside of Click Up or if I’m going outside of Click Up, I use another platform that’s actually free. So I set that up once and I don’t touch it again. And so click up is really saving me in a lot of ways. It also has docs, which will replace Google Docs. I still use Google Docs for certain things in my business, but I don’t actually pay for a full subscription of Google because I don’t have to, because more of my mundane items that I would use docs for that would take up unnecessary Space is actually housed inside of Click Up. It also allows me to embed a bunch of different views and spreadsheets and a bunch of different things that I can just stay inside a click up.

If you’re paying for like 10 different softwares or tools, look around, see if there’s any softwares or applications that can kind of reduce the number of subscriptions that you have so that you’re financially not spending as much money.

Review and test automations inside of your

The next general business item that I wanted to talk about is to actually review and test any automations that you might have inside of your business. I use the free version of Zapier only for my Dubsado, because unfortunately dubsado has to have Zapier, so I use Zapier just to trigger that I have a new client, and that gets sent to click up, and then click up starts to do automations inside of there.

Second place is make.com it’s kind of like Zapier, but it allows way more flexibility and more steps and more filters than Zapier does on the free version. So I don’t pay for that either, which is really nice. And then of course you also have automations inside of Dubsado & Click Up. So just make sure you look at all of your platforms, look at all of the workflows that you have inside of your business and review and test those.

Lastly, clean out your email inbox

The last thing inside of the general business items is going to be about your email. First and foremost get your inbox to zero. The second thing I want you to organize your email into different inboxes or filters, I think is what they call them on Gmail or tags. Maybe they call them tags, I don’t know, whatever they call those little flaggy looking things on the Gmail, and if you are using. Yahoo or any of those other ones, I’m sure they all have some sort of folder system. I personally use Gmail, so that’s what I’m going to be referring to here, but I’m pretty sure that each platform has their own variation of this. So for Gmail specifically, you can actually set different conditions to filter your inbox automatically. What I tend to do is every time I get a new client, I filter that client’s email into a specific folder so that I know exactly where to find their emails, especially during their project timeline. There’s going to be so many emails going back and forth, and this is the best way for me to know exactly where to go when I’m communicating with my clients during that project.

Area Two: Is getting your digital life chaos in order.

So the second area or section that I wanna go over is your digital life. This is so good and so crucial to kick overwhelm in the ass because I don’t know about you, but when I see a shit ton of files on my desktop or my random folders on my computer, or I start to get that notification on my phone, I start to freak out and get super overwhelmed. Are you one of those people who has random files everywhere? Because that could not be me. You’ve been blessed with the Don’t give a shit gene. That stresses me out seeing files all over the place and it not having a certain location that it needs to be in.

Start with the basics. Your computer.

So the first place that I want you to start in your digital life is cleaning out your computer. So that’s your desktop, your downloads, documents, et cetera. Get rid of any files that you no longer need. Go through delete ’em from your trash, okay? Don’t be scared to trash something, especially if you no longer need it. File things away into the correct folders. Get you a clean space to work with so that you can feel refreshed and ready to work.

Then go through your client primary hard drive

The second thing I want you to focus on in your digital life is to organize your primary drive. So as creatives, we mostly use drives to keep us organized, whether that’s a Google Drive, a Dropbox, a external hard drive, ect. We are organizing our files and sessions and all that fun stuff onto some sort of drive. So I want you to organize your folders appropriately. Be descriptive, but don’t go overboard. We don’t want super long drives and folders and files, but we do wanna be very descriptive and very precise on where each thing is.

So for me, I have a bunch of different parts of my business, for instance. On my hard drive I have things like Lenya Creative that houses all of my design business things. So that would be things like my clients, my design files, or any helpful files that I use in order to carry out my client work, any templates and documents for design work. I also have Rebel Dawn Media, that is my wedding photography and wedding videography business. I do still get some clients every now and then, and so all of those weddings and documents and templates all live inside of that folder. I also did artists and musicians and so all of their work is also inside of Rebel Dawn Media. And then I also have the podcast folder, so all of my podcast stuff lives in there. I have things for freebies and courses that I’ve taken. All of those are in different folders. And then I also have a CEO folder, that’s Rebel Dawn Media as my LLC and so all of my like business documents and all of that kind of stuff lives inside of there.

