What to do when your mini sessions aren’t selling

For Photographers

Today I’m sharing my answer to a question I received from my “Mini Sessions Made Easy” students in our Facebook group:

“I decided to do two days of minis with a few slots each. One of the days filled up super fast (yay!), but my October 1st date still has three slots and I don’t know how to get them filled. I did an email blast, posted on Facebook and Instagram. Any tips?”

Let me start by saying this…I’ve been there.

The first couple of years that I began offering seasonal mini sessions I found it taxing to get all of my session spots filled. It wasn’t until after I implemented my current system that I teach in my “Mini Sessions Made Easy” masterclass that I started to see quick bookings and ultimately, quick sell outs.

While I believe that the most success for selling mini sessions will come from what you do to set yourself up BEFORE you do a launch, there are several things I would do if I was in the middle of my booking process and needed to sell more seats. 

#1 – I would not share my mini session details and booking link publicly. 

One of the biggest secrets to selling mini sessions successfully is to have an email list of warm leads. 100% of my mini session bookings currently come from my email list. However, before I was at the point that I could get a sellout within minutes and had to enact plan B to get there, I wouldn’t allow anyone to access my mini session information without first giving me their email address. I would post consistently on Instagram, etc. that I still had spots available, but instead of posting the booking link, I would prompt my audience to DM me to get the information. Once in my DM’s I would prompt them to give me their email address so I could send them the information.

Even if I wouldn’t get a booking from those people that I added, I have now captured a lead that I can put my offer in front of for future launches.

#2 – I would write a blog post. 

Instead of just sharing my photography in a blog post about my available mini sessions, I would take the time to write something that would be helpful to my target audience of who I’m trying to sell to.

A few ideas for topics to write about:

  • What to wear to your family session
  • How to prepare for/what to bring to your family session
  • Tips for preparing for your branding photo session
  • Best tips to ensure a fun family session
  • What to look for when choosing a family photographer
  • 10 ideas for props to bring for your branding session

At the bottom of the post, I’d put up a call to action for anyone interested in receiving my mini session information to reach out via email or to leave a comment. 

After I hit “publish” on the blog post, I wouldn’t waste any time to share it on my social media channels and to my existing email list. All inquiries get added to my email list.

#3 – I would get myself in front of new audiences.

If it were me, I would do some searching for local Facebook groups that my ideal clients might be in. Join the ones that allow you to post about your services. However, rather than directly promoting your mini sessions, I would make the focus be on your helpful content that you wrote for your blog post. Share the link! You have a much better chance to get someone to pay attention to what you have to say if they feel like he/she isn’t being sold to. 

#4 – I would create an Instagram strategy.

We know that only 4% of our audience actually sees what we post on Instagram, I still think it to be important to maintain a presence on the platform if I am working to get my mini session spots filled.

A few things I would do specifically on Instagram:

  • Create a sense of urgency by semi-regularly posting the limited number of spots left. If I had a lot of spots not booked, I would consider removing some of them. You can always add more later if you sell out. 
  • When it’s mini session booking season, I want relevant work to be shown in my recent Instagram feed. Choose images that are best representative of your work and that will best appeal to your ideal client. Instead of putting “fluff” for your captions, try writing some content that would actually be helpful to your audience/target clients. 
  • Create a “poll” on Instagram Stories that gauges mini session interest. Strike up a conversation in your DM’s with anyone that replies to the poll. If there is interest to receive your mini session information, request their email address and send it to them.

I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave over you to help you fill up your mini session calendar! Since I don’t, the next best thing I can offer you is the {free!} Mini Session Planner that I created for photographers looking to take the first step toward booking out their mini sessions. 

If you liked this post, you might also check out Mini Sessions: How to Choose a Location

If there is anything I can do to help you with your mini session program, please reach out. I would love to hear from you and help if I can!

Cheyenne Schultz

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