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Family Preparation

Lesson 7 from: FAST CLASS: Get Started with Lifestyle Family Photography

Elena S Blair

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Lesson Info

7. Family Preparation

Lesson Info

Family Preparation

Like I said, I've been kind of, I know that I'm sort of reiterating a lot of things but I think that this is all very important. So before the client even inquires, the experience has already started. So your website should sort of be like an employee. It should be set up so that it really answers all of the questions that your clients are gonna have, you kind of have to get into their mind and know what they're gonna say. So by the time they actually take the time to hit that contact form, and get in touch with you, this experience has already started. So we're already a little bit educated, they already know me a little bit, they already know what to expect, and so it all has already started. So we have to really think about that, this is a continuous thing that we're gonna set up for them. Okay, so let's talk about that experience. Let's talk about family preparation. So like I said, one of the things that I see people complaining about is, you know, my client did this, my client di...

d that, and I believe that that is because there wasn't enough client education. So we're gonna talk a lot about client education. First and foremost, you have to educate your clients. They should know exactly what to expect from start to finish when they're working with you. And that is everything, from timing to when you're going to be emailing them, I mean, every little detail, okay? And this starts with inquiry. So they've gone through your website, maybe they've stalked you on social media a little bit, maybe they've even talked to a friend and now they're like, okay, I'm gonna reach out to this person and inquire. So even in my contact form, I tell them what they can expect and I set the tone. And the biggest thing that I do in my contact form is I ask them questions. So I want them to know, right away, that I am the expert and that I am in control. And I see this happen a lot, is that the people allow the client to kinda come in and be like, well, these are the dates I want and this is the kind of photo I want. And the reason that's happening is because you're not setting the tone as the authority figure. You're not saying like, hey, this is my business, you and I have connected now via my brand, now let me tell you how this is gonna go, okay? So the contact form is the first point of education. So in that contact form, I speak my "Why," yes, even in my contact form. I tell them, this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship but I will never ask you to do anything that you aren't comfortable with. However, we're gonna have a meaningful evening together, where we're gonna play out there. It's very (mumbles) that ooey-gooey emotional stuff, I'm speaking to them right away. And then I asked them what kind of session they're inquiring about, because I do do maternity, newborn and family, so that now I know what kind of person they're. And then I asked them how they heard about me, and that's it. I don't ask them when they wanna shoot, I don't ask them. I don't give them a whole lot of information that I want them to see. That's why, send me the email, tell me a little bit about what kind of shoot they want and then I'm gonna start the education process. So I really don't wanna invite a whole lot of things communication yet. Okay, so they inquired, you guys are with me? And I'll try to slow down here, so I got that email from them, and now I have a standard email, I have an email template that I send to every single person who inquires. I'm a huge template person, I'm a very big advocate of making sure that your time is being well spent, okay? If you're sitting there writing a personalized email to every inquiry you get, you're wasting your time. It should be template, but you can make your own, it doesn't have to be anything that I do. If you're doing something repeatedly make a template. So in that initial email, I thank them I speak my "Why," yes again, I know that this is repeated but when they inquire, I say, thank you so much for your interest, you know, I talked about that, and then I say, family photography is my absolute passion. I don't have it memorized but I explain to them that this means something to me. And then I realized this is a personal experience to choose a photographer and I thank them for even considering me. Then I educate. So I'm not inviting them to book a session just yet, I do tell them what dates are available, but I want first, before they actually confirm, them to be fully educated so that there're no questions. Notice how I invite them to view my available session dates. You don't want a client saying, I'm free on September 2nd, this is when I want my session. This is what I say, here's my dates, you can pick yours, and they will pick one, they will pick one. You're in control, you're are the authority figure. You guys are with me? Sorry, I know this is kinda (mumbles) Okay, so how do I educate in this email? This is your opportunity. This is when you're starting that education, okay? This is how you filter out the people who do not want your work. Cause sometimes you're gonna get that random inquiry who saw like one picture that you've ever done, didn't do any research and they inquire and they might have booked and it wasn't a good match. So you really wanna make sure that it's a good match. First, I send them to my price page. First and foremost, my price page is public on my website, you guys, by the way, so feel free to check it out. No secrets, I don't hide anything, I'm a pretty transparent person. So even my price page talks about the session experience and my "Why," again, here I am talking about that over and over again, but it does. So before I actually tell them what the price is, there's a part at the top where I say, this is what you can expect from your session, it's gonna be laid back, it's gonna be fun, it's gonna last about this long. And then I go into why I price myself the way that I do and what they can expect from that price, and then I go into the pricing. Why do I call the price page? Some people are really held back on a price page cause I don't want them to book me if they don't wanna pay a price. So this is great. You're gonna filter out a couple people right here with your price page. Then I give them a blog post link. So these are all links within the email. I say please feel free to go check out this blog post. And I will send them to a blog post that I feel like is a really good representation of my brand. Blog posts are a great way to connect with your potential clients. Because they see, you know, when they're looking at your portfolio, they're looking at just a couple images, maybe from a couple of sessions or whatever, but when they look at a blog post, they're feeling that experience. So here we are in an experience again. And when I blog, I want anyone who lands on my blog to really feel like they want that experience for their family. I'm gonna read to you just an example of what I might say on my blog, just kind of like I did for the social media posts because I just want you to know this is actually what I do. I'm very like, why, this is what I do. Okay, I'm not afraid to play on people's emotions. In fact I think you should start doing that too already. So this is a blog post, I don't have the pictures of them. So I say, I believe that those that come into our life come for a reason. The reasons may never be revealed but I do believe in this. I met this family when they were expecting this sweet little angel baby. They laughed easily and clearly enjoyed each other's company. It was one of my favorite maternity photo shoots to date. Then I had the pleasure of capturing their sweet baby girl at home when she was just a few weeks old. And it was an absolute pleasure to capture them again, when she was just about a year old. When I spend time with his family it makes me feel like I am hanging out with old friends. Nearly every session feels like this for me. This job brings so many beautiful souls into my life and for that I am so grateful. I hope your new year is off to a great start. Thanks for being here. So just speak your "Why," get emotional, get touchy-feely. It works, it attracts people who're going to appreciate this kind of work. Okay, so I send a blog link to every potential client. I want them to have multiple times, to interact with my work, to make sure that this is actually what they want. Notice how I stay in control. So I keep talking about that. But people are like, gosh, this is kind of crazy, you're not giving them any choice, but it's because I want them to know that this is what they're gonna get. So I think that the session experience actually ends up being better for both of you when you're totally in control. Because when you're not, what happens is, you're gonna get these people that are coming that have all of these ideas. I never have anyone come with like a Pinterest board, or anything like that, that doesn't ever happen for me. Because I tell them, I'm the artistic director, this is what we're doing. I am gonna take care of you. I am gonna give you a great session experience, you don't have to worry about a thing. And so it ends up being great for both of us, right, because then it becomes like a win win. I tell them, like I said, exactly what they can expect. So in that email, there's no question what is gonna happen with a book a session with me. So it just eliminates any of that guesswork, it eliminates any of that, oh my gosh, my client showed up and they wanted me to use these props. We talked about all of that, it's all there for them, okay?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Client FAQ Questions
Family Session Educational Experience
Family Session Prep Guide
Pricing Worksheet
Session Prep Example Email

Ratings and Reviews

Katie Rivers

This was a great class! So much great information packed into such a short amount of time. I also LOVE Elena Blair. I would love to meet her after taking this course. She is so confident and fearless in her work and that is so inspiring!

Brooke Emery

Student Work