Business Mindset Monday:: 3 Tips for Consistent Bookings

Business, For Photographers

May 27, 2019

BUSINESS MINDSET MONDAY

THREE TIPS FOR CONSISTENT BOOKINGS

One thing I hear so often by peers is: “I need more bookings”. I myself have even said it multiple times. Here are three tips for consistent bookings. Please know, I won’t sugar coat this shit for ya. If you want consistent bookings, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty. You’re going to have to grind. You’re going to have to hustle. My friend, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK. Getting consistent bookings does not happen over night. If you want consistent bookings, you may have to sacrifice. This isn’t for the faint of heart. You are going to have to work.

I am a firm believer there is no magic recipe on getting consistent bookings. What may work for my business may not work for your business. Why? A number of reasons. Different demographics for clients. Different personalities. There could be a difference in business goals. We may also be in completely different stages in our business. If you take ANYTHING away from this let it be this: do not judge your chapter to someone else’s chapter. Please, do not judge someone’s success based on their social media presence, follower count, or engagement. Everyone struggles with bookings at one point in time. The industry ebbs and flows. If someone tells you otherwise — they’re lying to ya.

Now, no more lecturing. Here are three tips for consistent bookings that have worked in my business model.

Tip #1 Be Authentic + Serve Your Followers.

Dallas Wedding Photographer at coffee shop during branding session

Wait. What?! Kyrsten, how do I serve people if they don’t hire me?! Easy. I believe Jenna Kutcher once said clients often need to see your work SEVEN times before deciding on hiring you. Let that sink in. SEVEN TIMES. True story. I just did a college graduation session for a beautiful girl whose been following me for TWO years on Instagram.  I didn’t even know she had been following me for that long until she inquired. Okay, what’s the point? She would not have hired me (or even followed me for that long) unless I was authentic and she clicked with my personality. Be yourself. Show your face. People connect with people. Give them free content. Add value to their life. Also, serve your current clients well by having a high client experience that they become loyal fans and spread your name to anyone and everyone looking for a photographer.

Tip #2 Find YOUR Niche.

bride and groom at Falkner Winery wedding in Temecula, CA

I said it. I can almost promise you that there will be some push back on this one. Trust me, I get it. I was there too. Come on a road trip with me. When I first started I offered: family, seniors, branding, weddings, couples, lifestyle newborns, kids, cake smashes. Guess what? My bookings were not where they are today. My work wasn’t half as good. I was not working with my target clients. My pricing was lower. Why? Simply because I was not the expert at anything. At a loss I reached out to a photographer duo I admired, Bree + Stephen. I will even show you EXACTLY what Stephen told me:

I would  recommend only sticking to one type of session, otherwise it’s hard to build a brand! Like, when someone’s hungry for a burger they go to Five Guys, when they’re hungry for pizza then they go to Uppercrust, when they want a burrito they go to Chipotle. But, you never see people going to a place like Hardees that has pizza, burritos, and burgers. You probably did the same thing last time you wanted a burrito!! Your potential customers feel the same way! If they want wedding photos, they’ll find a wedding expert. If they want family photos, they’ll find a family expert!
Look, I get it. It is so scary saying goodbye to a source of income but what if I told you if you honed in on your niche, you could actually make more money. What if I told you that you would finally be photographing things that you truly LOVE?! Look, I loved all my clients when I was the jill of all trades but to be truthful….cake smashes…I am NOT great at. I would have BETTER served (tip 1) those clients if I referred them to someone who specialized in cake smashes. Also, I am not saying I no longer offer different types of sessions, I just do not actively advertise them.

Tip #3 Network

best Temecula wedding industry vendorsThis tip for consistent bookings is one of the most important. Network with other businesses within your industry for referrals. If you’re a wedding photographer, connect with: other wedding photographers, coordinators, venues, ect. If you’re a family photographer connect with boutiques, mommy + me dance classes, or mom groups. Newborn photographer? Local ultrasound service centers, local baby boutiques, or OBGYN offices. Just as in tip 1, serve your network and serve them well.

There are several ways you can serve your network. Here is a list of five ways to serve your network:

  1. Offer them a complimentary or discounted branding session
  2. Send them referrals. Sing their praises. Shout their name from the rooftop.
  3. Give them images to use for their social media + website. For example, I send vendors from every wedding a little thank you email along with a vendor gallery.
  4. Treat them like friends. It may be a business relationship but people will see right through you if you are solely using them for “referral” purposes. Ask them for coffee. Talk to them regularly. Love on them.
  5. Support their business. Need a new outfit? Shop at their boutique. Planning your own family photos? Need your makeup done for a special occasion? Need a birthday cake?

Bonus Tip: Get a Professional Website

If you’re a photography professional and you’re struggling, please know that I am here for you. I want to see you succeed. You have me in your corner cheering for you. If you are wanting a one-on-one learning experience, I would love to schedule a free 15 minute business mindset call with you today.

 

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