Book more photography clients with this step-by-step framework.
Hi, I'm Brooke! I'm a believer, wife, mama to two, Oklahoma photographer, and photography business coach.
I help photographers grow profitable full-time businesses from home.
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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE reading and learning tips that I can put in action right away., so today I’m sharing three things you can do right now (seriously!) to help you book future sessions. Ok, let’s go ahead and dive in!
The first thing that I want you to do, starting today, is go back through all of your past sessions. I want you to choose some of your favorite images or images that were really special to your clients. Then, put all of those into a separate folder, because you are going to be re-sharing all of those past sessions during your slow season. Take advantage of seasons where you’re not knee deep in the hustle and may not have had enough time to share all of your sessions.
If you’re just getting started and don’t have a lot of sessions, don’t stress! You still have some and that’s a great place to start. If you’ve done too many sessions to count, I want you to just go back to your favorite sessions. And you’re going to pull some of your favorite images. Hold on to these, we’re going to use them, I promise!
The next thing I want you to do is make sure every single client that you work with will supply you with a testimonial or review if they have not done so already. Take a look at the images you pulled into your folder, and check to see which clients gave you a review or testimonial and which did not.
Now I want to share a couple things about testimonials and reviews. Number one, if someone did not leave you a review or a testimonial, that’s okay. Simply go back and ask them for one. I would send a message and say, “Hey, so and so I just wanted to let you know that I am going to be re-sharing some of my favorite images from my past sessions. I am going to be sharing some from you, of course, and I would also love to pair it with a review from you, if you don’t mind, Could write me a review?” Then, end the message by giving them your specific instructions.
If you want them to go on your Facebook business page, give them the exact steps that they need to know, so they can write you a review. If you just want them to reply back with their review that works too. You just need to be very specific with what you want them to say. I always give my clients a couple of questions to get them thinking about what they might want to say. Then, I just send it off to anybody that I have not heard from.
Now, if someone says yes, but then forgets to complete their review, it’s totally okay. Check back to see if they sent any feedback when you originally sent their gallery to them, whether that was via email, or text message or messenger. A lot of my clients will respond back with their immediate reaction, when they receive their galleries, so check back could be helpful too.
Once I’ve received a review, I screenshot the testimonial and use it when sharing those sessions. Specifically, I like to use those screenshots for when I post in my Instagram stories.
This gives you an opportunity to showcase your work while also making that client feel like they get some spotlight time even if they weren’t able to get it in real time. Secondly, it’s going to keep promoting your work out there, so it will be seen by new people. And that’s the goal! You want new people to see your work, and then reach out to you, so that they can book you. Okay, so that’s number one.
The second thing that you can do right now to help book future sessions is thank all of your clients who have ever worked with you. This includes anybody that has paid you for a session, or that you used for a styled shoot or model call of some sort. Don’t worry…You don’t have to go back and thank those nightmare clients that you never want to work with again. But if you worked with clients that you loved and would absolutely want to work with again, then this is your chance to have a conversation with them.
At bare minimum, you need to be writing these people a heartfelt email. But I would love it if you would take it a step further and actually write a handwritten card. Tell them why you appreciate them and be specific. Then, let them know you are excited and hopeful that you’ll get to work together in 2021. I do this every single year and about 85 to 90% of my clients are returning clients. It truly is one of the easiest things that you can do to get more business. Simply revisit the people that already love your business and have already invested in it, because it’s way easier to bring people back for a second time than it is to go get new people.
Next, I want you to plan your next quarter. If you are not working the businesses that you want it is simply because you’re failing to plan. If you don’t know what you’re going offer, or what dates you have available, you’re already planning to fail. The reason I’m successful in my business, and I have clients who booked me out every single year is because I plan for it. If there’s any secret sauce, that’s the one. It’s that I plan for it.
I am already mapping out next year. Is it set in stone? Absolutely not! Can I guarantee that everything I put on paper is going to happen? Of course not…especially since we don’t really know what it’s going to look like in 2021. But I’m planning for it anyway. Because, again, if you fail to plan you are planning to fail. I want you to spend the rest of this month with your nose in your calendar. Remember, I have podcast episodes where you can find marketing tips, session ideas to keep you busy in your slow season. Check them out HERE! I promise you you will find something to do and something to offer.
I want you to plan for Your next quarter, a quarter is simply the next three months. So you plan three months at a time. I want you to start planning, and here’s some things that you need to be planning. Number one, what is your income goal and/or what do you need to make? Having an income goal tells you what you have the capacity to offer. If you tell me that you want to make $2,000 each month, January, February, and March, that’d be $6,000. Total for the quarter. If that’s your goal, then my next question to you is “How are we going to get there? How many clients do you need per month to be able to hit your $2,000 goal?” Then you would tell me that number.
My next question is “Do you have that many dates available to book?” Then, you’re going to go look at your calendar and circle that many days each month for the next 3 months. Then you just keep working it until eventually, you know what you’re offering and what days you have available to take on clients. That is what it looks like to run a business.
We can get so caught up in being creative, and ALL the things that we forget we have a business to run. We also have to be CEO and do things that CEOs and owners of businesses have to do. This is one of those things. Everybody does this. Every successful business from Target to Chic Fil. They all plan their numbers and their quarters, and you have to do it too.
The three things you can do right now to help you book future sessions are….
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