Guest post from creative business coach, Savannah Meikamp
The secret to booking more photography clients is simple. The key lies in your communication and the experience that you provide to potential clients. Let’s go over the steps you need to take to book a client – from even before they inquire about a bridal consult!
Setting up a client experience
Booking clients starts with the experience you provide before someone even submits an inquiry. Your social media presence and website should reflect the value you provide and the quality of the service you offer. Be clear about the services you offer and what makes it all worth the investment. A potential client will be more comfortable with you if they know about your personality and professionalism from what they’ve read about you on social media and your website.
Tips for social media: Speak directly to your audience in Instagram Stories. Show them behind-the-scenes of your process. Share some personal information that your audience can relate to. People want to buy from real people!
Tips for your website: Appeal to your target market with imagery that represents them and what they value. Make sure your copy positions you as an authority and takes site visitors on a client journey. Your website should be easy to navigate as well as provide clarity on the next steps to take to work with you.
Responding to client inquiries
The most important thing to remember when responding to inquiries is that you should respond as soon as you can. Stay on the top of their radar and connect with them before anyone else does. Clients are much more likely to book a photographer that responds quickly!
You should also try to connect with them via video and voice over email and text as soon as possible. More than ever, people crave a human connection when they are making a big investment. You can really set yourself apart from other photographers by creating that personal connection early in the process! Do this by asking if you can set up a time to talk over the phone or on a Zoom/Facetime call when you respond to their inquiry.
This can look something like: “Hey Amanda! Just got your inquiry and I’m SO stoked to get to know you guys and see if we’d be a good fit. Are you free this week to hop on a Zoom call so we can talk about what you guys are needing and how I can best support you?”
More tips for responding to inquiries:
- Avoid using an auto-response! If you want to use a template for responding to inquiries, that’s great, but make sure you are personalizing the response. It makes a huge difference.
- Read your response out loud. If you read the email out loud and it makes you cringe, you need to tweak it. Talk like you are talking to a friend! Use voice-to-text to make your response sound natural.
- Form a connection. Find something from their inquiry to connect to and comment on. If you have shot at their wedding venue before, mention how much you love it!
- Create urgency. Try subtly creating a reason for them to get back with you ASAP. Say something like, “Yay! That is our last open date in August! I’m so happy we still have your date available.”
- Include a full gallery. (Bonus points if it is a gallery from their wedding venue!) It will keep them interested in your work and they will be even more excited to chat with you.
- Provide guidance on the next steps. Explain what happens next in the process and offer to answer any questions they have about working with you.
- End with a call-to-action. The best CTA you can include in your response is in the form of a question because then they’ll want to respond to it. Simply ask what time works best for them to set up a call, or ask if they would like to book an engagement session as well. This will set you apart from the basic “I’m available, here are my prices, can’t wait to hear back” responses.
On the bridal consult
It’s time for the consult! Whether you book a phone call or a video call, keep these tips in mind:
- Start with small talk. This will put them at ease and make them feel comfortable with you. Make sure to use their names.
- Clearly state the objective of the call. This can sound something like, “The goal of this call is to get to know you both and what you’re looking for in a photographer to see if I’m a good fit for you. You’ll also get to ask any questions you have so that you can make an informed decision on whether you’d like to move forward together.”
- Ask questions and then really listen to their response. Take notes on their wedding plans and what they are hoping to find in a wedding photographer. We want them to discern value and that you will provide what is most important to them.
- Assure them that you are the solution. Using your notes, let them know that you will provide the best service and meet all of their needs!
The follow up
After your call, it might take some time to hear back. Be empathetic and understanding that people get busy! If you haven’t heard back within a few days, send a short but sweet message to them to check in.
Avoid guilt-tripping them by providing them with a valid excuse for not getting back with you right away. Provide value by offering to help them or answer any further questions. And, don’t forget: end the message with a question to encourage them to respond!
To learn more on how to book out your calendar year with weddings, check out the group coaching program: Broke 2 Booked Out! Enrollment is open for 1 week only through March 30, 2021. Miss B2B registration but looking for creative coaching and resources for your photography business? Book a free consult with Savannah today!