Digital Asset Management for Small Businesses

One of my jobs is working on promotions for a set of four pubs.

They have live music every night; one has 194 whiskeys. Each has repeating monthly events, sports events, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, monthly whiskey specials. I also have:

  • About 400 photographs I’ve taken of events,
  • About 100 images of bands, including some I’ve taken,
  • About 3000 images of liquor, beer, kegs, event posters, PDFs, royalty-free images for use in posters, Celtic borders for posters, and other image miscellany.

This adds up to a library of roughly 3500 images, and growing, many of which I need to reuse, and many of which I need to be able to find for  using in new materials. I use a custom Lightroom Catalog for this – though it is not ideal. I am currently the only user for this system, but there are other users I’d like to share the assets with, and their metadata: a manager and assistant at each pub; the owners of the pubs; a co-worker who also makes posters.

Given what I do here, my(solo)  tagging is pretty good, and my taxonomy and organization suits my needs: I can find a transparent whiskey bottle image or pictures from last year’s tricycle race, or royalty-free clip art for holiday posters quickly and easily. But, sometimes I wish I could use something a little more hefty, something shared, something informative, to increase collateral consistency and quality.

Enter’s How to Achieve Success With Small Business Digital Asset Management by David Trounce.

This meaty article reviews growth of assets, benefits of a DAM for small businesses, rationale, what kinds of files a small business should store, goals, strategy, process, and more. Well worth a read!

North Dakota Saves Big with DAM and CMS

North Dakota has centralized their image libraries across agencies, and implemented a CMS, in a model that makes a great case study when justifying, or continuing to explain your DAM to management.

The new system,, consolidates disparate files that were largely siloed and only available to staff in individual agencies. Now those assets can be easily shared across Team ND and with the public – helping promote our state, culture and economy and elevate the Be Legendary brand with a strong, consistent state image. The public will now have access to thousands of North Dakota images, royalty-free, to use however they wish. This tool can also be leveraged by nonprofits.

“The cross-agency team members who worked together to initiate, develop and deploy this cloud-based tool are leading the state’s approach to a more unified and holistic digital presence,” said North Dakota Chief Reinvention Officer Kevin Parker. “Our team has a wealth of ideas for improving service delivery, and this specific example alone will save a projected $250,000 over the next five years.”