Carrie Swails’s website is a nerdy paradise of Star Wars fonts, Harry Potter nods, and Lord of the Rings styling. From our very first visit, we were hooked – and by hooked, we mean we fell instantly in love with Carrie and wanted to be her best friend. (Still working on that.)
We also had to know: how does a solo photographer have time to build this phantasmagorical online presence AND maintain a thriving photography career?
One word: Pixifi.
No, Pixifi isn’t the name of a mischievous fairy or a wizard’s miniaturizing spell. It’s the lighthearted moniker of a hard-hitting studio management software that’s taking Carrie Swails’s one-woman-show to the next level – and freeing her up to spend more time snuggling her dogs and dying her hair purple.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
“Probably six years ago,” Carrie explains, “I was printing out contracts and mailing them to my clients and waiting for them to mail the contracts back. When you do that, the contract sits on their countertop forever and your client forgets to sign it. I saw how much time I was spending chasing people down, like, ‘I didn’t get your contract,’ or ‘Did you send that check in the mail?’ It was such a hassle!”
That’s when Pixifi swooped in Hedwig-style and saved this Denver-based creative from handwritten checks, coffee-stained contracts, and the dreaded U.S. postal system.
“Pixifi changed the game for me in three ways: contracts, payments, and e-mail automations. These are all integral to Pixifi’s proposals. Pixifi sends my potential client a link where they select the package they want to book and any add-ons – like engagement sessions. Then my client signs the contract and pays their deposit – all online.”
No more snail mail. Or owl mail, for that matter. (Sorry, Hedwig.)
Droid-Drafted Emails: The Future Is Now
Carrie’s most-used Pixifi feature is e-mail automation. If you’re of the overworked-and-occasionally-introverted persuasion, you know what a blessing e-mail can be. (Goodbye, lengthy phone calls!) But you also recognize that e-mail can be its own time-suck.
This is where automated emails come in. When Carrie joined Pixifi, she customized a series of e-mails to be automatically generated to her clients. Most photographers know to automate Thank You e-mails and invoice reminders, but Carrie took e-mail automation to the next level.
“My e-mail automation system is very robust. There are answers to questions my clients always ask, like ‘What do we wear?’ or ‘How do we pick a spot for engagement pictures?’ My clients are very nerdy and offbeat and non-traditional. They don’t tend to read bridal magazines to get advice. I invested a lot of time with Pixifi developing a series of automated emails that provide tips and information, links to blog posts that I’ve written, links to articles on other websites… My automated emails put all the best resources right at my clients’ fingertips – and I don’t have to do a thing.”
Make it $o.
We get it: automation saves time, and time is money, therefore automation makes us more money. But how do we turn time-money into tangible-money that rustles about in our wallets? How does Pixifi convert conceptual cash into bill-paying bucks?
The obvious first example has already been given: by providing automated payment solutions, photographers increase the likelihood that a client will, in fact, pay their invoices – promptly and with a smile on their face.
But Carrie has taken her genius e-mail automation system one step further.
“I use both Pixifi and ShootProof,” Carrie expounds. “The last automated e-mail I send through Pixifi goes out at 8:00am the morning after a client’s wedding, reminding my clients when their photos will be done and telling them to have a great honeymoon. From there, I edit the photos and upload them to ShootProof. Then, within ShootProof, I continue sending automated emails, which increases print sales afterward! The ShootProof automated emails are equally as effortless as the e-mails automated through Pixifi, and they work really well side-by-side. This continued thread of automated e-mail communication provides a seamless experience for my clients, from booking to final delivery.”
“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” – The Doctor
At the end of the day, if the dream team of Pixifi, ShootProof, and a glass of wine can do just one thing for you, let them make your life simpler, richer, and more balanced.
“Pixifi means that I spend less time doing stuff I don’t like,” Carrie says. “The thing photographers forget is that we all become photographers because we love photography, but we become business owners because we love freedom. When we automate the complicated stuff, we gain the freedom that made us want our own businesses in the first place.”
Well said, young Jedi. Well said.
Get your first 30 days of ShootProof free. Sign up now.
You May Also Enjoy...