You became a photographer because you love being creative. Were you prepared for everything involved in running a photography business, though?
The reason SproutingPhotographer.com exists is because we believe there are too many great photographers who aren't able to make a living from photography, not due to a lack of creativity, but instead due to a lack of understanding the foundations of business.
We wanted to help … and we have!
[highlightcenter]In the last year, since our blog and podcast have been online, we’ve reached over 80,000 photographers. We’re now up to 50,000 downloads/month on our podcast, our Facebook page has almost 18,000 photographers and our website is getting over 35,000 pageviews each month.[/highlightcenter]
We have loved helping you. But there’s always been something missing, don’t you think?
The missing piece of the formula …
I’ve talked about the “Sustainability Formula” often, which is a 3-step process to achieve success in any pursuit. Let’s look at those three steps quickly.
First, you must have passion, which gives you life. You must want to achieve success and you must have a love for what you’re doing.
Second, you must have knowledge, which gives you the roots. You must have a deep understanding of the theory and concepts behind your craft.
Third, you must apply this knowledge, which will allow you to grow. This is the actual implementation and the doing.
Let's look at where we are now. You’ve come here with the passion. We’ve been sharing the knowledge with you for the past year, and so you’ve got plenty of that now, too. Don’t you think it’s time to take things one step further?
It’s time to close the loop on the “Sustainability Formula”.
It’s time for us to help you with the application of your knowledge.
Let me first acknowledge that there are some great solutions on the market today to help you with the implementation of the various mechanics of running a photography business. Solutions such as online gallery systems, proofing galleries, digital fulfillment tools, questionnaire builders, studio management software, marketing automation, album proofing, and so on.
But, there is yet to be a solution that brings them all together.
That is, until now …
[highlightcenter]Introducing Sprout Studio, your all-in-one business success software. A solution built by photographers for photographers.[/highlightcenter]
A software designed to give you ultimate flexibility and functionality without sacrificing ease-of-use and simplicity. A suite of online tools that allows you to apply the very principles and theories that we have been teaching you and thousands of other photographers here on SproutingPhotographer.com.
What's missing for photographers today?
Before we get too far into what Sprout Studio is, let’s talk about something quickly – why would you want to bring all these functions together under one roof in the first place? Well, let’s look at the software solutions available today, and how their independence creates many challenges.
Left arm, meet right arm.
Having a separate software for each function means they can’t talk to one another. Not only does this mean duplicate data entry, but it also means you can’t have any automation or communication between them. For example, your bride and groom need to be entered in your studio management system, they need to have an online gallery and they need to have an album design in your album proofing system. Until now, this would mean you’d have to manually enter them in each, and when they order something from their gallery, it can’t account for that in your studio management system. Or when they finish proofing their album, you can’t be notified and trigger a workflow in your studio management system. So on and so forth.
Manually entering duplicate data across platforms is a waste of time, but what is even more frustrating is this software independence creates a broken system. Your left arm can’t talk with your right arm. That doesn’t make sense, does it?
These tools are here to help you, but they end up creating extra work and complicating things. You’d rather have both arms working together, being able to hand one thing off to the next, right?
Clean, consistent and simple.
Having a separate software for each function means each was independently designed and developed, and therefore the interface and experience will be completely different from one to the next. For each function, you and your client will have different URLs, different logins, different colours, different interfaces, different functionality, and so on.
That doesn’t sound like a clean solution. You’d rather have consistency and simplicity, wouldn’t you?
One support system for your entire business.
Having a separate software for each function means each software is supported by a separate company. If you need help, have a bug, have questions or want to request a feature, you have to talk to different people and go through different support systems. There’s not a means of helping you with your entire business setup because each of you will be using a different combination of solutions independently.
To further illustrate this, have you ever had a problem with your home security system? You call them to say “my alarm system isn’t working”, only to have them blame your phone company and say that the phone line isn’t set up properly? When you call your phone company, they say that your alarm system isn’t wired right. Back and forth, on and on.
You’d rather pick up the phone and talk to the one person who can help you through all of your business setup, wouldn’t you?
Who doesn't want to save money?!
Let’s talk money. When you purchase several separate solutions, you have to pay separate fees to separate companies, which, when added together, can be very expensive.
Think about it, that’s why insurance companies have “multi-product discounts”, and why it makes more sense to have your home insurance with the same company as your auto insurance. You can save money by “bundling”.
For your photography business, wouldn't you like to save money? You’d rather have your money going to one place and have a cleaner, simpler monthly billing set-up, wouldn't you?
