Ask yourself this question. If YOU were going to elope, would you hire you? And why? Many times, we are faced with the fact that people aren’t seeing our work, they are connecting with us, and we aren’t as popular as someone else that we look up to. Let’s set aside self-doubt for a moment to examine ourselves. Are we building trust and value with our audience?
Recently, I attended one of my favorite educator’s online workshops about pricing. Jai Long is an absolute marketing genius and I adore his work and hope to meet him someday. But much of what Jai did throughout his online workshop and lead up to it was to provide value right where and when we needed it. I took a lot away with his Pricing with a Purpose workshop. (go follow him on Instagram so you can learn from him too!)
One of the things that really struck me as marketing gold was things I’ve said before and will say again. Are we providing value with our clients? And of course, we want to say yes because, like duh, we’re posting reels and Instagram stories, sharing tips in our captions. But is it enough?
I don’t think so. And to be fair, each of us, including me, could further step it up. So let’s talk about some ways we can provide value and build trust with our audience.
Building Trust and Value Through Blogging
Social media is a great way to be present each day. But it’s not always enough value. We can’t dive deep every single time with our captions. And honestly, we shouldn’t. It’s just not the tool for that exclusively. But where we can go in-depth is our blog.
Think of blogging like a sales funnel of time and value.
People live on social media nowadays. So they stumble across your Instagram and they are scrolling and scrolling and they read your post and they keep scrolling. They might follow you or even like and comment on your posts. But what can we do to take them one level further? Get them on your website and into your blog.
Blogging is a bigger time commitment. Since time is finite and limited for most humans (except Betty White who is immortal), we want to spend it the best way possible. We don’t want to waste it. Social media is the top of our funnel of time investment and value building. It’s quick and easy. But it’s not always going to lead to huge value building and sales.
Blogging is the next step into your funnel. When you blog, you’re asking people to spend their finite time learning from you. So you better have something good to say, right?
We can build value and trust through our blogs by creating them consistently and by helping bridge the gap of where they need to get to.
Building Trust and Value Through Social Media
I’m not trash talking social media. More and more of my leads come from there every day and I am so grateful. In fact, most of you found me through social media. And now you’re here, on my blog. (See how this is working out?)
Social media is one of the first steps to building value. Just like blogging, there are multiple things you can share about but here is the breakdown of what you should be posting.
- Value. Answer questions in a summarized manner. Share insights. Show some infographics. Use a Canva carousel with text and images. (here’s an affiliate link to Canva Pro, which I highly recommend)
- Your work! Specifically the work you want to sell. Remember my buddy, Jai Long? Well, one of the things he mentioned he did on his social media was actually include an upsell where the couple is featured on his instagram. Granted, he has a ton of followers and I’m not suggesting that you should or SHOULDN’T post your peeps or charge them to be featured. But what I’m getting at is that if you’re shooting, let’s say, traditional weddings, but you want to be a destination elopement photographer, do not post photos of your couple that give away that they didn’t elope. Do not tag the locations and do not use location based hashtags that feature that spot. THIS IS HOW YOU STAY IN THE SAME PLACE AND NEVER ACHIEVE YOUR DESTINATION PHOTOGRAPHY DREAMS.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But never show what you don’t want to sell again. Periodt.
- Show you and your brand! Get in front of that damn camera you spent thousands of dollars on and learn how to WERK IT GIRRRRRL. Look, I dont’ always love how I look every day. Maybe I’m feeling a little extra fluffy today and don’t love myself enough to be in front of that camera. But you know what. Your audience may feel the same way. So what can you do? Show them that you’re alive and thriving and that if you can do it with your insecurities, they can too.
To further add to this, when you’re sharing your personal shiz, only touch on your branding topics. Those 4-7 things that your brand is built around. These topics resonate with your ideal audience and help you further connect with them.
This is something that I didn’t implement until recently. And it’s something that may take time to nurture. But then again, so can social media and blogging. Not every client is going to book you just from one blog. It does happen. But it’s not always for sure. So we can further provide value by showing up further in their email inbox.
What should you email? Well, anything that your client struggles with and wants to know. Here are a few ideas of what to email.
- Frequently asked questions
- Updates about you, your brand, and your work
- Send a thank you and share gratitude
- Send a dank meme.
- Connect to your blog.
How can we build value with our audience and clients?
On day two or three of the online workshop I attended, Jai mentioned something that blew my mind. He said, people don’t always invest in albums when they book because it doesn’t answer their problem that they’re facing next. Album design and creation is a down the road thing for them. It can be a year+ away issue and investment. But I’m not here to talk about upsells and add-ons.
When people book us, how are we helping them after we book? What about your ideal audience that hasn’t booked yet and is on the fence? How are WE helping them make the jump to investment and a destination elopement?
Of course we TALK about the value of eloping and we show them how beautiful it can be. But are we meeting them where they are at this moment?
Here’s the question that we are going to ask ourselves and it’s going to LITERALLY blow your minds at how simple it is.
Simple, isn’t it? What problem is your client NOW facing after they’ve booked you and said HELL YES to eloping in Italy or Hawaii or wherever?
Whatever the problem is needs to be addressed. While you have a booked client, you could create a client who is going to come back to you after their elopement for an anniversary adventure session. Because you’re now the person of authority when it comes to eloping, they’re going to LOVE YOU. They’re going to look to you to know how to do what and when and how. And to be frank, we should be those people because we educated them on WHY they should do this in the first place.
Here are a few ways to help your clients after they’ve booked you.
1. Create an email campaign that is customized for their type of event. Are they eloping in Hawaii? Create a Hawaii elopement email campaign in your client management system. I use Honeybook and it’s so easy to use. You can use this link for 20% off your subscription with Honeybook and get those emails flowing!
Need help with your wedding workflow for emails or don’t know where to begin? My girl Ellie McKinney, who many of you know, has email templates for weddings. I actually own and paid for these and they are BALLER! She has an Etsy store with a bundle of email templates perfect for weddings and elopements (the elopements will need a little tweaking with verbiage). Here’s a link to them. I 100% vouch for these and don’t make any proceeds. They’re just that good.
2. Send out a wedding or elopement guide after they book you. This can be physical or digital. I used Canva to create mine and then printed it through www.magcloud.com It’s mailed to all my clients who book with a few extra treats. It helps walk them through the process including their engagement session and even ideal timelines.
This can further be reinforced by including some of this information in emails that are sent to the client in your email campaign as well when those things need to be booked.
How to provide value to your audience
- After providing value adding posts. Slide into the DMs and ask them a question. It doesn’t even have to be related to elopements. Just have a conversation. How many times have you struck up a conversation with someone and then boom, you’re invested and like them all the more? It’s the same for DMs. It doesn’t have to be a slimeball move to be genuine and kind. If you see them commenting on your posts ask them a question about something they’ve mentioned. Find out what they need and answer the question.
- Once you know what question they have you can answer it. Then, to take it one step further, you can blog your answer!
I actually did this with a client who eloped in Las Vegas last year. They reached out after finding me on Instagram. I wrote, essentially, an entire “how to elope in Las Vegas” blog to them in their booking email. Then I realized I had just so much helpful value that other people may have the same question. So I turned it into a blog. You can read it here.
We create value and loyalty when we meet our audience where they are.
Now get out there and start answering their questions and building a following who know YOU as the Queen or King of value adding posts and blogs!
Until next time!