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Lesson 2 of 28

Client Email Communication



Lesson 2 of 28

Client Email Communication


Lesson Info

Client Email Communication

I want everyone to understand something that I learned early on, and I learned that seventy percent of the wedding market are from a specific generation. This means that seventy percent of the wedding market share similar characteristics and preferences that's a big part of the market. Now it made sense for me to align with this group of people because it also I'm also from this generation, we're going to get into this idea in the second, so seventy percent of the market or from a specific generation, and they share similar characteristics. Now, I aligned myself with this kind of philosophy before I even know before he even knew that it was a philosophy I got out of college, I went had, like, a little stint in law school got married all of a sudden, it was like, I'm going to start a business and I didn't have any sort of formal training. I was a young entrepreneur, so basically I just looked tio the things that I liked, how I like to interact online, that was watching the way that my f...

riends like to interact online, and then I thought, I'm going to create a business around this well, it didn't playing to my favor, but in retrospect, that was reasons why it was happening. I want to discuss those reasons now. It's valuable to understand how our target clients, your target clients want to be marketed to and how they want to be responded to it's important to know the business side of wedding photography it's important to know the business side of wedding photography if you want to make it your career that's the caveat? If you just want to have a very nice camera and shoot fun things and feel really great about yourself, that's awesome, I encourage you to do so. If you want to make it a career, you're going to know that the business side will eventually take over the artistic side, so why not prepare ourselves? We're where we want to go now if knowing your camera is the body of your passion than understanding your business is its shadow, it will always be with you. So who am I talking about? Who is the seventy percent group of people? They are millennials? This is a group of people born between nineteen, seventy nine and the year two thousand, which makes sense because the average nearing ages roughly twenty one to thirty three. Now, when I started my business, I just figured I just got married, so I went through the process of picking a photographer all just kind of do what I learned from others, which isn't not scientific whatsoever so if you're kind of in that state today we're going to be talking about how we can restructure it our business is in a way that makes sense for us not based on what other people are doing, so I started realizing that brides wanted to be responded to the same way that I wanted to be responded to now years later, the stats show why this is working for me and we're gonna get into that in a minute thes people born between nineteen, seventy nine in the year two thousand were roughly marrying age between twenty one and thirty three they're also known as generation y, so I might be using those these two terms interchangeably like I mentioned before generation why millennials make up seventy percent of the market that is huge now, just as a clarification, I pulled all of this data from think splendid dotcom editor aggregate sits a think tank for the wedding industry the editor aggregate a lot of information on newly married couples and asked their interactions with wedding professionals. I find it very intriguing so we're going to start the day with a little bit of statistics and you know I don't want you guys to two now because this is the meet we need to understand our market before we can cater to our market, so why is this important? Millennials are generation y interact similarly generation y was the first generation to grow up in the digital age and this digital attachment israel so when we think about it how many of us feel so flustered if we leave her phone at home right we're like oh my gosh I can't update instagram flicker facebook well how would people know what I'm eating for lunch right so we feel a little bit panics and we also have downloaded aps acts have changed the way that we perceive the world now I actually I read a statistic and they don't I mean it's kind of crazy but fifty three percent of millennials responded saying that they would rather lose their sense of smell than go without their computer or their iphone so when we talk I know legit stuff I ok but we're all hate I actually had a conversation with a few friends and I was like no computer who needs who needs my scent anyway way become so attached to it so millennials and generation y this is real for them and what this what this revolves around is that digital age reinforces quick communication even on a multi huge level right? So we have these mega behemoth cos now having twitter responding tio people with questions so we have to understand that people are used to getting a quick response and generation why expects nothing less seventy percent of the people you're catering to expect to be responded to quickly now, as we move on, once the first pieces of my one of the first piece is too my business that I wanted to really focus on was effective and timely communication via email. This seems like a very basic place to start, but a lot of times we take for granted what our first interactions are going to be with prospective clients, so we're just like, who doesn't know how to email got it? Well, let's kind of think about how we're approaching it real quick, so keep an open mind. It was a natural progression for me to start with email because I started my business and out people outside of my inner circle, so my friends and my family, they were passing my contact information tio other people, they weren't giving them my personal phone, they were giving them my email address, so this started very early on in my business. So what does email look like for me? I'm going to talk about how it looks like for me to talk about how it looks like for you all, and I want to hear how it looks like for you because I want this to be a process for everyone, but first I'm gonna go through my process and see kind of where you lined up within that structure and also to those of you who are watching online j d will be going on to the facebook group and pulling some of your responses, so we want to really pull people in in between both cannon and susan working in that judy will be like ancillary little social media made in today for me, teo, the turnaround for my emails is twenty four hours for my clients thiss morning I woke up at four thirty in the morning because I knew that he had to email my clients yesterday. Jenny thinks it's crazy, he's looking, you're absolutely crazy, I know, but I think that my, my clients, I'm very open with social media, they know I'm out of the studio, and if I don't respond to them, how am I going to make them feel what I'm saying is I'm busy, but how they're feeling is overlooked. I need to make sure that my clients are a top priority. So twenty four hours for playing emails. Now I noticed with a lot of photographers that the first inquiry is always great, everyone stellar with the first inquiry, everyone, I think, this business and then as your email communication furthers on with a client and oh, it just it teeters on awful when it gets to the album revisions, right, it's like ok back to you in three days on that, so the goal is to keep the kind emails as good as they were in beginning all the way through now follow through is key, and the way that I can manage my email is that I dedicate sixty to seventy five minutes per day for emails that is it now. The week leading up to restart was a little bit different. I was emailing people at different times of all hours of the night, but generally speaking, I allocate a specific time of my day and that is it because I think what happens as business owners? We like busywork, we like feeling busy, but at the end of the day we have to understand that email doesn't really get a lot of work done. It kind of just softens the edges so far, so consumed with busywork, we're actually not getting our work work done, so the way that it works for me is that my client e mails are prioritized to the top of my inbox every client will be responded to within twenty four hours after that I was saand to other business industry type emails, and if I have time I respond to personal emails. I can't respond to every e mail that I get, but that's the order in which I work if I breach the end of my seventy five minutes that allocated for email and I'm not done it's only emails they get pushed over to the next day and that's a response but it's never client email that's pushed over the next day. It's just a new industry of friends, something like that. Okay, so one of the most fascinating pieces that I read it was an article and it focused on what newly married couples look forward when hiring a wedding professional that this is really interesting the most important factors and wedding hiring our personality portfolio in promptness. Now there are two sides of the debate and I'm not going to open a can of worms. I'm just going to explain what the debate is. There are one side where photographers think the portfolio is the driving force of getting new business. And on the other side there are photographers who think that infusing your personality is the driving force of getting new business. Now I am not gonna pick sides, but I am going to throw down some statistics toe lay a foundation to show the real nous of the industry in which we work so bear with me for one second after this we're done with statistics, but I want you