The leads pipeline of any service-based business is the organization's most important asset. This refers to the number of people who have expressed an interest in the services that you offer and with whom you are in contact. Even though this is the factor that determines whether or not a business is successful, photography business owners report that their most significant challenge is a deficiency in the number of leads they receive.
When pressed for clarification, a proprietor of a company will typically define a lead as a potential customer who has expressed interest in purchasing their product or service. On the other hand, if you are waiting for people to contact you in order to book you, it is probably too late at this point. You are missing out on an entire realm of prospects that you may be able to cultivate into leads if you do not have a fantastic steady stream of referrals from raving fans of your company. This indicates that you need to communicate with people before they communicate with you to ask questions.
When someone who has never done business with your company before reaches out to ask about your services, they are most likely just doing price shopping. This is because they have never dealt with your company before. The owners of businesses despise this and complain that their advertisements on Facebook or their SEO efforts are fruitless because all they get are people shopping for prices. As was just mentioned, if the content on your website is written appropriately and is targeted towards your ideal customer, you will already be well on your way to discouraging the wrong kinds of potential customers from getting in touch with you. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
It doesn't matter how impressive your resume is, how brilliant your business plan is, or how talented you are; if you don't have any potential customers lined up, your efforts will be for nought. Instead of complaining about the lack of customers, picture this instead: You get out of bed to find that your calendar is empty, send out a few emails while you're drinking your coffee, and before you know it, your day is packed with appointments. How? because your strategy for generating leads is very effective.
Having a solid lead generation system in place – one that will continue to bring in more clients on an ongoing basis – is the best way to guarantee that you will always have a schedule full of clients. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.
FAQs About Photography
Wait, What Are Leads?
Leads can be crafted using a variety of approaches, strategies, and formats; however, their fundamental premise is always the same: a leader is any consumer who possesses a high probability of making a purchase of a product. Someone who is likely to purchase photography services is referred to as a lead for your photography business.
With that being said, having a steady stream of leads coming in is absolutely crucial to the success of any business. So the question is, how do you get them?
Start by Developing a Strong Lead Generation System
By sending just one email to her audience, Joy is able to fill up her schedule with fewer resources and in less time than it takes to make a sandwich.
In light of this, the distinction between a flawed lead generation system and an effective one is the same as that between a calendar devoid of client sessions and a calendar crammed to capacity with them.
Although the term "lead generation system" may sound like it refers to a number of different processes, all it really means is developing relationships with potential new customers and coming up with strategies to keep your existing customers interested and involved. This could take the form of a monthly newsletter, emails that are generated on their own, and a highly interactive presence on social media.
The objective is to jog the memory of your customers by informing them that you are still in business while simultaneously delivering content that is engaging and worthwhile to them. The key words here are exciting and worthwhile.
You are aware of how irritating it is to receive unsolicited emails from businesses that go on and on about why you should pay attention to them, and it's possible that you've even seen other photographers behave in a similar manner with their customers.
Avoid being that photographer in the group.
Instead, you should concentrate on topics such as thoughts, ideas, current events, and photography products or services that you are confident your customers will be interested in.
This is not the time to push sales by sending out thoughtful emails and posts; rather, this is the time to gently prod and engage with potential customers. If you do this, the selling process will be a great deal less difficult in the future. Your relationship with your customers will shift away from one based on sales and more towards one in which you provide them with photography services that they want and are willing to pay for as they come to rely on and respect the content you provide for them.
Think of the lead generation process as a friend reaching out to connect with another friend, rather than a company spitting sales game at a client. Your photographs will be your most treasured wedding keepsake. Not sure where to start when it comes to looking for your wedding photographer of choice?
When you're a photographer, the primary objective of your online marketing efforts should be to promote your services as a photographer. You will need "leads," also known as prospective customers, in order to accomplish this objective.
People you come into contact with can be referred to as "leads," but since we are discussing online marketing, leads are defined as email addresses. Lead generation refers to the process of collecting email addresses for potential customers.
If a visitor to your website does not intend to get in touch with you, they will leave your site and may not come back again. Because of this, it is extremely important to capture the lead, as doing so will give you the opportunity to market to information about the future.
Having a lead gives you a second opportunity to persuade someone to become a customer of your business.
A "lead capture form" posted on your photography website is the simplest and most fundamental lead generation tool that you can use. This consists of a section on the website (typically a widget in the sidebar) that prompts visitors to provide their name and email address.
Nurture the Folks Who Are Already on Your Side
When it comes to maintaining a steady flow of new clients, your best bet is to maintain relationships with the customers who are already familiar with your photography services. According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing client is 60–70 percent, whereas the chance of selling to a new lead is only 5–20 percent. Not only is it more expensive to market to new clients, but the probability of selling to an existing client is higher.
