Whether you offer them once a year around the holidays, or seasonally, mini sessions can be a great way to reach new prospects, gain new clients, and make a quick buck during slow times of the year.
But, what is it about mini sessions that will make them successful?
First of all, you need to know the true definition of a mini session.
Unlike a full session that you typically offer, mini sessions are booked and sold on the principle of them being smaller, more compact sessions that still align with your current business model and pricing.
They are NOT discounted sessions, rather, they are a limited edition session that only roll around once or twice a year.
Mini sessions offer a chance to outsiders to "try you out" as a photographer or grab a handful of photos if they don't have the budget for a full session.
When planned and communicated effectively, mini sessions can be a huge success to your wallet and to your client's satisfaction if a few guidelines are implemented.
Let's uncover a few simple, yet powerful, ways to make your mini session event the best yet!
Create a landing page for your minis
This part I have found to be absolutely essential in the marketing and booking process of mini sessions.
After years of toying and tweaking with packages, pricing, and marketing strategies, I have found that the best method for creating hype and urgency (while providing all the information needed) is through a landing page.
This could be a temporary page you have on your website or a simple blog post like mine, but make sure you include this as a part of your mini session success strategy.
Make sure you include things like:
- Mini session date(s) and location
- Packages and fees
- Available session times
- Terms & conditions
- How to book & contact information
I have found it extremely helpful to include all of the session time slots that are available, so when a new client reaches out, they know exactly what time they can book.
This not only makes the booking process super easy, but when the landing page gets updated with a line through that spot, it creates urgency to others.
Being able to visualize how fast the sessions are being booked helps get your spots booked faster with a higher chance of success! (this is the first year I have implemented this method and booked over half my spots within 3 days!)
Don't have a landing page? Get one!
Communicate terms & conditions
While it's a good idea to have this information on your landing page, it's even more essential to communicate this throughout the booking process.
Make sure you let your clients know what you expect from the start.
If your minis are non-refundable (which I highly suggest to secure bookings, your time, and income), then make sure they know this right from the start.
Don't just stop there though, make sure your client has the opportunity to know & view this information at least 3 times. (Example: on your landing page, in your correspondence emails, and in your contract). This can help iron out any sticky situations down the line if you come across a bad egg who could threaten legal action.
For me, I have this info on my landing page, in my emails sent to my clients, in my mini session contract, and again in my mini session information flyer I sent them before the session.
This way, they know my standards from the get-go and know what to expect from me.
And, this also makes you look even more professional!
I have found that being extra prepared with my terms & conditions have left no room for me to be haggled or challenged by a client. On the contrary, I am seen as a confident professional who knows their way around business.
If you don't have a mini session contract, then this is an absolute must! Grab a premade contract here if you're short on time and a trip to your attorney.
Offer a quick turn-around time
If you're only offering a small package to your mini session clients, then your turnaround time should be equally short.
If you typically take 2 weeks to turn photos around, aim for 1 week or earlier with your minis.
This will not only make you look even more professional and favorable to your clients, but it will help the flow of your sessions remain steady and in order (especially if you end up having a few clients who are slower decision makers when it comes to deciding which photos they want to keep in their gallery).
Sure, you might be pulling more late nights getting these photos edited & ready for viewing, but you'll have happier clients in the end - so that's all that matters!
If you find yourself spending more than 30 minutes editing a mini session, then something in your workflow might need a little tweaking to help accommodate the extra surge of photo sessions.
Don't forget to grab yourself some of our time-saving Lightroom presets to help assist you in your editing workflow.
Give your clients a reason to book you again
A mini session should just be a small taste of what you normally offer to your clients, just enough to work up an appetite for more!
You can do this a number of ways to fit your brand and your very own personality, but here's a few ideas to help you get started:
- Send each client a hand-written thank you note after the session. This should surprise them & show that you truly appreciate their business.
- Include an extra bonus item they weren't expecting like a custom photo app or small promotional item as a gift.
- Under promise, over deliver. Tell them to expect their photos in 10 days, but deliver them in 5. They will be excited to have them sooner and will appreciate the extra steps you took to serve them better.
- Give them a chance to review their experience with you. This will be helpful to gain new feedback, but it will also remind them of the wonderful experience they had with you and will help them to remember their time with you even more.
Whatever you decide to do, any of the above (or all of the above), this is your last chance to really knock the socks off of your new clients!
If they've had a rocky experience with past photographers, this will be a golden opportunity to show that not all photographers serve the same way and that you can be fully trusted as an artist & professional.
Don't allow this crucial opportunity go to waste!
When it's all said and done, the most important aspect of ensuring successful mini sessions boils down to one thing: being prepared and being organized.
When you are fully prepared for every scenario you can think of, it will help you to be more organized and foresee any potential problem - making it a smooth sailing & fun process.
How will these tips help ensure your next mini session event? Start the discussion below & let's chat about it!