In this video I’m going to show you how chatbots for photographers can really work. You can use a messenger bot on your website and Facebook page to give your visitors what they want whilst saving yourself huge amounts of time. All without it being a completely humanless and impersonal experience.
And I also have a GREAT freebie for you. A done-for-you chatbot template to install in messenger!
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Skeptical about chatbots on your website or Facebook page? You’re right to question whether they’re the right thing for you or not. Everyone’s business model is different, right?
Yes, messenger bots can sometimes be very impersonal and frustrating. We’ve all been there shouting at the computer, 'JUST LET ME TALK TO A HUMAN!!!’
But there are also plenty of really fantastic chatbot experiences to be had out there. The key is to ensure that although the conversation starts with a bot - it ends with a human. That human being YOU!
But why bother with a bot at all, I hear you ask. Why not just take visitors straight to you? Just let them leave a message and you’ll get back to them, right? It’s worked up till now…
But has it?
How many of your enquiries go stale and come to nothing?
Like it or not your modern online visitor has zero patience. Literally zero. They want answers and they want them right now. Remember, you’re not the only photographer in the area.
Statistics show that 78% of customers buy from the business that responds to them first. Just to hammer this home a bit more - HubSpot reported that businesses that respond to leads within an hour see 7x more conversions than businesses that wait longer than that.
We all know the pain of going back and forth with potential clients over email or messenger or phone only to find out that they don’t want to spend even a quarter of what you charge OR they’re looking for a style of photography that you don’t even provide.
Wouldn’t it be great to qualify them as much as possible before you step in?
Your leads are so much more likely to open a messenger chat with you than an email. Open rates for chat messages are still in the 80 to 90 percent range. And it’s not just open rates. The clickthrough rates (someone actually clicking on a link you send them) are through the roof too.
It’s not just email you can build a list with these days. More and more businesses are building a list of subscribers on messenger too.
Once a visitor has engaged with you on messenger you can ask them if you can stay in touch with them on there. If they say yes (and most will if you word it well) then you can reach out to them regularly with your awesome chat and helpful information and stay top of mind all the time.
So now that you might be starting to consider a messenger bot, let me show you how it might work for you and your visitors. And if you’re still wondering what the hell a chatbot even is - this should help!
I’ve even created a free template for you if you’re interested.
My favourite chatbot platform is ManyChat. That’s what I’ve used in this example and my free template is for ManyChat. But there are plenty of others for you to check out.
Your visitor can start a chat with your bot straight from your website or your Facebook page. ManyChat connects really easily with both - you’ll have it set up in no time. When they start a conversation, an automated sequence of messages kicks in to help them with their enquiry. Like this…
In the first message I’ve introduced myself and made sure they know that this is the ‘bot’ version of me. Don’t pretend it’s the real you - this is so important.
I’ve included a photo because our potential customers love to see a face. It establishes trust and likability.
Then I ask them what kind of photography they’re interested in. If you only do one type of photography then you can probably skip this.
In this example the visitor has clicked to hear more about my boudoir photography.
So I start by letting them know how great that is and how much I love a day of boudoir and go on to explain and show the style of boudoir I am most passionate about.
Because you want to make sure they like this style too, right? If they don’t then they’re a bad fit and they can move on.
I show them a few images one by one and then ask them ‘Is this the kind of boudoir photography you’re looking for?’
If they click ’no’ then it’s over and I politely end the conversation. But hopefully they’ll click on ‘it sure is!’
When they do I go on to tell them what I can help them with. I can help them to book a consultation call, give them pricing information or answer some frequently asked questions.
It’s totally up to you what you put in here. If you don’t like to give out full pricing and you prefer to get people on a call then leave the pricing bit out. Personally I like to be upfront about pricing so that I only talk to potential clients who are serious about a shoot and know what I cost.
If they click on one of these options a new sequence begins where you can outline the important information you want them to know and you can end again with more options for them to choose from.
At this point I recommend you add the option to message the REAL you. Chatbots get so frustrating when there is no option to chat to a human. Sometimes your visitor has a question that only you can answer and they might not want to book a phone call to do this.
In this example, the visitor has opted to book a call - which is GREAT because you know they’ve seen all your pricing information and they still want a call. High chance they’re going to become a client.
This option ideally should lead straight to scheduling app so that they can book in their phone call with you there and then. So powerful. Then you can call them at the designated time and knock their socks off.
Remember, you can use it in a way that suits YOU and YOUR ideal client. What you add to your sequences is completely up to you. You can entertain them with some humour and add links to your gorgeous client guides or any freebies that you might have created. The sky’s the limit.
Just remember that going overboard is usually a mistake. You want to lead them pretty quickly to you. YOU are the one who’s going to convert them into a paying client. Make sure you don’t forget that.
I have an in-depth course on building and using a chatbot in your photography business inside the Togs in Business membership. It comes with a great template that you can literally lift and install.
But I have a FREE gift for you! I’ve taken one of the message sequences from that ManyChat template (just like the one you’ve just seen) and made it available for you to install and adapt and use in your own business. How about that?
You can download it below.
And, I have another very helpful resource for you - if you don't already have a solid business plan in place, then this article is for you. It has a detailed walk-through of the nine steps you need to complete in order to create an actionable photography business plan.
I’d love to know your thoughts on adding a chatbot to your business. Are you a yay or a nay. Let me know.