While at WPPI, I was amazed at the number of studio management platforms that were exhibiting. I’ve written two pieces about studio management platforms in the past year (part one and part two), and it seems like more keep popping up!
For marketing purposes, studio management platforms are handy for client relations, allowing you to quickly and easily keep track of your current projects with a client. These platforms often allow you to message or e-mail clients directly from the interface, and help with keeping track of leads that come in through your website.
More Platforms to Keep You Organized
As I evaluate more and more studio platforms, I’m becoming increasingly impressed with automation. While automation can help set up your projects, it can also help you market your business in terms of sending reminders, follow-ups, thank you notes and more.
17hats is a platform I’ve been hearing a lot about lately, and rightfully so. It’s a full-featured studio management platform, which includes unique features like bookkeeping, calendar syncing, to do items, time tracking and email sync. It’s probably one of the most in-depth systems I’ve seen to date.
One of the cool features I found during my trial are workflows. You can create a customized workflow by telling the system a sequence of to do items and actions you regularly take. Automation like this can really help you stay consistent as a photographer, and it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to seeing more of as all these studio management platforms continue to develop and grow.
17hats also does bookkeeping, allowing you to track income and expenses by connecting to your bank and credit card accounts.
Monthly plans start at $37, or you can sign up for an annual, pre-paid plan for $17 per month.
What first attracted me to Iris is its automation capabilities. You can use any pre-loaded templates or create your own, and the system will send out communications automatically depending on your workflow. It also includes things like questionnaires, which can be particularly useful for wedding and portrait photographers.
While Iris offers the usual lead management, contracts and invoice features, one feature sets it apart — Scouting Locations. This is really great for photographers who constantly explore their areas (and beyond). You can store locations you’ve been to with images and notes, and then refer back to them when necessary. No more trying to remember the forest you shot last spring for a family session — it’s all right there in Iris.
Iris also offers client galleries that can be password-protected, and it’ll also integrate with ShootProof.
Iris offers two plans — a monthly solution at $25 per month or an annual subscription for $270 per year.
Táve has been around for quite a long time, but I’ve only just heard of it. When I initially saw a demo of it on the WPPI Expo floor, I was somewhat overwhelmed. There’s a lot here, and it takes a bit of getting used to and learning of the interface.
But after diving in on my own, I could tell that Táve had pretty much every feature you could think of, and it was organized rather well. It has an in-depth workflow method, allowing you to customize and automate each project to your liking. You can automate things like invoice reminders, follow-ups and more on a routine basis. Táve will even tell you whether your client has opened your recent email message — handy for when you’re trying to track down things like overdue invoice payments.
It also features a bookkeeping system, where it not only keeps track of your income and expenses but also your receipts and sales tax liability. If you’re looking for a combination of bookkeeping and project management, this is it.
Monthly plans for Táve start at $24.99, or you can save a bit of cash with an annual plan at $21.99 per month.
ShootQ is the only platform I’ve seen that offers a completely free option, which certainly makes it enticing to photographers just getting into management platforms.
There are a few different features that are unique to ShootQ, including a mini-session module that lets you quickly set up mini-sessions, collect payment and fill your calendar throughout the year. There’s also a workshop module that allows you to host workshops and collect money. If you offer mini-sessions or workshops, your process will definitely be improved with ShootQ, helping you market your business and open you up to new possibilities.
ShootQ’s interface reminded me a lot of Picr, in that it’s very clean and organized. The platform is divided up into nine sections — Dashboard, Leads, Jobs, Contacts, Calendar, Booking, Documents, Reports and Settings.
The reports that ShootQ provides are especially in-depth, and one of the things I found to be most beneficial in regards to the platform. You can keep track of things like booked jobs, packages sold, revenue and repeat sales.
Annual plans for ShootQ start at $24 per month.
There are a plethora of tried and true, and new, studio management platforms out there to help you manage and market your business. And with the automation technology steadily improving, your processes as a photographer will get quicker and easier — and you should get some help marketing your brand in the process.
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