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Hi, I'm Brooke! I'm a believer, wife, mama to two, Oklahoma photographer, and photography business coach.
I help photographers grow profitable full-time businesses from home.
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The secret’s out today, I’m finally revealing to you all, what gallery hosting site I have switched to. I’m speaking with Gavin Wade, the founder of CloudSpot. I’m so so excited to be able to dive in, because this gallery hosting site is truly incredible. I am just so impressed with how easily my clients are able to use it to access what I need them to. I also love the branding and personalization. You’re going to get the full scoop on what the features are and why cloud spot might just be your new gallery hosting platform.
Brooke: Alright Gavin, I would love for you to introduce yourself and kind of give us a little bit of backstory on how CloudSpot become a gallery hosting platform.
Gavin: That’s a loaded question, so I’m going to give you the Reader’s Digest version. I’m actually a photographer as well. I have been for over a decade. My wife and I started photography together when we were just a few months into our dating relationship. That first year that we were dating, we were essentially learning photography and building a business. Then, when we got married 13 months later, we quit our day jobs and went full time into photography. We were shooting anywhere from 20 to 50 weddings per year.
Like most business ideas, it came as a means to scratch my own itch in my business. CloudSpot really started out as a way to help us manage the clients experience after the editing part. We wanted our brand to be the hero, but not to be a very visual or obvious third party hand up.
No matter where you’re at in your photography journey, you will probably always feel like you’re straddling two sides of this fence. One side is how to learn and grow your craft and take more beautiful photos. Then, the other foot is in the business side of things like marketing and streamlining processes.
So yes, if you’re feeling that tug between like, I need to be a pro at the business side of things and the photography side of things. When searching for the tools to best fit your business, you need to be thinking about what fits your brand. Because every business is different, every need, and every entrepreneur is different. We just like to think that the needs that we satisfy are ones that ultimately help photographers be more streamlined, and help them win without compromising the experience. It’s really clean and simple. Our goal is that when it comes time for you to deliver images to your clients, we don’t want you to feel like you’re making your clients jump through hoops.
Again, having your foot in the business and building your craft, you know, that layer added on top of things really is just something that can be free. With CloudSpot, when you deliver images to your clients, you can give them a gallery. Then, we allow you to inject a download button into the very first email that you send. You have control over the size of the images they receive and how many times they can download it. It really is so user friendly.
Brooke: I’m going to share some of my favorite features. The most impressive thing so far for me, besides the fact that I don’t have to help my clients navigate, is how fast my images upload, like it is in saying how fast a gallery is, is like going up and and I’m going to tell you like for me, I live in a place where my husband works for an internet company and we have like some of the worst internet I’ve ever experienced.
I could never get tech support to help me on the other gallery hosting site. It was so frustrating. As someone that needs to be quick and efficient, I don’t want to have to come check on my computer in the middle of the night to see if it’s done yet. I think the longest one with CloudSpot was maybe 15 minutes and it was a huge gallery. I’m just amazed!
Gavin: It comes down to the time you spend working in the business or on the business, right. Sometimes uploads are outside of our control, right? Sometimes there are a million things that go on in between your home and our servers. Our view is why shouldn’t we be able to support you at the maximum speed that we can to allow your business to keep on rolling.
Our solution to that, from day one, is you can upload unlimited uploads to multiple folders for any collection that you want. If you split your weddings up, into sections like ceremony, preparation, reception, etc., then you drag and drop all those folders. You upload one folder at a time and wait for it to be done before the next one goes. That’s one important workflow hack.
The second one is to be aligned, upload multiple collections at a time as well. You could queue up as much as you would like. I can start an upload, minimize it, create another collection, start that upload again, etc. For folks making a transition to us, we found that that streamlines lots of things.
Brooke: So good…I just love it! One of the other things I love is I love the modern look of everything. But the customization part too. I have never seen a gallery hosting platform that allows me to have as much customization as cloud spot. I’m obsessed. And so all the toggle features that you know, once you upload your gallery, it’s so hard to explain visible things without them looking at it, but they’re all gonna go try your trial, I can, I can assure you that, that then when you you know you’re in there, you have all these different tabs and you can toggle on things that you want and things that you don’t.
