Sprout Studio is a powerful studio management software for professional photographers. As photographers, we wear many hats when it comes to our business. Not only are we a photographer, but we are also a bookkeeper, a sales person, IT specialist, marketing expert, social media curator, editor, and the list goes on. As the business grows, so do the responsibilities. Making the switch to Sprout Studio was not only necessary to help me manage everything but it helped me take my business to the next level.
There are many reasons why I love Sprout Studio, but these are the biggest overall benefits and the main reasons why I switched to Sprout Studio:
No 1 | Sprout Studio helps me to escalate my client experience.
I’m a huge advocate for focusing on client experience over anything else as a means to grow my business. I truly believe growth comes from treating your clients to the best possible experience so they will not only return year after year, but will be your biggest source of referrals along the way.
Sprout Studio gives me the tools I need to serve my clients and perfect my client experience.
No 2 | It helps me to be more organized.
Before making the switch to Sprout, I had a hodge-podge of DIY “systems” to help me stay organized in my business. From excel spreadsheets to post it notes, templates and paper documents. Don’t get me wrong, this system that I assembled, in the beginning, worked great as I was growing. But after a certain point, I needed help! Sprout Studio gave me an all-in-one solution to manage my business efficiently.
No 3 | Sprout Studio saves me time!!
By keeping me organized and on task, Sprout Studio saves me hours each week! Instead of piecing together leads and templates and figuring out who to follow up with, Sprout Studio feeds me a timeline of tasks to complete each day and some of them are as simple as checking a box to initiate an automated follow up. It’s a wonderful software system that is worth it’s weight in gold in the amount of time (and headaches) it saves me.
Now let’s get to the good stuff — the details! So, what does this powerful system do anyways? After researching various other systems and even doing a few free trials, Sprout Studio was the best option for my family photography business. Here are some of the areas I needed the most help with and Sprout Studio offered the best CRM software for my business.
1 | Automated Workflows
Workflows might be one of my favorite features offered by Sprout Studio. Like I mentioned earlier – I strongly believe the health of a business begins with perfecting the client experience. Sprout allows you to create unlimited workflows that keep you on task and keep your clients well taken care of. You can design your ideal client experience and apply these steps in workflows for your leads, bookings, clients and beyond.
2 | Seamless Contracts
Anything that simplifies the paperwork and nuances of owning a business is a win in my book. Contracts are a must for any professional photographer but the logistics of them can be a pain. Sprout Studio allows you to seamlessly add and customize your contracts to any booking proposal to be signed electronically. It’s now a simple step in the booking process.
3 | Email Templates Library
Adding email templates to your photography business will save you hours. Period. I save email templates for every step of the process, every question that comes up and for everything I want my customers to know. Having a template allows me to quickly respond to my customers with professional and informative replies quickly from anywhere.
4 | Booking Proposals
When your client gives you the thumbs up to move ahead with booking their session, you want to provide them with a seamless path to do so. The easier you can make this step, the better for both you and them. Booking a session isn’t complicated per se but it can involve a lot of back and forth if you don’t have a good system. Think about all the things involved…contracts, contact information, shoot details, as well as payment info.
With Sprout Studio’s booking proposals, you can provide your clients a seamless path to book with you. The booking proposals walk your clients through the whole process step-by-step, allowing them to do everything electronically. No more back-and-forth and no more paperwork!
I LOVE this feature. It is such a professional way to start a relationship with your client plus it makes everything so super simple for everyone.
5 | Simple Payment Collection
Collecting money is one of those seemingly awkward parts about owning a business. Even though we all do this for money, something about nudging clients for money can make us all cringe. Sprout integrates seamlessly with Stripe, PayPal or Square for easy payment collection. Payment collection and due date reminders are all automated, allowing us, the photographer to focus on the more enjoyable parts of our business — like taking beautiful photos!
6 | Galleries + Lab Integration Coming Soon!
Sprout Studio was built by photographers FOR photographers. The huge benefit to that is a studio management system that is designed with all the tools photographers need — like photo galleries! Not only can this powerful system help you run your business, but it can also help you serve your clients by giving you a beautiful platform to deliver your photo galleries.
Perhaps one of the most exciting features of all is on its way. Sprout Studio is building a lab integration that will interface with all the popular professional labs – making it simple for clients to order prints and products direct from their gallery.
7 | Automated Booking Invitations (Perfect for Mini Sessions)
As my photography business continues to grow, my calendar is getting busier and busier. I’ve started using Sprout’s Booking Invitations to simplify the booking process for both myself and my clients. I set my schedule, define my session times and invite my customers to book at their own convenience. They can pick the date that works best for them, choose the package they want and book their entire session all at once.
This has allowed me to manage my calendar better, eliminate all the back-and-forth with picking a date that works best for everyone, and give me more freedom to invest my time in other parts of my business. These booking invitations are wonderful for launching mini-sessions. This gives my clients a fair chance at the first-come, first-serve time slots when they go live. Want to learn more about maximizing your mini sessions to grow your business?
8 | Customer Service
From Day 1, Sprout Studio has offered the absolute best customer service. When I started with their free 21-day trial, I had a ton of questions. Their customer service was top-notch. They are easy to access, very quick to respond, and always go above to help answer my questions. In addition to a quick and helpful service team, there is also a very active Facebook group for advice and inspiration.
9 | Dashboard + Task List
For me, I wanted a system that not only kept me organized but kept me focused. When I log in to my system, the first thing I see is a list of all my tasks for that day. This includes any lead or client correspondence from my workflows that I need to follow up on. Many of my workflows involve a simple check of a box to initiate an automated follow-up. I also get an overview of my Notifications, Calendar, Money, and Business-at-a-Glance.
10 | Client Portal
For anyone who loves to be organized and has clients that share your love of organization, the Client Portal is a fantastic feature. A custom client portal is built for every client and includes all the important information they may need for their session(s) including invoices, contracts, questionnaires, as well as date, time and location, and more. All these little touchpoints help escalate the client experience.
I’m a big fan of Sprout Studio for so many reasons as you can see. Not only does it make it easier to run my business but it really helps me serve my customers to a higher degree. I listed my top 10 favorite features about Sprout but the truth is the list could go on and on.
The team at Sprout Studio is continuously talking with its customers and making improvements. They are always working on new ways to help photographers serve their customers better. As a small business owner, I appreciate the diligence and care they offer each of their clients. It’s the little stuff like excellent customer service and continual development that will keep me invested in Sprout as the primary studio management system for my photography business.
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