Ask yourself how many of your clients have smartphones, iPads or both? Our answer was – A LOT! We’ve seen a steady increase in website traffic from mobile devices over the last two years and when I checked again today, it’s staggering that almost 20% of all our visitors were from mobile devices. That’s A LOT of people visiting us from mobile devices! Over 70% of them were on iPhones and iPads. So, that got my brain thinking about how our clients see and share their images digitally via mobile devices. As you’ll see in a personal story coming up, mobile albums improve word-of-mouth marketing like nothing else! Both of these experiences led me to seek out a company that specializes in mobile client albums – StickyAlbums.
What is StickyAlbums?
StickyAlbums let you create mobile photo albums – a branded mobile app – which your clients can save to their iPhones, iPads or other devices. Moreover, once you set your default branding, such as the cute custom app icon clients see on their home screen, you can create an album in less than a minute for each client!
When you deliver a wedding album to your clients, wouldn’t it be awesome to pair it with their digital album so they can show their co-workers and friends? Clients talk about their wedding and portrait images when they’re still new, fresh and exciting. Their friends are always supportive and curious, but often, sharing just stops there. With StickyAlbums, clients can tell their friends about the experience and show them the results on a whim – on their phones! It’s word-of-mouth marketing on steroids because you have images, in a branded platform, right at your client’s fingertips – ALL THE TIME.
Moreover, you control the app and can make updates and changes on the fly; the next time your client goes to the app, the updates will be seen –you always retain control of your branding. Once the images have gone through the initial quick download on your client’s phone, they won’t need to be connected to cell service to view them. They can view them anywhere, without having to wait to download each time!
Because it’s connected to your brand, there’s an easy way to call you, visit your website or connect with you on social media. It’s right on the app’s main screen with your client’s thumbnails.
Word-Of-Mouth Marketing On Steroids
So, here’s a true story that convinced me this was a powerful, money-making tool for our business. Recently, a client (who works in the photo industry) did a glamour boudoir session with me for a holiday gift for her hubby. She radiated beauty and we had such a fun experience with hair/makeup, wardrobe planning and the shoot. The images turned out fantastic and the in-studio premier was successful. Boudoir images get shared between female friends quickly, although most don’t want you to use their images online, so as soon as she went to work the next day she emailed me and begged me to put the ones she purchased online so she could share them with her friends. But to maintain the surprise for her hubby and to keep her privacy, she didn’t want them on our blog.
I thought, well, it’s now or never to try StickyAlbums! So I took the plunge and setup a pro account and uploaded her images to create her app. Instantly she followed the simple steps and had it on her phone – the sharing began! Within a week, we had two new sessions scheduled and we have three more, “I’m going to do that next year for Valentine’s,” quotes from her friends. The first album paid for the app in a single day.
Ideas for Using the App
You can go crazy with ideas for this app and there’s lots of examples included in their tutorials and on a recent article from The Modern Tog on ways to use StickyAlbums for marketing. Our favorites include: setting up albums for wedding venues and other vendors to showcase your work. Once we’ve shot at a venue again, we can easily update new images to their album and they don’t have to do anything! Secondly, you can include a referral image (coupon) in each of your client albums, so that when they share with friends, both parties see the coupon and both parties get a value add (we use a print credit for both sides). For weddings, it’s not just our clients who can download the app; family can also download it and have it on their phones to share with friends – think VIRAL.
How To Use StickyAlbums In The Sales Process
Like any add-on product, it needs to be listed in your a-la-carte menu and included in your top packages. We make it easy to get a StickyAlbum because we WANT our clients to be excited by it and showcase our images to their friends. Of course, we’re not giving it away for free, there’s a ton of value it in for your clients. And they want it.
Outside of including it in our mid and top wedding packages, for our portrait and boudoir clients, we use it to drive print sales. Every print they buy will have a corresponding digital image included in their mobile album. The more prints they buy, the more images go into their album!
Although there’s an argument that digital images (or albums) will take away from print sales…yada, yada…I totally disagree and feel that it’s a matter of setting yourself up for success. Yes, if you give the digital images away, I’m not sure if this app is for you, but for the majority of photographers who sell products as much as services, it’s a great add-on to your product menu.
Tips For Creating Albums
Here’s a few tidbits for making the process simple. First, create a default collection in your LR template that’s called ‘StickyAlbum’ and throw all the images the client buys, or the wedding album images, or layouts, in it for each client job. From there, use Sal Cincotta’s LR export preset to auto size the images on export.
In the beginning, plan on spending 30 minutes to one hour setting up your brand images and account settings (the ones that will be default for all your client apps). This way, you don’t have to change the branding settings for each album (you can, but it’s not efficient or necessary). Moreover, setup an email template (Sal includes one in his LR preset download that’s perfect) so that when the album is ready, you can use the template to send it out. These little tips help create a mobile album in a minute!
Happy mobile marketing everyone, I’d love to hear about your experiences too!
LEARN MORE: STICKYALBUMS
About the Author
Wendy Roe has spent the last 10 years ingrained in all things web marketing – from design/development to search/social media. In May 2010, she decided to quit the corporate life and join forces with her husband, Byron Roe, to shoot full-time one of life’s ultimate highs – weddings. She now focuses on business development and being a second shooter for Bend, Oregon based wedding photographers, Byron Roe Photography.
She is the co-author of “55 Smart Web Ideas for Photographers” e-book, a 2-time speaker at WPPI Photographer’s Ignite and traveled through west coast PUG groups consulting photographers on web marketing. She’s known as an interpreter, changing technical language into easy information. Above all, she’s an educator at heart and believes: “Web marketing and wedding photography are two passions that drive bringing the best out of beauty and brands.”