In Part 1 of this email marketing guide, I laid the foundation of how to approach email marketing for photographers.
I let you know why email marketing is one of the most effective ways to find prospective clients (what we call lead generation) out there. I showed you how to capture more email leads, what the best and most affordable email marketing software is, and how to offer irresistible content to your clients. That said, if you haven’t read Part 1 of our email marketing for photographers guide, do that first, then come back here so you can build on what you learned. (Read: The Essential Email Marketing Guide for Portrait Photographers, Part 1)
Now that you’ve read Part 1, you already know how to get more prospective client leads, so in this post I’m going to talk about what exactly you’re supposed to do with those leads once you get ‘em.
Be the Expert
Never forget that people are coming to your website because they see you as an expert. So, if you want to make your prospective client leads loyal and happy, you’ll want to focus on delivering the expertise they’re looking for.
Think about the questions people ask you in person. What do they really care about? Of course, it depends on your niche, but some common areas of interest include what to wear, your photography gear, services to print, and even more generally photography questions such as nice places in the area for photos, iPhone photography questions, image storage and even Photoshop how-tos.
Make a similar list of questions that reflect your business and clientele, and clutch it tightly.
In fact, make a separate list for each of your client niches.
Because the items in that list are all opportunities for you to show your expertise. And the answers to those questions are the invaluable content you’ll be giving leads once they sign up for your email list.
How to Deliver Email Marketing Content
There are two proven ways you can go about sharing content with your clients: The first is an email course and the second is a regular newsletter.
Let’s talk about the email course first. An email course is a concise way to regularly deliver value to your clients. And it’s super simple to execute.
Again, all you have to do is think about what questions people ask you most often. This can be anything from how to pick a great photographer to how to take more beautiful photos on your iPhone.
Once you have a question, break it down into a simple and digestible email course. A good place to start is with a daily, five-day course. On each day you can focus on one major point.
This is a solid number because five emails are enough to leave your clients feeling adequately informed but not so many that they’re overwhelmed.
On the last day of the course, include a way for the client to opt in to another course or to be included in your upcoming newsletter.
*If you’re still at a loss for what to write about on an email course, check out Part 1 of the email marketing for photographers series for some ideas to get you started.*
And that brings us to the other way to regularly deliver value to your clients: An email newsletter.
Newsletters are important to your business because they’re an easy way to stay at the top of your clients’ minds. So, even if they don’t need your services now, they’ll be thinking of you when the time comes that they do.
But email newsletters only work if they’re done correctly. If not, you run the risk of annoying readers and turning them off from your photography services completely.
The biggest mistake photographers make when writing their newsletters is only talking about themselves. Clients aren’t interested in what you care about as much as they’re interested in what they care about.
What they care about can vary depending on your niche, but good content starting points include sharing what’s up with local businesses, letting ‘em know whether there are any new restaurants opening in their area, and dipping into local news — the more specific you can be to their community, the better.
But don’t think you have to be living in their community to do it.
A perfect example of a photographer nailing this approach is Heather Donlan.
Heather specializes in family vacation portraits, but because all of her clients don’t live in the same city, she can’t focus her newsletter on local events.
What she can do is write about a popular vacation destination for her clients and their friends, which is Naples, Florida.
So she’ll write a newsletter aimed at getting people excited about a vacation to Naples. She’ll share about new restaurant openings, new business developments, and any other travel-related insights in the town.
Even if a client doesn’t have plans to go to Naples, chances are they know someone who does and will therefore be inclined to pass Heather’s email along.
In a nutshell, rather than simply being a self-promoting photographer, Heather becomes their tour guide. And she’s able to do so by knowing her target client type and their needs.
Let’s say your target client type is high school seniors. What do high school seniors care about?
They care about what’s going on in high school sports, the best places to shop for prom, the cool spots to get hair and makeup done for events, etc. So those are the areas your newsletter should focus on.
The point is, your newsletter needs to be about what your clients care about; not what you care about.
A good rule of thumb is for every one self-promotion email you write, send five value-packed emails that don’t refer to your photography services at all.
Now, how often you should send your newsletter varies depending on your photography business and client needs, but a solid place to start is one per month.
That’ll be enough to keep readers engaged, but not so many that they’ll get annoyed.
Also, be sure that you have at least two or three newsletters in the bank before you start sending ‘em out. You want your clients to be able to expect consistency and dependability from you, so only commit to a sending schedule that you can stick to.