A Photo booth International Success Story!
Jessica Santos is from Fort Collins Colorado, an area surrounded by college towns. She was working a traditional job when she hired a photo booth rental company for her wedding. She was very pleased to see how much people cherished the photos at the photo booth for the next weeks and months. Many of them were using them as their Facebook profile photos, and sharing them across social media. It was this response that got her to initially consider going into the photo booth industry. Her and her husband were entertaining the idea when she was in a terrible accident, leaving her unable to continue at her traditional job. Sometimes blessings come disguised though, because she decided to turn her challenge into a beneficial pivot point that would change her life forever.
Why Jessica decided to buy her photo booth through PBI
The first was that the customer service that she received was incredible. “You guys answered my questions before I could even ask them.” PBI’s excellent response time, and professional, patient, and caring demeanor helped ease her through all of her questions and helped her with what she needed to know as she made her important decision.
The second reason she decided to go with Photo Booth International was that PBI isn’t just a business, it is more like a family. She was able to perceive that not only through the way that the staff treats each other, but how the customers interact with the staff and one another. This wasn’t something that was going to be a purchase and never talk to you again experience and she liked that.
She decided to go for it!
After some thought, she decided to just jump in feet first, purchasing PBI’s LED booth and Prime XL to start her business.
She researched her market and competitors and decided that it made sense to start her business in the middle price tier. It isn’t the highest income area, so she kept that in mind when pricing her services. Her formula has been a smashing success, changing her life and ultimately her destiny. She will never again have to waste away at the desk all day again!
We asked Jessica what some of the lessons that she learned were and here is what she had to say:
- We all make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over them. We all have our “I should have known betters” but the truth is that we didn’t, and now we do. It might have been a costly lesson, but at least we learned it, and we will be wiser next time.
- Have an open mind at events. You never know what will happen, and what opportunities will come your way.
- Take the challenges and difficult people with stride, they are part of success. Just smile and roll with it. Just stay positive, try not to internalize other people’s negativity.
- Repeat referrals come from corporate clients. Over the course of the year, only 3 referrals have come from weddings.
- Get things prepared in advance! You should be ready for the event, ideally a few weeks in advance. Do this by preparing questionnaires for clients, follow a check list, and adapt to your clients preferred form of communication for efficiency. Do these things and you will have a lot less stress in your life, and way happier customers.
- Set up self-terminating quotes after a certain time period. She uses 3 days. It will create a sense of urgency for your client to decide and commit. It also will save you from the pain of accidental over/double booking and having to deal with outraged customers. “Due to busy season, our quotes expire after 3 days.”
How Jessica Attracts Her Clients
Jessica says that her two biggest sources for customers are bridal shows and google. She focuses most of her time now because it is where she gets the bulk of her business. When she was starting out though she says a valuable source of customers was teaming up with a wedding dress shop to give her contact info to the brides to be who would come into the shop.
For google, she says that she had a hard time ranking on the first page but has had tremendous results with ads.
She wanted to really emphasize the importance of follow up with leads from bridal shows. Prospects at these shows are bombarded with flyers and cards. Another pro tip was she took photos with the prospects instead of handing them a flyer. It was a major differentiator that she believes makes a huge difference. She also brings a ton of props to the show. She does this because the booth she hired for her wedding hardly had any, and she believes this is also a major factor with people who choose her.
Here are a few of what Jessica Santos has to say about the PBI Facebook Community.
“PBI is a family based group of individuals, everyone there is kind, helpful, they literally take the time to help you… the Facebook group has saved some of my events”
“That group you guys created is truly awesome, everyone there is amazing. I truly appreciate that group…”
“Without the group, I don’t know if I’d be where I am today.”
We thank Jessica for her contribution to the group as well.
On the controversial topic of tips…
Initially, Jessica resisted her husband’s recommendation that they put out a tip jar. She had read a lot of opinions on the topic around the internet but finally decided to try it. She has found that the results vary, but sometimes it can lead to an extremely good surprise. She hasn’t had any negative responses to it yet.
One last thought from Jessica for those considering starting a photo booth business.
Now is the best time, it is evolving every day. Everyone is realizing that you need a photo booth at every party. Every party needs a photo booth is really the message that she is pushing right now with her marketing. The market is turning to a photo booth as a must have at events.
Some advice for those about to purchase their first booth.
“Before choosing a booth I highly recommend that you check out your machines beforehand. Go see them in person if you can, ask the right
questions, make sure you can store it, lift it, and have the ability to transport it. Before you purchase it, figure out what software it is going to be set up with, and learn that software. If I had asked the questions ahead of time, I could have been more prepared, and I wouldn’t be behind a learning curve. I wouldn’t have felt like I was scrambling to learn a new program. I would ask more questions. I was too excited to ask the questions.”
Here are links to the Photo Booths that Jessica uses:
Head to Jessica’s business pages and show her some love!
Call Photo Booth International today to purchase a booth today!