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Are you a photographer that would like to learn how to book more weddings? Well you have landed in the right place! In this post I am covering 5 key tips that will help you grow the photography business of your dreams no matter how much experience you have.
If you find yourself struggling to get consistent bookings then chances are you may fall under one of these 3 situations:
Situation #1: you have inquiries rolling in pretty regularly but it seems like more than half the time after you send off that beautiful first email response, you get crickets. They totally ghost you and you never hear from them again.
Situation #2: you feel like you are doing everything right! You are posting on Instagram every single day. You have a beautiful website and lots of information on it and all the pretty pictures. But your inbox is dryer than the Sahara desert. Inquiries just don’t seem to be rolling in and you are burnt out on what to do next.
Situation #3: You are a newer photographer just starting to dip your toes into weddings, maybe you have second shot with other photographers or maybe you have a couple solo weddings under your belt but your calendar isn’t as booked as you would like it to be in order to take your business full time.
The good news is, no matter which situation you are in, the following tips will help you book more weddings!
I know how frustrating it can be when we are not growing as fast as we feel like we should be. It seems like everyone around us is doing more than us or achieving things faster. And those jealous feelings are so toxic. Though it may be difficult, please remember that someone else’s day 1000 is going to look a lot different than your day 1.
Life brings seasons of success and seasons of patience and seasons of worry, happiness and joy and so on. It’s all part of this crazy human experience journey we are on. Remember that while you may not be where you want to be right now, doesn’t mean God doesn’t have some big grand plan for your life.
His plan is ALWAYS better than our own. SO laugh when it’s hard, and enjoy every bump along the way because one day our mess could become our message and the reason why everything makes sense for how our lives turn out.
Okay okay enough with my little pep talk. Let’s get into some tangible tips shall we?
Tip #1: Solidify Your Brand Positioning
Your brand position is just a fancy way of saying, “show the world what your brand stands for”. This can and should be both business related and also in your personal life.
You may have heard me talk about branding pillars in episode 29 of the Branded Cowgirl Podcast
Branding pillars are 5-6 topics that represent your life and your business that you rotate through each week on social media, a blog, or whatever content you produce.
Examples of your branding pillars may be content pertaining to:
- Photography/wedding tips for clients
- Being a mom
- Being a wife
- Being a Christian
- Recipes & Cooking (if you love to cook)
- Business tips (if you are also an educator)
- Your love for coffee
- Your dog or animals
- Where you live (maybe you live in a really cool place or popular tourist place)
By sharing a variety of topics across your social platforms, you are helping your audience build a relationship with you. The more you share, the more they will either be attracted or repelled by the content you share. The goal is to find OUR people that are stoked to work with us.
Tip #2: Get A Website
Instagram should not be used for the same purpose as a website. Use instagram as social media and your website as your website.
Instagram is such a powerful tool for building connection, brand awareness, and getting people interested in what you do. But you want to be able to have a website to send them to in order to take that next step towards booking with you.
Here are a few key things to have on your website:
- Clear tag line above the fold (states what you do and who you serve.) Also known as an “I help statement” or elevator pitch
- Have a clear contact button. Do not get caught up in making everything too fancy. Make it simple and easy to navigate
- Create a truly optimizable contact form. Meaning asking all the right questions. Don’t have it just be “insert name, email and a message box” Your contact form should at the minimum – ask all the questions you need to know initially from clients on whether or not you can move forward with them.
Tip #3: Have a quicker response time to book more weddings
A lot of photographers take their response time for granted and don’t realize how much a quick response time can help them book more weddings. I know you have a life and cannot be glued to your computer or phone at all times so you will need to find what works for you.
BUT let me just say this… if you are saying you need 24 hours to respond, just know that some other photographer may be responding in 5 minutes. Chances are, you are not the only photographer that client is reaching out to.
Put somewhere on your website what your usual response time is. If you can guarantee 24 hours or 48 hours, put that. But don’t put that you always respond within an hour if there’s a chance that will not happen.
You can also improve your response time by automating your initial inquiry email response. My favorite way to do this is using HoneyBook. With HoneyBook, you can create an email template for inquiries one time and have it automatically send whenever you want.
Tip #4: Analyze how you speak to your clients
Maybe you are on point with your response times and are a total boss at getting back to people super quick, but what does that response actually sound like?
Your communication with your clients plays a huge role in helping you book more weddings. It should sound how you actually speak. Everything from how you talk on social media, to that first email, to the copy on your website and so on.
Here’s why: Let’s say you are active on instagram and showing your face and you talk really bubbly and fun, and maybe your website totally matches that. So naturally when a client reached out to you, they are going to expect something similar.
Let me give you a little taste of what my first email sounds like:
“Omg omg omg hey *name* I am FREAKING pumped that your reached out! Holy moly weddings get me so hyped and yours sounds like an absolute fairytale. Hell yeah here is all the info you need let me know how I can help make this your best day ever and I am beyond thrilled to be a part of your day! Warmly, Sarah”
If you are not a freaking spaz ball like me, that’s totally okay too. Not everyone likes that which is why I am not the photographer for everyone and neither are you. Your email can be way more chill than that but still show your personality.
I actually have created a free guide of email templates for photographers that you can get HERE. They are totally customizable or you can just copy and paste them!
Tip #5: Book More Weddings With An Amazing Client Experience
Your client experience starts in the marketing stage before someone even reaches out to you. Once they book, then you really need to blow them out of the water with an awesome experience.
Something as simple as sending them a gift for booking with you, or after you deliver their photos can go a long way.
Just keeping up with them is also a big deal. Wedding photographers usually book out a year in advanced. Do not just take someone’s money and never talk to them again until the week before their wedding.
On actual wedding days, show that you know your stuff. Be helpful, get to know the wedding party and their names. Make friends with guests and parents and leave an impression on everyone there, not just the bride and groom. You never know who may be watching you!
Creating a client experience that blows people away is going to increase the chance of them referring their friends to you. Word of mouth is by far the best marketing tool at your disposal. It’s free and it really just involves you being a kind human being.
I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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