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Workflow bundle for managing client expectations for delivery timescales

In this blog post we look at dealing with a particularly busy editing workload and how you can buy yourself some breathing space by managing your client’s expectations using some email templates and workflow messaging.

Below is a workflow that you can add to your own Light Blue account and apply to all your upcoming shoots, which will then email your clients at the right time to update them on the progress of their images and remind them of your turnaround times. That means you don’t need to constantly answer questions about when images will be ready, saving you valuable time and energy.

Downloading and installing the workflow

  1. Download the workflow bundle from here (download the entire .zip file)
  2. Unlock/expand the .zip file and save the enclosed folder to your desktop
  3. In Light Blue 2021.2 (or later) click Records > Import > Light Blue Template(s)
  4. Select all of the files within the folder you saved in step 2.
  5. Open Light Blue’s Workflow preferences and see that the “-sample editing progress update” workflow has been added to your workflows
  6. Change the Type of the workflow to be a “Shoot Date Workflow” – these messages will be sent relative to the date of the shoot.
  7. Read the steps below for customising the templates

Customising the templates to suit your business

The email templates within the workflow are written as a good starting point, but you should review them to make sure they are accurate for you (i.e. you may operate a different turn around time on your editing) and fit your tone of voice (the way that I write may not sound like the way you write).

Here’s how to check & customise the workflow & templates:

  1. Select the “-sample editing progress update” workflow in your Workflows preferences
  2. Double-click on the first email, which is scheduled for the day after the shoot, click on the “Open Template” button
  3. Read through the email template, adjust the wording so that it sounds like it’s from you and the details about estimated delivery times are correct (different people have different turnaround times, so we’ve used a typical example)
  4. Return to the Workflows preferences, select the “-sample editing progress update” workflow again
  5. Double-click on the first email, currently scheduled for 10 days after the shoot.
  6. Change the Offset if your clients are usually getting in touch for an update earlier than 10 days after the shoot, and/or your delivery time is shorter than 10 days. The point of this message is to contact your client before they feel like they need to contact you.
  7. Click on the “Open Template” button
  8. Read through the email template, again, adjust the wording so that it sounds like it’s from you and the details about estimated delivery times are correct.
  9. You’re now ready to add the workflow to your existing shoots.

Adding the workflow to existing shoots

This workflow pack is specifically designed for wedding photography. If you shoot various different types of work, you may only wish to apply this workflow to your weddings.

The bundle you installed includes a query that finds all confirmed weddings that are happening after today. Here’s the steps to apply the workflow to all of those shoots:

  1. Go to the Shoots section of Light Blue
  2. In the left-hand column, at the bottom of the Saved Queries list, click on the query called “Confirmed Weddings after Today”
  3. Check the list of shoots to make sure that it’s accurate
  4. Click on the Records menu > Add to Found Set > Workflow
  5. Single-click on the “-sample editing progress update” workflow – don’t double-click
  6. Change the Relative to field to “Shoot Start Date”
  7. Then click add
  8. The workflow will now get added to all of your weddings that are confirmed and in the future, emails will be sent to your clients automatically the day after the shoot & 10 days after the shoot (or whenever you changed the offset to when customising the workflow).

Updating your existing shoot workflow for new bookings

To incorporate the email templates in to your existing shoot workflow, open your workflow preferences, select your existing shoot workflow and add the additional steps to the workflow using the email templates in the bundle.

Note that changing a workflow doesn’t affect shoots that already have that workflow applied. These changes will affect shoots that are booked after making the change.

Using email template snippets

The bundle also includes an email snippet which you can include in email conversations that you’re having with your clients. This is useful for delivering a consistent message to your clients without having to type the same thing again and again.

Check that the snippet’s wording is suitable by opening the Email Templates preferences, selecting the template called “-sample snippet editing turnaround” and then tweaking the template to suit you.

To use the snippet, create an email (or start replying to a client’s email) in Light Blue, start typing your message then click on the Insert Email Template button and choose the snippet.

Finish writing your email and hit send.

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