The Art of Following Up

When you decided to become a photographer, you may not have realized how much of your job would entail marketing and retention of clients vs. shooting!  One of the things we see photographers falling down on is following up with potential leads.

Most photographers who have been in business for a few years have plenty of leads, but they don't have an effective funnel to nurture and grow those leads into clients.

Follow-up is the key to getting more jobs and building better relationships with your clients. But it can be tricky to know what to do and when to do it, and most importantly, how to do it, so it feels natural to you.

Stop thinking of follow-up as bugging people.

Instead, start thinking of it as a way to stay in touch, building relationships that could lead to more work.

One of the best ways to improve your follow-up skills is to understand what motivates people. Different things inspire people, so you'll need to learn what drives your leads to follow up with them effectively.

When you can identify what most of your clients really want, it's easier to do follow-up because you offer them a solution to their problems.

So, let's think like a client looking for a family photographer. What kinds of concerns do they have?

One of the big concerns parents have is that they don't want their pictures to look staged or fake. They want natural photos of their family and don't want to feel like they're in a studio. So, as a photographer, you might offer a free consultation to discuss what kind of session the client wants and how you can help them capture those natural moments.

Maybe they are concerned about what to wear, and you have a pre-session consultation to help them pick the best outfits. Showing them that you are the go-to pro for the services they are looking for it makes them much more likely to commit and buy.

Offer a "soft" Opt-Out.

It's always good practice to let people know they have the right to ask you to stop contacting them. Email servers require this, but it can also go a long way if you tell them within the body of the emails you are sending them. 

"If you've already found your photographer, just let me know, and I'll take you off my follow-up list."

This tells them two things: that you respect their time and that you will continue to follow up with them.

You might be surprised at how many people will respond to this by asking more questions or asking to meet with you.

It takes, on average, at least three touches to get people to buy

If you're only following up once or twice, you could likely lose sales to the photographer down the street who followed up 4-5 times.

Have you ever had something come up and had every intention of getting back to someone? We all have.

Sometimes people are busy and need more time to commit to the booking. If you drop off because you assume they are not interested, then you could be losing a lot of clients.

The best way to keep in touch is by staying top of mind. Check-in at least three times, and if you've gotten no response, give them a way to keep in touch with you by asking them to join your newsletter or follow you on social media.

See also: easy ways to add calls to action to everything you write.

Sample Galleries with Photivo

A great way to utilize your Photivo account is to create sample galleries for clients to view. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you could create a gallery with photos from a popular venue to showcase to clients (and to the venue!). If you're a portrait photographer, send a few galleries to a potential client of your work indoors and outdoors.

Having these sample galleries to share is a reason to follow up!

"Hey, I just wanted to share a recent session with you since you said you're interested in fall family photos. This is at Grant Park, which is one of my favorites because of the way the light hits the trees late in the day".

Photivo can be so much more than just a proofing gallery; it can be a resource for you and your clients!

Make your own sample gallery! Let us show you how easy and intuitive Photovio is.