Using Email to build your relationships and book out your photography business with Mrs. Vondy

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Podcast cover for How You Pictured It Episode 36, Using Email to build relationships and book out your photography business with Mrs. Vondy

On this episode of How You Pictured It, we discuss how photographers can effectively use email marketing to reach and engage with their ideal clients. Our expert, Mrs. Vondy, shares helpful tips on how to create valuable freebies, nurture potential clients with a sequence of emails, and keep email newsletters simple yet informative to stay top of mind. Additionally, they offer insights into using storytelling and providing helpful information to establish expertise and prompt bookings. Tune in to learn about email frequency, sequencing, and scheduling, as well as best practices for warming up your audience before a sale.

We cover: 
• How you can get email wrong
• How to get started the right way
• Ideas for lead magnets, freebies, or opt-ins
• What a welcome sequence should include
• Ideal email schedules
and more!

Learn more from Shannon at
Join the Email Club:

About your host

Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps creative entrepreneurs and service providers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success.  Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through her signature course, The Website Launch Accelerator, done-for-you website designs, and 1:1 coaching.

Check out Kate Online: Website | Instagram | Tiktok | Pinterest


[00:00:00] Kate: I’m here today with Shannon. I know her as Mrs. Vondy on Instagram. She’s also the owner, um, and coach at the email club.

[00:00:09] Shannon, why don’t you give us just a quick introduction, overview of yourself.

[00:00:13] Shannon: Yeah, sure. Thanks for having me. Um, I’m Shannon, aka a Mrs. Vondi. Um, I’m just your friendly neighborhood email marketer. I fell in love with email when I sent one email to my list and I made $2,600 and I realized I suddenly understood why everyone was talking about why email is amazing.

[00:00:31] Um, and so therefore I thought, you know, what, is anyone teaching this in a cool way? Is anyone showing other business owners how to do this? And so I started the email club. Yay. That’s my very short version of that story.

[00:00:43] Kate: Yeah. Yeah. Well, in your business that you sent the email for was your wedding photography business, correct.

[00:00:49] Shannon: Yes. Yeah. Um, to go, I can go longer into that story if you want. I’ll keep it brief. But yeah, essentially I, in 2020 when the world shut down and I had no weddings and nothing on my [00:01:00] calendar and was panicking a little bit, a friend of mine needed help with email, who’s an email marketer as well. And so I helped her and then I thought, you know what?

[00:01:06] I should try this again. Cause I’d tried email in the past. I’d been a wedding photographer for 10 years at that point. Um, and I just, I tried it, it just never really worked for me. And I realized actually I was just doing it wrong the whole time. Yeah. Um, so once I, you know, worked with that friend and I thought, you know what, I’m just gonna try this again.

[00:01:23] That’s when I sent the one email and I made $2,600 and I. Had a, an epiphany.

[00:01:28] Kate: So backing up, what, um, mistakes did you feel like you were making before, now that you can look back and see, um, how email works well for you, what do you think the mistakes were that you were making when you tried it previously?

[00:01:42] Shannon: Yeah, so I mean, I had always heard you needed an email list. I think we all have heard that if you’ve been in any semblance of business online space whatsoever, you have heard you need an email list, but I never really understood how to utilize one, so I would just send. Random emails [00:02:00] usually when I was looking to book things, right.

[00:02:01] So I would send it like near the fall when I was looking to book family sessions and I’d send out this email and hear nothing, literally crickets. No one would book, no one would reply. And I, it was like I didn’t even send it. Um, so I honestly, I’m embarrassed to admit this now cuz it’s so false. But I literally thought, Email must not work for photographers.

[00:02:21] Yes. Um, I could not have been more wrong. Um, so yeah, so then that’s the kind of thing I did. And it just, it, it didn’t, you know, it didn’t do anything for me because I wasn’t warming people up. I wasn’t nurturing them through email. I wasn’t connecting with them. Right. So they just kind of saw another email in their inbox selling them something, not thinking that there’d be anything of value there for their lives.

[00:02:48] Kate: Yeah. Yeah, I can totally, I, I am guilty of that as well. Um, in my photography business, I have sent just like booking sales emails and they’ve worked for me, but [00:03:00] I’ve trained my list for that basically. Um, so I think that’s part of it too, is like letting people know why you’re gonna be emailing them and getting them on board.

[00:03:10] Um, let’s talk about how you actually get people on your email list.

[00:03:16] Shannon: Yeah. So, um, if you’re brand, brand new and you do not have an email list at all, the first thing you’re gonna wanna do is pick an email provider of some kind. You don’t wanna use Gmail. Um, you wanna pick something like, I use Floes, um, ca I know you’ve used Floes in the past as well.

