Wedding photography is a lucrative business, but one that is highly competitive as well. Landing clients takes a lot of time and effort, and once you get them, you certainly want to do everything in your power to please them. Their word of mouth will be among the best marketing you can hope for, and their repeat business for future anniversary parties, birthday parties, and kids’ graduations will be more money in your pockets.
So how does one go about getting that kind of repeat business? We’ve created a list of three smart, business-savvy, and easy to implement ideas that are sure to get clients coming back for more.
Everyone knows that weddings rank as one of the most stressful events in life. With so much going on, so much to plan, and so many people involved, the last thing your clients want to do is have to manage you too. You need to be autonomous so your clients have a worry-free experience!
Work with the clients to develop a shot list so you know well in advance the types of images they want. Offer them a pre-made, typed list of common wedding shots, and allow them to select the ones they want. This not only saves you time, it also gets your clients thinking about what they want instead of having to generate all the ideas from scratch. Provide space for them to add other shots to the list as well. This will allow you to plan accordingly and equip yourself with the gear you need to get the shots. The better you plan, the fewer lens changes that will be needed and the less time searching for the right accessory, meaning you have more time to dedicate to taking the photos your clients want.
Part of devising a shot list and a solid plan for the day includes knowing how to double up on your time. For example, while the bride and groom are getting ready for the day, take that opportunity to get photos of other members of the wedding party. Spend that time on the detail shots as well - the rings, the bouquet and boutonniere, and the decorations in the venue. Photograph children and elderly members of the wedding party as early as possible to capitalize on the energy they have at the beginning of the day. Maximizing your time means you will get more shots of more people, and no bride or groom will be disappointed with that!
Make It Personal
First and foremost, if you’re to make it as a wedding photographer, you need to have the tools that will allow you to make working with clients a personal and meaningful experience. On the one hand, you need to learn names, become adept at effective and timely communication, be able to help couples make compromises, and be willing to adapt what you offer to better meet the needs of your clients.
On the other hand, you need to provide the small touches that your clients will appreciate and make them pause and think fondly of you as their photographer. In today’s digital age, it makes an extra special impression upon clients when you send them something in the mail. Partnering with a company like Plymouth Cards allows you to do just that and select from a wide variety of products that help you make a more personal connection with your clients. Maybe you offer them a small gift, like a 4x6 print, as a way to say congratulations. Perhaps you send a nice card as a thank you for allowing you to be a part of the big day.
The point is that not only does a printed card give you the opportunity to take a more personalized approach to business, but it also allows you to highlight the products you use and give your client something they can cherish for years to come. That’s a winning combination!
Focus on Customer Service
While there is certainly a difference from one wedding photographer to the next in terms of the quality of the product they produce, what truly sets one photographer apart from another is their commitment to customer service. If you want to build a successful wedding photography business, you’ll need to spend some time devising methods to make the customer experience one that is unbeatable.
Part of this is certainly making the process personal, as discussed above. Additionally, the little things matter - returning phone calls and emails in a timely fashion, getting contracts and proofs to clients when you say you will, and checking in early and often to ensure you’re in on the latest plans or changes to plans for the big day.
Throughout your relationship with your clients, from the first time you meet until they drive off as a married couple, cater to their needs. Ask lots of questions so you’re sure to be locked in with their vision for the day. Be available to answer any questions they might have as well, whether that’s via email on the weekend before the wedding or as the bride is making her way to the venue to walk down the aisle. In short, treat your clients like royalty; they did you the favor of selecting you to document one of the most important days of your life, so the least you can do is make everything you do for the betterment of the day. In the end, your clients will come back to you again and again because of this kind of top-notch service!