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Let’s start off by saying this. This article is going to be controversial, but these are my real thoughts on the subject. Especially after spending a lot of money on ads both myself, and with the help of hiring out to professional Facebook™ ads agencies over the years.
This article, in particular, is going to be geared towards wedding photographers. So, if that’s you, keep reading.
Because when it comes to wedding photographers getting more leads, it’s a very common thing to think about running Facebook™ ads. And when running ads on the platform, it’s a VERY common technique to run the ads that also include engagement session giveaways, discounts, specials, or limited time offers.
There are countless courses that pop up on the market these days saying they will coach you on Facebook ads within the course. And within many of those courses, they teach on these strategies. As I do in my course for wedding pros.
You put together your targeting that is unique to your region and demographic, you write out some awesome ad copy, you choose an image (or images if you are doing it as a carousel ad), and you choose your conversion goals… whether that be traffic, lead, message, etc.
Now, let’s say you are getting a few people filling out your lead form. And because of that, you’re calling that a lead.
That’s great that people are doing that. It’s obviously way better than the alternative of nobody filling out anything… but how quality is that lead, truly?
Personally, I call these more like “prospects” rather than “leads.”
Why? well, because a lot of these people are very low quality in terms of lead types. They’re filling out your lead form because they are wanting something for free or for a discount. And that’s not really anybody’s ideal client. Your ideal client is typically going to be someone who is ready, willing, and able to pay for your services in full without ever even wanting a discount… because they understand the value they are getting in return for paying you for your service.
That said, Facebook™ ads can still totally work for you. And I think they are a smart thing to run when wanting more leads for your wedding business (if you are struggling with organic leads, and want more leads coming through your door a bit faster.)
For this, and personally speaking, I like running traffic ads as a wedding photographer. And even further, as carousel ads. (NOTE: I don’t currently run ads for my wedding photography business because I get plenty of quality leads from organic methods like my blog, my overall domain, Instagram, referrals, and preferred vendors lists, to name a few). I mean, what would you rather do… pay for leads, or get leads for free? Free all the way!
So, if you are planning on running Facebook™ ads as a wedding photographer, I’d personally recommend against engagement session giveaway ads or discount ads. In my experience, and in the experience of those who I coach within my online program, Book More Weddings, I have seen that they notoriously attract price shoppers and freebie seekers.
Yes, they can work… but you will be spending time and money on a variety of lead qualities. And it’s going to be ultimately up to you to sift through the leads, do some extra pre-qualification, and hopefully book as many of the quality leads as you can.
In summary, yes, Facebook™ ads can help you book more weddings with your ideal clients… but it’s going to be a tough strategy if you only focus on giveaways and discounts. You don’t need to offer giveaways and discounts to book weddings. You just have to learn how to speak directly to your ideal client, target them appropriately using the ads manager, impress them with your work, and – and a bit of an advanced level – learn how to retarget those who visited your website but did not contact you.
I personally recommend to my students to only spend $15/day for a few days to determine how their ads are performing. If you haven’t received any leads by the end of the 3rd day, I personally believe that there’s something wrong with the ads. Because your lead cost shouldn’t be $45/lead.
Now, let’s hypothetically say that you are getting leads for $15 per lead. (Someone who fills out your contact form).
And now let’s say you convert your leads at a rate around 20% (You close 1 lead into a booking for every 5 leads you get.)
With that conversion rate, you would be spending only $75 to book a wedding that earns you thousands of dollars. That’s an AMAZING return on ad spend (ROAS)! BUT, that also assumes that all 5 of those leads are high-quality leads who are ready, willing, and able to book you for their wedding day. And as Facebook ads go… it doesn’t typically work that way. You will usually get a few discount seekers, people who don’t value what you do, or have budgets that simply cannot afford you. So, your overall lead conversion rate goes down because they’re simply not a good fit.
Either way, it’s worth a test. And the good thing with Facebook ads is that they are really quite simple to set up once you get the hang of the ads manager and setting up your basic target demographics.
My advice (as normal), is to hire someone to help you understand the basics of Facebook ads, then give it a go if you are wanting to try and generate some leads from the platform.
That said, as a wedding photographer, I personally absolutely love the free, high-quality leads that you can generate from organic SEO, referrals, preferred vendors lists, Instagram, and other valuable sources. Did you know there are over 40 (yes, 40!) ways to generate high-quality wedding leads? Facebook™ ads are only one way. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket at any stage of your career.
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