guys to be sat it out, okay, so we want to understand the psychology of our clients. So are the psychology of newly married clients said ninety seven percent said that personality matters I have now I have no reason to care what other photographers are saying I'm carrying what newly married couples are saying because they just hired wedding vendors. Ninety seven percent say that personality matters, I'm in, however, ninety one percent said that portfolio matters, so we can see that they go hand in hand now. They also said that email and response time can be deal breakers, so if it's taking you a long time, even after the first or third or fifth email, it could be a possible deal breaker if people if my love languages email so if there's, another bride whose love languages email and you're not responding to her for three days, if that was the bride would be like, this is not gonna work because the closer I get to my wedding and brides are emailing me a week of their wedding. I'm responding same day. I remember being a bride, and this is the only way I don't want to talk about myself, but this is the only way that I could put my business into context. The week leading up to my wedding, I was a hot mess. I had dreams that my face was melting, I had dreams that my flight went down, we got married in hawaii, and so I needed my vendors to respond to me and say, we're still alive, we're not going anywhere, so I understand the stress that girls feel leading up to their weak so we understand that promise does matter ninety four percent said that speedy iness of email replies matter and we talk about less than twenty four hours and it matters they're hiring a wedding professional now I'm definitely not here to pick a side on who's right or who's wrong I don't think that there's a right or wrong the situation but I don't think that you can build your photography business on personality alone I am your hand I don't think that you can build an as competitive business strictly on a portfolio basis so finding a fusion between the tea was going to be beneficial now I want a I want a portfolio that showcases the strength of my work and you want a portfolio that showcases the strength of your work I'm not going to talk I'm not shy away from talking about my dog on my website not to shy away from talking about how much I love chocolate I'm not gonna talk away I'm not going to shy away from the fact that I love yoga these leverage my personality and I believe that you should be leveraging your personality because in a sea of photographers people are shooting with the same camera people are editing with light room people are using photo shop are using the same photo shop actions what makes you different the thing that makes you different things you bring uniquely to the tables to make sure that you're leveraging that via social media and in communication we're going get how we can leverage this during communication now on december thirteenth a secret shopper sent an inquiry to our three photographers and we wanted to see how they fared yes welcome to restart the o we here's the thing here's the thing I know you're always that's awful listen, I started off by saying I love them this hurts me more than ever you know I'm but here's the thing we can talk right? I respond to my client's really quick well, I wanted to see if the proof is in the pudding so I made a few email address is one of them being a well museo okay, okay, okay. You guys are going to regret saying that way responded first a guiding later. Okay, we're all like, did you get this from the three? Sure, wasn't it he's got like they're authentic response is so good, good, good, good okay on december thirteen we sent a secret shopper email now the basis on which we are judging we like just me. Okay, the basis on which I'm judging this email are going to be on the three criteria we spoke about personality portfolio and promptness so this is the e mail that he sent this isn't hello I'd like to get more information regarding my wedding late next fall thank you amy and jordan now there are a few things I don't know actually because they're so cool way surprises now I feel like all my judges gone I know I'm just kidding actually go here there was a couple that were intentionally omitted in this email I did not include a photographer name I intentionally vague wedding details of the big wedding date sometime next fall and I didn't include any details now I'm just copying what happens to me I get emails from brides who will email themselves and then b c c a group of photographers I don't know if they're bc seeing tio I don't know if he's saying twenty so how I respond to this email like this or tow any email inquiry who are who's asking for more information about the following hey amy and jordan thank you so much for taking the time to inquire about my wedding photography collections I'm truly blessed to do what I love and I appreciate your time and consideration in advance because I accept only a limited number of weddings each year I'd like to get to know my client's very well and in sure we're a good fit if you could just take two minutes to answer the following questions it would streamline our communication and ensure your well taken care of happy face bride's name groom's name wedding date wedding location reception location phone number best time to call who can I thank for the referral are you working with the wedding coordinator and then I asked for the wedding coordinator name again thank you for contacting me and I look forward to our paths crossing in the near future state fabulous jasmine so what I'm doing in this email is essentially letting her know I don't respond to cattle calls I want to make sure that you are looking not just for any wedding photographer I want to make sure that you're looking for me as your wedding photographer this is how we can start attracting the type of client that we really want somebody who generally has to make the decision to want us to be there on that day now I don't think that my email is so great and I don't think that it showcases so much of my personality and it doesn't showcase my portfolio but the difference that I want to point out between our emails is that I'm giving myself the opportunity to showcase my portfolio the opportunity to showcase my personality and future emails I'm going to get to that in a second but I want to point out that I don't send pricing information without giving myself the ability to first differentiate myself between all the responses she's going to be getting so I know that email sounds basic but for me it's the foundation of laying getting the type of client that I want so once I have this information I'm then going to know howto personalize that email I'm going to get to that personal in a second but first I want to see how our photographers fair okay so I contacted I contacted nicky rhea her website now and she responded with that email that I sent hi amy jordan thanks for the email and congrats to you touched my investment information for you all the collections come with your own website that I create to display your photos and any other wedding info you would like I'm happy to meet in person if you would like a happy face let me know if you have any point on my chair is happening right now you're really embarrassed great you guys know there's going to be a few embarrassing it's okay so yeah you are sitting in the audience anything sweet baby jesus that's not me think about what you're emails are saying about you if you're very uncomfortable for nikki it's because you're probably a transgressor of her same sin right? Okay so I understand it's going to be hard to convey personality via email but it's going to be important because the first email is about establishing that report I don't think that anything is particularly bad or wrong with this email promptness was great because they email turned the thirteenth she got back to me with thirteen five as faras personality goes, I think there's room for improvement and as far as portfolio goes I definitely think there's room for improvement way sometimes function that people who are contacting us they've gone through our website they've gone through our blogged guess what chances are they might not have I don't function on the assumption that people know my portfolio I function in the assumption that somebody from war was like hey contact this girl why not give more information to ensure that all your bases are covered to ensure that you're attracting the point that you want to work with? We're going to move now on to melissa I contacted melissa via her block and this is her response hi amy and jordan first of all congratulations on your upcoming wedding and thank you for your interest in my work I'm currently available next fall in several dates I'd love to invite you to read through my pricing in packages I'm sending an attachment with more information please take some time to review the options if it sounds like what you're looking for in terms of style approach and budget we can set up a time to meet and chat more I would love to talk to you on the phone or meat to learn more about your wedding day specific let me know if you have any questions here's melissa I don't like of washington thing that you don't love your cheers okay so against the criteria, promise was great because he responded same day personality. I would want to see room for improvement because personality isn't like jazz hands on with personality is how can I cater to what you're asking for that's, the clarification and portfolio I want to see more. I want to see how you can respond and get more information to cater that email to your your client what's about ryan. Okay. Ah, hi enjoining. Congrats on your big day and thank you for reaching out. I have a few dated september of two thousand thirteen