May 12, 2015

The Top 3 Reasons You Might Be in a Booking Rut

We talked a couple days ago in this post about how we’ve been noticing on a lot of the forums that we’re part of for conferences, communities, etc that most people aren’t where they want to be with their booking goals…and they are starting to freak out! We talked in that post about the number one way to be proactive about booking more weddings, but today we wanted to go right to the root of the problem. Here are 3 of the top things that might be leading to a booking rut in the first place…and more importantly, what to do about them!

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1. Your website has old & inconsistent work on it. We see this at pretty much every mentoring session we do! I’ll go to pull up the website and people will say “well that has only old work on it, let’s go look at the blog” But here’s the problem with that: now you are counting on a potential client to a) just assume that your work has gotten better than what they see on the website (not likely to happen, they’ll most likely assume that what they see is what they’ll get) and  b) to do the work to go to over to the blog, click through the categories and actually find it. Even then, they won’t be seeing the best of the best of your work….just your best work at one wedding. How to fix it: set aside an afternoon (this afternoon!) and go through the work on your site with a machete. Get rid of everything that’s old, inconsistent, and not working. Replace it with only amazing stuff. I can’t stress this enough. Your website is your store front. If people don’t like what they see there, you likely will never get a chance to meet with them in person.

2. Your brand is not working for you. Whether it’s old, cheesy, bad font, a bad logo, inconsistent colors and fonts or something that just doesn’t feel like you at all….we need to get that fixed fast! A good brand builds TRUST. It says to the people seeing it that this company is legit. They have been in business long enough and are invested in it enough to put a polished face to the world. Justin & I just had to hire contractors for some work on our house recently and a huge decision factor for when we were doing our research was how the website looked. A polished website & brand told us that these guys weren’t just doing this halfway or on the side or under the table. They were really IN it with their business. And whether its right or wrong, we FELT better and like we could trust them more when they had their act together brand wise. And how people feel is a huge part of how they buy. How to fix it: I think the number one mistake here is to say “well I’m going to save up to do a custom brand” someday. A custom brand is awesome (we obviously LOVE ours!)….but what happens in the year that you’re saving up and then the six months to year that you’re working on finishing it? You lose all those potential clients in the mean time, and you really lose steam in your business. So our advice is always to do something like a Tonic site where you can get a beautiful, polished brand up literally over night. And that means that you are still pulling people in with a beautiful brand and trust in the mean time while you’re saving up and working on your forever brand.

3. Your pricing is off. When it comes to pricing, it doesn’t matter how talented you are or how much better you feel you are than someone else, if your demand isn’t there. Pricing is a basic economic principle that says, “does your demand match your supply?” On the basic supply-demand curve, as you increase price the demand falls off. So the LAST thing you want to do is to keep increasing your prices just to keep up with so-and-so if your aren’t hitting your booking goals. Increasing prices is not a booking fix. How to fix it: Repeat this mantra over and over: focus on what you’re MAKING, not what you’re CHARGING. For all you know, that photographer in your market who is charging more might not be booking where they need to be. Or they might be charging more but including so much product to justify that price that they are actually making less per wedding than you. Put on your blinders. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Do what makes sense for you and your demand. Now re-focus that energy that you were wasting on keeping up with the Joneses to love on your clients, vendors & other photographers like crazy and make your DEMAND go up. Because when demand goes up, price naturally follows. And so do the bookings!

PS: for more info on how to go about super-charging your “triangle offense of marketing” of clients, vendors & other photographers to get your word of mouth & demand going like crazy, check our our marketing handbook The Guide! It’s over 60 pages & basically everything we did to build our business from the ground up!

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  1. Wayfaring Wanderer (Jess)

    I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a booking rut. These are good tips! Putting on my blinders is something that I believe has helped me book more weddings this year but I also have room to grow, always!

    Is there a article about how to leverage vendor relationships? I really want to work on that this season. My first wedding of the year is this weekend! WOOT!

  2. admin

    @wayfaring wanderer There is!! Here you go: http://justinandmaryblog.com/how-to-network-with-vendors-when-you-havent-worked-with-them/

  3. David Abel

    I’m literally working on this stuff now, it’s great to get some tips to help as I go through it!

  4. ashley

    y’all are awesome! thanks for always encouraging everyone! :)

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