Ep. 6: How to Automate Your Wedding Photography Business with Cherry Thomas
Being a wedding photographer, my summers are hectic, busy and generally a whirlwind. Of course, "busy" implies that I'm booked and in-demand so it's almost a badge of honor but really just results in being stressed out and potentially letting things slip through the cracks.
Over the past year with Dawn we've been implementing ways to automate certain communications and workflows so there is less on my plate. What has resulted is that even though this summer is even busier than previous ones I'm sailing through it a lot less stressed and with a lot more time to have a social life. Dawn's knowledge of automation and marketing, in general, has been a godsend. She's the secret weapon in my business!
Today I’m joined in-studio with Cherry Thomas, a wedding, elopement, and boudoir photographer in Santa Barbra, Ca. Cherry and I have been adventuring in Vegas for the past few days. Not only is Cherry a fabulous photographer, but she’s also a killer business owner, a great marketer, awesome with sales funnels and automation. She understands why it is so important to have good automation.
Cherry took her years of experience as a photographer and second-shooter for other photographers where she learned what to do and what not to do. The main piece of knowledge she took away is: knowing your limitations and following your gut.
How to stand out within the wedding photography business
Cherry uses marketing automation to give a good client experience before and after the wedding so she doesn’t have to rely on as much networking, which is such a big part of the wedding photography business. Knowing her limitations as an introvert, led Cherry down this path.
Cherry’s Juicy Secret to Game the System
What Cherry does after the fact helps her to get customers later. After she’s delivered the photos, she has a trigger that asks for a review a week later. Depending on the time of the year, she sends the clients to different websites like Google, the Knot, Yelp, etc. It’s important to diversify where your reviews are so that you don’t get hidden reviews.
It’s free marketing essentially.
You have to let them know and ask for the testimonial. Leaving the link makes it so easy. You made everything else easy, so why not continue the ease? It becomes irrefutable proof.
A Great Follow-Up Process
Cherry puts her pricing on her home page so that people can ask for a quote or look at the different packages. When a person opts-in for a quote, they are sent through a series of emails about the wedding process. For example, you need to get your marriage license, do these steps. It’s very detailed.
Take as much of the stress out of the transaction as possible. Not only does she include pointers on what to do, but she includes recommendations for things like her favorite dessert joint, etc.
Start with a CRM
Having a CRM is so important because it gives you the ability to store all of your contact information and gives you the opportunity to reach back out easily.
Not only is it so helpful for you, but each of your clients is getting the same experience, despite how busy you are. It’s all about consistency.
Success Because of Automation
Most of Cherry’s success comes from her automation. Automation gives her time to concentrate on the photography portion of her business. Automation takes care of the business.
Pricing on Your Website
Should you put your prices on your website? For me, it makes less sense because connecting is so important. For the wedding photography industry, it is important for a starting price to be listed.
Over the summer, Cherry’s website went down and the pricing didn’t get put back up right away. The inquiries didn’t stop, but most of the people had photography budgets under her price. Posting prices pre-qualifies people for the service.
Even if Yelp is not popular in your area, send people to review you on Yelp regardless. You will show up more and higher up on Google and other search engines.
Get to Know Cherry Thomas
Cherry Thomas is the owner/main photographer of ByCherry Photography. She is based in Santa Barbara, CA and has specialized in wedding, elopement and boudoir photography for the past 11 years. When she’s not holding a camera in her hand she’s holding a glass of wine and geeking out over sales funnels or planning her next trip.