Bloom CRM Review: A Game-Changer for Photographers in 2024?

Discover how Bloom CRM streamlines client interactions, project management, and invoicing for photographers and creators, offering a comprehensive suite of features tailored for creative professionals. New Bloom CRM Review.

Matt By Matt
23 Min Read

Managing photography clients and the tech stack that holds the business together can feel like a little chaotic, even at the best of times. But it doesn’t need to be this way.

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Finding the right CRM (customer relationship management system) to streamline and simplify customer interactions and business operations is a game-changer.

However, most of the CRMs I’ve tried, including some that are regarded as the ‘best CRM for photographers’ are pretty bad when it comes to providing a pleasant user experience for visual learners like me.

There’s so much hype out there, with many false claims, promises, and reviews that don’t really shine a light on the truth.

So I was relieved to discover Bloom CRM, which very quickly has emerged as one of the most talked about platforms.

But does it hit the right notes for creatives, especially those of us behind the lens?

Well I loved it so much I now use Bloom for my own photography studio in London.

Key Takeaways

  • Bloom CRM offers an easy-to-use CRM that simplifies booking, invoicing, and communication for photographers and creative professionals.
  • Enhances workflow efficiency and client interaction through its user interface designed for visual learners.
  • The platform is particularly valuable for photographers and small business owners seeking to streamline admin tasks and improve client experiences.

As a professional portrait photographer constantly juggling appointments, project deadlines, and client communications, I embarked on a quest to dissect Bloom CRM reviews, seeking the rhyme and reason behind its growing popularity among commercial photographers and beyond.

The Bloom CRM platform claims to bring together a suite of features – from invoicing and customer service to project management and client onboarding – all designed with the creative professional in mind.

But can it truly transform the cacophony of daily tasks into a harmonious workflow?

My venture into this exploration wasn’t just about ticking boxes but about uncovering a tool that could amplify my business and make it more efficient.

This review digs into Bloom’s features, ease of use, pricing, and more, offering an honest review from the lens of a London-based portrait photographer.

Is Bloom the CRM platform we’ve been waiting for, or just another empty promise in the crowded CRM marketplace?

Let’s find out.

 

What is Bloom.io?

Bloom.io CRM emerges as a comprehensive platform tailored specifically for creative professionals like us photographers, who need more than just basic tools to manage our bustling businesses.

At its core, Bloom.io provides a holistic suite designed to handle everything from lead management to glowing client reviews, ensuring that every aspect of client interaction is covered.

This CRM doesn’t just store client details; the CRM platform enhances the entire workflow from initial contact to final payment and beyond.

Key Features and Functionalities

Bloom.io excels in streamlining operations through its easy-to-learn user-friendly interface, which integrates several complex functionalities into one platform.

You can manage projects, create websites, schedule appointments, and communicate directly with clients via Bloom Messenger.

For those of us who need to send invoices and process payments swiftly, Bloom supports integrations with popular payment gateways like Square and Stripe, making transactions smooth and hassle-free.

Automation and Training

One of the standout features of Bloom.io is its ability to automate repetitive tasks.

Whether it’s scheduling emails, setting reminders, or organising meetings, this CRM system helps save precious time, which can be better spent on creative pursuits.

Additionally, Bloom.io doesn’t leave you to figure things out on your own; it offers a range of training sessions and workshops designed to help you maximise the use of its features, including specialized tools for photography.

Key Features of Bloom CRM

Bloom CRM stands out by integrating essential tools for creatives into a single, streamlined platform. Key features include:

