Is there a secret to booking more weddings? Today’s episode is a replay from the early days of the podcast, when I shared my insights into simplifying your booking process. I’m detailing how you can streamline your booking process so that more dream couples hire you today.
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REVIEW THE SHOW NOTES
Where to adjust on your website (2:59)
The caveman highlights (5:00)
About your “about me” (6:43)
Optimizing your contact form (9:12)
Presenting your price list (11:51)
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Hey friends, I’m Dan molar, and welcome to the focus photographers podcast where photographers gather, I’m working on recording a bunch of solo episodes for you, as well as several new podcast series. But until then, I’m diving back into the archives and bringing you some of the highlights from the early days of this podcast. So whether you’re a new listener, or a longtime listener, they are worth a listen or every Listen, thanks so much. I hope you enjoy this, and I can’t wait to bring you some new content soon.
I want to talk about this whole idea of simplifying your booking process. So for wedding photographers, you know that there is a pretty significant amount of steps that can happen between when somebody gets on your website, and when they actually hire you, right. And I think the less steps that are in that process, the better right, the more the less hoops that you have to make somebody jump through or go through, the quicker that you’re going to get to that point where you decide if you’re a good fit or not, and that they end up booking you. So a photographer friend of mine came to me and said that he was barely booking anything. Actually, I think his exact words were, even when I get leads, I don’t get consults. And if I do get a console, I don’t get a booking. And I think this is I think naturally we want to blame it on the industry. We want to blame it on new photographers, we want to blame and all these things. But that’s definitely can be part of it.
Like I think that we’re in this weird place right now with whether you think the pandemic is over or not, you know, 2020 was tricky, because there were so many weddings that got postponed. And then a lot of couples tried to have their wedding a 2021. And that got a little bit weird. And I think that so many couples got it was like squeezing a hose, right? Like you squeeze the hose full of water, and then all sudden, all the water comes out. I think that’s what happened. And then the water or the leads are sort of drying up a little bit because maybe so many people actually got married. And there’s this like little bit of a lull or something that’s happening right now. So that is possible, Surely all those things are possible. But also things that that anything that’s under your control that you can handle that you can do to refine that process you absolutely should do. There’s a saying, and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna butcher it. I think it’s like a Greek proverb or something. And it says, or it goes, it is vain to do with more, what can be done with less, in this whole theme of this short episode is looking at your booking process and simplifying it.
And I’m gonna be talking through what I just did with this photographer in two specific areas. Because when he contacted me, my brain immediately went to okay, what are the obstacles in his process that are keeping couples from booking him, it is really easy to complicate the process when a couple makes it to your site, and when they want to book you. So here’s how I streamline that process. The first stop was his website, and there’s two places that I looked, his website is beautiful. It’s got great photographs everywhere. But it didn’t have a way for the couple to latch on to him as a person. He he’s a very simple laid back guy. So he doesn’t have to be overly loud. It doesn’t have to make this like grandiose public statement about how he wants to be friends with people and friends with couples, which is kind of what I say. But anyway, after that main header slideshow, the about me section was like three or four sections down on the homepage. And I think that was an issue because like couples are going into websites and all the photos just blend together. Yes, some photos might stand out. You know, once in a while a couple might say wow, I really love this picture on your website or whatever. But I think that it’s very helpful after those initial photos to put a name or a face to the name. And something about yourself that also allows people to just latch on to you quickly.
So the first thing that we did is we moved that section that about me section up from that third position, right up to the second position. So you’ve got like main header slideshow with photos that are really pretty. And then the next section below that was all about him. And I’m willing to bet that if you were to go to your Google Analytics right now, that or your hot jar or whatever it is that your about me page is in those top three pages that every single person who comes to your website hits almost every single couple that comes to my website goes from the homepage to the About Me page second. And it’s because in my menu, it’s like the top in the as you scroll down, it’s the second and I think the fourth section on my website. So there’s actually two sections on the About Me because so much of my experience with couples is about my connection with them. He’s not like this. He’s got like I said, like much more laid back personality but we’re still looking for that little thing that beyond photos. Somebody might say, Oh, I have this thing that I can connect with them immediately on. I want to find out more about them right?
