We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.6, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.
You can update to Light Blue 8.2.6 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.
Here’s a list of the changes that we’ve made in this update:
Added “Most Recent Payment Date” and “Most Recent Payment Method” fields to the Purchases section. These fields can be included in list view, queries, or when exporting data.
Added buttons to save and reload field import orders to the “Import Purchases From CSV” command.
Accepting a contract that doesn’t include a form now takes you to the linked shoot record, just like accepting a contract with a linked form already does.
The %SaleInvoiceNumber% mail-merge tag is now blank when you use it in the wrong context, rather than making it look like it was used from an uninvoiced sale.
Renamed the “Send Now” buttons in the workflow email and text message dialogs to make it more obvious that clicking the button will convert the message from a workflow message to a normal message.
Changed the character encoding of our CSV data exports to UTF8 with a byte order marker. This ensures that Excel and other apps will open the correct encoding.
Your business is constantly evolving as you introduce changes and improvements, investing time now in order to enjoy benefits well into the future.
Let’s explore a few ways that Light Blue can make your business easier to run and to be more effective.
Light Blue is a flexible and powerful tool that offers a great deal of value to photographers. Read on to discover a few of the ways that it could help you.
1. Email templates
Keeping in touch with your clients is important, but it doesn’t have to take ages! Light Blue’s email and text message templates save you time and mean that you don’t forget to say the important things. There’s no need to type the same messages out again and again, and our powerful mail-merge tags automatically personalise your messages with the relevant details.
Email templates are useful because they can save you a lot of time sending out standard responses to your clients’ queries, help you to use consistent wording, and present yourself with a professional image. You can use email templates whenever you create an email to a client from Light Blue, and you can also use them in workflows to send automated messages to your clients: for example, to remind them about a booking.
When you’ve only got one or two shoots to worry about, it’s easy to remember all of the important things that you need to do. However, once you’re at the stage where you’re dealing with multiple jobs that are all at different stages, keeping track of what needs to be done next can be a headache!
Whether or not you’ve planned it that way, every successful photography business has a series of steps that you need to go through to make sure that you’re delivering the best possible service to your clients. Light Blue’s powerful workflows can add a list of tasks and automated messages based around the date of the shoot, so we can remind you when you need to do something and important emails and text messages will get sent automatically.
Receiving new enquiries is great because it means that your marketing’s working well and people want to work with you! If you install one of Light Blue’s contact forms on your website, all of the useful details of your new enquiry will flow straight into Light Blue – no need to type anything into your database. Your client can get an immediate, automated reply, and you can follow it up with a personalised email or text message template as soon as you’ve checked your availability.
In order for you to deliver memorable pictures and outstanding service to your clients, you need to have the right information. Sending questionnaires to your clients is a great way to capture the important details. Light Blue’s forms can be sent out as a questionnaire from a shoot record and will update your records with the details that you need. Your clients are essentially doing your admin for you, while you appear to be really thorough & organised. There’s no limit to the number of different forms that you can use, so you’re free to ask the right questions at the right times.
Converting enquiries into paid bookings is great, but it’s even better when the booking process is effortless for both you and your client.
Confirm bookings with ease by sending contracts from Light Blue. It’s easy to present pricing options to your client, gather additional details, have them agree to your terms and conditions, and even take payment for a booking fee or session fee in one nice, simple flow!
One of the great advantages of using Light Blue is that all of the information that you need is in one place. That data can tell you a lot about how your business is doing, and help you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
That’s where Light Blue’s reporting features are invaluable, allowing you to use everything you’ve entered into it to give you an overview of how your business is performing and where you need to focus your efforts so that you can hit your goals.
You don’t need to spend ages collating the data, there’s no need to be copying and pasting things, formatting spreadsheets or setting up complicated pivot tables in Excel!
Reports & queries pull up your live data, so you’re always seeing the most up to date information.