The Wedding Photographer's 3-Step Guide to Writing Custom Proposals for Wedding Clients
Creating custom proposals for inquiring clients is one of the quickest ways to show both your clients, as well as other industry professionals, that you are up-leveling your business.
So what's the difference between a custom proposal and a pricing guide?
Custom proposals are based off of a pre-determined pricing, yet they are fully customized to the exact, specific needs of each inquiring client. They may also include details such as names and date of the couple, wording that is tweaked to their specific wedding, and imagery that may speak more to that couple specifically.
1. Determine Your Pricing
The first step in creating your custom proposal begins with understanding your own, current pricing, as well as your minimum. For each year, I have a minimum investment that I require of clients, meaning that no matter the number of hours, the destination, etc. I will require that client to invest at least $X.
The reasoning behind this is to protect you and your business from taking on clients that may not be the best fit for you, and to keep you from missing out on later inquiries that are a better fit for you. Also, when you have your minimum in place, you can communicate this to your client or clients' planner beforehand, to ensure that you're a good fit before moving forward with the custom proposal.
If you work in many different destinations, you may have multiple minimums. For example, if you're local to the southeast, but often work on the west coast, your minimum for the southeast may be $12,525, while your minimum for the west coast may be $15,225 to allow for travel to be included.
Lastly, know your a la carte pricing for each destination. When your client or clients' planner asks for specific changes, you'll know how to change your pricing specifically to meet those needs.
2. Understand Your Clients
Once you understand your wedding pricing for each destination, you'll be able to customize each proposal to the specific needs of your client. In order to understand what your client needs, I recommend either speaking with them (or their planner) on the phone, or sending a small questionnaire over before sending any pricing.
This will allow you to understand what's most important to your clients, what their nonnegotiable elements are, and how you might be able to adjust your set pricing to meet those specific needs. Doing this will show that you know how to listen to your client's specific needs, and that you're the expert in knowing how your services can meet those needs.
3. Customize Your Proposal + Book the Client!
Now that you know what they need, you are able to use your custom proposal template to those specific clients. This will look like a few things:
- If you're using the ShowIt Custom Pricing Template, create a duplicate Page in ShowIt, and rename this with your couple's names, or the wedding date, etc.
- If you're using the Canva Custom Pricing Template, open a duplicate version of the template in your free Canva account, then follow the same process.
- Adjust any imagery so that it best reflects the specific wedding style of that couple. For example, if your clients are having an intimate, destination wedding, don't show them a ton of images from a large 500-person wedding.
- Adjust the names + date on the pricing proposal website page.
- Create 1-3 options that specifically entail what that couple needs in the investment option section. This may include slightly different amounts of hourly coverage, rehearsal dinner, engagement session, etc.
- Then send it to your clients or their wedding planner! You're done!