The Best Booking Strategies for Boudoir Photographers
When I first moved to St. Louis, I knew no one. Literally not a single soul. So to book out my photography schedule, I had to get really creative. I had to put myself out there, figure out who I wanted to photograph, and yes…being bold!
Was it scary? A little. But I’m glad I went for it because now I have repeat clients I LOVE working with. And most of my new ones are referrals.
I tell you all this to tell you that if you’re low on bookings because you’re just starting out, or you’ve recently moved, I want you to know that it gets better.
And hey — lucky you. You have someone to learn from instead of starting from scratch and figuring it all out on your own!
So today, I want to break down a few booking strategies that I think can help. These are things I see photographers do all the time, and even use in my own business.
And while there’s no one right answer (because it all depends on YOUR business), I really do think that these strategies can help you find more of the clients you’re looking for.
Let’s dive in!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
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- The Booked Out Photographer Masterclass: https://tracylynncoaching.com/booked-out-photographer-registration/
Booking Strategy #1: Consistently Book New Clients
This booking strategy is pretty common, especially for brand new boudoir photographers. And maybe it sounds a little exhausting, but personally, I LOVE it because it can really help you get your business off the ground.
And the sessions are super easy and repeatable. You get to photograph the same session over and over again since the clients are new and don’t have these photos yet.
Listen, when you’re booking and shooting 80-100 sessions a year, you’re going to run out of creative ideas and fall back on your tried and true poses.
Burnout is a real thing, no matter how much you DON’T think it will happen to you! And repeating will be a huge relief and a great way to combat this.
Plus, you get to meet new clients and make new friends!
Booking Strategy #2: Retaining Repeat Clients
Booking clients you’ve worked with before is great if you have a current client list to market to. This strategy will keep you from constantly searching for NEW clients (which takes a lot of work and completely different marketing strategies!).
But the hard thing is, you have to be creative in different ways so that you can have those repeat clients book again.
Most clients aren’t just looking for boudoir photos multiple times per year like they are with portraits. So you have to give them a reason to book.
Maybe that looks like different types of sessions each year. One of my coaching clients does a great job with this by hosting different types of mini-sessions, which keeps her ideal client’s interest and gets them excited about a new session.
This can be a con, however, if you don’t really consider yourself a creative person. Constantly planning out new sessions can take it out of ya!
Booking Strategy #3: Why Not Both?
Finally, we have the combination strategy, which is actually the one I use.
And it works well for me because I’ve hired an associate photographer, and she loves to be creative, so it’s the perfect mix (I prefer doing the planning/business side of things).
But how do I get those clients to book?
For repeat clients, I use a Black Friday or semi-annual session sale. It’s a great chance to remind them of how great their session and photos were, and helps entice them to book again.
It also keeps me from needing to be creative and come up with something new each year. These repeat clients already know they like boudoir photography, and like working with me, so if they want to book another session but maybe aren’t sure if they should, the sale can help them book!
And as far as new clients go, I do get them from these sales too, but the majority are repeat clients. Other than that, most of my new clients come from referrals.
You Need to Get to Know Your Clients, Too
I do want to caution you that no matter what booking strategy you use, you have to get to know your ideal client. Because you can’t get people in the door if you don’t know WHO you’re talking to.
Where are they hanging out online? Can you show up there?
If you want them to actually book, you need to know exactly what she needs to hear before she books a session, and you need to know what she wants from each session.
Is she doing this for herself after a divorce? Is she doing this as a wedding present for her groom? How you talk to those clients will be VERY different, and that’s why it’s important to know WHO you’re targeting.
Knowing this is the MOST important part of your marketing strategy and what’s ultimately going to help you book out your schedule.
Get Fully Booked Out in 2024!
So how do you know which of these booking strategies is best for your business? Well, to be honest, it depends on how you want to work.
Do you LIKE being super creative every session or are you like me and want to have a repeatable session for every single client?
Because the answer to this question is going to really make a difference in the strategy you choose.
But if booking clients and thinking about your marketing strategy feels exhausting, then I want to invite you to watch my FREE on-demand masterclass, the Booked Out Photographer!
In this masterclass, you’ll learn the three things you need to fill your schedule full of sessions you LOVE to photograph without paid ads, model calls, or a gimmicky marketing strategy.
And the best part? It’s free and less than 30 minutes long, meaning you don’t have to take your entire day to watch it!