Ritual for a new booking season
If you are an elopement or wedding photographer, you might be getting ready for a flurry of new inquiries as your booking season begins.
Lot’s of newly engaged couples will be getting in touch soon - YAY! In order to prepare, there are a couple of things you can do to freshen up your booking experience.
As a heart-led, empathic wedding or elopement photographer, connecting with potential clients goes beyond a simple transaction.
You love to foster personal connections with your clients that resonate on a deeper level. So before you simply wait for those dream clients to fill out your contact form, here are some strategic and practical things you can do to help you connect with the clients you can best serve.
Take a journal or a piece of paper and think about the clients you most enjoyed working with over the past year?
Go beyond the surface level stuff and think about their personality, their thoughts, feelings & most importantly values and how those align with your work.
The deeper you can dive into their personality, values & what they may have been experiencing when deciding to book you, the better you can serve new clients and create a sense of trust that you are the perfect photographer for them!
This will help you map out their client journey to make sure they feel a deep emotional connection to you and your brand. They will not question your prices, because they see the value beyond just the images you provide.
Your website, investment guides and supporting brand touch points should be used to build that sense of connection and trust, rather than just simply stating your prices, and how many images you provide.
Do you want them to feel as if you will be the life of the party on their wedding day, then infuse that into your emails, blog posts and website.
Perhaps you are more of an earthy, grounding presence on their wedding or elopement, in which case you could make your clients feel very calm, centred and like they can put their trust in you.
Now that you have the intention for your booking process sorted, you can move onto the more practical stuff.
The basics - some simple things that can make a big difference (don't skip these)!
Check all your links are correct and working on your website - I put this right at the top as it’s something we can often overlook. Don’t skip this step!!
Reach out to some of your fave venues and suppliers to stay fresh in their minds - send them galleries, see if there is anyway you could help them
If you haven’t been asking for testimonials- quickly contact some of the couples you had a really good connection with last season. These testimonials are like gold!
Give your website a little glow up - update your copy and images to reflect the type of experience you will create on the day of their wedding / elopement. Make sure all your branding and messaging is cohesive and tells a very specific narrative.
Share your values and ethos and experiences throughout your website and blog posts. Rather than simply saying, I care about inclusivity or I will help you feel relaxed, show it through your imagery and client testimonials.
Social media updates
Refresh your Instagram Link in Bio - give this a little spruce and make sure it’s easy for people to find what they are looking for. PS. save the quirky words for later, keep it simple and direct at this part of the client journey.
While you are at it, refresh your insta story highlights and pinned posts
Update your elopement and wedding planning guides - updated images, info, things you have learnt from your past wedding / elopement season
Update contact form - keep it short and sweet, but don’t be afraid to add in one or two questions that are going to help you connect with your clients and know if they are a good fit.
Make sure your contact form (and all other guides) are using inclusive and respectful language.
Add a redirect page!! Don’t leave interested people hanging. Create a redirect page to lead your potential clients to helpful blog posts, free resources and a link to sign-up to your email newsletter
Use email marketing to sell your magic!
Don’t have an email newsletter? Create more than a simple “ stay in touch to be the first to hear about”…YAWN!!
Create a valuable lead magnet or quiz that is going to help potential clients know if you are a good fit. Even better add a series of emails after you have delivered their freebie that will make them want to book straight away!
Create some helpful blog posts that will resonate with your potential clients and give them a preview of what it would be like to work with you! What will your soul aligned clients be searching for at the beginning stages of planning a wedding / elopement ??
Add a bit of brand magic to your inquiry process!
Update your canned emails - there are so many ways you can make automated emails jam packed with personality and feel engaging. Use emojis, GIFS and video to really connect and build trust with potential clients
Update your investment guide - make sure you are giving them a preview as to what it would be like to work with you, why they should choose to work with you over another photographer and deeper rooted FAQs that will help sell your magic!
Create some standard follow up protocols - if you don’t have these, please add them into your workflow! I have a whole strategy around following up, but think of reasons why someone would not have booked a discovery call?
Perhaps they need a gentle reminder (they might have gotten busy). Perhaps the time slots didn't suit them (can you offer them an alternative)? Are they nervous to book a call (Let them know what they can expect from your call / time talking to you)
Don’t forget about your discovery call - how can you create a vibe or experience during this call.
I once had a client who invited her clients to join her in their PJs - it broke the ice and made the call feel less formal.
Don't forget about your booking process - make it as easy as possible to hire you!
Have a proposal that "wows" your clients and sets the tone for the rest of the experience. Make it easy for them to pay their booking fee and sign their contract straight away.
Another top tip is to add more video throughout your workflow - this could be as simple as sending a "proposal walk through" video using loom. This small little detail has led to my clients experiencing an increase in bookings.
If you have all of this in place, I doubt you will be getting ghosted. But if you do, try to create follow up emails that invite potential clients to respond. I always like to give an easy out - for example if you feel we aren't a good match (no hard feelings) simply reply XYZ.
Think about where the gaps are in your client journey and pick a few key places to focus on.
If you need a little bit of support with the actual strategy behind all of these brand touch points, or you want someone to help you with the techy stuff or helping you find your brand magic and how you can stand out in your industry or niche - then book a Reset day with me which might be just what you need to go into this booking season with confidence!
WHAT IS A RESET DAY?
I’m Stacey, Some might call me a Virtual Assistant or Business Strategist - but I like to think of myself as your Co-creation partner.
I’m not a photographer, but I have worked closely with photographers and in the wedding industry for over 10 years.
This outsider’s perspective is what enables me to help my clients spot the gaps to rebuild their photography businesses for them and not for their industry - leading to more joy, simplicity and their quiet rebel nature to be set free.
If you need some help discovering your brand magic and infusing it into your brand, let's connect over a warm cuppa!
take a look at my free resources page for more ideas.
Why not browse my helpful resource page while you wait! It's filled with ways you can make your photography brand stand out in your niche!