The words your clients say about you in a review have so much power. They show potential clients what to expect when they hire you. Reviews build credibility and trustworthiness. Your clients’ reviews should be some of the most sacred texts that you can use to tell others if you are the right fit for them. Now, how do you ask your clients for a review?
First off, when should you ask for a review? There are two directions this could go. If your client emails you back after delivering their gallery, then that is a perfect time to ask for a review. Many times, our clients are busy. As much as we’d love instant feedback and approval, many times you will not receive an email back after delivering a gallery. That does not mean they were unhappy with their photos. That does not mean they don’t love them. It means life gets crazy and they may have forgotten to send a note of thanks after seeing their images. If this is the case, then I suggest checking in with them one to two weeks after you deliver their gallery to see if there is anything else you can help with and ask for a review at that point.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t wait too long to ask your client for a review. If you wait months after their session to ask for a review, you risk your client forgetting their feelings of the experience with you. They may not remember that you turned around their images quickly. Or that you made them feel as if a camera wasn’t even there. The sooner you can ask for a review, the more genuine and real the feedback you’ll receive.
If you are just now starting to collect reviews and haven’t built it into your client workflow, DO NOT WORRY. Go ahead and ask for that review from a client you photographed months or a year ago. It’s better to have a review than not. But starting now, build the process for asking for a review into your workflow so you never forget. (I use Dubsado to manage my clients and set reminders to ask for reviews. You can use the code “wethelight” for 20% off your first month or year of Dubsado.)
Facebook, The Knot, Yelp, Google My Business, WeddingWire and the Better Business Bureau are just some of the platforms a client can leave a review on. If you ask them to leave a review on all of them they may never do it. I suggest picking one main platform you want clients to review you on and have a secondary platform to suggest.
For me, Google is my biggest lead generator. When a person first considers a family photographer or an engagement photographer, there’s a good chance they are going to search in Google first. I personally think that your Google My Business page is the best place for clients to leave reviews. It is free to get a Google My Business account and 92% of people use Google as their search engine. Google will always show all your reviews, unlike some platforms like Yelp and TheKnot who make you pay in order for your reviews to be displayed.
Facebook is my secondary platform for collecting reviews. In the beginning, when I focused on photographing a lot of families and newborns, Facebook was a great platform for reviews. Many moms are on Facebook and having my reviews on my Facebook Business Page was helpful in showing people I was legit and provide value to my clients. I don’t use Facebook as much these days since I focus more on weddings and elopements. The type of people in that market tend to use Instagram more than Facebook. But, because I started collecting reviews on Facebook, I still mention to my clients when I ask for a review that they can copy and paste their Google review to a Facebook review.
TheKnot, WeddingWire and Yelp are good platforms to ask for reviews on if, and only if, you pay for advertising with them. If you don’t pay for a premium listing on these sites, your profile is very difficult to find and they often hide or only show a limited number of reviews. I personally would not waste my time getting people to review you on these platforms unless you pay to have a premium listing.
Here are five things to include when asking your client for a review.
Share with your client how reviews help grow your business. I love to use the phrase “reviews help others who are just like you find me”.
Some people put off writing reviews because they have no clue what to say. Help ease their mind and give your client a few questions to consider when writing you a review. Here are some of my favorite questions to include when asking for a review:
Some people think a review needs to be formal. They put it off because they don’t think they’re a good writer. After I ask them if they’d spend 3-5 minutes writing a review for me, I say “It doesn’t have to be formal or anything – think of how you would describe your experience with me if your best friend was getting married!”
The longer your client has to go searching for your Facebook page or Google Business account, the less likely they are to leave a review. Make it simple for them and include links to exactly where you want them to leave a review.
Your clients are taking time out of their day to write kind words about you. Those words will help you book more clients. You need to express so much thanks to your client for doing that.
Awesome, now you have collected some reviews! What do you do with them?
Incorporate reviews throughout your website that show potential clients what it’s like to work with you from a real person’s perspective. I have a reviews section on my home page and each of my services pages (couples, weddings and elopements). You can also create a separate testimonials page that houses all your reviews on one place.
Post reviews to your social media account to share your client’s experience with your audience. I also have a dedicated story highlight just for reviews on my Instagram.
Including a few key reviews in marketing collateral is one way to tip interested people over the ledge to becoming your client. Do you have a pricing guide? Slip your top one or two reviews in the middle of it to build credibility and trustworthiness.
There you have it! All the nitty-gritty details on how to ask your clients for reviews. Let me know if you tested any of these methods out! What helped? Where did it fall short?
Hey, it’s me, Larissa! I started my photography business three years ago with a one-day photography class, a craigslist camera and zero experience photographing people. I’m not a hot shot in the industry, but a real person who built a business that replaced my previous job’s income and a fire in my soul to share how I got my business off the ground with other newbie photographers. If you want more advice, how-tos, and tips on getting your portrait photography business off the ground, head over to my photographer’s page!