I Realised I Needed Reviews After I Was Declined For a Project

Charlotte Baladi

Wedding Photographer

Charlotte Baladi loves capturing the special moments as a wedding photographer. Since signing up for Bidvine in 2015 she’s successfully used her Bidvine presence to impress would-be clients by taking advantage of the full suite of features on Bidvine and fine-tuning her bids and profile. Charlotte shared her top tips with us on how to send a winning bid, how to get reviews, and how to cover multiple compatible services while retaining a specialised focus.

How Did Your Bidvine Story Begin?

I’ve been a photographer for a number of years. Then I went away to Italy for three years. When I came back I set up my company again in England in 2015 which was parallel to Bidvine’s launch, actually. When I came across the Bidvine platform I was focused on finding as many places as possible to reach clients so I was more than happy to give it a try. I was quite taken back by the ease of using Bidvine and I feel fortunate to have come across it. Bidvine really helps keep your costs down in regards to advertising.

I’ve tried advertising with other companies and websites but Bidvine offers the most direct access to clients which is great. So it has actually proven to be one of the most successful options for growing my business.

How do You Approach Bidding?

First of all, I think that you can’t expect to just bid once and get a job. It’s just not realistic. So it’s important to be persistent and keep bidding. Initially when you start using Bidvine, really go for it in the first few months especially. Put your attention on it wholeheartedly, bid frequently and follow-up on your bids.

If you are a mobile photographer running your own business, you’re likely working from home rather than renting an office—then you’d be spending a hundred pounds a month on travel and business costs. So think about it this way: instead of spending that money on an office or studio, you are putting that money back into your business by bidding. Make yourself a budget and use it effectively. You’ll only get jobs if you actually put yourself out there. It’s as simple as that.

Photo credit: Charlotte Baladi

What Are Your Tips For Writing Winning Bids?

Make it as easy as possible for clients to access your information. So, include a link to your website in the response as well as your email, your telephone number, past experience, a paragraph on what makes you the best and describe what you would offer. Past experience is very important to include because they want to know you can do what you say you can do. Then you should also add a link to your profile.

How Frequently do You Follow up With Clients?

I always follow up on bids. As soon as I see that they have been viewed, I will send them a message to say hi. If they’ve included a telephone number, I’ll always call to speak to them or leave a message on their mobile. Personal contact is really important. Make sure you know their names, exactly where the wedding is, and all the important details, and mention these in the conversation. Don’t just bid and then leave it.

It’s also important to follow up right away because then you connect with them when they are on their computer or mobile… when their attention is focused.

What Are Your Thoughts on The Importance of Reviews?

Reviews are extremely important. I had a client decline a bid once because I didn’t have enough reviews. That’s when I thought, ‘I better get some reviews up there.’ So, it’s incredibly important. I think any client appreciates reviews because they provide reassurance that you are who you say you are and you can do what you say you can do.

Photo credit: Charlotte Baladi

What is The Best Way to Get Reviews?

I got my first review from a client who I contacted as soon as I got the work and sent an appropriate link to my client where they wrote me a review.

Basically, if you want to get reviews, as soon as the job is done, contact your client.  You can always give them something in return too. I’ll often give them an online gallery for a period of time where guests can download their photographs in return to encourage them to write a review.

What is Most Important When it Comes to Profile Photos?

Show the versatility of your work. If you are advertising more than one service, make sure your portfolio covers that so customers can see it clearly. But make sure that the services you pick are compatible. Essentially marketing yourself either as a specialised portrait and headshot photographer or a wedding and event photographer can really help.

I would also recommend choosing a photography style. I’ve found that many brides are looking for a specific style. So, if you can repeatedly show that you offer that style consistently across your photos, it’s beneficial.

What is One of Your Favourite Things About Bidvine?

One thing that I love about Bidvine is that it’s always there. It’s accessible to you on the go and it doesn’t matter where you are. You could be on the train while you’re commuting and bid for a job. So, it’s very time effective as well. You don’t have to go to the office to bid and that makes it incredibly easy.

Photo credit: Charlotte Baladi

What is Your Primary Focus When it Comes to Photography?

My business is still relatively new so wedding photography is mainly what I’ve been focusing on and advertising on Bidvine. However, my events business is taking off so that’s something I’ll also be focusing on in the future because it’s very similar to wedding photography. Essentially I plan to expand my Bidvine presence to include event photography and photo booth rental as well.

What is The Most Memorable Job You’ve Won Through Bidvine?

I did a job for a gentleman called Nick and it was actually just a couple of hours. It was for a wedding in Chelsea. I had the time that day so I thought I’d go for it.

It turned out he is in the next Hollywood blockbuster so he could be making a big name for himself in this movie. You never know who or what you’re going to be photographing. So, sometimes it makes sense to say yes even to smaller jobs in the beginning.

See more about Charlotte:

Charlotte Baladi Photography, London, UK

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