You can take all of the marketing classes in the world, but nothing will teach you about your potential clients quite like walking in their shoes. I experienced this in 2015 when I was beginning the search for my own wedding vendors. It blew my mind how some very simple things played a large role in my booking decisions. Some of these things, I had never thought about for my own business. Nevertheless, when searching through hundreds of vendors, these small factors ended up being the tipping point that helped make the final decision.
As creatives, we spend so much time refining our craft and improving our product. But it’s important to make sure that we are checking all of the other boxes to give ourselves the best shot at getting booked. Wouldn’t it be disappointing to know that a bride found you and loved you but went elsewhere due to a minor issue with your website or correspondence? I’m here to help make sure that doesn’t happen to you!
7 mistakes that are driving away potential clients.
1.) Not being active online.
This one is huge! Clicking on a vendor’s Instagram and seeing that they haven’t posted in 2 years gives the impression that they closed up shop. Even though that may be the opposite of the truth, that’s definitely how it appears to an outsider. On a website, there’s no way of telling when it was last updated or how recent the work is. Therefore, every time I came across a vendor I loved, I found myself wanting to know what they were up to recently. If their social media and blog were collecting dust, it was a turn-off. I’ll even venture to say that I’d recommend deleting your social media accounts rather than leaving them without updating for extended periods of time!
2.) Not showing your starting price on your website.
Hiding your starting price really doesn’t do any favors for anyone. From a client’s perspective, “Inquire for pricing details” sometimes translates to “More than I can afford”. I felt afraid to ask when I couldn’t even get a ballpark idea of the investment I should expect. When I knew the starting price of a vendor, I could determine if it was worth inquiring and I could avoid wasting their time if it was above my budget. I was less likely to reach out to someone who had zero information online about the pricing of their services.
3.) Taking too long to respond.
I know, I know…we are all busy and emails can be an endless timesuck. This is probably the mistake that I personally struggle with the most! But from a client’s perspective, there is sooooo much to say about a quick response time. I can remember those moments in wedding planning when I filled out a contact form for a vendor and kept excitedly refreshing my email inbox for the rest of the day. The vendors that got back to me quickly definitely had an upper hand over the ones who took several days to reply.
4.) Lack of consistency in style.
I’m a firm believer in specializing. Find what you love, master it, and stay in your lane. It was so confusing when I would come across a vendor who had one wedding that I LOVED and then a bunch of other things that looked completely different. When I found someone who had a consistent style that meshed perfectly with my vision… I felt confident in them and I was willing to pay more for them. Don’t be so busy trying to attract everyone, that you water yourself down and miss out on your dream clients!
5.) Not clearly showing your location.
This may sound obvious. But, you wouldn’t believe how often I came across someone I was interested in booking and I struggled to find out where they were located. If it was too much work to find out, I usually just clicked out of their website and continued my search. Make it clear and easy for prospective clients to see where you’re located and the areas you service.
6.) Lack of enthusiasm/personality.
I’m not saying that you need to become BFF’s with every person who inquires with you. However, being personable is definitely going to earn you some bonus points. If a bride takes the time to tell you specific details and information, take a few extra minutes to acknowledge that in your response. I always felt a lot more connected to vendors who showed enthusiasm and personality, over those who just sent a canned response. That extra attention to detail and friendliness might just get you the sale.
7.) Only showing stylized work.
In some ways, this contradicts #4. Styled shoots are a very helpful tool for establishing your style when you’re not booking the type of work that you want. However, it’s important to keep it balanced because brides also want to see real weddings!
As soon as I was done with wedding planning, I re-assessed my own business using all that I had learned. I wanted to make sure that I was avoiding these things that could be causing me to lose clients. I hope this info is useful to you as well and helps you lock in some more bookings! If you’re looking for more helpful business and photography freebies, be sure to join my newsletter.