  1. Comprehensive Client Management: Centrally manage all client interactions, from initial contact through invoicing and follow-ups. Bloom’s CRM capabilities allow you to maintain detailed client records and manage communications effectively.
  2. Advanced Project Management: Track project progress, assign tasks, and meet deadlines efficiently. The system supports multiple integrations, making managing everything from scheduling to final billing easier.
  3. Invoicing and Payments: Send invoices directly from the platform and accept payments through multiple channels including Stripe, PayPal, and bank transfers. Automated reminders ensure timely payments.
  4. Digital Asset Management: Deliver high-quality password-protected digital galleries directly to clients for review and feedback, replacing the need for third-party services such as Shootproof. This feature is especially beneficial for photographers and visual artists.
  5. Legal and Contract Management: Generate and send contracts directly from the platform. Digital signatures and legally binding features streamline the process of contract management.
  6. Automation and Efficiency: Automate repetitive tasks like email follow-ups and payment reminders, saving valuable time and reducing the workload.
  7. Client Portals: Offer clients a personalised portal where they can access project updates, files, and invoices, enhancing the overall customer experience.
  8. Multi-Currency and International Support: Suitable for global operations, supporting multiple currencies and languages, which is ideal for freelancers and businesses with an international client base.
  9. Mobile Management: Manage your business on the go with mobile apps that allow you to invoice, schedule, and communicate with clients from anywhere.
  10. Security and Support: Robust security measures protect your data, while comprehensive support options ensure you can get help whenever needed.

These features are designed to simplify the complexities of managing creative projects, making Bloom an excellent choice for professionals looking to streamline their business operations.

Ease of Setup and Ease of Use

Bloom CRM is widely celebrated for its user-friendly interface, which makes it easy to get started with minimal fuss.

The platform guides you through the setup process with clear, step-by-step instructions and helpful “how to” guides embedded right within the interface. This approach is particularly beneficial for those of us in the creative fields who prefer spending more time on our art than administrative tasks.

Moreover, Bloom.io’s design emphasises simplicity and ease of use, ensuring that you can integrate it smoothly into your daily workflow without a steep learning curve.

It’s designed to be intuitive, so even if you’re not tech-savvy, navigating through its features is straightforward. This simplicity is crucial for maintaining a seamless transition between creative tasks and administrative duties.

 

To further enhance user experience, Bloom.io offers email prompts and mini tutorials tailored for visual learners.

These resources are invaluable as they help you understand and utilise the CRM’s full capabilities without feeling overwhelmed by complex technical jargon.

Whether you’re setting up the system for the first time or looking to optimise your use of its features, these user-centric design elements make Bloom CRM an excellent choice for creative professionals eager to streamline their business processes.

Feature Deep-Dive: Invoicing and Payment Processing

Bloom CRM has streamlined the invoicing and payment process for creative professionals like us, offering a robust platform that simplifies how we manage finances.

With features supporting various payment methods including credit cards, ACH, and mobile payments, Bloom ensures you can cater to all your client’s preferences.

The integration with popular payment solutions like Stripe, PayPal, and even mobile-friendly options such as Venmo and Cash App, enhances flexibility, making it easier for clients to settle their dues promptly.

The invoicing system in Bloom is designed to handle everything from creating unlimited invoices within a project to sending automated payment reminders. This system not only supports multiple currencies, making it ideal for international transactions but it also allows customisation of invoices to reflect your brand, enhancing the professional look of your billing documents.

What’s more, Bloom CRM enables you to add legally binding e-signatures to contracts directly within the invoices, ensuring that all financial dealings are secured and acknowledged.

For those looking to streamline their payment processes further, Bloom offers features like auto-charging, where the remaining balance can be automatically deducted on a specified date.

This is particularly useful for managing instalment payments or ensuring the timely closure of accounts.

Additionally, the platform’s capability to integrate seamlessly with accounting software like QuickBooks simplifies the financial management of your business, providing a comprehensive view of your financial health in one place.

Project Management and Scheduling Efficiency

Bloom CRM excels in enhancing project management and scheduling efficiency, making it a powerful tool for creative professionals managing multiple projects simultaneously. Here’s how Bloom streamlines these crucial aspects:

Calendar Integration and Scheduling

Bloom CRM integrates seamlessly with your calendar, allowing you to manage your availability and set up instant bookings with ease.

Whether you’re scheduling Zoom meetings or managing in-person sessions, the platform supports synchronisation with both Apple and Outlook calendars, ensuring you never double-book or miss an appointment.

