v3 : The only CRM software photographers need
Six years ago, Sprout Studio was launched. Since then, we've grown not only as a company – but also as a software.
On January 6th, 2022, we are launching our most powerful, dynamic, and intuitive update yet – v3! This update is packed with 13 amazing new features to make 2022 the easiest year for photographers yet.
The team here at Sprout couldn't be more excited to share all the features we have in store for you. We've been busy getting feedback from photographers, perfecting the upgrades, and making our first-ever virtual Keynote that showcases the software in a way like never seen before.
There's a lot of exciting things to cover here, so let's get into the 13 features:
- Saved Views
- Global Contracts
- Grouped Templates
- Booking Proposal Builder
- Price Lists
- Pricing Assistant
- Self-Fulfilled Orders
- Lab-Fulfilled Orders
Saved Views – Add to Calendar
When you're using Sprout in your day-to-day life, you might find yourself overwhelmed with everything in front of you; after all, you're a busy photographer! You have all sorts of contacts, leads, shoots, galleries – and seeing them all at the same time can be a bit much.
Sure, you can filter your pages and only view “wedding leads” or “galleries that are expiring soon” for example, but as soon as you leave those pages after filtering – it resets.
Well, not anymore.
With saved views in Sprout v3, on any of your list pages – like leads, shoots, galleries, or contacts – you can set up filters, choose sorting options, configure exactly how much is shown per page, and easily save any of those configurations as a “saved view” for that page.
Then, you can quickly choose those saved views in the future for instantaneous filtering. Now you can see what you want to see, without wasting any time getting there. You can even save a set of filters as your default view so Sprout works and looks the way you want it to for your business.
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Oh – and look how beautiful your list pages are now. Re-imagined, clean, and easy to scan.
Now in Sprout v3 and saved views, you don't have to burn mental calories doing the same things over and over again. You can get what you need quicker and save time running your business.
Saved Views saves you time in Sprout v3.
Global Contracts – Add to Calendar
In v2, you can send your clients contracts in Sprout and have them digitally signed. Sprout Studio users send almost 150,000 contracts annually – saving them an equivalent of 520 days worth of time per year from the manual back-and-forth.
But what about contracts for a 2nd shooter? Or vendors? Or model releases for clients that aren't necessarily a part of a lead or shoot?
Well now, contracts don't need to be attached to shoots anymore. In Sprout v3, your contracts are infinitely more flexible.
You can send a standalone contract that isn't attached to a shoot or a lead, then have them signed with the same ease you've become used to – without the restrictions placed there before.
You can also attach contracts to a lead or shoot but mark it as an “internal” contract, so your client never sees it in their client portal. This is great for staying organized with your 2nd shooter contracts and keeping track of what shoots they're working on.
We even designed a new contract builder so you can ensure everything you need for your contracts is easily accessible and customizable.
Now in Sprout v3 and global contracts, you can stay more organized with all the areas of your business. No more workarounds and no more having things slip through the cracks.
Global contracts – the modern contract method.
UX/UI – Add to Calendar
At Sprout, we believe that software has to serve a purpose, but at the same time, we know how important it is for you to enjoy the software you're using.
In Sprout v3, we've completely overhauled the user interface and user experience for you as the photographer using Sprout Studio.
So much of Sprout has been re-designed, and you're going to love it. Everything from the buttons, icons, and colours, to the pop-ups, drop-downs, and quick-add – plus everything in between.
Even the pages you use the most also got completely modernized, like orders and galleries! We introduced a new sidebar panel that gives you all the important metadata and other quick actions right at your fingertips, plus access to all the configurations.
And UI is just one-half of it. The UX was also intentionally rebuilt so everything feels smoother, transitions more thoughtfully, and loads quicker. Oh – and we added a new “theme” functionality in Sprout so you can pick a UI and aesthetic that you prefer.
Not only did we go through your side of Sprout with a fine-tooth comb, but we also took the opportunity to make your clients' experience more refined. Your galleries, for example, benefit from some really beautiful improvements, like new icons, more modern transitions, and dozens of other subtle tweaks.
We're so excited for you, because hey – you're a photographer and visuals are important. You should enjoy the software you use, and now with an improved UX and UI, you can get in, get what you need quicker, and enjoy things a bit more along the way.
And those are just some of the UX/UI improvements in Sprout v3.
