Imagine you’re a star football player. You spend hours each day practicing your skills and honing your technique all so that, come game day, you can catch the ball in confidence and take your team to victory.
Game day arrives and you catch the ball and run it down the field just like you practiced… only to drop it at the last second and lose the game.
All that work and all that preparation, straight down the drain.
That’s what not responding quickly to potential clients does to your photography business.
The Biggest Photography Mistake You Can Make Is Limiting Your Availability
With technology and communication being what they are, people have come to expect a swift response, 24/7. And when they don’t get that, they won’t hesitate to look for someone who can give it to them.
If you don’t prioritize responsiveness, you can bet your potential client is already onto another photographer. That means all the hard work you put into marketing to generate leads and get these clients’ contact information, becomes wasted time.
That’s why, if you haven’t figured out how to provide timely communication to your clients, you need to stop everything else and fix this problem.
So how exactly do you fix it?
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If you’re like so many of us who don’t have a receptionist or personal assistant taking calls and shooting emails for you, you’re pretty much a one-person show.
That means that in addition to running a business, you also need to run the rest of your life. This can make figuring out how to fit everything into a 24-hour period feel more than a little daunting, if not impossible.
This Is Where Booking Automation Swoops In To Save The Day
The more you automate your systems and processes, the more productive your business will be, and the more time you’ll have to do what you do best — take photos.
There are automation options for nearly everything imaginable. But you really want to put your focus on scheduling and booking photography clients, because that’s where you’ll save the most time and money.
With an automated booking system, like the one StickyFolios provides, clients won’t have to wait to hear back from you. They can check out your availability on their own, while you’re sleeping, and book sessions without taking any additional time from you and your lengthy to-do list.
And this doesn’t only cut the time it takes to have an availability discussion with your client, but it also cuts out the back-and-forth that so often accompanies scheduling a photography session.
You no longer need a day or two to email one client simply to find a time that works for you both — this can all be accomplished in just a few minutes.
In fact, this automated photography booking system can work even better than a receptionist or personal assistant because it’s faster and more efficient, and it saves the time of everyone involved.
But What If I Want To Talk To My Clients Before We Work Together?
If you prefer to speak with your clients before you work with them and worry that all this automation will hinder the human connection, don’t worry.
This scheduling tool isn’t limited to bookings. You can also use it to schedule meetings and free consultation calls aimed at getting to know your clients better.
Systematically scheduling these things will make your communication more effective because everyone will be prepared and available for the call, saving a whole bunch of time for you both without sacrificing the connection.
Won’t There Be More Cancellations With An Online Sign-Up?
Actually, an automated system can greatly reduce your number of reschedules and cancellations thanks to one simple technique:
Requiring a non-refundable down payment via credit card for each booking will hold your clients accountable to their commitments, making them much less likely to skip out.
This simple technique can be a HUGE win for your business.
Moreover, if they’ve already invested in your business, they’ve already invested in you, so the chances of them being loyal to you going forward are a whole lot greater.
So the real question is: What is your time worth to you?
Take a moment to sit back and think about just how much time (and money) you’ve lost playing email and voicemail ping-pong, and dealing with rescheduling and cancellations. If you’ve lost any, you’ve lost too much, and it’s time to make a change.