Today we are talking about something that basically everybody wants: to make more money and to book more clients. I’m sharing what I believe is the easiest way to create more business for yourself, yet is so often overlooked by photographers and entrepreneurs. I’m hoping that today’s episode will relieve some of the stress and sticky points around marketing yourself, and make it easy to connect with your audience and bring in more bookings.
The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
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Review the Show Notes:
What are hot, warm, and cold leads? (1:19)
The easiest way to market yourself (2:45)
The biggest point of struggle (3:40)
How to take the pressure off (6:00)
Let them get to know you (7:58)
Using Flodesk as your email provider (8:59)
Mentioned in this Episode:
Review the Transcript:
Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gebhardt. Here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business motherhood and life, myself, along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
In today’s episode of the podcast, we are talking about something that basically everybody wants, you want to make more money, you want more clients. And what I have seen over the years is a little bit of a sticking point with what I think is the easiest, lowest hanging fruit in the marketing world. And yet it gets overlooked. So I want to pull from this thought that it is easier to book or to retain an existing client than it is to recruit a new one. Okay, I’m going to take it a step further and say that it’s easier to book a warm or a hot lead than it is a cold one. Okay, and you’re probably thinking, Wait a minute, Sabrina, what the heck is a warm or hot or cold lead? What are you talking about? So let me back up and explain. A cold lead is 100%. A stranger. They just popped into your world, whether Instagram or website for the first time ever.
They literally just discovered you. And they aren’t even sure if they like you yet. They don’t know you. They don’t follow you. They’ve never heard of you. They’ve never seen your website. They are literally brand new to your orbit. A warm lead is someone who has been following you and has been engaging with you. They comment on your posts, they send you DMS, maybe they’re on your email list, a hot lead. These are your super fans, they purchase your thing, they book your services, they hire you over and over again.
They share your stuff, they tag you often they’ve gotten to know you and they’ve maybe even started a little bit of a friendship with you again, these are your ultimate superfans. So, back to what I was saying. It is way easier to have one of those warm or hot leads hire you than a cold one, right? Because the warm and the hot leads, they know you already they’ve experienced you, they already like you. So it’s easy to see why that when this relationship already exists when they have already started engaging with you. A lot of that legwork of recruiting new clients is already done. It is the easiest way to market your business. The easiest thing, the lowest hanging fruit that people are not doing enough of is email marketing. Yes, I’m talking about selling in your emails, and sending newsletters. So let me explain this a bit.
If you were to think about the actual technical side of sending an email, any email to anyone about anything, it’s not hard. We use email every single day. Our worlds literally cannot function without it anymore. We all know how to do it. But for some reason, when photographers think about emailing their clients, or collecting email addresses for a client list, they become a bit paralyzed. All of a sudden, they feel like they are under this immense pressure, almost like they’re stepping onto a stage under a spotlight. They freeze. The biggest part of the struggle is usually not the how, but the what we know how to send an email. Sure, sending a mass email to a list is slightly more complicated because you do have to know how to use an email provider like flow desk, and you need to set up the logistics of working in a platform like that.
But at the end of the day, that part is easy. There are tons of tutorials on the internet that walk you through step by step this entire process. I even teach it to my students in all of my programs. So the how is not actually the tricky part that’s getting people stuck. It’s the what that the photographers get tripped up on what on earth will I say? And I’m going to take this one step further, that hesitation is really based out of fear, a fear that they will come across as too salesy. A fear that no one will care what they have to say, a fear that no one will open their emails, a fear that no one will sign up for their email list, a fear that they’ll have a typo or a bad link. So let me just stop right here and point out that every single one of those fears is 100%. completely made up and irrational. I’m sure you know that but just to be clear, it’s okay to come across salesy, you are in fact selling something.
