In today’s competitive wedding photography market, you need more than satisfied clients to have a successful business. When clients book you as their photographer, they commit to you and place their faith (and money) in you and your business. Throughout their lifecycle, your job is to provide them with an unforgettable experience that turns them into loyal fans. We reached out to wedding photography editing company, ShootDotEdit, to discover their insights on the topic.
When you turn past and current clients into loyal fans, you can convert them into lifelong clients – who, in turn, become valuable referral sources. Here are the keys to creating loyal fans from your past and current photography clients.
Solve Problems from the Start
As a photographer, you are an expert in all things related to the wedding day. Let’s be honest – you don’t “just” take pictures on the wedding day. Sometimes you end up playing coordinator for part of the day, or your assistant ends up setting up the chairs at the ceremony. And, with all this experience comes expertise. You’re not just the expert in wedding photography, but you’re often knowledgeable in all things relating to the wedding day. Your clients lean on you for your professional advice, and you can use that to help them avoid, circumvent, and prevent a whole host of challenges on the wedding day. When you share your knowledge about the process, you can alleviate some of their stress and allow them to enjoy the experience.
One way to solve problems for clients is to create content to help them through the planning stages. A free resource, like a customized bridal guide, can help answer any questions about what to expect and how to prepare for the wedding day. Send this guide to them as soon as your clients book you so they feel welcomed and excited to work with you. It also shows that you care about how the entire wedding process goes for them, not just the photography aspect on the day.
Within the guide, include useful tips and insights on everything leading up to the wedding day couples may want to know. This type of content is a great tool for your clients to pass along to their family and friends once they are finished with the wedding plans.
Pay Attention to Details
The more you know what makes your clients unique and special, the more you can serve them on a personal level. And, it is the personal things that often times create the stories that turn clients into raving fans. From your first meeting with each couple, listen to what they share with you and take note of the small details.
For example, let’s say your clients mention a favorite restaurant they frequent on a date. A month before the wedding day, send them a gift card to the restaurant with a personalized note. In the note, share how you want them to have a relaxing night out together, especially because you know how stressful the wedding planning process can be.
This example can sound really basic. But, it takes work to put into practice for every single client. You can’t automate the little personal details, but that is one of the many reasons why it means so much to your client. Personal details show you care, and that your client means more to you than just another wedding.
Remain in Constant Communication
After clients book you, connect with them on a consistent basis. Reach out to check on the progress of the wedding planning, and offer advice and help. Remember, this is likely a stressful time for your clients, so continuously ask yourself what you can do to assist them and lower their stress. Let them know you are available for questions and you understand this can be an overwhelming process.
Your clients will know you are interested in more than just making a profit; you are invested in the success of their wedding day. They will appreciate the fact you take time out of your busy schedule to help them and will remember how helpful you were throughout the process when talking to their family and friends.
As a tip, if you respond the fastest to text message, consider allowing you clients to text you if they want to easily reach you. If you’re best on email, encourage email interaction. Perhaps you’re best on the phone? Give your clients your cell number. Learn where you are best in communication, and encourage this medium to help you keep in constant and consistent contact.
Surpass Client Expectations
When it comes time to deliver images to your clients, keep them updated on the status of their photos. More importantly, under-promise and over-deliver on your turnaround time. A common question for clients to ask is, “How long does it take for you to send the images to us?” Be sure to give a realistic deadline to your clients, and then surpass it. A simple way for you to accomplish this is to send your images to a wedding post production company, such as ShootDotEdit. ShootDotEdit provides turnaround time as fast as 48 hours on all jobs.
As you manage your clients’ expectations and surpass them, you thrill your clients and turn them into loyal fans of your business. You build your reputation as someone who works faster than promised and still manages to produce quality photos. This can lead your clients to recommend you to their friends and family as someone who works quickly and exceeds expectations. Keep in mind, the more you surpass their expectations, the more credible you and your business become.
Plan for Other Life Events
Once you create loyal fans from your clients, continuously nurture the relationship you have with them and re-engage them at every important point in their lives. The wedding day is just the beginning, and your clients will have a list of to-dos, from buying a house to having a baby. This is the perfect time to help them out with these life events.
For example, if you know a real-estate agent, host a night at your studio with them and your previous couples. It might just be the introduction your clients need to get started on one of the major post-wedding milestones they want to accomplish, and will think of you when they finally achieve their goals. Think ahead of the life events your clients will go through, and create opportunities to go above and beyond for them. This will reaffirm the positive feelings they had for you during the wedding planning process and shoot. And, it will keep you top of mind when their friends mention they are getting married.
Create a Community of Clients
As you book more ideal clients, you begin to create a community of like-minded people. As each of your clients progress through the life stages that come after getting married, it can sometimes be challenging to find other couples who are interested in the same things as them. Since you shoot with clients who have similarities take the opportunity to introduce your clients to one another.
As an idea, during the slower season, host a brunch and invite your past clients to it. This is a simple way for couples to mingle and get to know new people. Along with meeting like-minded couples and forming new friendships, these couples have at least one thing in common: you were their wedding photographer. This makes it simple for them to share stories and experiences they had with you, keeping you top of mind.
An important aspect of your role as the wedding photographer is to be helpful at all times, even when your clients do not know they need help. You earned your clients trust once they book you, and you can use these steps to take to convert it into loyalty. Once you do this, they will not only use you for any of their photography needs but also will refer you to family and friends. For additional ways to turn clients into loyal fans, download our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers!