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Secrets to Success in the Photography Business

I’ve been asked a lot of the same questions over the years about how I’ve reached my success in my business and if I could share some of my tips! So here are just a few of the questions that I’ve been asked and I will share some of the secrets to success in the photography business!

Question #1: Any tips for reaching that next level market? I raised my prices but now I haven’t been booking 

First off, this can often be a huge mindset block for people because they don’t think they have any business charging more money! So this is a great achievement. To answer this question, I’m going to break it into two parts. 

Reaching the next level market

YES. So many things can help you reach that point. It is a combination of everything within your business and how you run it and how you portray it. If I had to pick just one thing, I would always pick Client Experience and Client Connection. The way you serve and nurture your existing clients within their experience with you, the more you will foster a great relationship. They will LOVE their experience with you and you will be able to collect killer testimonials from them. 

Often, they will then refer you to everyone they know and your demand will increase. Therefore you can increase your pricing, get your booking rate to where you want it based on the number of inquiries, and essentially end up making more money. If I had to pick one thing that would help you break the 6-figure ceiling it would be Client Experience.. Alone. It can get you there!

Raised Prices

When you do tap into that next level market of clientele, and raise your pricing, your booking rate WILL go down. Because at this point, you have raised your prices because your demand is there. So just know that will happen! It’s so important to know and understand that will happen so you don’t get discouraged, get scared, and lower your prices back down because you think you’re charging too much.

And I know this because I DID THIS. Until I realized that is just what happens when you raise your prices and tap into that next level market. Your booking rate will go down, BUT it will be the clients who you really vibe with and who really value you and your work who will end up booking you. It just comes with the territory of tapping into that next clientele.

Question #2: After a phone call with a potential client, how do you let them know you’re not a good fit? 

This is why it is so important to incorporate a phone call into your initial inquiry workflow! If you want my email templates on how to respond to an initial inquiry and that inquiry workflow process, make sure to grab my free email templates here

But if you were to do a phone call with a potential couple, and realized that during or after the phone call that you guys wouldn’t be the best fit, and truly don’t believe in your heart you should take on their wedding, you need to let them know. Trust your intuition. We’ve all been there, where we have that gut feeling we should take on a specific project, and then it goes on to cause you trouble later down the road. Trust your gut!

Be Honest

But also JUST BE HONEST. Explain to them nicely that you simply think someone else would be able to serve them better. When you do this, maybe list out a couple reasons as to why: such as you know another photographer who more so specializes in what they are looking for, or you know of another photographer who does really well with that specific venue and you know would be a much better fit. All you can do is be honest and upfront with them NOW, instead of when you’re photographing their wedding day or delivering their photos back, and you both realize it then that you maybe weren’t the best fit.

You always want to follow this up with other photographer recommendations so you’re not leaving them in the dark. Most of the time, they will thank you and be so appreciative that you were honest with them and sent them recommendations of other people you think would be better. At the end of the day, all you can do is be honest! 

Question #3: How do I gain more clients?

This is a loaded question because there is not just one straightforward answer or place. It’s a combination of everything you do in your business. Client experience, social media, your website, SEO, referrals, testimonials, networking.. I could go on all day! I’m huge on Client Experience and Client Connection because again that is what I believe single handedly sky-rocketed my business once I was able to hone in on that and really nail it down. This is why I went on to create my signature Client Connection Course and everything else stems directly from a good Client Connection.

Here are a few tips: 

Show up in alignment with your brand and show up consistently

When you can show up in alignment, it creates that like-know-trust factor and people can expect what they are getting from you, which also creates certainty. Also you need to show up consistently. This will be what sets you apart from anyone else. Yes, people show up often, but are you showing up on a consistent and regular basis where people can count on you to be there? When you’re showing up consistently, the more likely you will reach more audiences, and more likely you will come to mind when people are in need of your services. That’s the difference between average and exceptional!

Serve the heck out of your clients

Basically long story short, you should be loving on and serving your clients like crazy, and there are so many ways you can be doing this. The more you give your clients a good experience, the more likely they will be to leave you a good review, love their experience, and want to share it with others by recommending you.

Celebrate the clients you already have

Yes, you heard me right. People get so caught up in booking and gaining MORE ideal clients, they forget to serve the ones they do have. When I made this mindset shift along with my client connection, everything changed. I was able to create my “ideal client” out of the ones I already had booked. Which in return attracted more of my ideal clients for the future. So if you can shift your focus onto the clients you already have, serve them, nurture them, deliver them a bomb experience, and then showcase that through your marketing strategy, you’ll be golden. 

Question #4: How do I price myself? I feel like I’m charging too much 

First, I want you to take your base package price and write them down. Then subtract any expenses you have, second shooter, photo editor, client gifts, etc. see what your profit margins are after those expenses. And don’t forget about setting some of that money aside for taxes!

Okay now, Do all of those numbers make sense? Are you roughly making the same or more as your packages increase? Or is that number a number you’re proud of and feel good about? 

There is a whole lot of mindset work around pricing and feeling confident in what you’re charging, so I really want you to dig deep and figure out where that feeling of self doubt is stemming from. Is it from lack of experience? Is it from imposter syndrome? Lack of confidence in your services? Figure out the root of your feelings around that and then maybe you can break it down from there.

But I frequently see with my students that their booking rate is really high, they have no problems booking work, but they’re terrified to raise their pricing.. Which I get. Because when you raise your prices, your booking rate goes down, that’s just natural. But Sam Jacobson who is a wedding photographer pricing strategist suggests you want your booking rate around 20-25%. So when my students say they have a 80% booking rate, IT’S TIME TO RAISE YOUR PRICING GF. 

Now I always circle it back to that NO ONE can tell you what to charge, only you can do that because I don’t know your expenses, your mortgage payments, what your bills cost, all of that. But a good indicator that it’s time to raise those prices are when you’re having no problem booking. 

Question #5: How do I stop getting ghosted?

If you haven’t already, make sure to download my free email templates on how to respond to an initial inquiry, because the way I have fine-tuned my response has helped me significantly with ghosting and it rarely ever happens to me anymore. 

It’s because of the WAY I approach communication, what I say, when I say it, and how I say it. Here are a few quick things to think about in regards to communication: 

  1. Quick response time
  2. What you are saying
  3. How you are saying it
  4. How you’re following up from an unanswered response
  5. Getting them on the phone

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of my secrets to success in the photography business and I hope that they will help you make any necessary changes in your business to grow it to where you want it to be! 

Be sure to check out the Gold Biz podcast for more helpful content!

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