A picture is worth a thousand words—at least that’s what the saying used to be. With the rise of apps and social networks, though, it’s more like a thousand likes. Even better, the right picture might be the gateway to a new job or possibly even a date. When Ann Sanderson founded FotoSnap, she wanted to help people easily get headshots for all sorts of online opportunities.
“All the data suggests that pictures are important, no matter if you’re looking for a job or you’re looking for a mate,” says Ann, an entrepreneur who’s active in the Portland tech scene. “I had an aha moment when I was thinking of how I could provide that for people.”
Founded in 2014 | 100% Online Bookings | Sole Proprietor
The Making of a New Business Model
FotoSnap is a pop-up business, and on any given day several FotoSnap events can be happening at different locations around Portland. “The background of the pictures should reflect what the photos are for,” says Ann. “If you are looking for a position in a restaurant, your LinkedIn photo should be taken in a restaurant or hotel so your potential employer already sees you in the job. FotoSnap partners with local businesses for unique indoor and outdoor environments.”
Business Growth: + 20 weekly bookings | + 4 to 6 photographers
FotoSnap + ZOZI
To make this idea a success, Ann had to solve a complex problem: offering affordable prices, scheduling a variety of photographers, and doing all of it at scale.
“I immediately knew I needed an online booking system for this idea to work,” says Ann. With ZOZI Advance, she found a way to extract herself from the order-taking process. “I set up the events with photographers and people go online to book.” Reservations are completely automated for Ann and her customers.
ZOZI Advance allows FotoSnap’s customers to browse photographers and their portfolios online and to book based on a convenient time and location. “There is no business without having the ability to automate this part of it,” says Ann.
Simple to Set Up, Easy to Manage
As a solopreneur, Ann’s role in FotoSnap is super hands-on, but ZOZI Advance makes scheduling easy.
“When a photographer says they have an hour on Friday available on South Waterfront, I go in to ZOZI and create an activity,” she says. “After that if the photographer changes, I can easily switch them out for one who is available.”
Once a customer books, ZOZI auto-confirmation and reminder emails close the loop. “Having all these things automated saves me hours.” For even more efficiency, Ann keeps a document handy to store standard language for each type of email.
“I modify some information for each new location, and then it takes me two minutes to create an automated email for customers to let them know things like where to meet the photographer, what to wear, and how best to use the time.”
Favorite Features: Booking Automation | Scalability
ZOZI is the Key to Scaling this Business
Ann knows that one of the biggest hurdles to FotoSnap’s success is having a website that does everything she needs.
“Because of ZOZI, I didn’t have to hire a person to create my website for me. I just plugged in ZOZI and have it handle booking, registrations and payment,” says Ann. “ZOZI does everything I need it to do, whether I need to book a handful of people during the month or thousands. It’s built for volume.”
Like millions of websites, FotoSnap is built on Wordpress and integrates easily with ZOZI Advance. “I set up portfolios and I create a link with the ZOZI booking widget. Then I cut and paste it into the FotoSnap website,” says Ann.
As a sole proprietor, the ease of use is essential. “I’ve just now started using the ZOZI app to do things on the fly from my phone. Before I used to have to do everything back at the office, now I do what I need from anywhere.”
For Ann, ZOZI has become a valuable partner as she works toward expanding into other cities. “When you are an entrepreneur, you want what you want. I concentrate on other things rather than haggling with a web person,” says Ann. “ZOZI allows me that freedom.”