5 Major Mistakes You Are Making That Are Costing You Clients


the blog

by sarah elrod

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Want to know the 5 major mistakes costing you clients? Well, today you can! We are diving into a variety of mistakes that range from doing way too much or not enough! This post is jam packed with information so get ready to learn (and possibly run to instagram to delete some things LOL)!

Not Showing Up

This should come as no surprise, but not showing up for your people is a major mistake costing you clients! We need to be present and engaging with our followers in order to build our like, know, and trust factor! But how do we show up exactly?

  • Being active and engaging on social media
  • Commenting and DM-ing people
  • Posting regularly
  • Showing your face on stories, reels, and feed posts

Not Following Up With Inquiries Or Messages

One of the next mistakes costing you clients is not following up with people. A huge percentage of clients are lost when we do not follow up with them. Sometimes they need some time to think over your products or services and sometimes they just flat out forget to respond.

My Follow Up Process To Avoid Mistakes Costing You Clients

  1. The initial email I send after an inquiry with all the pricing info & details
  2. Follow Up #1 – A couple of sentences asking if they had any questions on the information I sent over, if we haven’t been on a call yet I try to schedule it on this email. (about 4-5 days after sending the info)
  3. If I still haven’t heard back from them I might send one more slightly more abrupt email saying something like “Hi, are you still interested?” (this is usually another 5-7 days after the first follow up)
  4. Lastly we have the Golden email – this is a way more passive aggressive straight to the point email that says “Hi (insert name) since I have not heard back from you I am going to take it as you are no longer interested in working together. No worries, I will be deleting your inquiry. Happy Planning” (usually another 5-ish days or so)

There is an entire episode on The Branded Cowgirl Podcast on how to avoid getting ghosted. If you want to check it out, it’s Episode 20 or you can click here!

Not Providing Value

I see this a lot with creative businesses and photographers, where they just post a photo with a simple one liner caption and call it a day. And sure, maybe you are getting bookings and work from doing this, and maybe it has been working for you this far, and why fix something if it isn’t broken right? Well… I’m sorry to say but you are most likely missing out on a huge demographic by not providing genuine value to your clients.

Value can be anything that is educational, inspirational, or entertaining. 

So many of these creative industries are saturated and the #1 thing that is going to help you stand out from the rest is YOU and what you bring to the table. Pretty pictures will only get you so far (believe me I learned this from experience). It wasn’t until I started heavily diving into creating value packed content that I saw my business evolve in a huge way.

You do not have to post on Instagram everyday if that is too much for you. But just keep in mind that someone else is. And if you both have the same end goal, I can promise you that the person who is putting in the work daily, is going to get there faster.

There is not right or wrong way to do this. Just think about what is important to you!

Talk About What You Sell To Avoid Mistakes Costing You Clients

Another one of the mistakes costing you clients is not talking about the things you sell.

A solid marketing strategy is providing consistent, steady, high value & FREE content 90% of the time and selling to those same people only 10% of the time.

All the free value you have been putting out builds a credibility for yourself which should in return make selling a heck of a lot easier 

We don’t want to be annoying or redundant and push people away. But the reality is all of those negative thoughts you have about sales are in your head. 

I want you to shift your mindset around the idea of sales and stop thinking about it as something slimy and start thinking about it as you helping people

When you have something to offer someone that you really deep down believe in and KNOW full heartedly it can solve their problems, why would you be afraid to give that to someone?

Talking About These Things On Social Media Is One Of The Mistakes Costing You Clients

Stolen Gear Or Equipment 

  • Makes you appear not responsible for your stuff
  • I believe in transparency to some levels but if we are always talking about how we left our camera just sitting on the floor or out on an open table at a coffee shop, we are going to appear careless to anyone watching our stories.
  • Even if your actual clients don’t mind or they understand that stuff happens, you never know how many other photographers may be watching your stories and thinking it was a careless mistake to leave your equipment in your car, and they may never refer anyone to you because of that.

Hard Drive Failure 

  • We do not want to be telling the whole world on a public platform that our SD cards corrupted and our hard drives failed, EVEN IF we have backups and everything is fine.
  • People are paying more attention to you than you think they are. And we never want to come off as the “professional” that is always working through these kinds of issues.
  • Now if you really are experiencing an issue and need help, places like private facebook groups are definitely more intended for things like this. We still should be cautious to some degree but they are more likely to be safe places to post questions and ask for help.

Being Too Tired

  • We need to stop going on our stories every day complaining about how much we have to do, and how tired we are.
  • No one wants to follow someone who complains all the time. And who would want to hire someone who is always talking about how much they have to do and how they need a vacation so bad?

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I'm Sarah Elrod

The Podcast

Rural Lifestyle



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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