Succeed with Christmas Minis
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good Christmas Mini Session. I often purchase a Santa Mini Session from some good photographer friends in my hometown, but I also have my own Christmas Mini Sessions as well! So let’s talk all about how I set mine up, and what you need to know for tips and tricks to make your mini sessions profitable!
Don’t be discouraged by this, but I started booking my Christmas Mini Sessions in JULY. Yes, seriously! Our local tree farm begins booking blocks of time for photographers each July, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of clients that are ready to book ASAP when I mention them on my Facebook page – even if it is 100+ degrees outside! Perhaps it was the year we have had in 2020 and folks want something nice to look forward to, but I booked 75% of my mini session spots within 24 hours!
So what things to do you need to have in place? Here’s what I do:
Are you going to have 10 or 15 minute sessions? Do you need to book the venue, or will it be in a public place or on your own property? Are you going all-out and needing to book a Santa? Once you have answered these questions, you officially have dates and times in place.
I had samples from my tree farm mini sessions last year, but the venue I have been using for the last couple of years allows us a 30-minute promo spot in September so we can get our own sample images if we need it for advertising. Look into this when searching for venues, or offer a discounted session to a friend for some early Christmas images if you are creating your own backdrops so you can have some content available to show prospective clients – they like to know what they are booking.
When you are advertising the sessions, promise they will have their images back within 1-2 weeks and try to deliver before then. People will be anxious to get them back for Christmas cards, and then will be extra excited when they receive them earlier than promised!
What is your normal session rate? You do not want to ¼ it if you are doing 15 minute mini sessions. The point is to wow them and have them say “Goodness, if I get THIS much for a 15 minute session, think of what I can get for a full session which is the better bang for my buck!”
Example: If you price an hour session at $200, then you want your 15-minute mini session price to be around $150. Clients will pay it, especially when it is themed a certain way like Christmas Minis, Christmas Tree Farm Minis, or Santa Minis. Listen y’all, I pay $75 for FIVE minutes every year for my kids to have a Santa Mini Session with my good friends because I know what Santa they will have (same one, every year) and the quality of what I will receive.
What I like to do is build out a quick Mini Session Booking page on my ShowIt site, this allows me to embed my contact form from HoneyBook direct on the page and I can send clients directly there to input their information. It helps me keep things organized and all together. (If you are interested in trying out HoneyBook, here is a 50% off code!)
If you are just getting started out and not ready to do this, you can simply create a Facebook and/or Instagram post that details all of the information for your mini session. You could even hop into Canva and make your own image that has all of the details on it, like these that I already have available! Just make sure that you have a call to action on your post so clients know how to book. There are so many options for this, like an email or a direct message on Facebook. However you prefer and are currently operating your business works just fine.
If you are not having a lot of traction, consider building out a Facebook ad to promote your sessions and build your client base. This is where I’m going to tell you I’m not an expert at Facebook ads, but I do know enough to tell you to not boost your post. That will only get your post out to those that already like your page.
To make it easy, consider using the same image and text that you used in your original post and create a quick “traffic” or “message” ad and target women/moms within a certain age in your town. In my early years, I had success with booking mini sessions this way but I have now built up enough of a client base they I am able to book them very quickly. I promise you will get there too!
I know I already said this, but seriously. Look into outsourcing your editing if that will make your life easier, and it will! I often use Photographer’s Edit and highly recommend getting things all set up before our busy season hits. You can thank me for this later! (Use this link for 50% off your first order of $20 or more!)
By batch editing (you can see my post about that here) or outsourcing your editing, you can actually enjoy your own holiday season without being chained to the computer at all hours of the night!
I wish you nothing but the best of luck during this upcoming busy season of ours, and can’t wait to hear how your Christmas Mini Sessions go!
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Magan Ward is a photographer, wife, mom of 3, and educator to fellow photographers. She has an unhealthy obsession with Chick-Fil-A mac and cheese, and has a bit of a love affair with dry shampoo – something she tried to avoid for years until the pandemic of 2020 occurred rendering her dependent upon the waterless revelation that saves her time, something now used to instead apply nutella to waffles for tiny humans.
Putting that Masters in Education to good use, Magan enjoys teaching her fellow photographers and online entrepreneurs the ins and outs of building a business that they love…and occasionally sprinkles in some encouragement for Mamas, because life with littles is just plum hard sometimes.
You can grab her free list of favorite tools for entrepreneurs here.