02 Apr Customer Story: Amy Cyphers
Tell us a little bit about your business.
The Wild Child Photography is a boutique photography studio run by two crazy, fun and artistic ladies, Kim Bear, and Amy Cyphers. We thrive on photographing connection and emotion and selling art for our clients to cherish forever on their walls. We have had images featured in magazines, blog interviews, and the LensBaby website. Our love for photography stems from our own children’s lives and imaginations.
Which apps do you use? Shoot & Sell, ProofShare or both?
For studio in person sales sessions, and in home sales sessions, we always start with ProofShare and then after the clients favorites are picked we move to Shoot and Sell where we finalize the design and sale from their top images chosen through ProofShare.
How long have you been in business and what type of photography do you specialize in?
The Wild Child Photography has been an established business partnership for two years. Before we formed our partnership Kim and I had our own businesses, Kim Bear Photography, and Cyphers Photography and design. Combined we have a total of 18 years of experience in the photography industry!
How did you hear about the app and what made you choose ProofShare/and or Shoot & Sell over other solutions that you may have evaluated?
I learned about Shoot and Sell from a Facebook post I came across and I was instantly attracted to the clean design and simplicity of the app. I had looked at other sales software but the learning curve on some of them seemed to be pretty steep. We used Lightroom to rate images and sell before finally switching to ProofShare and love the options to feature the images in a slideshow to music. It took our sales sessions from 3 computer programs (We were using Animoto, Lightroom, and Photoshop) to just one to showcase and narrow down the images, and one to design walls.
How was business prior to switching to using Shoot & Sell and/or ProofShare?
Business before switching to Shoot & Sell and ProofShare was ok, but we didn’t really have a way to feature the clients images in a grouping on their actual wall. This is such an amazing feature and honestly I can’t remember how we sold big prints before. I know we didn’t sell many! Using these apps has increased our cash-flow a lot!
How long have you been using Shoot & Sell and/or ProofShare and how has it changed your business?
We’ve been using Shoot and Sell for a couple years now, and ProofShare for 6 months. Each app has alleviated hours of sales session prep. It’s literally made it simple and easy to showcase images professionally in a clients home or at our studio.
I use to think that you had to have a projector if you wanted to “sell big” .. that’s what all the old seasoned pro’s were saying, but now I hardly ever use my projector. (Gasp!) When the client can see his/her images displayed on their own wall, there is really no reason to even warm up the projector. Honestly the iPad screen is big enough! We typically do plug our iPad into a large TV, but there have been plenty of in home sales that we simply didn’t need to.
What are some other tools you use that you find indispensable in your business?
We always deliver our final product packaged with a small gift and thank you note. I believe we have repeat clients because we treat them right from beginning to end. Often we surprise them with a few gift prints as well so they know we appreciate their business. Handing a CD or thumb drive just doesn’t feel complete to us. Selling images is what we do, and we haven’t had a customer complain yet! Thanks to Shoot & Sell and ProofShare it’s a whole lot simpler then it use to be!
Do you have any words of wisdom for those just starting out with IPS? Is there anything you learned the hard way that you wish you’d known at the start?
Just do it! Yes, it’s another appointment, and sure, you are busy, but you can’t afford not to try in person sales. Your client will feel so satisfied, and I guarantee you will too! We decided to purchase an IPad for the sole purpose of using Shoot & Sell. Our first IPS with our brand new IPad and app was over $3,000! The client that purchased canvases that displayed on her actual walls with the app was typically a $350 client. We haven’t looked back since! The IPad and app had paid for themselves in that single IPS. She loved them, and has been back twice since that sale for sessions.
We still get phone calls asking “How much is our CD?” and it isn’t that we don’t sell it, we do, (it’s the most expensive item on our price list) It’s that our clients love to see their images displayed. Sometimes they don’t know it until we show them, and that’s where ProofShare, and Shoot & Sell have become invaluable tools for our photography business.
Another bit of wisdom… mini sessions… call them something else, and treat them like any other session! It drives me a little (ok a lot) crazy when I see a photographer offer “mini sessions” and give away the farm (all images on a CD, or whatever!) My tip is offer these sessions at a discount, because truly they are a shorter shoot, but still meet in person, still show them images with Shoot & Sell! You could be missing a huge sales opportunity! You can make good money in the photography industry if you truly value yourself and your business. It’s a great career! We are in it to make a living, not just buy the next lens on our list. I bet you’ve got as much sales ability as we do! ProofShare and Shoot & Sell do all the hard work for you.
Where can we see more of your work? (website URL)
Editor’s note: Kim and Amy have created a wonderful e-book called “From Pixels to Profit” that takes you step by step through their process of designing and selling wall art to their clients.