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Why You’re Not Booking Clients as a Photographer

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Hi. I’m Jamie from jamiedelainewatson.com. Thank you so much for joining me this week
on my YouTube channel. I am very excited to be bringing you a collaboration
between myself and Natalie Frank, who’s the Co-Founder of The Rising Tide Society and
a former wedding photographer. We’re going to be talking about why you’re
not booking clients as a photographer and how you can make some changes in your business
so you can start booking clients. I have the first tip coming to you from Natalie,
so enjoy this. Thank you so much for having me Jamie. I’m super honored to be sharing this tip with
all of you today. One of the reasons why you may not be booking
clients is because you’re not providing current clients with an extraordinary experience. Before you say to me, “But wait, if you’ve
already booked them then what’s the problem,” think about the fact that your current clients
today may be the best source of referrals for clients tomorrow. From the very first moment they inquire through
when they go to pay your deposit through your first touch experience with them, whether
it’s an engagement session or on a wedding day or a portrait event, all the way through
how you deliver those files, that experience, the entirety of that time that you have with
them, it has to be extraordinary, not just good, not just great, but truly extraordinary. If you do that you empower your current clients
with the wisdom, the tools and the messages they need to speak on behalf of your brand
to the world at large. Your current clients right now may be your
best source of business in the future. If you don’t provide them with an extraordinary
experience you truly are missing out on booking in the future. Thanks so much for that Natalie. Reason number two you may not be booking clients
is that you’re trying to be all things to all people. It’s a mistake I see a lot of beginner photographers
making. You want clients so bad that you’re willing
to do any style of photography just to get that yes from the client. The problem is we actually are doing a disservice
to ourselves because we end up with a portfolio that’s all over the place. We get more and more clients who are asking
us to do things that we don’t feel are our style because our portfolio is all over the
place. They don’t know what our style is. Part of that is learning how to define your
style, and sometimes that does take a few years to really hone in on. For example, my style is quite colorful, fun
and joyful. If I have a client who comes to me and says,
“We want to book you but we want a moodier, darker engagement session,” I’m not going
to say yes to them. That’s hard. It’s hard to turn down that money. It’s hard to turn down that job. The client’s probably really sweet, but I
have to stay true to who I am. I have to then recommend them to another photographer
who’s super talented and more in that style. The reason for this is that I can serve the
clients that I do have wonderfully and they know what to expect. Clients come to me now asking for joyful and
natural and colorful images and I can say, “Perfect. That’s exactly what I do.” Reason number three, you’re discounting your
services. Every business owner will have a different
philosophy when it comes to pricing and discounting their services. What’s worked for me in the past has always
been adding value instead of a discount. I don’t think it leaves a great impression
of a higher end brand if you’re a photography Instagram every six photos is saying, “10%
off wedding bookings this week.” I really think that if somebody’s motivated
to book you the 10% off isn’t going to make that much of a difference. Instead what you’re saying to your audience
is, “I’m’ always on sale, and I don’t think that should be the case as a wedding photographer. We are not a shirt on the sales rack. We are photos that someone’s going to have
for a life time. Instead if you really do want to add some
urgency with your clients and turn those emails into bookings I would recommend adding value. If you don’t already include an engagement
session you could say you’ll include one in the next week if they book with you. You could also post something on social media
that all clients that book with you in the month of September, or whatever month it is,
will receive a guest book album added to their collection. It’s this slightly different view to discounting
where we’re not taking away, but instead we’re saying, “We’re worth what we’re charging,
but to incentivize you we’ll add this thing onto, we’ll add something extra onto the package.” Reason number four you’re not booking clients is
that your communication sucks. It really sucks. You take forever to answer an email, won’t
even answer an email, it’s short, it seems unprofessional, it’s jumbled. The client is having to ask more and more
questions from you every single time. There’s just these long email threads of them
being like, “Okay, well where should me meet you? What time should we start?” All of these questions, it’s our jobs as the
photographer to be the expert. We’re the ones who have assumably been to
more weddings than them, done this more times than they have done. We’ve been to multiple engagement sessions. They’ve never had one. We need to assume which questions they’re
going to have and answer those before they can even ask them. What I mean by this is say for an engagement
session, what are the clients going to want to know right off the bat? They’re going to want to know what do I wear,
how do we pose, we’re not very good in front of the camera, when do we get our images,
how many images do we get, how are they delivered, can they print in images, and probably like
10 more questions? I’m not saying you reply to the email with
question and answer. I’m saying it’s a very easy way to say, “The
engagement session will start at this time. It’ll last for an hour and a half. You’re welcome to bring two outfits. This is what I recommend for outfits. Two weeks after the session this is the gallery
you’ll receive. You’ll receive about 80 to 100 images in there.” It flows but then it only amounts to maybe
a three or four paragraph email but then when they’re reading the email they’re thinking,
“Oh, these are all the questions that I had. This is awesome.” They’re not having to followup with you and
chase you down for answers. Fix your communication and that can fix your
booking problem as well. The fifth and final reason you may not be
booking clients as a photographer is that you’re disorganized. You have paper contracts everywhere, Post-its,
you have a wall calendar with sticky note reminders, you have a to-do list running on
your notes apps then also a written to-do list, but then also one in a sauna or the
latest planning app. The reason you can’t seem to book clients
is because your head is so full of what you need to and you’re worried you’re going to
forget something. If you don’t have a CRM system for your business
you need one. CRM means customer relationship management
system. For years I used ShootQ. I’ve had a CRM since I started my very first
wedding season. I think if you’re shooting more than five
weddings in a year you need a CRM. There’s too many moving parts to a wedding
day and to a wedding booking and the process with the client over that year. You need an electronic system where everything
is found in one place. I’ve been very happy with ShootQ over the
years but I’m super excited that Honeybook just expanded into Canada, which means now
I can give it a try. I’m switched over to Honeybook and I am loving
it so far. Honeybook will allow you to have workflows
in one place, questionnaires in one place, automatic emails. You can keep track of leads and then you can
book those clients with the contracts right within the Honeybook system. It is absolutely amazing and I guarantee you
it will save you at least eight hours of time per month. I know because I’ve been working with the
system since 2009 and it has saved me so many hours and I’m really excited for Honeybook
to do the same for me. If you want to jump on a free trial, they
have a 14 day free trial, you can click the link in my video description below. I hope you enjoyed today’s video. This video was meant to be an encouragement
for you, although it was a little tongue in cheek about why you’re not booking. I really do want to see you booking a full
season of weddings and I want to see your photography business succeeding. It’s very, very possible. If you need help with anything else please
leave comment below and I would love to address it in the comments. I would also love if you could click subscribe
and like onto this video and then hop over to Natalie’s video because I’ve also shared
a tip on there and she has four more tips about why you’re not booking as a creative
entrepreneur. It’ll be so applicable to any photographer
as well. Please hop over and check her video and thank
you so much for being here. I really look forward to seeing you guys every
week. Thank you again.

