Hi! My name is Rachel. If we’ve not met before, I’m a wedding photographer and business coach on a mission to help wedding professionals elevate the quality of clients you attract, craft a luxury client experience, by focusing on what matters and profitably automating everything else.
Today we are talking about how to attract people who can afford you and consistently work with ready-to-invest, high end clients.
As a business coach, I help wedding professionals upgrade their messaging in order to elevate the quality of clients they attract and make more while working less.
I know that a big problem a lot of photographers have is attracting people who can’t afford you, or who are not a good fit in some way. So today we’re going to talk about why that is happening and give you some strategies for fixing the problem.
Before we dive into some strategies, I want to address some mindsets that I come across a lot and some that I’ve had for myself. Let me know in the comments if you recognize any of these in your own brain.
“There aren’t any luxury clients in my area willing to pay that”
I used to think this, but no matter where I’ve lived it’s not true. In fact the longer I’ve been in business, the more I realize the untapped potential of all the markets I’ve worked in. There will always be budget clients and clients who aren’t a good fit hanging around in any market, and if you’re attracting them, but you don’t want to, take a moment to realize that just because you haven’t tapped into the high end market in your area, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I’ve helped people make 5k+ sales in the first year of their business, even when they live in a tiny non-affluent town.
Here’s another one:
“My prices are already at the top of my market, that’s why I’m not booking the people I want to book”
Again, I used to think this, but it’s really not true. Chances are, you probably haven’t reached the top of your market yet. And truly, your prices have very little to do with your sales conversion rate. That’s a tough pill to swallow! I see photographers struggling to book at ALL price points, and a photographer who starts at $4500 can be experiencing the same problem as a photographer who charges $2000.
So let’s talk about WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING and WHY.
Here’s what I want you to get:
Without a CLEAR message SPECIFICALLY designed to speak to your unique, ready to invest, soulmate clients…
You WILL attract budget inquiries, ghosters, and clients who are a poor fit.
…which means you spend a bunch of time hustling to make sales
(And getting discouraged by wasting your time with people that can’t afford you.
And the thing is that without even realizing it the words you’re using on your website, and the images you are showcasing are very likely actually repelling high end clients and speaking to people that care more about their budget than the experience.
Common issues I see:
Purposefully speaking to a budget bride
- I see this a lot. Using words like affordable, reasonable, or saying things like “I know it’s a big investment, but…” and trying to excuse the price, or “soften the blow”. If you are purposefully trying to serve a client who is on a budget, you will get clients who are on a budget, and they will be hard to sell.
Another common issue I see is NOT speaking to a specific client, and just talking about yourself.
- I get it, writing your copy is hard. I hear people say all the time, “I just don’t know how to sell myself”, and out of that idea, is born copy that just talks about you and your perspective. If you aren’t speaking to a specific client, you are speaking to nobody. Which means you aren’t reaching people, and when you aren’t connecting at the heart level with a potential client, you’re left with confused buyers and the people who are choosing who they are working with based on price. Remember, if they can’t tell the difference between you and anyone else, or if they don’t feel seen and understood, you give them no choice but to choose based on price.
Photos don’t match the story.
- Another super common issue is using photos that don’t match the story you’re telling with your brand. I see this a lot with photographers who have a beautiful portfolio already- we tend to think, showcase the best of the best of my work- yes, that’s true, BUT, if your copy is talking about candid-in-the-moment photography, and you’re showing details and very posed portraits, or if you know your client cares about the party, their family, and everyone being together, but you’re showing only couples portraits- that’s a big problem. Your story is misaligned, and visitors to your website will feel that misalignment whether they know it or not.
Everything to everybody = every price point
- As you all know, I audit a lot of websites, and so I see photographers offering wedding, engagement, seniors, family, maternity, newborn, and I see people saying, WE DO IT ALL! Here’s the deal, this is is like a flashing neon light to budget brides. Think about it- luxury brands DON’T do it all, walmart does. Luxury brands do their one thing REALLY WELL, and the right people are willing to pay for that specialized quality. There’s a subtle message included in the we do everything for everybody that says- for every price point. And that’s not what we want when you’re upgrading and upleveling your brand.
To give you an example – literally last week, I was auditing a a beautifully designed website with incredible photos,
…and even though the site was aesthetically pleasing and everything looked “normal”, it was unclear about the specific client the site was designed to attract.
…and while the images were beautiful, they weren’t in alignment with the clients she wanted to be booking or the story she wanted to tell.
There were multiple places where she was practically apologizing for having to charge money for her services…
And the homepage was split between weddings, maternity, newborn, family, and seniors…
Which makes sense because she told me she was getting a lot of ghosted inquiries, and spending a lot of time chasing leads. The people who do respond sound awesome…
……but often can’t afford her rates.
Which was obviously frustrating because she has an entrepreneurial spirit, she’s an incredible photographer, she LOVES what she does, and she knows she’s meant for more.
Now that we’ve talked through some of the reasons why you might not be reliably attracting people who can afford you- lets talk about How to Attract the right people –
If you take away one thing from today, remember this:
People will pay attention to what you have WHEN they see you are paying attention to them
So let me know: Have you ever experienced talking with somebody who is just saying stuff they think sounds nice, or sounds like what we want to hear, but they aren’t really listening or connecting with you? How does that make you feel?
I know for me, that makes me feel like I don’t really matter to them, they aren’t really listening, etc.
So this is how our clients feel, even if it’s just subconsciously when we don’t demonstrate that we are paying attention to them and their unique desires and difficulties.
To get more specific, the changes I have made that made a big difference in attracting the right clients was:
- Saying and showing the story that my ideal clients want to see themselves in. This means choosing images that SHOW the desires they have for their wedding. Writing copy that immerses them in the experience they want to have.
- Showcase what makes me uniquely qualified to meet their exact needs, what is my secret sauce, the magic element that makes me different than anyone else? How do I meet their needs, support their dreams, and ease their fears?
Whenever I’ve made these changes, immediately, I can see and feel a difference in the clients I’m attracting. They feel known, they feel seen, they feel heard, they feel safe, and suddenly the sale becomes way easier, because they have this “meant to be” feeling about me.
All this to say, your words & images MATTER more than you think – and if you are using words that speak to people who want the best for less, or people who care more about the budget than the experience of working with you, if your images aren’t painting the story your ideal clients want to see themselves in, making sales WILL BE hard.
But if you can reach your client’s hearts, show them how well you know them and speak to their aspirations and dreams, you can reliably book clients who can and want to afford you.
If you want some personalized help with your marketing and seeing where you can improve and attract the high end brides, you know that I offer free 15 minute business audits. These audits are not sales calls, they are literally there to help you get clarity on all this, and to help you take that first step forward. If you want to have a free 15 minute audit with me, go ahead and type AUDIT in the comments or you can PM me the word AUDIT and I’ll message you the link to book that right away!