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 recently did a poll on Instagram and this was the most requested episode topic. So today we’re going behind the scenes into what my Black Friday offer was, how I marketed it, the results, and then some takeaways and lessons learned.
Black Friday this year was ridiculous. And what I mean by that is my inbox has never been more full. I was overwhelmed by how many Black Friday offers there were. And we’re going to circle back to this point here at the end when I give you some lessons learned and some takeaways. But for now, let’s kick off what my Black Friday offer was. And then I want to explain how I marketed it, which was very little this year. And then what the results were as well. So here is what I did for my Black Friday offer.
I offered a petite session. This is a portion of what my full session would have been, but it’s way more than a mini session. So it’s a 45 minute photography session. And then I offered half the amount of images that I usually do in my full sessions. I made sure that one of the requirements was that it had to take place within my zip code.
And then from there, it also has to take place in January, February, or March of 2024. The session was $75 less than what my full priced sessions were in the fall of 2023. So that’s something else to note. And then I limited this to five spots. I obviously want full sessions booked for 2024 so during quarter one I said if I’m going to do a Black Friday offer, then I want to do something that is intriguing. And I want to be able to have guaranteed income through my photography business in 2024.
So when I was putting together my Black Friday offer, I was asking myself what my goal was. One of the things that I want you to write down as a takeaway in preparation for next year when you do this is what is your actual goal? Is it that you are more so needing the quick cash? Are you wanting to fill your January and February books? My goal was that I wanted a handful of guaranteed sessions in quarter one of 2024 and I did that.
So again, what is your goal that will help you craft an offer that works for you? In order for a person to claim their spot, they had to pay a retainer. The rest would be due in their 2024 session period, whenever we figure all of that out. So that is kind of the recap of what I offered. Again, this is a session that does not exist any other time. I created one specifically for Black Friday and I also made sure that this was something that time wise, I could contribute to. And also was this going to be profitable for me? And the answer is yes.
Before I released the Black Friday offer, I did post on my Facebook photography business page that if people were interested in a Black Friday deal or they wanted to see what it was to join my email list.
And here is how simple this post can be. So again, this was drawing up interest. So on November 9th I posted these Black Friday details. “I’m so excited to announce that I do in fact have a Black Friday offer for you families. If you are interested in getting all the details, I’ll be spilling the beans in an email next week. Drop your email below to get added or DM me and I will message you to get on the list.” And then the picture I chose is a family of a mom and dad and they were cuddled up to their toddler and it’s an adorable picture. And so that is all I did. I had 22 reactions, 18 comments, and one share on that post off of my photography business page. That’s all I did specific to Black Friday leading up to this. And then I sent two emails to my email list. My email list has current clients and people who are interested in working with me.
I’m using Flodesk for my email list. At the very top of my email I just have my Brooke Janae Photography logo. And then it says, “Hi friend. Was your inbox flooded with Black Friday emails? Mine was. And that’s exactly why I decided to wait until after the hype died down to release mine. This is super exciting because I don’t offer sales or deals ever.” Then it has a picture that breaks up the two paragraphs of text. It’s a picture of my sister and my niece and it’s such a super cute picture from their family session.
And then underneath that I told them what the offer was, what’s included, and then I had an important note. I said, “These petitie sessions must be booked during the months of January, February, or March, 2024. You will officicially book your date after December 31, 2023.” So that gives me time to create my quarter one calendar before I send it.
And then the last thing I said is, “This offer is available until tomorrow night at midnight, or when spots are sold out. Grab one of the five spots below by paying your retainer.” And then there is a black button with white text that says, “grab your session.” Then it’s signed by me and that’s it. That’s all I put in the first email. And after that email I went to bed and when I woke up the next morning I had two people claim the first two spots.
