Notification noise is a truly modern phenomenon.
Another WhatsApp message from an unrecognised number. A Facebook DM lurking in the depths of Messenger. Even a trusty, traditional text message ping can add to the sense of overwhelm and disorganisation.
For photographers dealing with daily client communications from all these different sources, this noise can quickly waste time and energy. And potentially even drown out a new enquiry that’s inadvertently missed.
The answer? Autocorrect.
Read on to discover why this humble tool could banish the confusion and chaos, revolutionising how you field enquiries.
We’ve all been there. You get a message from a prospect, let’s say via an Instagram DM. You start a conversation, all going smoothly so far.
Then you get another message, this time on WhatsApp, from the same client. The channel-hopping has begun. You now have two different threads: the initial one that’s been abandoned and the new one that’s become the preferred method of communication for them.
So to gather all the info together in one place, you need to scroll through the threads to see all the answers and information shared so far. You find yourself constantly on social media to keep on top of everything. And may even end up having to ask them the same questions more than once, adding to the time and effort drain.
With the unappealing potential for oversights and poor first impressions, it’s a communication quagmire.
Step forward your simple, straightforward saviour: autocorrect.
Adding canned responses to your phone’s autocorrect dictionary will streamline the whole process. Each tailored message will include a link to either a form or a scheduling calendar, allowing your prospect to conveniently share key information without all the tedious to-ing and fro-ing. An instant client pleaser and admin simplifier.
Depending on your services, you can set up a bank of autocorrect phrases to correspond with each specific type of enquiry:
The shortcut phrase ‘..nbenq’ could expand to a message for a newborn enquiry, including a link to a form for getting the initial vital information, like the expected due date.
Craft your own message to suit your style and approach or you can use our suggested template:
“Thanks for enquiring about a newborn session – congratulations! There are a few details that I need so I can give you details about availability. Please can you fill out this form: www.example.com/newbornenquiry
Once I’ve received that, I’ll be able to send you some more information.”
Family portrait example
The shortcut phrase ‘..fambook’ could expand to a message for someone wanting to book a family session. This would include a link to a scheduling calendar so they can pick a slot, share key information and pay for the session.
“You can pick the best time to book your family portrait session here: www.example.com/familybooking
“Looking forward to working with you!”
The form or scheduling calendar gathers the information you need and automatically brings it into Light Blue. You now have access to a single, consistent place where all enquiries live. No more multiple threads in multiple apps.
Choose phrases you won’t use in everyday texting. That way, they won’t automatically expand in the middle of writing something else. Starting with a special character also helps to avoid that, e.g. two dots followed by a memorable, relevant phrase.
Use a URL shortener like bit.ly or tinyurl to make form and booking links succinct. Your new clients will appreciate it.
How to set up autocorrect on Android
If you’ve got an Android phone, you’ll need to use Shortcuts to create your autocorrect abbreviations:
• Open the Settings menu
• Go to Language & Input
• Then tap Virtual Keyboard
• Go to Personal Dictionary
• Tap the + icon to add your message and link to a form/calendar
• Type the shorter phrase you want to connect it to in the Shortcut box
• Then, whenever you type the shortcut, your keyboard will suggest the full message so you can enter it with just one tap
How to set up autocorrect on iOS
On iPhones, you’ll need to access the Text Replacement feature:
• Open the Settings menu
• Go to General
• Then tap Keyboard
• Followed by Text Replacement
• Tap the + button to enter your full message and link, then add a concise phrase to the Shortcut box
Take the time to perfect your messages and your own tailormade shortcut dictionary will soon be ready to work it’s time-saving magic.
For more photography business tips and tricks, explore the Light Blue blog.