Pixieset Studio Manager Review | Book Clients, Get Paid & Grow
Pixieset Studio Manager is a business app that offers a robust and diverse package of client booking, billing and invoicing tools for photographers
For most professional photographers, managing the business side is the least exciting part of the job.
You have to deal with client bookings, invoicing, contracts, etc. In other words – the boring-but-important stuff no one likes to do!
To make all that quicker and easier, you can turn to a specialized app like Pixieset Studio Manager.
Pixieset is a photographer’s business app that offers a robust and diverse package of client booking, billing, and invoicing tools.
Fast, simple and beautifully designed tools to start, manage and grow a photography business.
If you’re a photographer seeking an easy-to-use solution for the backend management of your business, Pixieset is a fantastic option.
Pixieset Studio Manager is also just one part of a wider package of Pixieset apps.
The platform offers tools to create an online photo and video gallery, sell your photos as prints, build a photography sales website, and even design a mobile-friendly gallery viewing experience for each client.
What started as one of the best online galleries for photographers has morphed into an all-encompassing business app.
Let’s take a look at what Pixiset has to offer you here in 2023.
What is Pixieset Studio Manager?
- Affordable pricing with pro tools
- Free, zero-cost tier of app services
- Tools for booking, invoicing, and contracts
- Digital and mobile-friendly document templates
- Pricing quotes and upselling options
- Ready-made photography questionnaires
- Free contract samples for photography services
- Limited options with the free plan
- No mobile app
- No client portal
Pixieset Studio Manager’s range of tools for photographers is all about being able to invoice clients, create and manage contracts that can be digitally signed, as well as collect important details before or after a session through questionnaires.
Essentially, Pixiset Studio Manager offers an easy-to-use all-in-one solution for photographers who want to professionally manage their invoicing, billing, and scheduling through a single platform.
Key Features of Pixieset Studio Manager
Once you’re ready to tap into more features and options, you can easily upgrade your free Studio Manager plan to a pro tier. You can also opt for the Suite plan that includes premium features for all Pixieset apps, including Client Gallery, Store, and Website.
Invoices and Payments
The bottom line is that Studio Manager makes invoicing easier than it would normally be if you were doing it on your own. Additionally, it makes it convenient because it integrates invoices into your workflow, making it easy to track and manage payments.
Contracts & E-Signature
Among Studio Manager’s most useful features are ready-made templates for all kinds of documents and forms, including professional contracts for photographers. The platform lets you create contracts for a range of services and products that you can then send out to clients.
To get started with contracts inside Studio Manager, you can either use a predefined template and build on top of it — which saves you a lot of time and hassle of figuring out what clauses to include. You can also create your own contract from scratch and save it as a template for future use.
When creating a contract (from template or scratch), you can use variables and smart fields to add client-specific information. Contracts can be signed digitally from any device.
You can add a second signer, an expiration date, and turn on email reminders, so Studio Manager follows up with clients who have not signed yet.
You can also enable notifications to stay up to date if a client signs or a contract status changes.
Overall, the contract option in Studio Manager is a particularly useful tool, as it helps keep your business and client relationships professional and secure.
The questionnaires option in Studio Manager is super helpful for collecting important information about clients in an easy and beautiful way.
By gathering precise information about client needs and expectations, you can build better relationships with your clients and improve their experience with your services.
Creating questionnaires is both simple and very user-friendly. The platform’s intuitive questionnaire builder lets you set as many questions as you need, select from a range of answer formats, and decide which fields are required.
Question formats include options for short text, long text, multiple choice, checkboxes, email, date, and explanation.
Inside the free plan, you are able to personalize the questionnaires with your own colors and upload a banner image. If you want to include your own logo and remove Pixieset branding, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Just like with invoices and contracts, you can set an expiry date and turn on automated reminders on your questionnaires. Studio Manager will automatically send messages to clients who have not filled out the document. These features are available inside paid plans.
If you’re not too keen on sending your clients questionnaires, that’s fine. Not every photographer needs them, and some clients don’t want to be bothered with filling them out.
However, when it does matter, Studio Manager offers the option in a way that I think is very usable, intuitive, and elegantly simple.
Quotes and Proposals
Being able to easily generate invoices for work you’ve already done is great, but what about when you want to convince a client to hire you for a project they’re interested in?
For this, Pixieset Studio Manager covers the bases pretty nicely too. The platform allows you to create quotes with price estimates that are easy to assemble and share with clients.
Quotes and proposals let you present your services and offerings to prospective clients in a professional and transparent way. You can use quotes to break down specific pricing packages or present additional service/product options as a way to upsell clients.
I’d recommend always checking the quote before sharing it with the client to make sure the calculations work correctly when making various selections.
A really cool aspect of the quotes feature in Pixieset Studio Manager is that it allows you to automatically create an invoice draft once your client accepts the quote. This can be a major time saver that cuts out a whole chunk of your client follow-up workflow.
