There’s nothing more frustrating than being ghosted. One minute, you’re chatting away with someone who seems genuinely interested in your photography services. They want you to photograph their wedding or to take pictures of their newborn, or maybe help them set up a fantastic boudoir shoot.
The next day, you can’t get them to answer you. They’ve fallen off the face of the earth: gone forever.
How are you supposed to handle it—hopefully without missing out on a client? You can’t let them just disappear, especially not if you’ve done something to chase them away. What do you do about ghosting?
If you’re running any type of creative business, especially a photography business, chances are, at some point, you’ve been ghosted. People fall off at all stages of the sales cycle.
They may disappear when they’re just an inquiry: they’ve just gotten in touch with you, they asked about your services, and now, they’re gone.
They might disappear when they’re already a client: they’ve paid your retainer, but you can’t even get them to answer the phone to tell you for sure that they’re going to show up for their shoot.
They might even disappear after they’ve already done the shoot, refusing to let you know if they will show up for the sales session.
It’s almost 100% likely that if you are a photographer, you’ve been ghosted at some point—and if you haven’t been ghosted already, you probably will be sometime in the future. Knowing how to handle it, however, can be the difference between bringing a customer back and losing them altogether.
I’m going to be honest: chances are, if you’ve been ghosted, somewhere along the line, you’ve failed in your nurture, positioning, and consult.
It could be your website, your emails, or a previous phone contact. It can happen during any contact you have with the customer—and unfortunately, you may not even recognize which one it was.
What do you do?
What do you send someone when they aren’t answering the phone anymore? You’ve left two or three emails. They were supposed to talk to a spouse, or pay an invoice, or set a time, but they just aren’t answering anymore. What comes next?
Pick a stopping point. Have you already called, emailed, and texted? If you’ve already connected with a client multiple different times without response, you may need to call it quits. Choose the right time to end it.
This is what you do when a potential client doesn’t respond:
Send the first of two messages. The second to last message you’re going to send is this: “Are you still interested?” Just that. It’s a simple, easy message. It may feel a little bit awkward, but that’s okay! Send if in text form, over the last form of communication you used to contact them.
Wait 24 hours. Let that message sit there. Let them see it every time they go to check their text messages, their direct messages, whatever.
Send the last message. “Is everything okay?” This is your last message. If you don’t get an answer, that’s okay! In many cases, however, this simple message will trigger an actual response from your client.
It’s easy to accidentally shift a message to the “read” section and never get a notification again.
It’s not always the case that people are simply ghosting you. Sometimes, they just got busy. They have kids. Life gets in the way.
When they receive these two messages, however, 90% of people will respond to something. Chances are, they will either explain why they’ve gone silent or they’ll go ahead and book with you. Either way, you’ll be able to move forward.
If a client turns you down, you know not to waste your energy or resources on them. If they move forward with the booking process, then you know that you’ve hooked them!
Marketing your business is an ongoing challenge—and you don’t have to do it on your own!
Are you struggling with phone connections with potential clients? Check out The 7 Step System to Increasing Your Bookings Over the Phone. Need more help? Check out this site to learn how to book photography clients on the phone in less than an hour—and be amazed by exactly how easy it is to make those important phone connections.
Humberto Garcia is the world’s leading photography business growth expert.
Founder of Photography to Profits and high-performance coach to multiple 6-figure photography businesses. Humberto coaches photographers from his special operations military experience and photography sales and marketing experience. After years of high performance in Marine Special Operations and building businesses, he knows what works.