How To Make Sure Your Photography Clients Refer You Every Time
Posted On | April 16, 2019
Creating a top-notch customer experience for your photography clients is the number one way to guarantee referrals. The next time your client’s friend mentions their need for a photographer, you should be the very first person who comes to mind. Why? You made her feel valued, comfortable and went above and beyond what any other photographer has done.
Creating a customer experience that will wow your clients is not hard – but it takes thoughtful intention. It requires putting yourself in your client’s shoes and understanding what she may be worried about, what she will have questions on, and what her expectations are.
How do you create an outstanding customer experience for your portrait photography business? Will you ensure your photography clients leave you as a raving fan? Here are the three secrets I’ve instilled in my business to make sure every one of my clients leaves over-joyed with booking me.
ONE: Under Promise + Over Deliver
I know you’ve probably heard this phrase a million times. If you haven’t heard it, then repeat it as your business mantra. What does under promise, over deliver mean? It means setting reasonable expectations for your clients but then going above and beyond those expectations when you finally deliver.
Here are some examples of how you can under promise, over deliver in your photography business to create an amazing customer experience:
- The Number Of Images You Deliver: A common question clients will ask is how many images can I expect? Set the expectation by telling them they can expect a reasonable amount of images from their session. For example, 30 images is a very reasonable amount of images to deliver from a 30-minute family session. But, I know that I typically end up with more like 50-60 final images from a family session. So I’m going to promise and guarantee 30 images from their session, but when I finally go to deliver their session I love to mention that I just couldn’t narrow down my favorite images enough and had to deliver more to them.
- Delivery Time of Images: I tell my clients that I will deliver their final gallery of images within 3 weeks from their session date (4-6 weeks for weddings and elopements). But, I always aim to deliver their session no later than two weeks after their session date (3-4 weeks for weddings/elopements).
- Communication: Clients expect you to communicate with them at key points during the planning process for their photography session: when they inquire, when they book, right before their session and when you deliver their gallery. You can go above and beyond these expectations by reaching out at a time that they may not expect with helpful tips or information. I also like to send my clients from the year a Christmas card in the mail just to say hi. It’s these little moments of communication that your client doesn’t expect that they’ll remember.
TWO: Answer Their Questions Before They Ask Them
If you remember this one point, I promise you’ll have clients thanking you every step of the way. I want you to put yourself in your client’s shoes for a moment. You are a mom, getting ready to have your family photos taken. It’s something that makes you a little nervous because you want your kids to behave and hopefully smiles for the camera and you have to juggle a million other things to make this happen (picking out outfits, getting everyone into the car and going on time, praying that your kids are in a good mood that day). In your client’s eyes, there are a million things she could have questions about or need help with.
As you are creating a rockstar customer experience for your clients, I want you to think through all the pain points and questions your client might have. Then, answer those questions and relieve those pain points before they even have the chance to ask you about them! I find it helpful to write blog posts that you direct your client to. Or, have this information sent in emails to your client.
Here are some sample questions and pain points that you, as a photographer, can help your client with:
- What location to choose?
- How much time will this take?
- What to wear?
- How early should I arrive to get prepared?
- What will happen if it rains?
- What else do I need to bring with me?
- How many images can I expect from my session?
- When I can I expect to receive my images?
THREE: Take Time To Actually Know Your Client
If you want to stand out from the sea of photographers out there in your own community, in my opinion, getting to actually know your clients is the number one way to do so! Do you know how many reviews I get from my clients who say that’s their favorite thing about their session with me? Let me tell you it’s a LOT! The number one thing mentioned in my reviews is that I took the time to genuinely care about who they are and created a friendship that they felt comfortable with. That, my friend, is going to make you stand out and get amazing referrals!
How do you actually get to know your client?
Ask them questions! Right off the bat, when potential clients submit the inquiry form on my website, I already know a little bit about them. I ask my clients to tell me their story (to make me cry!) and what their greatest adventure has been together. Then, I often get on a phone/video call with each of my clients. I don’t dive straight into the nitty-gritty details on this call first. No, I take a few minutes to ask more questions and get to know more about them.
Finally, during their session, I am continually chatting with them. Because I already have some information about who they are and what they like, I have a great starting place for conversation during their photography session.
Take notes about all the things you learn about your clients. Write them down on your phone. Record a voice memo after their session. Then use that information to build a genuine relationship with your clients and show that you really care. You can follow up with them about big moments in their life you talked about together. You can also write a darn good, heartfelt blog post about who these people truly are.
People want to be known. They want to be understood. When you can show that you care about who your clients are as a person (and not just a business deal), that is when the magic happens.
What Can You Do To Make Sure Your Clients Refer You?
So, where do you excel at creating an amazing customer experience for your photography clients? What thing can you implement today to improve it? I’m so happy that you are building the photography business you’ve always dreamed of and taking steps to get better every day. I’m cheering you on, friend, every step of the way!
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!
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