Cherry Picked!

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

January 16, 2018 Matt Goatcher

New Feature: Form Builder

Woohoo! Check Cherry just got better!

You can now build amazing questionnaires for your upcoming events. The new Form Builder feature is available to all users today. With the power to customize forms, you'll be able to nail every last detail and provide an amazing client experience which is destined to deliver a 5 star yelp reviews for your photo booth or DJ business.

There are so many ways to use the new form feature, here are just a few:

  • Pre-event Checklist
  • Post-event Survey
  • Multiple Music Playlists

Thumb screen shot 2018 01 16 at 12209 pm

This was a highly requested feature and we took the time to deliver something we're really proud to share with you. Be sure to let us know what you think!

January 10, 2018 Ross Holman

5 Tips To Make 2018 Your Most Successful Year Ever

1. Redefine Your Ideal Customer

Take some time to look back at your events in 2017. If you had a magic wand, which type of customer would you want to see more business from? This might be a higher price point, a certain event type, or perhaps a preferred time window. Understanding your ideal customer will help you plan ways to grow your business and determine where to best focus your efforts.  I make it a point each January to reevaluate my ideal customer profile.

Pro Tip: It's fine to have multiple customer profiles which are your "ideal customer", but the point here is to focus your efforts to increase sales. Try keep the number on the lower side.

2. Reevaluate Your Packages

Now that you have a better understanding of the type of business you'd like to acquire, it's a good time to ensure your packages reflect your desired target. I tend create a separate category of packages for each desired customer profile.

Try to not focus much on pricing at this stage: it just muddies the water and we’ll do that soon. The goal is to make it easy for your ideal customer to identify you as a fit for their business. For example, if you want to do more corporate events and you don't have a packaged  offering labels "Corporate", create one to indicate you specialize in catering to their needs and are ready for the business.

Another example, we have a customer who wants to attract more weekday business, they have created separate packages for weekdays vs weekends. The weekday packages have a lower price point.

Pro Tip: Keep it simple and limit the number of packages you offer per customer profile. Displaying a lot of packages will add confusion to the buying process at a critical time.

3. Reevaluate Your Pricing

Now that you have your packages updated with the intent of attracting more of your ideal customer, it's time to put a fair price on each one. I'm a huge fan of offering at least two base packages for any service offering (school, party, corporate, etc). This is a good time to look around and see what your competition is offering. Generally, I am not a fan of being the cheapest in the market: in my customers who are looking for the cheapest offer tend to be more work than those who are willing to pay more.

Pro Tip: Use add ons to upsell and allow for further customization of your service. In my experience, people will pay extra for personalization. For my photo booth service, props which match the theme of an event do well (80's party anyone?). For my DJ  service, our custom monograms and other atmospheric effects are solid sellers.

4. Make Friends

Get out and share what your do with others. There are a lot of avenues for sharing your services. In general, I like to think more in terms of increasing awareness and less in terms of selling to my personal network.

Sharing events you are proud of on social media is a great low friction way to increase awareness. If you're a member of any  organizations (churches, meetups, full time job, etc.) you can increase the awareness of your services by sharing it with others. Perhaps tell them about your weekend or maybe offer to provide a free or heavily discounted service at their next event.

Also, get in touch with venues and other event spaces who might need your services. Perhaps they have a recommended vendor list you can appear on. Maybe offer a discount/coupon for their referrals.

Pro Tip: Make friends with your competitors and other complimenting service providers. Referrals are powerful and you'd be surprised at how many people are up for being friends and helping each other out.

5. Experiment All Year

Don't be afraid to change your pricing or packages based on the feedback you receive from customers or observation from booking paterns. If an add on is not selling, lower the price or bundle it with the base package. If you need to go out and buy additional equipment to meet the needs of a client, advertise it as an add on.

In 2017 I removed several packages form my service aimed at schools. At one point, I had 8 packages and most everyone booked the same package. Looking back it's obvious I was unnecessarily adding complexity to the buying process.

If you are not getting enough bookings, consider experimenting with paid marketing channels such as Google AdWords or Yelp. Online directories like The Photobooth Finder can be a great source of leads.

Pro Tip: Sharing coupons on social media and other online channels can be a great way to increase sales and raise awareness. Just make sure you have an expiration on any offer so people have a reason to pull the trigger and book your service.

Still reading?
Awesome! I think you're on your way to having a tremendous 2018. If there is anything you think Check Cherry can do to help you increase sales, please send us a note hello@checkcherry.com. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

December 7, 2017 Ross Holman

Tips For Following Up And Closing Hot Leads

Over the past several years, I've had a lot of success securing business from people who indicate they are interested in my service, but don't pull the trigger right away.  I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I've learned.

Getting Hot  Vs Warm Leads

First off, there is a huge difference between a hot lead and a warm lead. I've tried to setup my system to deliver leads on the hotter side of the spectrum. Showing information on my website regarding packages and pricing has been a huge help in reducing the number of warm leads.

Also, I've experimented with a lot of ways to collect contact information. I've come to believe a person who is willing to click "Book Now" on my website as being a lead on the hotter side. Keep in mind, this assumes they have seen my pricing. If they can afford my service and indicated they are ready to pull the trigger, I'm willing to invest in helping them find the right fit.

