When's the last time you won something? I think for me it was a text-to-win Corona branded bicycle about two years ago! Tony always has me enter in those text-to-win giveaways and that win gave us a good laugh but also a pretty solid bicycle... if I had put it together right. Honestly it's a little wonky but it does the trick for a cycle around the neighborhood!
In November I hosted a "Giving Tuesday" Giveaway, where the winner would get a completely free session. I hardly do giveaways anymore and there's a really good story behind that (I'll save it for the end). But Thanksgiving, Christmas and the entire winter holiday season just do something to my spirit. So I decided I'd do something out of my norm! I hosted the giveaway on Instagram and let people enter with as many or as little entries as they wanted. Over the course of four days or so it was definitely generating more buzz than any giveaway I'd done in the past! I was really humbled at how many people were thrilled for an opportunity to do a photoshoot with me. I think in the final tally there were over 500 entries! Anyway the day of the drawing came and I pulled someone named Lisa. With how many friends and colleagues entered I was almost expecting the session to go to someone I knew, but I'm so glad it was Lisa. We connected in messages and she decided it was the perfect excuse for her fiancé and her to finally check "engagement photos" off their to-do list.
They drove up from Phoenix about a week or two later for their session and the moment they got out of the car I knew I was in for a treat! Their personalities were so radiant and the adoration they had for one another was undeniable. We chatted a bit as we walked to the best lit area of our location and I learned that they met in college and both were just crazy busy young professionals that, after getting engaged, hadn't found the right time, place or person to do their engagement photos with. They saw the giveaway win as a huge sign from the universe! And let me tell you, universe knew what she was doing when she crossed my path with theirs. We spent the entire session laughing, connecting and taking some of my favorite photos I've ever taken. I always inevitably ask if my clients have had professional photos taken before and these two hadn't -- but man were they serving up looks.
I truly feel so grateful for unexpected clients like Lisa + Monte. They are a perfect reminder of why I do what I do.
The reason behind not doing giveaways? Oh yeah! My mentor + friend Alexx Acor taught me at the very beginning of launching my photography full time that if I want clients who are willing to pay full price - the price I'm worthy of - I can't set my followers + clients up to expect freebies and discounts at every turn. I used to think I could only attract the right clients by cutting my pricing or offering free sessions. After my mentorship session with Alexx I drew a line in the sand. NO MORE FREEBIES. And I stand by that. They are few + far between in my current business plan and it has really helped me find the right clients, it's made me show up differently for those willing and eager to pay my worth. It has shown me how valuable a free session actually is between the time spent shooting, traveling and editing. Even my freebie clients like Lisa + Monte slip generous tips my way now - because that's the kind of clients I have magnetized to me. Don't think for a moment I take that for granted!