Navigation – Add to Calendar
Some of the feedback we've received over the years had to do with the navigation of Sprout Studio. We learned that users sometimes feel like they're lost in a corn maze as they navigate through the software, and we're not okay with that.
So, along with the UI and UX revamp in v3, our design team collaborated with our head of data science to build a navigation hierarchy that was more intuitive and more streamlined.
And as our design team does, they went 1 step further and made it stunning.
In Sprout v3, we are introducing a refined and updated icon set within the navigation. You'll enjoy a more clear distinction between the main navigation and sub-navigation, like within a lead or shoot. This keeps things clean and distinct so you always know where you are.
We expanded the options and got more granular with the hierarchy in the settings navigation. We also introduced a brand-new “smart menu” functionality. This means you can now expand and collapse the sections without having to navigate directly to those pages.
You'll also notice that every settings page itself was rebuilt from the ground up. Everything is now more consistent from page to page, the actions are clearer, and you can see more within one view at a time.
With Sprout v3, you can find what you're looking for faster. The interface, navigation, and menu system get out of your way so you can spend more time being productive and less time preoccupied with the details of it all.
Navigation on v3 – a straightforward way to find the things you need.
Grouped Templates – Add to Calendar
No matter where you are in your business journey – whether you're just getting started or you've been successful for years – one of the reasons you love Sprout is because it helps you streamline everything in one place.
To really take advantage of all the benefits of Sprout, you'll want to have all the systems set up in your account. Systems like dozens of email templates, contract templates, questionnaire templates, payment schedules, and more.
In fact, if you've used Sprout Template Library – our free library, with hundreds of pre-made templates – you can probably recognize that having the templates listed alphabetically can sometimes become overwhelming when you go to use them.
We've got a solution for you.
In Sprout v3, you'll get grouped templates.
From any of your settings pages, you can categorize your templates. You can put email templates into “wedding”, “portrait” and “generic” for example – and you can have as many categories as you'd like!
Of course, our design team insisted that you can pick the colours for these categories too. So, not only does it make your workflow more efficient, but it's more beautiful and customizable for you too.
Wherever you need to use your templates (when writing an email, for example), you'll see those categorizations arranged in the way you want. Now, finding the template you're looking for is much more efficient and convenient.
In Sprout v3 with grouped templates, you can organize your systems the way you want, and find what you need with ease.
BP Builder – Add to Calendar
Booking proposals are one of the most used tools in Sprout. Last year, there were 86,271 booking proposals sent to clients across Sprout!
Alongside the UI and UX improvements, we also took feedback from our users over the years and completely overhauled the booking proposal builder for you on the backend.
In Sprout v3, the booking proposal builder is streamlined and designed in a linear flow to represent how your clients go through the booking proposal on the front-end. You can easily add everything with the click of a button – instead of searching for or trying to remember how to set it up.
We even built a new “payment terms” section that is shared with the orders page. You can either choose a pre-built payment schedule, or simply specify when the invoice for the booking proposal is due.
You'll also appreciate the new automatic logbook section.
We introduced this for both booking proposals and orders, and surely – more will follow. All of your activity will be logged automatically, but you can also add notes so everyone on your team (or just yourself) is on the right path. Now, you can get the big picture of what's going on with a particular client along their journey.
In Sprout v3, you can more easily and quickly build a booking proposal. This means you’ll have more confidence in what you're putting in front of your clients and spend less time sifting through the details and double-checking your work.
v3’s booking proposal builder was made to make running your business easier.
Price Lists – Add to Calendar
As you may know, Sprout v3 started as lab integration. But as the product team began to investigate what was required to integrate with labs and automate print order fulfillment – they realized that price lists needed far more flexibility than what was being offered.
And so price lists were reborn.
With Sprout v3, your price lists are now infinitely more powerful.
You can create as many different “print types” as you'd like. For example, framed prints, canvas prints, flat prints, and so on. Then, for each of those, you can set up your sizes. You can even “name” your sizes if you'd rather use different terminology in your marketing and selling material, such as small, medium, and large.
For each print type, you can set up options like frame type, matte colour, or paper finish, and then each of those options can have individual choices as well. If that wasn't enough flexibility, you can also choose to create add-ons, like premium packaging or glass type with additional options for each!
Of course, once you've set up your sizes, options, choices, and add-ons, you can specify your cost and prices.
