New Referral Program + Referral Contest!

referral-giveaway

 

To kick off our brand new Referral Program, we’re giving one lucky winner a brand spankin’ new MacBook Pro!


Here’s how it works:

Use your custom referral link (get yours here: Invite a Friend) to tell your friends why you love ShootProof. (Or, just tell them to give us your name or studio name at sign up, and we’ll be happy to give you the credit!)

The studio who refers the highest number of paid studios to ShootProof from now until June 30th will win not only the MacBook Pro, but also a collection of ShootProof’s Favorite Things.

(Plus, because of our brand new Referral Program, you’ll also earn a FREE MONTH of service for every one of those paid referrals, or $10 in studio credit if you’re in our Free Plan!)

Just for fun, we’ll also randomly choose 10 lucky winners to receive one of our Favorite Things along the way. The more you refer, the more chances you have to win.

We’ll keep track of your referrals for you; all you need to do is spread the word to your photographer pals. The grand prize winner will be selected at the end of July, so get out there and start referring!

 

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

 

Photographer Spotlight: Karen McKinnon

karen-mckinnon

It’s no secret that we love our photographers and that we love community, so we are always enthralled by photographers that give back to their communities in selfless ways.

We recently had the pleasure of meeting Karen McKinnon, owner of McKinnon Photography in Vancouver Island, Canada. She won a ticket to the Way Up North Conference based on her heartfelt response to our question, “How do you give back to your community?”

“I document [the lives] of families who have to travel to Vancouver Children’s Hospital for critical illness treatment. These images are pivotal in raising brand awareness for a local charity that provides financial support to these families.

I also provide about ten sessions per year to families who need a ‘leg up.’ Just recently, I offered a ‘pay what you can’ week to my community. In 2014, I donated 15 gift certificates to local fundraisers. I also mentor high school students throughout the year.”

We were moved by Karen’s generosity to her community, and what we learned when we sat down to talk to her filled us with pride.

You describe yourself as a “connector first, photographer second.” How has this mentality affected your business?   It’s helped me find motivation, because it allows me to put myself in the client’s position. People are vulnerable; we all have something in common, and you learn that by connecting with people. It’s a great mentality for personal development, as well. I walk away from photo shoots feeling like, “That made me feel really good.” We have a lot of power as photographers to operate from a genuine place with our clients.

What does community mean to you? This is actually a really emotional question for me. I’ve worked with kids who have terminal diseases and with people whose families have fallen apart. A community is filled with friends, business relationships, and clients and as a mom, I think it’s important to connect with all of them. I think the purpose is to support and celebrate one another. A community means safety.

Why is it important is it to invest in community? I love brainstorming with others in my community; I live in a small town, but even in big cities, the voices of small businesses need to be heard. So it’s important to be genuine and support things that matter to people in your community; clients see that and they know you’re real.

How do you balance your desire to make your art accessible to people who can’t afford it, with the need to make a living and run a profitable business? I have an office manager who keeps me in check; I’m one of those people who would give everything away all the time! But I had to learn to remember that I have children; I have to provide for them and carve out time to be with them. We stick to our financial projections to ensure that I’m keeping the balance.

What advice would you give to other photographers who want to give back, but don’t feel like they have the time to make it a consistent part of their business? It doesn’t need to be consistent; it has to work with your schedule and your business. So, I often give back and do my donations when my business is a little slower, in the winter, for example. I think getting your family on board with your charity work and getting them to understand why it’s important is crucial. You’ll want their buy in when you’re away from home a lot, or when you need their help around the house, let’s say, because you can’t be there as much. It’s important to be proactive about giving, as well. As photographers, we’re approached to give all the time,which can be overwhelming. But if you find a charity or an organization that you’re really drawn to, go approach them. That helps keep the balance, too, because you’re excited to give to a cause you feel passionate about. There’s nothing wrong with making giving back to your community win-win.

We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Karen, and we’re thrilled to have her as a part of the ShootProof family.

The hundreds of responses we received from photographers around the world who were eager to share their personal stories of community and charity was simply exhilarating. We are excited about the prospect of working closely with our photographers in the future, to be a part of their charitable work and to support their efforts!

Comment below: How do YOU give back to your community?

 

Brand New Dashboard!

dashboard-shootproof

Your new Dashboard is live in your ShootProof account, and the information you need about your business is right at your fingertips! Read on to learn all about what’s new.


New, Dismissible Notifications:

We’ll tell you when an order has been placed and when an order is waiting your approval to be printed at one of our partner labs.  (After a few days, we’ll even remind you that you haven’t yet sent it off!) You’ll also see a notification when an order ships.

You’ll be notified when an Invoice payment has been received, and when one is past due.

We’ll inform you when a contact that’s linked to a gallery has Favorited photos, and when he or she has downloaded digitals.

Find out when you’ve earned free archiving space because  you’ve referred a fellow photographer to ShootProof. (Everybody loves FREE!)

You’ll also find out right away when your sales profits have become available and are ready to be transferred to your bank account.

Click the “X” to dismiss a notification, and Whooosh!  It’s out of your way.

Recent Gallery Activity:

You asked for the ability to see more of this pertinent info, so here it is!  At a glance, you can monitor the most recent activity in your ShootProof galleries– visitors who have selected Favorites, visitors who’ve placed (or not placed) orders, and visitors who have items waiting in their shopping carts.

Click the “view all” link to expand this informational chart, and you’ll be able to compare these stats among more of your galleries.

Lab Order Information & Sales Graphs:

While neither of these two visuals are new, they’ve been updated and now give you a clean, modern view of how your sales are going and how your lab orders are progressing.

 

Ready to take a peek? Log in to your account now and check it all out!

Don’t have an account yet? Sign up for a FREE account and see what the buzz is about.

Podcast 001: In-Person Sales

We’re excited that Phillip and Eileen Blume of Blume Photography have decided to share their insight with ShootProof users in our first-ever ShootProof Podcast!

As internationally award-winning wedding and portrait photographers, they have plenty of advice about in-person sales, building trust with clients, creating packages, and more.

Grab a snack and your notepad and pencil, and get ready to take your business to the next level!

Visit the Blume Photography website for more tips and photographer freebies.

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

 

Making Invoices Work For You

shootproof-invoicesWith the introduction of Invoices a few weeks ago, we’re excited that our photographers can now send their clients requests for payments!

Here are some ways you might use the Invoice tool in your account:


SESSION OR SITTING FEES:  
Have clients pre-pay for their portrait sessions, or collect up-front fees before the day of the event

DEPOSITS AND RETAINERS: Send an invoice for an entire amount due (say,  a wedding package) and have the invoice automatically calculate a percentage (or a set dollar amount) to be paid as a deposit or retainer.

CHANGES IN ORDERS: Client placed an order and now wants to make a change? Easily bill the client for the difference in pricing.

SPECIAL ORDERS: Send invoices for items that you sell outside of ShootProof, such as coffee table books, albums, accordion books, and more.

ADDITIONAL FEES: Do you charge for cakes for your cake smash session? Bill your clients for re-opening a gallery past its expiration date? Use an invoice!

UPGRADES & ADD-ONS: Easily collect payment for the extra things your clients add on to their normal packages or orders, such as extended hours for event coverage, second shooters, photo booth rentals, make-up artists, etc.

TRAVEL EXPENSES: Calculate your travel fees and send clients an invoice for payment for those out-of-area sessions and events.

 

We’d love to hear how you’re making Invoices work for your business! Comment below and let us know.

Already have an account with us? Check out your Invoicing page here.

Haven’t yet signed up? What are you waiting for?! Get yourself a free account and then read more about Invoices in our Knowledge Base.