And one of the ways to do that, that I love is called the caveman or caveman highlights. I’m a huge fan of like, in addition to your about me blurbs or like the long thing that you write in your about me, you have these like super simplified, super meaningful words that you single out and put them into a sentence. Right. So on my own website, it says, husband, Super Dad times three home project lover, wannabe chef, extreme Empath and blind optimist. There’s a lot about me, but on his I looked at his about me and I came up with like, four or five words that basically described him and we came up with this. Philly family weddings, Sixers. Yep, that’s about that’s me. Right. So when you get to his website after that first page there after that first header at the top, you go to that next part, and it’s a photograph of him with his kids and his wife. And it just says, Philly family weddings, Sixers. Yep, that’s me. And it’s one of those ways to just get people to latch on and find out something about you or something that you can instantly maybe get that connection with them beyond the photos, right? So many amazing talented photographers out there are creating amazing work and amazing photos. And I think the next thing is going to be how quickly can you get a couple to jive with you and connect with you and make you feel like that you see them or that they connect with you immediately.
The next thing on there, so that was on the front page, we actually are taking that same caveman worst set of words and putting it on the top of the About Me page. So once they get there, they’re hit with it again. And the next change we did was really about his about me, right? So he’s very laid back, very chill. And the first sentence actually said, I don’t like talking about myself, but I have to in this circumstance, which takes down a totally different path. So we remove that. And since he’s a single photographer outfit, and I see this all the time, you’re a single photographer, you hire second shooters over, there’s no associates,
but you say our or us, right? If it’s a single photography outfit, it’s you sell you just say me, right? And I think, you know, he’s on his website and initially said, you know, about and his name? And I said, No, no, let’s change that, get your name out of there and put about me. And then you can put like, you know, find out more about you know, your name, or whatever it is, you are selling yourself. And I think if you’re a single photographer, outfit, it is all about you and getting people to not literally but fall in love with you as a person and find that connection. As we move on here. I think the key to remember is that your website’s only job, in my opinion, is to get couples to fill out your contact form or contact you somehow, all of your messaging, all the pages should all have something that points to your contact form or a way to get in touch with you. Having FAQs and all that stuff is great for people who have different personality types, especially that really loves to like no nitty gritty details and all that kind of stuff. But the map, the vast majority of people are going to come to your website, take a look at a couple of pictures. And they want to see if you Jive as a person, right? They’re asking themselves two questions. Do I like these photos? And do I like this person that is it? Or do I think this person can I can get along with them? And the quicker you can answer those two questions, the more likely you’ll be to be able to get them to contact you and then get them into consult and hopefully book them. So coming back to come back to me right now. Because if you’re multitasking, this, I’m throwing a lot of stuff at you. And let me just really drive this point home that the less obstacles you have, the less steps you have, the less stuff you have for people to do in the process, the easier it will be for them to book you. And this doesn’t mean that you don’t have that you’re a robot and you take out all of the personality of your website, it just means you have to be really intentional with the steps that you do put in there.
Right. So the conventional wisdom about contact forms is that they have to be super simple. You have to just get somebody through it right? Well, I’ve optimized the rest of my website to get people to that contact form. But I also have this highly personalized experience that I take couples through and so my website reflects that. And so my contact form is long, and it has questions on there that are require some thought for people to put it in there. And I think that like I said, the conventional wisdom is that you want this person who’s on a break at work to be able to fill this out wall in the bathroom or something like that. Right. And for me, I tried that I tried and I did not connect I did not have the same connection with couples I did not have wasn’t able to answer their questions as well as when I wasn’t able to ask them more meaningful questions. So I went back to my contact form and doubled down and put some long questions on there. They’re like, who’s the most important person to you and why? And you matter and your story is important, would you share a little bit of it with me. And so that creates a filter for me to be able to, for me to be able to see if couples are going to play my game and, and give me some information. And I also realized that a lot of other people are looking to just collect information on your contact form. And I think this is the biggest key that I wish that people would hear me out on contact forms. Contact Forms are not for getting information they are for starting a conversation. If you think of somebody filling out your contact form as you just getting some information and then you sending them your your priceless back and trying to get them to respond to you, you’ve already lost the moment you realize that it is a conversation. And that asking some important meaningful questions that allow you then to continue that conversation that gets people so massively invested, like the amount of times that I get paragraphs upon paragraphs, in my initial inquiry form. It’s very regular. And I love reading people’s stories. And that gives me this really amazing, I don’t know stuffing my more arrows in my quiver, so to speak, to be able to talk to people on a more personal connected basis, right when we get on that console. As you’re looking at your website, what are the areas that you’re blocking people or setting up obstacles for people that are keeping them from just going to do this one task of getting to your contact form. So that’s this like first section.
The first section is like I went to his website, I looked at all these things, moving the you know, front page around, adjusting some of the copy a little bit to get rid of the all of the hours and the US isn’t replacing them all with me. And then the next section was really his price list. And I was surprised that is priceless was so long, it was like 10 pages long, there was a welcome page, some testimonials pages, some pages about albums, another page about his beliefs on like, why full day wedding coverage and the necessity of a second photographer, there was also an FAQ page then there was the pricing page. And then there was a closeout page I think after that, and again it was just so much information and and there wasn’t even any kind of text hierarchy it was all just like a header and then big blocks of text. So if you can imagine we removed it all I got him to just take pretty much all of it out. And the priceless now is very simple and very streamlined. It has a title page, a page describing why all day coverage and second photographer and additional photographer is included in every package and FAQ page and the what’s next page. I’m actually still trying to get him to remove the FAQ page because I think that information should be on his website not creating another thing for the couple to read and consider and all that stuff when you’ve already got him to this point of looking at the prices. The other thing was he has four packages and they were an order on the original price list.
They were an order from least amount to most and we switch those around for the highest one to be on the top and then going down. That’s just a very general rule that it’s easier to take people up or down in price where they say oh my gosh, this is $8,000 and then all sudden, you know 6500 doesn’t look as bad versus if you’re starting at you know 3500 jumping up to 6500 Feels like a lot more. So anyway, we move that around. I’ll put the tallest one or the most expensive one at the top and then went down. If you’re looking at your pricing menu, I’m not going to talk about pricing specifically although there is I will go into that another day because I’ve tried out for package I’ve tried out a bunch of different ones and I’ve come back and had been settled on this two package system which I started in like 2013 I think it was and I went away from it a bunch but I came back to and I’ve been using it since 2017 and it converts better than any of the packages that I that I’ve created before or any of the prices have created before. But as far as the laying out your actual template, this is my suggestion and this is my ideal kind of price list template and this is what I use right now in my priceless template that I’ve been using. Like I said for I don’t know seven or eight years now. It’s very, very simple. And it is creating the best case for why somebody should hire me once they get to my prices so the first page is like a hero shot with your business name on it that’s it the second page is a one to two liner from a review written about you with a photo of that couple rights something that just like pounds the pounds at home that you are different or or something about you not about the photos not about anything else. And the one liner that I have on my think is it’s from this bull Camille and Greg and they said he’s so much more than a photographer right which which really Think simplifies what I’m all about.
And so that is on like the second page with a couple of Camille walking down the steps to see her dad at the bottom, and she’s bawling her eyes out and all that stuff. Again, all of that kind of ties towards me. The third page is a full review with a full picture on the page with like the text, maybe overtop of it or something, but a full review and a picture of that couple. The fourth page is a single page pricelist, everything has to fit on that one page. Now before everybody says like, Oh, what about albums this and albums that all that stuff can happen later. And again, I think when I go into actual pricing and simplicity of it, I’m like hyper minimalist, try to keep things very simple. And one of the core beliefs I have about pricing, which again, I’ll get into later, is that couples will be naturally willing to spend more with you throughout the process after they’ve booked you. And so I give couples what they need to know at the time of booking, and then I work with them throughout that process and give them other buying opportunities. So all of your pricing needs to fit on that fourth page that everything on that page. The fifth page is kind of like a tie all together where they’re, they’re just hit with a mishmash, I have it as a grid of nine, there’s like nine cubes that’s alternating between photos, and, and text of like one liners about me. And then the very last page is just a thank you page or kind of a what’s next page.
So if you actually if you want to see this, you can totally email me, I’ll be glad to send it to Daniel at Focus photographers.com. If there’s anything, I feel like I just gave you guys a ton of stuff here. If there’s anything that you take away from this, it’s just to simplify, right? All the stuff that I went through about that other photographer was just about getting rid of the noise, and things that we’re unclear and his message. To get couples just to focus on this one thing of the website, converting to just the contact form the contact form to getting a reply in an email and you sending them the package list. And then that package list, allowing couples either to book you write from that practice or set up a console. Those are the sections that you need to focus on. So I hit you with a lot of different stuff here. I hope that this episode is very helpful. It’s more tactile things I’ve been on like kind of a mindset kick lately just because that’s where I’ve been at. But I hope you guys really enjoyed this one. And I’m so thankful that you were here on this journey with me again, you know, check out that newsletter, the focus five, go to focus photographers.com slash newsletter, check that out and be hitting you with some more like tips like this that are very succinct. Then when you get on my email list, I’ll also be able to send you some freebies and some gifts just for me. Thank you so much for being here with me today. Make it a great weekend. Crush your wedding this weekend and I’ll talk to you later.