Ever come off an initial client consultation call feeling amazing and so sure someone was going to book your photography services, only to never hear from them again? We’ve all been there, friend! The hardest part about having your own wedding photography business is getting people to actually book you. I’ve been lucky over the years to come up with a nearly full-proof wedding inquiry workflow that keeps my team busy.
If you’re still attracting ghosts after your consultation, the problem may lie in your post-consultation follow-up. So today, I’m going to dive into what to do after your initial client consultation to help boost your chances of winning more bookings.
Before I give you my secret sauce, let’s evaluate what you’re doing right now. What do you do after an initial client consultation? Many new photographers rush to get their contract over as soon as they get off the call. It makes sense. You want to get that signed contract before they can change their mind.
What if I told you that was jumping the gun? That there was a key touchpoint before sending the contract that could increase your chances of getting booked. Well, there is. It’s called the Recap email and it will make you stand out.
The Recap email is hands down one of the reasons why my clients say I stood out to them. Immediately after your consultation, you’re going to send an email that points out all the unique aspects of their wedding vision that you remember from the call.
In it, you’ll explain how excited you are to be part of their wedding day. You can even send them a photo from the last time you photographed a wedding at their venue or send them recommendations for other vendors they still need to book. Then, if you didn’t already confirm you’re open for their wedding date on the call, reiterate that in your email.
Because honestly, most wedding photographers aren’t going to check all these boxes. It’s easy to forget that while we do this every day, most people are getting married for the first time. Weddings are extremely sentimental. It’s the single greatest show of a couple’s love story to date. They want to have someone in their corner who’s going to think it’s just as special as they do. The Recap email is a great way to show couples that you’re that person. As they talk to you and other photographers, it’s likely you’ll be the only one who takes the time to assure them you are on the same page.
Once you send the Recap email, you can start working on your couple’s proposal. I try to send proposals no later than 3-4 days after a consultation. This may be uncomfortable for you if you’re used to sending it right away. It’s ok. You can always start with 1-2 days later and work your way up to 3-4 days.
The reason why I recommend not rushing is because rushing doesn’t do anything for you. You should have already gone over pricing and your process for the consultation. There are no more surprises, which means 90% of the time the couple has already decided if they’re going to hire you by the time you got off the consultation call.
Rushing to get the contract in their hands will not sway their decision.
By taking extra time to send their proposal, it gives your clients time to re-look at your Recap email and think of any lingering questions they may have. It gives you time to add personalized touches to their contract. Again, our goal is to stand out.
If your couple hasn’t signed their contract within 7 days, it’s time to send a “Gentle Tap” email to find out why. Don’t start panicking. Don’t start throwing out discounts. Don’t question your skills, your pricing, or whether you should go back to a 9-5. (I know. It’s like I’m in your head, right?) There are tons of reasons why someone wouldn’t sign right away.
Use the Gentle Tap as a way to get them to respond.
Since there should not have been any sticker shock, something else is causing them to hesitate. You just need them to open up about what it is. And understand that sometimes they just aren’t far enough into the process to feel ready to book with all the other deposits they’re looking at. If that’s the case, be understanding but remind them that your dates book up and you’re willing to hold their date for 2 weeks tentatively. Then, email again at the 2-week mark and check-in. Most of the time, a little extra grace period gets people to book.
You have to get good at communication if you want to run a successful wedding photography business. Having a memorable post-consultation email sequence is a key part of that. This three-email sequence will help you shine in a saturated market.
I hope your wheels are turning and you’re itching to add these emails to your own follow-up process! If I could give you one more tip before you go, it’s this: whatever you do, don’t write these emails on the fly! I know they’re ultra-personalized, but personalized doesn’t mean you have to write a brand-new email each time. Have email templates saved for all three of these so you can quickly add the personalized touches you need for each client and hit send. We’re about being authentic, not overworking.
If you want a jumpstart, grab the exact 3 emails I send to clients from the shop. They help me book over 50 weddings a year. Let them help you do the same!