You’ve been marketing yourself on Instagram and building up engagement. Your website is bumpin’ and people are signing up for your mailing list and are enjoying reading your newsletters. You’ve been doing everything you can to get people to reach out to you to be their social media strategist/virtual assistant/freelance graphic designer/photographer/’insert your skill here’ and then… it happens… someone inquires.

Cue the excitement…

Followed by a moment of slight panic as you contemplate your next move…

Now what?

You put in all this effort to get an inquiry and now that one is here, how do you respond? Do you have anything set up to manage your leads as they come in? Is your contact form on your website set up with a seamless workflow?

The amount of effort you put into marketing should be equally matched with the effort you put into connecting with someone to take them from potential client to raving client who can’t get enough of the work you do for them. That sounds a little wild when you compare the amount of readily available resources on marketing available vs the number of resources on what to do once an inquiry comes in. The truth is, the best marketing available will draw people in to send an inquiry email… but after that, it’s all YOU. You sell your business; your character, your passion, your values, your excitement and how you communicate with this potential client.

To offer a little insight into the world of ‘what to do next?’, we are including here our quick guide to managing leads. These little tips will help you get organized to manage your leads effectively from inquiry to booking.

1 – Make your contact form work for you

Do you offer multiple services? Can people contact you for family sessions, couple sessions, to speak at events or to teach workshops? Instead of your contact form being a generic form leaving spaces for simply name, email and message, try making your contact form more specific.

We recommend adding a drop-down menu that allows people to select WHY they are inquiring. This can help you understand the lead right when it pops into your inbox. It’s also a fun way to let those inquiring that you offer a variety of services– especially if they haven’t browsed through your entire website to see all your offerings. This can easily be done in Honeybook! 

2 – Automate your initial response

What’s better–

  1. A short, branded, warm reply saying thanks for the email including information all about you.
  2. Hearing NOTHING from someone until up to a week later

Number 1, my friends. A quick, automated response that is branded, welcoming, shares a bit about your work and lets people know you care enough about them to get them more information right away.

3 – Customize your automation

So we all agree that a quick automatic response that shows you care is better than not getting back to someone until you have time. If you already have your contact form set up where someone selects the reason WHY they are reaching out, you can customize your automated response to that specific Inquiry.

If someone is reaching out to you because they want you to speak at an event, your automated response can include a link to a recent talk or a PDF of topics you speak on.

If someone is reaching out to you because they are interested in your family sessions, your automated response can include a link to your portfolio, testimonials and a starting at price. 

4 – Book your meetings virtually

One of our BEST tips for managing leads is sending a follow-up email a few days after your automated response went out. You can set this up to be an automatic response as well and it can include a link for the individual to book a 15-minute meeting time for the two of you to chat. Take advantage of an online tool that lets you send a calendar with available slots so the person can pick the best slot that works for them like Acuity. 

5 – Use a management software

Using a management software like Honeybook is the best way to track all your leads. You can see when the automated response went out, if the person sending the inquiry opened the email and it can help you best strategize your next move. Automation can seem to so impersonal but it’s not. It’s actually the best way to keep you and your brand looking clean, polished and available at all times. It helps you to be able to put your best forward at all times when you can sit down and curate the emails that contain all the wonderful information you most want to give.

What do you do once you get a lead? Has it been working or is your follow through falling a little flat? Try out our tips and be sure to let us know how it works by commenting on a post or sending us a DM on Instagram or commenting on this post.