How To Track Business Leads

Tracking leads is absolutely paramount in gaining photography bookings. Someone may be genuinely interested in photography services, but as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” Follow-up is an important component of customer service; often, people are grateful for the reminder, and for not having to take the first step themselves.

When a lead doesn’t convert immediately to a booking, it’s not necessarily because the client is no longer interested. Priorities, budgets, details, and dates may change. My rule of thumb is to touch a lead at least three times before I move on. Stay engaged, stay flexible, and stay in touch. Patience frequently pays off. 

A “lead” is generated when someone:

  • Requests an estimate.
  • Tells me they want to hire me but isn’t ready to book a date yet.
  • Books but then postpones a job.
  • Mentions they know someone who may be interested in hiring me.
  • Suggests a future project when we are working together on a current project.

I generally have about a dozen leads at any given point, so it’s hard to actually remember all of the details. However, tracking leads is a simple process.

I immediately write down the following information when I get a lead:

  • Name / Company
  • Type of project (portrait, commercial, event)
  • Target Date (of shoot)
  • Rate (if discussed)
  • Other Notes (such as dates of related emails and phone calls)
I periodically visit this list (maybe once a month), to remind myself what’s still in the pipeline. Usually, there are upcoming target dates that I would have otherwise forgotten.

I only stop tracking leads for two reasons

  1. Conversion.  Estimate signed and date booked, in which case the leads moves over to my project management tracking, which I will go over in Part 4.
  2. Dead End.  If the potential client books another photographer, indicates their project budget is cancelled, or fails to respond to at least three attempts at communication, I move on. But in many cases, I still stay in touch!
Review other workflow tips for photographers in these related posts: 

I’ll wrap up soon with Part 4: Project Management. Come back soon!


About Mosaic Collective, LLC

I am Holly Baumann Ambuehl, founding member of Mosaic Collective, LLC, which was founded in early 2017 and is based in Central Illinois. I own and operate Mosaic Collective with my partner in business and life, my husband, Nathan. Mosaic Collective, LLC houses our rental property, my consulting contracts (with the nonprofit and public sectors on various work), and also my commercial and portrait photography business, which has been doing business as Holly Baumann Photography since 2008 long before the formation of our LLC. My blog posts feature client work, but I just love to write, so I also write about owning a business, food and drink, travel, and sometimes, my personal life! I am always honored when clients trust me to capture their vision, and equally so when my readers converse with me about what I've photographed or expressed here. I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate professionally and/or become friends. I'd love to hear what you think! - Holly
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4 Responses to How To Track Business Leads

  1. Nice write up Holly. Looking forward to hooking up on your visit to AZ.


  2. dryan2014 says:

    Love this post! What do you use or recommend for workflow management software? Thank you.


    • Hey there, sorry for the very belated response! I actually don’t use any software – just track projects in a workflow chart in excel. I wrote a post about that, too, so you can find it elsewhere on my blog; search for workflow. HBA


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