[00:03:32] It, I just like it cuz it’s super pretty, especially if, yeah, most photographers were creatives, right? So we want things to look nice. So, yes, I like Flo Dust because it’s just really easy to make your emails look pretty on brand and. I find it very user friendly and it’s pretty affordable to use too. Um, other platforms, if you’re looking for something a little bit that is completely free, you could look at using mailer light, l i t e.

[00:03:56] Um, that one has a free platform up to like, I think a [00:04:00] thousand subscribers or something like that. I’m sure they’re gonna change it a million times. So go look at the website and see what they say. But it does start free. At this moment in time. Um, and then you could also look at other platforms like Convert Kit or Mail Chimp or other things like that.

[00:04:14] So just honestly, the biggest key is just pick one. You can always change if it’s not the right platform for you. Pick one. Get started. And then what you wanna do is create like an opt-in form your, any provider you pick will show you how to do that, create some sort of opt-in form for people to give you their name and their email address, and that’s all you need to collect.

[00:04:31] And then just start talking about it and emailing. Yeah. Um, you really don’t have to do more than that, but that’s usually like the best way to get started with your emails.

[00:04:41] Kate: Do you suggest adding like past clients to your email list to start with as well?

[00:04:47] Shannon: So, I. Technically they should opt into your email list.

[00:04:54] However, I see them as paying clients, right? So they have paid, they likely have [00:05:00] said they want to have communication from me in some way, shape, and or form. So I will add them usually. Um, Again, I might do that with a grain of salt as far as like, I won’t add literally anyone who’s ever contacted me, but I may add, you know, clients I’ve had communication with that, like, I know want communication from me.

[00:05:20] Or another option for this is to email your clients and ask them to opt in. Like say, Hey, I’m starting this email list. I’d love to communicate with you. Um, you can sign up here and, you know, here’s what to expect. That kind of thing. Or you could do the opposite way too. I’ve, I’ve seen other people do this, that they’ll say, Hey, I’ve added, start an email list.

[00:05:38] If you’re not interested, like just unsubscribe, here’s the link to unsubscribe. You can do that right here. Make it super clear. And don’t be sad. Like, we get a lot, people get a lot of emails, some people just don’t need anymore stuff in their email. Or maybe they wanna sign up with a different email too.

[00:05:52] So, um, like I have an email address that just is my email address or collecting. I love emails.

[00:05:58] Kate: That’s so smart because our, [00:06:00] my inbox is like overflowing too, and I, I know, um, it can feel. It can feel yucky to start sending emails when you’re not used to it. Um, how would you suggest kind of getting over that hump?

[00:06:14] Like how do you make it feel not yucky for you, that you’re contacting these people out of the blue?

[00:06:20] Shannon: So what I like to do too is think like if you are allowing them to opt into your email list, their. Asking to be there. They’re excited to hear from you. They want to know what you have to say and like what they want more from you.

[00:06:33] They’ve seen what you’ve talked about and they want more. So first of all, we’re not a, we’re not bothering them. They’ve said they want to hear more, right? Yeah. I mean, I still fall into this. I’ve been emailing for many years regularly now, and I still fall into this occasionally of like, oh, am I gonna bother them with this?

[00:06:48] And I’m like, I always have talked myself through it. Like, no, they signed up to be here. This is my email list. I can communicate with them if I want to. Like, that’s okay. So that’s one of the first things I like to do. [00:07:00] And then I also like to think like, How can you make it in a way, like, are you being actually being annoying?

[00:07:06] Probably not. Right? Like you’re proud, you probably are serving them. You’re not just saying like, buy this thing from me, or like cold emailing them, right? Like we’ve all gotten those emails of like, I’ll edit your photos or whatever, right? Those weird emails we get and they’re always gross and we never respond to them.

[00:07:22] Um, You’re not sending those, right? Right. Like you’re sending them valuable things. You’re sending them things that are gonna help their lives better, their lives.

[00:07:28] I think the key is, is to not just send sales emails when you’re sending sales emails. I think it’s a giving them a pre-warning. A pre-launch kind of thing. Yeah. You know what I mean? So like, if I’m gonna run a print sale, I will like, I asked on social if they wanted it twice and then, and had them vote and then I’ve, this last one I didn’t because I threw it together last second.

[00:07:50] But like, I’ll usually warn them like if I’m gonna do a Black Friday sale, which I always do, I always tell them like . Black Friday sale is coming. Start thinking about what prints you want, blah, blah, blah. Like telling [00:08:00] them things, like things to do with your prints before you buy, you know what I mean?

[00:08:03] Yeah. Once your session’s over and stuff like that. So they kind of get warmed up before the sale, before the sales email. I think too many people just like go, here’s my, here’s my sessions are open.

[00:08:12] Kate: Yes. Yeah. And I like when I’ve done it for mini sessions, I usually send like a. Here are like things to wear for your spring session this year.

