Finding New Photography Clients – The Fundraiser Method

One of the biggest struggles in any photography business is how to find new clients. I recently surveyed over 1,000 of our NPB subscribers and asked what they wanted to know more about to help their photography business.

Guess What They Said?

Teach Me How To Find New Photography Clients?

So, after a few months of writing…I finally finished writing my book that teaches over 10 different methods for finding and booking new clients…FAST! This book is Step by Step, because I know that’s what people want. I like to be taught that way too :-)

***Sample Chapter***

What It Takes To Create Successful Promotions

Before we get into the fun stuff, I want to first say that none of this stuff is going to work if you don’t apply it. I can give you all the tips and tricks and step by step blueprints, but if you don’t get out there and actually do it…it won’t work. The one big mistake I see all the time is people only trying something once.

So many business owners may try something once and they don’t get the results they want and move onto something else. The truth is…sometimes it takes more than once before something works or maybe it was the wrong offer.

You may need to run a certain promotion or strategy a few times before it gets results. Remember its not a sprint…it’s a marathon.

OK…so now let’s get into some techniques and strategies.

The Fundraiser Method

If you’ve ever watched any of my videos or blog posts in the past, you’ve probably heard me talk about this technique. The reason why I decided to add in this book, is because it’s probably the easiest to implement. You don’t need much to run this promotion and there are so many different ways you to run this client getting technique.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, the fundraiser model can work in any market. The example I’m going to use is for the Children’s market, but it can be used in any market. You just need to be on the look out for local fundraisers that want donations and are aligned within your market.

I originally thought of this idea when my children were attending a private elementary school.  We would always attend an annual fundraiser dinner where local businesses would donate something of value to the event. The fundraiser event would then auction off the donation and keep the money for the school. It’s a win-win for everyone.

These are getting so popular that we’ve even had our photography clients ask if we would be interested in donating a gift certificate to their kids preschool for their yearly fundraiser event. What’s great about this is once you do one, the school will usually ask you again the following year and every year after.

Keep in mind that these events are usually a sit down dinner at a very nice establishment. Parents usually need to buy tickets to attend the dinner and that money also goes to the school as a donation. These auction style dinners are created for people to spend money.

So why not have your business donate one of your BIG packages and a Free session?  You may be saying, well that’s great, you’ll receive one new client from this event.

That’s were you would be WRONG!

Most Businesses Miss Out On This Opportunity

Here’s where most people screw this up and don’t leverage the heck out of this donation and exposure.

First off, just by being there you’re getting exposure from other families. Most schools give you a small table where you can set up a display. You want to take this opportunity to show some of your best work. If you only have limited space then it would be best to share some large prints. I would suggest using 16×20’s or larger to really make an impact.

You’ll want to have a large photobook printed that can be on the table for people to look through. Keep in mind that before dinner people have time to walk around and look at all the donations and items to be auctioned off. This gives them time to decide what they want to bid on. So, you want to take advantage of your display and what you offer.

These people that are at this event are parents of kids right?

So, they are laser targeted for what you have to offer…right?

Some of you may be reading this and saying well, I do weddings, how will this help my business?

I’m just using this one fundraiser as an example, but I’m sure there will be people attending these that either have older kids and may be getting married or know someone who is. So, if you offered a FREE Wedding Package or $250 Off your wedding services, I’m sure it would do well.

Thinking Outside The Box…Literally

This next part of the fundraiser method is where it really gets good and I don’t see anyone doing it. This is where you’ll see how to take this to the next level and get more than just one new client from this event. It will actually let you collect names of targeted leads and work on converting them to new clients.

Here’s how it works.

In addition to giving the fundraiser event your donation, you offer another FREE package or something big to giveaway. You have your own raffle or giveaway at your table where people can enter to win. You will need to create a sign that explains what they receive if they win.

All they would have to do to enter the giveaway is fill out a small form with their Name, Phone Number and Email Address. You would have a small box where all the entries would go and that’s it.

IMPORTANT: I would suggest picking the winner the day after the event via email. Make sure you make this clear on your table when they enter. This way they can be ready to receive an email from you.