already booked, but since he said late fall, my guess is looking is you are looking to have your wedding in october or november. Coverage starts at twenty five hundred. Packages are all inclusive, including plenty of time, an engagement session, a wedding album, digital negatives and a host of other things. I find that presenting you with a bulleted list of pricing it packages tend to create more questions and answers defined within your budget. I would love to set up a meeting to walking through our options and hear about your big day. Please let me know what option which option works for you thanks, ryan, okay, promises great, you got back to the same day, but the same thing. I want to see more personality. I want to see how you can cater to vague amy and jordan's e mail, and I want to see how you can showcase more of your portfolio, but you're not going to know how to showcase report flew in a way that appeals to them if you don't know really what they want. So let's talk about more on how to personalize vague emails like the one we just got from amy and jordan. I think it's important for you to ask for the information you want, don't hesitate a lot of times, it's photographers, we worry like I don't want to push him any way I want to make sure they have all the information. Well, you're going to be a better candidate now. I want to highlight if I was really amy of amy and jordan getting married in late fall of two thousand thirteen, and I were to receive emails from all three photographers. Did you see any type of hama jimmy between the responses like similar nous likeness, like nobody of the three of them they were, they were not bad emails, but nobody like popped off the page. What I want you to do is start popping up the page the minute clients are contacting you, ok, I also want you to showcase professionalism. Casual response is ok and it's fine once you've established a relationship with that client, but you need to let the client dictate what he or she is comfortable with. I have some clients who want to be like, all warm and fuzzy from the very beginning, and we could talk super fun and have short little e mails, and there are some clients, most of them being lawyers who are total is all business all the time, and I just take the lead from them. How they want to be communicated with is how I want to respond to that, and I want you. Lastly, to find ways to personalize this is why I sent that initial email to them asking for the information that I wanted. This leads me to my next point on my next point, this secret shopper email number two did it again, let's! See out, boom let's! See how our herds haag refers fared when they were given more information to work with now, after reading the email I'm about to read, I would still send the email requesting more information we're talking about hi personalized it to nikki ryan and melissa. I'm getting married on november ninth specific wedding day to see if they're available at the, and they went through all of their portfolios to choose avenue they had already worked at. I know ah it's a small wedding. I'm letting them know how ways that they can respond to me sing their specialties. Small weddings show them apart full of peace. That a small wedding, right? But we hope our days a total package with our friends, family and great photos. Another opportunity to talk about how you value friends, family and great photos, right? We're talking about ways that you can find to connect. What's wrong melissa what's wrong for it. Thank you and thank you. Now we're going to see how our photographer scared. We contacted nicky via her block. Hi, jennifer. Thanks for the email and congrats. I have a special place in my heart for hotel monaco. Great. I know she shot there because that's. Why I shot my first wedding. I know some spots within a few blocks of hotel for some awesome photos. Show me the awesome photos as a prospective bride. I don't want to ask for this awesome photos online search for the awesome photos sent me a link to this awesome photos. Have you set a date yet? I'm starting to book up so we should make sure I have your date open attached is my collection information let me know if you have any questions. You know what? It's okay, I sent an email and maybe I might have judged you and I think I probably did it for you and melissa because you responded the same way, but I'm gonna get to that in a second. So and the thing that we're gonna pretend that he didn't give a date but I give you plenty of opportunities to still personalize outside of that so we contacted making her block after block so judging on those three criteria of personality portfolio holdup take a time out. Are we on the same page? Okay cause I feel like nobody's breathing I feel like I'm looking out feeling like like sucking all the energy out of the room because every okay. Okay, good. Thank you. Are you said it like raise the roof arsenio or amen. Okay, even okay, great. So I contacted making the effort and this is the response. So judging other three criteria ppp personality I want to see more of it. It was the shades more here because you did shoot at hotel monaco, but show me because I'm me, linc I saw welcomes. It was very nice. So so show me that promptness you got back to the same day and portfolio didn't see that one thing I want to note, however, is that I contacted you via your blow and this is what is on your block. This is the contact page on your block. This is the default text widget for your contact area to change this text, go to the widgets page and edit or delete the default widget in the contact form area for an explanation of how the widgets work. You remember that two grand way are going to get into what happens when design processes go amiss? That is next month y'all so in tune into that, but what you have are specific directions on how you could change the widget page. The last thing I want people to think is that they go to your contacting you through your bog, and they might think I don't know, but they could think that you don't have attention to detail, and they're hiring you to capture the details of their day just something to keep in mind. Um, I also don't want people to think that this spreads into other aspects of your business, how people will guess how she responds to other things based on what they initially see on the outside. Right now we're going to melissa hey, lady, I'm happy to hear from you, I love what I do and I'm grateful too share more information with you and your honey. First things first when he's your wedding to give you an idea of what you can expect my photography here's a link all the images that photograph of the yacht club it's a beautiful venue and the catering is delish y their ceremony and bridal pictures took place at yale university. Then melissa gives me a link to their entire viewing gallery to get teo and to get to know myself photography I have some more links to other weddings, engagement sessions from and engagement sessions from the year she lets the wedding's she lost engagements. I've attached my current wedding pricing and what it includes but you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to send me an email at any time. I would love to grab coffee with you two get to know you better and hear more about your amazing day I'm so happy for you and I hope you're having a blast planning your wedding okay, I think this is by far the most showing personality so that's great think it's a really good start I think you did your homework. You gave her an opportunity to see more um so good job on that one thing to be cautious of it is like I mentioned before, you always want to start an email professionally, so I think that hey lady is perfect if you work that into your branding and you could start responding that way in future emails but at the outset is going to be important for you to respond to her by her name because we don't know she's a doctor a lawyer, a statistician they're all really really formal okay, so also I'm going to caution you against sending a full gallery of your images because what I think is happening is as a bride it's so easy to be so overwhelmed with eight hundred images from a wedding to go through and I don't necessarily know if it's putting your best foot forward I believe that forty curated images put together in a nice collection is better than eight hundred of all of them and not only did you send eight hundred but you sent her eight hundred from the yacht club wedding and then you sent her another eight hundred eight hundred eight hundred and then a estimate of engagements another hundred estimated that close it like four thousand images that's a lot for somebody to work through and it could be very overwhelming so we've to think like a bride if it's too overwhelming she might walk away keep it simple and put your best foot forward because what I clicked on the gallery that you had sent tio the wedding and this is the first thing that showed so as a bride if I'm coming here in the first thing I see our guys getting dressed drinking beer it's not going to be the best its right now this is really hard and this is the thing that I couldn't sleep last night because I'm like, I don't like telling people, but I don't know. Okay, so what I want you to do at minimum if you go home and say, you know what I like showing the gallery's that's, my steel. Oh, jasmine doesn't have it right? Fine, perfect. The only thing I'm begging you is to start this gallery with your curated images. I want a folder of your best photos, so a highlight of the day, so start with the favorites holder so that when they land on this page with their first thing is the story told from your lens great, we're going to go tio this point now, kelly answer von does wedding was on melissa's blawg because this is how I found out that she had shot at the yacht