Give Each of Your Clients a Custom App

Photo of a photographer using an ipad mobile appWe know mobile is hot. You say, how hot? Apple sold more mobile devices in one year (2011) than sold computers in 24 years (forever). More people access Facebook via mobile than desktop.

From a business perspective mobile has tremendous word of mouth power. With word of mouth arguably as photographers #1 source of clients, mobile now seems to contain the largest opportunity for new business. Fortunately, Sticky Albums (affiliate) has a way to give each of your clients a custom app.

Mobile App Data

  • Google Andriod alone has delivered over 10 billion app downloads and that number continues to increase at a staggering rate.
  • Mobile users spend at least 94 minutes per day using their downloaded apps (22 more minutes than in mobile browsers).

Everyone is obviously using apps, but how does that translate to business?

Branding Exposure

If you can break onto (not into) someone’s phone or tablet via an app your photography business will benefit from longer and more frequent exposures.

Longer exposure because people spend more time on apps than mobile browsers. No surprise there. When people open an app they are dedicating a chunk of time to that activity. On the contrary, when people come across a website they usually want to move quickly onto the next task like another website, Facebook or email.

Branding frequency increases because people see the app icon every time they look at their mobile device. It’s the computer equivalent of having a desktop shortcut on a clients computer. How much is that kind of loyalty and branding worth to your business? I’d say a lot.

To recap – you want an app.

How Purchase Decisions are Made

Google’s Zero Moment of Truth talks about the change in buying behavior. Purchase decisions used to be made when the customer came face to face with the product. You go to the store, decide what to buy, then buy it. Now consumers decide what to buy way in advance. They research heavily before making a decision. “The average shopper uses 10.4 sources before buying, twice as much as years past.” Those 10+ sources include personal referrals. The whole point of the ebook is businesses can’t begin marketing when a user is ready to purchase. It begins before the customer knows they want something.

Thinking about my last 30 days I realized this applies to me. I had a fence replaced, windows installed, and got a new hair stylist. I wasn’t looking for fence repair, but a neighbor was getting hers replaced and recommended the company to me. I took her word and didn’t get estimates from other companies. In another example, I was at a friend’s house while they were getting their windows done and since they were happy with the service and price I jumped on board too. I wasn’t thinking about changing hair stylists until someone raved about his and convinced me to switch. Each scenario was a big investment (don’t tell me hair isn’t a big investment) yet my purchase decision came exclusively from word of mouth. In the service industry, you trust your friends’ recommendations.

Back to photography. When you have apps out there on client phones, the become changes to get into conversations like the above.

Sense of Ownership

Apps carry a sense of ownership that web galleries and blog posts don’t. When you use Sticky Albums to create a custom app icon for the client they will be proud of it and want to show others.

You’re also giving them something to keep. It’s a much different mentality than putting photos on your site, which you own. The Zero Moment of Truth ebook explains this better than I can:

“Kim Kadlec, worldwide vice president, Global Marketing Group, Johnson & Johnson, describes the change in mental models this way:

We’re entering an era of reciprocity. We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives. The consumer is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that. To put it another way: How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?

The wonderful potential of this, if you’re willing to work at it, is to have an intimate relationship with consumers. And that leads to the ultimate moment of truth: when the customer buys your product again.”

A custom app seems like the perfect way to give something to your clients they will truly appreciate while opening the door to referral opportunities.

Ideas for Sticky Albums (and a discount code)

Learn more about Sticky Albums.

Saves the app to a device so clients can view from anywhere Create a custom app icon for each client Sample Sticky Album photo gallery on iPhone Get the first photo album for free

You’ll make more than your money back on a single referral, and clients will be happy and impressed with your unique gift to them.

With Sticky Albums you give your clients a mobile download (application) that links to your site. Each client has his or her own gallery accessible through the app (that displays your logo and link) and you can easily update the photos at any time in the future. You can create a unique icon for each app. Ideas for marketing the app:

  • Make StickyAlbums as a bonus incentive. For example include the cusotm mobile app with higher priced packages, or charge a fee for clients to get the app as an add on to an existing package. Either way, the product can earn you more money per session.
  • Create a custom app for your own business to demo when meeting people face to face. Think of it like a digital business card. When you meet someone in the grocery store and start talking photography, they can download your app right there to get your contact information.
  • Create albums for partners or vendors that they can show their clients. For example, if you shoot a wedding, take photos of the flowers then make an app for the florist that she can use to showcase her work. Every time she shows that app to brides, your logo will be seen.
  • Create inspiration apps for yourself to use when preparing people for a session, or for existing clients who seek ideas. Since Sticky Albums allow you to continue adding photos at any time these galleries will always be up to date. Like giving customers offline access to a Pinterest board with only photos of you. You can create what to wear apps, photography product apps, etc.
  • Create a special offer as an image in the gallery. Make an image in every gallery with a special offer that encourages people to show their app to friends.

Parents and family members of the family are going to LOVE their Sticky Album. Clients will be telling their friends “My photographer made me my own app” and others will want to get one too.

Comment below with ways you would leverage a mobile app for each client. What are your thoughts about mobile marketing or apps in general?


Photo credit: Breeze Floyd self-portrait

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  1. says

    I’m removing all comments that do not add insight or value to the topic. How would leverage a mobile app for each client? What are your thoughts about mobile marketing or apps in general?

  2. redhammerphoto says

    This is one of the clearest explanations of how to use this app that I have seen. Thank you. I especially like the “use it like an off-line pinterest” idea.

  3. SalomeKlopfenstein says

    I specalize in HS Senior photography, and I think Sticky Albums would be a GREAT asset to my business marketing.     I can post on my FB,Blog, etc. all day long about how I can give my seniors an awesome experience, and why they should come to me…      But that would be NOTHING compared to my clients showing off their custom “app” to their friends and bragging about my business.      It’s still relatively new, so I also think that photographers who get on board with this now will have an edge in their local markets in being exclusive to their clients in offering this custom service.   

  4. JustinaMikalik says

    I work for a cell phone company and get a decent amount of referrals through coworkers. I think because we work with cell phones we are on them even more and this could really increase my referrals, maybe to the point that I could quit this day job!

  5. SarahEWamuhiu says

    I have heard so much about sticky albums over the past couple of months but really didn’t understand how they work or the benefit they could be to our business until I read this article.  I would think that as a wedding photographer this would be a really cool way to give couples a sneak peek of their wedding photos before delivering the full work, and a great way to make friends in other areas of the wedding industry.  Also as a family photographer moving away from giving out a CD with the digital images, this would be a great alternative…it would let the family feel like they still “have” their digital images without them having them in a form they can really manipulate.  

  6. ValerieFuller says

    I think using a personalized Sticky Album versus rep cards for your Senior business would be a great tool. My seniors are so technology driven and they ALWAYS have their device with them to share their images on the spot…they might not always have a rep card in hand. And it would definitely generate buzz…and so much easier to share with friends you aren’t able to see in person.

  7. jamierubeis says

    I think this would make a great selling tool during my Senior Consultations. I already bring my ipad with me to my consultations and it would be great to create a wardrobe inspiration app with photos from my past Senior Clients to help in the planning process. Then, being able to offer it in my Senior Packages turns into an awesome marketing tool. Using it in my initial consultations can turn into a perfect incentive to book. 

  8. elisebreeding says

    I just signed up for the trial version and sent an album to a new client of their anniversary portraits. Just waiting to get their feedback, but I think I’ll be signing up with StickyAlbums! What a great concept!

  9. HeatherByrd says

    I’ve been contemplating purchasing Sticky Albums and after reading this I think I’m going to go ahead and do it. Thanks so much for your insight!

