You need to land more clients and book more photoshoots, and you need to do it now!
Whether your availability increased, you had a few clients cancel, or you need some immediate cash flow, these ideas will help you increase your bookings... fast.
If you want clients to book immediately, you need to create urgency in your messaging.
It’s essential to be in the know of what’s currently trending, not to mention timely, for your clients.
The only way to get immediate bookings is to ask for them. Make sure all your messaging has a clear and urgent call to action.
Use phrases like:
Make sure clients know exactly what steps to take to book. The process should be fast and easy. If people are confused about how to book you, or the process is frustrating and lengthy, you’ll lose business.
Beautiful images always get a more significant response than text alone, whether an email or a social media post. Clients who see your photos and love them are much more likely to book. The better the example images, the more talented you appear to clients, and the faster they’ll want to book you before your calendar is full. Make sure to have people in the example images. Text only or photos of the setup do poorly as your potential clients can’t visualize what the end photo will look like.
If you need images, grab a friend’s kid or a prior client and have fun taking some marketing photos. Make sure to get a model release so you can use them in your marketing efforts.
Whatever you do, please DO NOT use another photographer’s work as you haven’t paid for the usage, got the model release, and it is truly false advertising as it isn’t your work. Don’t end up on photostealers.com or with huge fines for theft and copyright infringement!
Do you have previous inquiries sitting in your inbox? Have you had to tell potential clients you were booked and couldn’t accommodate them?
Now is the time to reach out and explain that you have some last-minute openings.
Give your previous inquiries a day or so to respond. If you still have spots open, email your existing clients. Explain that you have some openings available. Because they’re valued and loyal clients, you want to give them first dibs.
This email becomes more convincing if you have a specific offer. For example, “I’m offering Mommy and Me mini sessions this weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day, and I wanted to give you first dibs!” or “It’s the peak season for sunflowers, and the forecast looks beautiful for this weekend, so I’m offering sunflower mini sessions. Are you interested? I wanted to give you first dibs!”
Most areas have a vast variety of local Facebook groups. These might include neighborhood groups, groups for mothers/fathers/parents in the area, groups for promoting local businesses, etc.
Post in local groups about your limited-edition mini sessions or the last-minute openings you’re trying to fill for the weekend. Again, include a call to action, a link, and clear instructions for booking, and relevant sample images. (Before posting, double-check the rules of the group. Some don’t allow business promotions.)
Reach out to your friends and family and ask them to share. They can share your social media posts, forward your emails, or reach out and recommend you to their social circles. Ensure they have all the information they need, like the location and theme if it’s a specific mini session.
Run ads and sponsored posts through social media and/or Google to get more eyes on your marketing.. You can target your ads to reach specific demographics, including a certain age range, location, occupation, etc.
Always include a call to action and a link to your website in your ads. Otherwise, people may want to book you and not know how to do it. If an immediate next step isn’t clear, they’ll quickly forget about you. Choose your best work to run with the ad, and remember to make sure the image is relevant to your offer.
If you struggle with Facebook ads, head to the Facebook Group – BookedUp Ads with Samantha Grant – it is packed with amazing tips and tricks to master Facebook and Instagram Ads.
When you need a quick influx of cash, it’s tempting to discount your rates to get more business. Don’t do it! Discounts can cause confusion about your pricing, which may lead to haggling and attempts to negotiate down the line.
It also undervalues your work. People may see you as less professional if you advertise cheap prices every time business is slow. They might even wait to book if it happens a lot because they expect you to advertise lower prices again soon.
Urgency, trends, and effective marketing are the keys to getting clients for this weekend. In your marketing efforts, follow best practices!
Even if you don’t fill your calendar for the weekend, you’ll likely get interest from a few future clients. Don’t think of your weekend as a wasted opportunity if you don’t get the exact results you wanted.
Assess where you missed the mark, then get organized and plan for next time. Develop your content calendar and marketing calendar for the next month (or more). Organize client contact information into a spreadsheet, including any new contacts you’ve made.
Marketing your photography business takes time at first. But with consistent effort and a willingness to learn from every experience, you’ll get there!