How to book more photography clients

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Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

When I started going full force in my photography business after my twins were born, my confidence was shaken a few times.

It was enough for me to question whether I had what it took to book more photography clients than I had when photography was just a hobby.

It has probably happened to you, too, no matter how long you’ve been in business.

I wasn’t used to feeling so uncertain about my abilities.

I’d had 10 years of successful career experience in sales and marketing. And while I was newer to photography, I didn’t expect to have any issues booking more photography clients than I had when I was just part-time working days at the advertising agency.

But I did. This was ME selling ME, not another company or product.

I’ll never forget the first time a potential client called to ask about my photography and they didn’t book a session.

15 years later, I still remember her name.

I was crushed.

I KNEW we had a connection.

We talked for a long time about this being her first baby.

I reminisced about when my twins were born.

I was building rapport.

I was SURE she would choose me.

But then…she didn’t.

And I started to second-guess myself.

Replaying the conversation over and over in my mind.

Were my prices too high?

Did I say something to turn her off?

Did the neighborhood my studio was in hurt me?

Was my photography not good enough?

After a few months of going through this and beating myself up each time, I got fed up.

And I FIXED it so that I started booking more photography clients.  Here’s how:

1) I got clear on what makes me different from any other photographer in my market.

how to book more photography clients

Clients need to know what makes me different so they know why I’m more expensive than most photographers in my market.

Sure, I may be the only photographer who has this backdrop or lens or a studio in a certain area, but my clients don’t CARE about that.

I had to do some digging and find out what they cared about in choosing a photographer and what I had that made me different.

And once I could explain this, I was able to book more photography clients because I made it clear what the advantages were of working with me.

A lot of what makes me different is in the experience I deliver to clients when they are with me.

The portrait experience starts with the first time we speak on the phone and continues  as we meet in-person to plan their session.  I see my clients at least 4 times after they decide to book a session with me. When I invest that much time into a session, it’s easy to see how I’m different than a cheaper competitor.

2) I wrote down what questions I needed to ask on the first phone call that would help me weed out the clients that weren’t right for me .

Now I can do these first phone calls in my sleep and BOOK more of the photography clients who are right for me nearly every single time.

I ask things like:

“How did you hear about me?” This helps me to determine if they are a referral and which samples of my work excited them.

“What are your kids involved in? and “Where do they go to school?”

These two questions help me find a shared affinity that they won’t have with most other photographers.

“Why do you need a session now?”  This helps me start to understand what type of products they want me to create for them (it’s never going to be  a high res jump drive of images because I don’t sell digital files of my photography).

After I did these two things, an amazing thing happened.

I started booking the clients who were right for me and selling my photography. Every single time.

No more second-guessing myself or my abilities.

Now I know EXACTLY why a prospective client doesn’t book me when that happens.

How?

I follow this same process and ask these same questions every single time a prospective client calls.

It takes me 15 minutes and it’s fool-proof.

I only book the right clients for my photography business and the ones who get away, get away for a reason. They are the clients I don’t want.

If you have questions on what my first phone call booking process looks like, ask away. I’ll do my best to answer what I can below.

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