10 Tips To Booking More Brides Using Skype Or FaceTime

10 Tips To Booking More Brides Using Skype Or FaceTime

Have you ever setup a meeting with a potential client, only to find out close to the meeting date that they’ve booked with someone else? If only you could have found a way to be in the same place at the same time as them to make the meeting happen earlier, they could have seen that you are clearly the better choice. With Skype and FaceTime you have that ability, and you should use it!

There have been more than just a few times in my career that I’ve lost a potential client due to circumstances that were out of my control, like them not being available to meet in person soon enough. What tends to happen is that they continue to shop around while in the waiting period and they find someone else who is perhaps more pushy and convincing in their sales pitch early on and they are convinced to book with them before meeting with me. I decided that this had to stop, so I’ve developed a strategy that has worked wonders for both local and non-local potential clients.

Most clients want to meet in person before booking with a photographer, and understandably so, but there are many cases where it’s just not possible. What I’ve found is that there are huge benefits to having a few different points of contact with a client before meeting with them, and this can easily be done through email, phone, text, and video conferencing.

Now, when I say video conferencing, you probably have a bad taste in your mouth, maybe because of situations like this hilarious video:

It’s not that bad on Skype and FaceTime, and I’m sure with a few easy setup tips you’ll find that it’s actually an amazing way to connect with your couples and show them that you mean business. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind when getting ready to Skype with a potential client.

1 - Look Good

You want to get yourself ready as you would for an actual client meeting, so represent your brand well and look nice. Oh, and yes, wear pants. You may have to get up to get something and you don’t want that awkward moment. Save the "Pajama Skype Meetings" for once you’ve established a rapport with the client.

2 - Have Good Lighting

Your clients probably won’t have good light, and you don’t want to do the same. You have a chance to make yourself look professional, and you can do this simply by placing your computer or phone in a direction where you are lit evenly by a window or other large light source. You can even go crazy and use video lighting and a soft box to make yourself look really great.

3 - Have One Color Temperature

If you’re lit mostly by natural window light, turn off the lights in your room so the camera can automatically adjust to the proper white balance so you don’t have crazy blue or orange skin. It’s better to have a dark background where you stand out and are lit well with proper color, than it is to have a light background that looks horribly discolored.

4 - Position Your Camera Well

Have your camera at a height that is at or above your eye level. This will allow you to seem less intimidating, and will flatter your facial and body features. Keep in mind that you don’t often shoot head shots of a person from their stomach height, and you don’t want double chin do you?

5 - Sit Further Away Than You Think

In order to make your clients more comfortable, sit further away from the computer or phone than you would if you were holding it or typing at it. This will make your face less distorted by the wide angle camera, and it will make you seem more inviting.

6 - Have Files Ready To Send

You’ll likely be asked similar questions every time you do one of these Skype meetings, so have your files ready so you can quickly send them the documents they want to see. That way you can talk them through it while they’re looking right at things like pricing and products and portfolio.

7 - Have Products On Hand To Show

Have albums and canvas prints, or whatever else you sell, on hand so you can easily show them what you’re talking about. They won’t be able to feel them, but it’s a great way to give someone a taste of what they’ll see in person later. If you have them on hand, you won’t have to get up and search for them and leave your clients hanging for too long.

8 - Be Personable

Start the conversation out on the right tone and talk about them. Just like you would in an in-person meeting, get them to talk about themselves as much as possible at first. Be attentive and listen carefully. Don’t interrupt, because with the slight delays you may start to build confusion (like in the youtube video above!).

9 - Get An Extension For Your Earbud Headphones

You want them to be able to hear you well, and sometimes the mic and speaker from the computer or phone just doesn’t cut it. Use earbud headphones that have a built in microphone, and test them out ahead of time to make sure that your computer is using the audio input and output from the headphones and not the computer. Using an extension (make sure it's a TRS extension so you can still have the mic working) will allow you to sit further from your computer or phone while still being plugged in. Do not use large headphones with a stick out microphone as it just doesn’t look good, even if the audio is better when you use them on World Of Warcraft.

10 - Don't Drag On The Close

Don’t let these Skype meetings drag on. Make your couple feel good, have them talk lots, build a relationship, find and dismantle any confusion, then decide whether you should try to close the deal online, or push for an in person meeting. If they’re non-local, provide them every opportunity to book with you on the spot.


Now it's your turn...What is your best tip for Skype sessions?

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I find a lot of people find skype awkward! I know I did the first few times I used it! Not knowing where to look, what to do with your hands etc haha. I found being positive and jumping right into the conversation helped put them at ease, as well as having a few things written out so if there is an awkward pause it's ready to be filled! For some reason those pauses always seem so much worse online than in person!

Put the play back window near the camera so you look at who your are talking to.

If using Skype, actually spend the few $$ to get Skype Premium (even if only for the day), so you can share your screen with them if needed. This allows you to quickly show them more images of other shoots, or to sort out a contract with them able to read the options.

Position the picture of them as close to your camera as possible - it makes you appear to be looking at them when talking.

Don't use ear buds (unless you are on a MacBook with their idiotic speaker and mic positions) they make you look dopey and un-professional. Spend the time to get your setup sorted out properly at a desk. Their is nothing wrong with using speakers, if you have the audio setup correctly. Buy a proper desk mic. If you shoot video and have an external mic for your rig, you can pretty much always use that same microphone on your computer and the audio will be better for it.

I think Google hangout let's you share your screen for free.

We don't use skype for video conference with our brides, we use http://www.bridelive.com/. I agree with some points in this article while others are just common sense to me.

Skype has its own disadvantages like for example you have to ask your client "Do you have Skype" "What is your skype id?" in our case most brides don't even use Skype so we went with bridelive which you can only send a link to your client either through a text or email and the video call will start with no additional software to download.

Well, I actually use Skype for connecting with my wife and friends online. And for business meetings, I have discovered another alternative: RHUB`s web conferencing servers. It works well.