How I organize my wedding business folder files

So to take you further into my wedding, Business folder, because I know you guys are wedding industry people. I’m gonna go into my current weddings folder. So I have a weddings inside of my Rebel Dawn Media. I then have weddings and inside of weddings I have the year, so this would be 2023. Then inside of there I have the client. So I have the date_client name and then inside of there I have folders for documents, photography, videography, and finals. I will delete either photography or videography if they’re just getting one or I’ll do both.

Photography file layout

Inside of my photography, I would have a raws, and then inside of raws I would have each camera inside of there my two cameras, my second shooter’s camera, et cetera. Then I have a sneak peak folder. And inside of sneak peak, I would have the culled sneak peaks and the edited sneak peak. Then I would have the full gallery folder. And inside of the full gallery, I would have culled and the full and the mobile version of those.

Videography file layout

I would have a folder for audio, a folder for video, a folder for. Project files and a folder for final files. So I would export all of my final videos into that folder, because let’s be real, there’s typically like 10 different versions of the video. So that’s just some of the examples that I use for my. File organization on my primary drive.

I also make it very clear and organized for the files that I’m sending my clients. So for my design business, I have all of my folders neatly organized for my clients so that they also know how to navigate and where to go within each of those folders. And so, If you are delivering any files to your clients, make it really clear about what files you are showing them.

Clean out your camera roll & bookmarks

The last two things I wanted to touch on really quick for your digital life is to clean out your camera roll. I like to do this when traveling, specifically when I’m on a plane or in the airport. But you should probably do it more like monthly or quarterly. As business owners it can really catch up to us with all the screenshots and downloads of projects and all that kind of stuff on top of just deleting old photos or unnecessary images from our phone. I also recommend creating folders for the important ones so that you can easily access them when using them for something like social media or you want quick access to them, organize them into folders.

Then the last thing inside of the digital life is clean out your browser bookmarks. If you’re anything like me, you bookmark literally everything, and half the time you don’t ever touch it again. So just go through those bookmarks, get rid of any of those that are cluttering up your bookmarks bar. That way you are clean, fresh, and you can actually get to the things you need to get to.

Area Three: Detox your instagram

The first thing is update your profile photo. Very important to keep that up to date, make sure it’s front facing. Make sure they can see your face. Second thing is, refresh your bio and make sure it’s optimized. Make sure it’s clear what you do, who you do it for, and where they can go to learn more and inquire for your service. The third thing is to update your stories. I’ve been loving the stories that are more like you’re going through a website, you know, having one that says services about us, you know, more than the stereotypical, like BTS travel. Those kinds of things. I really like the portfolio, the about the services, those kinds of things. That’s also really great for my people who don’t have a website or don’t really feel strong in their website right now, but want something to be able to showcase what they do and communicate a little bit more. That’s a great way to do that without having a full fledged website right now, if that’s just not really in your budget. If you’re maybe a newer photographer or a newer event planner, I would definitely recommend having stories that are kind of giving that same vibe as a website where you are directing people to like, Hey, look here, do this. Be really clear with the actions and the personality inside of those stories.

The fourth thing is to organize your saved content inside of Instagram. So I love to save things on Instagram, and if you didn’t know this already, you can actually go to see all of your saved content and you can actually create folders to categorize everything. So I like to create different folders. I’m looking at my phone right now and I have things like. Yeah, Instagram feed inspo, educational posts, trending reels, et cetera, so you can make any of those different folders that are relevant to your content. It could be like photography inspiration, or feed inspiration, or website inspiration, whatever it might be. You can create different folders inside of Instagram. I really like that feature. The next thing is to unfollow or mute the people that you keep comparing yourself to. This is a big, big, big one. So if you didn’t know, you can actually mute people on Instagram. Just do a quick little Google about how to mute somebody that you’re following because it’ll be really hard for me to explain on this podcast. I’m sure looking on Google will show you real quick, and this is so important to keeping your mental health well, keeping your mental health afloat. It’s not good to sit there and compare yourself all the time. So spring cleaning is your time to detox and get rid of things that you don’t need in your life anymore and unfollowing people who you’re comparing yourself to or who don’t align with your values and keep distracting you and your business. Get rid of ’em. Just toss ’em out the window, forget they ever exist, because you do not have to be like everybody else. And if these people are telling you to be a certain way, you need to get them out of your earshot so that you aren’t distracted and you’re not going away from your true self.

