At the end of last year, I made the decision to switch to Sprout Studio, a CRM for photographers. I was with Dubsado prior to that for years. It’s still a good CRM, but it no longer served me as I began scaling my studio, diving into more metrics, and needed to reduce my software subscriptions. (They add up!)
This decision came after a lot of research, and I’m so glad I made the switch to Sprout Studio. If you’re a photographer or studio owner looking for a photographer-friendly CRM, keep reading. I’m going to share with you some of the most impactful features and benefits I’ve found after five months of using Sprout Studio.
If you’re interested in trying Sprout Studio, click here to get 20% off.
What is Sprout Studio?
Sprout Studio is an all-in-one studio management software for photographers by photographers. It essentially acts as your CRM, calendar, and gallery management software. For me, it allows me to organize my life. They automate nearly every aspect of client management, from contracts to session scheduling to gallery delivery! (Yes, it’s true…I have phased out Pixiset!)
Sprout Studio is geared toward studio owners who have one or more photographers working for them. That was a main driver for my switch. But I can also see it being helpful for solo photographers who are looking to reduce todos and focus more on your client experience.
Top Features I Use in Sprout Studio as a Photographer
There are so many amazing features, and I am constantly finding new ways to use the software better. However, there are five features that have truly changed the way I run my business.
I never used to be a numbers girl. I didn’t even know there were so many numbers I should have been tracking, let alone how. Once I figured it out, I spent a lot of time manually pulling metrics and I would get so stressed trying to gather numbers at the last minute before meeting with my team. So, when I tell you the analytics and reporting abilities of Sprout Studio have changed my business…I mean it!
Sprout Studio prioritizes pulling metrics that allow you as the business owner to make better decisions. I needed to understand things like what packages sell the best and where my leads were coming from, without having to Zap or manually pull data. This software does all the analysis for you.
Sprout Studio pulls metrics on:
- Sales Analysis
- Booking trends
- Financial Reports
My favorite reports are their financial reports because it automatically calculates how much monthly product sales tax I need to pay. (Thank you!) It also breaks down your top 5 products, services, and packages as well as how much you’ve made from each. This is giving me insight into which collections are selling the most and which services get more inquiries from different platforms. So you’ll know what session types to show off more on Instagram vs Facebook.
My goal this year was to scale Pompy Portraits Studio and bring on more photographers as I stepped back slightly from shooting to focus on Angelica Pompy Education. I needed to hire more photographers, which means they would need access to my CRM to communicate with their clients and access their calendars. I wanted to give them that access, but most CRMs don’t have a great way to separate what employees need access to from the financials. Dubsado and Honeybook both have multi-role features but I wasn’t impressed with it.
Most importantly, I needed a way to let my photographers use my CRM for their clients without giving them access to see certain aspects of my business. (MONEY.) Sprout Studio has an amazing multi-user role so my photographers only see the clients they’re assigned to.
Pixiset was always my go-to for gallery delivery but lately, their prices have increased significantly. When I looked at my renewal costs at the end of 2022, I realized it was more than double what I was paying. That just wasn’t worth it for what I was using it for.
Sprout Studio has a similar built-in gallery delivery feature as Pixiset. Through it, clients can view their gallery, mark favorites, order, and download digital copies. You can create a template or individually design each gallery cover image to better reflect your brand and each service the session was. There’s even reporting on views, reminder emails you can send out, and abandon card emails all in one place.
The biggest benefit is that it’s all rolled into your cost, so there’s no need for a CRM + Gallery software. This can save you a few hundred dollars a year.
Album Design Proofing
Did I mention the gallery delivery feature also does album design and proofing? Cuz it does! I’m going to make this a separate feature on the list because I know a lot of photographers don’t use Fundy for their album design.
So technically, this is a third subscription you can knock off your list.
Sprout Studio’s album design proofing is great. It’s all in the same software, which makes it a cohesive experience for your clients. Once you design an album, your client can give you feedback anywhere on the pages, suggest replacement images (and give you the file name of the photo they want instead), as well as approve.
Sprout Studio’s Virtual Assistant is their hub for email reminder automation. They have so many triggers you can utilize and they are very easy to activate.
In total, there are nine different categories of reminders including:
- Invoices & Orders
- Booking Proposals
- Client Details
- Design Proofs
- Connected Apps
- One Page
I particularly love the Gallery reminders, because they have ones to remind your clients they marked photos as their favorites but haven’t purchased them and also an abandoned cart reminder. Once you choose which reminder you want, Virtual Assistant just runs in the background. You don’t need to add it to a workflow or think about it again. Sprout Studio does it all for you.
*Honorable Mention: Ok, so I forgot to add this to my list but there is one more feature I love. Sprout Studio has conditional logic on its contact forms. So, say you have a client who’s inquiring about maternity vs newborn, you can tell it to pop up with specific questions you wouldn’t ask a newborn client. You can even use it to get them thinking about doing a maternity and newborn combo package before ever getting on the phone with them.
How does Sprout Studio stack up to other CRMs?
I can’t speak to all CRMs, but like I said, I used Dubsado for years before switching. If I had to compare Dubsado vs Sprout Studio, Sprout Studio would win in most categories. Their customer service is great and their metrics and reporting are unmatched.
My only complaint with Sprout Studio is the lack of autopay, something Dubsado rolled out recently. But it’s something they’re working to roll out in the future. Overall, I can honestly say switching has allowed me to have better eyes on my business and give my clients a better experience.
Sprout Studio Pricing
As far as pricing goes, Sprout Studio is more expensive than Dubsado if you want unlimited access to all its features. It starts at $17.42/m and has plans up to $63.25/m ($769/year). But you also have to remember, you’re cutting out unnecessary software like Pixiset ($480/year) and your album creation software. They even have a fully functional email marketing platform attached, so you could eliminate your Flodesk too. With all that it actually ends up saving you money and keeps things all in one place. Plus, you can use my code for 20% off to save even more.
Subscriptions Sprout Studio Replaces
- Email Marketing Platform
- Gallery Delivery Software
- Album Proofing Software
Overall my opinion after five months is that Sprout Studio is a better CRM for photographers. You save so much money and gain so many benefits. I won’t lie and say the thought of transitioning away from my old CRM didn’t scare the bejeezus out of me, but they made it easy.
I’m so happy I switched! If you’re looking for a more powerful CRM or to reduce software, you should definitely look into Sprout Studio.
If you’re interested in trying Sprout Studio, click here to get 20% off.