The invoice draft, with selected options by your client, is saved on your document listing page so you can further edit it and send it to your client for payment.
Scheduling and Booking
To top things off, among its admin management features, Pixieset Studio Manager also includes scheduling and booking tools for photographers.
Thanks to a semi-automated option for handling all of your bookings, photoshoots, and other schedules inside the same platform – Studio Manager can considerably simplify your admin work. As a result, you can focus more time on finding new clients and actually taking photos.
Booking and scheduling inside Pixieset allows you to create your own booking site and session pages for clients.
Once you’ve set them up, you can send clients a direct link to a session page, where they can choose their own date and time through a built-in online calendar based on your availability and book a session.
You can collect partial or full payments directly through the booking process. Additionally, depending on the type of session, you can also request clients to sign a contract or/and fill out a questionnaire.
The above features are advanced and available inside paid plans.
Your clients can schedule appointments online, all on their own, without having to directly connect with you via messages, emails, or phone calls. This makes you less likely to lose a session because you didn’t reply on time or didn’t communicate your availability clearly.
Since Studio Manager is a third-party platform for managing your client relations, adding your own personal touch to anything you send will help you stand out.
Pixieset Studio Manager offers the option to customize the colors of all your documents and your booking site, as well as upload personalized banner images. So your work is always at the forefront.
Some branding features are available inside paid plans only, like adding your logo and removing Pixieset branding. However, with free options, you can already achieve a beautiful and unique result.
The overall benefit of Pixieset Studio Manager is that it lets you automate your workflow across a whole bunch of tedious business responsibilities, so you can save valuable time.
Studio Manager isn’t perfect yet, and there are a lot of features, like client portals and workflows, which I’d like to see added. Nonetheless, with all the features already available, it simplifies and automates a lot of admin work.
Making the workload required to run your photography business much smaller than it would be if you were doing it on a completely DIY basis.
While using Pixieset Studio Manager in all of the different ways that it’s built to work, I thought the platform was mostly very intuitive and smooth.
One notably useful thing about it (at least to me) is that it works as an online dashboard instead of a downloadable software application.
This might not be something that every photographer prefers, but in terms of performance speed, it ensures Studio Manager consistently works smoothly, quickly, and glitch-free.
That’s particularly useful if your working computer or laptop is sluggish with photos and editing software while you’re in the middle of handling admin work.
By not adding to the internal software pileup on your computer, Pixieset Studio Manager keeps its footprint light.
Alternatives to Pixieset Studio Manager
Two of the coolest things about using Pixieset Studio Manager are that it gives you a very robust range of easy-to-use features and that it comes as part of a wider suite of apps for your business.
Let’s take the first thing above and compare it to, for example, Studio Ninja, a competitor of Studio Manager.
With Studio Ninja, you also get many of the same invoicing, billing, scheduling, and calendar features as you do with Studio Manager.
Still, they’re slightly pricier and more complex to use while lacking a free tier. They’re also more limited on Studio Ninja’s lower-priced tiers – this is the case with Tave, Dubsado and several of the other popular CRM tools.
As for Studio Manager’s second benefit above, it’s very helpful in letting you quickly and easily integrate Studio Manager itself with Pixieset’s other apps.
The platform offers Client Gallery, Print Store, Website builder, thus allowing one to run an online photography business from one convenient place.
All of these work smoothly with your scheduling and billing system because they’re all part of the same brand.
As for the online gallery feature, Shootproof is one other popular alternative to Pixieset, but its offerings are limited when compared to the latter’s complete tool set.
With many competitors, the options dedicated to photographers are limited, and if you get a website builder, you might not have an option like Studio Manager or vice versa.
Value for Money
Despite not being as robustly complex as some alternative photo business management platforms, Studio Manager is definitely worth its very affordable price tiers.
For one thing, its free plan lets you try out the app’s essential features with no commitment or cost, and if you like what it offers, you can easily go for one of several paid tiers depending on your needs.
None of these tiers is very expensive, and even the priciest option should easily pay for itself with the time savings and value it creates.
With Studio Manager, saving time on payments, invoicing, and administrative work for even just a couple of photography clients per month will easily make the app worthwhile.
Final Thoughts on Pixieset
Personally, I prefer hosting my own more customized servers, website, and brand management for online photo work in general.
However, having an app like Studio Manager definitely makes these things much easier and more organized for the customer service backend.
If you want to simplify how you handle client relationships and formal documentation, then Pixieset Studio Manager is ideal. It’s one of the easiest-to-use and most affordable options you’ll find out there.
Even if you prefer your own custom-hosted website and online gallery for displaying and selling your work as fine art, Pixieset’s Studio Manager component is still a great idea as a stand-alone administrative tool.
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