Behind-the-scenes at Sprout
These are just a few of the reasons why having to use many different softwares for different functions is undesirable. Until now, there hasn’t been a solution to bring it all together, and that’s why we are beyond excited to announce Sprout Studio, your all-in-one business success software.
(Image Above: Part of the Sprout Team at our Christmas Party in 2014)
We’ve been building Sprout Studio for 18 months now, with a growing team of designers, programmers and IT/Database specialists. I’ve told you before that a lot was going on “behind the scenes” here at Sprout, and that includes (but is not limited to) managing a large team, seeking investors, hiring support staff, doing in-depth R&D, and so on, on top of the regular articles, podcasts and speaking. Now you know it also includes building a massive online software system for photographers, and you're the first to know about it!
This will literally change the way photographers run their businesses.
What does Sprout Studio do?
Let me tell you a bit about Sprout Studio.
First, it lives in the cloud, so you can access it from anywhere. Second, it’s been designed from the ground-up to be native on any mobile device, so it’s like having a custom app on whatever device you use it on. Third, it solves the software independence problem we talked about earlier, simplifying your workflow and studio management through automation and organization.
There is so much I could tell you about Sprout Studio. I could write a whole blog post for any one of the individual features and functions we have built for you. I know that I’m leaving out a ton here, but let me skim the surface for you on the five main core business functions of Sprout Studio to give you a bit of an idea:
- Client management, which allows you to track your leads, book clients, create and manage invoices and payments, send questionnaires, track notes, send automatic emails, and more.
- Online galleries, which allow you to create an unlimited number of galleries for your clients, manage gallery pre-registrations, offer digital delivery, implement permission-based downloading ability, take client print orders and much more.
- Album proofing, which allows you to create and send album designs, track workflow, send album review reminders and review specific revision requests from your clients.
- Sales galleries, which is one of the features we’re most excited about. This is revolutionary and has never been done before. In short, it allows you to implement the well-known in-studio print sales process in an online space, to increase your revenues while offering a better experience for your clients.
- Insights, which is like having a business coach beside you at all times. This will give contextual education to you, based on your studio, your goals, your finances and your business.
You'll “win” in 5 ways with Sprout Studio
We’ve designed Sprout Studio to give you 5 big “wins” in your business.
The first is that Sprout Studio will allow you to spend more time being creative and less time on the business mechanics. We want you to get back behind your camera, make a living doing so, and love every minute of it. I know you want nothing more than this. Heck, it was the whole foundation of our “Take Back Your 80” Program, and why it was so popular. We’ve sent over 12,000 emails to date to help photographers in the “Take Back Your 80” Program who are hungry to learn how to spend more time behind their camera and less time behind their computer.
Sprout Studio is the evolution of that program. It’s the practical application and provides the tools to implement the strategies discussed in our “Take Back Your 80” Program.
The other 4 big wins that Sprout Studio will give you? Well … I’m running out of space here on this blog post, so you’ll have to check out the Sprout Studio page for more info!
Get in line QUICK!
The demand for the problem we're solving with Sprout Studio is huge and there is already a ton of interest.
… But we don't want to bite off more than we can chew too early on.
So we're being very strategic to make sure we can support your needs. We’re heavily gating our launch, meaning we’re only inviting in small groups of users at a time.
We’ve designed a Reservation Line system for Sprout Studio. You can sign up over on our Sprout Studio page.
Over the next little while, we’ll be slowly sending out invitations to those in our Reservation Line. It’ll be on a first-come, first-serve basis, and once we reach the pre-defined limits for each round of invites, we’ll be closing the gate again until the next round. The only way to get a chance to use Sprout Studio is to sign up for the Reservation Line.
Do you want to skip the line?
Ok, I may not have been entirely truthful above. There is one way you can skip the line. We will be accepting applications for a very special, extremely limited Founding Members Program. This program is for photographers who live on the edge of the latest and greatest, who want the first-look, the early-scoop, and those who want to lead the change. If that’s you, and if you want to have input on the finishing touches of the software and have a direct point-of-contact with us and our developers, then you can apply to be a Founding Member.
We are only accepting 20 Founding Members, who will pay a one-time fee up front, and will be given lifetime access to Sprout Studio for the rest of it’s existence with absolutely no monthly fee. Ever. If this is of interest to you, then you can apply for a spot in the Founding Members Program over on our Sprout Studio page.
Let us help you!
You became a photographer because you love being creative. Let us help you get back behind your camera. Let us help you make more money, be more professional, have happier clients and have a better work-life balance. Let us help you get back to doing what you love to do.
Get Sprout Studio, and take a step in the right direction to becoming a successful and sustainable photographer.