[00:08:22] So it’s like fresh outfit ideas for this year or, um, you know, like. Things like that to get them thinking about doing a spring session. And then I open the mini-session booking in the, like a next email. But I do give them like, like you said,

[00:08:39] Shannon: and probably get more people interested. Yeah. Because they’re ready for it.

[00:08:43] They’re not just like, oh, she’s selling surprise.

[00:08:46] Kate: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So if you can really, um, like warm up for the sale and, and get people. Thinking about it before the doors open and give them a warning. I think that’s a great idea. Um, and doing that with both your [00:09:00] social and your, like also sending an email to warn them too.

[00:09:05] Shannon: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:09:06] And I, before you even write the email, like you can think about it that way too, right? What can I put in here that’s going to help them, but also like make them either or like help them to want to take action, right?

[00:09:17] So like, what do you want them to do at the end of this email? What is the goal of this email? Because just sending stuff to send stuff is also maybe why you feel weird, right? Is like, yeah, you were worried that you’re just sending fluff. But if you think about what is your end goal? What are you doing?

[00:09:32] How are you serving them? What are you gonna give them or what are you asking from them? That kind of gives you a little bit more, um, ability to know where you want to go with that email.

[00:09:43] Kate: Oh, I like that, like having that goal in mind of what the purpose is of that email before you even write it. Let’s talk a little bit about, so we talked about getting started with email, just finding the provider and, and making a opt-in.

[00:09:57] What, let’s talk about freebies [00:10:00] and how we can encourage people to join our list as photographers. What are some ideas? Well, let’s first explain what a freebie is, um, or a lead magnet, if you wanna go ahead into that first.

[00:10:11] Shannon: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, a freebie or lead magnet or optin. Email marketers love to have the same different names for the same thing.

[00:10:19] Um, but essentially you. It’s some piece of information you are giving your subscriber in exchange their email address. It’s that simple. So it can be a PDF download. I’ve even made mine just an email, like, because I was struggling with trying to create the PDF and I thought, why don’t I just make this an email?

[00:10:36] Like why am I making this more complicated? Um, you can do a quiz. Those are obvi. Um, Pretty clear opt-ins. That one’s a little bit more complicated, but you could do things like a challenge. I’ve seen that done too. Like, Hey, here’s a three day challenge for, you know, getting, if you were like marketing to other photographers, you say for taking better photos, right?

[00:10:56] Or something like that. Right. Um, there’s many different ways [00:11:00] to do this, but yeah, essentially you’re just exchanging something of value for them in exchange for their email address.

[00:11:07] Kate: What are some ideas specifically for like family newborn portrait photographers for a lead magnet. I feel like there are a lot of ideas out there for wedding photographers because you’re working with someone in such a, um, Specific portion of their life with wedding photography, like you can send venue suggestions or other vendors or you know, like a checklist of how to, um, plan your wedding or whatever.

[00:11:33] What are some ideas for specifically portrait photographers?

[00:11:37] Shannon: Yeah. So I think it depends what you’re doing, right? Like, so if you’re a newborn photographer, I’ll start there and then I’ll work my way through Yeah. As kids grow. Yeah. Um, but essentially if you’re like a newborn photographer, like what do you know that could help?

[00:11:51] Your ideal client, right? Like maybe it’s like what to put in their hospital bag or what to um, not for, like, I, I’ve been trying to [00:12:00] toy around the idea of like, I feel like people don’t really know when to book their newborn photographers. Um, and they often wait too late to find. I, I mean, I know there’s a lot of school thought around like when you could take newborn photos.

[00:12:12] Yeah. But I feel like in general we like them to book early. Yeah. Um, and people book out. So maybe there’s a freebie there. Like I said, I’ve been kind of trying to think of a way to do it, but like, maybe just like an order of like things to do before you have a newborn session or a portrait session too.

[00:12:29] Mm-hmm. Could be really interesting. Like things you wanna do before you book a photographer could be a really interesting freebie. Um, you could also talk about your, plans for, like, for portrait photographer. You could say like three things to do. To find a photographer and or questions to ask a photographer could be a really good one too.

[00:12:49] Um, so you make sure that like they feel prepared before their session? Yeah, I would say you could talk about like what to do to get the most out of your session, but I feel like at that point people [00:13:00] may or may not already have a photographer booked. So you may not be hitting your ideal client however.

[00:13:06] In this, I normally tell wedding people like, be careful on that front because you know, they probably already booked their photographer. However, for portraits, people get mul, you know, portraits sometimes once to two, three times a year, right? Yeah. So maybe having that content out there could be really great because maybe they booked the wrong photographer, they found this information and they see your stuff and they’re like, oh, I should book her next time.

