The 2 Systems You Need to Bring Freedom and Magic to Your Business with Dolly DeLong

Systems and workflows are something most of us know we need, but they can be intimidating (and honestly a little boring). I love that systems can bring freedom, flexibility, and an elevated client experience to your business! In this episode, Dolly DeLong joins us to share candidly about what it has looked like to implement systems into her business so that she can lead a call to both life!

Called to Both is brought to you by Joy Michelle, mom of two and multi-passionate entrepreneur who’s on a mission to help others find balance between the worlds of motherhood and business. Called to Both is the podcast for women who have big business ambitions and also want to be intentional and present moms. At Called to Both, we truly don’t believe you have to choose between these two worlds tugging at your heart You can be Called to Both.

You can stay up to date with the Called to Both Podcast by subscribing on Apple Podcast App, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player!

Interested in joining the Systems and Workflow Magic Summit mentioned in this episode, make sure you grab your free ticket below!

How Systems Have Allowed Dolly a Called to Both Lifestyle

Since becoming a mom, Dolly’s business has shifted, forcing her to rely on systems in her business. Right now, she’s working between 10-15 hours a week with very random hours. She works around nap time with her baby while her oldest is in school.

The only way that she would be able to work so few hours and still run her business is due to the systems that she has set up. When she went full-time in her business, she was expecting her first child, which was why she established systems early on in her business.

To be honest, Dolly’s first maternity leave was a failure—she didn’t have nearly as many systems set up in her business as she thought she would need and found herself working. That’s why when she was expecting her second child, she knew she needed to establish even better ones.

Systems for Freedom in Your Business

As you’re establishing the systems you need in your business to help create freedom, Dolly has encouragement around where you should start. The two systems that she believes are essential include:

  • Finances
  • Client Journey

Creating a Financial System

When she was expecting her first child, her boss announced to the company that she would be leaving them (without her choice or resigning). That forced her to go into business full-time. She went into business with the mentality that she needed to hustle—not knowing what her “enough factor” was. She felt that her only worth was if she brought in money to the family.

Her husband stepped in and said that her role now was mom and she shouldn’t feel like she had to bring in the money that she was before. Therefore, we set an amount of money that needed to be brought in from her business—one that was realistic for her that they could live on.

Dolly was generating income, yet not tracking it. She was reinvesting it into her business through education without ever really paying herself. Ultimately, she didn’t pay herself for three years. Then when she accounted for the seasonality of her business, she wasn’t really sure where money was coming or going.

The first step in building a system for your finances is to review it and understand your different revenue streams. Create a system that categorizes your income, then you’ll see what is the most profitable for your business and where you should focus your time.

Next, you need to categorize your spending so that you understand where your money is going. This will allow you to budget better for your business and not spend money where you don’t need to.

As a final tip, consider setting up multiple bank accounts for your business (not just a business and personal). She follows the Profit First method now! Ultimately, you need to create a system that works for you.

Creating a System for Your Client Journey

As Dolly went into her maternity leave with her second son, Jack, she decided to reassess every offer in her business and the client journey for each. This meant she would have a more automated process that help keep her business moving even if she was out of office and unavailable.

When looking at her business funnels, she wanted to automate the top of the funnel. For example, when someone inquires for family photography, they’re automatically sent an email thanking them for inquiring with a video about the service they’re interested in (this means 3 versions on the backend) and self-select on her form. This has increased her productivity and conversion rate for booking inquiries.

These workflows can also be updated throughout the different seasons that you go through as a business owner. It doesn’t need to be perfected the first time, simply refined to improve in that time. The best approach to doing this is to assess one service or offering at a time—write every single step and detail down in these four phases:

  1. Cold Phase (Social Media)
  2. Inquiry Phase
  3. Booking Phase
  4. Post-Service Phase

Bonus Tip: As you’re auditing your systems and workflows, see if there are ways you can grow your email list through lead magnets (for inquiries who aren’t ready to convert just yet). One way you can do this include a thank you page after their inquiry form that invites them to a free guide opt-in.

If you’re enjoying the content we’re creating on the podcast and want to connect with others who are called to both, make sure you come join us in the Called to Both Facebook Group!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Profit First

Episode 24

Systems and Workflow Magic Summit

Free Download: 5 SOPs for Photographers

Connect with Dolly:

Free Download: 5 SOPs for Photographers

Connect with Joy:




Coach with Joy:

If you decide to use any of the links above and buy through them, I’ll receive a small commission back. All of those affiliate income commissions really add up over time and help generate revenue to help support this podcast.

Looking for the Transcript?





The experience you create for your photography clients has the ability to help you stand out, get booked, and STAY booked solid. Join me for this 21 min class to hear my 3 secrets!

3 Secrets To A Client Experience That Keeps You Booked Solid!

Watch now

Free Class


Grab our free guide for marketing secrets and step-by-step ways to get visibility so you can book more dream brides!

paste your mailing list code here