  • Direct Embedding: You can embed scheduling links directly on your website or social profiles, facilitating easy client bookings without the need for back-and-forth communication.
  • Customisation Options: Create custom URLs for your booking page, add button popups on your site, or set up limited date ranges in your forms to control when and how clients can book your services.

Streamlined Project Management

Bloom’s project management features are designed to keep you organised and productive.

With a whiteboard-based layout, you can visually manage all projects and tasks, enhancing your workflow and efficiency.

  • Task Management: Assign tasks within projects and track progress in real-time. Bloom allows for creating workflows that manage growing business needs, making it easier to handle multiple projects without losing sight of the details.
  • Automation Features: Set up automations to schedule emails, send reminders, and follow up with clients automatically. This reduces the manual work involved in project management, allowing you to focus more on creative tasks.

Enhanced Client Interaction

Bloom CRM offers a unique project management feature built into each lead. This allows you to add leads directly to your calendar, create tasks for follow-ups, and keep track of all interactions with a client in one place.

The platform also provides comprehensive calendar tutorials to help you make the most of these features, ensuring that you’re never overwhelmed by the administrative side of your business.

By integrating these advanced scheduling and project management tools, Bloom CRM simplifies the administrative tasks associated with running a creative business and enhances your ability to deliver outstanding service to your clients.

Client Relationship Management and Lead Generation

Bloom CRM excels in helping you build stronger client relationships and streamlining lead generation processes, which is crucial for any creative professional, especially photographers like us based in the bustling city of London.

The platform’s comprehensive client management system allows you to maintain detailed records of client interactions, projects, and personal information. T

his feature is particularly useful as it automates birthday emails and follow-up campaigns, ensuring you stay connected with your clients without missing a beat.

Lead management in Bloom is designed to keep potential client information organised and accessible.

This system not only tracks interactions but also automates the lead generation process, including the automation of contract signings. This means less time spent on manual entries and more time available for your creative work.

The integration with various payment gateways such as Stripe, Square, and PayPal, further supports international transactions, making it a versatile tool for photographers working with a global clientele.

Moreover, Bloom’s CRM capabilities are enhanced by its chat-based communication model. This feature centralises conversation tracking, making it easier to manage and review client communications in one place.

Automated messages and emails, along with live chat options, ensure that you can respond promptly and maintain a high level of customer service.

These tools collectively help in reducing the workload while ensuring that no communication slips through the cracks.

Customer Support and Community

Bloom CRM offers various support channels to assist users effectively, including email, phone, and online chat options.

The platform is known for its Bloom Messenger feature, which facilitates easy communication between businesses and their customers.

Additionally, Bloom CRM operates its customer support through Intercom, ensuring a reliable and accessible service system.

Despite the robust support system, some users have reported experiencing slow and sometimes unhelpful customer service responses.

This issue is attributed to a relatively small customer service team, which can lead to delays in handling inquiries. However, the leadership within the Bloom community is proactive about making continual improvements based on user feedback, which reflects a commitment to enhancing the platform.

Bloom CRM’s community is also a vital aspect of its support structure. The platform not only provides 24-hour support but also actively engages with its user base to implement suggestions and resolve issues.

This approach has fostered a responsive environment where customer feedback directly influences platform updates and feature enhancements.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Bloom CRM

  1. Free Trial Availability: Bloom CRM offers a free trial that allows you to test its features before committing financially, giving you a risk-free opportunity to see if it fits your business needs.
  2. Software Integration: It integrates seamlessly with various other software programs, enhancing its functionality and making it a versatile tool for managing your creative projects.
  3. Industry Recognition: The platform has received accolades from well-known industry leaders, which speaks volumes about its reliability and effectiveness in the creative sector.
  4. Designed for visual learners: making it fast and easy to use and setup. 

