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5 Steps to Profitable Mini Sessions for Photographers

Lauren Cumpson, About Lauren

Photo by cody lannom on Unsplash

Mini-sessions…the perfect opportunity for photographers to make a great return on investment in a short period of time. Benefits of mini-sessions to grow your photography business include:

  • Having only one location to shoot at.
  • Reducing time commitment for each shoot.
  • Efficiently get into a workflow and rhythm.
  • Holding low-risk sessions so clients feel more comfortable booking.
  • Expanding your client list and getting re-books easily.
  • Earning a surprisingly large profit.

With all of the pros to booking mini-sessions as a photographer, it's no wonder that so many successful photography businesses opt-in to them each year. It's also why we created 9 free mini-session email templates in Sprout Studio to help make booking clients easier.

But running mini-sessions is one thing – running profitable mini-sessions as a professional photographer is another.

Luckily, we're here to show you how to do that. This is the complete guide for how to run successful photography mini-sessions this season. Just follow these 5 easy steps, and watch your photography business take off.

1. Stand Out From Yourself

The first step to any successful mini-session is creating the appeal, specifically, the design appeal. What makes this session different from your typical shoots?

If you want clients to book a mini-session yet keep them re-booking at other points in the year, they need a reason to book in addition to (not instead of) your regular offerings.

You have to make it aesthetically exclusive. Meaning clients can't get this set composition or scenic location at any other time. Something must be different in the style that makes clients want to book. It could be a theme, a location, or even props.

By making the session itself unique or different, you separate the mini-session from your usual work and truly stand out from yourself.

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2. Offer a Financial Benefit

The next step in running profitable mini-sessions is to focus on differentiating your prices in some way. What is the financial benefit to your client?

To make the mini-sessions as attractive as possible, you must offer something different from a pricing standpoint.

Whether that be 20% off your service cost, discounts on your prints, a distinct product offering you don't normally provide, more digital images than usual, or throwing in a free digital with every session – you have to incentivize the mini-session in some way.

Financial benefits have always been a key marketing technique in any business and will be key for you too.

3. Optimize Your Workflow

Mini-sessions are quick-moving, high-paced, and condense every part of your photography business. How will you scale your workflow to match?

To run successful mini-sessions, you'll need to streamline the back-end of your business as much as possible. It can't be scaled like your typical sessions if you want to stay organized, they will need to be low touch – almost like an assembly line.

The ideal mini-session contains:

  1. A custom invitation and booking page (to easily send and book more clients)
  2. A workflow in that booking page (so you can stay organized and don't miss a thing)
  3. A custom or existing price list (so clients know your specific offerings and prices)
  4. 1-4 packages within that price list with differentiating offerings (to upsell your products)
  5. A decided location, theme, or style (for clarity and marketing purposes)

We know how easy it is to become disorganized, especially when juggling so many bookings all at once, that's why you can find everything listed above from pre-made booking pages to custom workflows in Sprout Studio.

4. Promote, Promote, Promote

Now that you have the logistics of your mini-session covered, it's time to promote yourself…heavy. How will potential clients hear about your mini-sessions?

The three most important messaging stages for promoting mini-sessions are:

  1. The day registration opens (introduce the mini-session, aesthetic and financial appeals)
  2. The last week to book (reminder, limited spots available, the countdown has begun)
  3. The last day to book (see of urgency, don't miss out, a reminder of the appeals)

And we've seen time and time again, that photographers book more clients when they use email marketing in each stage.

That's where Sprout Studio email templates come in. In seeing how beneficial running mini-sessions are for photographers, we created 9 free mini-session email templates (alongside hundreds of other free templates) with 3 different design themes for our users to download, edit, and send!

Trial Sprout Studio for free to access these beautiful templates and promote your photography business this season.

Already a Sprout Studio user? Visit your Template Library here.

5. Your Post-Shoot Strategy

Okay, so you've put in the work, took the images, and now you have to sell the prints. What is your strategy for selling your images, quickly?

The last thing to consider before running mini-sessions is creating a workflow so you can edit and sell your images at a high pace. Stay organized in your editing, uploading, and payment schedules on the back-end, while creating hype for your clients on the front-end. Find a flow that works for you, and stick with it.

As soon as your images are ready, make your gallery (whether IPS or virtual) available for a short period – we recommend a week. That way clients will make purchases quickly and efficiently.

Make sure to send your clients emails and messaging that is explicit with their gallery's expiration date, and get them excited for their beautiful photos! All while following your sales strategy to get orders fulfilled, printed, and sent in a condensed manner.

And there's no need to feel overwhelmed because a) if you're looking into running mini-sessions then we know it means you're a talented photographer and business owner, you'll do great!! and

b) Sprout Studio has your back with dozens of pre-made workflow templates to help you along the way.

Be sure to check out our 9 free mini-session email templates to guide you as you run your successful mini-sessions this season! You got this, photographer.

And if you aren't already part of our community, start your free trial with Sprout Studio today!


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