4 Simple Marketing Tips to Fill Your Calendar
Congratulations, you’ve started a business — now, how the heck do you find clients to book you?
This post is dedicated to sharing 4 super simple marketing techniques to get you in the direction of finding new clients and the right clients.
Imagine having people love your photography business so much that they send all their friends your way.
It can happen and here are four strategies to get started with now!
Price yourself accordingly.
Do you currently have doubts about your business and how you’re pricing yourself? I’m excited to dive into this a bit today with you as pricing is something I’ve never been super great at talking about here on the blog because it made me uneasy suggesting to others where they should price. The reality is that every business, market, level of skill, and so many other factors go into pricing so for the sake of this post I’m going to keep it pretty general and simply speak to my own experience with the design side of my business and what that pricing journey has been like for me and what I’ve learned.
Perhaps you’re in a space where you feel like you’re either charging a bit too much, or not enough. Maybe you’re ready to raise your prices but worried that clients won’t book you at a certain price point.
I totally get it. I’ve been there, trust me. I went from charging $300 for a blog/website design to now between 2,200-4,000 depending on the package.
I know that the evolution of pricing can be super scary and I want to help you figure out what you should be charging your clients and feel confident about it.
Lesson: it’s okay to charge on the lower end when you’re first starting out because you aren’t entitled to big money because you feel that’s what you’re worth. Charging what you think you’re worth takes time, experience, and confidence in your craft.
My own price increases came after seasons of plenty of inquiries and bookings. When I started to see that people were really excited about working on their project with me, I took it as a sign that I was getting better at my skills and that it was most likely time to raise my prices. I believe in trusting your intuition, or “gut”, and sometimes you just know that it’s the right time for an increase, trust that feeling.
How can you add more value to your existing packages that entice clients to want to book you? Something I like to do with my design packages is showcase a Client Portal for ONLY my clients to access which is full of helpful resources to help them with their new website and that it is lifetime access so they never have to worry about it expiring. I also make sure to email all my past clients when new resources are added that they might benefit from checking out!
Lesson: list your prices on your website. This does several things for you, and your client. The first is that it stops people from getting in touch with you if they simply can’t afford you. With that, it cuts down the hours of communication with those who are not in your price range and finally, it keeps it honest with potential clients. I used to battle with this in the past but once I started listing my prices on my website, the inquiries that do hit my inbox are clients who already know what to expect so they aren’t shocked when I send my FULL pricing guide pdf. You can be looking at two people doing basically the same thing and one might charge $100 and the other $10,000 - and that doesn’t matter. What matters is the clients you’re targeting and how much those people value your service.
If you’re planning to increase your prices, just remember that clients paying at a higher price point expect a better experience, as they should. If you don’t have a system to ensure the client experience is on-point, you may want to consider evaluating that and fine-tuning before you raise your prices.
Keep track of all your income and expenses. How much do you NEED to make to reach x, y, and z goal?
Add perceived value to your packages
List your prices on your website
Hone in on your dream client and talk to that person.
I learned one of the biggest “business” lessons ever when it comes to branding and that it really has nothing to do with me at all. Of course I want a brand and voice that is me, but when it comes to how I speak and what I put out there, you have to always keep in check that you’re wanting to speak directly to your ideal client at all times, across all platforms. What you say should resonate with the kind of people you want to work with, and how YOU are going to add value to their lives. They are looking to you for guidance and support because they have a problem and they want to know how you can help them with that problem.
You need to get serious about your website and what it conveys to your readers. What makes you different from your competition? Maybe it’s unique or you have a special niche. Your website and other channels need to clearly explain why they should hire you. It’s a confidence-building measure to make your dream client feel totally comfortable that they’ve made the right choice by choosing you.
Be excellent at what you do. This should go without saying, but you don’t want to chase your dream clients just yet if you don’t have the skills and confidence to do what they require, and to deliver an experience beyond their expectations.
Create a kick-ass experience.
This basically goes without saying, but be excellent at what you do. If you don’t yet have the skills or confidence in your craft, it is beyond important to deliver a kick-ass experience beyond their expectations.
Here’s the deal, friends… there are probably hundreds if not thousands of people who offer almost exactly what you offer. But you know what the most beautiful thing about that is? It doesn’t matter. I can’t tell you how long it took me to research different website designers for my very first website back in 2015 and I landed on some seriously incredibly talented designers. Ultimately what it came down to for me was that I wanted to feel a connection to the person I would come to hire. So yes, there were tons of people out there who could have all helped me and probably done an incredible job, but I waited to find the right fit. So when you start to think about creating a kick-ass experience, get it out of your head that there’s no room for you, because there is.
The better the client experience, the more that person will be likely to recommend you to their friends and family. So many of my weddings have come from word of mouth from my past couples or design clients and that makes me so happy to know that they were 100% satisfied with their experience with me that they’re willing to share my name with others. I try to approach every single project I work on with the idea that this project may lead to other projects, so make them love every step of the experience working with you.
Feeling uninspired? Coming from someone who is not a strong gift-giver, start there! I personally use Greetabl for all my client welcome gifts and boy do they make my job easy!
Have a website and blog to back you up
I believe in many things as a business owner and one of those is that every single business owner should have a website and blog. On a podcast interview, my friend Ashley said it best when we were chatting about building a brand and the importance of having a website:
You could be the most talented person in the world, but if you don't give people
a good experience, they're not going remember you.
The simple truth is that in business, you want people to remember you. It takes an average of 7 visits before someone will actually book, and I definitely believe this because when I’m on the hunt for something to spend my money on, I will visit and revisit the website over and over again before I hit that “buy” or “contact” option. What impression are your visitors getting about your current website? Have you asked? If you’re scared, find some friends or family who will give you honest and constructive feedback. The truth is that a bad website is just that - bad for business. If you don’t have an online space that is user-friendly, on-brand and interactive, you’re going to miss out on leads. You have approximately 8 seconds to bring someone into your site and get them to stay.
Building a name and reputation takes time, so don’t lose sight of that. The best thing you can do is make every project you work on absolutely amazing and memorable for your clients. Word of mouth is huge, and I’m not just talking about neighbors in your community, I’m talking Facebook groups and other online forums where information is shared when questions come up about, “Where can I find services for so-and-so?” Be the person they’re tagging in those recommendations!
I heard something once at a workshop where the host said something along the lines of, “Shoot every wedding as if it were a million dollar event.” There was so much more to this and that’s probably not even what he said but my big takeaway from what he said was that it doesn’t matter the budget, every client deserves our best - always.
You got this — and don’t forget to grab a copy of my ultimate productivity power pack because there’s nothing better than streamlining your life and business and being organized!
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Emma Rose is a Squarespace website designer and photographer based out of the Pacific Northwest. She helps photographers not only stand out online, but dig deep to find the why in what they do. She strives to work with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to grow an audience, start and thrive their online business and change the freakin' world. She aims to help people create not only meaningful businesses but lives. For more about Emma, click here!
In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I appreciate the support and love you all have shown my blog and will only recommend products that I use, love, or covet. That's all!