Why Potential Clients Aren’t Responding to You

When you run a photography business, client leads are everything. However, if you can’t get potential leads to respond to you, your business can flounder. Here are a few reasons why potential clients may not be getting back to you after they initially reach out.

The inquiry process for booking potential clients can be a mystery to photographers who are just starting out. However, if done right, you have a very good chance of booking potential clients without feeling pushy or sales-y. If you feel like you’ve been hearing crickets after responding to incoming inquiries, read on for a few tips that may help increase your chances of hearing back from clients.

You’re Not Responding Fast Enough

Modern consumers expect a fast response. When you’re running a business by yourself, it can be hard to respond to clients in a timely fashion, particularly if you feel like your workload is already heavy. Quick responses are a determining factor for consumers when deciding who to hire. If a potential photography client reaches out to multiple photographers, they’ll be inclined to hire the photographer that responds to them first. Consider setting a goal for yourself to respond to clients within a specific timeframe whenever they reach out. This will help set the expectation for your current and future clients of when you will and will not respond.

You’re Giving Away Too Much Information

Another reason clients may not be responding to you is that you’re giving away too much initial information. A goal of the inquiry process should be to draw your potential client into building a relationship with you. Believe it or not, your personality adds value to the interaction, so if you’re giving away too much information initially, you may not be giving your potential clients the opportunity to get to know you before they book. Try giving only starting pricing for your services in an attempt to create more dialogue with your clients during the inquiry process. More interaction and dialogue can add so much to your already valuable services and in turn cause clients to book you.

You’re Being Too Formal

As a professional photographer, we run a fine line of both trying to be professional while also being personable. It can be very easy to fall into a monotonous “professional” manner in our correspondence when potential clients may also be looking for someone personable. Remember to incorporate ways to bring your own unique personality into your correspondence while still maintaining professionalism. Another great way to get clients to respond is by asking lots of questions about them. People love to talk about themselves, and clients are no different. Responding to their initial inquiry and wanting to learn more about your clients is a great way to generate responses, which may lead to your client booking you.

If you find that you have a high percentage of clients not responding to you after they’ve initially reached out, there is a disconnect happening. Assessing your entire process and making sure you’re cultivating a relationship with your clients can make all the difference in hearing back from them and booking them. What did you do with your client inquiries that were successful? Let us know in the comments. 

And if you'd like to learn more about the business of booking clients, check out "Making Real Money: The Business of Commercial Photography."

Lead image by geralt via Pixabay, used under Creative Commons.

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1 Comment

Matthew Odom's picture

Answering from the Commercial Photographers Perspective....

You’re Not Responding Fast Enough

Most clients understand if an in-demand photographer doesn't respond in 30 minutes or less
I was in portfolio reviews an entire day and responded to "NAT GEO" LATE that evening. Got the job and shot it. Most times the person contacting is just as busy as you! They are usually just checking reaching out to you off their checklist for the day.

You’re Giving Away Too Much Information

The relationship does somewhat start in the beginning but usually it's built on the actual shoot experience and that's usually how you get repeat business.

You’re Being Too Formal

PICK up the phone and call if they don't answer leave a message THEN send a follow-up. A phone call is so foreign these days in the industry.