Why should I use email templates in my business?

As you continue to grow your business and book new clients, you also receive an increase in your workload and tasks that must be completed. One of the tasks that takes much of your time is email communication.

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A little backstory

We have been using Amazon Web Services Platform since we moved from our own servers back in 2011.  It has come a long way since then including adding Virtual Private Cloud, a number of new instance types, Aurora, CodeDeploy, and a plethora of other services (most of which we do not have a use for right now).  Prior to November 2016, the public marketing site (what sits on tave.com root domain) and the application (manager and client access) were all in the same code base sitting on top of ElasticBeanstalk in EC2-classic, along with Memcached on ElastiCache and MySQL on top of RDS.  ElasticBeanstalk handled our provisioning and deployment and overall it served us well.

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Over the past few months, the Táve community has grown at a steady clip. New businesses and new users are discovering how Táve can drastically save them time and make them more money. With that growth, we’ve noticed that the current infrastructure (underlying structure of our systems) hasn’t quite kept up. Page loads haven’t been as snappy as we want them to be.

We’ve spent a month or so working on building a new infrastructure that we hope will drastically increase the speed of the app. In order to transition to the new infrastructure, we will be scheduling a brief maintenance window where the app will not be available.

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Managing a business is no easy feat and can quickly become overwhelming. One key to being successful is to ensure you have organizational tools in place to help you keep your priorities on track. To assist you with this, we reached out to ShootDotEdit, who helps professional photographers streamline their wedding photography business by taking post production off their plate.

When you decided to go into business, what was it about a photography career that enticed you? For many, it’s because they love shooting and creating memorable images for clients. But did you know that only about 12% of your time is actually spent on shooting? The remaining 88% of your time is spent on marketing, accounting, sales, networking, and more. And even though you started your business to fulfill your passion of photography, you actually signed up to be a business person for most of the time!

For you to focus on the things you love to do in your business, you must maintain organization and free yourself from the tasks that hold you back. Below, we have 4 tips to share that will help you get organized in your business this year.

1. Create a System for Email Communication

Since up to 30% of your work week is dedicated to organizing and sending emails in your inbox, it’s imperative you create a system for email communication. When your communication techniques are organized, it becomes easier for you to reach out to potential clients and business partners. Each morning, filter through your inbox, and prioritize and delegate the emails you have to others on your team.

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Another way to create a system for your email communication is to use templated emails, like these 49 customizable templates for wedding photographers, created in conjunction with Táve! When you use email templates, you no longer have to write out messages every time you need to communicate with a client or vendor (which will save you hours each year).

2. Write, Upload, and Schedule in Advance

Both social media and your blog are platforms you must stay active on to connect with current and future clients. To maintain consistency, you must post on social media and your blog regularly. Rather than writing blog posts, Tweets, and Facebook posts right before you want to post them, create time in your schedule to write them for the month.

From there, schedule each in advance using programs such as WordPress or Hootsuite. When you schedule in advance, you will not need to worry about remembering to actively post each day at the right time. Your stress will lower, and you can plan out exactly what you want to share on each social platform in advance.

3. Outsource Non-Profit Generating Tasks

While it may seem easier to do everything on your own since you know your business best, it’s challenging to achieve your goals while doing so. It can be challenging to let go of areas of your business, but to stay organized and grow, you must outsource tasks that do not generate additional profit for your business. These are tasks like color correction, billing and accounting, and album and website design.

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Image Compliments of Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

For example, ShootDotEdit helps you with your wedding photo editing needs, Táve assists you with managing and organizing your business, and Fotoskribe implements advanced SEO techniques on your images and blog. When you trust others with tasks in your business that do not increase your profit, you can spend that time on other areas that require your immediate attention.

4. Maintain an Organized Calendar

Although it’s a simple tool, a calendar will be your best friend to help you maintain organization in your business. Having a visual of all your shoots and clients will be a lifesaver when you are trying to figure out when you can squeeze in some time for coffee to nurture a vendor relationship. Use a calendar that is easily accessible and syncs to your phone and computer, so you always have the most updated schedule. The last thing you want to do is double-book yourself for a wedding!

Tip: You can also use a content calendar to stay organized with your upcoming blog posts, social media, and email campaigns. The calendar will give you clear insight into what you have scheduled, so you consistently share your images and resources.

By keeping your business organized, you will be able to focus on areas of your business that you want to optimize and grow. For additional ways to organize and grow your business, download our Guide, How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business!

​You can now link contacts so that they are related and become even more connected!

Linking contacts lets you have quick access to any related contacts when using any of the people dropdowns throughout the system.

You can create the relationship from the job worksheet or directly on a contact’s Address Book profile.

Once connected, any related contact will appear in the contact dropdown used in quotes, email, event attendees and more.

Event Attendees

If you’ve already added one parent as the main contact for a job, but you know their family will be attending the same event, you can quickly add them as attendees since they are connected via relationships.


Employee/Employer Relationship

One great use for contact relationships is creating employer/employee connections.

The example below uses Stanford University as the employer. Once Stanford is added to a job, I have quick access to email any of Stanford’s employees. Below is the people picker used when composing an email.

Address Book Column

If you’d like to quickly see related contacts in your Address Book, simply add the ‘Related Contacts’ column to your list and save your changes.

Relationship Types

You can create new relationship types in Settings › Relationship Types. Each type has a gender neutral, masculine and feminine form. If you select a masculine or feminine form when setting a contact’s relationship, it also sets their gender.

