6 Steps to Booking More Weddings
Wedding photographer James Day gives 6 simple but powerful steps to booking more weddings in a saturated market. Learn from his advice.
Hey team! Let me introduce myself. I’m James, a full time wedding photographer and part-time photography educator.
I photographed my first wedding back in 2003 and since then I’ve photographed over 650 weddings across the globe, but these days I prefer to photograph a little closer to my home, which is just south of Sydney, Australia.
My friends at Shotkit asked me if I’d be able to share something from my experience during that time that may benefit their readers. I hope this article helps you! If it does, get in touch and let me know!
📸 Related: Check out James Day’s Shotkit Feature
In an increasingly competitive market, there’s a few things that can help our bookings. Unfortunately, simply being a skilled photographer may not be enough.
I’m hearing from lots of photographers who are telling me that they are struggling to book jobs at the rate that they used to and that bothers me.
I don’t have all the answers, but I did want to write down a few thoughts that may help!
1. Clean up your profile
Visit your website, social media and anywhere you exist online and see what others may experience.
Is it consistent, accurate and positive?
When people are checking you out, there is very little trust as trust is built over time, so any website errors, spelling mistakes or inconsistencies in your brand will likely turn people away.
[Related: Instagram hashtags for photographers]
2. Check your funnel
How many people are visiting your website? Out of those people, how many people are getting in touch? Out of those people, how many are you meeting with?
From there, how many are hiring you for your services? It’s helpful to know what your funnel looks like and where the hold up might be.
For example, you may get lots of enquiries but not many bookings, or you may not get many enquiries but you book most of the people that get in touch.
If you discover it’s more leads you need, then you might want to give more attention to making people more aware of your services.
🚀 Related: More Brides II (50% Discount Ends Soon)
If you’ve got lots of enquiries, but not many are converting, then perhaps you need to look at what’s stopping people from booking you. It may sound simple, but unless you track your stats, you’ll only be going off gut feel.
I’m very fortunate that my lovely wife Catherine tracks EVERYTHING and sometimes I’ll say to her “I feel like I’m not booking as many weddings at the moment”, and her reply has often been that my feelings were incorrect and in fact the numbers are telling us otherwise.
A simple spreadsheet can be helpful in guiding you on what needs work.
3. Are you guiding people to the next step?
Your main aim when someone is browsing your website is to help guide them towards the next step, which often will be to get in touch.
Are your emails, meetings and phone calls all helping direct people to the next step? All too often we lose potential customers because we fail to guide them as well as we could.
Let me give you an extreme example. Someone sends you an Instagram message and they ask you if you’re available for a certain date.
If you replied back saying “yes, I am” and left it at that rather than asking for their contact details so that you can continue this conversation outside of Instagram so that you can help provide them the information they need to make the next step.
Always look for opportunities to guide people towards where you want them to go next.
4. Ask for referrals
Are you asking your current clients for referrals? The best time to ask for the referral is after they’ve thanked you for something. Practice it!
Your clients’ friends and family are the people who are likely to convert the easiest to customers as someone just like them has already placed their trust in you and recommended you.
The person who finds you randomly on google or on a blog is perhaps not as likely to hire you, so may need more work getting them over the line.
5. Network with people of influence
In a day and age where we spend more time connecting through Instagram than in real life, it begs the question… what real life connections could be of benefit for you and the other party.
For example, wedding venues and their trusted supplier lists are worth gold to me.
👬 Related: Use Together Cards to pose couples with confidence
What could you do to get on that list? A relationship like that will be more powerful than any hashtag.
6. Write a script for your meetings – Yes, I’m totally serious!
Scripts = cringe, right? Just remember that every movie that you’ve cried while watching was being performed by an actor who learnt a script… yet you were convinced, yes?
Learn your script! Why do I suggest a script? Because scripts work and scripts don’t need to be limiting.
They can just help keep you on track and help you ask the right questions. The person asking the questions has the power in the conversation.
If there’s anything I can do to help, feel free to get in touch or leave a comment below!
Check out the 11 essential tools and apps every wedding photographer should be using this year.
Includes limited time discounts.