club and what I found were beautifully curated images. This is exactly what I wanted. I'm not saying that one way is better than the other, but what I'm saying it's a lot more digestible for a bride to look at a singular story from a photographer and a single point view in a highly curated manner because remember, we are photographers, but we're also cure raiders of our own work an artist here in seattle area has the formal luxury of having a third party coming and saying this is how your work looks best we don't have that so we must do that so honing it down I believe that less is more if a client asks for more this is the perfect time for them to send them kelly and tomatoes entire gallery because she's mentally prepared to go through all that she might not be mentally prepared to get four thousand images okay put your best foot forward I contacted melissa via her website on december sixteen and then I didn't get a response so I had to resend it on december twenty sixth totally like yes yes I want you to see this now this is about twenty think like I got the email in my life I didn't get it but I was like it's coming from jennifer smith at a well dot com like are you for real I know like and it was such a vague like I'm getting married by like it was like it was just it was morally questioning like this this looks like somebody's messing with me okay in that scenario we're going to get to this in a second in that scenario you should have a preliminary email to request the information you want because guess what brides are driving talking to their friends meeting girlfriends on airplanes and you know what this girl melissa melissa kilner she looks at pra phone from an email that she had sent to you and she the other home girl, is on her ipad and send you an email she's not gonna get into a dissertation about her love story she's gonna ask for quick things, so I don't think that you should dismiss somebody for lack of their integrity via email and to truth be told, we can't think the way that our clients think I mean my mom a lot of gosh it's embarrassing, but my mom's still uses email I mean, you know well, so if there's a mother of the bride who's looking for a bra for a photographer, it could still come from so these are things to carefully take into consideration but that's fine, because I recently email on december twenty six and you responded to me that day, so okay, well then that's good soas faras the three piece promptness. We're going to get better personality. You should be a little too much personality and portfolio should be a little too much portfolio, but we're gonna bring it more towards the center as faras and one thing I want to point out between melissa and mickey is it felt like and it could be wrong it felt like writing each female individually totally if you are writing okay if you're writing the scene evil more than once, you got to make a template, we'll talk more about how to use that in a second. We're go to ryan first. Hi, john, congrats on your big day. Thanks for reaching out. November ninth is available. I absolutely love la toya, so you would definitely get some amazing shots. Here's a recent wedding that I shot at the la valencia in la toya and he links to his block. Did you work before working? Okay? Coverage starts at twenty one hundred packets are all inclusive, including plenty of time in engagement session, wedding album, digital negative and host of other things. He lists the same email as it was before, so I'm going to not going to repeat it cause it's the same thing. Please let me know which option we're three things, right? Okay, now one thing I want to point out about this email was that a so far is ppp promises great back in the same portfolio, great personality, it was good, it could get better because we want to find out what specifics about her days so that you could kind of personalized email one thing to be cautious of in between both emails, you had listed twenty, five hundred in the first email. Twenty one hundred in the second email now I'm going to be talking about pricing and we're gonna deconstruct pricing next month but right now I'm not gonna have an issue that you changed your prices if you want to get into a new market if you want to make yourself more enticing to work there the thing that I'm worried about is that if you booked a sacramento bride but say in december and then her friend contact her friend right jen contacts in three weeks later and you sent her a different price without knowing where the referral came from it would be so awkward for her those two friends be like yes but he just booked to ryan and he's twenty one hundred and she's like wait what I paid twenty five hundred and he's worked shooting at my place next door girl will get get way have to be careful asking where the referral came from really does make a big deal because a lot of times I recently got an inquiry from a from a friend of the bride who I shot my first year I was charging fifteen hundred dollars and I don't charge with the hand dollars anymore so I had to preface when she said oh blankets in your way I had to purpose that he attacked my collections I just wanna let you know I shot their wedding my first year I'm so blessed because business has grown so I was kind of prefacing it by like, there might be a little bit of sticker shock here because of the difference of, like, a few years, so when I top tio earlier, we spoke how I limit my email correspondence to sixty to seventy minutes a day I think that collectively were also overwhelmed with email, so why do we find it so important for us to chain ourselves to email? A few years ago, I created a series of temple emails to help streamline my communication with my clients if I have to write the same e mail more than once there's no sense in me doing that, so I started just kind of creating a stack of email templates in how I respond, and now I have ten email templates that I used to streamline initial correspondents by using a template each e mail from a client takes me less than a minute to respond, tio and they're personalized help me state organized now if I were to receive an email from jen like the one she had sent you like I'm having a small wedding, the place that I dirty shot, I'd sent her the first female bride's name groom's name, wedding day all that mean stuff like that and this is how I would respond to that email I would respond with hae gien first off, thank you for contacting me it's a true honor to even be considered to document your wedding and I appreciate your time and consideration in advance. I look forward to getting to know you better, and I hope our paths cross in the near future as you plan your fabulous wedding next december at the high craft manner in vancouver. Are you recently shot a wedding there? So if you'd like to see such a gorgeous menu photograph from my perspective, you could do so here attached you'll find a chilled information regarding my collections to give any questions, please feel free to contact me. I'm also sending you links to my wedding and engagement work to better acquaint you with my style and photographic voice. Should you like to do more of my portfolio? Lastly, to see recent ongoing in my life in business, feel free to check out my block. I hope to hear from you soon stay fabulous jasmine that a list, three weddings and three engagement sessions. This email was a stronger presentation because I'm telling you I shot at that wedding before I'm trying to find commonalities and I'm trying to showcase how I would photograph that venue with my voice now if I didn't know if I haven't shot at that particular venue, I just take up those. Details of where I had a wedding before but I'm still personalizing it too I look forward to your wedding next december list the month I look forward to it at the venue so what you're telling her is I'm hearing you looking back I realize the importance of prompt responses and streamline communication I was frustrated by sitting in front of the computer day after day writing this scene email over again so I created syriza female templates to help free my time and I made these have been email templates available for photographers at jasmine star store dot com so people ask what they are it is a pdf of ten emails dealing with how to gracefully say no to somebody asking for a discount how to prepare clients for an engagement session how to follow up with a client when someone else inquires about the same wedding date that you're working with that client and seven other emails they said the most common emails that I'm requested up so saving time this's if this is an area where you guys are struggling you guys can you guys will get them but it's an area where you guys are struggling download the pdf but what we're gonna do first is one a move first into our first in class assignment all right so now this is the first assignment and before we close this section on communication I want teo here from the in studio participants I want to hear from those of you online, we're going to do a quick assignment to help you work through your initial response inquiry. Take a minute to think about how your current response looks. It looks close to nikki ryan's and or melissa's. Then what can you do to start asking the questions you need now? I gave you a sample bride seems grooming you can follow that example, or you can make stuff it's entirely your own something that caters to your demographic. You argue your geographic and war bride. So I want you to think about that's going to give you a little bit of leeway. Teo, get a head start, we're gonna be moving into ten minutes of q and a and then we're moving to a ten minute break. You have twenty minutes to put together this email, but if you spend ten of those twenty minutes writing the email, you're going to see herself hours later on