It’s easy to spot and admire a beautiful photograph. But learning to take one can sometimes be challenging. That’s where Sydney Photographic Workshops come in: they teach you to take stunning photos.
To date more than 9000 participants have gone through Daniel and Wendy’s photography school. Everyone is welcome – from school students to corporates, from locals to groups coming from Africa. People from all walks of life who want to learn the skill of capturing that perfect moment. Mums to be, busy executives looking for a creative outlet, or enthusiasts looking take up photography as a new career.
For the multiple award-winning photographer and Canon Master Daniel Linnet, the best is the norm. Having recently undergone a rebrand and website revamp, he decided it was time to take SPW’s booking process online. For a business as visual as theirs, there was to be no compromise in making the booking experience slick and smooth. Soon they discovered Rezdy was so much more than just a booking engine. It became the best Marketing assistant they could possibly imagine, connecting them instantly to hundreds of agents eagerly waiting to re-sell their products.
Now they, along with their “Studio Manager” Angiss the dog, sit back and relax while Rezdy works wonders for their business. We catch up with Wendy and Daniel at their Alexandria studio to talk about their journey and how Rezdy became an inseparable part of their workshop family.
R: You’re averaging hundreds of bookings a month – you must be doing something right. But how did it all start?
WENDY: Back in 2005, Daniel discovered a talent and a passion for teaching photography. We noticed there was a shortage of photography workshops and schools in Sydney and we decided to try and fill that shortfall and create something really special and above what we could see out there.
DANIEL: I’m a self-taught professional photographer. Before taking up photography I used to work in Project Marketing. I call it my previous life. At some stage in my career, I was asked to fill in for a teacher that was teaching an adult education course and they basically sprung it on the last minute to see if I would be interested. A little bit hesitantly, I said, “I’ll give it a try.” From that moment, I discovered a real passion and an ability to relay the information that I learned myself into a very easy to digest form. I love talking about photography and seeing people relate to what you’re saying and their passion develop is what gives me the buzz.
WENDY: Before Sydney Photographic Workshops, I worked in Client Service Administration Management, and gained lots of experience in the Government sector. So, together we had all the skills and the background necessary to make this business a thriving success.
R: How did the decision to implement an online booking system come about?
WENDY: Before we went with Rezdy, the process for enrolling a student consisted of multiple calls, filling out forms, booking slips, confirmation letters, the list goes on. It was incredibly cumbersome. We knew we had to take the whole process online, but were constantly caught up in the day-to-day running and logistics of the business. One of our agents highly recommended and championed Rezdy as the best cloud booking platform. That gave us that little bit of a shove we really needed. We pulled out all stops, jumped on board, and never looked back.
We did investigate other booking platforms and they just didn’t provide everything Rezdy was able to provide. It was an all-in-one stop for us. It gave us everything we needed for our business.
Rezdy looks very professional, it’s easy to use, and we just love it.
DANIEL: During the website redesign process, our developer commented a few times on how easy it was to integrate and the visual options it gives you. You can have it on the side, in the middle, as full page, or you could actually be redirected to the Rezdy portal if you are just creating a simple website. Rezdy looks very professional, it’s easy to use, and we just love it.
R: In your opinion, what are some of the best aspects of Rezdy?
WENDY: It’s just been such a phenomenal platform for us to use. It saved us probably about 90% of admin time, which is just astounding. It’s freed me up to focus more on marketing and the day-to-day production and delivering of the workshops. I can also access it on the fly which helps me greatly when I’m out in the field but still need to make adjustments to the bookings. I can do it straight from my phone.
The customer support is also phenomenal. From the set-up process, we had somebody contact us and help us step-by-step. As I was learning and adapting to the system, no question I had was ever too silly, and I had really easy access to support staff. They would solve the problem on the spot. I couldn’t rate them any higher.
DANIEL: In photography, we’re all about workflow. In a day I might come back with 4,000 images. Having a streamlined workflow to get them from my camera to my computer and then into the edit process, is something that I’ve worked many years to develop to save me hours on the computer. Having that similar ability to automate the booking workflow, makes my life so much easier. It also helps retain all those impulse bookings we were previously losing due to the fact that sometimes people would have to wait for a confirmation from us, since we spend so much time away from the office.
R: How important is it to be commission-free?
WENDY: You lose such a big chunk of your revenue through the charging of commissions. With a monthly fee, the value for money is just fantastic because we know exactly where we’re sitting at and don’t have to keep paying out of our pocket as the business revenue increases. It’s easily manageable and absolutely worth every cent.
R: It makes money for you while you sleep…
DANIEL: Sometimes, while we’re having dinner with friends, my phone buzzes, and I see a little thing come through from Rezdy. I get excited and often comment on the fact that “we’re here having dinner and there’s money coming in.” Every so often, I’ll be having a coffee and I’ll log into Rezdy just for peace of mind. I make sure everything is going smoothly, but also to see how many bookings we’ve had that day and how it’s all progressing. I have to admit, it’s a good feeling. It’s like a social network – it gets addictive!
R: You’re one of Rezdy’s Marketplace champions. Tell us a little about how you leverage it.
WENDY: The Marketplace is absolutely fantastic. It puts us out there to hundreds of agents worldwide, some of them big players in the market. If we were to approach them without Rezdy, it would be a monumental, mammoth task. It gives us so many new and fresh opportunities. We were previously listed on only a few sites and getting on board with those wasn’t easy. Now we’re able to just send through our rates and our requests. The agents can immediately look at our products, gauge which ones are good for them and take us on board immediately.
DANIEL: Having worked in Marketing I know how difficult it is to connect with and cold call potential partners. The fact that they’re all on Rezdy and looking at dealing with suppliers, breaks the ice and makes it so much easier to get in touch with.
R: What’s the single biggest reason you’d recommend Rezdy to other businesses?
WENDY: I’d really recommend Rezdy just for the Marketplace alone. It’s such a powerful tool and I find it simply perfect.
DANIEL: I wouldn’t hesitate recommending Rezdy to any creative business, sole operator or small partnership, simply because it alleviates the need to have large staff. The thing that I absolutely loved from the very beginning is the fact of how easy it was to implement. If it was easy for us, then it’s definitely going to be easy for anyone.
I’d really recommend Rezdy just for the Marketplace alone. It’s such a powerful tool and I find it simply perfect.
Rezdy is a market leader in this style of platform, not just for the booking integration or automating workflows. It offers us effective solutions in terms of marketing, business development, tracking, reporting and so much more. It’s a one stop shop we now can’t live without.