  10. drgseattle says

    Sticky Albums offers a unique and exciting way for clients to have access to and share their photos, which can set a photographer apart from other photographers. The app is also a very functional and useful tool for just-starting-out photographers to have on their phone during photo shoots to provide inspiration or even reminders about what kinds of shots to capture. It’s definitely the way of the future and oh so easy!

  11. says

    Would love to use market this app as a mobile brag book of their kids for parents! It’s like the iPhone equivalent of the wallets except infinitely more cool and handy for referrals and marketing.

  12. RebeccaClarke says

    Great post Zach!  I keep hearing about sticky albums, and it’s nice to read a bit more about some ideas for how to use their product to promote your business. Keep the great advise coming!

  13. says

    Perfect timing Zach! I was looking for something to compliment my current referral program and this looks to be an idea solution. I’m really keen to capture the mobile/pad market for showing off my work to clients friends…seems a non brainer in this day and age; almost all my clients have mobiles that could use an app like this and it is relatively cheap ongoing advertising. thanks again.

  14. says

    I think this would be a wonderful product to gift to clients. They will probably assume that it was expensive to create so it will add value to their experience. The cool factor if having your own app will encourage the guys to share it with their friends and the gals will like how easy it makes sharing the photos with their friends.

  15. laura1103 says

    I’ve heard a lot of positive comments on Sticky Albums the past few months and I think creating apps for clients it would be a great addition for any photography business. Whether used as an incentive, add-on, or even included on higher priced packages (or all!) I think clients will appreciate being able to access over, say, a DVD of images, especially for use of ease and accessibility. And who wouldn’t love their own app!? I like the idea of creating an app for your own business to demo with peopel F2F–and how you can easily send it to them with all your business info–what a great digital idea to a business card!

  16. glimpsesofsoul says

    A few years ago, the trend was to make an app for your business that clients would have on their phone and would feature your work (it was basically a link to a mobile page). This is something that they’re more likely to share because it’s about THEM, not about us, but will promote us just the same. I think it’s perfect for the in-between area where they might not necessarily want to buy the full digital package but still want something digital/portable to share or as a freebie for those who do purchase the full digitals.

  17. LastingImpressions says

    I’ve used StickyAlbums plus know people who use it and it’s really an invaluable tool.  During an interview with Christa Meola, Nate Grahek gave some interesting stats on just how much people rely on the mobile era.  He said that in the 26 years that Apple has been in business, they have sold nearly 2 million computers…however, in 2011 alone, there were as many mobile devices sold.  This tells us that mobile — whether it be smartphone, tablet or other devices — communication and entertainment are dominating our marketplace right now.  I have used the StickyAlbums apps as a free tool that I give to my clients, an unexpected gift, before they get their prints/products.  They are usually so excited by this, they show and share to friends immediately.  This is a wonderful tool that I highly recommend to anyone.

  18. says

    It seems like everyone does everything from their smart phones now.  This app would be a great addition to my product line and and an easier way to market myself to boot.  I have been thinking about investing in it all year but haven’t done it yet.  I will be integrating this feature into my product line by next year.  Thank you for the informative blog post.   

  19. says

    There are a million ways for clients to see and share their images, but anytime I can hand them something pre-made, smooth, and professional looking that includes my branding, they will probably use that instead of taking grainy screencaps off a blog post or proofing gallery. I count that as a win every time. Also, custom apps are still ‘rare’ enough (in my eyes as a constant App Store junkie) that it will elevate your business to “super professional” in the eyes of anyone who comes across it! I would love to try Sticky Albums. Thanks for the post!

  20. says

    I LOVE the idea, and I will probably sign up for the trial, as I can see how fabulous it could be, BUT I wonder how I will price it – even as a giveaway it has to have a price and how much techie knowledge it requires of the customer. I guess the trial will answer that one. I like the idea to pop in a slide that says ‘book to get your own version’ of this. I think I would probably use to up sell the client, but to start with I will surprise clients ordering a CD and see how they get on.
    Thanks for the article, this is the first app around this idea that actually looks fabulous and simple to use.

