22 Aug Studio Management Software.
As always I must begin by saying; I am in no way offiliated with any of the products I mention here. I have purchased all the products I mentioned with my own money and am simply discussing a few aspects of them that may be useful to you.
Running a business is not as easy as everyone may think. There is so much going on behind the scenes that is never seen or mentioned that we just pretend it is not there. We want to make sure we are showing the world the pretty side of the Kitchen and not the mess on the stove or in the sink… right? We have leads that come in from a million different places, and we have meetings for potential clients and for general business needs. We have to follow up on various bits of communication in a timely manner and we have to deliver the clients images before they start getting frustrated with the amount of time it is taking. Then we have expenses and taxes and products and this, and that, and, and , and… I am going to attempt to break down a couple of these things and then if you want more depth on any subject just leave a comment and I will address your question more in depth.
Leads – We get them over the phone, and while at a job on a napkin. We get them from a form on our website (https://danbarnett.info/contact), and we get them from facebook. They come from everywhere and we begin to lose track of who we called and when. We wonder if we sent that email to confirm the contract or if the answer they gave means they are going to book or not. The answer that I came to after wading through all the others (Studio Ninja, Shootproof, Pixie this, and photo that) is Tavè (https://tave.com). Sticking with leads for a moment; Tavè has a way to input leads that is undeniably the best for my use. When you fill out my contact form the system automatically adds you to my leads list and categorizes you as new. The information you provide in the custom form I made is added to your profile so that when I call you I am able to add notes in your account as we talk. After the consult I send you a quote through the system that includes the contract for booking. When you pay the down payment the job is automatically booked and added to our schedule. We save time with the communication and we don’t stress out about who has agreed to what or when. If someone calls and wants to book we open up the system and look at the schedule.
Contracts – Here is another interesting subject for photographers. I will hold off on the specifics about what the contents need to be for now and simply say that having one signed is very important. With Tavè the electronically signed contract is stored in the customers account (each customer has a portal to login and download invoices and contracts) that you can then copy a link to and include in the meta data of each photo you deliver. Since photos are digital information and we can add text into the file on export, we can also add the agreed terms to each image on export.
After the session is completed then we move the client into the fulfillment section of the profile (Each job has a custom check list). As we mark items off the check list we can build custom automations like sending a link to the online gallery (I do use shootproof galleries to deliver images and sell prints) and sending a link to the final bill which they can pay directly from the email. Once the images are delivered and the final payment is made the system sends a receipt and a thank you. You can build in as much automation or as little as you feel you need. The goal is to not remove yourself entirely from the interaction because you don’t want this to be impersonal, but automating redundancies is a huge time save and makes you look very professional even when you are actually a scatter brain.
The list goes on with the benefits of this software… I encourage you to look into all the amazing details and ask any questions you may have. This is a very robust system that can manage everything from you schedule to your taxes.