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Ep 86. Converting Leads into Paying Clients

I'm Ashley!

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Do you feel like you’re constantly chasing down leads that never end up going anywhere? 

ARE YOU: 

  • Getting a ton of inquiries, but none of those inquiries are converting into paid clients
  • Maybe missing some very important information on your website 
  • Lacking a proficient system to track leads
  • Without a direct process for clients to easily book and pay you

And those are just SOME of the possible road blocks you might be facing keeping you from converting leads.  

I’m excited to share with you these 7 strategies to get you on the right track!

Tip #1: Setting Expectations on Your Website

So let’s chat about what you can do before a client even finds out about you. There are a few basic things that people need to be aware of. The first thing you would do is set up the expectations on your website before they even know about you. When they come to your website, it should be very clear what you do and who you serve. You want to make sure that your potential client knows exactly what they can expect from working with you. Then finally you need to have some of those frequently asked questions on your page as well.

This is really important because you want to make sure that you are qualifying your leads. In fact, you are actually pre-qualifying them before they even reach out to you. Your conversion rates are likely to be very skewed if you don’t have some of this information on your website. There may be a lot of missed opportunities converting leads and booking clients if they weren’t already aware of the expectations.

Tip #2: Send All Leads into One Funnel

This matters because you’re going to be able to keep all of your inquiries in one spot. You’ll be more streamlined, organized, and you’re not going to forget to follow up with those clients that haven’t responded. So I recommend sending all of your leads to your contact form on your website. If you don’t yet have this form, definitely get it set up. Whatever website platform you use, look up how to embed a contact form. There are so many things to add to your client form to help make your process a little more streamlined.

Now here’s a quick tip, respond as quickly as possible to all leads. I get pushback on this tip. Photographers think that if they respond quickly to an inquiry from a potential client, then when they become an actual client, the client is going to assume that every response has to be that fast. Remember, in our fast paced world where people want information quickly, the faster you can get a person from interested to here’s all the information they need to make a decision, the faster they can book with you or not. Or maybe you check back with them in a couple of months’ time, as they are still undecided.

Whatever the case might be, you get the end result faster. This is a really great way to make sure that you are not stringing along your leads and you can quickly get a firm yes, no or undecided,  so you can figure out your course of action moving forward.

Tip #3: Track All Leads

Now, if you’re using a CRM, such as Honeybook, it will track your leads for you. If you have your Honeybook contact form on your website, when a new lead comes in, it will track it. Once they’ve booked, it will also track that. And so you can sort of keep them organized, based on which step of the process they’re in. You can also keep track of payments and contracts as well. So this is a great place to keep track of all of those things.

Tip #4: Send Full Galleries

When reaching out to a client for a proposal and they’ve given you the contact form, you might have a few follow up questions. You can always include those full galleries of previous work you have done. But make sure that you are connecting with that client on a personal level. Take something out of their contact form and be excited about it and show emotion for it.

If someone reaches out to you and you’ve done a similar session, go ahead and send them that session. It doesn’t have to be in the exact same location. You just want to give them an idea of what they can expect in their gallery. It’s so simple, but goes such a long way because you want to show this client your credibility. That you are interested in their session and that you’re not just blanket responding, yes, I’m available, here’s my price. You’re actually showing them that you genuinely care about them as a person. Not that you’re just worried about converting leads and getting another sale, but that you genuinely are interested in capturing these memories for them.

In a previous podcast episode, I mentioned how using canned email templates are helpful when you are communicating with clients. With this template, when someone reaches out and inquires, you have a basic outline of what you want to say. Then you will go in and add those personal touches, and customize it to that particular client. This will give you a guide, so you’re not creating a brand new email every time you get an inquiry.

Tip #5: Still Follow-up When Clients Ghost You

So I want to address this next question because I feel like this happens a lot to photographers. What do you do when a client ghosts you? They stop responding, you’ve sent a follow up email, there’s nothing. Now you’re feeling so stressed. “I don’t want to sound desperate, how often do I keep following up? Do I just drop it? Do I just let it go?” It is something that even as a seasoned photographer, I still get people that ghost me.

It’s not a you problem, it’s a them problem. Remember that and until they ask you to stop following up, you have permission to keep following up. Keep following up until they finally get back to you. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a client who appreciates me consistently following up. But I don’t find out until like several emails later. That is when I actually end up converting leads into paying clients.

Now, you will get people that respond and say, “I’m not interested, please take me off your list.” But those are very few. Most people will appreciate you for your efforts and may be interested in booking a session at a later date. If that’s the case, write their email, name, and exactly what they just said to you; make a note to follow up with them that next season, because it absolutely works. I’ve had that happen before. I’ve continued to follow up and it turns out that it did go through. It might have taken six to 12 months for them to actually book, but I was consistent and I kept following up with them. This also keeps you top of mind. So if they know someone looking for a photographer, they’ll be able to refer you because you are staying top of mind by continuing to connect.

Remember too that if a client ghosts you and they never get back to you and you sort of just get tired of responding and you feel like you need to move on, then move on. Focus your time and energy on someone who is your ideal client and desperately wants to book with you.

Tip #6: Get Clients on the Phone

It helps for you to get a feel for what this client needs. Especially when it has to be a custom quote. So if you’re doing a quote for a wedding client or a high ticket branding client, you might need more information before giving a quote. You might not understand the scope of the work until you’ve talked to them. This is actually the fastest way we’ll start converting leads because there’s no more back and forth emails. So don’t be afraid of getting on the phone or asking people to get on the phone. If they’re interested, 5 to 10 minutes is going to be much easier than being back and forth with email.

Tip #7: Have a Simple and Solid Booking System

I’ve seen this slow down a lot of photographers. If you don’t have a way for people to actually book a date with you, sign the contract and actually pay you for your service. Listen to Episode 82, a great complimentary episode all about setting expectations and boundaries with clients. I talk about knowing when to do your sessions and being in control of your calendar. So when you have a solid booking system, you know exactly when you want to do sessions. When you are going to offer sessions, you could have a booking link like Calendly. I personally like to just give a couple of dates. If I offer my entire calendar and ask the client what works for them, there will be a lot of back and forth. Just offering a couple of dates really helps cut down the back and forth.

Next, It’s really important that you have a simple booking system like Honeybook or Session. This allows you to send them the contract and the invoice and they can book instantly. If you’re interested in trying them out, check out my affiliate links below. Definitely grab one of those easy to implement booking systems because it will actually start converting leads into paying clients so much faster.

ACTION STEPS:

Let me know which of these roadblocks you’re struggling with! And if you enjoyed today’s episode, please take a screenshot of it and share it on Instagram with all your followers and friends so that they can be encouraged and inspired. It makes my day when you guys message me that you’re listening and loving the show. It keeps me going and helps me to start new conversations and build new friendships with you.

As always mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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