As a professional photographer who specializes in events, weddings, and festivals, I can’t afford to miss a beat. To run my business efficiently, I need to stay completely informed on upcoming appointments and scheduled sessions, and I rely on the convenience of a number of apps to keep me up and running. They are as follows:

Apple iCal

This comprehensive calendar system allows me to set reminders and alerts that keep me on point. Another advantage of iCal is its integration with email—if I want to invite others to a particular event on my schedule, it’s as simple as the press of a button to spread the word and promote it.

Google Drive

As a business that deals primarily with people and my photos, I need a file transfer system that is cloud-based, efficient, and easy to use. Since Google is basically a household word these days, most of my clients know how to access Google Drive. This makes it really easy to send them proofs and slides, to share access to their folders, and provide links to files that are too big for email. Google Drive makes large file sharing basically effortless, and I don’t have to worry about images getting delayed in an email system because they are too large to send.

My clients love the collaborative nature of sharing Google drive, as it allows them to stay in the loop during the entire process and have quick and easy access to their images at every step. They can also send the google drive links to coworkers if photos need to be spread within their network.

Google My Business and AdWords Express

Google My Business in coordination with AdWords allows me to create ads easily and view analytics almost instantly from my iPhone. Really, Google has changed the entire game for my SEO (search engine optimization) and overall online business presence.

We all know Google is a huge organization and it’s usually very difficult to rank for competitive keywords like “professional photographer” during a search. But AdWords changes that for the better, and gives my business instant exposure to keep me relevant in search results.

With their pay-per-click advertising set up, I can design, publish, and analyze my ad’s effectiveness and choose where and how I spend my advertising dollars. Plus, Google uses its own analytics and Quality Score algorithm to determine where and when my ads get displayed. This helps with relevancy and prevents my pay-per-clicks from going to waste with people who were never really searching for a business like mine in the first place. Google AdWord’s ensures that my pay-per-click advertising is relevant and worthwhile.

Some of the benefits of using AdWords include:

1. Effortless monitoring and adaptability of your digital marketing campaign, where every parameter is quickly measurable. You get instant access to mobile search, display network, and Google search engine results.

2. Faster and more comprehensive search engine optimization (SEO) that directly translates to more business without the need to wait months for your site to climb in the rankings organically. Depending on your keywords and their relevance to your site, sometimes climbing in the search rankings is a very remote possibility at best—but with AdWords, it’s almost instant gratification.

3. Advertising cost control means you get to choose how much you invest each day, and you have a very good idea as to where your advertising dollars will place you in relation to your competitors. Google lets you in on how your investment can increase or decrease your visibility depending on your expenditures.

Facebook For Business

If you don’t use Facebook for your professional photography business, you’re really missing out on some easy, inexpensive (or free!) advertising. Facebook provides a convenient platform for sharing and storing images easily online, which in turn promotes your website and your business. It’s great for promoting events because most event planners have already created their own Facebook events and invites.

When you promote a Facebook event that you’re working, your business immediately gains more visibility each time you post a picture that gets a “like” or “share” from the group. It’s extremely interactive, allows you to keep track of and communicate with your fans and followers, and for the basic version, it’s totally free.

I’ve put some serious work into finding the perfect balance in productivity software and an internet advertising campaign, but the increase in overall efficiency and visibility in my business have made it well worth the effort.

If you have any apps that have helped you out or you think the world should know about, comment below and let us know!

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