When Lou Lesko, the brains behind Blinkbid contacted me a few weeks ago, to see if I’d be interested in doing a review of his estimating and invoicing software for photographers, I happily agreed. After all I had been using Blinkbid for a while already, and I think that you’ll like it as much as I do. Bidding on jobs, sending estimates, building image usage licenses, setting terms and conditions, and record keeping are just a few of the features that Blinkbid has to offer. They have a great website with video tutorials to get you started, and you can download a demo for free.
Many creative people like me would much rather be doing the creative side of their work, as opposed to running a small business. I often jokingly say that I do the photography for free, but charge a lot for all the editing and paperwork that I have to do. Blinkbid makes the part of the job that I don’t enjoy doing, easier and less time consuming. Now that’s a product I can endorse! The team at Blinkbid works closely with photographers and videographers, in order to make sure that the software reflects the needs of their clients. Blinkbid is now up to version 6.01 and while i owned version 5, Lou provided me with the latest version to make sure that my review was up to date. I did not get paid in any way to write this review, I really do like Blinkbid and would recommend it to all kinds of photographers. If you are looking for a solution for creating estimates for clients, bidding on potential jobs, and invoicing, then Blinkbid is for you.
Now let’s take a look at some of what Blinkbid can do:
When you click on “Create a New Job” you will be presented with this screen with all the information to fill out. Pretty simple stuff to begin with.
Click on the “Terms” tab that you see highlighted in blue to proceed to the next step. Here is where you can build your usage license. I know what yhou’re thinking. ken, that’s all good and fine, but I’m no lawyer! How on earth do I write something like this properly? It’s going to take me forever!
Wrong Grasshopper… Check out the next screenshot to see just how simple this is with Blinkbid. What would potentially have you pulling your hair out (assuming that you have any) is now easy as apple pie.
In this mock job that I set up, my client “Awesome Advertising” , is looking to produce 1000 billboards all over the US and Canada with the images that I shoot for them. They want to license these images for one year, exclusive to their industry, starting on the date of first use. Having these facts at hand, it took me less than a minute to fill this section out. Simply click on the “Usage License” button at the top left, and this screen appears. See the image above this screen capture to see the final text that was automatically written in to the proper area.
In order to do the assignment for my client it will require a 4 day shoot, 2 models, 2 assistants, a hair stylist, make up artist, wardrobe stylist a few pre production days and other things listed here. Remember this is an estimate and you can always come back to tweak thing later if you need to. Blinkbid saves revisions of the original estimate, so you can keep track of your negotiations with your clients. There is a great selection of items to potentially add to the list, and you simply click on a selection form the list to add it.
Once added to the estimate you can edit each item individually.
Can’t find the item you’d like to add to the list? No problem! You can add your own items by clicking the “Add Line Item” button on the top of the menu. You can also add new Item Categories if need be.
Blinkbid allows you to set up different profiles which comes in very handy for tax issues. You may want to set multiple profiles for billing clients from different countries, states, or provinces. This way you can set the different taxation rates and even compound the second and third taxes if need be. This is a very handy feature, especially for someone like me that would rather eat glass than do math equations.
Set up your banking information for your client to be able to wire transfer your payments.
Set up your own variables and Blinkbid once again will write up your Estimate Terms.
Same thing applies to the Invoicing Terms.