For every option in your list, you can include your costs to then calculate your overall prices. Or, if there's a specific option you don't want to offer, you can simply exclude it from your offerings.
There are dozens of other improvements to price lists in Sprout v3 with an unlimited set of offerings. Now, you can set up your price list in a way that works for you, your business, and your clients.
Better manage your prices with the new price list on v3.
Self-fulfilled Orders – Add to Calendar
As photographers, we know how overwhelming things can get when taking print orders from clients (especially during holiday seasons). Trying to stay on top of it, make sure everything is organized, and that clients are getting what they paid for is almost a full-time job in and of itself.
When we started diving into the world of lab integration, we knew that we also wanted to build a system that was useful to every photographer – even those who chose not to automatically fulfill their prints with a lab.
And so – we created the self-fulfilled order.
Now, even for orders that are self-fulfilled and not automatically sent to a lab, you can track the “status” of each order item and walk it through an approval process. This means no order will be lost track of again!
For each item, you can upload the retouched file, crop the image in Sprout, add additional “bonus” copies, and “approve” that line item.
We even built a full-screen, distraction-free “Process Order” view so you can get through more orders in less time.
Once you're done, you can download a ZIP file of all of the prints in that order, all sized appropriately, properly cropped, and organized into a folder per size. All you have to do now is send them to whichever lab you'd like or print them yourself at your studio.
With the new self-fulfilled order in Sprout v3, you can keep organized, save time, and ultimately – make sure your clients always get what they are expecting.
Pricing Assistant – Add to Calendar
One of the biggest struggles that many photographers have is how to price themselves. Some will either pull numbers out of the air, some will look at their competition and price themselves accordingly, or others will just arbitrarily add a multiplier onto their cost.
12 years ago, Sprout Studio’s CEO – Bryan, wrote THE book on pricing for photographers, called “Pricing for Profit”. He taught you how to apply the proven cost-based pricing strategy to your photography pricing. Since then, 100s of 1000s of photographers around the world have taken those strategies and built wildly profitable businesses with them.
Now, with Sprout Studio v3, we've built those methods right into your price list so you can make sure you're profitable.
In your price list, you can go into the pricing assistant to configure your preferences.
First, you tell the pricing assistant what your hourly rate is. And if you don't know that, you can enter what you'd like your annual salary to be and the pricing assistant will calculate your hourly rate from there.
Then you set up your markup, which defaults to 2.85, which is our recommended best-practice COGS model.
Lastly, you tell the pricing assistant how long you spend, on average, per print. This is important because the pricing assistant will factor in your time – and your hourly rate – when it calculates your prices.
For each of your print sizes, you can turn the pricing assistant “on” and “off”, or even override the mark-up and time per print for each. This way, if you spend more time on larger prints, for example, you can specify that. Or if you want some of your sizes to be marked up more to increase perceived value, you can.
When you're all done, you choose which pricing strategy you'd like the pricing assistant to use and all of your prices are automatically calculated based on cost, time, and markup! Of course, you can always adjust from there, but it gives you a great starting point.
Join the 100s of 1000s of photographers who are set up for success, who are confident with their pricing, are knowledgeable with their numbers, and are making a great living doing what they love.
Mobile – Add to Calendar
Almost 50% of you are using Sprout on the go. You're busy, you're traveling, you're in your car, you're out at sessions, or maybe you just like to check in on your business while you're watching Netflix at night.
Either way, mobile access to Sprout is important to you. And we agree.
The team at Sprout Studio was challenged to re-think the mobile experience from the ground up. In those discussions, the lines between an “app” and a “browser experience” got blurred. And we love what we've come up with. It is truly an app-like experience in your mobile web browser. This means we can continue to update Sprout for you, like we do, without having to jump through the hoops of the app store.
In Sprout v3 on mobile, the navigation has been overhauled. It is cleaner, simpler to use, and the menu items themselves are 50% larger so you can always end up where you want.
Your dashboard was rebuilt from the ground up. You now have everything you need at your fingertips. It's easy to scroll, easy to use, and easier to navigate. The core utilities are now broken out into spaces at the top of the page, so you can quickly swipe over to get access to your data.
Each page itself was carefully reconsidered. We asked – “what does a photographer want to do on this page while they're on the go?”, then rebuilt the page with that as the forefront. Everything is exactly where you'd expect it to be.
