- 140,000 square feet
- State-of-the-art office suites
- Personalized, biometric dining facility
- 24-seat HD theater
- Indoor golf simulator
- Two-lane bowling alley
- Nine-hole putt putt course
- Nap room with bunk beds, massage chairs, and bean bags
- Lap pool
- Indoor slide
- Basketball court, fire pits, and sand volleyball court
These are just some (though not all) of the features at Clemson University’s new $55-million football operations facility.
If you think that’s overkill, just wait. The University of Maryland is currently working on their new football facility, which is expected to cost over $150 million!
With all the time, energy, resources, and millions of dollars poured into getting players ready for game day, you can imagine why head coaches become so furious when their players make dumb mistakes — like celebrating too early and dropping the ball on the 1-yard line.
Seriously, the whole point of these extravagant facilities and a lifetime of hard work, training, and coaching is to score touchdowns and win games. Then, when a player is literally one step away from scoring, they throw it away for a split second of celebration.
It’s the worst mistake you can make on the football field, and while it’s easy to sit back and laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation, many of us are guilty of the same thing in our photography business!
The #1 Worst Mistake You Can Make in Your Photography Business
You work so hard to promote your photography business.
You create custom business cards, post previews to Facebook, run print ads in local publications, boost Facebook posts, send out direct mail, partner with small businesses, etc. — all to get the word out about your business.
Finally, emails and phone calls come pouring in, only for you to drop the ball on the 1-yard line. You’re too busy shooting or editing to answer the phone, respond to voicemail, or reply to all the new emails in your inbox.
It’s absolutely heartbreaking… and completely preventable.
So how does it happen?
Pinterest Life vs. Real Life
In the “Pinterest life”, when everything’s right in the world, we sit at our desk, pen in hand, ready to take a call and book a session.
If we have a full-time receptionist working for us, we can drive traffic to a phone number and it will all be taken care of.
But we all know that “real life” doesn’t really work like this.
In reality, we’re juggling a thousand things in our personal life AND running a business. The kids are going crazy, the house needs cleaning, your gear needs work, you have 10 hours of editing to worry about, and you have three shoots scheduled this week.
If all the energy we invest in promoting our business leads to a phone call, it’s not ideal. There’s no way to offer 24/7 coverage to get back to those inquiries quick enough.
The same thing happens with email.
Emails come in at all hours of the day, and we all know that a booking email or scheduling email never happens with one simple back-and-forth message. It almost always turns into several back-and-forth conversations.
“Whoops! Sorry, I forgot that day just filled up. I need to reschedule.”
“Uh oh! You took too long to reply and someone just took that appointment…”
It’s a total hassle that gets in the way of running a healthy business.
Once in a while, we’ll get someone that makes it through the process and gets on the calendar, but it takes a lot of work and most potential clients slip through the cracks.
Scheduling and Booking Pages
This is the moment where we need to slow down, stop investing so much energy into promoting, and start to invest our energy into creating scheduling and booking pages so we can recoup the ROI on all our marketing efforts.
Potential clients can click a “book now” button directly on your site where they can schedule a date and time based on your availability. Most importantly, they can make a deposit with a credit card, which drastically reduces cancellations and creates a sense of urgency for people to book now.
You can even use booking pages to schedule any other type of meeting. Phone calls, session consults, sales meetings, or meetings with non-clients can all be scheduled through the “book now” feature on your site.
The #1 worst mistake you can make in your photography business is to spend tons of energy on your marketing and lose the business because you can’t get back to emails and phone calls quickly enough.
It’s time to put an end to all those dropped balls and missed opportunities.
If you don’t know where to get started, we are sharing a best-in-class booking page example that you can check out so that you can get some ideas of what information to collect from your clients and exactly how this strategy works in practice.