November 15, 2020
If you are reading this post, it is because you think you are a victim to the number one mistake photographers make.
Unfortunately, almost every single photographer makes this mistake and isn’t even conscious they are doing it! That's why it is important to change that today.
So, what is this mysterious mistake? Is it not having a website? Is it booking through social media? Is it the fact that photographers are creatives first, business people second? Well, it is a combination of these three and many more.
What does it mean to “put yourself in your customer’s shoes”?
Then you are not putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Ultimately, doing one or all of these things makes it more difficult to convert customers because there are so many steps just to book you. Yes, you will still get customers but who knows how many you turn away because they are confused or impatient trying to figure out what you offer, what they get with the session, and how much it is?
Luckily, this is an easy fix. It just takes a little more effort on your part at the beginning.
Focal has created portfolio & package templates that encourage photographers to convey as much information about their packages as possible, and then displays them as a storefront. This storefront makes it incredibly easy for your customers to navigate through because it segments your packages by type of session (family, weddings, newborn, etc.) and allows you to create various packages within each type of session (family adventure session, extended family session, etc.).
Why is this important? Well, it’s important because it makes it easy for customers to see what you offer. It also eliminates common questions they will have if you include a description of the session, the number of photos you will give them, how long the session is, how much it is, etc. in your package information because you have already answered them. This means they will take a look at your package, say “I want that,” and then book you. It becomes that easy.
Here's an example of what your portfolio page (which displays your packages) would look like using Focal:
Scroll down the “Wedding & Engagement” tab, and you see something like this:
Imagine you've got a client searching for a physical wedding album. The 'Deluxe Handmade Wedding Album' sounds exactly like what they've been looking for, so they click on it. It answers EVERY question they have and outlines what to expect when ordering the package. It's exactly what your customer wants, so they click “Message to Book” and boom, a new customer!
Do you see why it is essential to create an accessible storefront on your website? A good website lays things out and shows exactly what your customer will get when they book you. It saves you time sending 34 emails back and forth, trying to explain how many photos you’ll give them, what your extension policy is, etc. It makes it not just easier for the customer, but for you too!
Picture this, a customer messages you after finding your Instagram or Facebook, asking if you do family shoots. You say yes and send them a link to your website. When they land on your website, they are welcomed by an abundance of photos. However, they aren’t seeing any family photos. They scroll and scroll and scroll. They scroll through wedding photos and newborn photos and maternity photos. They are wondering if you even have family photos until they finally stumble upon them. But now what? Where is your package information? Oh, they notice it is at the top of your website under “Investments/Packages” so they click that. It brings them to a new page where a family package is listed with minimal information. They have lots of questions.
Focal solves this common problem because automatically, when you use our platform to create a storefront with packages and portfolios, you can attach dozens of photos to each individual package. It is altogether with your package info and therefore, your customer doesn’t have to search in separate areas for examples of your family photos or package information. It is all wrapped together with a nice bow.
It may seem like a small thing, but it really does make a huge difference because if it takes a while for your customer to find your family photos, you might lose them. They might get frustrated because your photos aren’t organized and then once they do find the photos, they have to search for the package information (if you do offer package information at all because this is a common thing photographers don’t do!).
Keep it organized. It’s that simple!
Is your current booking process through email or social media DM? If it is, then it is time to change that.
Focal’s super simple booking system allows customers to “Message to Book” you and then you will receive an email that shows you which exact package they want. You don’t have to discuss anything more (if you don’t want to) and can go into your Focal dashboard, create an invoice where you fill in the time, date, place, attach the package, add in any line items or discounts, and then send it off to the customer. Every time you update it, you both receive an updated copy of the invoice via email. All the information about that session is super accessible because it is contained in one email or on your dashboard in your booking history. Therefore, there is a less chance of either you forgetting the details.
Another great thing about our booking system is that from that invoice, your customer can pay via Stripe and it will be automatically deposited into your bank account. No pestering for payment or sending them your e-transfer account. It saves a lot of time, believe me.
Here’s what it looks like in your Focal dashboard when you create an invoice/booking:
Here’s what the customer receives when you send a booking:
Those are 3 steps that will transform your business and it all comes down to the central goal of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Focal makes it easier because it already has the system built, all you need to do is fill in your information and navigate through the admin dashboard.
If you want to stop making the number one mistake EVERY photographer makes, then consider signing up for a demo call and see if Focal could be a fit for you!