If you’re like most professional photographers, your most important marketing goal is to have a prospective client pick up the phone and call you. Phone calls lead to consultations, which lead to sales. The challenge is that you cannot answer every call. If you have a studio with 9-5 business hours, you’re only answering the phone 25% of the hours in a week. The other 75% of the time, people get sent to voice mail.
While voice mail was brilliant when it was first invented, it doesn’t work anymore. Did you know that 80% of potential clients won’t leave a voice mail? Instead, they hang up and try a different photographer. It’s even worse for young people.
“The concept of leaving (and checking) voice mail is, to millennials, as obsolete as swing-dancing and playing NHL ’94 on Sega Genesis,” writes Teddy Wayne in the New York Times.
The solution is simple. If you use your cell phone for business, instead of encouraging voice mails, encourage people to leave a text message. Change your personal voice mail message to this:
“Hello. You have reached ______ (your name) at ______ (your studio). I’m not available right now, but you can text me at this number or leave a message and I’ll get back to you shortly.”
If you have a studio business line, change the message to this:
“Thank you for calling ______ (your studio). No one is available to answer your call right now. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. You can text us at ______ (your cell number) or leave your name and number and we’ll get back to you shortly. For more information, please visit ______ (your website).”
In addition, log into your Google my Business Account and add your cell phone number on your Google Business page. If mobile users click this, it will open their texting program and allow them to send you a text immediately from their phone.
Give this a try. It will only take 30 seconds, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the increased number of messages you’ll get from prospective clients.