People do care what you have to say that That’s why they joined your list and they follow you online. People will open your emails, I promise, people will sign up for your list, I promise. And guess what you might have a typo or a bad link from time to time, it happens to everyone and it literally doesn’t matter. So now that we’ve established that the how is easy, and most of the struggle around the what that we all have, they are fear based and completely untrue. So now, what’s left? What makes it so hard? Why don’t photographers send emails to their list when it is absolutely the easiest way to book more sessions, when it is the easiest way to reach a list of people who have already raised their hand and said, Yes, I like you. And I want to hear from you. Photographers struggle to send emails to their list, because they don’t know what to say. And not to be rude. But that’s literally the easiest part of the process. And yet, it’s the thing that stops people from sending a regular email. So here’s a tip, I teach all of my students in all of my offers that there is huge value in email marketing, and it is an absolute necessity in business. And I want to encourage all of my students and you to take the pressure off yourself.
When it comes to email marketing, it does not have to be complicated. One way to do this is to create a formula, create an outline of what every single email will look like and what it will contain. So that the next time you sit down to send an email, it is literally a fill in the blank situation. This formula or template can literally be anything that you want. But the key is to not spend the entire email selling. Yes, talk about your offers, but also talk about other stuff that relates to your client. Are you known for houseplant content on Instagram? Perfect? Put it in your email? Are you an avid reader? Awesome. Share book Rex in your next email? Do you love to eat out at new local joints? Fantastic feature one in every email that you send? Are you constantly ordering from Amazon or have a bunch of great life hacks or homeschool your kids or travel a lot? Literally, any of those things can be a part of the formula that you use for your emails.
Yes, I realized that none of those things have anything to do with your photography business. And that’s exactly the point. Email is the best place to build relationships and connect with your audience. Remember, they signed up for your list, and that’s already a sign that they like you and want more. So stop putting pressure on yourself to perform or to be perfect or to be salesy in your emails and just be you. Share recommendations, share stories, write about your experience as a mom, write about what your wild three year old did this week, literally whatever you want. Email doesn’t have to be hard or scary it can and should be fun. So relax, take the pressure off and write an email to your list, and then put it on your calendar to do it again.
And again. And again. The more you show up in someone’s inbox, the more they get to know you, the more that you are at the top of their mind when they’re ready to book a photo session. Or when someone asks for a photographer recommendation. Your emails can be short and sweet. Or they can be long stories. They can be conversationally written or they can be extremely polished. They can be as simple as bullet points or long paragraphs. Emails can literally be whatever you want. And more importantly, they can be whatever fits your personality. So stop being afraid of sending emails, stop saying that you’re going to do it and then putting it off for months and months. Stop using them only twice a year when you’re opening doors for mini sessions.
Sending a regular monthly or twice a month email to your list is the easiest way to nurture your audience and get more bookings Period. End of story. If you have not signed up for an email provider yet I highly recommend flow desk. It’s beautiful, intuitive and super easy to get started. I do have an affiliate link in the show notes that will get you 50% off of your entire first year. Last thing in closing the next few weeks are going to be something a little bit different for the podcast. It’s going to be fun, but it is going to be different. This is my way of having a little podcast sabbatical without actually leaving you hanging and still providing you with some incredible quality content. So just trust me. If you’re a loyal listener, you are going to love what the next week will bring. All righty friends. See you next time.
Before you leave today, I have to tell you about the roundtable this is a community I built for female photographers who want to continue growing their business while forging industry friendships along the way. If you enjoy my teaching style on the podcast, then I know you will absolutely love the roundtable. In this group. You will learn practical ways to move your business for Word while finding community and accountability with like minded photographers. Every month you will get access to three pieces of content over a broad variety of topics. In the past, we have covered things like pricing, editing, goal setting, website reviews, social media, and even videos for me behind the scenes at real sessions. Members have also had the opportunity to learn from incredible guest speakers and industry leaders on a huge variety of topics.
I pride myself in giving you just enough education every month to keep you growing and moving forward, while not overwhelming you with content. Oh, and the private Facebook community is absolutely incredible. Consider it your space to ask all the things get all the support and make real life business besties. If you’re ready to join us and take this podcast relationship a bit deeper, you can head over to Sabrina gephardt.com backslash membership and enroll today.