Last month I wrote about five ways to book more weddings THIS year and today I am sharing part TWO! If you are a wedding photographer, you probably start the relationship with your client over email. There is a lot of information that needs to be exchanged and there is typically more than one person involved in the decision, so email tends to be the best form of communication (at least initially). So because I receive most, if not all, of my inquiries through email, it makes sense that email communication is directly related to booking more weddings. Later this month, I am going to share a post on how to communicate your brand and your personality in an email while still maintaining rapport and being professional. Today I am going to talk about the basics of emailing (and a few other tips) that can, in my opinion, make or break a booking.
6) GIVE AND RECEIVE REFERRALS FROM INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS - Who doesn’t love sending or receiving a referral from an industry professional?! When you receive an inquiry for a date that you are already booked, send it on to another photographer! This is one more way that you can serve the bride and another photographer! I also have photographers who send referrals my way occasionally and I LOVE it. Who wouldn’t?!
7) RESPOND TO INQUIRIES WITHIN 24 HOURS (EXCEPT FOR ON WEEKENDS) - This is a simple one, so never avoid responding to an inquiry. Brides move quick and you want to communicate to her that she is important and will receive a timely response.
8) CREATE A STELLAR EMAIL TEMPLATE FOR BRIDES - Creating an email template has saved me so much time in my business. I have a template for the basic things that need to be communicated in the first email and then I personalize it to the bride. This way nothing is forgotten and I don’t ramble on!
9) LISTEN TO YOUR BRIDE - Your bride is telling you something. Even in your email, she is communicating something important to you and it’s your job to figure out what it is. Sometimes, she will spell it out to you: “We want romantic and elegant photos of us from our wedding and we trust that you can do it!” This communicates to me that one of the key things this bride values about my work is that it is romantic and elegant. Other times, the bride will say something a little more vague: “We love going from place to place and we don’t want to miss a moment in our wedding day! We just want to enjoy time with our friends!!” This communicates to me that the bride is very energetic (and not just in the email) and she wants to remember the details, enjoy the big moments and have a FUN time. Let your bride know that you are hearing her and you value what she wants!
10) IMPROVE CLIENT MEETINGS - I book most of my weddings over the phone (after an email inquiry) or simply through email. Occasionally I will meet with a bride who wants to talk or has questions that she prefers to ask in-person. I never turn down a client meeting if a client requests it! There is a fine balance between taking the lead in the conversation (so no one’s time is wasted), letting her do most of the talking and remaining productive.
I’m introverted: 100% introverted. I love listening to people, but I learned early on that I can be too quiet. So I take the lead from the beginning. I ask questions. I communicate to the bride that she is important (because she is). I do this because I want to communicate to her that I can take charge on her wedding day when Uncle Bob is meandering down the street while we are taking family photos. Then I let her take it from there. Most of my brides will ask questions or tell me about their wedding after I communicate that I am engaged in the conversation.
I always want to communicate to my bride that I can take charge easily and I will always do it because I am serving her… not myself.