5 Ways To Turn Your Photography Inquiries Into Paying Clients
Are you having trouble turning your photography inquiries into paying clients?
For the longest time, I struggled to turn my own inquiries into clients and I know first-hand how difficult and frustrating it can be and feel, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you along the way.
Now full transparency, I’m definitely not perfect at this and I wouldn’t consider myself “an expert” -- however I just wanted to share what I’ve learned so far and hopefully it’ll help you grow and deepen the relationships in your business and life as well.
5 Ways To Turn Your Photography Inquiries Into Paying Clients
Clear communication in your messaging, storytelling, content, offers, visuals, etc. So basically communication all across the board.
And in order to provide that clear line of communication, you need to have clarity. You need to know who you are, what you do, why you do it, who you do it for, and how you do it.
Because in order for your clients to trust you, they need to know that you’re going to deliver on your word and follow through especially if you’re selling a high ticket item. It needs to be worth it for them, so you need to be able to communicate the value of what you’re selling and offering.
Communication also means responding to them in a timely manner. While it’s important to set boundaries for yourself (i.e. don’t go checking your email inbox every 5 minutes), don’t go 3 days without responding to someone either.
You want them to know that if they have a question or concern, they shouldn’t hesitate about asking you. Build the relationship and trust.
Either way, the point is to be super clear in your communication and provide them with all the details they need to make a decision they feel confident in.
Have you ever bought something because it made you feel good? Because I have. In fact, I do it all the time.
Maybe it’s because I’m a designer and am obsessed with visuals, but I buy things because they’re aesthetically pleasing like all the time whether it’s yogurt or a notebook or a piece of clothing.
I buy it because it makes me feel good about myself, and when I feel good about myself, I go about life feeling more empowered, intentionally, and aligned. And when I feel that way, I’m more likely to buy more of it.
So think about how you want to present yourself.
How can you make people feel good about your products and/or services?
Remember that whether we like it or not, people make an assumption about us pretty early often and quickly too.
So when they land on your website, check out your Instagram page, sign up for your email newsletter, etc.
It’s all about creating an experience for them; one that’ll make them feel confident about working with you.
For example, if you receive an inquiry from a potential client, you could send them a welcome packet that includes information about who you are, your services, your prices, frequently asked questions, etc.
Not only does this answer common questions and concerns, but it cuts down on the back and forth too. Because let’s be honest: no one likes playing the waiting game.
Plus, they will also show them that you know what you’re doing and that you’re taking their inquiry seriously.
3. Streamlining and simplifying the process
Make it easy for them to decide and say yes. Again, cutting down on the amount of back and forth especially if it’s unnecessary.
Don’t make them take a bunch of unnecessary steps to work or buy from you.
For example, on my website, I include a contact form and an embedded Calendly call set up in multiple places on my website. While this may seem a bit excessive to some, I’ve been on websites where I felt like I had to hunt down information, which to be honest, can be a little frustrating sometimes especially when it should be easy to find.
If they decide that they want to move forward and work together after the discovery call, I send them a proposal with again - all the necessary information that they need including a reminder about me and my process, project deliverables, timeline, etc.
And once they say yes to the proposal, I send them my contract and invoice through Hello Bonsai. Streamlining my business.
Here’s the thing: If you want your potential photography clients to feel confident in you, you have to take yourself and your business seriously.
It’s true what they say - you have to really believe in what you’re selling. Because if you don’t, people can pick up on that.
4. Your unique selling point / brand experience
One of the best ways to turn your photography inquiries into paying clients is by having a unique selling point. It’s the reason why people come specifically to you, because they can’t get what you’re offering anywhere else or from anyone else.
They want to work specifically with you.
If you want to stop feeling like every other person in your industry, then you have to stop acting and offering your services like every other person in your industry.
If it’s all the same to your potential client and they’ll get the same thing regardless of who they book, what reason is there to book you if someone is offering what you’re offering at a lower price or just a bit more in their deliverables?
If you’re a photographer, you could be known for your smoke bombs.
If you’re a baker, you could be known for your marbled macaroons.
If you’re an artist, you could be known for painting murals on garage doors.
Create your own niche within your industry.
5. Follow up + top of mind awareness
When someone sends you an inquiry, do you:
Respond once?, or
Respond to them and follow up to check in?
The truth is you don’t ever really know why people don’t respond. Sure, maybe they’ve gone ahead with someone else.
Or maybe life just got busy and other things came up. It doesn’t mean that they’re no longer interested.
But when you follow up with them, it bumps you up to their top of mind awareness (i.e. they’re thinking about you now) and it shows them that 1. you care enough to check in and 2. you’re going to show up and deliver.
Because trust me, not everyone follows up. So by doing this, you’re already ahead of the game.
There’s something called the marketing rule of 7, which means that people have to see or hear from you 7 times before making any kind of decision.
Now I’m not saying you should email them 7 times until they respond (actually please don’t do that), but here are some things to take into consideration:
Are you posting on your Instagram - posts and stories?
Are you sending out emails to your email list?
Basically, are you showing up?
We take in so many messages a day, so if you aren’t showing up in front of your potential clients and inquiries, you can bet someone else is.
At the end of the day, it’s all about building that trust and credibility. Do they know, like, and trust you enough to hire you? To work with you?
If you want to turn your inquiries into paying photography clients, show them why they should.
Did I miss something? Share your own tips in the comments below!
If you have any tips of your own on how to turn photography inquiries into paying clients, I’d love for you to share them in the comments section below!
Molly Ho is a branding and graphic designer for photographers and creative entrepreneurs. Her mission is to help you create a brand that will give your dream clients the confidence and clarity they need to hire you.
She believes in being (and becoming) the kind of person you want to see more of in the world, because change starts with you. And you have the power and capacity to become the person you want to be.
On the blog, she talks about topics including branding, marketing, social media, body image, and personal development.