You Can Do That With ShootProof!

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You can do a million things with ShootProof (well, maybe not a full million, but close), from photo proofing, to selling prints, to making mobile apps, to sharing on Facebook. While we know it can be a bit overwhelming to learn about every feature in your account, we’re still surprised when we hear, “You guys already have that?!” from our photographers.

Here, we’ll show you the top five things that you might not realize you can do in your trusty ShootProof account!


1.  CREATE & SEND INVOICES
Yep, that’s right. No need to send your clients those less-than-professional online invoices you’ve been using for years when you can send beautiful invoices straight through your ShootProof account!

Need wedding clients to pay their deposits? Send an Invoice. Have a mini-session coming up? Send an Invoice. Selling a special album or photo product to your clients outside of your ShootProof account? Send an Invoice!

You can break down Invoices by deposits and final payments, and you can also send automated emails to your clients (see #2 below) to let them know an Invoice is coming or is past due.

If you’re in a paid plan, you’re set up to create and send Invoices. Even better, if you’re set up with ShootProof Payments (U.S. studios) or PayPal Pro (non-U.S. studios), then you can collect those client payments right through your ShootProof account!


2.  SEND AUTOMATED EMAILS
You don’t have to remember to remind your clients that their galleries are expiring, or that they only have two days left to use their top-secret discounts (see #3 below), or that they haven’t paid their Invoices yet.

In fact, you really don’t have to remember much at all when you use an automation series (just a fancy term for automated emails). Set it up once, turn it on for a gallery, and let us do the work for you: we’ll email the visitors to your galleries at the times you set, and you won’t have to wonder again if your clients have just forgotten to place their orders or have misplaced their promo codes!

By the way, while we’re on the subject of emails… You DO know that you can see all of the emails sent through your ShootProof account, right? And that, if you click the “Show History” link, you can see exactly when those emails were opened and whether or not your client clicked a link? You’re welcome!


3. CREATE PROMO CODES
We know you get more sales when you offer your clients a great deal. You can create promo codes and discounts to your heart’s delight, and set them to expire (or not), set them to be used by only one visitor (or a thousand), set them to be used on certain product groups (or on everything), and more!

A promo code particularly comes in handy when you want to offer a special price or rate (think free shipping or 20% off an entire order) to certain visitors, but not to all. Just go to the “Discounts” area on any price sheet to set them up!


4. SEND MOBILE APPS
If you’re paying another service to send your clients their own custom mobile apps because you didn’t realize you could make them yourself (in a snap) and send them yourself (also in a snap), you’ve been doing it all wrong.

Turn up to 40 photos into a beautiful photo gallery that your clients can save to their devices, share with their friends, and, of course, brag about to their families. You can make an App from the photos in a client’s order, or directly from the photos in their gallery. Or, if you prefer, you can upload photos straight to the App itself.

We track the shares and installs, so you can see how far your reach is. Plus, you can add custom buttons to the bottom of each Mobile App, so you can guide viewers to specific websites, videos, or blog posts!


5. COLLECT EMAIL ADDRESSES AT EVENTS
If you shoot weddings, or parties, or other events, it’s never been easier to collect guests’ email addresses on site, and then send them all an email when the photos are ready to be viewed and purchased.

Download our Event Emails iPad App, bring your iPad to the event, and let guests and attendees register to be notified about the gallery.

Of course, the App is completely yours: your logo, your color, your background image. Plus, it works without an internet connection and automatically syncs to your ShootProof account later, when you ARE connected.

 

So, now you know!  What’s one thing you learned you could do, that you didn’t know before? Comment below!

Don’t have a ShootProof account yet? Get yourself a FREE one so you, too, can start using our amazing features!

 

ShootProof Roadtrip 2015

Beep, beep! The ShootProof crew is headed on a road trip, and we’re coming to a city near you!

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Nashville, TN – June 28th at 7pm – RSVP Here!

Washington, D.C. – July 1st at 7pm – RSVP Here!

Charleston, SC – July 7th at 7pm - RSVP Here!

At each stop we make, there will be some social time (think snacks, drinks, and some time to get to know one another), followed by a live video podcast and Q&A with some pretty awesome folks in the photography world.

We’re excited to support our growing community of photographers, so we’ll be there to answer any questions you might have, as well as provide some hands-on account support to those who need it.

Bring a friend along to meet the crew; we can’t wait to see you all!

Also visit us in Stockholm, Toronto, New York, and other cities later this year.

Giveaway: Our Favorite Things

Our Referral Contest is in full swing, and we’re so excited to be giving away some of our favorite things along the way! We’re randomly selecting studios that are participating to win some pretty cool prizes.

