How to Qualify Potential Clients Through Your Image Content
Image content posted on social is not created to simply illustrate your expertise
It’s Also A Way To Filter Out Clients Who Aren’t A Good Fit For You.
How much time do you spend on the phone with potential clients and realize within 45 seconds of the conversation that it’s not a good fit? Either your personalities don’t match, your prices are too high or the way in which you deliver your image content services doesn’t resonate with them.
Before these potential clients picked up the phone to inquire, they hadn’t the faintest idea about how you create image content for those you serve. It’s a frustrating, yet common story for professional photographers.
Time is the most important – and precious – commodity we all possess, and if you can sift out potential clients who aren’t in your wheelhouse without ever having a conversation with them, you’re able to leverage your time to work on more important matters.
So, how can you discourage most of the tire kickers, bargain shoppers and other bad fit, potential clients from picking up the phone in the first place?
USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT TO QUALIFY POTENTIAL CLIENTS
Many photographers are under the impression that they’re the ones being qualified by potential clients. The spotlight is on them to showcase not only how their specialized talent behind the camera translates to solving their client’s pain points, but also to see if there is a personality match, as well.
Contrary to popular opinion, qualification works both ways. And that’s where your social media posts comes into play. Think of your online image content as a conversation starter. It clues potential clients into the way you think, work and communicate. They not only see the type of work that you create with people like them, but also the way in which it was created.
When you create image content with this in mind, that paints a very vivid and accurate picture of what it’s like to work directly with you. Those who are still on board, awesome – they will move forward and make arrangements to get on the phone with you. If they’re not, that’s great, too – one less call that would’ve ultimately led to nowhere.
How can you optimize your content in a way that creates this important layer of qualification between you and those you serve?
WRITE IN YOUR OWN VOICE
When I first started writing content to promote my portrait business, I was deathly afraid to be myself in the posts and articles I created. I would identify the tone and writing style that other professional photographers were leveraging in their posts, and I would essentially mimic their style, figuring that was what I was supposed to do.
My belief was that if I injected my personality into these image content posts, that would turn off some potential clients from hiring me.
Exactly – better late than never to figure that one out, :)
Although it’s amazing to be inspired by the content that your colleagues and mentors produce, ultimately, you need to dig deep to discover and develop your own voice in your writing.
By writing in your own voice, I mean that you’re able to create content in a way that seamlessly sounds like the way you communicate naturally. After all, you’re a client-facing business, so you’re giving them a preview of what it’s like to work with you. The tone, pacing, verbiage and humor that exists in my social content is exactly how I communicate with friends, family members and a potential clients.
By committing to write in this way, I’ve created a well-defined line in the sand; either you cross the line because you dig what I’m saying and the way I’m saying it, or, you don’t and immediately step back and walk away.
In either case, we all win.
Don’t put out content that doesn’t sound or feel like you – ever. You’ll end up attracting clients who you’ll grow to resent because they’ve hired you based on the facade you’ve created, and the session will suffer based on the lack of rapport created between you two due to the personality clash.
Been there, done that – NOT WORTH IT!
TALK ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE YOU CREATE FOR CLIENTS
Another option to qualify potential clients through your content is by sharing the various nuances related to the experience that you offer them the moment they sign up.
- How do you onboard clients?
- Do you offer a strategy call?
- Do you have a preferred list of makeup/hair artists or do they search for referrals themselves?
- How much one-on-one time do you offer before the session?
- How do you ensure a smooth day-of-shoot?
- How do they select the final images? Do you help or are they on their own?
When your social media image content answers question like this, you’re managing the expectation-level of those who would otherwise have no idea what a photo session is like with you.
Some folks might be amazed at the level of specialized attention you offer, while others might think it’s too much or not enough.
Either way, sharing the unique wrinkles that comprise the experience of working with you will eliminate the need for them to pick up the phone and impulsively chat with you because they now know what to expect.
POST YOUR PRICES ONLINE
Although this suggestion is not directly related to content, this step is the natural next step for those qualifying your services…
…and for you to qualify them right back, :)
If potential clients take a look at your social media content and love what they see and read, their curiosity will lead them to your website to see what services you offer.
If you don’t post your rates, you’re basically giving them the green light to pick up the phone and ask you, which is what we’re trying to avoid here. But, if you post your rates right then and there, that will IMMEDIATELY qualify out the the tire kickers and bargain shoppers looking for a deal.
In the past, I used to keep my rates hidden, but now, I keep it transparent. The difference is night and day. If you’re looking to cut down on the amount of inquiries that go absolutely nowhere, create image content for social media that clearly illustrates your personality and the services that you offer as a way to filter out the people that simply aren’t a good fit. As an exclamation point, post your rates on your site to ensure that they’re serious prospects before they decide to pick up the phone.
Now, if we can only figure out a way to filter out all the annoying Robocalls that happen everyday.