One thing that I’m going to tell you that I do now is include download codes anymore. I would get dyslexic and send the wrong one. It was just crazy! I love knowing that the gallery can go directly to that client. I want to make it as few clicks for them as possible, so I just removed a barrier. Now I know the only person with that link is that client and I can keep track of who is viewing it. I do require an email and first name, so I can keep track of who’s viewing the gallery. I’d love for you to speak to that feature.
Gavin: Yeah, absolutely. A core tenet to our business is that we want you, the photographer, to be the hero. We want to be the invisible third party that enables your business to shine in terms of your clients experience. So what does that mean? It means your brand needs to be visible. Your colors, style and aesthetic need to be what your client experiences, not something that we decide on. You can set a gallery accent color, so it compliments your logo.
When it comes to your storefront when your clients go into that storefront that you’ve been able you can customize that entire banner. Up at the top of that storefront, it’s welcoming them and encouraging them to have confidence when they buy.
Brook: Okay, there’s one feature I want to talk about to you and that is one of your goals to help photographers. I want to talk about the gallery email workflow that you guys have going on? And how can that really help photographers, again, just tie their beautiful client experience with a bow at gallery delivery and pointing them toward the print shop. I would love to hear about those emails and how we can actually trigger a workflow to work for us without having to be there.
Gavin: Yeah, absolutely. A big issue for photographers is how they can earn more revenue through their existing galleries. The answer really is prints and products. I know for a fact that we’re connected with some of the best labs around the country. We want to make it affordable and easy with no room for excuses. I want to make essentially no excuses for you to be able to grab what you want to help preserve those memories.
We enable photographers to set up those private stores with anything from prints, canvases, albums and more. Your clients can actually design, create and order professional albums through you. You keep all the profits on all of your sales including digital products, custom products or whatever you would like to do. If there’s something that we don’t offer, you can still upload images and sell it right alongside the things that we do offer.
Ultimately, this is your storefront, we just want to empower you to be able to make that as effortless and as easy as possible. And so, you know, we also know, you know, once you deliver a gallery, and people are excited, they want to look at the image and sometimes sales aren’t 100% on their mind right then and there.
We also provide you the ability to schedule a gallery expiration and email notifications. I always plop the discount code into the email and let clients know they have X amount of days to save on Princeton products. If you do that, 90% of the time the clients thank you for reminding them. As photographers, we can’t be afraid to ask for the sale. We can’t be timid about the fact that our printed products and our services are worth it, right?
They might not spend that money with you, unless you give them that permission to do it. They will spend it somewhere else. So if you make it seamless, and easy, they will even spend more and a premium to do that. Because no one wants to be bothered with having to run down to here or there, wherever it might be to get what they want.
Brooke: One of the things that I hear all the time is: ‘I don’t like being a salesperson’. With CloudSpot, you set it up one time, get your automation reminders. You don’t have to have that face to face confrontation or trying to sell people like it’s working for you. I love that you have so many cool features. Are there any other features that you specifically want to point out that CloudSpot offers that you think is a bonus to our client experience?
Gavin: Yeah, absolutely. For the client experience specifically, we have what we call our client mobile apps. When you upload photos into a collection, you can create a gap, right? Yes, the gallery client facing gallery can be shared with everyone no matter what device that you link on.
We’re also going to be adding the ability to sell framed images and add frames as well. Another thing we’ll be adding is analytics thrown in your collections. A big thing for for us is giving you more visibility into what your clients, classes, and people who visit those galleries.
Brooke:I love it so much. You guys really are one of the most affordable options. That’s really what drew me to you. Because as a photographer, we have more than enough expenses going on.
Gavin: As I always say, any friend of yours is a friend of ours and we are so excited for all that we can do to help your community. We want to help you be successful, while other companies either don’t offer it or charge you for it. We know that we’re here for you and that’s where our heart is.
Brooke: Yes, thank you so much. I just love your heart! I especially like the fact that you’re so giving to other photographers. It just takes me back to the quote: “People don’t do business with business. People do business with people.” That truly is the cherry on top of how you guys won me over to your service. So yes, I am a fan for life. Thanks again so much Gavin. This was so fun!
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