riding these emails. I'm looking for samples to read when we come back from break, so we'll get into the q and a right about now I'm going to look for samples from y'all jd will be the one siphoning, I'm not going to pick you guys, I'm not going to be very harsh if you guys would like to read a sample. Give like a copy to jd what kind of pick one at random I'm going to read one of the photographers if you guys are volunteering or if not I will just pick one so you better write one on dh jd is going to be checking in on the facebook group so if you all are in the facebook group and you guys are writing and you guys want to share your simple email share to help others or charity benefit yourself alvin reading a simple online we're talking if it's great it's great it needs a little improvement we can do that to know if you guys are still interested in the facebook group this is the email this's the girl to the facebook group so on that note we're going to turn it over teo do you guys have questions not questions yet but it's really helpful okay it's not easy saying are you know responses are imperfectly but it's really, really helpful okay I'm feeling okay but you're really tired I'll get you a drink later I'm like why is there something from candidate in the room? Okay okay because I was like day first restart we went international thank you for being here this is so so so cool but what I want to do is make sure that y'all have time to just flesh out your answers you all time to get your answers questions your questions answered and those of you online so outlets the less kind of peace peace it in way were scheduled for ten minutes a q and a I wouldn't mind doing the fifteen and celeste kind of jumping in and giving us like an idea perfect yet we could break early that's totally great so totally up to you okay great but let's start with q and a right and thank you from our people at home okay? This question is from mega meg and she asked when you send a new inquiry in the first response how long do you wait before you follow up without rushing them there's a wonderful question I come from I come from the school of thought that if they want you they will respond if they don't respond to that first email they were it was just kind of more like a cattle call inquiry there is occasionally over the holidays where if I feel maybe emails kind of god there was absence or if I really really felt like this was a good match of a client and maybe I just occasionally I'll follow up in the email pdf of responses I do have the follow up that I send to clients but I don't normally send a follow up now that he's just not that into you yeah basically it's like dating right like you giving out your phone number and then he just doesn't call if you really like any white text in but if you're like you know think that they're going to step up exactly bagley didn't know it was just like dating all right that's awesome! So we'll take one we're from here then guys in the audience, women get ready so a question from love note is how can an introvert show personality? Um, no, that was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful question this is a crazy thing, and I don't think that people who are participated with creative lives would agree, but I am an introvert. I know that sounds so ridiculous, but there is a sub sect of a category called an outgoing introvert, so I am an outgoing introvert, but it takes every and I was back behind the stage, crying and he's like, yeah, hold together right about now. S oh, it takes so much for me to come out, it takes so much time nervous takes everything when I'm talking specifically about showcasing personality, what I mean is showcasing your personality in a way that caters to their needs. I'm not saying for you, teo, especially when it comes to email correspondence. You don't need to talk about how you like long walks on the beach in my ties, right you what you need to do is to showcase how unique you are and your personality in that she liked she you know she had the view the bride he says, oh, I spent four hours on pinterest everyday that's a red flag what you should be saying I love capturing details here's a sample of a style shoot I recently said I wonder for this will be to your liking what you're trying to do if you're extra vert an introvert or outgoing introvert you confined ways to lover jet and this is beautiful that's why? I think actually I'm better with email than I am on the phone emails my love language I can control my words there is a delete key which is so beautiful and I missed the delete key in real life. So it's easy, easy for foreign introverted photographer to showcase the email yes, so you have, like a pinpoint what you kind of like dissect what they write and you're like yes, because what happens if we're going to get to this in a minute about how we interact with clients during interviews? But what happens is we get into an interview mode when we're talking to clients and our clients will tell us something and were like so I want an award and and what we're saying is I'm listening, but I'm not hearing so it's really important for us to say what we're forced to read what's going on between the lines great. And they think we're you know, I would love to ask the three of you up there do you consider yourself introverts are extroverts down the line where extroverts a little obnoxious? Yeah, no, you're not going. You said I'm an extrovert. Yes, and then you said obnoxious and I know my timing was really you're not not at all you're very outgoing. I feel like I'm more introvert online like that when I meet them, I feel like I'm more of an extra burden, like I rather meet them in person than this e mail's not my love love language remember the email leaves to the meeting the meeting leads to hopefully booking so you gotta get it started strong. I probably am extroverted for the most part. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nicky makes strange, like makes friends with strangers. I would think like the little that I know of her it's like she just connects people and it's just like draws or them into her little orbit. I think he has that effect. Why don't we go to the studio audience if someone would like tio osmond questioning first jasmine love you finally you have it here. Thank you. My question is about the information that you request in the first email, sara's location and waiting looking location and reception location one of things that I've learned from following you is the importance of clicking with your bride and that personality, so I never asked that because they don't want the bride to think that I would be picking them based on their location or reception location. Is that something that you've come across? No knows it's never know because I prefaced the email by asking her if you could take two minutes, it'll help me streamliner communication and ensure your well taken care of. If I had sent that without a preference preface, I think that it might rub her the wrong way like I'm trying to, like screen my clients and word to the wise, I don't scream icon if they want to hire me, I put so much information about myself that you will have a good idea if you like me or you don't. So when I'm requesting that information, I'm going to hope that they have, like a motor calm of knowing a little bit about me. But if they don't and that email rubs him the wrong way, that rubs you the wrong way, chances are our future interactions way, so they were never my client to begin with and here's the thing, I know that it sounds like I'm making this up. Broad sweeping statement and it's difficult to think about it in this context but the sooner you realize that your business will go farther with four brides who love you and support you and will evangelize for desert ur business it is far stronger than ten or fifteen brides who are like my foot is your great and then they don't they don't share it to finding that right bride even at the risk of initially ruffling their feathers if you respond the way that I responded I'm so happy you were getting married the high croft I shot there too so that's that's a goal thank you thank you I okay thiss came up when you were talking about email what if they extreme your investment right away like normally I'll get a brighter day oh this is my day please them your collections without even wanting to know oh yeah, absolutely, absolutely because what it's initially what it's inadvertently channeling or saying is that I'm I value what I do I'm not a photographer for higher value my art I value my services I don't have to say I value it but by responding back to her and most times when they have a bride who says, oh my budget is this I'm getting buried here on the state can you get back to me prices so all respond and then she'll respond can you please send prices so you still give her the list of information before you send the pricing giving the second female? No, I will only send her pricing if she responds to me. Okay, thank you. So I just want to follow up on that question just to reiterate make sure that I think you're something because I'm like it makes sense to me. No, this is great. This is good. Eso when you get your initial inquiry from them on dh, you respond back are you and they're asking for, like, just basically availability pricing you're sending your collection like attached? I noticed that they all did. They send their collections out the gate, which is not a bad thing. I mean, teach their own. I've just discovered that the more I can get them to participate with me in the beginning, the higher likelihood that they're really interested in hiring me to begin with. So I send the collection menu after, so I said the first email requesting their information, then they send it back to me. Then I send that second email the one that list