Back when I first started out my business I spent a lot of time updating my contracts, writing questionnaire sheets for clients and keeping them updated. I used to print them out in bulk so I’d always have one ready to go when needed. Then there was a whole hassle of meeting with a client, giving them the contract and waiting for it to be mailed back to me via the US Postal Service (i.e. we can call this a slow boat to China). Eventually I purchased an app for my iPad when the first generation came out and could have clients sign a contract in person and it would email both of us a copy. This was great, but in order to update contracts I’d have to take an hour or so and sit down with the ipad app and load up a new contract. Not to mention this required always bringing my ipad with me, always having battery power, and always having wifi or data service.
As business grew and I started looking for better ways to save myself time (money), I started looking for some type of studio management software. There weren’t a whole lot of options. There were some options that were very pricey and seeing as I’m not very good at the whole using the internet software for organizing thing I just didn’t want to pay a lot for something I wouldn’t use. After much thought and googling I chose Pixifi and signed up for their free 60 Day trial.
I think services like Pixifi are sometimes overlooked for photographers and ever since I’ve been paying my monthly fee to them I can honestly say it’s been worth every penny and then some. Pixifi is a whole lot of software and I’ve still only barely dived into all it’s able to do. You can run photography workshops out of it, send clients online contracts, send clients questionnaires, invoice clients online so they can pay you with a credit card…
There’s a built in calendar system that you can link to your google calendar and have all of your photography events easily available to you by phone. This calendar can also be shown to potential clients so they can see when and if you are booked. You can keep track of your accounting and print out year-end totals. You can use Pixifi as an entire client communication system and run all of your emails and inquires through the program.
You can also create an entire storefront with your pricing, packages and information that clients can easily click, add to their cart, and order.
For those of you who do a lot of weddings and meet a lot of other vendors like wedding planners, venues, DJs, you can keep all of their contact information in Pixifi and associate them with your clients and leads.
Finally, you can also keep a task list in there instead of using tons of sticky notes.
>Try Pixifi for free< ….yes, there’s a 60 Day free trial. SIXTY DAYS.
I still feel as though I’ve only touched on the features. Being able to use it as a client database, invoicing, contracts, and questionnaires system has been my primary use and it’s been worth the $24.99 per month. Now I can meet with clients and when they decide they are ready to book I just email them a contract and invoice and voila I’m done.
I think it’s really important to keep things in your workflow as a business owner very simple. The more simple something is the more time it saves. Yes, it does have a fee associated with it, but the ease of use and time it saves me is worth it. On the other side of that I think things should be really easy for your clients to use. The easier it is for clients to book and pay you the more they will refer and recommend you for your great customer service. Ever since switching to this method clients have praised how easy it is to pay, book, and sign their contracts.
I highly recommend everyone at least try out Pixifi’s 60 Day Trial. I’ve had such a great experience with them and it’s definitely improved my business. On top of that if you struggle figuring out the Pixifi software there’s a Facebook group where the head honcho, Tim Hussey, and his sidekick, Lisa Otto, are quick to help you out and answer all your questions. Their customer service is top notch. If you sign up for Pixifi, I’d love it if you used my referral link so they know I sent you their direction!
2015 Edit: While this blog post is old, the information is still the same and Pixifi is still my favorite studio management software. In fact, the price is even the same!
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