  21. BrookeRoundy says

    Mobile is absolutely huge right now. As stated in your blog post, users are using Mobile way more than computers and (I don’t recall the stats but) more people have mobile devices than computers all over the world. I absolutely love your ideas for even more apps to enhance my business, such as product apps and what to wear… I recently designed a nice PDF to help prepare clients for a newborn session that would be great to turn into an app! The possibilities are endless. 🙂

  22. KristineLindFreed says

    I have Sticky Albums and LOVE it! I give each of my clients an app w/ about 5 of my fave images, then give the option of buying one w/ their faves.  I also include it with my top collection.  My clients love it too!

  23. JulieStephens says

    I just bought Sticky Albums about two months ago.  I include it in my top tier package collections, and it has been well received. By that, I mean client’s say, “Oh, that’s neat.”  🙂  I have not yet booked anyone from it (by referral, by seeing someone else’s photos on the app) but like I said, I’ve only had it for a few months.  I am optimistic about using it.

  24. asashiamartin says

    I have been debating on wether or not to get Sticky Albums but by reading the comments on how people use it and about the number of people using mobile devices, I’m sold. I love the perspective of thinking about it as a tool, not an end all, be all. As I continue learning about marketing, I think Sticky Albums will be a great addition to my toolbox.

  25. argphotographs says

    I’m so on the fence. I totally understand how it could be beneficial and positive for business. I’m just afraid to take the plunge, I guess… 

  26. AmberJoesel says

    I love technology and I love living in the future. However, like all things, it can be used positively or negatively. Sticky Albums is something I’ve been looking at for a while. I was so glad they finally added Android capability. It’s something I plan on adding to my list of products. 🙂 

  27. CarynScanlan says

    I am astounded at the rate that mobile/internet tools continue to improve, grow and become available! It wasn’t that long ago that these sorts of things were so “Wow!” that they were inaccessible to the everyday person. Now, they are within reach and are fantastic tools. I would love to offer this as an add-on or a gift for every purchase above a certain amount.  MUCH better than a calendar on the fridge 😉

  28. MonicaSchwartz says

    This is really cool. I have been thinking about turning one of my blogs into an App, and though this is not quite what I had in mind for that particular purpose, it is still an incredibly brilliant idea and option. 
    I am one of those App users and love the compact-ness, focus and mobile-specific navigation in Apps, and just about everyone I know loves them, too. 
    I’m off on a trip now, but will definitely look into this when I get back. Flagging the e-mail!

  29. ChristinaYates says

    I have played with the free version of Sticky Albums, and am totally in love! I wish I could afford the full version! I love the idea of using it more as an mobile inspiration board – why didn’t I think of that? lol

  30. says

    Thanks for commenting everyone. Congratulations to @ValerieFuller for being chosen as the winner of Sticky Albums for a year! Good luck integrating that with your senior photography business. For everyone else, remember to use code Prez to save $30 off your purchase THIS WEEK ONLY at – email me your receipt and I’ll send you a free copy of my ebook collection ($49 value)!

  31. says

    Zach,  thank you for your amazing advice and e books (recently purchased).  I love the ideas you put forward,  i am inspired now to push my business forward with a new and contemporary style.  Sticky Albums sound like a major player in this re-invention and I am keen to find out more.  
    Again thanks for the inspiration!

  32. alarmsphotography says

    I have been intrigued with this sticky app thing since i first heard about it watching J.Starr on creativeLIVE… i NEED this – i wish i would have had the money to do a lifetime membership when she plugged it! i could kick myself in the butt of not doing it right then and there! LOVE THIS idea – want this for my seniors especially but for family portraits too because it would spread like wildfire with the kids, then parents jump on board when they figure out how cool it is! :o)

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