Fall mini-sessions are one of my favorite topics! Year after year though, there’s one Fall theme most photographers gloss over – Christmas in July mini sessions. Now, I love these because they let me pretend it’s Christmas months early. Beyond that, there are a lot of reasons why you should consider running a Christmas mini-session promotion early. Let’s dive in.
What is a Christmas in July Mini Session?
The name ‘Christmas in July’ refers to when you will run this promotion. Most of us have a slow July. It’s too hot for weddings, kids are out of school (yours and your clients’), and families are vacationing. You’re probably thinking more about Prime Day than Christmas Day.
Yet when Fall rolls around, everyone starts thinking of Christmas. Clients want photos for their annual holiday cards and every photographer starts pushing Fall and Christmas minis. Running a Christmas in July campaign lets you get ahead of both.
Clients love this because it makes you look like you’re thinking ahead for them. That you’re going out of your way to get them photos early enough to print and send out. You’ll love it because the competition is low. By prepping and marketing early, you’re scooping up bookings before anyone else. Plus, you’ll get to collect session fees during a notoriously slow month and then collect the add-on “additional photo” package cash in Fall.
Win, win, win!
Do the sessions happen in Fall or in July?
Not necessarily! That’s the best part. Christmas in July mini-session marketing happens in July, but the sessions can be whenever you want. If you have time to prep, you can host them in July. Remember, your clients need enough time to get cards printed and mailed out in early December. If you don’t, I recommend doing them early so they don’t compete with any other fall mini sessions you want to run.
Side Tip: You do need to pick out the actual date and do some prep before launching the promotion.
3 Tips to Sell Your Christmas in July Mini Session
1. Include Photos Of What The Setup Will Look Like
This is a tipping point for some clients. People want to see what kind of photo they’ll be taking. Creating a cute post in Canva is nice, but it’s not as powerful as seeing the actual setup. During your marketing prep, take the time to stage photos. Ask a friend to model or offer the session to one of your repeat clients for free.
2. Sell To Your Email List First
After years of teaching photographers how to run profitable mini-sessions, this is my biggest tip. Most of my clients sell out their sessions before ever marketing their minis on social media. That’s because they sell to past clients and prospects in their email list first.
Your email list is a gold mine. It’s full of people who already love your editing style, paid you once, and know the value of your photography. Of course, they’ll want to come back to you for their Christmas photos!
If you want to learn more about marketing mini-sessions or want to steal my entire pre-written 26-email workflow, you can! Head over to the shop to grab the copy+paste templates.
3. Market Your Minis on Social Media
Let’s say you don’t have an email list yet. That’s ok. My third and final tip to selling out your Christmas minis is to take it to social media. Just know that there’s a little more prep involved if you’re marketing your minis on social media.
You’ll want to create several Stories, a Reel or two, and posts. Don’t just post once and expect people to purchase. Remember, if you weren’t thinking of Christmas photos before reading this, neither were they. You may even want to tease the idea of minis and Christmas ahead of when you make your announcement. That way it’s fresh on their minds.
Here are a few icebreakers:
- Share some mini-session photos from last year and mention minis in the caption (it doesn’t have to be Christmas photos)
- Ask, “Who did all their Christmas shopping on Prime Day?!”
- Talk about the difference between mini-sessions and full sessions (click here for the cliff notes)
- Post a quick “countdown until Christmas” Story
- Tease the photos of you getting ready for your Christmas in July photo shoot to prep for the announcement
Do it for a couple of weeks leading up to your announcement. If you’re scrambling to make a Christmas in July mini-session push this year then start teasing it now! You still have time to get your marketing prep together and announce it the last week of the month.
Trust me, it’s worth booking out your Fall mini sessions in advance of everyone in your area.