Using opt-ins to grow your photography Business
The whole world of 'opt-ins' can be overwhelming for photographers because client relationships seem to have an end date. Kinsey Roberts is on this episode talking about all the ways a photographer can use an opt-in to grow their list and their business.
The key that Kinsey wants you to remember is to use your list to educate your readers on your industry. It doesn't have to be all about selling and promoting. Show up and be their expert on photography!
What is an opt-in?
These can also be called a lead magnet, a tripwire or a freebie. All it means is that you are giving someone something for their email address. It could be a digital product or a discount if you’re offering a product. Another term that is used is the “content upgrade”, which goes along with a blog post or piece of content. It is additional information that goes along with the original content, or a more concise way to digest the information. If you want to use the tripwire method be sure to give them something first before asking for their email, and then give them the other information after. Cinnamon uses the tripwire method, but she gives a lot of info in the blog and extra bonuses once you sign up. There are so many different ways to give people information and getting their emails; you have to decide what works best for your business style.
Find your best performing pages and put your opt in on those pages (or create a new one around your best content). Start testing different opt ins and locations of your opt ins on your website. Kinsey has different opt ins on her website, her email signature, and even her thank-you page for her calendar schedule. If you don’t like being spammed with pop ups and opt ins, then be strategic with how you use yours. You can start with a low-pressure offer (like your email signature) and go from there. But make sure you have one that is easily accessible - there are people who want to be on your list and who want to hear from you!
Opt-ins for wedding photographers
It can be easy for photographers to assume they don’t need an email list because it doesn’t seem like it works for this industry. Kinsey agrees that relationships with the clients has a timeframe, but she believes that when it comes to marketing, the mindset needs to change. You should start thinking about them as “clients for someone”; they will either hire you or someone else or refer someone to you, but they will hire someone and you can help them out and elevate the industry. Become their expert. One example she gives is the “30 outfit choices for fall family photos” which can be changed seasonally and educates them for their sessions. Whether they book you, you’ve helped them in some way with their shoot. You can follow up with another email on posing or how to display their photos (Kinsey shares more tips in the episode - go listen to the full show!). The key to remember here is that your name is showing up in their email over and over again, whether or not they even open your emails! All of the professional brands send emails, so why shouldn’t you?
We already mentioned this before, but Kinsey truly sees the value in educating your potential clients on the process of working with you or dealing with your industry. You can walk your clients through a contract to help them understand your lingo (hint: they don’t know what you know). Take the floral industry for example, you can educate your list on pricing and seasonal florals. Kinsey recommends giving them the names of the different florals they find on Pinterest, so when they come to you, they know how to ask for what they want.
Drive traffic to your opt-in
If you’ve got an opt-in but now are ready to start getting it out there, again, you can put one in your email signature to get started. You can also use any of your social media links to drive people to that one opt-in. Don’t overwhelm them with too many options at once and don’t be afraid to give them an opt-in when they book you on your thank you page. Kinsey has an automated message on her Facebook page and includes her opt-in or blog post there as well. If you don’t have your pricing listed on your website, you can use your pricing guide as a way to get their emails and have it as a filter for all the contact requests.
Kinsey’s Opt In Shop
From her original opt-in creation, Kinsey realized there were other wedding professionals who needed opt-ins that converted. She decided to take what she had designed and offer them to other wedding pros in her shop. If you’re not ready to spend the money to purchase pre-made templates, you can use the online program, CANVA (there is a free option, but you may need the paid on for templates) to tweak and create your own. It doesn’t have to be just related to photography, you can offer an opt-in for anything in the wedding industry, it shows that you care about the whole wedding process for your clients!