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How to Book More Photography Clients

September 7, 2019

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It’s January 1 and your calendar is empty. If you’re a photographer, this can only mean one thing… freak out time! Because no bookings = no money. Figuring out how to book more photography clients is one of the biggest struggles we have when it comes to running a photography biz!

It’s like you’re forced to play hide and seek every single day and if you don’t find them then you won’t have money to live and your business will die.

A bit Dramatic? Maybe. True? For sure.

But i’m here to tell you to take a deep breath because I’m going to spill the beans on some of my favorite ways to boost my bookings no matter what time of year it is!

Idea #1- Look Busy

You know how on Black Friday people get trampled all so someone could save $100 on a vacuum cleaner because there are only 3 total items there. Yeahhhh that’s because the less there is of something, the more interest there is in that something.

As humans, we believe that if something is limited it MUST be valuable. So how can we utilize this in our biz to book more photography clients? We can decide to only take a certain amount of clients in a certain amount of time, announce that spots are filling up quickly, or that you are limited the amount of openings this upcoming year.

Practically, you can:

  • announce dates that are ALREADY FULL for your business (they don’t need to know why they are full… family vacation, days off, it doesn’t matter, mark them & communicate them all as booked). Every single time you book a wedding make a post, if your month is almost full (or even if it’s not), make a post. This makes people believe that you are in high demand and that they need to inquire sooner than later.
  • put a deadline. Decide and announce that you won’t take any more bookings for a certain month a certain amount in advance. This makes people make decisions quickly because they feel they don’t have the time. Also, make sure you stick with it! If you don’t stand firm on the rules, people won’t fall for these marketing tactics in the future.
  • build it up. Planning out your 2020 calendar… start announcing a week or two ahead of time that your 2020 calendar is getting ready to be released. Make everything an event! Make everything a big deal! You want people to be excited for the release! So whether it’s your regular booking calendar or a one-time special offering, hype it up before you launch it.
  • Post stuff all the time. Post old sessions, blog posts, behind the scenes, etc. Make it look like you’re busy even if you’re not! Again, this raises your perceived value in the eyes of those who see it.

Word of warning, I only do this sometimes. If you use scare tactics too often, people won’t trust you and it could hinder your brand. However, it can really help to book those sessions in the off months.

Idea #2- Care

One of the best things you can do for your biz to book more photography clients is to actually care about the clients you have now. Go above in beyond in every single aspect. Seriously, make them feel loved, understood, and cared for so well that they can’t help but spread your name to everyone they know!

Practically you can:

  • Focus. When you show up to their session. SHOW UP! Don’t be distracted. Be ready and prepared. Be Confident and outgoing. I don’t care if you just had the worst day ever… put on a happy face and give your client the experience they are looking for.
  • Send a gift. Gifts are my love language. So every year, I send all of my clients a little gift and a handwritten note. I try to surprise them with timing and what not but either way, I want to make sure they know that they mean the world to me and I appreciate their business. No Money for Client Gifts? Send a note in the mail. A genuine, non-automated, thank you email. Being intentional and thoughtful WILL get you noticed.
  • Ask yourself what you would want if you were in their shoes? Try to make their experience with you as easy as possible. Go through each step of how your client encounters you. Social media, website, email, booking process, session, post-session, etc. and ask yourself how you can make it easier/better for them.

Idea #3- Community

One thing that allowed me to book more photography clients was building a community and communicate with them regularly. Now, I’m not talking about followers but an actual community who is there for each other. We share in each other’s celebrations and in struggles. Because I’m open and honest with my community and share just as many struggles as celebrations. My humble brags don’t look like brags at all. They look friends and siblings who are excited for each other.

I utilize every opportunity I can to nurture my community and celebrate with them and struggle with them. As I highlight the things in my business AND my personal life that feel like milestones and achievements, no matter how small. This gives my business credibility and visibility. When I reveal my struggles in my business and my personal life, this makes my business relatable and establishes trust.

Implementing this confident and yet authentic marketing into your biz can feel weird at first. But when you bolding share with the world through meaningful posts, how can they NOT share our name with others? Interested in how to really build a community of raving fans instead of followers? Check out my online marketing course for photographers, More than Marketing!

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Ariel Dilworth © 2019