I'm so glad you're getting near to the high profits I shot there. I send in my style and attached is then my collection. Because they want to get them remember the three piece I want to be prompt with that response I want to show my portfolio which I'm doing by saying I shot that man you hear other weddings that I like or hear other ways that a shot and my personality personality being how I conservatism in a way that you need to them because that gorgeous venue the's words air kind of thought about in advance and I don't have to rethink them because I have a template email great thank you thank you okay jasmine we have a question from de picks who is from connecticut and they ask how do we know when we are ready to become a professional photographer? It's not just about the business family and friends will always say your work is good but how do we know when it's truly good? Okay, sometimes I answer a question and then I regret it later like my response but I'm skint respond the way that it comes to me I think it's photographers and maybe I'm just speaking for myself I always don't work I always doubt my credibility I always dealt my worth I've learned to not price may worth according to what I feel about it I'm letting the market dictate if I could book client and at the prices that I'm booking them there's a demand for what I do if he picks from connecticut is trying teo say charge a thousand dollars your wedding and here she can't get a thousand dollars for a wedding. It has no bearing on whether or not he's good he might just not have the portfolios to substantiate requesting that amount, so in that case I would encourage him or her. Teo really work in that portfolio, connect with other photographers in the facebook group, see if you can third shoot, I was fourth shooting early in my career, I was shooting the other photographers shooting so whatever you can do just to be at a wedding and understand what it is, and even if you get one portfolio piece, you're diversifying your portfolio in a different way, and then it will kind of have your friends and family talk about you differently. Early on my friend's family like, oh, jazz and it's got a camera shall take photos of you now by friends and family are saying dozens and photographer you should check out our website, those air, too very different conversations and that's how we should start encouraging our friends and family talk about us, but first we need to show them that we're professionals, all right, just a number of people are asking online, and this is from alicia, how would you personalize an email for a location which you are not familiar with? There's a myriad of ways if, for instance, it's a destination wedding, which are harder for me to be really familiar with, say, venues in texas, what I would do it to find the closest things similar to what she's requesting. So if she's getting married in houston at a venue I haven't shot at, I would send a link to a wedding that I had shot in houston might not be the same, but winning, but I think I love houston, and then I'll say something like this particular tex mex restaurant was one of my faves anything to find commonalities and put up a personality of face to who's writing that email, and if I have nothing, then I just am really looking forward to your december wedding at the high carb matter, even though I haven't shot just basically let her know that you're listening that's all. What is the point in a business where the client load is big enough to be selective? If your client load is big enough to be selective, chances are you're not charging enough. So if you have this abundance to be like I e choose you today, I'm not at that point in my business, like if somebody wants to hire me great, I will send you how I take my methods of payment. Chances are that there's a lot of people who want what he what he what ryan there's a lot of changes that people want, what ryan does so he can afford to bump up the price is just a tiny bit which will cut out that referral that the answer, the periphery referral structure, and so he'll get less enquiries, but he'll get paid more for doing at that moment. I remember you saying couple years ago, ifyou're not hustling there's something if not hustling for the work. Yeah, there's something wrong? Absolutely there is always, and I don't want to feel a little bit weird saying it, but there should always be that little bit of desperation that's pushing you forward that hustle, that fire under your bum because I know that I could be shooting a lot more weddings, charging less and there's always a every I mean, I stuck with it every like november I'm like, okay, I'm laurie when prices I just wanna book every weekend out, this is what I'm gonna do. I'm just gonna change. And then I realized we've worked really hard to get here, and every wedding that we book at the prices that we want is further further confidence that we're supposed to be where we are supposed to be, and that kind of like desperation turns into a hustle. What do I got to go? Who do I have to meet? Who I have to talk teo on saturday about my teeth cleaned and my dental hygienist was wearing a ring but it didn't have a setting it was just a diamond from looking over like okay, I got up and was taking off my bed and I was like congrats on getting engaged and she's like oh, how did you know I was like, oh, your ring it doesn't have a setting I'm a wedding photographer so I notice those things just like I'm getting married later this year was awesome. So your wedding photographer also yeah and so I handle my business card we now have cavities I hav e o I they rolled cavities there like childhood, but either way, she's a dentist that's you know, we're ok. We're singing about marketing perspective if there's somebody in a certain social strata specifically in southern california and come to find out she's also engaged to a dentist, chances are they're gonna have a budget that could substantiate investing in a photographer in the price range for matt. So it doesn't just exist beyond, you know, online it's it extends beyond beyond that. So yeah, on the look out everywhere I went shopping once I dropped this card for girl who helped me feel like I'm getting married a secure way to hustle that desperation to be like I don't care where it comes from god work alright way have a minute or so okay before we go to break so let's get in another question or two maybe so this is we know that today we're talking with we have wedding photographers and we're talking about wedding photography. However, there are a lot of portrait photographer people online who are not wedding photographers and they're wondering would you said suggest the same email strategy for portrait photography this was from a studio thirty four in germany then it's another question come in if you had any recommendations for the three piece for portrait businesses, I think that the three piece would still be applicable now we can get into the specifics of writing I don't do portrait photography I am I am a a boutique wedding photography studio I specialize in weddings. However there are certain principles if I received an email that I love for you to take the photos okay one I want to know how many people are going to be in that family photo because family photo of three is very different family feeling of thirteen your prices might change as a byproduct of that you need to know those kind of things I want to know what time of year you want to know the venue if thing all we want to get have r family photos that o'neill park perfect opportunity for you say I've shut it o'neill park at for a family of four years like my portfolio same principles heavily apply just kind of think a little bit outside of the box how you can start catering your business to finding this specific client you want to work with ok, we'll take one more for you and I like to ask the big questions oh susie I am ok l seventeen o to ask how do you find the courage to leave the comfort zone and take the plunge? Um well I, um I hedge my bets I think I am not a risk taker that is, I think that's why my relationship with my friends of relationship with my husband really balances me out because I have a tendency to be attracted to risky people or people people who like taking risk I'm risk averse, I hedge my hedges, so for me it wasn't it was a calculated risk, so I was working part time and I was making x a year and I made the decision that the minute I booked enough weddings to help me get to match for I was an x for that year if I book that many weddings I'm leaving it was a simple numbers game but in tow x I also had health insurance incorporated into my part time came it was pretty good job. So I had to allocate the money that I was getting paid for health insurance, so that kind of it was x plus health insurance. The minute I booked that many weddings, which for me, that number was twenty two weddings. The minute I booked twenty two weddings in two thousand six was the minute I walked away, and that was in april of two thousand six. We ended up that year with thirty eight weddings, so it was a calculated risk that paid off and have since the company has grown, and now both my husband and I are employed full time as a byproduct of that risk, but I would not have walked away simply because I'm just so frustrated with my cubicle life. Well, a lot of us are. I was frustrated in my cubicle. I was frustrated with my flash that sandwich in like the brown paper bag that was sitting underneath my desk full of resources, out blogging, they're going to conferences. I've been there if you leave too early there's chances that you're going to have to go back to the cubicle. The goal is to prepare yourself with the mind set you're never going back to cubicle, so what do you need to do financially to put you in that place?

