“Well, I only need about three photos, unedited. Can you just meet me at the park?”
“This makes no sense, why am I paying $XXX for like an hour of your time?”
“Since you’ll already be there taking our family photos can I invite my sister and her family, my neighbors kids and all our pets?”
“Wow! Your camera looks expensive, it must take great pictures!”
If any of these sound familiar, I hope you know that you’re not alone! I struggled with this a lot during the first couple years of business and it frustrated me and drove me crazy!
It wasn’t until I realized something…
Mothers, brides, and potential clients aren’t familiar with photography. Period. Often times all they see is your sweet smile with an expensive camera and are confused about your process, creativity and the entire client experience. They are unfamiliar with your education (whether it be a degree or hundreds of hours of self taught education online), they don’t think about the expenses it takes to run your business or how many hours and how much effort it takes to serve each client well.
1. Social Media
What does your life on social media look like? Are you sharing your professional photos? Adding value and content for potential clients to learn more? If you take a look at your personal facebook page and your instagram feed… Does it show that you are a professional photographer or simply consider photography a hobby? Your social media platforms should be professional and sprinkled with your fun daily adventures. Not filled with party pics, inappropriate shenanigans or anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. #keepitclassy
Pro Tip: I mention your personal pages because I’m sure many of your family and friends (your closest networking bubble) already follow along with those accounts. If you’re not coming off as a professional or share that you are growing a business they may not take you seriously or even realize you are open for business.
How are you contacting and emailing your clients? Emails are the new text messages and clients want answers within the hour. Gone are the days of waiting 48 hours for a timely response. By that time clients have contacted 3-5 photographers and may have already signed a contract with an eager and professional photographer by then! Just to be clear, I’m not implying that you need rapid fire emailing skills, but quick responses are appreciated.
Pro Tip: Create your signature at the bottom of every email to not only look legit, but to create actions from your potential clients. Link your social media platforms, your website/blog and any publications or features. This helps create that professional handshake online.
I saved the best for last because I really think this will help add value to your time! Even if it is just 30 minutes at a local park for stellar family portraits. Clients really have no clue what goes into those quick photos… Everything from emails, selecting the location, helping with outfit coordination, driving to the location, parking passes, years of experience of lighting, posing, creativity and humor crammed into those 20 minutes of shooting, more emails, editing, uploading, blogging, online gallery hosting, even more emails…. and the list goes on!
How do you let your clients know exactly what they’re getting without listing that whole novel and shoving it in their face? “HEY! This is SO MUCH WORK and I am worth so much more than you think!?”
Well it circles back to communication. Respond promptly, let them know your client experience work flow, set expectations, inform them on what to expect and always, always show grace while you love and serve them well.
Pro Tip: Create template emails for outfit inspiration, helpful hints and tips to plan for a successful shoot, inform them of their image delivery process, etc. All of this adds value!
Hopefully these tips help! If you have any more questions please comment below and I’ll be happy to help!
I’ll be cheering for you!
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