I’m a photographer based in Houston, TX that specializes in sophisticated wedding and high school senior photography.
Want to attract high-end clients but don’t have the portfolio to do so? I’ve been there and I’ve decided to share with you my best tips on how to attract and resonate with your ideal clients. Let’s talk about how to attract high-end clients!
Take a moment to think about what your client wants to see. Grab a piece of paper or open up a Google Doc and start jotting down all the things you know your ideal client would be drawn to when seeking a photographer.
Remember their likes and dislikes may differ from yours so it’s really important that you focus on their wants and needs, not yours.
Now that you have your list, these are things that your clients want to see within your images. They want (and need!) to see themselves in the content you are sharing.
You need to show them and prove to them that they belong within the portfolio that you’ve created.
If they can imagine themselves in a photo you are posting, that is extremely beneficial. This could be anything from the pose in the photos to the brand name dress designer. A bride wants to see their style of wedding reflected in your photos.
Think about the lush floral arrangements, the extravagant table settings, the attire of the wedding party. All of these elements need to reflect who your client is. This is one of the most important steps when it comes to how to attract high-end clients!
Once you have images that show your couples they belong, start curating a gallery that showcases these components.
This content can be anything that you share within your portfolio, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, your website, etc.
But wherever you are posting content it needs to be consistent, as your ideal client will be “shopping” all platforms they can find you on before making their final decision.
Don’t have images to fill your portfolio? This is where styled shoots come into play! You can intentionally design a shoot to incorporate high-end elements and work with vendors who have your ideal client in mind.
You’ll want to create a storyline of your dream wedding and fill the shoot with luxury.
Pro Tip: Styled shoots are what help me fast-track my business and land my ideal clients when I didn’t have a portfolio. If you’d like to learn more about styled shoots click here.
You’ve landed your ideal client and now you need them to sign their contract and pay their first invoice.
The onboarding process needs to be seamless. If you are wanting to work with high-end clients, your clients are going to expect that no hiccups occur. And, you definitely do not want the onboarding process to be a complicated process.
Pro Tip: I use Honeybook to onboard all of my clients. It’s the perfect CRM for wedding professionals. Not only does it streamline onboarding and off-boarding for clients, but it keeps everything organized for me. To learn more about Honeybook click here.
Now, you may not have the money to invest in a CRM right now, and that’s okay. But whatever your system is you need to make sure it’s flawless. Test it with your family and friends and see if they have any feedback on how you can make it more easily understood, etc.
You can even create a media kit with pricing details and FAQ within Canva to share with clients.
Pro Tip: If you really want to get fancy I recommend creating a page on the backend of your website that has these details. It’s great for your SEO because this page will often have many popular keywords and having a link makes it easy to share with clients when you’re on the go. If you use Showit, my website designer Meghan has a free pricing guide template you can grab here!
Prior to the day, you should have your clients fill out a questionnaire that handles all the details and aspects of their photos for the day.
For example, you’ll want to know if there are any particular must-have pictures that are outside your traditional toasts, cake cutting, the kiss type pictures.
You’ll want to ask about family logistics so you’re aware how many people you’ll need to gather for pictures after the ceremony, etc.
And, you’ll want to make sure that you have a detailed timeline so you know when things need to happen (i.e. detail shots, sunset pictures, all the things)
When you show up with a game plan (and, if you’re like me your Chick-fil-A lemonade), you are already presenting yourself to be a respectable, high-end photographer.
This should be just as seamless as your onboarding and offboarding process.
Share some sneak peeks along the way and once you deliver their final gallery, inform them of the steps they need to take to download their images, order prints, create an album (if you don’t do this for them), and all the other FAQ you might receive. I use Pixieset for this!
No matter if you are aiming for high-end clients or not, I think it’s important to spoil your couples. They’ve invested in you and it’s always nice to show a token of your appreciation.
Know that this doesn’t have to be a crazy expense, but is a way to really connect with your clients during the process and allows you to stand out.
This is something that many photographers forget to do and this is one of the most important things in order to achieve your high-end portfolio.
As you build your portfolio, you will start to attract your ideal clients and there is nothing better than your ideal clients reading glowing reviews from people that are like them.
So during your offboarding process, it’s important to follow-up and ask for a review. Provide them with links to your Facebook page, Wedding Wire or Knot account, and Google Business Page. Remind them they don’t have to write 5 different reviews, just copy and paste the review and post it on all of your platforms.
Pro Tip: If a couple does leave you a review, I love the idea of sending them a $5-$10 Starbucks gift card thanking them. Remember, a little goes a long way and client gifts are a tax right-off for your business.
Whew! Now that I’ve shared with you some of my best tips on how to attract high-end clients, I hope you feel inspired and ready to get to work on achieving your high-end portfolio without any experience.
Note: This blog contains affiliate links and I may get a small commission if you purchase or sign-up using the links provided.
Reed Gallagher is a Houston photographer for the elegant bride + chic senior, an educator for the driven photographer, and queso obsessed biz owner.