Welcome to our latest feature – an agony aunt column for wedding photographers. I am enjoying my Monday Mastermind sessions with my mentoring students and wondered about bringing something similar to a wider audience.
Photographers often have similar issues but across the world of shiny happy social media, they might not be discussed much. If there’s ever been a burning question that you would like to ask an expert but you’ve been too afraid to before, enter – Dear Devlin! And the best part? It’s anonymous. Making it anonymous hopefully lets people feel safe to raise topics that they might not otherwise.
So drop your questions here – there’s nothing too silly or too small, and perhaps you’ll feature next week. But without further ado, this week we’re handing it over to this anonymous photographer, who asks –
Should I Phone People When They Send a Wedding Enquiry?
Dear Devlin. I get enquiries using the form on my website, reply instantly, and never hear anything else from them. If they’ve given a phone number should I just phone them straight away? Cranky from Kilmelford.
The good news is that you are getting enquiries, so well done you! Sounds like lead generation isn’t your issue, it’s what happens once you’ve got them on the hook that seems to be your main issue.
How To Convert Enquiries into Customers
First of all, let’s think about the price. Do they already have your rate when they fill out your form? If they don’t then this implies that what you are quoting isn’t within their expectations – and this could be either above or below what they were thinking. In most cases, it would be below but we can also lose work by being too cheap. Depends on where you are positioning yourself in the market.
Let’s assume that it’s above what they were expecting. Then you need to think about where those leads are coming from. Where are you investing your time and money marketing your services? There may be a misalignment. I would suggest going back to the board with defining your ideal customer and doing some market research on where they are looking for wedding suppliers. You could ask past clients or create a poll on your Instagram stories. This might give you some valuable information on where you should be showing up.
But what if the couples filling out your form already have the price and they are ghosting you after your response? Then the issue is with that experience for them.
Filling out supplier enquiry forms is a drag. Imagine all the suppliers that someone might book for a wedding and times each of those by 10 as that’s potentially how many photographers/florists/cakemakers are being seriously considered. That’s a helluva lot of form-filling and suddenly their wedding planning doesn’t feel like that much fun.
How To Improve A Wedding Client’s User Experience
So how can you improve the UX (user experience) of your form and the handling of these precious enquiries? Think about this, what is the main purpose of your form? Yes, you want their data but also you want their booking. In any busy, saturated market what makes any of us choose one service provider over another that’s similar? It’s almost always because we feel a connection to them. The role of your form is to nurture that feeling of connection.
Let’s take mine as a case study. Over on my ABOUT PAGE, I talk about my Uber rating. This is something that my ideal client can relate to as they are UK city dwellers and anyone who has the app has a score based on the driver reviews. Once I found this out, my competitive nature took over and I’ve been on a mission to improve my rating ever since. One of the prompts in my enquiry form is What’s Your Uber Rating? This often leads to people looking at their own score and we have a bit of banter about it. For me, it’s about creating an in-joke with them and it just makes it fun for them.
As for calling them, think about how you feel when people call you out of the blue. We are living in a time when the only calls that we get tend to be people trying to sell us something, so I’d say no – Don’t just call. You could drop them a text or WhatsApp response though and ask them to suggest a time when you could call them.
Here’s what I do, as I’m all about automating things that still feel like a personal service for them.
– Enquiry arrives via Studio Ninja
– This triggers the URL with my pricing to appear for them
– An autoresponder email goes to their inbox saying that I will check my dates and let them know if I am available, meantime here’s my list of tips for improving your Uber rating.
– I send over a more personalised email that includes a link to set up a Zoom Meeting with me. My tech stack for this is Calendly+Google Calendar+Zoom.
If you want to go deeper into this subject, I recommend my THREE MAGIC EMAILS class.