In this article:
You will learn how to carve out up to extra 10 hours in a week with automation.
Discover specific strategies for lead generation, nurture qualification.
Let me start off by reminding you on the 2 biggest pillars of a startup photography business: Sales and Marketing.
As entrepreneurs, we always start by wearing many hats. However, our time is very limited and most of the time, we can’t afford yet to outsource some of the tasks that we are doing.
Enter, automation. Your first most valuable employee.
Yes! Your automation structure can be the first ever employee you’ll hire in your business if done efficiently.
If you are a photographer, who is currently caught up spending most of your time answering inquiries and follow-ups instead of really doing what you love, then you’re in for a treat.
Let’s jump right into the nitty-gritty of how you can implement automation in your lead generation, follow up, pre-qualification and closing process.
Automation planning is as important as the actual automation itself. It helps you identify how automation can help you and your business achieve your goals.
First, you need to figure out who are the type of clients you want to work with. As a photographer, they need to be in the sweet spot of the following:
- Ready to start
- Willing to pay for the cost
- Interested in your work and style
In this format, it’s not enough that you know they’re interested, you need to further identify as well how ready they are in the process.
The goal is to eliminate the noise or simply those people who don’t belong to the sweet spot yet.
Identified Goals are:
- To automate how to collect leads
- To automate follow up process
- To automate prequalifying process for leads
After the contact has gone through all these, you will have a higher percentage of closing them because they’ve gone through the entire process and you know how serious they are in hiring you as their photographer.
Breaking Down the 4 Major Steps
Given that you are already getting the visibility you desire, you need an efficient way to turn those visitors into leads by collecting their details.
Your website already showcases your work and style. Another factor you need in the prequalifying process is to know if they are willing to pay you for the cost and if they’re ready to start.
So making your pricing as an opt-in incentive will set the right tone on how much investment they would make to work with you.
Lead your site visitor to your short form (Name & Email) to get pricing information.
They are sent with the pricing info as a PDF document.
Ask them to take action like replying to your email. If they don’t, there could be few reasons:
- They might not be able to afford your services.
- Life happens and they may be postponing their decision
- They’re simply looking for baseline data.
- Or simply, they might not be interested after the given price points.
Whatever the reason they currently have, with the right automation in place, you will still have the opportunity to re-engage and stay in touch when they’re ready.
There is money in follow up. Like mentioned previously, there could any valid reason why they were not able to respond with their interest, so it would be helpful to set up few email follow-ups.
Inside your automation, create a goal that would allow the people who took action to skip the follow-up emails.
For those who have not taken any action yet, they will go through these emails. Allow your personality to shine through on these emails and not make them sound like they’re automated.
Identify Qualified Leads
It’s time to weed out those who haven’t decided yet but letting them take a bit of extra step. This clearly depends on what it looks like for your business it could be scheduling an appointment or phone call.
As a photographer, you can allow them to schedule a time with you for a virtual tea to know a little bit more about their needs.
This is also a great opportunity for you to showcase your personality and your business ethics or how you want to work with clients.
Automate invitation to setup a call with you. You use tools such as Calendly, Acuity Scheduling or Schedule Once.
You can integrate these tools to communicate with Activecampaign via Zapier.
Add a zap that will create a tag to anyone who will book a time with you.
Create a goal to stop the follow up automation to those who has taken action.
The automation already completed most of the heavy lifting, it’s time to close that deal with the client. Your lead has been nurtured, qualified, primed and ready.
So by the time someone reaches to this point, they are pretty sure that they want to work with you.
Are you ready to create your own lead generation engine?