Bloom.io Review – Could This Be the CRM We’ve All Been Waiting For?
A recent survey showed that 22% of the modern freelancer’s time was spent doing menial administrative tasks. That’s a crazy 1 in every 5 hours spent doing things like booking appointments, managing calendars, creating and handling invoices, updating spreadsheets, and everything else that comes with running a small business.
Spending that much time managing clients basically means freelancers are missing out of 20% extra profit, because that’s time allocated away from client deliverables and towards administration. Today, we’re here to talk about Bloom.io, a CRM (customer relationship management) platform that frees up your time, so you can increase billable work hours, and look way more professional while you do it.
Why Are CRM Platforms Useful for Freelancers?
Photographers and freelancers learn to wear so many hats, and also use so many different tools. We use one tool for our website, another to capture leads, another to track leads, another to communicate, another to send proposals/invoices, another to sign contracts, another to track tasks, another to process payments, another to deliver images, etc, etc.
This leads to a disconnected system which becomes a massive time drain, especially for busy freelancers running photography businesses, copywriting businesses, website design or other deliverable-based services. While you may have run into solutions like Honeybook and Dubsado, I found these platforms to fall short in their user interface, and how they were difficult to learn to use.
Recently, I was introduced to a new platform called Bloom.io, which is doing something different. From what I can tell, it’s the only marketing-CRM that gives you very powerful tools not only to manage existing clients but to acquire new ones by giving you some pretty insane lead generation tools.
Who Is Bloom.io For?
Bloom is incredibly easy to set up and is perfect for photographers and freelancers running side-gigs, all the way to automating large studios.For the new photographer, you can launch your website, portfolio, and all your lead generation and contract templates are there to get you going. For the established pro, you can use Bloom to automate your already working system, freeing up your time for things that matter the most to you like personal time, or spending more hours behind the camera instead of behind the computer. So the short answer is it’s for everyone.
Key Features Of Bloom
1. An interface designed for visual learners.
When you log into the Bloom.io CRM platform for the first time, you’re presented with a streamlined guide of what to do to get up and running along with several embedded “how to” guides for additional help. Working through them was a breeze and once that’s done, the layout is simple and easy to navigate making managing your business a breeze.
2. Sign contracts and send invoices like a professional.
How you invoice your clients is part of your brand experience. Here are some ways in which Bloom stands out.
- Payment integrations with Stripe, Square, Paypal, Zelle, Venmo & Cash App.
- Add contracts to invoices.
- Fully supports multiple currencies and international users.
- Quickbooks integration.
- Retainers, discounts, tipping, & recurring invoices.
- Incredibly beautiful client experience.
3. Live Website Chat Widget.
(This feature when paired with the mobile app is amazing.) This feature alone was worth the price of admission for me. I’ve been able to communicate with potential clients while on the road, on set, and anywhere that I at least had cellular access! The ability to respond like a text message and send as a chat or email to the lead is kind of unreal and incredibly useful for those fast-turnaround bids.
4. Revolutionary forms that do the selling for you.
(You can practically automate everything!) I’m still diving into this section of my setup. It’s kind of overwhelming having never used a system like this before, but it’s really laid out well, especially if you have your info and contracts ready to go already. In the next few weeks I hope to have my system completely automated and cannot wait to see how it works with my clients.
5. Built-in client image galleries & proofing tools.
Many professional photographers use digital client galleries instead of an online drive like dropbox or Google. Instead of paying for a separate tool, Bloom has this entire feature-set built right into the CRM! At this point, they only support digital downloads, so if you rely heavily on print fulfillment, you’ll want to keep your 3rd party image sharing solution.
6. Full suite of business tools.
Bloom also includes a scheduling tool replacing Calendly, contract signing replacing Docusign, automations, lead management tools, and even a website portfolio builder if you don’t already have a website. It works well if you’re just starting out or already a seasoned business.
7. The price is right.
(You can try the system for free with a 7-day trial!) Bloom.io is an incredibly affordable CRM solution for photographers (and other freelancers). After your one week free trial, you can roll into a $13/month plan and always upgrade from there. Even with the full-platform it’s on par with an Adobe Subscription.
There are a lot of CRM tools out there, but few that Ii’ve seen have been as easy to dive into and get rolling as Bloom. While I’ve only scratched the surface of what you can do on their system, I’m already in love with it and will be spending a lot of time over the next few weeks expanding on my automation, packages, and contracts. All so that I can make my website a one-stop-shop for all of my future work, freeing me up to spend more time face to face with my clients.
Another thing I’ve loved is their 24-hour support. Anytime I had a problem on my end, or with a feature that I felt could be added, the support team was there and ready to help. In fact all the things I mentioned as a feature request have already been implemented in the system!
If you’d like to give Bloom a try, it comes with a free 7-day trial and as an added bonus, they’re giving our reads a $4/mo offer for the first 4 months if you use this link: https://bloom.io/slrlounge
Do you use any other CRM tools? Which are your favorites and why? Be sure to let us know what you think if you’re already a user of Bloom (past or present), and if you decide to give them a try for your Photography business.