Offering mini-sessions is a fast way to earn extra cash in the spring and holiday seasons. It's also a great way to raise your profile as an in-demand photographer. But planning a successful event can be complicated! Between booking new clients, marketing your event, taking payments, and making sure a full day of shooting runs smoothly, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.
With spring just around the corner, we have some advice that will carry you through your Easter sessions and beyond. By tending to a few details, you can be sure to have an easy, profitable mini-session event.
Reliable booking is key to making sure there are no goof-ups on mini-session day. And online booking makes registration super easy.
Good news if you’re a Photobiz client: you already have the power to do all of this inside your website.
If your site is set up for Ecommerce (it has a shopping cart) there’s a feature called Registrations that will handle booking, payment and scheduling for you.
Don’t have a shopping cart? We’ve still got you covered.
Build yourself a Session Booking Form that includes your dates and shooting times. You can limit each choice so only 1 person can register for each time.
Make sure to capture your client’s name, address and email. You can even have them sign a model release and pay their session deposit while you’re at it.
It’s free for you to take payments online, and it’s convenient to get everything out of the way beforehand. That way you’re not juggling checks and your ledger while you’re supposed to be shooting.
It’s all about doing it FAST and making it EASY. And with a tool like this, you can take all the grunt work out of managing your session bookings.
Mini-sessions are all about speed. The faster you shoot, the more sessions you can fit into your day. One way to make sure everything runs on schedule is to prep your clients before their mini-sessions.
You could do a phone consult... or you could send them everything they need to know automatically once they register.
Your website allows you to automatically send registered clients everything they need to know to have a successful shoot. What time to get there. Where to park. What to wear. A list of special packages and products they can order from.
You can even follow up with a little “thank-you” message through our Conversations chat app. That way they’ll have an easy way to ask questions if they come up and you can get to know your new clients before the shoot.
The better prepared your clients are, the faster you can take and sell great photos!
By now you’re ready to start booking sessions! Your registration form is ready, you have your materials set up – all you need are some clients to shoot. Let’s start getting the word out about your sessions online.
First thing to do is make a quick landing page or write a short blog about your upcoming session. Put in lovely sample images and let everyone know what your theme will be. Include a link to your registration form.
Next, post a link and a good-looking graphic to your social media profiles to encourage your followers to book. This not only allows people to find and register their sessions, but it also drives more traffic to your website (excellent for SEO).
Now you can take that landing page and email it to past customers and new leads. Your PhotoBiz website allows you to send free marketing emails each month, so you can entice customers to come back and buy again.
You can of course pair all of this with any offline promotion you want to do. You can find a promotional partner to help you co-sponsor and promote your event.
Once mini-session day is over, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next. In marketing your business, it’s never too early to start thinking about your next move!
So how can this mini-session be more valuable to your business? For starters, you have a built-in lead list for when it’s time to book your next event.
Everyone who registered is automatically saved in your website’s contact list. So when winter sessions roll around, who should you send your new mini-session promo email to? You guessed it! You’re growing your customer list so you can easily send an email that will have great returns.
You can even offer targeted special deals or items for returning customers who come back to have another session. Kind of like a loyalty program, a reward for being such an excellent client.
If you want to get really “boutique” with your business, you can take extra steps to add personal touches to your marketing strategy. Hand-deliver your clients’ orders if possible. Include luxe packaging or a little freebie gift. And take the time to really follow up and thank each of your clients for choosing you as their photographer.
The conversation app is ideal for sending branded, personalized messages to your clients online. They’ll get a styled email with your logo and message. But most importantly, they’ll feel like you really took the time to give them something personal.
Call your customer by name, mention how much you enjoyed the last session, and invite them back. Mention a returning client gift if you want to offer one.
Even small touches like this can turn a casual customer into a client for life. The more value and care you put into your interactions, the more your customers will fall in love with your brand and ensure that they come back again and again, year after year.