When I started my photography business, my number one question was ‘How do I book more clients?”! And after talking with some of you who want to grow their photography business and make it full-time, a big struggle of yours has been making consistent income.
It can be really frustrating to have an influx of clients in one month and then the next be super quiet.
I won’t lie, often I have no idea where my paycheck is going to come from 1-2 months in advance. But I’ve put systems in place that have allowed me to consistently gain new leads, book more clients and make $5k + each month in my business.
What I’ve found is that a lot of people who want photography, don’t necessarily plan too far in advance for their content. I’ve had numerous occasions where clients have come to me and needed photos within a 2 week timeframe. This actually happens VERY often.
So, when it comes to booking clients consistently for your photography business, here are some elements I know will help:
#1 Have a strong brand and put yourself out there
A lot of the time our work as photographer’s speak for ourselves. And potential clients SHOULD be judging you off the quality of your work. However, if you’re not consistently booking clients I strongly encourage you to look at your own personal brand and how you’re putting yourself out there.
Some of my clients tell me they hire me because of how genuine I come across. And I come across as genuine because of how I show up on my Instagram feed and stories. I AM a REAL person who runs my business. People already have a huge trust barrier up when they go to hire people online, so we need to do as much as we can to help break down that trust barrier.
So what does this look like?
- Photos of YOU on your feed
- Showing up on stories in chat to cam style
- Showing behind the scenes of your photography
- Positioning yourself as an authority figure in your field (this is super important)
- Constantly showing your work and getting it in front of people’s faces
Putting myself out there every day and connecting with my audience on a more personal level has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my business. Yes, it can be scary to put yourself out there and I know some photographers prefer to be behind the lens rather than in front of it.
But if you’re not booking in clients consistently, it might be time to change up your strategy, get over your fear of being in front of the camera and put yourself out there more.
#2 You cannot be afraid to sell yourself and talk to people
You’re not JUST a photographer. You’re a salesperson. And what does a salesperson do? They sell when they identify the need too.
I used to be that person who was afraid to sell my services if I saw an opportunity to do so. And I realised I wasn’t doing anyone (including myself) any favours by being afraid to say “hey, I know you’ve got a photoshoot coming up and you mentioned you always feel awkward on camera. I really think my ebook ‘116 poses to make you look better on camera’ would be of great help to get you primed and ready for your shoot so you get the BEST photos possible.”
…or something like that.
And yes, I will jump at any opportunity to sell now. But I do it in a way that is still genuine and coming from a good place. My audience also know from watching my Instagram stories and following my account that I am a really genuine person and would never push anything down anyone’s throat. So they trust me when I DO sell to them.
Jumping on the phone as well with potential clients is also a great way to close a sale if they’re enquiring about your photography services.
When I jump onto these calls, I make sure I have my creative brief in front of me so that essentially the call itself is me simply going through the brief with my potential client.
#3 Learn the art of pitching
Being able to pitch is probably going to be the most invaluable skill you can have as a photographer. Because if you’re not booked out, then you’re probably going to want to get pitching to brands on a regular basis.
I pitch every single month. And it helps me bring in new clients as well as repeat business from my past clients.
I’ve literally booked some DREAM clients and collaborations purely because I pitched my services to them.
If you’re wanting to learn the art of pitching as well as get my exact email pitching template for photographers, I highly recommend to grab my ebook “How to Pitch To Brands: For Photographers”.
Essentially, you just need to get in front of people’s faces as much as possible and get on their radar if you want to work with them.
#4 Make it easy for your client to contact you
Your customer journey is everything! How easy is it for your potential customer to find out more about you, your processes, your portfolio and to contact you?
Taking bookings via Instagram DM is not professional. Sure, people can enquire via DM with you but you ultimately want to get them over to an email dialogue where you can easily link to your work, and any other important information you need to give them that can help them make an easy decision on whether or not to book with you.
Your website should make it super easy for your customer to identify exactly who you are and your expertise, who you work with, examples of your work, your processes, and a contact form they can fill out then and there.
#5 Have systems and clear content goals in place
By systems I mean email marketing, Facebook ads, funnels, and resources for your customer journey.
For example, I can send one email out and book a couple of thousand dollars worth of product photography in one go. But I’m only able to do this because I’ve put things in place to help me do this, while strategising what my next move is going to be. This also helps me predict as well what some of my future income will be for each month.
Seriously, if you’re not utilising email marketing, it’s definitely time to jump on board!
I also take time to set out clear content goals and what I need to do in order to ATTRACT more of my dream clients. This might mean mapping out new content I need to take so I can post it up on Instagram and start targeting new clients I want to work with.
Legit How I’ve Booked Some Clients…
I want to now share some ways I’ve actually booked some of my photography clients so that it might give you even more insight:
- SEO: my website is optimised for both product and personal branding photography for my local area
- Sometimes just one post to Instagram can lead to a new booking. This is usually a gorgeous flatlay or product shot I’ve done. I never worry about engagement anymore but more so the potential outcome of each post
- I pitch my services via email
- I show up on stories and talk about my work, show behind the scenes, and show examples of my work
- Email marketing
If you’re a photographer and you’re wanting to book more clients and make a consistent income IT IS possible! I’ve done it, and am doing it.
Sure, you’re going to have some slow moments. For example, new years not a lot of people are active and are looking for a photographer. In these slow periods, it’s a sign for you to work on other areas of your business such as digital products, workflows or organizing collaborations.
Finally. believe that you are worthy of it! Of being booked out and earning what you believe you deserve to earn.
Got a question? Please let me know!
If this is a topic you’re interested in I recommend to check out the following other blog articles 🙂