This may not be a secret to everyone, but I will tell you there are more times than not that I hear of professional photographers getting stressed out because they aren't booking as many sessions as they would like, their clients are coming back to them because they raised their prices or that potential clients are "scared" of their "new prices".
Here's something you may already know, but I'll say it again just in case you haven't heard it or you need a reminder ... "You aren't going to be the photographer for everyone."
I repeat "You aren't going to be the photographer for everyone".
Just like, I’m not the photographer for everyone. In fact, lets face it NO ONE is the photographer for EVERYONE.
The moment you become "OK" with the notion of "You aren't going to be the photographer for everyone" the better you, your business and your clients will be.
I'm serious, isn't it time to take a step back and realize we can be accepted for who we are as individuals and as business owners? We don't need to please everyone, frankly that's going to be way too hard. You'll die trying to please everyone, your bills won't get paid and you'll be miserable ... so my suggestion is to STOP!
Does this sound at all remotely familiar?
NEWS FLASH ....
Their request WAS NOT ... I repeat WAS NOT a personal attack on YOU, YOUR BUSINESS or YOUR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS. Their email or communication with you was their way of asking "can you meet my needs as a photographer".
My suggestion would be to use a diplomatic approach while responding both professionally and kindly. If you can, refer them to someone who does fit their needs. Maybe you know a local photographer who is running a special or who is building up their portfolio. If you aren't able to offer a referral, simply let them know that you do not offer that type of service or package.
End of Chat.
There’s no need to share the story online with your friends, clients, or within a Facebook Photographers Group. There is no need to shame the potential client because they won't conform to your needs. Remember, you aren't conforming to their needs either.
One more thing - they aren't the "BAD GUYS!". They simply aren't YOUR CLIENT and that's OK!
Remember what I said above? That's right ....
"You aren't going to be the photographer for everyone".
Now, if you find you are getting a lot of “not your clients” contacting you, perhaps it’s time to revisit your business plan.
What language are you using?
You'll first NEED to KNOW who your ideal client is ...
If you haven’t, perhaps you need to sit down and do just that.
I highly recommend figuring out how to effectively communicate with your potential client. You will need to know who he or she is and what type of session will appeal to him or her
The above mentioned questions are those you should be asking your potential clients, there are more questions if you'd like a list of potential questions let me know. I would be happy to message you or post them here.
In asking questions to your clients, you will be speaking directly to his or her specific needs. This is also a very easy way of being able to filter out those who you aren't able to service. Which will help you decrease the number of "not ideal" potential client inquiries.
Don't be shocked if it still happens from time to time, because it will. When it does happen, remember to be polite, graceful and show then dignity when responding.
Have a blessed day,
Heather J. Potter
Heather J. Potter