We get emails – a lot of them. Sometimes our emails are “hey send me your pricing”, and sometimes they are full-blown all-about-us type of stories (my favorites!). Sometimes we get way more email than we can handle in a day and it’s hard to keep track of long-term goals while trying to keep our heads above water. Trust me, I feel ya.
Being a trained engineer, I’m really drawn to numbers and especially my beloved statistics. I actually taught statistics while in college and find that they are actually necessary for me to keep focused on my long term goals and objectives. How so, you ask? Well, I use statistics a lot in my lead tracking. Granted, I’m not talking about over-the-top confidence interval type lead tracking. I’m talking percentages. Rates. Numbers.
So this little bit of information is for all of you photographers out there who are sucked into the day-to-day stuff and want to see your business change but don’t really know how to get that to happen.
Here’s a question: What are you planning on doing differently to achieve your goals? Do you have goals? Do you want more wedding bookings? Do you want to branch out into a different market sector? Are you not sure how what your doing now really ties to that? Do you want to figure it out for free?
Try this. TRACK YOUR LEADS. While I absolutely l-o-v-e my ShootQ, I also keep track of some of my leads information in a simple Excel spreadsheet. Yup, takin’ it back old school style. I list in the spreadsheet these things, in the columns:
- Type (Wedding, Engagement, Boudoir, etc)
- Reason Not Booked
- Date of the Event
- Referral Source
By having all of that information available in my spreadsheet I easily can calculate the answers to the following questions:
- What’s my booking rate for each type of event?
- What percent of the people that I meet with do I book?
- What percent of the people I never meet with do I book?
- If they don’t book me after a meeting, why?
- What is my most popular offering?
- What % of the time am I unavailable to take a session?
- Who are my main referral sources?
- How many open leads do I currently have?
And there’s even more ways to slice-and-dice this. These are all simple statistical calculations. What’s my booking rate = (# of weddings booked)/(# of wedding inquiries). Simple. But do you know yours?
Now let’s see how you can take this one step further. So you know all of these stats. I know that statistically, my boudoir sessions don’t book at a super high rate. Why? The women are contacting me, but now why are they not converting to book? Is there a confidence issue? Do I need a better location? Am I offering in my boudoir packages what they really want? See what I did? Now I have a questionnaire that I can easily send out to get an idea of what is really wanted and turn that into a program that makes everyone happy.
And it all boils down to a percentage. Thank you, math!
If you’re interested in a template of this Excel spreadsheet, click here and then share if you love it! (Note that your version of Excel should be able to handle Pivot Tables. Most of them do, so I’m guessing you’ll be fine. Just a caveat)