3 easy techniques to turn portrait leads into bookings

We’ve all received leads from potential clients that we feel REALLY excited about. We start to paint the picture in our head of just how amazing their shoot would be! We’ve also all felt super bummed when they don’t respond or end up booking with us. We make up a scenario in our heads as to why they didn’t book, blame it on price, blame it on the email wording, etc. The fact that everything lies in one email is crazy sauce.

Have you ever felt this way? What if I told you there are more things you can do to get this lead booking aside from that ONE EMAIL?

I own a women’s portrait studio (we specialize in boudoir) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin called Molly Marie Photography. At my studio we have 3 techniques that we use in order to get these leads bookings.

Did you know that 80% of sales are made after the 5th contact (with your business)?

This is really interesting because I find most of our leads email/call us after hearing of us 1-3 times. Most say they heard of us from google (1 contact), friends (2-3 contacts), facebook (1-3), expo (1-2), etc. Knowing that they heard about us 1-3 times already before even sending that first email leaves me know they’re either ready to book or close to ready to book. They wouldn’t reach out if they weren’t interested.

So, let’s talk about what else you can do to turn the 1-3 times they’ve heard about you into 5+ to increase your leads to bookings ratio!

1. Email List Subscription:

Getting your potential customers on your email list is ESSENTIAL today. With Facebook and other social media reach slipping more and more through our fingertips your email list is only getting MORE important. By growing your email list you’re able to keep all of your potential clients in one RELIABLE place. I recommend doing bi-monthly emails to your list. This will really help increase the number of contacts with your business your potential customer is having before they book.

Not sure how to get started with your email list? The best way to get started is to export your contact list from Shootq and import it into your email list (Note: be sure to check your countries email opt in laws and rules of your email newsletter provider before sending) into the email list provider of your choice. Your contact list in Shootq will be comprised from past leads, bookings, vendors, etc. If you don’t want them all in the same email list you can sort your relationships in Shootq before you export as well, it’s pretty rad.

2. Follow up Email + Offer

The reasons why somebody didn’t email you back right away to book can be very wide spread. It can be that they don’t see the value enough yet to spend, that they’re saving up, they forgot (aren’t good with email), or that they’re simply busy, etc. There are tons of reasons why. Our job though is to remind them of value, WHY they want to do this, WHY they need to book now, etc.

We’ve had a great deal of success in turning out leads to bookings simply by sending a follow up email. Sounds pretty basic but we’ve actually put a lot of thought into this 😉 In Shootq you can make pre-made email templates. This saves us SO much time by not having to write out each email again and again. We simply write the email once and then when we want to send it, we just go to the lead, send the email, and it auto fills in their name and any other details. It’s so simple.

We labeled our email template in Shootq “Inquiry Follow up.” We thank them for considering us for a photo shoot, remind them of the value, include a link to a page of raves on our website, and we end with a call to action. A call to action is something that will get them email you back within a time frame you’ve set. A good example would be __% off if you book before x/y/zz.

If you’d like to receive a free copy of the email template that my studio uses you can download it by filling out the form HERE.

3. Entice with a fun Questionnaire

When you pay for something you want to get what you paid for, yesterday. Let’s face it, we’re all impatient. With photography I personally believe a lot of people put off booking because they don’t SEE the results or leave with a tangible item in their hands. To them it’s just money spent. This makes it easy for them to put off paying in advance.

We’ve turned this around by always mentioning that once they book they get our welcome email (with tips for getting shoot ready) and our super fun questionnaire right away upon booking. This builds the excitement and pushes them to book ASAP because they want to receive that so they can start their experience now!

We build our questionnaire + welcome email in Shootq. This makes it super easy so that once they book we can send them out with a few clicks of the mouse. Our clients LOVE them and they’re great for enticing, securing our bookings, educating them further, building excitement, etc.

With each of these three techniques in mind, where will you start with turning portrait leads into bookings? Share with us in the comments below! We love hearing from you!

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Molly Keyser

Boudoir photographer and business coach, I am dedicated to changing the world with the power of a camera. Originally from Wisconsin, I'm now in Texas, but I help photographers around the world learn how to go full-time with boudoir photography.