Let’s Be Clear, Mini Sessions are NOT Cheap Photography!
One of the perks of being a photographer is that you can mold your business into anything you’d like it to be. Your style, your hours, your rates, you name it – you get to choose! So when the world is at your fingertips, what offerings are going to be the best fit for growing your business?
Begin crafting the session types you offer with the basics, like minis. From there, you’ll want to include a mix of options that range in price and deliverables (all the stuff you include like prints, products, and digitals) in order to ensure that your clients are able to pick the option that best fits their needs.
Please, don’t let all of this decision making overwhelm you!
You’ll quickly learn that packages can be customized with upgrades and client feedback will allow you to mold your offerings as needed over time. As your client base grows and your skill/style changes, so will your business. Learn to be flexible now and that mindset will help you manage in the long run. 😉
Back to those mini sessions we mentioned before…
We love mini sessions.
While they’re usually the lowest priced type of photography that you will offer, mini sessions are NOT cheap photography! When set up properly, they can actually be quite profitable and an incredible tool for growing your business.
Here are a few reasons why we love mini sessions.
#1 – Mini Sessions are an opportunity for you to meet new clients.
Hiring a photographer requires a client making a huge commitment. They are trusting you to preserve this moment in time. To capture the beauty of their family in a handful of frames.
Most folks aren’t interested in jumping between new photographers for their most important moments. So when you offer potential clients the chance to book a mini session with you, it gives them the opportunity to try your services without making a serious commitment for their future photos.
Low-risk opportunity for them, a potential long-term client for you! Win-Win.
#2 – Mini Sessions allow your portfolio to reach an entirely new audience.
You know that period of time between a session and the day that you deliver the final images to your client? This time is GOLD. Serious gold, I tell ya! You have 100% of your client’s attention for this handful of days (or longer, depending on your delivery time). They’ll be silently stalking your business page’s news feed, your website’s blog and portfolio, and checking their email to see if you’ve finished their photos.
The perk of this golden time for when you’ve been shooting mini sessions is that you’ll have the attention of MANY clients (and their friends/family) who are completely ready to absorb your messaging.
So how do you capitalize on it?
You prepare your communications to automatically update on your ideal schedule, whether that’s daily, weekly, or whatever works best for you. This way you aren’t worried about logging in while editing photos, but your social media accounts and eBlasts are chatting away with your new clients and all their friends.
Consider this your perfect opportunity to share news about the upcoming season or any specials you have going on outside of the current mini sessions.
If you’re one to share sneak peeks on social media, go for it! You know each of your new clients is going to totally freak when they see a notification that they’ve been tagged in photos, gush appropriately when they see the images, then share with all of their peeps on their personal accounts.
We’re talking about hundreds or thousands of new eyeballs all loving on your work here! Ya dig?
Prefer not to share sneak peeks? No worries. In this case, we recommend that you go ahead and brand a set of digital images with your logo and put them in a folder designed for your clients to share on social media for when the final images are delivered. They’ll likely be lower in resolution and not suitable for printing, but totally shareable on Facebook and Instagram. You might ask that your clients go ahead and tag your business page in their posts or even give them some kind of incentive if they do tag you.
#3 – Mini sessions can be very profitable!
When done right, I repeat, when done right, mini sessions can be very profitable.
Yes, they are typically the lowest priced item on your session list, but that doesn’t matter. The reason is that we’re dealing with volume here – a shorter amount of time spent with a larger number of clients, all in a single time frame (one or two days). To set up a situation that is good for both you (the photographer) and your clients, you’ll need a strict structure for your mini sessions.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Keep a strict structure, including: date, time slots, location, sets (if appropriate), and price.
- Take payment in advance. This helps with that whole commitment thing and avoids you chasing after payments once the session has been completed.
- Market your sessions using the actual sets that you intend to use. That way your style and setup are already clear and you won’t waste time trying to make adjustments after the fact.
- Keep editing to a minimum and let clients know in advance exactly what they can expect. That way you don’t deliver beautiful images that have basic color corrections when the client thinks you were going to photoshop 50 pounds off their right arm.
- Use a beautiful comprehensive online scheduling system in order to keep your mini sessions organized. You know, something like Session. No bias here. 😉
Mini sessions are not cheap photography. In fact, they’re incredibly valuable!
Offering mini sessions to potential clients gives you the opportunity to grow your business by providing a service that comes at a low risk to your client. They also give current clients the opportunity to update their family photos, squeeze in a milestone session, or just prep for their holiday cards.
Questions? We want to hear them. Tell us what you dream about in the perfect online scheduling system or just share your thoughts about mini sessions with us in the comments below.
Need something else? Here’s how you can connect with us:
(All photos by Lisa Michelle Photography)