If you’re a wedding photographer, you undoubtedly understand the importance and the difficulty of keeping your calendar packed with jobs. There’s more competition than ever before, so making a strong name for yourself is more important than ever.
Of course, there are tons of ways to make your services the best in town. It’s just a matter of zeroing in on the features and products that will make your clients spread the word that no one does weddings better than you.
Here are three of our favorite suggestions for snagging wedding gig after wedding gig.
Offer a Booking Special
If things are a bit slow right now, a booking special might be all you need to get more clients calling, emailing, and coming in the door. The key to offering a booking special is to make it highly valuable for potential clients, but not so valuable that it hurts your bottom line.
For example, you might offer an off-season special in which you offer your usual packages at a 5-10 percent discount. Maybe you throw in an extra hour of coverage at the wedding for no charge. You might even give clients a complimentary engagement shoot if things are especially slow.
Make Your Services Unique
When couples look for a wedding photographer, they don’t just look at the quality of the product or service that you provide, they also want a photographer that provides value. Sure, specials and discounts are effective means of getting additional bookings, but what if you offered a service that allows your clients to get their wedding prints or albums free of charge?
If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not!
Album Registry is the world’s first photographic gift registry. Just like a traditional wedding registry, Album Registry allows your clients’ guests to buy part of your services so the happy couple is sure to get the wedding memories they most want. By crowdfunding your products and services, your clients are not only more likely to go for a more expensive package, but you’re also more likely to make a larger profit. Even if the couple’s desired products aren’t fully funded, using Album Registry still makes sure that they get a high-quality album to cherish forever.
Here’s how it works - you sign up with Album Registry and a special web page is created for your clients registry. They, in turn, share the URL with guests who visit the page and pledge whatever amount they desire. The page stays up for five days after the wedding, that way late gifters still have an opportunity to contribute to the cause. The registry is interactive as well, so all parties get notifications via email when additional funding is received. There really is no easier way for your clients to get the prints and albums they want without spending a dime!
How often do your clients ask you if you can recommend a caterer, a venue, a florist, or other wedding vendors? The chances are that it happens a lot, and if people ask you for advice, you can bet there are plenty of other people asking other wedding vendors who they’d recommend as a photographer.
If you want other vendors to have you in mind, you need to make networking a top priority. Go to bridal shows. Drop by and visit local bakeries and bridal shops to introduce yourself. Ask vendors in your area to write guest blogs for your website. There are tons of possibilities for creating business relationships that can lead to more clients. It’s a two-way street as well - if you send some clients their way, you’ll get referrals in return. To keep that relationship going, send a gift of some sort to vendors that recommend you. It can be something as small as a gift card for coffee. The point is to recognize them and say thanks so that they will continue recommending you.
Maintain Relationships With Clients
Just because your job is done in terms of the wedding doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep your past clients in the forefront of your mind. Just like sending a nice note or thank you gift to another vendor that sends you a referral, a quick letter or small token of your appreciation to past clients will go a long way in demonstrating that you are in this business because you care.
After you’ve closed the deal, collected all the payments, and sent the final products to your clients, think about sending them a short note or postcard to say thank you for selecting you to be their photographer. It doesn’t have to be overly long or flashy, but handwriting the note will make it far more meaningful. If you have their email address, wait a couple of months and send a short note again expressing your thanks and asking how their newly married life is going. You might even send a small one-year anniversary gift, again, just to show that you care and that they are more than just a means of income for you. Those personal touches will go a long way in building a solid relationship that results in more referrals from past clients.
There you have it! Four easy-to-implement strategies that will get you more bookings. Tackle just one or take on all four - either way, taking a proactive approach and focusing on delivering top-notch products and services will get you more business every time.