It's easy to fall into the trap of focusing more on the customers you don't have rather than the ones you already have when you're in a particularly positive frame of mind regarding the future.
But doing so will make your job a great deal more difficult than it needs to be for you to begin with.
Your existing customers have already made an investment in your company – by purchasing your photography services, they are indicating that they trust you, they are on your team, and they will be loyal unless you give them a reason not to be, so it would be a huge mistake to ignore them. And it's a huge oversight that a lot of companies have in their operations.
Connecting with your already established clientele should take precedence over the pursuit of a new pool of unidentified customers, as they represent your most valuable asset.
Keep Your Organisation Game Strong
Make it a daily priority to ensure that your client organisation is up to date. The last thing you want to do is put a significant amount of time and effort into generating new leads and cultivating long-term relationships with existing customers, only to have important information get lost in the shuffle as a result of an inefficient system.
You should, at the very least, keep a current list of all of the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of your leads in a single location where they can be accessed easily. Maintain its centralised location, ensure that it is easily accessible, and, most importantly, ensure that it is kept up to date.
Even better? Create an ongoing spreadsheet that classifies your people according to whether or not they are new clients or existing clients, what photography services they are interested in or have already used, and what you anticipate will be their future requirements.
Keeping this spreadsheet up to date can be a little boring and repetitive at times, especially for those who are creative at heart. However, if you make it a daily practise, you'll find that it only takes a few minutes a day, and the value it creates can be worth thousands of dollars.
Make Your Website the Ultimate Lead Grabber
Make sure you don't get caught in the trap that so many photographers do and make your website all about you. Not because you aren't totally amazing, but because customers are significantly more concerned about meeting their own requirements than they are about satisfying their interest in you.
It is more than tempting to have a website that is solely dedicated to highlighting all of the things that make you exceptional. After all, it is you that they would be investing in. To be honest, no. They are interested in making an investment in themselves.
Consider the following scenario: you choose to go to the websites of two different photographers in the same day. On one website, a photographer can view their portfolio, learn about their credentials, and get in touch with them, while on the other, the focus is on techniques, methods, and approaches that can help a photographer improve their skills or their business.
Which one of these makes you feel compelled to find out more information? Obviously, this is the one that contains helpful information that is directly related to your life and your company.
The same can be said for each of your customers. It is most likely that they will collaborate with a photographer who is familiar with their lives and the things that are significant to them. Your credentials should absolutely be included on your site, but you shouldn't make that the primary focus of attention. Instead, you should concentrate on producing content that is rich in value and that your customers can use in their own lives and businesses.
Examples of value-driven content that will engage more clients and keep them coming back for more include a guide on what to wear, the best spots for photography in your local town, and instructions on how to take great photos on an iPhone. All of these would be beneficial to the reader. Once you have excellent content, the next step is to ensure that people can sign up for more of it in a way that is crystal clear and uncomplicated.
Once they click that sign-up link, the hardest part is over. Now you can add their email to your pool and reach their inbox with that killer lead generation system you've just developed. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.
Curate Your Portfolio – Especially On Instagram!
We talk to successful, experienced photographers every day, and they all tell us the same thing: they're booking tons of work through Instagram!
How do you ask?
They're Showing the Right Photos
Your Instagram feed should be thoughtfully curated. The ratio of casual shots to professional imagery should be approximately 1:7.
To get more bookings, DO post these photos on Instagram:
- photographs that you have taken for customers, which are of a professional standard; photographs that you have taken of your own
- family or friends, which are of an amateur standard; and no more than one photograph taken behind the scenes per week.
- If you're having trouble striking a healthy balance between your personal and professional lives, it might be time to create a
- separate Instagram account just for your photos – one that your customers won't be able to view or associate with your business.
Many people involved in marketing photography view social media as an ongoing experiment. Give something a shot for a couple of weeks, and if you find that it's not helping you, try something else! Everything from the times that you post to the kinds of photos that you post will garner additional attention depending on the specific audience that you have and the personality that you have. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things!
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They're Using the Right Hashtags – In the Right Place!
It is not appropriate to include your hashtags in the field that is located below your photo. They should be placed in the very first comment that you make after uploading your image. If you want the best results, you should share at least 11 hashtags. Hashtags such as "I Love My Clients" might be cute and entertaining, but if you're trying to drum up new business, they won't get you very far.
They're Posting (Almost) Every Day
Increase the number of customers you work with by publishing a new image on Instagram each and every weekday – and, if you really want to push yourself, even on the weekends! Choose a day each week to pre-select the images you want to post on Instagram for the following week and then schedule them to be automatically posted. This is one of the most effective ways to improve the marketing of your photography business.
