- Three Things You Need to Do Each Day to Improve Your Photography Business
- 7 Tips to Make Invoicing Your Clients a Breeze
photo by igor_kell via iStock
Photography clients are only more important nowadays since so many photography businesses are so slow. So, how do you show your photography clients you care?
I’ve found that a lot of articles outlining photography business tips or photography business communication tips so often leave out the most important part of the equation… the people who bring your business money.
In an effort to correct this oversight, I’m dedicating this article to ways to keep your photography clients happy with you (even during a pandemic).
If you have additional photography business advice that you use to keep your photography clients happy make sure to reach out to me with them.
Make Communication as Easy as Possible
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It is incredibly embarrassing to reach out to photography clients when something goes wrong, but it’s also essential. You should never wait for your photography clients to reach out to you with their questions or concerns because you should be that on top of your communication.
But, in our digital era where your photography clients are reaching out via text, email, a variety of different social medias, and the old-fashioned phone call, it can be really daunting to remember to respond to everyone and to remember where to respond to everyone.
In order to make my photography business’ communication more effective, I use Podium. The Podium website bills Podium as “the ultimate messaging platform.” What Podium does is it pulls all of the communication you receive from all of your photography clients and puts them on one platform.
This allows you to make sure you never miss a message from your photography clients. It saves you time by preventing you from jumping from your email platform to four different social medias and then back again all day.
Podium also allows you to send invoices from its platform, which has helped my business tremendously by preventing me from wasting time chasing my photography clients down for a paycheck.
While it isn’t a free application, you can get a free trial of Podium on their website before you decide whether you can live without it (hint: you probably can’t).
While communication always boils down to being available for your clients, there’s no harm in using software that helps you cheat the system.
photo by Synergee via iStock
A little gratitude goes an incredibly long way. Your customers can tell if you are being genuine when you interact with them, so it definitely helps to reflect upon the work you’ve completed with a client when drafting that all-important thank you note.
I’m old-fashioned and still send my thank you notes by hand. I’ve noticed that, since I started doing so, I’ve retained more of my photography clients and have been sent more word-of-mouth referrals, though I suppose this could be a coincidence.
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If you truly don’t have the time to send a thank you note, then the very least you can do to show your clients just how appreciative you are of them and their business is to send a small gift. I’ve suggested sending one of your favorite shots on a canvas, which is a cost you can actually build into your hourly rate so you don’t lose out on any income but your clients still get a nice surprise after working with you.
Other options are to send a cheap bottle of wine or a photo album.
Depending upon the sort of client you work with, another “gift” you can give to them after a photoshoot is to post a heartfelt journal excerpt about your experience shooting with them on social media. This feels special to your clients and is a requirement for your photography business in the digital age. If you already have to post, you may as well make your client feel good while doing so.
Be Respectful of Their Time
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This tip loosely ties into the tip about communication. For instance, if something does go wrong in your process, your photography clients deserve to know as soon as you do.
But, in order to be respectful of their time, you need to have all of the answers to the follow up questions they may ask before informing them. For instance, if you have a problem with one of your client’s then you need to let them know exactly how and when that problem will be fixed.
It isn’t enough to simply do this, though, because you should be the one to follow up (multiple times) to let them know where you are in the process of fixing the problem.
photo by Drazen Zigic via iStock
You’ll also want to come back and ensure that your deliverables were sufficient once you actually get them to your client.
Another way that you can be respectful of your clients time is by understanding more about their industry. Are there days that are easier for them to communicate on? Do they have a family and so cannot answer your correspondence after 5?
By being respectful of your clients’ time, you are showing them that you respect them and their business. This is also one of the top tips for photographers who are trying to break into ultra-competitive industries, like commercial real estate photography or any number of luxury photography niches.
Provide the Opportunity for Feedback
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After you’ve gone through so much trouble trying to meet your clients’ needs, it would be unfair to not give them the opportunity to give you feedback.
I send a quick survey out to all of my clients after I send my final invoice to them. This survey asks open-ended questions about my communication skills and their overall experience working with my company.
But, it’s important that I actually read the feedback I get from my clients and adjust my business plan based on it.
If someone is taking the time out of their day to tell you how to run your business better and you ignore them, then it is highly possible that you shouldn’t be running a customer-facing business. But, more importantly, it is highly likely that you may not keep your photography clients around for that much longer.