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.

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