I’m Stacey Adams, and I co-teach The Business of Family Films workshop with Heather Eijzenga through the Everyday Film School, where we walk you through how to successfully help your clients understand and love video, so that it becomes a profitable part of your photography business.
But even if you don’t currently offer films to your clients, there are ways to make video work for you!
One of the best ways I’ve found is through email newsletters.
We’ve all heard how important it is to cultivate an email list and send regular newsletters, but for most of us (me included!), it’s not a business task we particularly enjoy.
Quite honestly, I can think of plenty of reasons to dislike it, but one of the top reasons I dreaded sending newsletters was because so few people actually read them. I’d look at my stats and see low open rates and even lower click rates. Frankly, it was depressing.
Then I learned the magic word. It’s “video.”
Okay, it’s not really a magic word. And the fact is, our open rates are never going to be as high as we’d like. Nor can we allow those numbers – whatever they are – to affect our self-worth. Open rates do not determine our value!
But I think we can also agree that it’s much easier to connect with our clients and share information with them when they DO open our emails, and video has had an enormously positive impact on my clients’ response to my newsletters.
Did you know, simply adding the word “video” in your email subject line boosts open rates by 19%?
It also boosts click-through rates by 50% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
Even better, including a video thumbnail in your email boosts engagement by 300%!
(Sources: Campaign Monitor and Leighton Interactive)
It’s honestly incredible.
But here’s the part you’re not going to like: Our clients respond best when the video is of us.
I know! It’s terrible! And scary! And you really, really don’t want to do it.
I’m right there with you.
But when we send our clients emails of us talking directly to them, they connect with us on an entirely new level. It builds a level of trust that’s so much stronger than text or still images alone can do.
Yes, I’m getting higher open rates and much higher click rates in sending these video messages inside my newsletters.
But more than that, I’m getting email replies from my clients telling me how much they enjoyed the video or sharing their personal story. Why? Because they feel connected with me.
I’m also getting more bookings within 2-5 days of sending these emails, despite the fact I’m not directly bringing up booking a session. Why? Again, they are feeling connected with me.
This is what we want as photographers and filmmakers. We want “our” people to find us. And when we show them who we are, the chances of them finding us go through the roof.
Not quite sure how to get started? Here are my top 7 tips for creating a newsletter video.
Now, I don’t recommend sending a video message in every newsletter, especially if you’re sending them monthly. You don’t want to burn anyone out – especially yourself.
But sprinkling them in allows your clients to get to know you, connect with you, and trust you and keeps your newsletters fresh and interesting.
And just like everything else, with practice, these videos get less scary to do and easier to put together.
Here’s an example of the video message I sent in my February newsletter about how to make your next photo session amazing. In this one, instead of using slides to hide my editing cuts, I set up two cameras at different angles.
Please keep in touch and let me know how including a video of yourself in your email newsletter works for you!
Amanda’s notes: WOW. Ok, first of all, I’ve known Stacey via Instagram, DM’s and emails. I’ve seen pictures of her, but what she’s saying is 100% true, you guys! Seeing her on video – I feel like I finally REALLY know her! It’s so powerful! You absolutely need to give this a try – you CAN do hard things! Definitely check out Stacey’s course on running a successful family photography and video business. Registration opens TONIGHT for the class, which runs from April 2nd – April 30th and includes 12 modules and access to both instructors for feedback the entire run.
Be sure to follow Stacey on Instagram at @sma.photography.abq/ and she’d love to hear from you via email, so drop her a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can check out her bio below. When she’s not droppin’ the knowledge teaching her course and filming families, Stacey is a newborn photographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico.