Michael Anthony is on the show today and he has some great tips for marketing with Instagram, selling and creating wedding websites and turning inquiries into booked clients.

You Can Still Organically Reach People with Instagram

While the ability to advertise for free on Facebook is long gone, you can still reach your audience on Instagram for free by using hashtags.  There are a few ways to do this.

The first is to create a hashtag or hashtags that are unique to your business and use it/them consistently.  It’s also beneficial to identify and use the popular, relevant  hashtags that are already exist in your area.

Second, you need to interact with the people who are following you and also with people whose work you like and people you’d like to work with. It’s not enough to just post pretty pictures, you have to be an active member of the community if you want to build your following and reach clients.  Start liking and commenting on the photos that local vendors share.

The third strategy is one of our favorites.  Most couples create a unique hashtag for their event.  Make sure you know what it is and use it!  At weddings, during dinner, Michael has started uploading ten images from the day directly from his Sony A9 to Instagram and using the wedding hashtag.  He also tags vendors from the event who are likely to give him a referral (the event planner, venue and gown shop are always included because they are three vendors who will typically meet with the couple before they choose a photographer). The first time he did this, he booked a wedding, a portrait session and a family session with people who saw the images!

Wedding Websites

Michael has been using the wedding website template that is included with the StickyFolios platform to create branded wedding websites for his clients.  The sites are included in his top engagement and wedding collections and often push people to purchase these collections.  Michael notes that it’s very important to show people the site.  If you just tell them about, they are likely to think that it’s something they can do themselves. They need to see the design and  experience the features, to understand it and when they understand it,  they will want it.  The benefits of creating wedding websites for clients goes way beyond the initial sale.  Every person who visits the site is a potential client who is seeing your work, your branding and the level of service that you provide.

Turning Inquiries Into Bookings

Every inquiry that Michael receives is automatically subscribed to a DRIP campaign that sends our emails regularly for two weeks. Every few days, the person gets a helpful email related to planning a wedding.  There are also follow up sales emails to check their interest. The third follow up email says something like, “We haven’t heard back from you and we’re wondering if you are still interested in our services. If you’re not, do we have permission to close your file.”  According to Michael, the response is about 50/50. The people who are interested come in for a consult.  Once they come in, Michael’s booking rate goes up to over 90%.  As in incentive to book at the consult, Michael offers a printed, $300 gift card that can be used towards the purchase of an art collection after the wedding.

There’s so much more than what’s outlined here in this chat so be sure to tune in and hear it all!

If you enjoyed today’s show, check out Michael’s website for photographers.  In addition to in person workshops he has a number of resources available to photographers, including post production tools and e-mail templates.  If you sign up for his mailing list you will receive his Dodge & Burn action for free!