12 for 10: Pictage Annual Memberships are back!

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Want TWO FREE months of Pictage membership? Of course, you do!

That’s why we’re bringing back the “12-for-10” promo for 2014!

That’s right, you’ll get two free months of your annual Pictage membership fees when you renew in advance. Just pay for ten months in advance and then get two months free!

Here are the details:

• The “12-for-10” promotion is only available through the month of November.

• New membership starts in Dec. 2013 and runs through Nov. 2014.

• It’s open to current and new members.

Simply follow one of the links below to pre-pay for ten months of your Pictage membership.

Pictage gives professional photographers a range of solutions that cover every aspect of your business. We’ll help you save time, book clients, and sell products!

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3 Ways to Keep Track of Contracts & Invoices Without Losing your Mind

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You didn’t get into photography so that you could manage paperwork.

But between all the invoicing and contracts that you manage for your various shoots, it’s easy to feel like you spend a majority of your day managing those tedious details! So how do you keep your desk and brain clear of the clutter from this pile of paperwork? Here are three tips for streamlining your workload, so you can get out from behind your desk, and back behind the camera.

I. Put everything online.

Contracts and invoices can all be done through online systems or services, making it quick and easy for your client to sign and return things to you. Plus, down the road, it’s easy to find all the contracts and invoices under each client’s online folder!

II. Automate as much as possible.

Invoices should be sent out automatically online through your studio management software. If clients pay by credit card, you …

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Two Tips for Managing Critical Client Information

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One of the biggest drains on a photographer’s time is the back-and-forth correspondence that happens with clients. There is just so much information that has to be collected and then managed – event details, invoicing, contract, album orders, and beyond.

That’s why it’s important to have strategies in place for efficiently managing this information. You need to be able to easily find what you’re looking for and minimize the amount of back-and-forth with clients.

I. Consolidate as much as possible using forms and questionnaires.

Email is a necessary but time-consuming (and annoying at times!) part of running a business, but if you make it more manageable, you’ll have more time to spend on other profitable activities. With all the information that has to be organized, it could mean a lot of emails. Or you could find a better way. Create a handful of forms or questionnaires that are used to gather most of the …

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Why Workflows Were a Lifesaver for Sara France & Made ShootQ Her First Choice

Photo: Sara France

 

Photo: Sara France

Before finding ShootQ, Sara France was drowning in spreadsheets to track tasks, and wanted workflows that enabled her – and her team – to stay organized without passing bulky files back and forth.

Now that she has ShootQ, she’s able to automate almost everything!

Her studio’s workflows are automated. Everything from invoices, emails, to new lead generation is automated and cloud-based.

According to Sara, “I didn’t want to do that work and needed to focus on growing my business. It’s much more efficient and takes less time. I don’t know how anyone has a studio without this program.”

In this case study, we’ll take a look at Sara France’s business and explore the ways that:

• In order to focus on growing your business, it’s important to have a solid management solution in place • Taking the time upfront saves countless hours over the long haul  • Cloud-based services allow photographers to access key …

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Your Best Shot of the Summer Image Contest – Behind the Winning Image!

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Photographer Robyn McIsaac is a Tennessee-based professional who won our image contest entitled, “Your Best Shot of the Summer.”

For her creativity and efforts, Robyn won some sweet ShootQ prizes! But more important, she won the hearts of many viewers who saw her winning image, entitled “Little Miss America.”

The Photo Life team was eager to hear more about Robyn’s heartfelt image, including how she created it and what it means to her clients.

Here’s a glimpse into Robyn’s creative process:

“When this tiny one arrived for her ‘welcome to the world’ photo shoot, her parents came in carrying this vest that weighed a ton more than she would have soaking wet.”

Immediately interested in the story behind the vest, Robyn inquired. Her client opened up, and the resulting image took on more meaning.

“The Mom shared their story, that her husband was deployed very suddenly and secretly just two very long days before she discovered …

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The Most Important Thing About Photography

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The Professional Photographer’s Guide to Content Marketing

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Does your blog bring you real job leads, ideal clients and incredible shooting opportunities?

Well, it should! When you started your photography business, you heard that your blog could serve as a valuable marketing tool. So you’ve been putting yourself out there, and have been spending enormous amounts of time and energy to keep your blog active.

But building your blog and posting consistently isn’t enough.

It takes more than authenticity and consistency to convert blog readers to paying clients; you need a disciplined process and approach. This guide will help you successfully use your blog as an effective marketing tool. It’s a three step process:

1. Creating and freely sharing valuable content 2. Building authentic and relevant relationships 3. Guiding potential clients toward the purchase decision

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How ShootQ’s Latest Updates Streamline Your Photography Business

What’s new with ShootQ? That’s right – there’s a new a batch of updates to ShootQ that will help you streamline your photography business.

There are a few features we think everyone will appreciate, but Portrait Photographers will find these updates especially useful. This release is the first of two phases, so be on the lookout for more improvements in the near future!

Here are a few highlights:

• More Customization: We created a slew of new variables for Contracts, Emails, and Invoice Templates to give you more flexibility & customization. Check ’em out today and let us know what you think!

• Creating a Shoot Just Got Faster: We added a button to every Relationship so you can load a Quick Lead and create a Shoot in just a few clicks. It’s super simple!

• Add Some Urgency: A new setting allows you to set a custom time-frame for every Proposal. Setting time limits on Booking Proposals can help …

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The Pro Photographer’s Retreat and Planning Guide

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!**

Happy Holidays TPL friends!

Can you believe 2012 is quickly coming to a close? How’d your business fare? Whether it’s been a fantastic year of growth or a frustrating year of decline, now is the time to reflect on 2012 and look ahead to identify ways that you can make 2013 your best year yet.

Consider running away from it all? Actually, that’s one of the smartest things you can do to improve your business: schedule a retreat.

Make plans to get away (even if you don’t go far) and take time for focused and productive business planning.

Use this Field guide as your resource for evaluating and planning in four major areas of your business:

What one thing are you doing differently …

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The Merits of Mobile Photography Part 3

An Instagram image is definitely worth more than 140 words. In August, Instagram officially passed Twitter in daily active users on mobile for the first time, according to new comScore data provided to Mashable. Instagram had 7.3 million daily mobile users for the month, while Twitter had 6.9 million. The merits of mobile photography are clear.

The data reveals that the average Instagram user spent 257 minutes accessing the site via mobile devices in August, while the average Twitter user over the same period only spent 170 minutes viewing. That’s a lot of connected, photo-sharing users coming back to the site often! Unlike Twitter which maintains a website, Instagram is mobile-first and mobile-only. This enables easy access to sharing features. That’s exactly why many media savvy companies have used Instagram as part of their online marketing strategy.

Consider this:

When we shoot a picture with our iPhone, we can share it with our followers within minutes. It …

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