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3 Easy Techniques to Turn Portrait Leads into Bookings


We’ve all received leads from potential clients that we feel REALLY excited about, right? We start to paint the picture in our head of just how amazing their shoot would be! We’ve also all felt super bummed when they don’t respond or end up booking with us. We make up a scenario in our heads as to why they didn’t book, blame it on price, blame it on the email wording, etc. The fact that everything lies in one email is crazy sauce.

Have you ever felt this way? What if I told you there are more things you can do to get this lead to book aside from that ONE EMAIL?

I own a woman’s portrait studio (we specialize in boudoir) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, called Molly Marie Photography. At my studio, we have three techniques we use in order to get these leads booked.

First, did you know that 80 percent of sales are made after the fifth contact (with your business)?

This is really interesting, because I find most of our leads email or call us after hearing about us one to three times. Most say they heard of us from Google (1 contact), friends (2-3 contacts), Facebook (1-3), expos (1-2), etc. Knowing that they heard about us one to three times before they ever contact us lets me know they’re either ready to book or close to being ready to book. They wouldn’t reach out if they weren’t interested.

So, let’s talk about what else you can do to turn the one to three times they’ve heard about you into five-plus times to increase your leads-to-bookings ratio!

1. Email List Subscription

Getting your potential customers on your email list is ESSENTIAL today. With Facebook and other social media reach slipping more and more through our fingertips, your email list is only getting MORE important. By growing your email list, you’re able to keep all of your potential clients in one RELIABLE place. I recommend doing bimonthly emails to your list. This will really help increase the number of contacts your potential customer is having with your business before they book.


Not sure how to get started with your email list? The best way to get started is to export your contact list from ShootQ and import it into your account with the email service provider of your choice (Note: Be sure to check your country’s email opt-in laws and rules of your email newsletter provider before sending). Your contact list in ShootQ is comprised of past leads, bookings, vendors, etc. If you don’t want them all in the same email list, you can sort your relationships in ShootQ before you export as well – it’s pretty rad.

2. Follow-up Email + Offer

The reasons why somebody didn’t email you back right away to book can vary widely. It can be that they don’t see the value enough to spend yet, they’re saving up, they forgot (aren’t good with email), they’re nervous or they’re simply busy, etc. There are tons of reasons why. It’s our job to remind them of the value, WHY they want to do this, WHY they need to book now, etc.


We’ve had a great deal of success in turning our leads into bookings simply by sending a follow-up email. Sounds pretty basic, but we’ve actually put a lot of thought into this. 😉 In ShootQ, you can make your own email templates. This saves us SO much time by not having to write out each email again and again. We simply write the email once, and when we want to send it, we just go to the lead, send the email and it auto-fills their name and any other details. It’s so simple!

We labeled our email template in ShootQ “Inquiry Follow Up.” We thank them for considering us for a photo shoot, remind them of the value, include a link to a page of raves on our website and close with a call to action. A call to action is something that will get them to email you back within a timeframe you’ve set. A good example would be X percent off if you book before X date.

If you’d like to receive a free copy of the email template my studio uses, you can download it now.

3. Entice with a Fun Questionnaire

When you pay for something, you want to get what you paid for – yesterday. Let’s face it, we’re all impatient. With photography, I personally believe a lot of people put off booking because they don’t SEE the results or leave with a tangible item in their hands. To them, it’s just money spent. This makes it easy for them to put off paying in advance.


We’ve turned this around by always mentioning that as soon as they book, they get our welcome email (with tips for getting shoot-ready) and our super fun questionnaire. This builds the excitement and pushes them to book ASAP, because they can start their experience NOW!

We build our questionnaire and welcome email in ShootQ. This makes it super easy, so once they book, we can send them out with a few clicks of the mouse. Our clients LOVE them, and they’re great for enticing, securing our bookings, educating clients further, building excitement, etc.

Now that you’ve read about our three techniques to turn our leads into bookings, I hope you will take action! These three techniques are fairly simple and won’t take much time to implement, which is great!

I challenge you to put a date and time on your calendar to put all of these techniques into play!

Don’t forget to download your free copy of the email template my studio uses!

About the Author:

Boudoir Photographer Molly Marie

Molly Marie is a women’s portrait photographer based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Molly’s work focuses on bringing out each individual’s personality and confidence! In addition to her love for portrait photography, Molly loves to teach! She hosts workshops and mentors photographers on a regular basis. To get in touch with her, connect via social media, visit her blog or send an email to her at info@boudieshorts.com.

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!