Cherry Picked!

Hand-selected articles, guides, and more from the makers of Check Cherry, designed to help your business grow and flourish.

June 22, 2017 Judd Lillestrand

Five Ways To Get More Photo Booth Business From Your Website

Does your website close business for you? It should. If you're like most photo booth entrepreneurs, you're spending meaningful time getting people to notice your business online. A website is often the first and only chance you have at winning new business.

Over the years, I've developed a lot of websites for a number of different businesses as a web developer. This post offers some tips on ways maximize the number of people who pull the trigger and go with your service.

1. Invest in a modern website.

Appearance matters.  Prospective clients will judge the quality of your service based on the look and feel of your website. You don't need anything super fancy or expensive. In fact, I've seen several people do a great job themselves with tools like Squarespace or Wordpress. 

Ultimately, you want the website to give your guests that warm and fuzzy feeling. You know the feeling when you visit a website and it just feels like they have thier act together. Aim for a modern look with an appealing color palette and don't clutter the pages with information not helpful to a first time buyer. 

I recommend adding large images of people smiling and photos of the equipment they can expect to see if your services are acquired. It also needs to look great on a mobile and desktop devices. 

2. Productize your services.

This one is super important to service based businesses who perform at events. Your prospective clients time is valuable: help them quickly understand what you offer and what your ideal client looks like.

In the photo booth industry, think a minimum of two packages is a no-brainer. Focus on a based package (the minimum you're willing to work for) and offer another package tailored to clients with a larger budget.

Believe it or not, some buyers don't know what they want. Some buyers don't even know what is available.  Showing packages demonstrates you understand your business and customers. It's a good sign and will help reduce uncertainty.

3. Be transparent.

Now that you've laid out your packages, it's time to put a price on it. For some, this can be the hardest item on the lists. Just keep in mind, you're website's goal is to provide prospects with the information they need to make an informed purchase. Pricing is at the top of the list of things one needs before making a purchase. 

Also, the more you can be transparent, the more a visitor will trust you. Ross shared his experience "changing camps" and choosing to add pricing to his photo booth website. If you're on the fence, it's worth a read.

4. Provide a clear call to action.

What is the one thing you want a person to do after visiting your website? All of your efforts should support driving people to this call to action.
In the photo booth industry, this often is a button placed several prominent places with text such as: "Book Now", "Build Your Package", "Reserve Today". You get the idea and it's good to have it several places.

5. Avoid large web forms.

This is a big one. You've managed to successfully drive a person to your call to action. They've seen your pricing and are interested. Let's not blow it by asking fill out an huge webform.

I'd keep it to a minimum and get just the basics which will allow you to follow up with the lead: probably name, email, phone. The goal here is to make it easy for them to give you thier contact information.

In the Check Cherry platform, we use a multistep form approach. They first step is simple contact info and as they continue down the funnel, they can choose to provide more information. A visitor only needs to complete the first step in order for the data to be collected.

In conclusion

Simply put: your website's goal is to give the visitor everything they need to feel confident in pulling the trigger, booking your services and making a informed purchase.

If you're doing the five things above and your "Book Now" button currently goes to a "Contact Me" form, you're missing a huge opportunity and you'd probably be a great fit for Check Cherry our photo booth software which is designed to help you grow and manage your business. After some basic setup, you'll be ready to start accepting new bookings online.
June 12, 2017 Ross

Adding Pricing To My Website Nearly Tripled My Revenue

Generally, event-based business entrepreneurs fall into one of two camps: 

  1. We list pricing on our website for all to see. We stand exposed.
  2. We hide our pricing and ask prospective clients to "contact us".

I started in the "contact us” camp and did not show pricing.

I think there were two main reasons why I chose not to publicly advertise my pricing:

  • I didn't want to miss out on a single lead. There was an underlying fear: if someone were to come to my website, see my pricing and determine I was too expensive, they might not contact me and I might not get a chance to close the deal.
  • I wanted to make sure my customers were happy. I believed "customizing" my services for each client's needs helped maximize the likelihood they would be a happy customer. 

