Increasing your average sale for every session that you shoot means reaching your business goals more quickly or by relying on a smaller number of clients. Newborn photographer Mhari-Clare of Flutterby Photography shared how she’s seen a 2.4x increase in average sales from her sessions with a few simple steps.
“Once they’ve booked, say six months before their due date, we still keep in touch with them, and that really does help.”
Mhari-Clare uses a sequence of nurturing messages in the run up to the due date with different tips and information.
The success comes from building trust with clients, managing their expectations and reminding them why they’ve booked a session in the first place. The trick is to be selling gently and subtly.
Pre-shoot nurture message ideas for newborn photographers
- Frequently asked questions
- Hospital bag checklist for the mum and partner
- Reviews from past clients
- Check-in message near due date
An email covering frequently asked questions helps to allay some concerns that your client may have about their session. It also helps to build trust with your client, assuring them that you’re knowledgeable about the finer details of newborn photography.
“We get a lot of replies to these emails with people asking questions and seeking advice.”
If you’re stuck for ideas for what to include in your FAQ, spend some time talking to your current and past clients. Ask them if there was anything they were particularly nervous about before their session?
Hospital bag checklist
An email that includes a checklist of what to pack in a hospital bag for the expectant mum and their partner is a really valuable & thoughtful resource. It meets a need for your client and shows that you’re a reassuring expert. It shows that you’re thinking of your client beyond their portrait session and it’s something that they’ll be grateful for.
An email that includes some real life reviews & case studies helps to build further trust with your client and assures them that they’ve made a good decision in booking you. Don’t forget to include some reviews and case studies that mention the products that your clients are buying.
As a newborn photographer you’ve got a finite window of time after baby’s been born to undertake the portrait session, so having a check-in message going out near the expected due date is helpful to keep you in mind with the client.
Automating your nurture sequence
If you’re using a CRM for photographers like Light Blue, then you can record your client’s expected due date and then apply an automated workflow around that date. Workflows can include emails, text messages and tasks, so you can include timely reminders to yourself as well as having important messages sent automatically at the right time.
Thinking beyond email
Every point of contact is important for setting expectations with your client. Your email nurture sequence is great for ensuring that some key messages are included, but it’s also important to consider your choice of language in face to face and phone conversations, too.
There are also subtle, non-verbal cues that can help drive a sale, too. My favourite tip from Mhari-Clare was to leave packaged wall art orders that are awaiting collection visible in the entrance – it proves to the client walking in for their session that other people who’ve already had their session are placing orders for wall art and that you’re producing something that’s worth ordering.
If you want to learn more about Mhari-Clare’s approach to running a newborn photography business, check out her training and mentoring for newborn photographers.
Applying the same principal to other types of photography
The key elements to Mhari-Clare’s success came from regular and relevant contact with her clients in the run up to their session.
The lead times for a newborn session are typically a lot longer than those of other types of portrait photography, so there’s more room for a nurture campaign, however that isn’t to say that it’s not possible to have a similar approach.
Pre-shoot nurture message ideas for portrait photographers
- Clothing or style guide – tips for preparing for your session
- Tips for where to think about hanging wall art in your home
- Case studies, testimonials & social proof
Nurturing your wedding clients
Another genre of photography that often has a long lead time and the opportunity to build trust with your clients is wedding photography. A nurture sequence of a few simple emails in the run up to the wedding can keep your client thinking about what they intend to do with their wedding images and also help to remind them of the style of photography that you deliver.
Nurture message ideas for wedding photographers
- Inspiration on what to do with your wedding images: think about wall art, wall displays of multiple prints, albums and more
- Tips for making the group photo session run as smoothly as possible: if you’re primarily a documentary/candid style wedding photographer, you can guide your clients on how to manage the numbers and get the groups completed quickly so you can go back to your signature approach. Similarly, if your style is all about meticulously and beautifully arranged group portraits, then your guide can help to make sure you have the time and resources that you need to make those images a success.
No matter the genre of photography you are working in, there will be ways that you can inspire trust and confidence in your clients by ensuring that your communication is relevant and timely. What messages would you add to your pre-session nurture sequence?