(Strategy #2 of 3) How To Book Clients When Just Starting Out
A few days ago, I sent you a dope strategy that I used to book my first $10,000 wedding.
(REMINDER: Strategy #1 should be the FIRST THING YOU DO when starting over in a new town. Go back and read it if you haven't yet.)
But it gets even better, because today I have another killer strategy for you on how you can book more clients this year!
Strategy #2 puts the power completely in your own hands for who you decide to take on as a client and who you don't (and it helps you build your portfolio if you need to!)
Let's get to it...
Strategy #2 - Targeted Engagement Session Giveaway
For this strategy, we're going to be combining the power of giveaways with Facebook ads.
This is the exact tactic I used to buff up my portfolio and gain more experience when I was just getting started, and it can actually convert into a lot of paying clients.
Here's an overview of what we'll be doing:
- Attract potential clients with a free engagement session giveaway
- Crush the engagement session
- Upsell the couple on shooting their wedding
Also, please consult with your legal counsel to make sure that any contest you hold is being run properly following all regulations for contests and giveaways. Contest and giveaways have lots of stipulations that may vary from state to state. Do your due diligence to cover yourself!
Now let's zoom in and go over this strategy step by step...
Step 1. Create A Form
The first thing you need to do is create a form that people will use to enter your contest. I prefer keeping it simple (and free) with Google Forms.
The key points of data to collect on the form are:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Wedding Date
- Phone Number
- Do You Have a Wedding Photographer Booked Yet?
- Tell Me More About You Two!
Here is an example of one I made in Google Forms.
The last two questions are SUPER important!
Make sure that all questions are required.
Step 2. Grab the Embed Link To Your Form And Create A New Page On Your Website
Embed your form on your website and explain the rules to your contest.
Spruce it up with a stunning wedding day photograph!
"This year I am going to be GIVING AWAY a couple stunning Engagement Sessions! I would love for you to enter the contest! I'm not sure how many winners I will choose but will let all winners know by XX/XX/XX. Best of luck!"
- Only one entry per couple
- Winners will be chosen by (Your business name here)
- No purchase necessary in order to win
- Engagement Session must be scheduled within 2 weeks of winner announcement
Step 3. Create a Facebook Ad That Targets Your Ideal Client
Don't make this part hard. It's crazy easy to set up and run a Facebook ad.
Here is a brief rundown and a few tips for creating your ad.
Go to ads manager and create a new ad with the link going towards the new page you just created where the contest is being held.
Make your ad PERSONAL.
Show a picture of yourself as the main image.
People are drawn to other people and faces.
Using a random portfolio shot will go unnoticed (trust me, I've tested both ways several times).
Here's the picture I used to run in my ads when I used this strategy...
Next we need to define the audience that our ad is going to be shown to.
Here's what I like to use:
- Location: Within 25 miles of my city
- Gender: Women
- Age: 20-36
- Detailed Targeting: Newly Engaged 3/6 Months
Don't go crazy with super detailed targeting because if your audience size is too small it will be difficult to deliver and optimize your ad properly.
You want to be targeting your ad to a few thousand people if you can.
In my example ad, I was targeting 4400.
Keep in mind, this doesn't have to be expensive.
Expect to pay about $10-15 for every 1,000 times your ad is shown.
Step 4. Pick Your Clients
As submissions come through you get to choose who you would like to work with.
The goal here is to find clients who you could convert into full wedding clients of yours, not just engagement giveaway winners.
Things to consider:
- Do they already have a wedding photographer booked?
- Are you available on the day?
- In the "Tell me more section" Do they sound like your ideal client? Someone you can connect with!
Once you decide, reach out!
Let them know they won and schedule the engagement session ASAP!
Build into them, get to know them, connect on more than just photography, and make sure that you make their engagement pictures 100% them!
Do everything in your power to completely knock their socks off and exceed every expectation!
Step 5. Convert!
So you rocked the engagement session like a badass...
You connected with your couple on a personal level and have now shared in a very intimate part of their journey.
Who has been put into a better position to now shoot their wedding other than you!!!?
You just need to leverage all of this!!!
When you deliver the photographs to them, let them know how much you would love to photograph their actual day.
Give them a further incentive to book you.
This could be ANYTHING you want.
Here are a few suggestions to get your mind going.
- Album from there engagement session
- Additional hours on the day
- Automatically upgraded to next collection up
- Canvas of any engagement image of their choice
- A 2nd shooter
- Full high resolution files
What is great about this strategy is that you can do it as many times as you want, choosing as many winners as you'd like to shoot engagement sessions for.
Just to be clear though, not everyone will book your wedding collection afterwords.
But so what?
If the alternative is you sitting on your hands wishing you had clients, at least now you are building connections, getting your name out there, creating work, bettering your portfolio and making things happen!
Keep at it!
It's funny how luck tends to happen to those who step up to the plate and take a swing.