While a satisfied client is the fuel for further sales and word of mouth, an excited client is the jet engine for your marketing. Unfortunately, many photographers don’t know how to turn regular customers into fans.
In this article you’ll find five simple, time-proven techniques of impressing your photography clients and building a long-lasting relationship from an ordinary photo shoot.
1. Be Professional
You should portray a professional image of yourself right from the beginning. This doesn’t necessarily involve spending hundreds of dollars on premium graphic design services and printed materials. In today’s world we have to deal with poor customer service too often, so being quick with your replies to client requests is an old yet very effective way to impress people.
Another factor contributing to your professional image is your website. It’s the first thing your clients see when they find you on the Internet, so it’s critically important to keep your site accessible and up-to-date. Don’t forget to update your portfolio and copyright information and make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Update information on your site regularly along with the copyright, share some personal stuff on your blog and “about me” page to show that you’re an open and available person, share your interests to make potential clients feel closer to you even before you meet.
Also, take care of your outfits and your entire appearance. No matter what type of photo shoot you’re heading to, make sure you’re dressed appropriately as it will directly affect whether or not you’ll get future jobs from this shoot. A rule of thumb is to avoid busy and loud clothing in favor of smooth colors and neutral style. Consider your own comfort, but probably more importantly, make your clients feel comfortable with you walking around.
2. Be Helpful, Be an Authority
Give your clients an additional reason to book your service by providing exclusive, helpful information. It can be a blog post on how to dress for different types of photo sessions, or you could organize a workshop for moms on how to take great snaps of their children using a smartphone or a pocket camera. The idea is to figure out your clients’ possible knowledge gaps and fill them.
Not only is this a great way to strengthen relationships with your current customers, but it can also help you establish the reputation of being an experienced, leading professional which works as a charm for attracting qualified leads.
3. Get Creative with Bonuses
Every business is interested in long-term relationships with their customers, and photographers should be no exception. Your loyal clients help you find new client, but what do they get in return? Develop a loyalty program for your customer base. An exclusive discount or a free mini-session just for using your services will definitely leave an impact.
Another neat way to please your loyal audience with an unsolicited bonus is creating a personalized product for them. For instance, with Defrozo you can create custom downloadable client galleries for free. The albums look great on both desktop and mobile screens, and can be built within a couple of minutes. The developers of Defrozo also promise full-featured websites for clients available later this year as the project raises funds on Kickstarter. You could also create a sweet, short video showing some backstage moments using Magisto.
Remember that bonuses don’t have to be monetary. It’s attention and a personal approach that will impress people.
4. Be the guy/girl next door
In other words, get to know what interests you have in common and use this info to customize your approach to the needs of your clients.
Fortunately you can make use of social networks. Not all of your clients will use them or share a lot of their personal details, but you can still get to know people you work with better by simply following their social media updates.
Another great way to connect with your clients on a personal level can be seen on the website of well-known wedding photographers Justin and Mary Marantz. They simply listed things they like presented as icons accompanied by funny comments on their About page. That’s the information that turns a “leading destination photographer” into a “guy/girl next door” that understands you in a way no other photographer does, and therefore, can be entrusted to photograph one of the most special days of your life. Genius, huh?
5. Follow Up
Following up is important. When done right, it helps you reinforce relationships with your current clients. Besides, it’s a sure way for you to be recommended more often.
It’s not uncommon to send your clients a printed Thank You card, along with a photobook or image pack from their session. You could go further and send them an extra print about a month after. Break the mould of typical follow-up messages that are only sent when a business wants to sell something and only include a note that would remind your client about the fun time you had during the photo shoot. It can work great as a feedback request too.
If sending a physical gift does not fit your budget at the moment, writing a detailed blog post about a specific client’s session is a decent alternative. It won’t cost you a penny, but sincere words shared publicly won’t leave them cold, for sure.
It’s sincerity, passion for what you do, and commitment to quality that motivates people to stick around forever. Is that what you can say about your business approach? Congrats, then, you’ve got that wow-factor to impress your clients. Remember that when creating your next marketing campaign and it will work like a charm.
What’s your number-one marketing tactic you use to impress your clients? Share with the community by leaving a comment below!