[00:13:30] Right. Um, so actually we have a little bit. Little more

[00:13:32] Kate: leeway with we do portrait photographer. Yeah. My current opt-in on my photography website is five. It’s like five, um, tips or keys, I can’t even remember what it’s called. To fun family, pH fam. Fun family photos or stress free family photos to try to get people thinking about family photos differently than, um, maybe they’ve, uh, Considered it before, like they might [00:14:00] think that it’s sitting and smiling for the camera, and that’s not what I do.

[00:14:03] So I feel like that, um, that opt-in one, it’s a pop-up that comes up on my screen and says, stress-free family photos. So like when they’re on my site, they see that, um, messaging again, even if they don’t click into it, I feel like that, uh, kind of gives them an idea about who I am and what I offer. Um, but.

[00:14:26] Yeah. Yeah. So that’s kind of, that’s an idea for family photos is like how to make the most of your time with your photographer. Um, I’ve also done just like a pop-up coupon on my site as an opt-in, and that worked really well, especially when I, I used it when I launched my website, um, and I had it hidden on pages that maybe people wouldn’t automatically go to.

[00:14:51] So I let people know, um, there are coupons hidden throughout the site. If you click through, you’ll get the opportunity to snag. This discount and it [00:15:00] got traffic going on my site. So that’s another, um, opt-in idea.

[00:15:04] Shannon: That’s really smart too, cuz you’re like getting people going through your site looking for things and probably finding information that they wouldn’t have before.

[00:15:12] Yes. Which

[00:15:12] Kate: I love. Yeah. And it just shows Google that people are, um, looking at more pages on your site and makes you more relevant in search results too. That’s brilliant. So that’s a fun one. Um, what about, let’s talk about more for. Newborn photographers. I like the idea of like what to pack in your hospital bag.

[00:15:33] And I’ve written a blog post on that. How do you decide what content is a opt-in and what is like free blog content?

[00:15:43] Shannon: That’s a great question. Um, so I mean, I think it just depends on what. I think you could do a little bit of both, right? Because we digest information differently when we see it in different formats.

[00:15:56] So I think you could easily use things for both and, [00:16:00] or you could do things like if you had an extremely long blog post about this kind of topic, you could make it a little bit shorter, digestible, like checklist for them, like checklist for your hospital bag. Oh, hey, do you wanna read more? Go to my blog post.

[00:16:15] You know, you could add that into like the delivery email of like, Hey, I have a bunch of like, reasons why you need this stuff, or like things to think about that you may, or you know, like maybe like, I imagine there’s stuff you might like to have, but like aren’t necessities too for certain things. So you could say something like, here are the necessities, here’s the maybes and here’s why their maybes go to my blog post to read more.

[00:16:34] Or something like that. Like I think you could actually put them in tandem with each other and that could be a really cool strategy. I like that.

[00:16:40] Kate: That’s a really good idea. So then let’s talk about they decide they want the opt-in. What happens next?

[00:16:47] Shannon: So after that, um, typically this is gonna be overwhelming if you have.

[00:16:53] Very little email knowledge, but don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds or as complicated as it sounds. But essentially, typically [00:17:00] when people download a freebie, we wanna create some sort of sequence of emails to go to them afterward, right? So we at least want a delivery email of whatever they’ve downloaded.

[00:17:09] I see this happen a lot too, of people opt-in and the opt-in is right there afterward. Like they’re like, oh, download it right here. I recommend putting it in an email just because you start to get people used to finding your name in their inbox and clicking on your emails, so I think that’s personally a little bit better option if you prefer to do it the other way.

[00:17:29] There’s no right or wrong, I just find this, my strategy is let’s get them used to seeing your emails and clicking and opening them, because I think it’s, there’s some stat out there that maybe has changed since now, but like essentially like that email is a. Most clicked email and opened and read email you send, I’ll argue it’s not the most red.

[00:17:49] Um, I think people open get their free this stuff and get out. So don’t, yeah, you don’t need to put a ton in there. I actually recommend not putting a ton in there cuz Yes, sure it’s the most open, but I think people do just click and get their [00:18:00] stuff. But that’s really good stats for your email. Right. And then what you wanna continue doing is putting them through this flow or sequence of emails of just kind of nurturing them.

[00:18:09] Um, when it comes to this, this is called like a welcome sequence or a freebie sequence or something like that. When it comes to this, you wanna think about, again, that end goal. What do you want them to do after one, getting this freebie, but also if you send them, typically it’s a sequence of like three to five emails.

[00:18:24] What do you want them to do afterward? Right? Most cases for photographers, it’s to book a session with you. Um, that’s almost always the goal with photographers. Yeah. So let’s just play with that idea. So, okay. We want ’em to book. So I usually think about it like my last email. I’m probably just gonna kind of what I call a hard sell on them, and it’s just, do you want a book?