As always, reach out to us at Support if you have any questions!

Introducing a whole new way to get set up in Táve.

Access the all new template gallery from the Help Menu!

templategalleryIndustry Specific Setups

Táve originally started as a tool for photographers. But as the product evolved, it became clear that it worked great as a business solution for many different industries. The question became how to set up an account for these other industries. Well, now we’re making it easier than ever with our template gallery. You can browse the template gallery and install industry basics, questionnaires, quotes, contracts, automations and more. These templates are a great starting point to help you learn Táve or add stuff to your account if you’re an existing user.

How It Works

It’s pretty simple. Just browse any of the pre-made content in the gallery. When you find something you want to install, click on it. You’ll get a list of all of the pieces that will be installed. Just click install. Magic ensues. If there is an item on your account (questionnaire, quote, contract, etc.) with the EXACT same name, we’ll just use that and mark the item as ‘Used Existing’. This prevents any of your current setups from being overwritten. You won’t however get the full install. So for example, if you have a contract named ‘Wedding Contract’ and you install a template with a quote of the same name, we’ll use the existing one. You won’t get the new contract. If you’re sure you want the template contract, then simply edit your original item to change the name or delete it then reinstall.

installed

The template gallery does NOT remove any existing setup on your account, even the original defaults that came with your free trial. The template gallery does NOT have any effect on client data, jobs, etc., existing or otherwise.

To see what you’ve already installed and which user on your account installed it. Simply go to the history menu on the top right of the template gallery.

history

More To Come

We believe that this will be an extremely powerful tool to help new and existing users get the most out of their Táve account. We will be adding more content as we go, so if you’re looking for something in particular or you think of something that could be really helpful to someone else, let us know and we’ll build it for the template gallery. Just send us a message from the Help menu with your ideas.

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Valid November 25-28 only, enjoy up to 60% off Táve by prepaying for your subscription during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale.

Once again, we’re upping the discount you’ll receive when prepaying for an annual license on your Táve account. This weekend only, prepay for your account to get even more savings off.

To take advantage of the sale, simply to go Settings › Manage Subscription.

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Some of our favorite industry partners are having sales too!

Check ’em out!

Get SmartAlbums® album design software and get $100 off. Hurry, offer expires Nov 28.

Use this link and then enter the promo code 100SALE.

ShootProof

Beautiful galleries, invoices, digital contracts, integrated lab fulfillment, mobile apps, and more — all without any commission fees. Focus on what matters most, and let ShootProof take care of the rest! New customers save 40% on yearly plans, and current subscribers get 40% off upgrades through Monday.

Use this link to get these great deals.

With your schedule chock full of weddings, thinking about the holidays (let alone, holiday portrait sessions) may be the last thing on your mind (holiday season is months away, right?). Between constant shoots and fulfilling client orders, adding another project to your plate might not be on your agenda.

What if we told you we have a solution for a way that you can plan and organize holiday portrait sessions, without doing much at all… a way to streamline this entire planning process and all you had to do was press “send” on the emails…

Holiday Session Email Templates for the Wedding Photographer

Do you remember our 49 Email Templates we shared with you? Now, we have the perfect set of templates dedicated to holiday sessions that take the guesswork out of the entire process!  Our templates, created in conjunction with ShootDotEdit and France Photographers, help:

  • Make client communication a breeze with a streamlined process
  • Announce, book, and deliver holiday sessions with minimal effort
  • Provide additional income for your business during the off-season

Download the Holiday Email Templates to get started today!

These go hand-in-hand with Táve’s Quick Responses. Just go to Settings › Quick Responses and copy over these new templates to use right away!

 

Not yet a Táve user? Want to check out Táve to see how it can change your business? Use the following coupon code at the time of registering for your new trial just for ShootDotEdit users to get 20% off your month-to-month subscription for the first year*: SHOOTDOTEDIT20

*New users only

We’re really excited to announce a new option for processing payments through Táve Client Access.

You can now integrate directly with Square’s new payment gateway. Much like Stripe or Braintree, Square’s integration allows your clients to pay by credit card and have the transaction process and get recorded automatically. In order to integrate, you’ll need a Square account.

Check out this video for easy setup instructions:

Accounts Payable has arrived!

Updates with this release:

  • Expenses can now have a payee.

  • You can now specify an expense payee, category, and due date on the product editor.

  • When a quote is booked, expenses will be scheduled for the purchased products.
  • There is now a list of upcoming payments on the job’s Financials page (previously called “Income and Expenses”).
  • You can post and inline edit any upcoming payment directly on the job’s Financials page.

  • We’ve added the Financials page to address book profiles, allowing you to log expenses, record payment, or edit credit at the contact level with or without a job.

  • The Financials page has been made much more mobile friendly.
  • We added three new reports: A/P Ledger, A/P Aging, and A/R Aging.
  • The chart on the Reports homepage now includes expenses and has a cash flow line.

  • There is a new Accounts Payable widget on the dashboard so you can get a quick list of upcoming expenses.

  • The Sales Tax Liability Report now allows you to customize when revenue is recognized. In addition to the previous “upon receipt” cash-basis method supported before, you can select to have revenue recognized for tax purposes when the job is marked as completed, when the job enters fulfillment, on the event date, upon booking, or on the order’s “Sold At” date.
  • The Job Types and Lead Sources booking trend report now includes a new chart so you can compare your leads vs booked jobs in any given time period.