All right, now we’re coming up on the fourth and fifth areas to a spring clean in your business, my absolute favorites, which are websites and backend processes.

Area Four: Update and refresh your website.

I know it can be scary. I know that you are going to be pushing off these items for so long, but this is your reminder that you need to update your website this spring. Whether you hire a professional like me or if you do it on your own. Set aside some time to update your website. Tell yourself you’re gonna get some Starbucks after you get it all figured out to treat yourself. Do whatever you gotta do to touch your website.

Your pricing & deliverables

First thing is to update your pricing and deliverables. We are all evolving. We are all changing. So sometimes we figure out what we want to keep inside of our packages, maybe what we want to add on top, and maybe some things we wanna get rid of. So update your pricing, update your deliverables, make sure it’s clear what people are gonna get. Especially if you have it all laid out on your website. I would hate for them to go to your website, think they’re getting one thing, and then go to inquire with you and fill out a form and it be completely different.

Second, refresh the beautiful images throughout your sight

Chances are you’ve probably had a branding session or you had some. Amazing images from one of the recent sessions that you’ve had, especially if you haven’t touched your website in a year. You definitely have had some new style changes or some more epic images that you want to showcase, so go ahead and refresh those images.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to update your portfolio

So if you have just one page for your portfolio and it’s just a list of images, go ahead and refresh all of those images while you’re thinking about the images on your site. Add a new and fresh blog or gallery post or maybe a few because if you haven’t touched it in a year, you’ve probably had some amazing and beautiful weddings that you want to update on your portfolio so make sure that you blog about it, boost that seo, boost that client trust and showcase your beautiful images.

Next, update your testimonials & frequently asked questions

You’ve probably got some amazing new love from your clients that you’ve had. They probably have said some amazing things in how beautiful and amazing you are. So make sure you are updating your website with some of those testimonials. Update the FAQ pages. There’s probably some questions that you’ve had since you’ve last touched your website that you can add to your website. Now that you’ve had a little bit more experience and have worked with a little bit more people, you probably have had more questions come up. So write those on your website.

Last, making sure your website is visually up to date

Make sure your website still represents the business, your brand, what you stand for, and your branding is actually used throughout the site. What good is having a website if it doesn’t accurately represent you and the work that you do? Get rid of the distractions and graphics or texts that distract your viewers your visitors from the actual goals and purpose of your website. I know that these things can be very beautiful and pretty. It can also be very distracting if it’s not done properly for your clients to kind of feel suffocated on your website and not paying attention to the things that they need to be paying attention to. So just run through your website, take a look at it, see if you get distracted by other things, or if you are able to actually read the content and navigate the content well.

Area Five: The backend processes that run your whole wedding business

I wanna focus on four phases of your process when we’re thinking about some things that we can clean out or organize or refresh.

1. The Inquiry Phase

The first thing I want you to do is purge those unnecessary questions from your inquiry form. Chances are you’re asking some questions that your clients don’t have to answer before getting on a call with you or looking at their pricing if you are going to ask them about them and their story and get some personal details. The very least you can do is actually use that information when responding to their inquiry. Do not make them do more then you are willing to do for them. Minimize the friction that might be happening in your inquiry phase. Second, update your galleries with examples on your inquiry email. Update your client email with the correct booking links and delete and archive cold leads that say they’re going a different direction or just kind of ghosted you as we would call it. The last thing inside of the inquiry phase I want you to refresh is actually refresh where you’re putting your marketing efforts. So I want you to run an analysis on where your leads are actually coming from, and I want you to clean up where you’re actually putting your marketing efforts.

2. The Proposal Phase

In this phase I want you to update your pricing so that it matches kind of like what we did on your website, and same thing for the packages. Make sure it’s accurate, make sure you make any changes that you now are wanting to actually carry out for your clients. Maybe do an audit of your packages in pricing and see if it still aligns or if you need to make some adjustments. The third thing is to make sure your content on your proposal is actually relevant. Make sure it’s clear, it’s concise, and it’s relevant, and the messaging is still accurate to where your brand is today. Fourth thing in the proposal phase is to update your contract y’all. I’m sure that you have experienced some crazy shit lately or any crazy incidences. Maybe they left you a PB and J sandwich for dinner and you were like hell-to-the-no. We are getting a full meal next time. Make sure you put that inside of your contract and update any contract clauses that you want to make sure that you address for future weddings.