Modals, menus, pop-ups, and drop-downs were all reimagined for a new mobile experience – we added a cleaner design, bigger touch areas, and more clearly defined actions and buttons.
Something we’re particularly proud of is the app-like experience and customizability introduced in Sprout v3 mobile. Now, you can customize which buttons are highlighted when you add something on the go – for example, if you add leads often while on the go, you can make that your #1 button. Or if you're always creating emails while on the go, you can make that your #1 button.
It truly is a blend between app and browser experience.
In Sprout v3, the mobile interface didn't just get a renovation, it was torn down and rebuilt. It's got a better foundation and all the fresh, clean upgrades you'd expect in a new build.
Easily get back to focusing on your busy life without using up any more of your valuable time with v3’s new mobile experience.
Visualizer – Add to Calendar
Do you find that your clients often ask about just getting digital files from you? Does that frustrate you or leave you feeling deflated? After all, you want to see your photography enjoyed on the walls of your clients' homes, right?
Many photographers have told us that their clients either get overwhelmed with the options or can't visualize your work on their walls.
So we built visualizer.
Show off your beautiful photography in Sprout galleries with dynamic 3D mockups of your products. Using custom-built scenes and the latest in web technology, these life-like visualizations of your prints and products have never looked better.
You can completely customize your options and choices with various visual configurations – like the frame colour of a framed print, the border thickness of a flat print, or even the canvas depth of a gallery canvas wrap.
As your clients are reviewing your offerings in their shop, they can choose options and immediately see what they look like with their photos front and centre.
The visualizer is a breakthrough in what we can do on the web and is something that's never been done before! Now, you can stop confusing your clients and create a clear picture (pun intended) of what you have to offer.
Stand out from the other shoot-and-burn photographers, give your clients a beautiful experience and serve them well, all on Sprout Studio, all with v3’s visualizer.
Shop – Add to Calendar
A huge part of capturing the beauty of your brand is the visual components. Giving your clients a more aesthetic buying experience, especially as a photographer, is important for making sales.
But, aesthetics go past a nice logo and colour scheme, you always want to organize your products and prints in a way that clients can more meaningfully enjoy your photography.
Instead of having a pre-set layout that looks and feels the same as competitors, we built a new and improved shop that is easily customizable.
With Sprout Studio v3, you can tell Sprout to “automatically” set up your shop for your price list, or set it up manually by using the new drag-and-drop builder. For each offering in your price list, you can add all the “marketing hype” you'd like to make sure your work stands out – customer testimonials included!
Combined with the new visualizer, complemented with photos in Unsplash, or adding your own custom images, your product offerings have never looked better!
Now you can have a virtual store-front that's visually appealing to your clients, while also getting great clarity on all the offerings you have available for purchase.
Customize the shop to your own liking and take advantage of over a dozen built-in sales tools, you'll be able to show off your offerings in a way that suits your business and makes you more money along the way!
With your new shop, branded your way, you can be confident knowing that your clients will be getting a buying experience that cuts through the noise!
Make your clients happy and make more sales with the all-new shop in Sprout Studio v3!
Lab-fulfillment – Add to Calendar
Now, the final feature that many of you have been asking and waiting for – lab-fulfillment.
Perhaps some of these features sound a bit overwhelming and you'd rather go hands-off for processing your orders and have a lab take care of it all. Well, now you can.
Lab-fulfillment wraps up everything you just heard about today. Your clients will get an incredible, seamless and refined experience.
Now, with the new visualizer and the new shop. When your client orders prints, you can have them sent to the lab – either automatically or with a built-in pause.
With Sprout Studio lab-fulfillment, you can add items from our supported labs to your price list. You can choose to have orders from that price list …
Automatically sent to the lab for fulfillment
Paused for your approval, or …
Put on hold for a specified period of time
You can also choose to have orders shipped to you for quality assurance and review, or, you can have them drop-shipped directly to your clients. With Sprout lab-fulfillment, you have the choice to set up the level of automation and workflow the way that best suits you.
Lab-fulfillment is something we put a lot of effort into this year, and quite frankly, it was what kicked off the push for Sprout v3.
Save time and streamline your business. Spend more time doing the things you love and less time doing the things you don't. Lab fulfillment in Sprout Studio v3 can be your secret weapon to serving your clients well – at scale.
Learn more about v3 and how to get this awesome new update here!!