[00:18:43] Yeah. Really simple like book call here. What would work great was those coupons you did that could expire. Mm-hmm. You could say something like, oh, your coupon’s expiring. Like, just wanted to see if you wanted to book this call or book. You know, book a call to book your session or book your session, whichever.

[00:18:56] I know people do it in different ways. Um, [00:19:00] and then I think about it backward, right? So what information did they need to get from me to understand? Why they should book with me, right? So how can I break it down into digestible pieces and give that to them through emails so that they like the minute. You know, they see that button and book a call.

[00:19:18] They want or book a book a call or book a session. They wanna book it, right? Yeah. Um, so yeah, that’s kind of what I think about. So, um, we can go deeper too if you want.

[00:19:27] Kate: Yeah. Let’s, let’s do it. So we send the first email that’s just like, here’s your freebie, and then mm-hmm. Um, do we say in that one like, expect more emails from me?

[00:19:38] Shannon: That’s usually what I like to do. So I, in any welcome email, I usually like to tell people what to expect next. So. If you’re going to do a sequence of emails that all go together, um, let’s use the, like, if you were going to do some sort of discount or, um, something was gonna expire, you might wanna do that like in a week long period.

[00:19:59] Right? So, [00:20:00] um, the last one would be like, you know, day seven, and then you’d have maybe two to three other emails in there, depending on, it also depends on like how expensive your sessions are. Like if you’re booking mini sessions like, Those aren’t usually very expensive. You don’t need as much nurturing to that.

[00:20:15] Or if you’re booking, you know, bigger packages, like maybe a whole year with you or something like that, you may need more information into that kind of thing. So yes. So in the first email I would send, here’s your free thing, here’s what to expect me from me. Like I’d probably in this situation say something like, I’m gonna email you more tips over the next week, um, et cetera, et cetera, right?

[00:20:37] Uhhuh, like, here’s what to expect, Uhhuh. And then, like I said, I would b break those pieces into bite size information. So in the free, like some sort of discount or a service that you’re gonna offer them, I would probably send them stuff like, like what you were talking about with the, um, resource you have for what to do with their se at their session, right?

[00:20:56] Mm-hmm. Like, okay, here’s how to get the most outta your session. Um, something I think [00:21:00] would be a really great email is people are usually, I imagine, really stressed to go to a session with their kids, like, It’s a lot to get, even without children. It is a lot to get to a session. Um, and then you have to think about adding in kids who have wild variables, right?

[00:21:17] Like they might spill stuff all over themselves in the car on the way there, they might throw up or need a diaper change. Like we don’t know what’s gonna happen from the house to the session. And so I think that that would be a really cool email of like, Tips for like getting out the door or tips for getting your outfits put together or things like that, right?

[00:21:37] Like things that you can give them so that they feel a little more empowered to come to a session. I also think that there could be a really great email of talking about, um, I think people get a little nervous about how their kids are gonna behave in front of the camera. And I think there could be a really great email there about like, Don’t worry, like Right.

[00:21:58] Like I got it. I [00:22:00] will, I will handle it. If they are doing whatever they’re doing, we will make it through this. I had a kid cry for the first like 20, 30 minutes of a session one time. Yeah. And I would probably tell that story about how like, mom was really stressed about it, but we got beautiful photos and I probably put a few in there and tell that whole story about how we still got amazing photos and we had the time, you know, luckily they booked a longer session and.

[00:22:21] He cried for 20 minutes. Yeah. And we still got great photos, you know? So I think that just giving people comfort, peace of mind through thinking about in their shoes what it must feel like to try and get to a session. Yeah. And then they’re gonna feel more excited to book with you cause they feel more confident in your abilities.

[00:22:38] Kate: How do you infuse like, Your personality and your style into those emails to kind of build that, um, that trust between them and you and that likability? Do you put a lot of personal detail into it? Um, Just tell me more about that. How would you make it so that they’re getting these emails and they’re thinking, okay, not only do I [00:23:00] know how to have a stress-free session, I know how to have a fresh stress-free session with Kate.

[00:23:05] Or you know, like how are you making it so that they’re connecting the tips that you’re giving them to, you’re the right person.

[00:23:13] Shannon: So I think storytelling’s really important here. Like I said, I would probably tell the story of like how we did the session. You know, I’d probably even use something like, um, He cried for the first 20 minutes or something would be like my subject line.

[00:23:25] Right. Okay. Like, and then people would be like, oh my gosh, how, how did you solve this problem? Right. And that shows that you know what you’re doing, you know how to handle this. And sure, there are probably other photographers that can handle the same thing, but like I. You fixed this problem, you hit a problem that the client was having, you figured out how to solve it.

[00:23:43] So that would be a really cool story of like showing how you were the hero. Um, but also when sharing these tips, you could say like, let’s say you were saying like three ways to have a better session, right? And so you could say something like, um, lay your clothes out altogether to make sure they look good [00:24:00] together.