The last part of this promotion is following up with all the entries. Don’t skip this step, because the rewards are like GOLD!

You simply pick a winner out of the box. Of course mix them up and reach in without looking. After you select the winner, you will notify them via email letting them know they won and what to do next.

One of our students does drawings via video and shows her picking the name out of the hat. This allows the people that entered to see you did it fair, but more importantly who you are. Whenever you can do small things like this…it immediately builds trust and that’s what helps convert leads into clients.

After you select the winner, the next step is to email all of the non-winners and let them know they didn’t win, but give them a special coupon for entering. You may even want to give them a special package price for attending the event.

Remember, these people entered because they wanted to win your giveaway and are so close to becoming a new client. Do whatever you have to do to get them in your portrait studio.

Bonus Tip: When you write the email, make it personal and don’t make it that long. Write it like you are writing to a friend. I’m not going to go into that much detail in this book about email marketing (I could write an entire book on this topic), but I’ll include a sample email you could write.


Sample Non-Winner Email:

Subject Line: last night’s contest winner

It’s Scott,

I just wanted to let you know that the winner from the SMS Gala last night was Linda Smith.

Sorry if you didn’t Win…but we wanted everyone to Win something.

So…we’re giving everyone that entered a special $50 Off discount as our way of saying THANKS!

To receive this discount, just email or call us and mention SMS Gala when scheduling your appointment. This discount is good until April 1, 2014.

Thanks so much and I hope to see ya soon!


Stop by and visit our Facebook page. Just drop by and say hello :-)

End Of Email:


Let me briefly discuss this email and why I wrote it the way I did. You may notice that the subject line is in lowercase. That was done for a reason. You want it to be like you’re writing to a friend. Notice how said I wanted everyone to Win?

This shows that I care and I’m human and not a big company. I also explain that I wanted to give them something as a way of saying thanks. This shows generosity and goodwill.

The other important thing I included was a deadline. This adds some urgency to the offer getting them to Take Action! Then I added some friendly writing at the end of the email. I thanked them again and used “Ya” instead of “You” to further write like I’m writing a friend.

Lastly, I added a small Facebook Page link and finished with a smiley face. I said “Stop by and visit our Facebook page. Just drop by and say hello :-)”

That email was short and sweet and started a relationship with my potential client. Feel free to swipe it and use it in your next contest.

The Real GOLD Is The Email Address

Now…most of you reading this may be thinking that the most valuable thing from this fundraiser is the two new clients you received. Even though they are very…very valuable, the most valuable thing you received is their email address.

Let’s say you received 75 email addresses of people that entered your giveaway. These are 75 people that are highly targeted and could very easily become a client. Now that you have their email address, you can start building a relationship with them and let them know if your upcoming things your business is doing.

If you have done fundraisers in the past and have not collected emails…shame on you. But, it’s ok. Because that’s the beauty of marketing. You should always be learning and trying new things and it’s never too late.

Your Action Steps:

  • -1. Call a minimum of 10 private or public schools and see if they have a yearly auction style fundraiser.
  • -2. Create A Good Offer (Make people want your offer)
  • -3. Create Your Own Prize Giveaway Contest
  • -4. Create Contact Form That Includes (Name, Phone and Email)
  • -5. Email Winner
  • -6. Email Non-Winners With Coupon
  • -7. Rinse And Repeat

Bonus Tip: If you already have a Facebook Fan Page you should also encourage them to “LIKE” you page. Tell them you will be announcing the Winner there as well. It’s important to get new FB Fans so you can communicate regularly.

There’s some really powerful stuff you can do inside of Facebook to reach new clients once you have a Fan Page. I’ll be dedicating an entire chapter to using Facebook and showing why you need to be building a Fan Page too!

***End Of Chapter***

I hope you enjoyed that chapter and you’re ready to TAKE ACTION!

All you have to do is follow the steps I outlined at the end and keep doing it.

This is just a small taste of what you can expect inside the book. There’s one chapter where I share how one of our students actually created Facebook event and booked it solid within 90 minutes. It’s pretty AWESOME!

Until the book is released next Tuesday…make sure to bookmark this page and TAKE Action!

Do me a favor and leave a comment letting me know what you think.


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