Cons of Bloom CRM

  1. Limited Customisation for Contracts: While Bloom CRM facilitates contract management, it offers limited customisation options, which might not meet all your specific business needs.
  2. No Multi-User Support: The platform currently does not support multi-user accounts, which can be a significant drawback for businesses that operate with multiple team members needing access to the CRM.
  3. Potential Overwhelm for Small Businesses: While the extensive array of features is beneficial, it may be overwhelming for some solopreneurs or those new to using CRM systems.
  4. Customer Service Challenges: Some users have reported slow response times and a lack of personalised assistance from customer support, which could be a point of frustration when urgent help is needed. Growing pains I think. 

By weighing these pros and cons, you can better determine if Bloom CRM aligns with the specific demands and dynamics of your photography business in London.

Pricing and Value for Money

Bloom CRM offers a range of pricing options designed to accommodate the varying needs of creative professionals, from solo photographers to small teams. Here’s a breakdown of the packages and what each includes:

  • Starter Package: Priced at $14 per month or $7 with a yearly subscription, this package allows you to manage up to 3 active projects and includes essential features such as lead capture, client image galleries, and basic automations. It’s a great starting point for those new to CRM systems.
  • Standard Package: At $34 monthly or $17 with an annual plan, this package offers unlimited projects, workflows, and automations. It also includes advanced features like recurring invoices and QuickBooks integration, making it suitable for growing businesses.
  • Plus Package: For $66 monthly or $33 with a yearly subscription, this comprehensive package supports unlimited projects and team members, offers priority support, and allows the removal of Bloom branding for a more professional appearance.

Each package comes with a 7-day free trial, allowing you to test the features before committing.

Additionally, there are no commissions charged, and the only additional costs are the monthly subscription and a flat credit card transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30.

Users have consistently praised Bloom CRM for its value for money, citing its ease of use and comprehensive features that cater specifically to the needs of creative professionals.

With an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on 664 reviews on GetApp, it’s clear that many find the pricing reasonable for the functionality provided.

However, it’s worth noting that Bloom CRM currently holds a Trustpilot rating of 3.3 out of 5, based on a single review as of June 2023, indicating mixed user experiences and the need for more comprehensive feedback.

As someone who uses Bloom in my own photography business, I personally think this rating on Trustpilot is a little unfair.

The Verdict – Bloom CRM Review

Hopefully, by exploring Bloom CRM through the lens of a London-based professional photographer, I’ve shared a few things that you find useful on your own creative journey.

From streamlining client communications to automating the nitty-gritty of project and financial management, Bloom has presented itself as a noteworthy contender in the CRM market for photographers and creatives alike.

The exploration revealed a platform rich with features tailored to ease the administrative load, allowing more room for creative endeavours—essentially striking a chord with the needs of a bustling photography business in the heart of London.

For those intrigued and looking to explore how this CRM could play out in their own creative concert, taking it for a spin might just hit the right note.

Try Bloom CRM for FREE and witness firsthand if it conducts the workflow symphony you’ve been looking for, amplifying your business’s melody in the vast creative orchestra that is London’s photography scene.

Bloom CRM Logo

Try Bloom CRM for FREE

Give Bloom a try and see how it can speed up and simplify your creative workflow with clients,

FAQs

What are the benefits of using Bloom as a CRM?

Bloom CRM has received positive reviews for its efficiency and comprehensive features. Users appreciate the automated emails and touchpoints which facilitate quick sending of contracts, invoices, questionnaires, and more, allowing them to focus on their primary interests like photography. It is also noted for being cost-effective, as it eliminates the need for multiple subscriptions to other programs by including all necessary tools in one package.

Does Bloom offer a free version?

Bloom provides three pricing editions, ranging from $14 to $66. Additionally, there is a free trial available for those who want to test the features before committing to a purchase. This trial helps potential users assess which edition and features best fit their budget and business needs.

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By Matt
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I'm the Creative Director at Bona Parle. I'm also a freelance portrait and headshot photographer, award-winning filmmaker, film Colourist and a multi-award winning LGBTQ+ human rights campaigner. For part of my week I lead a successful UK-based charity that brings families closer to together.