Booking Weddings: The Art of the Follow-Up

Today we are talking about how to book weddings. You know by  now that you need to invest time and effort into marketing; marketing is what gets your phone to ring and email inquiries coming in. Having an email follow up is critical if you are a wedding photographer.

Once you've gotten a  wedding lead, you need to stay focused and do everything you can to book a consultation with the bride. Everything you do after you get an initial inquiry for a wedding is called follow up.

You need a system for keeping track of your leads that you can easily maintain, so that leads don’t slip through your fingers and get booked by someone more on top of their leads and consultations.

Your work is probably awesome, I get that. You want to be cool and laid-back, not a pushy sales person. If they want to book you, they will, right? And if there is only you and one other option within 25 miles, you can probably afford to go with a laid back, “let them come to me when they are ready” approach.

But what about when you are competing against the 20 best photographers in your town? If your area is oversaturated with photographers, then you need something more that your awesome work to actually get you booked.

Brides are overwhelmed with choice-wedding planning is a brand new world to them, and they need to create an elaborate event plan and hire 5-15 different companies just to make the event come together. If they reach out to 3 or more different vendors from each category, they are going to be sorting through 30-50 email responses from potential vendors. Can you imagine? That's an avalanche of email to sort through!

From there, you are fighting for attention. If you want to get booked, you have to help the bride remember who you are. Which means you should be reaching out to her repeatedly to remind her of you, show your customer service skills and help her through the decision process.

What if she's turned off by that? Then she's not serious anyway. When you serious about making a major purchase, you will talk with the person following up with you. It's when you aren’t serious that you get annoyed.

Your goal is to get a consultation booked, because once you get face time, you've made the short list of candidates. Now you have a good chance to get to know your couple and make a real connection. Just by getting a consultation booked, you've increased your odds of getting that booking drastically. So focus on getting that consult scheduled!

Develop Your Follow Up Email & Phone System

In order to get consistent results, its critical to have a follow up system that you apply to every lead that comes in. Of course, every bride is different; some may know they want to work with you from the beginning, others may take more than a month to make their decision. Here is the follow up system we have used consistently with our leads. Once we began following up with every single lead, we saw our booking rate drastically increase.

  • Day 1: Email follow up response and also by phone if possible
  • Day 2: Mail out brochure or slideshow
  • Day 5-7: Email consultation availability
  • Day 10: Follow up with a phone call

Again, remember that the goal is to book the consultation. That is where you can shine. Until then, you are just a website and a name. This might result in more consultations that don’t lead to bookings, but it will also lead to more bookings. Over time, you can continue to refine your consultation experience in order to increase your booking rate. If you want to learn how to set up a lead tracking system, you can see that right here:

Wedding Lead Tracking System

To make the most of your follow up, I have three tips to share with you:

  • Tip1: Respond as quickly as possible. If you can capture the bride while she is still in wedding planning mode, she's much more likely to respond by opening and reading your email or chatting on the phone. Make a connection with her before the overwhelm sets in.
  • Tip 2: Phone calls are far superior to emails. If you can catch a bride on the phone, you have the opportunity to make a real connection, ask questions and get to know her. Don't email if you can call!
  • Tip 3: Send out a follow up email asking if they would like to come in for a consultation with a few (2-4) specific appointment slots. Sometimes brides are just super busy and they don't know what to do next. By sending out your appointment availability, it gently guides them to the next step and cuts down on needless back and forth scheduling.

Get busy and put these wedding photographer email follow up tips into action today. Do you follow up with your leads? Let's discuss in the comments below. You can also watch the video which talks about how to do a great follow up email wedding photographer style and stay on track with booking weddings.


Facebook comments:

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Dane-headshots October 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm

That was helpful. Thanks!

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Chellise Michael July 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

Sign me up!

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Clare Woolford September 7, 2012 at 12:34 am

Excellent advice, really well written and useful. Thank you so much.

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Geneve Rege April 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Thanks for the tips! Any advice on what should be talked about in that first phone call? Should we keep it short or start talking about wedding details and our photography style?

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Lara White April 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I recommend asking questions about the wedding, just try to get the bride talking and engaged in sharing her plans and dreams. I also recommend aiming to get a consultation scheduled before hanging up if possible. But chat and make the connect first.

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Teresa March 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Thank you the step-by-step info. I feel like I have a plan now and can’t wait to implement it!

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Monica March 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm

This i just was i was waiting for, thanks so so much!

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shahkasahias March 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

Yes…really a gud post.. very nice sharing..hihi..

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Travis * Johansen March 27, 2012 at 6:58 am

Having the days / steps written out like that takes all the guess work out of it. Thanks for sharing!

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Lara White March 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I’d love to hear how this goes for you Travis!

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Johanna Lakin March 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Hi Laura, I have a question. Do you Is it weird to call someone back if they didn’t leave a voice mail? I will miss calls sometimes but they don’t leave a message and I don’t want to miss the possible business opportunity so I always call the number back but always fell a little weird for doing so. What is your opinion on this? Your advise would be greatly appreciated!

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Rayleigh Leavitt March 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Really good advice!

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Jason Spencer March 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

With just a few tweaks, this work for the DJ and entertainment companies too. This is a great read, and will probably make me adjust some of how I currently respond. I still push for the meeting, but I think that perhaps my initial contact has too much content (including a brochure) that could easily be broken up into smaller chunks. I also never thought of just sending my upcoming availability as a way of getting the meeting.

Great work. Thanks for sharing!

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Lara White March 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

you are absolutely right. It applies to any business actually. Follow up has always been a key factor in sales, but even more so now as the competition is high.

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MerryMarry March 6, 2012 at 1:49 am

This is really great advice for photographers. Great post, Lara! 🙂

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Lara White March 6, 2012 at 6:46 am

I actually did an experiment to compare how the response went when we followed up with leads versus when we didn’t. It was a major difference.

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