Find and book more weddings this season with our easy, actionable tips for professional photographers. Your clients will thank you! (Photographs by MEGAPIXELS MEDIA)
Booking season is thrilling if your inbox is bursting with inquiries. But what do you do when you feel like you’re fighting tooth and nail for every lead? How do you get more bookings and fewer refusals?
These methods are embraced by thriving photographers everywhere, and they’re delightfully easy to implement! From getting great leads to sealing the deal, read on to learn how to find your dream clients and book more weddings – guaranteed!
#1: Enhance Your SEO
If the very idea of SEO makes your brain hurt, take heart: you don’t have to be a data-nerd or tech-wizard to strengthen your website’s SEO! Think of SEO as word-of-mouth marketing. If you want people talking about you, you have to give them something to talk about, right? The same is true with SEO. If you want your website to rank in the upper echelons of Google, you need to give the Google gods a reason to “talk.”
EASY: Maintain a Vendor List
Keep your website updated with a “love list” of wedding vendors. (This list can live on your blog for easy updating!) Create lists of wedding venues, coordinators, florists, DJs, bakers, caterers… if you’ve worked with them at a wedding, they belong on your list! Organize your list in alphabetical order, with each vendor name linking to a blog post created just for them.
To maximize your results, each vendor blog post should include:
- your own photos of each vendor and/or their work
- a link back to the vendor’s website
- links to blog posts or galleries that feature this vendor
- a mini review of the vendor – even better if you can get the glowing comments from your mutual client!
Last but not least, share your vendor list and vendor blog posts with the vendors themselves. Invite them to share the posts on their own website for even more SEO goodwill!
>>> Generate even more referrals with vendor galleries! <<<
EXTRA: Blog Every (and we mean EVERY) Wedding
Regular blogging is a brilliant way to keep fresh content on your website and keep the internet abuzz about YOU! “But I hate blogging!” you say. It’s okay; there are ways around your writing woes! First, take a look at our 28 blog post ideas for wedding photographers. If this doesn’t inspire you, well, your inspiration bone may be broken.
Still overwhelmed? Content creators like this wonder-woman can blog for you!
#2: Build Community, Not Competition
While other photographers are certainly your competition, they’re also your community! The better your relationships with other pros, the better your referral base will be – and the less likely others will be to badmouth you. Here’s how it works:
EXTRA: Host a Meetup
Join an existing photographer meetup if you need to do some initial networking. But to really benefit from your photo community, you should host your own gathering! Do some research and find local photographers whose work complements your own, then invite them for a monthly coffee meetup. Soon you’ll be enjoying a creative collective who can share tips and offer support.
EASY: Refer, Refer, Refer
Every time you get an inquiry for an unavailable date, refer those clients to a member of your photography community. You’ll build goodwill among your fellow photographers, and those potential clients will be thrilled by your help. Have a short list of preferred photographers on-hand at all times, and you’ll never have to tell a potential client “no.”
EASY: Send a Surprise Referral Bonus
When another photographer refers a client to you, reward them! Get creative, and incentivize the photographer to refer you again and again.
- Venmo the photographer a surprise $50
- email an Amazon gift card
- send flowers
- mail a hand-written thank you note
Whatever you do, make it prompt and heartfelt!
#3: Put Something Tangible in Every Client’s Hands
Most clients begin their photographer search on the internet or through friends. Don’t let them lose track of you in a sea of URLs! Make sure every potential client gets something tangible from you – something that will remind them that you’re awesome and deserving of their business.
EASY: Don’t Just SAY Thanks; SHOW Your Thanks!
Whether or not they book you, every prospective client deserves a sincere thank you for their interest and time. From a simple handwritten thank-you note to an adorable Greetabl gift, even the smallest gestures can make a lasting impression. And if the couple books you, they’ll be even more convinced that they’ve made the right decision!
EXTRA: Customize Your Own Marketing Materials
Design Aglow’s marketing templates for wedding photographers turn basic info into beautiful booklets, brochures, magazines, and more! These hands-on materials will keep your offerings front-and-center as your clients decide who to book. They also act as a guide to keep you on-track when describing your services during a face-to-face meeting.
#4: Show Off Your Skillset
You can never deliver too much evidence of your photographic talent. Make sure your clients know exactly what to expect from you by including incredible examples of your work (and work ethic) at every turn.
EASY: Get Good Feelings with Full Galleries
Blog posts and sample albums are an unbeatable first step toward attracting your dream clients. Take this a step further by offering inquiring couples a link to a full ShootProof gallery. They’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be your client, and enjoy reassurance that you can delivery incredible images of their entire day – not just one-off successes.
Of course, you shouldn’t share a real client’s private gallery. Instead, create two or three demo galleries that have been pre-approved by your clients. You’ll be able to remove any extra-personal images (such as intimate getting-ready shots), and you won’t have to give out your client’s private password or PIN.
EXTRA: Surprise Them with an Extra-Mini Mini Session
It’s one thing to see a photograph. It’s another thing to be photographed. Delight prospective clients with an “impromptu” mini session when you meet them for a consultation. You’ll only need a few minutes to snap a handful of sweet photos. Edit two or three images, apply your watermark, and send them to the couple to enjoy. They’ll be thrilled to see your skill in action!
How do YOU get great bookings?
Share your tips in the comments!
Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by MEGAPIXELS MEDIA
Additional Vendors: Nelson Coleman Jewelers, Jess Albins Events, The Rogue Petal Co., Shaw’s Covenant, Elite Secrets Bridal, Plan Accordingly Events, Coffee & Calligraphy, G’Demae, J’Adore Designs, Habitat at Seya