So in email number two not a lot changed. I just changed the first paragraph and the picture. So again, same exact format as email number one. It has my Brooke Janae Photography logo at the top, and then it says, “I’m popping into your inbox one more time because this is your last chance to snag one of the three discounted sessions that are left. It’s the perfect excuse to have updated pictures taken. Don’t even worry about the weather. I’ve got you covered.” And then I put a different picture of a mom and her son. Still gave them all the Black Friday details but I updated it to tell them how many spots were left. And then I also added a section underneath what was included that said, “What’s due today?” And I told them the exact amount that was due today and then the remainder. I let them know when that was going to be due, that’s it. Then they hit reply and grabbed the final three spots. So that is what my Black Friday emails consisted of. It was a 24 hour sale and I sold all five spots.
I have 481 people that are active on my email list. Email number one I actually sent on Sunday November 26th. So this was after Black Friday, but still Black Friday wekeend, the night before Cyber Monday. I sent it in the evening hours because I knew that was when people were most likely to scroll their phones.
It had a 47% open rate, 1.2% click rate, which equaled to six people who clicked on the actual book my spot link. And then I had one person unsubscribe after that email taking my email list size to 480 active subscribers.
I do want to note that I did have a tech issue. For some reason, when I went to set up my calendar I did not realize what I should have done was picked like a December 1st date to have people go in and claim their spot. I used a mini session calendar and on that I had five spots available with different random times. What I didn’t realize was that I set it for the day after they received their email. So all five spots showed up as available on Sunday and then on Monday it looked like no spots were available. So there was no way of knowing how many people were actually trying to book because I had that tech issue.
I did have to send one more email about five minutes after the first one explaining how sorry I was about that tech issue. I let them know instead of going to book a spot on the calendar if they would hit reply then I will send them an invoice and contract. And that’s exactly what the three people did. So that just goes to show that oops yes I had a tech issue. But I still sold all five spots.
So let’s get into some of the specific results. As I stated, there were more people that booked at the last minute than they did when I first released it. Now, here’s an important note for you, this is normal. How many times have you seen an email for a sale or somebody promoting something, and you wait until the last minute before doors close to get something? It’s just because we all get busy or we just can’t decide, or we tell ourselves if there’s a spot still left on the last day then I know it was meant to be and I will buy it, right?
Please notice that you can’t just send one email or post one post. You have to come back and follow up. And even that one person that unsubscribed from my email list, they did me a favor because they don’t want to work with me anyway.
I did also want to explain who booked because I think this is so fascinating to see who takes advantage of Black Friday sales. So I went in and I looked to see who exactly booked them because I wanted to know if I had worked with them before. So out of the five that took advantage of the Black Friday offer, three of them are prior clients, meaning that they have booked me in the past. And two were brand new people I’ve never worked with before.
Now something else that I think is very interesting for you to realize is out of this, those three clients that booked have not worked with me in a minimum of two to three years. So I have not worked with them since almost before the pandemic. So I find that really interesting.
Out of the two clients that booked me who I have never worked with before, one of them has been on my email list for approxomately a year and a half. And the other one is brand new. She had only been on my email list since that Black Friday post. I think it’s fun to pay attention to who actually books and takes advantage of these things.
Black Friday was absolutely overwhelming. It just felt overwhelming to even open my inbox because those are all the emails that I had were Black Friday sales. So what did that tell me? One thing is that Black Friday may not be the best time to actually promote your sessions. And again in my Black Friday episode where I helped you prep your offer and gave you ideas I told you that it is crazy and some of you did your Black Friday sales early. So I felt like Black Friday started even earlier this year. So a couple things to think about. I would recommend not doing a Black Friday sale on Black Friday specifically because you’re competing with so many people. I recommend you wait and do it closer to Cyber Monday. Or you could also just wait and do a December flash sale.
Another thing I realized is that marketing consistently and being consistent in your business pays off. I have been growing my email list consistently since 2019. That’s year upon year that I am building value and relationships with these people. I didn’t just put up one post and get all these emails. I had 22 people give me their email address from my Black Friday post. And out of those 22 one person took advantage of my offer. You have to nurture your relationships and nurture your people before you can expect them to convert into a sale and become a client.
So there you have it. That is the complete behind the scenes of how I had a 100% sold out Black Friday offer for 2023. I hope that this was at least entertaining, if not helpful when you’re planning your next Black Friday offer. Alright I’ll see you on the next one!
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