It is okay if some of the photos you share have been around for a while. Your audience will respond positively to them as long as the quality is high and they are an accurate reflection of the work that you are doing. When you figure out which of your images your audience enjoys looking at the most, post more of those.
You should regularly check the Direct Messages section of your Instagram account. Instagram will only alert you to Direct Messages sent by people who are already following you, so you'll have to manually check for Direct Messages sent by potential new customers.
Identify Your Target Market
Discovering your area of expertise can help you select the most effective marketing strategy for your photography business. One of the most effective marketing strategies for photographers is to focus on areas in which they already have a strong interest. When you have a clear picture of your audience in your mind, it is much simpler to come up with the most effective manner, content, equipment, or marketing strategy.
Build a Customer Database
After identifying a target market, photographers can build an organised database to monitor all projects and prospects. To help you get started, you can categorise clients as:
- Potential clients or job leads
- Customers in the past or previous jobs
- Possible collaborators in charitable endeavours or in co-marketing
- Vendors and partners
When times are slow, you can go back to the list and see who you can send follow-ups, marketing ads, proposals, or promotions.
Get More Clients Simply By Asking
You have a social circle. You have friends and family, and they have friends and family, and they have friends and family, and they have friends and family... and so on! You may be connected to these individuals via social media, your church, your day job, the school that your children attend, etc. You are also free to make direct contact with them in order to request that they book you.
Does it terrify you? Perhaps to some extent. But it's not nearly as challenging as when you don't have any customers!
The following is how the marketing to them should go:
- Provide a Discount or Freebie
- Make contact with former customers, potential customers, as well as friends and family, and tell them the following:
"As I am in the process of building my portfolio, I am looking to schedule five fun portrait sessions for the month of October. In exchange for the opportunity to choose an amazing new location, I am providing each couple or family with a discount of twenty percent on their session! Send me an email if you or anyone you know is interested in attending so that I can hold a spot for you. I can't wait to work alongside you to produce some stunningly original photographs!"
When it comes to persuading people to make purchases, direct communication is essential.
You are free to modify this offer in any way that you believe will result in an increase in the number of customers you serve.
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Host a Giveaway or Contest
In addition to requesting something from your audience, you should also provide them with something. In order to market your photography business in a fun way that attracts potential customers and celebrates existing clients, hosting contests and giving away prizes is a good idea. If you want to generate new leads and gather new likes, you should try running a game on social media. Audience building is extremely effective.
For example, ask people to follow your page, share a specific post, and tag three or more friends. Think of a prize that resonates with your target audience, has relevance to your business, and will urge people to use your services in the future. Looking for a Mornington Peninsula wedding photographer? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.
If you have set a fair price for your services, the offers and discounts that you provide won't have an impact on your bottom line. These types of deals should be accounted for in the marketing budget you set aside for your photography business and should be viewed as an ordinary cost of doing business. Don't be afraid to offer unique discounts and deals if you want to attract new customers. Just double check your calculations and ensure that the deals you're offering won't leave you out of pocket.
Boost Online Marketing Presence
Use Social Platforms
The majority of photographers and their clients spend a significant amount of time on social media, which can be used to market one's business without breaking the bank. Why not make use of these free marketing tools to increase the number of customers and bookings that you receive? You can try marketing on any of the following platforms, depending on the kind of business you run or the market you serve:
- Pinterest Instagram Facebook Tik Tok Pinterest
The consumers get ideas from the photography boards that you create on Pinterest. If event photography is your speciality, you should create boards showcasing your photographs of wedding receptions, corporate event concepts, and other event venues and ideas. Then, in order to increase the visibility of your panels, add a brief description of each panel in addition to any pertinent tags.
If you want your marketing efforts to have the greatest possible impact, upload photos at least three times per week. Include thought-provoking captions in addition to hashtags and tags that are pertinent to the image. In addition to posting, you should also make sure to appear in Instagram Stories. This is a great way to show your followers clips of you working behind the scenes, whether it be on a photoshoot or even in the office where you do your job.
Utilize live video, tagged photos, and posts that encourage followers to interact with your page to get the most out of your page. Be sure to include important information about your photography business, such as your email address and website, as well as call-to-action buttons to make it easier for your followers to get in touch with you quickly.
Please don't wait any longer to begin using this social platform; despite the fact that it is relatively new. Tik Tok caters to a younger demographic than other social media platforms; however, if you are a senior portrait photographer, using this platform could put you in front of the people who are most likely to hire you for your services. In addition to this, you can use it to direct people to your Instagram account if you find that to be the social media platform that best suits your needs.
