The Importance of Teambuilding

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Last week, the ShootProof team crashed the local bowling alley and brought a whole lot of eating, drinking, laughing, and (rather loud) cheering to the scene. There were teams vying for various trophies and awards, some behind-the-scenes bowling lessons (“Don’t cross your body!”), and of course, plenty of photos.

The entire group firmly believes in the power of teambuilding. Sure, bowling is fun. But the outing accomplished something bigger – it allowed everyone to relax and just be together, without the pressures of work and deadlines controlling every action. It gave people the opportunity to refresh and recharge, and even sparked some new conversations between those who don’t generally work together on a daily basis.

“Everyone let their guards down and just had fun,” Chris commented after the event. Co-founder Robert agreed. “It helped get [people] together that would otherwise not [be able to spend time] with the team.”

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By developing and nurturing an atmosphere of camaraderie at the office, teambuilding activities can increase morale, which in turn helps with productivity, stress, and, in general, a positive attitude in the workplace.  “I think it makes us a stronger team and creates closer bonds when we’re able to share experiences outside of work,” Ashley said. “Plus,” Michael added, “this was an opportunity for all of the employees to interact in an environment completely different from what they’re used to.”

Long term, the ShootProof crew plans to have regular outings (no local business is safe from its stampede!), with an end goal to improve communication, increase motivation, and, of course, just have some good ol’ fun as a team.

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The moral of the story? Everybody needs some down time once in a while. Whether it’s a quiet coffee at a local coffeeshop, an afternoon off to catch up with family or friends, or a full-blown get-out-of-my-way-so-I-can-win bowling extravaganza, taking a break from work is essential to productivity and creativity.

 

What do you to to unwind when the pressures of running a business get to be overwhelming?  Comment below!

 

Tips for Client Meetings

 

Even in an age filled with digital signatures, Google calendars, and online proofing, there’s a chance you’ll need (or want) to meet with your clients in person. We’ve gathered several tricks of the trade to help you run your client meetings smoothly!

 

1. Be prepared. Prepare your samples, forms, or proofs the night before. Arrive early and set the mood: being late or unprepared sends the wrong message about how you run your business.

2. Talk less, listen more. Know something about your clients (or potential client) before they walk through the door. At initial consultations, ask questions to get to know them better and see if they’re a good match for the type of business you run.

3. Personalize the experience. Especially at end-of-session or purchasing meetings, make it personal. Have your client’s favorite snack or beverage, or allow them to bring family members along for the experience. Show them that you’ve done your research or that you remember what they told you months ago at your initial meeting.

“I love getting potential clients excited about the prospect of photographs by sharing my creative ideas that are specific to them. Whether it’s envisioning a marketing campaign for a business or visualizing a large portrait grouping for a family portrait client, my creativity and enthusiasm is 90% of the reason why they will choose to hire us.” – Whitney Scott

4. Be different. Set yourself apart from the other photographers they may also sit down with. Infuse your personality into the branding on the materials you present. Be comfortable with how you present your pricing. Do something that makes you stand out from the rest.

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“I shoot 90% kids and families, so making time for sippin’ coffee and chatting over canvas samples is tricky, but I bring something to each family session for “fun” at the end.” – Tracie Daum 

5. Be yourself. Though it sounds like it might compete with “be different,” being true to yourself will automatically set you apart from the competition. Show your true personality. Smile. Laugh! Let the client know you’re an actual person with a heart who cares about emotion and capturing beauty,  not a machine with a camera.

“I go in wearing flip flops. No sample albums, no price list, no hand outs — just me, dressed to filter out clients I wouldn’t want to work with and to [help me] connect with active, adventurous and mischievous couples.” – Tim Halberg

6. Follow up. Don’t drop the ball and assume the meeting is over just because the client walked away. Give them a chance to think it over, but send a personal email or a follow-up phone call to let them know you want to be a part of their day. After a sales meeting, if you haven’t already, blog about the photo session. Give the client a reason to talk about you to their friends and family members.

 

What are some changes you could make to your client meetings to make them more successful?  Comment below!

 

 

New Client Emails are Here

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They’re here — brand new emails that will wow your clients!


NEW LOOK

With a sleek, updated design, the emails you send through your ShootProof account have never looked better.

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When you send a link to a gallery or an album, your cover image is now included in your email! Sending a Mobile App? The App icon is front and center. (Don’t have a cover image or an App icon set? We’ll insert a modern icon in the email instead.)

A featured headline lets you get your point across quickly. Edit the text so that your client sees and reads the most important information first.

Custom buttons instead of old-style links give your emails that extra ooomph of professionalism!

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NEW FUNCTIONALITY

With your new LIVE preview area, you’ll see the changes you’re making to your email templates immediately.

As always, insert intelligent “tokens” in your templates that will populate automatically when you send an email, such as gallery names, expiration dates, invoice due dates, and more.

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Imagine your clients falling in love with your work before they even get to the gallery… We’re confident your clients will love your brand new emails!

 

Comment below with your number one favorite email improvement!

 

See what the hype is all about:  Log in to your account now.

Don’t have an account with us yet? 
You’re missing out! Sign up for a free account here.

 

Podcast 003: The High End Market with Sean McLellan

Our third podcast is brought to you by the fabulous Sean McLellan of McLellan Style in Nashville!

Sean and Mel have been featured on the Today Show and have numerous awards under their belts from WPPI, as well as a huge following of brides and grooms who love their work.

In this podcast, you’ll hear Sean’s description of what a high end market is and how that relates to location. He also shares their techniques for reaching clients at a higher price point by building relationships with other photographers and vendors and by being comfortable with sending potential clients away.

Take a look at their beautiful work at the McLellan Style website!

What’s the number one thing you can take away from Sean’s podcast? Comment below!

 

Road Trip Wrap Up

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The ShootProof Summer Road Trip has certainly been nothing short of an adventure! With over 1,500 miles under our belts and at least 18 iced coffees to keep us going on those long days of driving, we’ve collected four amazing podcasts that we absolutely can’t wait to share with you!
Nashville
In Nashville we met up with a group of locals at Westlight Studios and heard Sean McLellan talk about the logistics of pricing yourself at the high end. We had the chance to connect, chat, and eat pizza (yum!) late into the evening.
Washington, D.C.
We drove out to Manassas to Rachel Brenke’s studio, where we talked about photography and the law. We definitely learned a lot about what to do (and what not to do) when it comes to the legal aspects of running a photography business, so we’re eager to share that content with our photographers!
Raleigh
We had a short stopover here with the always-incredible Ginny Corbett. She spoke with us about Filling Your Life Tank, a topic that really, really resonates with our team. We munched on bacon wrapped figs and sampled some local beer while we listened.  To wrap up the night, Ginny taught us how to play the ukulele, and our lives felt complete!
Charleston
Last but not least, we stopped in the gorgeous, historic city of Charleston to spend time with one of our dear friends, Richard Israel. Richard is an artist through and through, and he challenged us with the idea that constraints, while they can be frustrating, are actually essential to the creative process.
What’s next?
Over the next several months, we’ll get these amazing podcasts out to you here on our blog (we’ll remind you via email, so if you aren’t on our list, get on it now!)
You can also subscribe to our iTunes channel, here.

We thoroughly enjoyed our road trip this summer, and we’re excited about the prospect of having more meet-ups in cities around the country. Where would you like us to visit next?