I know a lot of wedding photographers that buy a photo booth in order to make a little more money from each client. While this is definitely a great reason to buy one, there are a few ways to use a photo booth that can help you book more clients instead of just making a little more money.
Have a Reason to Show Your Work
With most photo booths, you have the option to send the images to the user via text or email, and you can also let them upload straight to social media or just visit a gallery to view and download. What I always recommend is forcing a user to use either text or email. Not only does limiting the user’s options save time and make the experience more seamless, but this way also gets you a database of contact info for the majority of people at the wedding. So, once the wedding client gallery is ready, you can then email or text the link to all the people there for them to see. This gives you direct access to show your images from the wedding to people, images that they will be emotionally tied to because they were there and they represent people they love. So now, all these people will be more likely to remember you when they get engaged or have friends that get engaged. They also now have the chance to order prints from your gallery, because more then likely, the couple isn’t sending the gallery to everyone that attended the event.
Offer It for Free to Book a Job You Really Want
We have all been there. You get a lead for a venue you have been dying to book, or maybe the couple is doing something really fun, like a masquerade-themed wedding. Either way, it’s something you really want to shoot. For these situations, my go-to method has been to offer them a free engagement shoot if they book us within a certain timeframe. Something like, “if you book us before the end of the month, I’ll throw in a free engagement session.” The problem with this is that you are giving them something they are more than likely willing to pay you for. It’s also something that takes time out of your schedule to shoot, cull, edit, etc. So instead, you can offer them a free photo booth to use at their wedding. Now, you are giving them something of value that doesn’t actually take away your time or cost you money to run. You’re already going to be at their wedding, and you don’t need to cull or edit the images. I currently use the Salsa Photobooth, so all it takes is five minutes on the wedding day to set up and another five minutes to take it down. I also don’t do on-site printing, so I get the added benefit of making a few hundred dollars on print sales after the wedding without the expense of printing on-site and dealing with paper/ink running out while I shoot.
Set It up Where Your Prospective Clients Are
This ties into “have a reason to show your work,” but a photo booth is an easy way to draw attention at an event or place of business. So, if you have a local event going on where you know a lot of young future engaged couples might be (maybe a sorority party or event), offer to set up your booth for free or at a steep discount. Now, everyone there will be using your booth and giving you their contact info. From here, you have an easy way to follow up with these potential future clients to show off what you do. Obviously, this is an area where you may not see a quick return on investment. But it’s an easy way to be seen by hundreds of potential clients for an easy couple hours of work. And if you are at the stage where you are trying to drum up business, you could do this multiple times a week to get yourself out there. Another added bonus of doing this is that you can offer a one-week discount to encourage people to order prints so that you can make a bit more money off the event even though your primary goal was simply to market yourself. Lastly, if you also want to rent your booth to events outside of your weddings, this a great way to be seen by other people planning events, especially if your booth stands out from the crowd of other booths on the market.
Give It for Free to Make a Lasting Impression
This is one that needs to be used sparingly and with caution. But if you have a couple you love that just couldn’t afford to add the booth, you can always give it away for free as a surprise on their wedding. This would need to be coordinated with the venue and/or planner. But the idea here is that you are giving them something they wanted but could not afford. They will see the value you are gifting them, and they will scream your name from the rooftops forever more because of it. The reason I say this needs to be used sparingly and with caution, though, is because you do not want to be taken advantage of. You don’t want to become known as the photographer that gives a free booth so long as they tell you they can’t afford it. Likewise, while it’s always great to over-deliver to clients, it may not be worth it if the specific client lives across the country, and it’s less likely for you to drum up more business from their word of mouth.
Most people view having a photo booth as an item you can upsell and make a profit from. While this is 100% true, it’s also a great tool for marketing and being seen. You can also pick up a booth for an easy $3,000. Use it to book a wedding or two, and then, rent it to some clients, and it will quickly pay for itself. Then, it becomes nothing but profit going forward.
Have any questions or ideas on other ways to use a photo booth to book clients? Leave them in the comments.