[00:24:00] Have a conversation with your kids so that they are, know that this is really important to you and tell them, you know, why it’s important. The benefits they’ll get out of it, whatever. Whatever you do with your clients. And then the third one could be like, book a session with a really great photographer, right?

[00:24:15] Because if you just book a session with anybody, I can’t guarantee you’re gonna have the same result you’re gonna have, but I know the result you’ll have with me. Yeah. Um, so you could say something, not even promoting yourself directly, but you could say something like, book a really good photographer. Um, another option here too could be like questions to ask a photographer and like how you would handle them, how you would answer them, right?

[00:24:38] Like what, um, questions, which should you look for? What should you be looking out for when hiring a photographer? Um, and what maybe are either red flags or what are green flags, right? Like what do you wanna look for? And that kind of sets you up as the expert cuz you are giving them this information and likely here’s a really fun thing most.

[00:24:58] Photographers do not use an [00:25:00] email list. Yeah. Like they don’t, so you’re gonna already set yourself apart by using one to nurture a client because they’re not getting this probably from mostly anyone else. Yeah.

[00:25:10] Kate: Yeah. Well, and here’s the other thing is like, this sounds like a lot of work, right? Like it sounds like, oh my God, I have to write all these emails.

[00:25:19] Um, but if you’ve done the work and have a good website already, You can pull a lot of that information probably from your website and just change the formatting a little bit to go in your emails.

[00:25:33] Shannon: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You can also use those blog posts to put people toward your content, right? So like if you’ve already written tons of blog posts, or even, I mean, I hesitate to say this, but even with Instagram, right?

[00:25:47] If you’ve posted really good Instagram posts, like I think we have one that’s like five ways to get more outta your session or something like that. I can link to it in an email, right? Yeah. And it takes them to my Instagram or my website or wherever it is, [00:26:00] and gets them reading more about me, about my, my process, about other clients’ experiences with me.

[00:26:05] Right. So why not?

[00:26:08] Kate: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and you know, sending them to your Instagram, they like the post and then they follow you and you’re showing up in their feed more and more. All of that recognition and, um, continuity, I think in the, Um, messaging from, from website to email to social keeping it really cohesive really builds that trust and, um, gives you that credibility that they need to hand over their credit card.

[00:26:35] So I think that’s super Exactly, that’s a great idea. I love the idea of sending them, um, Even Instagram posts. I, I hate Instagram personally. That’s why I’m like, I hesitate to say this. I know, but it’s still, it’s a thing that we have to do. Right. And I think like, if we can use it, um, in ways like we, we don’t have to follow the Instagram rules.

[00:26:58] We can use it how we wanna use. Say, [00:27:00]

[00:27:00] Shannon: um, exactly, but, and it’s great, you’ve already created the content, right? So like, you might as well get, let it get more life. Um, and again, you can link to it or you can just take that content and like Kate said, turn it into an email. Yeah. And send the email. Your content’s already written.

[00:27:13] Yes. There you go. Repurpose it. Email. And what’s great about a flow, like we’re discussing, like a funnel of email, um, is you can create it once. You don’t have to keep doing it for each client. You can create it one time and put them in it every time. And so that they’re getting that information and you’re not rewriting.

[00:27:29] 50 emails, right? Yeah. Um, another great thing to think about too is think about questions you get asked all the time from people, right? Like, how many times do we get that question? We’re like, oh, again, um, I’m guilty too. How can we answer that for them before they even ask it? Right? Like, is there a way you can hit them with an email or, um, Like a flow or even a question and a freebie.

[00:27:55] Right? Like that could be a great way to come up with a freebie for your people too, is to like, what [00:28:00] questions are people asking you all the time? Can you answer that ahead of time? Because again, you’re gonna look like a hero. Yeah. Because you’re showing up with information for things they don’t even have to ask cause you’ve already answered it.

[00:28:11] Yeah.

[00:28:12] Kate: How do you feel about putting like non-business things in those welcome emails as well? Like, um, what if you did like, Here are my three favorite local restaurants that I suggest eating at after your session or something like that, to kind of. I mean, just trying to think of ways to like increase the, like, relationship in the email that makes you wanna open it, right?

[00:28:36] Shannon: Yeah. I mean, I love it. I say do it. I’ve, I’ve written emails with like chocolate chip cookie recipes in them before I’ve, I’ve written emails about like ornaments I got from a Christmas tree and turned it into like an email about business. So I say the more you can add personality and personal things, The more you’re gonna connect with people, um, especially as like a portrait and family photographer, because I think that that allows you, [00:29:00] and if you have children and life hacks that you use with your kids, like share those.