Class Description


  • Develop and provide a consistent brand experience to your clients
  • Conduct streamlined client communication with confidence
  • Produce portfolio pieces that represent your brand
  • Launch an efficient marketing plan with the resources you have at hand
  • Revamp your pricing structure for maximum profitability


This is not your regular one-off workshop - this is a three month long relaunch of your photography business that will produce lasting change.

Join world-renowned photographer and business strategist Jasmine Star and the reSTARt community in a deep dive to transform your business. Learn how to inject your true self into your brand as an entrepreneur, armed with a toolkit of photography skills, formidable online presence, and a powerful business plan. This is not just watching - this is action: Jasmine walks you through the steps to run a successful photography studio and challenges you to answer the difficult questions along the way.


This class is for new photographers and professional photographers of all experience levels interested in launching or revamping their own business.


Jasmine Star guides entrepreneurs to build a brand and market it on social media. After quitting law school, she picked up a camera, built an internationally recognized business, and teaches others how to do the same. In addition to chasing wild dreams, Jasmine works with her husband and grumpy dog, and you'll likely find her walking her hometown streets of Newport Beach, California with a box of gluten free donuts. 

Connect with Jasmine online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Snapchat -> @thejasminestar


  1. Introduction to reSTARt

    Meet Jasmine Star and reSTARt’s three highlighted photographers: Nikki, Ryan, and Marissa. What will you accomplish through this course? What common struggles do photography entrepreneurs face and how will reSTARt arm you with the necessary tools and strategies?

  2. Client Email Communication

    Research shows the most important factors in getting hired by new clients. Jasmine dives into the business of photography and how to cater to your target market. Learn how to streamline your email communication with potential clients using effective templates, hear Jasmine’s feedback, and get your first assignment.

  3. Email Response Homework

    Review your improved client correspondence with the class as Jasmine answers live questions from the studio and web audience. How can you best showcase your personality via email? What’s an appropriate email length?

  4. What is a Brand?

    A brand is beyond a business name, logo, and business cards. What is your brand and how can you enrich the experiences you provide to your clients? Why is this important and what impact will this have on your business?