Looking back, I realize I didn't want to show my pricing because I wasn't confident in my service and I had not identified my ideal client. This blog post is my journey from one camp to the next.

More leads are great until they aren't.

I literally wanted every lead and I'd spend a lot of time following up with prospects. After all, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to hustle, right? At the time, I was already a steal (2 hours for $300). 

My desire to prevent a prospect from disqualifying themselves before I had a chance to close the deal over the phone worked well. I maximized lead count and spent a lot of time qualifying them, chasing them, and closing them. However, it seems like many prospects wanted to negotiate a lower rate and because I had already invested so much time in a prospect, I often found it compelling to lower my standard rate in an effort to end the chase and close the deal. To make matters worse, that lower rate became my standard rate in the minds of the client should they refer business or book again. 

In other words, if a client was given a discount and they referred a friend, that referral would often expect to get the same deal. It was a slippery slope. The number one and two questions prospects would ask is "How much?" followed by "What do I get for that?" Frankly, it was not a good way to start the sales process and I often found myself justifying my quoted fee after providing a quote.

I did some research; it was time to change camps.

Clearly and understandably, the prospect wanted to know if they could afford my service and what I offered in exchange for that money. I get that and realized it was time for me to consider switching camps. I wanted to put pricing on the website.

Before taking the plunge I did some research. Turns out a lot of people trust a business more when they are transparent. Adding pricing to my website also forced me to productize my service. Turns out customers who are provided all the information required for them to make an informed purchase are better leads and price becomes much less of a focus for sales calls. It turns out I was doing it wrong.

I created packages for the different types of clients and their budgets. I started with a small, medium, and large approach. (I'll write more on this soon.) This gave me a bit of a middle ground for customizing my service based on the needs of a client and still displaying a set price. 

I was nervous.

What if all the leads dried up? What if my plan backfired and I need to lower my rates? What if my packages do not cover every situation and the client thinks I can't accommodate their event? What if my business shrinks?

I put pricing on my website in 2016. Thankfully my fears did not come true and the leads kept coming. It's been a year now and looking back my monthly revenue nearly tripled from April 2016 to April 2017. Keep in mind, these numbers are for my DJ/MC and photo booth bookings combined.

Here is a look at year over year growth for the month of April:

April 2013 - $3,300

April 2014 - $4,270

April 2015 - $10,188

April 2016 - $10,260

April 2017 -$27,295

There were positive side effects.

Well, I was most concerned about revenue and sure enough, it increased at a very healthy rate. However, adding pricing to my website had several positive side effects:

  • Less time chasing low quality leads.
  • Fewer clients haggling for a lower price.
  • Generally, higher quality leads.
  • I can afford more time providing excellent service because I'm spending less time selling my service to the wrong people.

It turns out, having people disqualify themselves is a good thing. And the leads now often don’t need a lot of time being sold. If they contact me, they are generally ready to book. I even went a step further and allowed prospects to book my service online without even speaking with me.

With my new found free time, I was able to spend more time taking care of my customers and less time chasing low-quality leads.

Are you thinking about coming to my camp?

If you're a Photo Booth Entrepreneur and are not displaying pricing on your website, here are a few questions to getting started:

1) How much is your 4-hour photo booth package?

2) How much is each additional hour?

3) What’s included and what is extra?

If you know the answer then you're ready to go. If you don’t know the answer, I suggest taking the time to think more about your business and what value you provide. 

Your customers will appreciate it.

I’ve found it’s best to provide prospects visiting my website with all the information they need to make an informed purchase. Most people don’t want to spend a lot of time digging for basic information and calling multiple providers over the phone. If they come to a service provider, get good vibes, see good reviews, and can afford your service, it’s likely they will just pull the trigger and make a purchase. And if you’re looking to take your business to the next level and allow customers to book you directly, take a look at what we are doing with Check Cherry. It’s a booking system for photo booth owners that started as an internal tool for my business. It’s worked so well, I decided to offer it to others and if you’ve made it this far in my post, I’d consider you a high-quality lead who will likely love what we’ve built!