One of the most common questions I get from photographers when we talk about making a solid profit from mini-sessions is, “How do I book out my minis?” I wish there was a turn-key answer to this, but mini-sessions (like most things in the photography industry) have a lot of variables. Everyone is in a different area with a different audience, so one answer doesn’t quite fit all. The good news is I’ve been running successful minis for years and have taught hundreds of photographers my methods, and I’ve found some patterns in what makes a booked-out mini-session date. Today I’m sharing 4 steps to fully-booked mini-sessions! These steps won’t be one-and-done, but they will get you started on the right foot!
- Pick a Bookable Theme
Picking a good theme for your mini-sessions is VITAL! With the wrong theme, you’ll really struggle to book. What makes a theme “bookable?” You want to make sure whatever theme you pick is either something your clients would want to hang on their walls OR is a must-have theme.
Some of my best-selling minis themes don’t have any props. Wildflowers or just a beautiful location can make a stunning backdrop for your minis! If you’re wanting to use props, make sure the theme is a MUST-HAVE theme. Ice Cream Minis probably won’t book well simply because moms don’t need professional photos of their kids eating ice cream. Something like Unicorn Minis would book out much better because that theme is a lot more desirable and special.
- Make a Plan
One of the biggest mistakes I see photographers make with mini-sessions is not giving themselves enough time to advertise! A good rule of thumb is to give yourself 6-8 weeks to advertise so you have plenty of time to book out your minis.
When minis season is nearing, I like to pencil in the dates I want to shoot my minis and then count back 6-8 weeks so I know exactly when I will start advertising. Then I set up a time before that to get promo shots that I’ll use for advertising. For more about how to get awesome promo shots, read “3 Tips For Getting Promo Shots to Advertise Your Mini-Sessions.” After that I set deadlines for myself to know when I need to send emails, post to social media, all the things. (If you want to snag my step-by-step Mini-Sessions Playbook, click HERE!)
- Market Yourself Well
I’m going to burst some bubbles here…marketing is more than just posting to your business Facebook page and Instagram stories! *GASP* If your portfolio is solid and you’ve given yourself enough time…and you still aren’t booking, it’s likely a marketing problem. Here’s an easy way to think of marketing: If you want to book more, you have to get in front of more eyeballs. Marketing = getting in front of more people!
Because of those pesky algorithms, only about 4% of your followers actually see what you post. While it’s important to continue posting to social media, that can’t be your only form of marketing. To get in front of more people who don’t already follow you, try posting in local Facebook groups, partnering with local businesses, or running targeted Facebook ads. To get in front of your past or existing clients, try building an email list! These are all great ways to market your mini-sessions in addition to posting to your social media. (For a deeper dive into all things marketing, watch my FREE marketing minis class!)
Provide an Excellent Client Experience
The best way to get clients to come back time and time again for mini-sessions is to blow them away with an excellent client experience! Whether that’s with amazing and clear communication beforehand, providing a style guide or a questionnaire, or delivering their gallery earlier than expected, do something intentional to wow your clients. (I don’t suggest including the full gallery or extra images as an over-delivery. Read “How to Up-Sell Minis Without IPS” for more on up-selling those additional gallery images.)
Are you looking to dive deeper into the world of mini-sessions? I’ve got a FREE class you can watch today: “How to Market, Monetize, and Grow Your Photography Business with Mini-Sessions!”
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Website: Rebecca Rice Photography
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