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How to book your first photography client online [8 easy steps]

Updated April 27, 2021 Judd Lillestrand

Too many people who visit your website never book. That's why we wrote this helpful guide to help you book your first photography client online.

When you offer the convenience of self-booking online booking from your website, you'll get more bookings and better leads. That's because you make life easier for both you and your clients. By showcasing packages and pricing, you'll modernize your booking process and make it easy for people to know if they are a good fit for your business.

Here are eight easy steps to get your first online booking:

1. Create Packages

Packages make it easy for people to evaluate, compare and pick the best option for their needs. You're going to need to create packaged offerings so you can sell more effectively online.

It's common to offer at least two, but no more than three packages for each service you offer. For example:

  • A Budget Package - great for those who are price-sensitive, but still need you. However, that lower pricing point will come at the cost of lesser, but still a fantastic service. Perhaps they get fewer images or no prints.

  • A Most Value Package - your ideal price point. By limiting your budget package, you can make your middle package more attractive by including more. If your base package includes four professionally touched-up images, your premium package might consist of eight and only cost 50% more and offer print rights.

  • A Premium Package - for those who want all the bells and whistles. Make this one meaningfully more expensive. It's also going to make your two other packages seem much more affordable. This package might include a lot of the add-ons offered in your lower-priced packages.

2. Define add-ons for each package

While packages are a great starting point, offering optional add-ons can help your customer feel more control over the buying process and get just what they want. Add-ons also provide an excellent opportunity to upsell lower-priced packages. It's okay for your budget package to have many optional add-ons, while your premium package is all-inclusive or has very few add-ons.

Suggested Video: Packaged for Success

3. Configure Your Availability

Define when you're available to shoot. If you have standing commitments like soccer practice or a full-time job, block off those times of the week, so you'll never be double-booked. Defining the times you're available will open up the door for self-service bookings, which delights clients.

Pro Tip: Use a quality booking and client management system like Check Cherry so you can connect your Google Calendar and automatically block off time for existing events on your personal calendar. 

4. Craft Your Terms/Contract

It's essential to have clients sign an agreement when booking. A good set of Terms and Conditions will give your business some necessary protection and spell out some of the boring legal details of the service you provide. Often these terms are non-negotiable and the same for each client. Make it easy for people by offering electronic signatures.

5. Accept Credit Cards

Many people prefer to pay with a card these days. Avoid the temptation to tack on surcharges and bake the processing fees into your prices. It's easy to set up a Stripe, Square, or PayPal account and start taking payments. 

Pro Tip: Use a modern CRM for photographers like Check Cherry that allows clients to quickly pay deposits and remaining balance with Apple Pay and Google Pay from their phone.

6. Define Your Booking Fees/Deposit Requirements

It's smart to get a financial commitment before adding a client to your calendar. More reasonable dollar amounts make it easier for the client to commit while still ensuring the client is serious about following through on their commitment. Deposits are either a flat fee or a percentage of the total booking.

7. Setup your online booking system

You're going to need a way to put it all together. Check Cherry offers easy-to-setup and highly customizable booking software for photographers. It makes it easy for your clients to pick a package, find an available time, pay, and sign electronically. Best of all, Check Cherry offers several tools to accomplish the tasks above.

8. Promote your new convenient online booking option.

It's time to get the word out. Add some links/buttons to your marketing website so people can "Book Now", "Check Availability", and "View Pricing". Let people know you are now taking bookings online, and they can view packages, pricing and schedule a session online.

Too many people who visit your website never book. Check Cherry gives you everything you need to do online booking right. With our system, you'll spend less time chasing leads and more time impressing clients.

People will ❤️ how easy it is to book you online.

Try Check Cherry free for 14 days, no credit card required.

Try Check Cherry free for 14 days, no credit card required.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I love it!"

"I found Check Cherry when doing a search for something to schedule mini sessions for my photography business. It's the perfect end to end online booking and payment solution. I has made my work so much easier, and its convenient for my clients to click to select their session, sign the contract, and pay. I love it! Not to mention, their customer service is on point. Quick response time and open to suggestions. Fantastic!"

~ Cammy