Why Leads Aren't Booking
Reason 1: You're Attracting the Wrong Prospects
Even though you may believe that your company is able to accommodate any customer, the reality is that there are certain types of clients that are not a good fit for your company, and vice versa. Once you have determined who it is that you are supposed to serve, you should examine all of the opportunities that are currently available to you and communicate this information to those who have inquired about your services.
If you compare these opportunities to your ideal customer avatar, do you find that there is a good fit between the two? If not, then why not? What made them different from the ideal customer avatar you pictured working with? What were some of the ways in which they were similar to the idealised depiction of the perfect customer?
You may have solved a portion of the problem with your leads not booking if you find that there is a significant gap between the way in which you present your company online and the characteristics that your ideal customer may seek. It is also extremely important to give your company's online presence the close attention it deserves. Is it geared towards attracting the kind of customer you want to work with? Does the content on your website satisfy a need that has been expressed by your ideal customer avatar? Are you able to educate, inspire, or connect with the ideal customer through the use of social media?
When we need to be objective about our companies, it can be difficult to maintain a clear head. Therefore, you should take a step back and ask a reliable coworker who they believe your ideal customer is based on your online presences. Take note of the situations in which you are unable to connect with the appropriate types of people because these are opportunities.
In addition to that, schedule some time in your schedule to go to the websites and social media profiles of your rivals. Are you able to speculate who their ideal customers are based on the content they publish? What specific phrases, pictures, and topics are they emphasising in order to entice that type of customer? Find ideas that could be implemented in your own company and catered to the customers you want to attract, but don't steal others' concepts.
Reason 2: You Have No Lead Pipeline
The sales pipelines of larger companies are typically segmented into a variety of stages, including stages for lead qualification. Even though you don't have to go quite this far, it's helpful to have a solid understanding of those stages and be able to visualise how they might play out in our companies.
There are a total of six distinct stages. The first thing that will happen is that somebody will subscribe to your blog. The second scenario is one in which a person has provided their email address in response to a contact form. The phrases "Marketing Qualified Lead" and "Sales Qualified Lead" are the meanings behind the acronyms MQL and SQL, respectively.
If a person who is still in the research phase downloads a buyer's guide for a piece of software, that person is considered to be a qualified marketing lead. This example demonstrates how this works. This indicates that they are interested in purchasing the item that this company is selling at the present time. On the other hand, a person is considered a sales qualified lead when they sign up for a software demonstration. Only when someone reaches out to the lead after the demo stage and during the opportunity phase does the lead move into the opportunity phase.
The majority of owners of photography companies only think about the first two stages of their sales pipeline, which are when someone becomes an opportunity and when they book as a customer. Because there is no qualification process, there is a possibility that this opportunity is not a good fit for your company. Because of this, we frequently deal with customers who are just looking to get the best deal possible.
When you have a pipeline for your company, it is easier to weed out potential customers who are not a good match for you and your company. In addition to this, it helps you cultivate relationships with people who are a good fit for you.
Reason 3: You're Not Nurturing Leads
It takes between seven and thirteen marketing and sales touchpoints with a person before they are ready to make a significant investment in a product or service. When a customer is in the beginning stages of their journey, they are either beginning to collect information or are working on increasing their awareness of your product or services. Because the interaction that has occurred up until this point has not been comprehensive enough, most businesses do not consider someone who has reached these stages to be a qualified lead. Either the potential customer does not have a thorough enough understanding of your offerings or they are not yet prepared to make a purchase.
According to this definition, a person who contacts you to ask for a price might not even meet the criteria to be considered a prospect because they do not have sufficient education. Despite the fact that they are getting closer to making a decision on someone who is in the awareness stage, this is still the case. So, what recommendations do you have for business owners?
You are well aware at this point that you require a lead pipeline. Now is the time to discuss how to put that into action by utilising the best practises of search engine optimisation (SEO), a solid social media strategy that creates healthy backlinks to your content, and newsletters and email marketing to nurture your leads.
You are not nurturing your leads properly if you are successful in getting people to sign up for your newsletter but then fail to engage with them on a consistent basis. And you're not promoting your tips at all if you're waiting for someone to contact you and book a session with you before you invest in the first one because that's a waste of time. Therefore, you should give some thought to how you can initiate the development of a relationship with ideal prospects before they are ready to book. In this way, you will be able to cultivate them to the point where booking with you is an obvious choice.
People Love Passion
People are drawn to things that are passionate. Your portfolio, your social media, your website, and your interactions with potential clients will all benefit from the excitement that you feel while photographing subjects and scenes that excite you to the core.
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As you grow your portfolio and your business into something that excites you, share that joy with your followers and fans! We don't get more customers by anxiously, aggressively insisting that the universe send work our way. We build our businesses by creating with intention and connecting with purpose.