If you’re like most creatives, the very word is enough to trigger cold sweats and tremors. You barely survived grade-school mathematics, and, in your world, the word “QuickBooks” is dirtier than your kid’s gym socks.
The good news? Keeping your money organized doesn’t have to hurt. ShootProof is pals with the fine folks over at 17hats – and we have it on good authority that they can make your financial life as neat and tidy as your Pinterest dream closet.
Bottom line, 17hats is here to keep your books in line AND manage the inner workings of your studio so you can focus on being a brilliant creative.
“We’ve done away with QuickBooks completely,” says Eileen Blume. Eileen co-owns Blume Photography with her husband Phillip, and they swear by 17hats as their all-around studio manager. “We do all of our bookkeeping through 17hats, which has allowed us to scale our business and accept more clients. With 17hats, we can actually do what we love rather than all the minutia and paperwork.”
Busier and Better Than Ever
More clients sounds like fun, right? We all want bigger, better, more beautiful… But with more clients comes more of that “minutia and paperwork” Eileen mentioned. Or does it?
“17hats freed up our time so we could start an associate photographer program – something we never thought we could juggle with all our other demands,” Eileen admits.
So how do you keep track of a studio full of photographers, as well as hundreds of clients’ personal details, billing requirements, contact information, and project workflows?
Eileen elaborates, “Our clients are wedding couples, families, commercial clients, and book authors. With the 17hats contact feature, I can type a name into the search field and immediately have a label for the artwork we’re shipping. Or, before I run out to an engagement session, I can pull up details about the couple and see what they’re into. That gives us plenty to talk about during the shoot.”
Hands-Free So You Can Be More Hands-On
“A 17hats feature that’s huge for us – and it’s a simple one – is the built-in lead capture form,” Eileen shares. “If someone inquires through our website’s contact page, 17hats imports their information as a new profile. We’re not manually entering customer information. Clients are entering their own information simply by contacting us.”
The parents of three kiddos, Eileen and Phillip also manage an endless stream of community projects. Efficiency, for them, is critical.
“I think a lot of photographers can relate,” says Eileen, “because most of us are private business owners, and we’re overwhelmed by the amount of work and life stuff we have to balance.”
“17hats provides a workflow for every client we serve. After a one-time template customization, 17hats now automates the process for every client. For example, it reminds us to send gifts to our clients – a booking gift and a gift after the project is over – so they know how much we love them. Those little things add up to the big goal: client experience.”
Keep More of Your Hard-Earned Income In Your Dainty Photographer Hands
Whether you’re just starting out or a decade into the business, photographers know that getting paid is necessary for success. We can only live off of social media shares and congratulatory handshakes for so long – and by “so long” we mean “through lunch.”
17hats not only makes invoicing a breeze, they’ve also implemented a quick-and-easy e-check payment option!
“The e-check option allows us to get paid without incurring credit card fees,” Eileen explains. “Before, we spent so much on credit card fees, we stopped accepting credit cards and only allowed personal checks. But that meant we had to do a lot of manual follow-up, like, ‘Your check hasn’t arrived in the mail; can you make sure you sent it to the right address?’ Now our clients can pay by e-check through 17hats with a simple e-mail, and we’re not hit with hefty credit card fees. It’s saving our business a ton of money.”
17hats and ShootProof, Sittin’ In A Tree
So you’ve pared down about eleventy-billion separate systems into one: 17hats is handling your bookkeeping, your leads, your client workflows, and your payments. What other magic can they conjure?
“Our photographs are all in ShootProof galleries,” Eileen tells us, “and our wedding and portrait clients order pictures through those galleries. Now add in our associate weddings, and we’re getting orders from couples we’ve never even met!”
“It could be a lot to handle, but because of the integration between ShootProof and 17hats, all of our ShootProof orders are automatically migrated into our 17hats account. The bookkeeping and financial reports are all there, ready for our CPA. We don’t have to move anything around manually. Our profit log is always current, and we always know exactly what we’re earning.”
And the Gift Goes On…
Streamlined bookkeeping? Happier clients? Better time management? A bigger paycheck? Yep. We thought so. You’re already in love with 17hats (and, admit it — maybe also just a little bit in love with the Blumes). Check out their work, and see how their Athens, GA-based studio is thriving with ShootProof and 17hats!
Not using ShootProof + 17hats yet? Try ShootProof out for 30 days, free.
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