I mean, haven’t we all? If you’re unfamiliar with the term, picture this – an inquiry pops up in your inbox, you think FINALLY! and immediately start dreaming of the photos, you answer instantly with the friendliest, most info-packed response and then you wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. Let’s talk about why photographers get ghosted.
The thing is, there may be a few different reasons you’re getting ghosted – maybe your response seemed too robotic, maybe you take too long to respond, maybe you don’t seem friendly enough . . . but those probably aren’t the reasons why. There is one reason for being ghosted that is almost always spot-on : they’re not your ideal client.
You know that whole ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ thing? It translates to business too. When your email is returned with nothing but crickets, your inquirer is not telling you that your work sucks or you’re so lame that they can’t even bare to have a conversation – they’re telling you that what you serve isn’t what they need. They sent out that initial inquiry, they got the information they needed, and they found that it just wasn’t the right match. What’re they gonna do, say, “thanks but no thanks”? Telling a vendor you’re not interested is super awkward, especially when a potential client has probably copy & pasted that same message to like 5 other vendors too. So, they ghost you.
If you want to be a high-end, luxury wedding photographer, but are marketing your business in ‘bargain brides’ Facebook groups, you aren’t drawing in a client who is going to be willing to budget in your prices. If you don’t have your pricing listed clearly and honestly on your website, you’ll be getting inquiries from people who would otherwise never have reached out if they knew you weren’t within their budget. If you aren’t accurately representing your brand on your website and social media, you aren’t going to attract the right people for you. Then? When a potential client gets your email and realizes all of these things, they’re just going to click ‘add to trash’ and keep searching.
Creating and representing a clear brand is going to make a massive difference. Whether through your website or your Instagram, you want to connect with the right people. If you are developing connections with brides on Instagram who follow a budget-friendly venue, but you are charging luxury prices, you aren’t connecting with the right people. We have more on this detailed in our Instagram Marketing Guide Ebook! Make sure that every single detail on your website makes your branding clear-as-day so that a client who wouldn’t be a good fit sees what you’re about, and knows from the get-go not to reach out. If a photographers branding and client experience isn’t clear, that might be why photographers get ghosted. Making your client experience, style, and pricing clear is beneficial to not only you, but to potential clients. In order to love and serve everyone, we don’t want to waste the time of a bride who is emailing us to find out information that could have been on our website for her to see!
You can be in the perfect budget for someone, your work can align flawlessly with their vision, your personalities might mesh so well you could be IRL friends . . . but they still choose someone else. If you know you want a new Honda and know what your budget it, you might still visit 3 other Honda dealerships just to see what the best deal is. It’s not like you didn’t like the car at dealership one – you literally bought the exact same car at dealership 4. So many factors go into who a customer might choose for a service – they might love you and your work but choose the photographer who captured their sisters wedding, they might think you’re a perfect match but their parents are paying for the wedding photographer and prefer they choose someone of a different style, they may think you’re just right but there’s a photographer their wedding planner knows who can give a referral discount. We need to stop taking that rejection so seriously, because if we don’t, it will chip away at our confidence and effect our work and the success of our business.
Really think about that – not everyone is going to choose you. It could be due to any of the reasons listed above, or any other reason in the world. Heck, a couple could break up right after reaching out. If you’re a senior photographer, maybe that kid moved away and will be graduating in another state. When it comes down to it, we don’t know exactly why certain people don’t book us, but it’s really not important. Sometimes, there are good reasons for why photographers get ghosted. What is important is knowing that the people who do book you are people you can love and serve, who will be happy with your services, and being able to reach your financial goals as a photographer. Your goal can be 20 weddings per year, and out of 60 inquiries, 20 booked – those inquiries that fell through did not impact you. So, next time you find yourself being ghosted or rejected, do not linger on the why’s or the what if’s, but instead, continue to grow and improve your business, and inch closer and closer to reaching your goals.
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Love these thoughts! They are all useful ways to think about the whole process as a photographer. No point in fixating on the losses after you’ve learned whatever you happened to learn from them. Best to apply what you learned and to keep moving forward and doing your best!
GREAT POST!!! I love these insights and your perspective on this!! It’s such a hard part of the business to not take personal! Thanks for sharing!
This is such a helpful reminder! I feel like I got ghosted so many times back in the day when I advertised on Wedding Wire. They were definitely not my clients! Thanks for this helpful post!
This has been super helpful, I feel like there is always a lag whenever you up prices which creates a period of ghosting. At least for me I have seen this. Great resource!
Good insight and great reminders not to take everything personally!
Positive and insightful. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing this. It is part of the process that we can take so personally. When you connect and they answer back the process it so much nicer!
This is great advice! It’s always good to remember to not let it get to you and move on to find your ideal client!
great advice about getting ghosted and finding your idea clients!