As a photographer, it’s really important that you are able to convince people to come along and shoot with you. Whether you are focusing on seniors, weddings, or maternity shoots, it’s the same idea: you need clients to want to come to you more than anyone else in your area. If you don’t make them feel like you are the best possible option for them, chances are they won’t come to you.
Sales and marketing techniques have a lot to do with playing on emotions. If you can make people feel something when they think about your brand, then you are on the right road. If you can make them fall in love with your studio, then you will be in a very good place. That’s the point where they feel that if they want to have a photoshoot, it absolutely must be with you. Even if they are not planning one now, when they are, you will be the first name that comes to their mind.
In order to attract your customers and make them fall in love with your studio, here are some key tips and techniques that you should start employing right away.
- Tug their heartstrings
This is really important, and it should be fairly obvious, too! If you want someone to fall in love with you, what do you have to appeal to? Well, their heart, of course. You can do this without using any special forms of advertising: all you need is a social media page or a blog on your website.
The best way to appeal to the heart is through a beautiful image and a beautiful story to accompany it. Those who work in fields like newborn photography might have a slight advantage here to start with because the heart melts anyway when looking at a cute baby. But you can make it have more impact, and you can create the same effect even if you are working in another field. The secret is to tell the story behind the shoot.
What’s precious about this baby – was he or she born early but survived? Is this senior special for overcoming a disability? What’s the story behind this newlywed couple and how they met? Find a great angle with a heart-warming story and share it for your future clients to see. If it makes them feel, their connection to your brand will be deeper.
- Make it inspiring
If I told you that you needed high quality photographs to make people fall in love with your studio, you’d probably laugh – because it’s obvious, right? Well, there are things that you can do to your studio that will really take your images up a notch. Details like exposed brick and carefully staged spaces really elevate your studio and make it stand out from the rest.
It feels safer to create standard, classic images – images that every client will want. But if you can do something different, even if it only appeals to a niche audience, you can rise to the top of that niche. You can carve out a place for yourself that has people travelling for hours just to come to your studio because you are the only person who can give them that special thing. Think about it – if you can develop a signature style that sets you apart, you will pick up a lot of fans.
- Use props
While your photography space may not change much, props are a great way to transform the session. Having access to rattan chairs can create a boho theme, while a rocking horse can make the same space feel nostalgic and childlike. One bonus with props is that kids enjoy interacting with them, which can help make your session run smoothly.
Some clients like to take themed photographs during specific times of year, so it also helps to rotate your props based on the seasons, holidays, and even major events in your area. For returning clients, this will help each session feel brand new, no matter how many times they come to your studio for new photos.
- Give your client options
Most clients will come to you because they like the look or feel of your photography, but they still want to feel like their photos are special. Think about it. If clients want a generic experience, they’ll use a picture service in the mall. They come to you because they’re looking for something different. Having a good variety of props helps to make every session look unique and tailored to the client.
You want to make sure that you have things to help you pose and give depth to each photo. Also, not everyone looks great in the same colors, and some clients come with very specific outfits for their shoot, so it’s good to have fabrics and backdrops in many colors. Being able to accent their choices makes the whole shoot feel specific to them, and that will keep them coming back.
- Give the comforts of home
One thing about photography sessions, especially those with multiple subjects or kids, is that they can feel really long for those who aren’t part of a particular pose. It may seem like a small gesture, but offering clients something to eat or a bottle of water can go a long way toward building the kind of relationship that keeps them coming back. Having a changing pad available is essential for newborns; diapers and formula packets are great for tired parents, too. Sanitizer and disposable masks have also been helpful during the pandemic. They’ll definitely remember these small conveniences when it comes time to book their next session!
- Be human
This one is really important, even if you are a slightly bigger studio and have an established clientele. You need to show the human side of your work. This is quite similar to the idea of sharing stories, but instead of them being about your clients, they need to be about you. If you work with a second shooter, share the story of how you started working together, or share photographs of the two of you hanging out outside of work. Share selfies, even if only with your models, so that people know who the person behind the lens is. Don’t feel like you have to drop the quality of your posts if that bothers you: why can’t it be done with a DSLR?
Remember, a brand is always easier to connect with if it is also a real person. This extends to how you present yourself on social media too. Think about how you write your captions, whether you respond to mentions and comments, and how you address your followers if you do. It all helps to build you up.
This is just a small selection of ideas, and there are so many things you could do to make clients fall in love with your work. Do you have any special technique that you use? We would love to hear about it in the comments.
Images are courtesy of Ashley Wright of Ashley Wright Photography.
Ashley Wright Photography specializes in professional photography of mothers, babies and toddlers in North Texas. Clients may book appointments for maternity, birth, newborn and baby photography throughout baby’s first year. (Typically documenting newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months). Ashley Wright Photography is also glad to offer family sessions, wedding packages (engagement, bridal, boudoir), and more!