Last week, we discussed how to get more leads for your senior photography business. But, what happens after you get those leads and people decide they want to book? Today, I’m going to share with you my exact booking workflow so that you can covert those leads into booked clients! When I first started, I definitely didn’t have a good system in place. This came with time, but I think now, it’s become a part of my client experience and makes it easier for me to book more clients.
How you treat your clients through the inquiry process could be the reason someone books you or doesn’t book you. It’s important to make sure you have a system in place that educates potential clients but also gives amazing customer service. Your booking workflow truly starts way before a client actually wants to book. Creating a system for that makes answering and responding to inquiries a breeze will make your life (and your clients’ lives!) easier. Systems should continue from there to onboarding your client. This is the process that happens when a client goes from inquiry to booked. Onboarding involves things like setting up your client and his or her information, accepting payments, sending out contracts, organizing your calendar and more.
The first step in creating a workflow to onboard your clients is to write down every task you typically do for each client from inquiry to product delivery. This should include any actual task you do, any email you send out and everything in between. Once you’ve got the list, take a moment to review it and ask yourself if you struggle with any of those tasks, if any of them could be streamlined, and if there’s any inconsistencies or gaps in the process. Then, create a timeline for these items. Ask yourself when do you want certain things sent out or when during the process you need to complete certain tasks.
Next, look at your list and see if anything can be automated. This is where a studio management system will come in handy. Each CRM system does different things, some allow more automation than others and some have extra options. So just find the one that works best for you. Personally, I use Honeybook and I loved it!
Once you have a management system in place, its time to set it all up! Whether you keep your list of steps (your workflow!) on a Trello board, google sheet, or in your management software, find what works best for you! The goal is to create a consistent experience from client to client and make sure it’s easier for you to track what’s going on in your own business.
My steps may vary from yours, so that’s why I recommend writing out YOUR process. But, I hope that going through some of my process helps you see what you have (or don’t) in your own list. My process starts with an inquiry from my social media or via my contact form on the website, connected to Honeybook. so that is why I mention writing down everything you do first.
The very first thing I do is get an inquiry or a lead! These leads can sometimes come through social media or the contact form on my website. If the inquiry comes somewhere other than my contact form, I will input the client into Honeybook myself. After I get the inquiry, the first thing I do is to call them! I strongly believe that by taking the time to make a phone call and create a personal connection to my inquires!
When I am talking to the client over the phone, I am sharing my passion for what I do, asking them what they are looking for and sharing with them how I can help provide that for them. I briefly give them an overview of the process but I let them know that I will be following up with a detailed email that gives them tons of information as well as the available dates and a beautiful inquiry magazine to read over at their convenience.
After the phone call, I go into Honeybook and send the inquiry my senior session information email. Inside this email, I tell my potential client how much I enjoyed chatting with them on the phone and how much I would love to take their photos. I then give the the information which includes a link to my Inquiry Magazine. I also include a few available dates and let them know that my dates get booked quickly. You can also just send a scheduling link via Honeybook or sites like Calendly.
By communicating through Honeybook, I can keep track of everything!! It’s amazing and I love how quickly I can see where everyone is! Once the client chooses a date, the next step in my process is to send out the invoice and contract. Then, when I receive the payment and completed contract, I send out an email with the senior questionnaire. This is such a vital part of the process because it allows me to get to know each of my clients and make sure I am providing the kind of shoot they want.
After the questionnaire is completed, I send out an email to schedule the wardrobe consultation. Next it’s time to create the clients welcome packet! I think clients love getting things in the mail so I send some goodies their way! PS, you can actually get my exact welcome packet with every piece included as templates that you can customize to your brand HERE!
Throughout the process, I have emails set up to automatically send out for reminders so I am constantly communicating with my clients. I have found that no communication breeds anxiety. So, the more I can communicate with them, the better! They’re much more prepared and ready for their sessions that way.
A lot of this workflow can be automated within Honeybook by setting up a workflow. You can tell Honeybook to send out an email or send out a questionnaire once a previous task has been completed. This allows you to be a little more hands off so you can do other things required in your business. You can even create tasks for yourself after the session so you don’t forget what you need to do outside shooting and editing.
I hope this helped you realize that it’s important to figure out a process for your inquiries! It’s not as scary as it sounds and it’s a great way to make everything a little bit easier for your business!
PS. You can also get a copy of my exact inquiry email that I send out after that first phone call to all my leads. Download it now HERE. And…. Don’t forget if you are interested in Honeybook and want 20% off, you can get that here!
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