Next, Clean up your follow up sequence. Now, this is a hot take. This is one that we all kind of talk about and we’re unsure of, but I personally recommend three to five follow ups. You’re not being annoying. We are all busy humans. We all have shit going on, and especially during wedding season and wedding planning. Our lives are a complete mess during this time. And I say our because I currently am a bride at the time of recording this podcast. So I currently know that it’s not annoying to follow up. And if anything, it allows them to respond back to you and say, we decided to go a different direction. So I recommend three to five follow ups, maybe even seven. And I also recommend doing the follow ups 24 hours after. 48 hours and then a little bit further in the future because like I said, we get busy. So do a few really quick follow ups and then follow up a week, two weeks later so that it gives them a little bit of breathing room. If they weren’t super eager to book at the beginning, then shit probably happened and they might be looking a little bit later on. So that’s all I have for the proposal phase.

3. The Project Phase

The first thing here is I want you to take a look at your current client project workflows and check to see if there are any unnecessary steps that you can throw out or maybe that you can combine to maximize your time. Auditing and looking at your project workflows is super helpful in making sure that you are efficient, but also providing that higher end experience. Jot down everything on a piece of paper and then see, okay, what do I not really need or what can I combine? Or maybe even, what can you add, remove any outdated or irrelevant forms and any unnecessary questions inside of those forms. So kind of like the inquiry form, I want you to make sure that everything that you ask is very intentional and with purpose, so that you’re not causing any friction or resistance from your clients.

You’ll also want to get rid of any canned emails that you’re no longer using. So if you have 50 emails, That are in your library, whether that’s on Gmail or on a project management system, like Dubsado or HoneyBook, make sure you are putting the old emails away into maybe an archive library somewhere that could be on a Google Drive, on a Google Doc inside of something like Click up or Notion, whatever you’re using, and you can revisit it another time. But I would really recommend getting rid of the emails that you don’t need inside of your actual project management system so that it’s not distracting you.

4. The Off Boarding Phase

So in the off boarding phase I want you to archive any projects that you’re not currently working on to clean up your space. So this might be any projects that you’ve completed, make sure they’re archived and out of the way so that it doesn’t get in your way when you’ve got 50 awesome projects going on at one time, archive them. It’s going to get saved, but it’s going to be out of your immediate view. Second thing is to make sure that you send a direct link to leave a review. So whether that’s on Google wedding wire, Facebook testimonial forms, et cetera, make sure that there’s a direct clear link for your clients to leave a review so that other people will trust and love you as much as that client did. We all know that it’s really, really helpful for your business to have reviews, so make it very, very clear. Don’t be afraid to ask them multiple times because they can get really busy, so follow up with them. The very last thing I wanted to give you guys and this checklist is to clean up your post-project process. Create a comprehensive list of all the items and tasks that you need to do after your wedding day has come to an end. So make a list of all the items, whether that is creating a blog post, backing up all of the files, making sure that you have actually downloaded the the full resolution gallery, the full web version gallery is all backed up and that It’s on three different drives, and if you are a gift giver, make sure you have a gift on the list. Make that post project comprehensive list and then add it to your project software or your Google Calendar whenever you are first creating that project. So inside of something like Dubsado or HoneyBook, you can create an automated to-do list. But if you’re doing it by hand, you can create a Google Calendar event inside of Google Calendar and put it on the date that is X number of days after. The due date of the gallery, and then make sure to actually have reminders so that you actually get it done and you’re reminded that, oh shit, I need to get this done.

To wrap it up

I know that that was a lot to take in. There were so many different items that I listed out and talked about today, but lucky for you I actually have a full comprehensive checklist of over 70 items to spring clean your backend business below.

I also wanna share with you my done for you HoneyBook or Dubsado setup services which you can read more about here. A full Dubsado, or HoneyBook setup comes with everything from setting up the packages, emails, proposals, pricing guides, workflows, audits, automations, and way more.

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