If you’ve been in the wedding industry for any amount of time, there’s probably one term you’re all too familiar with, and that might even bring about some feelings of frustration. That term is “being GHOSTED!”
For those of you who don’t know, “ghosted” is when you’re contacted by a prospect and begin exchanging a couple of emails (or several!), only to never hear from them again. It can be the worst! If you’re like many photographers out there, you might have experienced being ghosted more times than you care to admit. Sometimes it can feel very personal, because we as artists tend to invest a lot of ourselves into our work and what we do for our livelihood! Today I’m sharing some ways that you can avoid being ghosted by your prospects and get more responsive leads moving forward!
The most important thing that you can do to avoid being ghosted by prospects is to qualify your leads ahead of time. If you’re ensuring that the couples who reach out to you are mostly a good fit prior to the initial point of contact, you’ll spend less time on prospects who end up dropping off the face of the planet! Here are some quick and easy ways to qualify your prospects before their first inquiry:
- Share about your personal life on your website to attract like-minded couples – you want your prospects to decide before contacting you whether they can see themselves hanging out with you!
- Ensure your galleries showcase your most recent work with a consistent shooting/editing style – if you were shooting dark and moody two years ago but now you’re light and airy, your website should clearly indicate that.
- Show your pricing – at the very least, list a starting point – this will help deter prospects who can’t afford your work.
RESPOND TO LEADS IN A TIMELY MANNER
Nowadays, couples are all too used to getting instant information whenever and wherever they want it. In this fast-paced digital age, I recommend following up with all of your prospects as fast as possible (and no later than 24 hours). The average couple is going to reach out to 3-5 different vendors, and it is hugely beneficial to be the first one to reply! If you take two days to respond, chances are another vendor has already set up a consult or even made a sale!
GIVE THEM A REASON TO CONNECT
When I send emails or talk on the phone, I’m always asking questions. If I am still in the sales process, every piece of communication is going to end with me essentially giving them a reason to reply. For example, I might send a questionnaire requesting additional details, or ask more about their venue, or whether they would like to start discussing engagement session dates (sidetracking a bit…that one is closing the sale, folks!). Give your prospects a reason to continue connecting with you rather than just sending pricing over and ending it there!
ALWAYS SET THE NEXT STEP
Couples want to be led in the sales process, so it is important that you explain the next step. For example, do you want them to fill out a questionnaire? Do you want to schedule a phone or in-person consult? Be explicit about what they should to next to avoid a dead end in the sales workflow.
AVOID BEING GHOSTED BY FOLLOWING UP
This might be the easiest thing you can do to avoid being ghosted by couples. I can’t begin to tell you the number of photographers who have told me that they are hearing crickets after receiving an initial inquiry, only to stare blankly at me when I ask if they’ve even followed up! Couples are busy – some are in school or working stressful jobs. Add wedding planning on top of it, and it’s easy to understand why you might not hear back immediately from a couple. Be persistent and follow up with your leads at least two times. The worst they can say is no! (And I’d much rather get a “no” than hear nothing at all!)
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
This won’t help you avoid being ghosted, but I feel like I need to put this in here…DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. No matter what you do, you’re going to get inquiries from couples who may seem like the perfect fit, with a dream planner, at the venue you’ve been wanting to work for years…only to never hear from them again after just a few emails. You might have even met with them in person, which stinks even worse. At the end of the day, we have to remember that we can’t put the same level of professional expectations we have for ourselves upon our prospects. You might consider yourself an artist, but the truth is that you are in a sales position and business is ultimately business.
Rather than getting frustrated and sulking over “the one that got away,” invest your energy into creating a funnel that converts prospects into qualified leads who are EXCITED to hear back from you! This is the best way to avoid being ghosted and increase the amount of solid bookings you get moving forward!