As a photographer, we’ve all been there: an interested client contacts you excited about what you do. They send you the nicest inquiry, you do a happy dance and respond excitingly, and crickets. Or they do respond and you put in the time and effort of a consult, and everything seems to be going in the direction of them booking in with you, only for them to quickly disappear as fast as they had appeared. Doesn’t it stink when this happens?? I hear you – I’ve been there, believe me! This happens a lot in all industries and even 10 years into the wedding photography business, I still get ghosted. The trick is to minimize ghosting as much as possible, and know how to deal with it when it happens. Today I’m sharing some tips to help you with this. Here they are:
My #1 tip is to make sure you are attracting the RIGHT client and repelling the WRONG client. If you haven’t taken the time to identify your ideal client, then your marketing is probably all over the place and not doing a great job of attracting the right client. Click here for some tips on how to identify and attract your ideal client. The better job your website does at qualifying your leads, the less ghosting you will have. Make sure your about page does a good job of connecting to your ideal client, your galleries accurately represent your work/style, and your info page is helpful to potential couples.
This part links right back into making sure you’re finding your ideal clients, as I explained in my blog post “How to find credibility as a newer photographer” (you can read it here), by being transparent with your fees. Show a starting price for your different collections; don’t force people to dig for it. If you want to increase the number of quality leads, put a starting price on your “Info” or “Contact” page and increase the chances that people who are reaching out can actually afford your collections (or at least the minimum collection). The last thing you want is to be contacted and then shock a potential client with your prices – that’s when they ghost you completely. It will be a waste of both your time and theirs too.
If you really want to amp up your bookings and avoid getting ghosted, ask for a phone number on your inquiry form and call each and every client who inquires with you. There’s nothing like the good old fashioned phone to connect with clients in a way that no email can. Of course, this is more time consuming, but by speaking with a potential client over the phone, you’ll be able to work on that know, like, and trust factor right away and get them to connect with you and want to work with you.
When clients inquire with you, they’ve likely inquired with several other photographers. If you take three days to respond back with a boring pdf that’s difficult to read on mobile, just like all the other photographers are doing, you won’t stand out in their inbox. Here are three tips for standing out when you respond in writing:
Are you 100% certain that your emails are even being received by your new potential client? Oftentimes, vendor emails are treated as junk mail and end up in spam folders. If you use a CRM like Tàve, you can check if an email has been opened. This is incredibly helpful because you can check on deliverability of emails, and if your emails are not being opened, troubleshoot the issue. The number one cause of emails not being received is due to SPF Records. If you haven’t set this up, chances are your emails are being marked as spam. Adding an SPF record to your website host helps with deliverability of messages. Work with your domain provider to add SPF Records to your domain. You’ll have to add a DNS TXT record so speak with a trained professional to walk you through step by step, how to do this in order to ensure your emails are being delivered to their intended recipients.
We are all living busy lives; doing multiple tasks at once, so even those who have the best intentions of booking in with you, might have gotten way behind with their own emails and appointments. It might just be that gentle nudge they needed in order to confirm a booking with you. It could be that they are actually not ghosting you at all, but they’re just busy.
I suggest creating a follow up sequence where you send them valuable content to differentiate yourself from other photographers they may have inquired with. Maybe they haven’t decided who to book with yet, which means you can still stand out if you are speaking to them and their needs in the right way.
Follow up with leads personally at least twice. In the first email your goal should be to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your email needs to stand out among the rest of the emails they received after inquiring with potentially a half a dozen or more photographers. If you haven’t heard anything in 48 hours, you can either send them another email to make sure the last email wasn’t lost in their spam folder, give them a call if they provided you with a phone number, or DM them if you have their Instagram handle. Make sure to keep track on when and what you’ve emailed, so you don’t either miss any follow-ups or send too many emails. Personally, my CRM (Tàve) takes care of that for me. Automate when possible! If still no response, you could send them one ‘final’ email, which lets them know, as you haven’t heard from them, that you’ll be closing their inquiry. Your time is just as important as theirs.
Always add a CTA (call-to-action) to every email with a new potential client. For example, if it’s on email, add a link to your calendar where they can book a free call with you or whatever the next step is. Make it clear to them how to proceed.
You must be honest with yourself, sadly not everyone that inquires into what you do will follow through with booking. There are so many other photographers out there and you are probably not the only photographer they have contacted for their wedding, family portrait, etc. But what we can do is not take it personally. There are so many factors into why someone might decide to go with another photographer, but the trick is to focus on the clients who did book in with you. Make sure their experience with you is as amazing as possible, so that they are more likely to recommend you to their friends as well as want to book in with you again. Rejection will always be a part of the business, so we must learn to be okay with it.
You’ll never 100% get rid of ghosting, but by making sure you’re following this advice, you will be less likely to experience ghosting and be less affected by it if it does happen.
Hello there! I'm Alex! I teach hobbyist photographers how to take better photos and professional photographers how to build a thriving business. Here I share tips and resources to help you grow. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!