Your Mini Session FAQs Answered!
All the answers you need to create profitable mini sessions & long-term clients.
Updated on Aug 25, 2023
We know that mini sessions are a daunting venture to take on. They can be hard work to plan, market, and manage along with your regular schedule. That’s why we’re giving you everything you need to know to create a profitable event for your business. From the organizing to the client follow-ups, we’re answering your most-asked questions about mini sessions!
1. Why Should I Offer Mini Sessions?
Mini sessions create an opportunity for you to make a lot of money over a short period of time while providing a low-commitment way for more people to sample your business. Mini sessions are exactly what they sound like: a ‘mini’ version of your full session and all the aspects that come with it. They offer a limited amount of time per session, fewer package offerings, and a lower investment for your clients. If planned properly, mini sessions are a strategic way to attract your ideal clients and turn them into long-term, full-session clients!
2. What Kind of Marketing is Best for Mini Sessions?
A mini session is just like any other promotion or event — it requires a marketing plan. Think of the people you want to attract and where you can reach them. Do they frequent certain places where you can do some cross-marketing or leave other marketing materials? Can you reach them on social media sites? Do you have an email list of current and potential clients? How and where you promote your event determines the amount of qualified leads you’ll book.
Three weeks before your event is a good time to start marketing. You want to give people enough time to plan for their session, but if you start marketing too early then they might forget the event is happening or brush it to the side and plan to sign up later. Make it known that sessions will fill up fast so they don’t want to miss their chance to book now! If you promote your mini session on social media, send out an email, or use other marketing materials, make note of what attracts the most bookings. This will help you learn where you can focus your marketing efforts in the future.
Make sure all of your marketing includes the essential information:
- Your branding with samples of your images
- Dates, times, and length of mini sessions
- Special mini session packages and pricing
- A convenient way to book the mini session
3. How Many Bookings Should I Have Available for a Mini Session?
Know your limitations! Only offer specific number of spots so that you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many sessions. When it comes to how many people book a mini session with you, less is more. Having fewer sessions available will not only make your event more exclusive, but you’ll also be able to really focus on providing those people with an experience that will turn them into long-term clients.
Make your event exclusive and irresistible by scheduling a small window of time, like a day or a weekend. Limiting the availability to a certain time frame and only a fixed number of bookings will increase the demand. Those who aren’t able to attend this event will be ready to sign up right away for the next one.
4. How Long Should Each Individual Mini Session Be?
Remember, it’s a mini session — the purpose here is to give people a taste of your work and leaving them wanting more. Give clients those few images they’re looking for and a keepsake product they’ll love while showing them how valuable your full-session packages are.
No matter how long one of your regular photo sessions usually lasts, mini sessions should be set for a specific amount of time. 15–20 minutes should be enough time to create great photos for those who are only interested in your promotion while identifying which people you’d like to invest more time with in the future. You’ll have enough time to capture the whole family together as well as those individual shots.
Book sessions for every half hour to allow space for any overflow time and to prepare for the next session. With back-to-back bookings, you can quickly make the money you want in a small window of time.
5. Should I Have a Theme Behind My Mini Session?
Yes! With a theme, you’re enhancing the event and setting the tone so that clients will know what to expect. And, a theme limits people to only have to plan for one outfit. The incentive behind mini sessions is that you’re offering something exclusive that clients can only receive this one time. To further appeal to new and old clients, pair your mini session offering with a creative theme that will entice people right away.
The most common mini session is an outdoor location for fall pictures. But, for the holiday season, you can provide a beautiful winter location or create a festive set design for family photos and offer a holiday card promotion. The beach is a classic place for spring and summertime sessions. If you want to attract more families and kids, schedule mini sessions around other fun seasons and holidays! Valentine’s Day, Spring time, Halloween, and the Fourth of July are great occasions where kids can dress up and you can capture those priceless images parents love have for years to come.
6. What Products and Type of Packages Should I Offer for Mini Sessions?
This time of year, holiday cards are a must! Delight your clients with the Cards they want most this season. They get to share their images with family & friends while you get your work in front of new networks and potential clients. Save tons of time by using our Card Editor and letting your clients choose between a limited selection of designs.
The fewer options you offer, the easier it will be for clients to make their selections and for you to upsell with a few a la carte items they can add to their order later.
Consider including specialized pricing as another incentive to entice people and upsell other items. The key is to have limited, exclusive offerings — if you offer your usual packages at their normal price, clients are likely to become overwhelmed by the amount of options available.
7. Should I Include a Session Fee?
Yes, like a regular booking, you should still include a session fee for your mini session events. Set the fee at a low price point that people aren’t deterred by, but also high enough so they’re committed to attending the session. A session fee is a reminder that these exclusive events are a sample of what you normally offer.
8. Should I Have Clients Schedule Ordering Appointments for Mini Sessions?
Yes! Even though your mini sessions are a special event, the entire process should last longer than just that one day. You still need to give clients enough time to get excited about their images and consider your offerings.
If your product offering is a part of your mini session promotion from the beginning, clients may have already committed to a specific package before the session even starts. When clients order on the spot before they’ve seen their images, they will select the cheapest package that satisfies their needs.
Schedule in-person ordering appointments within two weeks from the event to reveal clients’ images. Once they see how incredible their images are, they’ll want to know what other products are available for them to order. Along with the mini session packages, you can offer add-ons like Framed Prints, Gallery Wraps, Metal Prints, and Gift Prints for friends and family, and future sessions. It’s a great opportunity to form a connection and increase the profitability of your mini sessions.
9. What Should My Delivery Process Look Like?
The delivery is just as important as the mini session itself! Follow through with the ordering appointment by giving clients an ordering deadline (10 days - 2 weeks is our suggestion) and an expected delivery date.
If you’re looking for stylish and affordable packaging that will save you time, consider Premium Packaging. For as low as $5.25, your clients’ orders will be professionally packaged, and you have the option to drop ship them directly to the client. Clients will appreciate the effort you put in to provide them with a stylish presentation.
Include a re-order form so clients have the option to order more products. Once they see how incredible their own items are, they’ll be interested in getting more!
10. How Do I Turn Mini Session Clients into Long-Term Clients?
Follow through! If you want your mini sessions to really pay off for your photography business, figure out what’s next for your clients. Document what you learn about your clients personally during their mini session and the in-person ordering appointment. Make note of exciting events happening in their lives! Kids with upcoming birthdays, teens who are graduating, couples who are expecting, or events like a wedding anniversary are all exciting occasions you can keep track of and reach out when the time comes.
Make sure to add these new clients to your contact list and plan to follow up. Touch base in 3–6 months when they may be wanting more pictures. Clients are not always good at staying on top of their photo needs. Making it easy for them to plan, book, and order will make it harder for them to say no.