  5. Consultations: the Art of the Interview

    Phone and in-person interviews make or break a booking. The good news is you don’t need naturally stellar people skills to conduct a great interview. Learn how to approach client meetings with confidence and ease: learn how to decipher meeting patterns and plan for them, which questions to ask, how to respond to your client’s needs, and how to present your services in an authentic way. Receive your next assignment: a conversation map.

  6. Client Meeting Q&A

    Jasmine answers web and live questions regarding client meetings: how do you communicate with family members? How do you manage client communication within your team? What should you bring and how do you wrap it up?

  7. Branding

    How do you approach defining your brand? What are brand words and how may your type of photography affect them? Jasmine demonstrates how to shoot for your brand words with a clip of an actual shoot and models how to think through your branding action plan.

  8. Shooting Experience: Shooting for your Brand

    Professional photography goes far beyond the products you produce: learn how to ensure the best shooting experience for your clients, work with a stylist, and shoot for your brand. Jasmine, Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa provide you the rare opportunity to see a shoot in action with live feedback.

  9. Shoot Review and Q&A

    Reflect on the shoot with the class and prepare for your next assignment. Jasmine wraps up the first day by answering questions and addressing how to balance who you are and who you want to be as a professional photographer.

  1. Introduction and Day 1 Recap

    Class resumes and we learn the progress Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa have made over the past month. Jasmine reviews the steps you’ve taken to restart your own photography business and the focus of the next installment of classes.

  2. The Viewer Experience

    Why is the viewer experience essential to a successful business? How can you develop your online presence to reflect your brand and attract your target market? Receive your next assignment and create your client profile.

  3. Prospective Client Online Review

    Making your contact information available online does not guarantee bookings from prospective clients. Your website and blog are your online storefront; learn how to structure both to provide a smooth and consistent experience for your audience. Watch real critique of Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa’s websites.

  4. How to Strengthen Your Online Experience

    How can you build a high quality online presence that reflects who you are personally and professionally? Your next assignment is a photo safari - the first step to strengthening your online storefront.

  5. Website Design with Promise Tangeman

    Design guru Promise Tangeman shares the top three ways you can improve your online presence and advises on how to best work with graphic designers. Learn the necessary components for easy navigation and hear her feedback regarding Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa’s websites.

  6. Website Design Q&A

    Get your website makeover questions answered: how do you approach developing a style or look? How do you write content? What should your “About Me” section include? How can you do usability testing?

  7. Shooting Experience, Day 2

    Today’s shoot is drastically different - simple with limited props. Jasmine ups the ante and pressure, pushing the three photographers to make changes in real time. Watch and learn how to give specific directions, achieve intentional yet natural looking poses, create story through actions, and diversify your portfolio within the same pose.

  8. Pitfalls of Pricing

    Pull apart your business structure and analyze your pricing model. Learn the most common pitfalls of pricing and how to maximize your profitability in different packages. How do fixed costs and outsourcing factor in? Why aren’t you booking more weddings? Prepare for your next assignment.

  9. One on Ones and Q&A

    Jasmine responds class needs and answers one-on-one questions, covering coordinating shoots, business names, getting feedback from clients, charging sales tax, working overtime, balancing your personal and professional online presence, and more.

  1. Introduction: Change + Struggle

    The class reconvenes; Jasmine reviews what we’ve tackled together thus far and shares the progress the reSTARt community has made over the past month, from networking to new websites.

  2. Reintroduction to Photographers

    How have Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa implemented what they’ve learned in the past 30 days? What does it mean to transition from part-time to full-time?

  3. Marketing Strategies

    Traditional forms of marketing can be costly and not as accessible to small business owners. Jasmine teaches you how to use the marketing materials you already have at hand to execute an effective strategy that won’t drain your bank account. She shares what she did to maximize her profitability to what it is today.

  4. Marketing Q&A

    What factors should you consider in submitting weddings for publication? Do you blog every wedding? How do you work with cinematographers? What are the best marketing investments? Jasmine answers surfacing questions and we hear from past CreativeLive students regarding the right tools for them.

  5. Website Reveal with Promise Tangeman

    Promise is back in the studio with the big reveal: see how Nikki, Ryan, and Melissa’s websites have transformed to improve their online presence. Promise shares her tips on how to communicate with a designer during the revision process.

  6. Networking

    A lone wolf does not build a successful photography business. Whether you’re dedicated to wedding photography, portrait photography, or pet photography, networking with new people is essential. Jasmine shares her own struggles, her best networking tips, and a secretly filmed video.

  7. Social Media

    What advantages and disadvantages do different social media platforms provide and how do you best leverage them to grow your business? How do you network with industry connections and clients via social media? Jasmine demonstrates the power of effective social media strategy with real examples.

  8. SEO with Lawrence Chan

    Your domain name is your address, but prospective clients need to be guided to your business. Sit down with photographer and SEO (search engine optimization) whiz Lawrence Chan as he shares his top ten SEO tips to ensure you are on the first page of a prospective client’s internet search.

  9. Pricing Questions

    Jasmine answers a range of pricing questions. Business expenses go beyond just Photoshop, Lightroom, and equipment; how does a small business owner best track and manage expenses? How do you understand wedding and overall business profitability? Jasmine shares the final class assignment.

  10. Goodbyes and The Definition of Success

    The reSTARt community closes the course, yet the network and relationships continue. What are Jasmine and community members’ most important takeaways? Change isn’t always constant - what can you do if you don’t see changes in your expected timeline? What actions can you take right now?


a Creativelive Student

Jasmine Star is a "star". I was so inspired by her and her marketing. She has got her brand defined perfectly. She is a brilliant woman. The way she thinks about building a brand and never deviating from her vision is amazing. She is also very humble and her stories about growing up were so heartfelt. She is a true story of rags to riches. I came away with a ton of respect for her and a wealth of information. If you are exhausted trying to be a photographer for everyone, and not going in a strong direction-buy this now! The transformation in the three photographers that participated, from their improvement in shooting to their amazing new websites, will inspire you so much. Do you want to transform your business? They grew in three months the amount it will take you three years to do on your own.

a Creativelive Student

THANK YOU Jasmine for this precious lessons, you teach us! only i re-start watching my course today and i already feel some new inspiration to take my business to next level, you talk a lot and that good energy always helps to put this motivation on. Still do a good work! CS