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How this grad pic business scaled up and made its big move in this social media era

John Christopher Lawrence Morillo, Founder of Klik Media Group.

Our graduation photographs are trophies, a testament to the years of hard work and an ode to exciting beginnings. But how do traditional photo services make themselves stand out in this age of smartphones and social media?

Making significant moments tangible is KLIK Media’s bread and butter. Since September 2019, this startup business has cemented its place in the stories of thousands of graduating Pinoy students, capturing their rite of passage. They’ve managed to grow their clients almost tenfold in just three years, thriving in an era where just about everyone can take a photo, and amid a pandemic that changed how we study and work.

So here are some tips from John Christopher Lawrence Morillo, KLIK Media Group founder, on how to scale up your small business.

Establish a specialty.

John Christopher Lawrence Morillo started KLIK in 2019, after his own graduation photoshoot didn’t turn out the way he wanted to. His own predicament became KLIK’s origin story, where he sought to accommodate students who were seeking affordable and quality services for their special days.

Since then, KLIK has expanded its services to offer graduation shoots, yearbook printing, commercial photo and video production, and event photoshoots. By 2021, the company was serving Metro Manila, with studios in North Fairview, San Juan and a recently opened branch in Alabang. This year, KLIK plans to set up two studies in Luzon, particularly in Baguio and Angeles cities, to reach more students in need of trusted digital services.

Develop your core values.

For Morillo, adhering to their core values–competence, integrity, and service–captured everything they wanted to deliver. Making sure that these three values come first makes their work stand out from the rest.

“Our formula is rather simple: to make sure that everyone who walks in and out of our studios feel that they are happy and made the right choice,” Morillo shares.

Focus on your target market and build your reputation.

“Our reputation is our business. We always aim to deliver,” Morillo says. In three years, KLIK managed to grow their sales tenfold, despite the lockdowns. From just P350,000 in yearly sales when it started in September 2019, KLIK now manages to make P5.3 million in the same time period in 2022.

The quality of their output has made their first clients refer their family and friends, therefore organically building a network of customers who were readily recommending their quality services.

Make sure to address an industry pain point.

A typical grad shoot would mean waiting hours, filling up forms, and a longer wait time for the edited copy of the photos. When the pandemic showed that going online was the best route to keep the business running, KLIK adapted a cloud-based platform.

From registration, scheduling, and storage for the shoot and photos, KLIK clients can go all digital as the company teamed up with Lily Pad Digital Solutions. Morillo is also expanding their payment options, enlisting the help of digital payment service provider Maya to ensure that their tech-savvy clientele get the best experience.

Update your marketing strategy and cater to trends.

For KLIK Media, genuine connections with their clients also mean being in tune with their wants and needs. When the pandemic forced everyone in their homes—and online–Morillo knew he had to invest more in digital marketing. Facebook became KLIK’s go-to platform, and marketing buddy.

“When lockdowns commenced, students had the liberty to choose the studio to their liking. So we made sure we are digitally present. We made it a point that our visual materials, ads, and content are curated, relevant, and relatable,” he says.

Innovation became KLIK’s no. 1 priority, as it also aims to invest more in digital infrastructure to ensure the quality and efficiency of their services. As such, Morillo joined “Scale Up: The Show,” where he competed with 15 other Pinoy entrepreneurs for seed capital worth P150,000, and a grand prize of P500,000 in the finals.

Morillo’s tech-savvy approach to a traditional service managed to impress the three business mentors: Maya Chief Marketing Officer Pepe Torres, Tiny Buds co-founder Lorin Tan, and Boozy PH CEO Miguel Guerrero.

“Scale Up” is presented by Maya Business, in partnership with Shopify and PLDT Home Biz. Catch the previous shows on bit.ly/ScaleUpShow and get inspired by the modern entrepreneurs’ passion, hard work, and possibilities with Maya Business, your all-on-one digital payments and growth partner for your business.

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