No matter what stage of your business you are in, attracting prospective clients is an on-going effort. Whether you are just starting out and trying to get your initial set of clients or you are a seasoned business owner that is working to keep that steady stream of clients. So the question is, how do you get those prospective clients to find you?
It’s not always clear how your clients are finding you. You’re directing your efforts in all the appropriate places, but which ones are actually working? Through which channels are your clients finding you? Side note, I would recommend having a field in your contact form that asks the person inquiring how they found you so that you know what’s working and what’s not!
So in an effort to not only figure out which channels were working best for my business, but also to help you all in this area best I can, I decided to poll my own brides to see how they found me! So I turned to all my brides asking them just that! So based on their responses and what’s worked best for me over the years, here are 3 ways to get clients to find you!
Referrals. No matter how much society and social media change, referrals will always be your strongest source of new clientele. People will trust the word of a friend over anything else they see or read online. But how do you put more effort into getting referrals? The best piece of advice I can give you to ensure you have a steady stream of referrals is simply to treat people. Your work will speak for itself, but the way you treat people is what’s going to send people singing your praises. When I get testimonials from past clients, they spend most of the review speaking to how I made them feel throughout the process. This just goes to show how important it is to not only deliver a high quality final product or service, but also to provide an unforgettable experience for your client.
But this doesn’t just apply to your clients. Referrals also come from vendors, friends, online followers and more! So it’s also important to treat all those people well! Vendors are going to want to refer people that they enjoyed working with and that made their job easier! So be sure to treat them well and go above and beyond what they expect from you! One way to do this is to send them the images from the event ASAP! That’s always something they appreciate and take notice of!
Instagram. Social media is always changing and sometimes it feels like it’s hard to keep up! But it’s important to not only keep up with how the different social media platforms are changing, but also to which platforms are the most popular! And I think it’s safe to say that right now that’s instagram! This is where the majority of people are and where they’re spending most of their time.
When I polled my brides about how they found me, I could not believe how many people said instagram! And on top of that, how many of them said through a hashtag! What?? Who knew that stuff actually worked! So it’s important to not only have a strong presence on instagram, but also to be strategic! Use specific and strategic hashtags that will attract your ideal client. So for someone like me, a virginia wedding photographer, a hashtag like #virginiaweddingphotographer is going to much better than #weddingphotographer. The first will attract my specific client whereas the second would get lost in a sea of millions of posts and wouldn’t attract someone who might actually turn into a real client.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how instagram’s rules and algorithms are changing. With the introduction of shadowbanning last year, it’s important to play by the rules to make sure those hashtags are actually working!
SEO. Another obvious way that people are going to find you is through google searches! When someone is looking for vendors for their wedding, it’s likely that they will at some point turn to google for help! So having a website/blog that has strong SEO and is attracting your specific client will send the right people your way!
To ensure that the right people are finding your website, you’ll want to make sure that you are strategic in your use of keywords. Just like with your hashtags, they need to be specific and tailored towards your ideal client. The main things you’ll want to include in your keywords are location and venue. So if you shoot a wedding at Lewis Ginter in Richmond Virginia, you’ll want to include those words in the blog post title, url, image name and meta tags and basically anywhere you can put them! This way when a bride that is getting married at that venue does a google search for “Lewis Ginter Richmond Virginia Wedding” your images will come up in the search!
Also, your best tool for SEO is going to be your blog! Blog posts are full of keywords and quality content for google to crawl through. And by blogging regularly, google sees that new content is being added to your site and will rank you higher in searches as it is trying to bring fresh and relevant content to its users! So at the very least, you should be blogging all your sessions and weddings so that prospective clients can find them on the web!
So while these are not the only ways that clients find me, they are the main channels that have worked best for me. You’ll notice I didn’t mention things like advertising on TheKnot or WeddingWire or participating in bridal shows. That’s not to say that these don’t work, but they just don’t work for me. I prefer to have clients find me through more organic methods. I find that this is more conducive to finding ideal clients.
So I hope that you find these methods helpful in attracting new and ideal clients! And once those clients find you, you want to make sure that your online presence is going to make them want to inquire! For tips on how to ensure that your online presence is inquiry friendly, check out this post!
But wait there’s more! If you want to learn more about this topic and have the chance to ask questions, we are doing an Instagram LIVE this afternoon! Join me on Instagram at 1:30 this afternoon to chat about this topic and answer any questions you have!
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