1a_Favorite-Things-Graphic_02 (1)If you haven’t used your custom link to send some photographer pals our way, the time is now! Not only do you receive a FREE MONTH of service for every paid referral (or $10 in studio credit if you’re in our Free Plan), but you’ll also be one step closer to winning one of our awesome prizes, including a MACBOOK PRO!

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The more you refer, the more chances you have to win.

By the way — we’ll keep track of your referrals for you; all you need to do is spread the word. The grand prize winner will be selected at the end of July!

Don’t have an account yet? Sign up today!

 

Successful Blogging: Zach Prez

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If you’ve ever tried your hand at blogging, you know it’s a difficult task. What do you write about? What should it sound like? How do you make it helpful and meaningful and, maybe most important, how do you get people to READ it?

Chances are, if you’ve Googled “photographers” and “blogging” you’ve run across the Photography Spark website, created by blogging mastermind Zach Prez.  Zach uses his internet marketing experience and SEO expertise to write thoughtful posts aimed at helping photographers run their businesses successfully. He’s also been featured in widely-respected works such as Professional Photographer Magazine and This Week in Photography.

We were excited to chat with Zach and pick his brain. First, we asked him why blogging and SEO are important.  Zach explained that blogging creates content to be searched for on the web, and that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the number one way new people will find you.  “You can have all the content in the world, but it’s no good if no one can find it,” he told us.

Zach was happy to share his top ten tricks of the trade when it comes to blogging:

1. Every time you make a new blog post, it’s a new page that can be found in a search. So, think about it like this: if you put up a new blog post once a week, that’s 52 search items you’ve given your website in that year alone.

2. Don’t name your posts with people’s names. A common trend is to title blog posts with the clients’ names in them, like “Susie + John - A Special Wedding.”  However, Zach points out that what you name the post is how people will find it, so if you want to be found in a search for “backyard weddings in Los Angeles,” then those words should be included in the title of the blog post.  “Google is looking for pages with that specific name in it,” he explained.

3. Vary your blog post names and your title. “Every title should be very unique,” Zach told us.  If all of your posts are about the same things, then people can only find you for that one specific category of things. If you’re blogging weekly, then you want to be found for every single different thing you blog about.

4. Optimize your images. After Google looks at the title of your blog post, it looks at your photos. “So,” Zach explained, “your photos need to describe what your session is about.”  How do you do this?  “An image is optimized first by its alternate tag, then by the caption, and then by its filename.”  Zach says the caption can be any text that appears near the image, and then the filename needs to describe the image itself.  He notes that it’s not worth going back and optimizing all your images, just those in your top posts and the photos in all of your posts from now on.

5. Write a super post.  “If you are trying to rank [on Google] for something, you want to rank for your best thing,” Zach says.  If there is a lot of valuable information in your post, a reader is more likely to be interested (or a client is more likely to hire you) because the post is comprehensive. 

6 Keep your best post at the top or front of your blog.  Zach suggests using a “sticky post” to anchor it a feature post because it prioritizes it for Google. That way, you’re more likely to rank in searches and more likely to convert the sale.

7. Make your blog your homepage. - A Flash site can hurt your search rankings; you’ll see more results if your blog is your first page, rather than a static homepage.

8. Posting regularly helps SEO. “Google wants a fresh site that is constantly being added to,” Zach explains. Post something at least once a month, and once a week is even better.

9. Participating in other sites makes you more popular.  Search engines priorities their rankings based on which site is most popular, and popularity is determined by how many different sites you are on.   “Do interviews, participate in speaking engagements, form partnerships, and chat in online forums,” Zach suggests, so that all of those others will mention you and link back to your site.

10. The person with the most links ranks first for everything they create.  “Focus on getting links! Usually it takes about 50 or more linkbacks to rank #1 in a web search,” Zach says.  It’s difficult and time consuming (it can take a whole year or longer), but he says you could do everything else on this list perfectly, but nobody will be there to see it unless you take the time to get mentioned on other websites.


Zach Prez has written more than a dozen ebooks for photographers, including his widely popular SEO Cookbook.  He also has a bunch of freebies, hundreds of articles, tutorials, tips, and advice for growing your business.

We’d love to know: What one thing on this list will you implement in your blogging ASAP? Comment below!

Podcast 002: Finding Your Voice with Anne Almasy

We couldn’t be happier to have hosted Anne Almasy for our second ShootProof Podcast!

Episode 002 – Finding Your Voice from ShootProof Team on Vimeo.

She’s been featured on The Huffington Post and DEDPXL, and now Anne shares her thoughts with the ShootProof crowd about creating great content.

We love how she explains why remaining authentic will set you apart from other photographers in the industry, and she also divulges how dealing with a changing client base can help you connect with other people who share your values.

To learn more and see what the hype is all about, visit Anne Almasy’s website!

What’s the number one thing you’ve learned from Anne that you can incorporate into your business? Comment below!