Happy clients equal repeat business. If you’re looking to secure additional bookings from your current client base, there’s a simple tactic that you can implement that will help you do just that: educate them.
- Teach them what to wear. It’s essential to educate your clients on the types of clothing will photograph well and what they should avoid. While this might come easily to you as a photographer, knowing what to wear isn’t as obvious to others. Give them guidance on what to wear based on the specific shoot they have booked. For example, they shouldn’t wear a bright, printed shirt to a portrait photo session as it will draw the attention away from them. If they show up in an unflattering outfit, chances are they aren’t going to like their photos and won’t be coming back for another shoot any time soon. When I first started my photography business, I didn’t realize the importance of educating my clients on what to wear until after my very first engagement shoot. The groom to be showed up wearing a red striped, long sleeved shirt and his fiancé was wearing an old floral pattern. I also neglected to tell them to bring a change of clothes so I had to make do with what they had on. Fortunately they loved their photos anyways, but after this experience, I never hesitated to guide clients on the best thing to wear for their shoot.
- Use your portfolio to educate clients. The images used in your portfolio tell a lot about your style of photography. By displaying your portfolio during your meetings with potential clients they can get a good idea of your style and there won’t be any surprises or upsets later on. You can also use platforms such as Pinterest to make it easier for potential clients to find your work and use it as inspiration.
- Make use of FAQs. Cut down on client enquiries by creating an FAQ page on your website that they can refer to. This saves you from having to deal with the same questions via email every time you receive an enquiry. By creating an FAQ page you’re showing that you’re happy to answer any questions that prospective clients might have and that you have the experience to do so. To start creating your FAQ list, go through past emails from clients and jot down a list of questions they have asked you. Narrow this list down to the most common questions. This page is also great tool for meetings with new clients so that you can take them through the basics right away. If new questions come up they can easily be added to your FAQ page for future reference.
- Prep your price list. By having your prices readily available online and via email, there won’t be any surprises for your clients later on as this information will be easily accessible. By openly displaying your prices, you’ll also know that the clients who do still end up contacting you are pre-qualified and willing to pay your set prices. You can even include a few points on why you charge what you do so that they know what they’re paying for.
- Tell them what to expect. Give your clients a good idea of how you work and what they should expect before, during and after the shoot. For example, if you’re dealing with a bride and groom, tell them what will need to be discussed and taken care of before the wedding day, such as a venue visit and walk through. Next, take them through your timeline for the wedding day and give them suggestions on how to pose. A lot of questions also usually tend to crop up after the shoot so rather let them know about aspects such as the number of photos that’ll be edited and when they’ll receive them ahead of time. Bonus tip: Setup an automatic email for the day after a wedding that thanks the couple for the session and reminds them when they can expect their photos. This will usually cut down on the amount of emails you receive after events.
- Suggest ideal photo session times and locations. You might find that some clients request to be photographed at a time of day when the lighting is very harsh. By suggesting the best time to be photographed, such as 15-20 minutes before or after sunset, you’ll ensure that they’re happier with the end result. The same applies to locations. If you know that the location they’ve chosen won’t offer great lighting or backdrops, let them know. They have hired you for your professional opinion and skills after all. You might even be able to introduce them to a location that they might not have thought of or been to before, but end up loving. The bonus here is that by recommending a venue you know of and have worked at before, you’ll already know where to get the best shots.