Earlier this year, I wrote about some of my favorite studio management platforms for photographers. They offered amazing features like client management, contracting, invoicing and more. But since then, a few more have been introduced. And I must say, I’m quite impressed with what is being developed.
Is It Really Necessary?
This is a question I asked myself time and time again before I actually invested in a studio management software. It takes some getting used to, but once you’ve bought into the system, it can really help ease up on your time and help to optimize your marketing workflow.
While I haven’t wholeheartedly transferred everything over to a studio management system yet (I’m still using Waze for accounting and invoicing, as to not have two systems in the same year), it’s my plan to do so for 2018.
In my April column, I talked about two options — Sprout Studio and Studio Ninja — both of which are definitely still some great options.
Sprout Studio offers everything from contracts to invoicing to photo delivery and then some, even helping you with wedding photography questionnaires.
Studio Ninja, on the other hand, is very much a community-based platform, with its features being driven by users. It recently introduced integration with the Xero accounting software, and it’s working on adding QuickBooks into the mix as well.
The New Kids on the Block
Since April, I’ve been able to test out a few new pieces of software. And two of them I’ve been really impressed with, and think they could definitely “fill the void” as a great studio management platform. In addition to its web interfaces, both also phone apps so you can work on-the-road.
Despite being around since 2015, I hadn’t really heard of PicSpotr until they reached out to me on Twitter. I decided to give them a try, and I must say I’m impressed.
It’s got a lot of the same features as Sprout Studio and Studio Ninja. It has a CRM tool, invoicing and expensing, contracting and a calendar feature. But what I like about it is its ease of use and its clean interface. PicSpotr also offers both iOS and Android apps.
It’s also pretty cheap, costing $9.99 per month.
PicSpotr nails the business features that photographers need, but I feel like it’s a bit lacking in the marketing department. Things like email automation don’t currently exist, meaning you have to involve another tool to take care of that. Depending on your needs, this might be something to consider.
Some of you may have heard of Picr. It’s been around as a company since 2016, but after a major change in direction, it wasn’t released to beta users until this summer. Now it’s ready to hit the public, and will be launching this week. Right now it has a pretty impressive feature set, letting you track leads, contacts and projects. It also has a really cool website builder, which is perfect for those photographers who haven’t gotten around to creating something custom.
What I like about Picr is its ability to tie everything together. It’s the only platform I’ve seen with complete integration with not only its own website builder, but with third-party websites as well. It just launched a two-way messaging platform, that can be used on your already-built website, allowing for better communication between you and potential clients.
Picr currently offers an iOS app, with an Android app coming soon. It also will handle your payment processing, offering a flat 2.9% fee, which is lower than most other options.
It has two packages available; a starter package that includes 500 GB of storage and five projects per month ($25/month when paid annually, $35/month when paid month-to-month), and a standard package that includes 1 TB of storage and unlimited projects per month ($55/month annually or $70 month-to-month). That might seem high comparatively, but it takes care of a lot of the things you’re already paying for, like website hosting (if you use its built-in website builder).
As Picr continues to get developed, it could very well become the go-to for photography studio management. It’s developing an Image Delivery tool for release this November — something I’m very excited about. It’s also working on things like accounting integration with Xero and QuickBooks, social media integration and Lightroom plugins.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out studio management software yet, I urge you to consider doing so. Tools like Studio Ninja, Sprout Studio, PicSpotr and Picr only help to optimize your workflow, allowing you to spend time on what you love — photography.
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