[00:29:05] Yeah. People are going to be like, oh my gosh, this photographer’s amazing. She also shares tips about how to like, clean up my house after my kids go to bed. Yeah. Or like get the dishes done on in a timely manner or Instapot recipes or whatever, right? Like right. We are all living life at the end of the day, and it is a struggle sometimes.

[00:29:23] So if we can help each other out, like you are gonna be remembered more because you were the one who sent the most amazing Instapot recipe or what, what have you.

[00:29:31] Kate: Yeah. Yeah. So we talked specifically about a sequence for like a coupon or something that expires. How long would you make a sequence for something that’s not an expiring offer?

[00:29:42] Shannon: Yeah, so if you were just kind of having, um, an open ended conversation, I think I, it’s not necessarily how long it needs to be or how long you need to run it, but I would do something like if you were trying to get them to book a session, I would capitalize on them getting into your space. So I would try and [00:30:00] keep it within, I usually space emails out every, like two to three days, depending on what the urgency is.

[00:30:06] But since they came into your space, and if you’re giving them valuable tips through this process, Um, or through the sequence of emails you’re sending, like you wanna keep them warm and like excited. So I would try and keep it like a week to 10 days. You could probably even go with two weeks. Okay. If you needed, um, I mean, again, you can play around with different timing.

[00:30:28] You can get some people in there and see how it does, and then you could test your timing a little bit shorter or longer, like, and see what you like and what feels right to you. Um, but like, Think about when you download something, right? Like I, I mean maybe I’m just a serial signer upper, and I mean I am, but I sign up for things very easily.

[00:30:47] But I’m also like, I could almost take their whole email sequence right then cuz I’m so excited. I wanna hear more from them. I wanna know more about their story and like who they are and like why they’re a good fit for me and my life [00:31:00] pretty quickly. So yeah, I don’t even care if I got emails pretty quickly.

[00:31:04] Um, so like I said, I don’t think. I think we get in our head, we think we’re quote unquote annoying them, but again, they signed up for this. They wanna hear from you, so let’s give them the information right, and get ‘

[00:31:15] Kate: em while they’re still excited. I like that suggestion. That’s a good idea. What about just, we’re gonna wrap up pretty quick here, but I wanna ask one more question about what kind of content do you send after they’ve hit the welcome sequence, and then how often are you emailing them after the welcome sequence, specifically for photographers in like portrait businesses?

[00:31:36] Shannon: So like after they’ve gone through a welcome sequence? Yeah. Yeah. So I would recommend sending emails weekly. I know that sounds crazy to some people, and that seems like a lot. Um, it is only one day a week, so usually what I do is I pick one day that I’m gonna send my emails and that’s the day I like send them and I just stick to it Weekly.

[00:31:56] Weekly works really well for me and a lot of people I work with [00:32:00] Weekly is the key. However, if that is just too much for you and you cannot commit to that, Again, that’s only four emails a month. So it’s like, it’s not crazy, but I hear you. Um, if that’s just insane to you, try every other week or try once a month if really you can’t handle, especially during busy seasons, I get it.

[00:32:16] What’s cool about email is you can write these and have them scheduled months out so you don’t have to spend a ton of time on them once you get them all, you know, going. Um, but again, I wouldn’t email less than once a month because. People are gonna kind of forget who you are and like, what’s really the point of starting an email list if we’re not going to like, at least communicate with them monthly.

[00:32:36] Yeah. Um, but I think, I mean, just, I don’t know about you, but like a week literally I blink in a week goes by. Yeah. And so I think that having that reminder that you exist once a week is, is really helpful personally, but Right. Again, you have to do what you can do consistently. Yeah. So whatever you choose, just tell them to like, help hold you accountable.

[00:32:56] Like, hey, at the end of the sequence you can say something like, Now I’m gonna put you on my regular [00:33:00] email sequence. I email. For me personally, I’d say something like, I email you Fridays at 8:00 AM Um, if you do every other week, you can say, I email you every other Tuesday. And you know, at whatever time, you don’t even have to say the time if you don’t know.

[00:33:13] Yeah. Um, but you could just say, I email every other Tuesday and I’ll see you there, or whatever, you know, or like every, the first of every month. Whatever you do, just, just let them know your frequency and try and stick to that as best you can.

[00:33:25] Kate: So I feel like it can feel overwhelming that you’re in this constant like content production cycle.

[00:33:32] Um, With marketing as a photographer, because like, we just wanna take the pictures, right? We wanna take the pictures and share the pictures, and we don’t even wanna write the caption. We just wanna say all the feels, um, and be done with it or have no caption at all, would probably be the preference. Um, how, what kind of content are you sending in these emails and how can we take the stress off of like that [00:34:00] constant.

[00:34:00] Need to like, like is it educational information? Is it, what kind of information are you sending in those? Just weekly emails.