For those of us with a Check Cherry account, lead collection is all baked into the platform. When a customer starts a reservation process but does not finish, you will have access to their contact information.  Check Cherry will also send you an email notifying you of the lead.

Whoo! Hot Lead Came In. What Now?

There are several reasons a person started the process of booking your service, but did not finish. In general, they still are unsure which service provider is right for them. As such I tend to take the consultative approach. It's my job to help them evaluate my service and if I'm not a fit, I am here to help guide them in a helpful direction. Basically, it's less about closing them and more about helping them. I want to make sure their needs are met and they find the right fit.

Furthermore, by reaching out and communicating my desire to help them I begin to establish a rapport. I've found the consultative approach is so much more agreeable to people these days. Does anyone really want to receive the "hard sell"? Again, this is less about closing a person who started booking your service and more about helping them find the right fit for their event.

My Current Process

It's not uncommon for a person to not respond to my first few contacts.  As such, I've decided to  reach out to the customer a total of 5 times over a two week period of time.

If I don't receive a response, it's considered a dead lead and I stop pursuing. Not every customer requires the five steps. It can be stopped at any time once you determine if the customer is no longer interested in booking my service. Also, if they have already booked someone, do not try to win them over. It's a lost cause and reeks of desperation. In fact, I don't even care who they booked with, I just want to ensure they have a positive interaction with my company. After all, they might come to me next time for help.

Here is a run down of my touch points:

1. Send Intro Email
Send a welcome email, introducing myself and opening the door for communication. I make it clear I am reaching out to help them. My tone is light, personal and open.

2. Make A Phone Call
If they don't pick up, I always leave a voicemail introducing myself and providing  my contact information. I'm sure to mention the service which they expressed interest and let them know I am available to help guide them to finding the right fit.

3. Second Email
This time I get a bit more direct (still very friendly). I ask if they have already have found service provider. Basically, I'm  doing my due diligence and want to make sure you are all set for your upcoming event. If they are all set, just let me know and I will take them off my list.

4. A Second Phone
Pretty much same a the first. I tend to mention I've contacted them via email and phone and have not heard back. I'm here to help. Did I say I always leave a voicemail?

5. The Walk Away Email
Finally, I send a note letting them know I will no longer be contacting, but should they still need the service I can contact you and you will be happy to take care of them. 

Grandpa Always Said

"Early bird gets the worm." In this business, time is of the essence. I do my best to immediately contact each lead.  By reaching out and introduce myself in a prompt manner, the customer is always impressed and it makes a great first impression. Don't worry about bothering them or stalking them. Instead, put on your helpful hat and go out there and secure your next event.

Bonus Tip
I've found templates can be really handy in making this follow up efficient. Be sure to keep a few on hand and tweak them as you learn how people respond.

November 20, 2017 Justin Jowett

Are You Targeting Millennials Or Missing Out On Bookings?

With Millenials increasingly becoming the biggest sector of the global market it's imperative photo booth operators of all generations know how to reach and appeal to them. In fact a recent Deloitte* survey predicted that by 2025, Millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. So if you haven't already made Millennials part of your marketing strategy then consider this your wake up call! And yes you absolutely need a marketing strategy just for them. The reason being is that Millenials, also known as the Y Generation, are very different to the previous generations so unless you are also a Millenial you're unlikely to intuitively have any clue how to appeal to and reach them effectively.

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November 14, 2017 Judd Lillestrand

Over $1 Million Booked On Check Cherry

Good news! We just surpassed a milestone here at Check Cherry. Thank you to everyone who helped us get here.Over $1,000,000 in reservations have been booked with the Check Cherry booking platform. We're pretty pumped. A huge thank you to all our customers for helping us reach this point: we're just getting started and can't wait to hit the next milestone.Expect more new features and enhancements in the coming months designed to help grow your business and maximize your earning potential.Are you booking business on Facebook?See how easy it is to add a Book Now button with Check Cherry.

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November 8, 2017 Judd Lillestrand

FEATURE ENHANCEMENT: Electronic Signatures

Good news! Check Cherry now offers an enhanced version of the electronic signature.We're always looking for ways to make our Photo Booth Software better.When your customers book your services, they will now be required to electronically sign and agree to your Terms and Conditions by typing their name. Check Cherry will track the date of the signature and the IP address of the person signing and display them at the bottom of each invoice.Navigate to an invoice to see a customer's signature.

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September 6, 2017 Matt Goatcher

Our Photo Booth Expo 2017 Experience

In March 2017, Ross and I attended Photo Booth Expo; it was Check Cherry's first trade show and we wanted to share our experience because we think it will be helpful for others who are considering the next installment in Las Vegas, March 11-14, 2018.Great People, Smooth EventFirst off, we've been to our share of trade shows over the years. Both Ross and I were really impressed with the quality of the people at the event. Everyone was friendly. There seemed to be a high quality of like-minded professionals in one location focused on a similar goal and in my book, that's a recipe for a great trade show.Furthermore, the event was super smooth and well organized.

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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.

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June 12, 2017 Ross Holman

Adding Pricing To My Website Nearly Tripled My Photo Booth/Mobile DJ Revenue

Generally, event based business entrepreneurs fall into one of two camps: We list pricing on our website for all to see. We stand exposed.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.

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