When it comes to wedding planning, couples tend to send multiple inquiries to compare their wedding vendor options before booking. Unfortunately, as a wedding photographer or videographer, that means that you’re most likely getting a lot of inquiries that end up being dead ends. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Luckily, there are multiple things that you can take to turn those inquiries into bookings–and we’re here to help you learn how to increase your business in six easy steps.
How To Turn Inquiries Into Bookings in 6 Steps
Step 1. Make The Ask
When a couple first reaches out to work with you, they’ve already sent numerous emails out to other photographers. Being able to stand out from the competition and building a relationship with them is key. And one of the easiest ways to get a sense of where their head is at is by making the ask. This is a sales tactic that works across industries. It’s as simple as it sounds.
When you follow up with their initial inquiry ask them if they have any hesitations about booking with you. If they do, work through those hesitations and ask how you can move forward to build a strong working relationship with one another.
Although this may feel uncomfortable at first, they’ll appreciate the effort and time that you took to understand their needs and what exactly they’re looking for.
Step 2. Don’t Be Afraid To Follow Up
Because there is so much that goes into wedding planning, the odds are that couples are feeling overwhelmed. They likely sent out 20+ emails before getting stressed and exiting out of their email for a few days. This is why following up is so important. It keeps you fresh in their mind and at the top of their inbox.
If you respond with an initial email within hours of their inquiry and they don’t respond, don’t consider them stale. You’d be surprised by how many leads turn into bookings even months after sending the first email. Reach out again after a month or two of silence. This demonstrates that you care and that you’re organized enough to remember who you’ve talked with. We promise you’re not bugging them.
Step 3. Follow Up In Different Ways
Following up doesn’t necessarily mean a quick email. In fact, we recommend starting with a phone call. This more personal approach shows your potential clients that you want to give them your time. If they don’t answer, leave a simple voice introducing yourself and mention trying to set up a client meeting. Try to have a conversation with them before they can have a conversation with another photographer or videographer.
Step 4. Track Leads
One of the biggest things to consider when getting a new lead is where they came from. Were they referred to you by a friend? Social media? A paid ad campaign? If you’re not getting bookings from these leads, it may be time to reconsider your strategy. You may want to put your money into different marketing campaigns or shift your focus to word-of-mouth referrals over social media. Whatever it may be, it’s easiest to break down the leads into two categories–never responded or went stale.
If they went stale after responding, it’s okay to politely ask a couple why they decided not to book with you–whether you’re too expensive, they hired someone else, you’re booked for those dates, or your style isn’t a good fit. This helps you understand your competition and make adjustments if you need to so you can turn future inquiries into bookings.
Unsure how to approach this topic of conversation? Send them a quick email and give them a list of reasons why they decided to go a different direction, and they’ll be more likely to respond. This is much easier than just asking them, “why?”
Step 5. Stand Out Amidst Competition
While following up and getting to know your couples, go out of your way to be as personal as possible. This can be done in small ways–from texting them instead of emailing to having meaningful conversations during client meetings to asking about how wedding planning is going.
While yes, you are just their wedding vendor and not their best friend, creating a relationship with them leaves a lasting impression. You want them to feel like they’re the only ones you are working with. This level of comfort will also translate into your photos, so it’s a win-win to put in this work early on.
Step 6. Post Regularly On Social Media
Last but not least, post regularly on social media. While your Instagram feed may intrigue them, they may worry that you’re not active or working anymore if you aren’t posting recent work. Seeing your work show up on their feed may be the final push they need to say yes after chatting with you and getting to know you!
Now that you’re a pro on turning inquiries into bookings, check out this six-step email marketing plan, a surefire way to increase your business and build up your client list.