[00:34:09] Shannon: So I think it could be anything you want. It can be as complex as sharing educational information that will benefit them. Or you can keep it really simple like, Like I said, sending them a recipe you just made for your family and it was super easy and that you thought they might like it on a busy Thursday night when they just don’t have any energy.

[00:34:27] They can throw it in the, you know, whatever. Um, or you could try things like you were saying, like, Hey, I just found this new restaurant in this area and it’s kid friendly and it was so much fun. My family loved it, or I loved it again, et cetera, et cetera. Cool. Coffee shops, if that’s your jam. Think about things that like, Our part of your brand, right?

[00:34:45] Like we go to Target all the time. Like my husband and I joke, it’s a date night for us. So maybe I find really cool things at Target and I could share those, like take a few photos of things when I’m shopping at Target and be like, here are three cool finds I found at Target this week. Done. [00:35:00] Yeah. You know, like you don’t have to make it a crazy epic.

[00:35:03] I think we think it needs to be like a blog post when we send it. Yeah. It can literally be a couple sentences too, right? Like the key with email is really being top of. Excuse me, top of mind, right? So like how can we continue to just see they can continue to see names in the inbox, right? Like I find anytime I send an email to my, either past clients and or my email list, I almost always open a conversation with somebody.

[00:35:29] And that’s pretty cool. Like I did a couple weeks ago, I ran a print sale and I had clients writing me saying, how do I get on your wait list for your next session? Um, I had another client say like, Oh my gosh, I need an updated session because I wanna order prints from you. Like, they were just so excited to hear from me.

[00:35:48] Yeah. And to like want to continue the relationship. Um, and I think that’s part of right with emailing is sometimes we hear nothing and it makes us feel like, oh my gosh, because we’re so used to instant [00:36:00] gratification from social, um, But keep going. Like people are seeing what you put out. They’re excited to be there.

[00:36:06] They will unsubscribe if they don’t wanna be, and that’s okay. Like let’s just continue thinking how can we send them something that will either entertain them in a fun way or give them something that they can like think about something differently. Or again, a little education even just the easiest tip of like, Get a shout pin in case your kid throws up in the car on your way to your session.

[00:36:28] Right? Yeah. Like it can be so simple that we, I think we tend to overthink, like an email needs to be so complicated and it can literally just be a couple sentences, a funny gif and call it a day.

[00:36:38] Kate: Yeah. It doesn’t have to be business related though, is what you’re saying is what I’m hearing from you. Yes.

[00:36:44] Yeah. Yes. So it’s, it’s more can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Okay. More, more. We’re talking about how can we get them. To remember us and how can we relate to them, um, so that they do remember us and so that we can have a relationship because really [00:37:00] like that, that’s gonna make your photography business so much better if you have clients that you have a relationship with, um, that you trust each other and you enjoy spending time together.

[00:37:10] So I love that idea for really, um, growing your business and really it will help your. Photography skills if you have better clients and more connected clients too. So I love that. All right, Shannon. So I have loved all of this information. Let’s, um, tell people where they can find you. I also wanna plug Shannon’s email club, which is opening again in May.

[00:37:33] I am a member there and I love getting her templates. Um, she sends three templates a month in the email box, um, that help me write my emails. Way faster and give me ideas. There’s also subject lines and Canva templates, so super helpful. Um, where can we find you online, Shannon? Yeah,

[00:37:53] Shannon: so I basically live on Instagram, so you can find me on at mrs dot Vondy

[00:37:59] [00:38:00] um, That’s mainly where I am all times. So feel free to DM me with any questions you may have. I’m, I’m, email is my favorite subject, so feel free to chat with me about it. Um, and then, yeah, you can find me too. My website is the email Um, and um, Mina, I’ll give you that link too. Um, and I also have a little freebie if you want as well.

[00:38:23] Yeah. So if you wanna hop on my email list and grab the freebie, um, I have a free email template for you, so it’s a free welcome email so you can, um, when you get people signing up to your list, you can just have a welcome email going and then that way you can hopefully promote your list a little bit more too.

[00:38:40] I love that. Thanks

[00:38:40] Kate: so much, Shannon. Yeah.

[00:38:42] Shannon: Thanks for having me, and, uh, I’m excited to see more email

[00:38:45] Kate: photographers emailing.

[00:38:46] Thanks so much for joining me today for this episode of how you pictured it. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Shannon and got some great takeaways to implement into your business right away. Because really what’s the point. If we’re not going to put these things into action, if you have [00:39:00] questions, definitely reach out to Shannon at Mrs. Vondie, or you can reach me at dear Kate brand strategy on Instagram. Please take a minute to rate and review how you pictured it on your favorite podcast player.

[00:39:11] It’s as easy as clicking five stars on Spotify or apple podcasts. And if you have a minute, leave a note. I love to hear from you. I cannot wait to talk to you next week. Have a great day.

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