Most photography businesses use a mix of online marketing tactics and real life marketing tactics, but few know how to use what they learn in real life when they market online.
In fact, if you base your efforts on what works offline, you can learn a lot about how to get more photography clients online. Think about it this way:
When you meet a potential client in real life, what generally happens? You ask them about themselves and what they’re interested in, and you’re able to educate them about your services by answering those questions.
It’s not until you know what they’re looking for and you’ve helped them out that you offer options to work with you.
On the other hand, when a client “meets” you online, they go to your website – where all you do is talk about yourself and then immediately ask for a sale.
You don’t have the opportunity to engage them in the same way you would for an in-person consult, which means less trust and even less action.
So how do you bridge that gap?
By going for leads rather than bookings.
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In order to make the impersonal aspect of stumbling onto your website more natural and engaging, stop asking for a sale up front. Instead, focus on building relationships and providing value by way of giving and educating.
The most successful marketers are those who focus on providing average prospects with valuable content that turns them into great prospects.
This works because it gives clients the opportunity to ask questions and to interact with you in much the same way they would in person. It’s more comfortable and natural for all involved.
Therefore, rather than bombard potential clients with sale packages to try to get an immediate booking, refocus your efforts on getting their email so that you have the opportunity to start a conversation and earn their trust in your photography services before asking them to buy from you.
Now, that’s all well and good, but how do you get their email?
Enter: the lead magnet.
No one wakes up in the morning thinking, “Who can I give my email address today?” You have to offer something they care about to compel them to give it to you.
That compelling little nugget is known as a lead magnet.
If you’ve ever struggled with starting a Facebook campaign before, let me be the one to tell you that starting with a lead magnet makes the whole endeavor a lot easier.
Why? Because in order to have an effective campaign, you have to write a lot of copy, from the ad headline to its content to the corresponding landing page. And figuring out what to say in that copy is extremely tricky if you haven’t decided on a lead magnet yet.
Creating Your First Lead Magnet
The best place to start your lead magnet journey is with your pricing.
For better or for worse, when it comes to potential clients, one of the first things they’re looking at when shopping for a photographer is prices. So don’t hide them – but don’t show them all either.
Strike a balance between what your client wants — a good price — and what you want — the ability to explain and convince them you’re the best one for the job.
You do this by offering some of your prices, but not all, on your website. You can indicate where your prices start and then provide the opportunity to opt in via email to receive a full pricing and product guide. This gives them an idea as to your price point, while providing you with the opportunity to talk more about your services.
A Few Photography Lead Magnet Ideas To Get You Started
Pricing is only a starting point; the world of lead magnets is vast and can bring you in all kinds of clients if properly executed. Below are a few of my favorite go-tos.
Don’t make the mistake of including too many images in your Facebook campaigns. You should only pick a handful of your very best images as a tension-building teaser to keep visitors wanting more. Then, as a lead magnet, offer a gander at your complete portfolio after they enter their email.
Free Educational Resources
It’s easy to take for granted the knowledge we have as photographers, but we shouldn’t! We need to remember that we have unique skills, tips, and tricks that we can offer folks when it comes to capturing that perfect shot. Offering a simple guide on taking better iPhone photos or on what to look for in a photographer would take you minutes to make and provide great incentive for someone to opt in to your email list.
Here’s a great educational resource example from photographer, Josh Fisher. Josh compiled ten profitable senior portrait ideas into one valuable lead magnet.
Source: Josh Fisher Photography
Free Phone Consult
A free phone consult is an effective lead magnet, especially in the seasons when you have more time on your hands, as it gives you the opportunity to literally continue the conversation. Create an online scheduling page for 15-minute phone consults to make it as easy as possible for prospects to connect and ask you questions.
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve decided which type of lead magnet you want to use, you’re ready to create the corresponding landing page. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s best to create the landing page after you decide on a lead magnet. This allows you to tailor your landing page copy to the specific benefits of the lead magnet you’re offering.
To give you an idea of how these items work together, here’s an example of the landing page that collects emails and the corresponding lead magnet that the client receives. This particular lead magnet is a free educational resource, 10 Tips To Taking Better Pictures With Your Smartphone.
What makes lead magnets so great is that they give you a starting point; they’re essentially your guidepost for building out your ads and landing pages. And just like it’s easier to take the right photo when you know the end goal is to blow it up on a large canvas, writing the perfect ad is much easier when you have the core of the message in mind.