🎉 Save 20% or more with our annual plans. Click here.

Small business success story: “You can multiply yourself.”

How a professional photographer harnessed the power of automation to quit her job after only 10 months of using Keap.

Business at a glance

Founder(s): Rita Thomas

Industry: Photography

Employees: 1 (+ Keap)

Joined Keap: 2020

Key Result


increase in profits on photo mini sessions



  • Full-time job took most of her energy
  • Client information scattered in various locations
  • Spent lots of time answering the same questions



  • Able to quit corporate job in 10 months
  • All client information easily accessible in one place
  • Automated frequently asked questions

“My day job got the best of me. My business got the rest of me, and my family got the crumbs that were left over.”

Rita Thomas has been a professional photographer for 13 years. For 12 of those years, she had a full-time job and a part-time job in addition to her side business as a freelance photographer. She would sink most of her time into her full-time job during the day, squeeze in freelance work during her lunch hour, take event photos in the evening and then turn around those pictures overnight.

“It was, as you can imagine, very painful,” says Rita. “And I wasn't doing any of it very well. My day job got the best of me. My business got the rest of me, and my family got the crumbs that were left over. And that was really no great way to live.”

Rita was determined to free herself from her corporate job, even though it meant working long hours and fighting off exhaustion.

“I was getting to be in my 50’s. I just longed so much to be able to support myself and I was having trouble seeing how to do that.”

“This is just not going to work. There is no way to scale.”

Eager to find a way to take her business full-time, Rita went to SCORE, a nonprofit organization that matches fledgling businesses with volunteer retired executives for business coaching and advice.

“I was really blessed to get to talk to a SCORE volunteer, and he said I had a great business plan,” recalls Rita. “I had everything I needed to be very successful, except I didn't have one thing. I did not have a business running underneath everything that I was doing. He said, ‘You're not ready to quit your job. You’ve got to have systems.’”

Some of the systems the mentor said Rita needed were:

  • A way to take payments online
  • A way to send emails and keep a nurture campaign going
  • A CRM as a central place to put all contacts, segment them, and keep track of what she knew about them so she could deliver the right information to the right person at the right time
  • A way to have some of that stuff happen without Rita so she could keep her eyes up and focus strategically on the future

“It cost much less than all those other websites I had been looking at.”

Determined to take her business to the next level, Rita started looking for software to help her implement the systems her mentor recommended.

“I was in so much pain looking at all these different options online,” recalls Rita. “I’d have to buy each one separately on their own website, learn how to use them, and then force them to try to work together in my company so I could run it the way I wanted.”

When Rita saw a demonstration of Keap, she was immediately intrigued because it offered an alternative to having to buy several different types of software.

“It had every single thing I needed all in one place, working together without me having to learn all those different systems, and I could pay for it all in one place. And it cost much less than adding up all those other websites that I had been looking at,” says Rita.

“I could wake up in the morning with new money in my bank account.”

Before Keap, Rita did everything in her business herself, manually. She took the photos, she answered client questions, she scheduled appointments and sent invoices.

“A lot of the work of owning a photography business is my hands on the camera, my eye looking through the lens. When you also have to be the one touching every single client at every step of the way, answering their questions — the same questions over and over again, like giving advice about what to wear in the photo session — it's really overwhelming,” Rita explains.

With Keap, Rita was able to automate many of the repetitive tasks she was doing. And because she already had a steady business going, the results of automation came quickly, both in terms of time savings and income.

“When I put automation in my business, I was able to answer questions quickly and easily for people 24/7. Even if I was asleep, I was able to deliver information about what to wear for their photo session,” says Rita.

“They could schedule their photo session with me and pay online so I could wake up in the morning with money, new money in my bank account. And it was such a game changer. Within three months of buying Keap and starting to automate my processes, I increased my profits on my next photo mini sessions by 400%,” Rita recalls.

And by the 10-month mark, Rita reached an even bigger milestone: She was finally able to leave her corporate job and become an independent small business owner.

“I reversed 12 years of struggle in only 10 months,” Rita recalls.

Now, Rita has become a Keap Certified Partner so she can bring the power of automation to entrepreneurs like herself.

For freelancers who want to be fully booked but don’t necessarily want to grow beyond themselves, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to do more without having to hire employees. Keap provides a way to do that.

“You can multiply yourself,” says Rita. “You can cut your work in half and double or triple your profits when you're using automation.”

“Within 10 months, I quit my corporate job. I reversed 12 years of struggle in only 10 months." — Rita Thomas

Can automation set you free? Try it for yourself.

See how Keap can level up your business

Hello, have a question? Let's chat.

Got it