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10 thoughts on “Why You’re Not Booking Clients as a Photographer”

  1. Jamie Delaine Photography says:

    Not booking clients as easily as you wish? Could it be because of one of these reasons?

  2. Michelle Cox Photography says:

    These are all great tips!

  3. johan bauwens says:

    As a photographer I often felt like a wedding planner : having to pick up the flowers, the coat of the groom at his place (he forgot), driving with the guests… but I don't mind

  4. Michelle Ness says:

    Needed to hear this 😭 I’m new and all over the place trying to make people happy!

  5. MK Flav says:

    great advice love it

  6. Rayane Redhead says:

    Those are perfect tips. Thank you so much. I'm just starting and I want to make good steps since the beginning to avoid losing time and clients and especially energy. Thank you again.

  7. Jessica Lovao says:

    Thank you. Now I know what I did wrong !

  8. Martha Laureano says:

    I being asking for model calls and when they agree they always come up with excuses.

  9. photojeff74 says:

    I wanna get back into it. Shot hundreds of weddings. Fell out of love with the inlfux of "photographers" prices are getting lower and lower. Is this just my reality? www.motivatedlight.com

  10. Brandon Pickett says:

    Being a successful photographer is a popularity contest. If you know a lot of people and have a lot of friends, you will do well. If you're like me and are a loner, you will have a tough time. That's just the cold hard truth.

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