Starting and running a photography business will always be challenging. But having a strong foundation of smoothly operating practices for yourself can make it much easier. By having a standard set for every aspect of your business – from getting clients to keeping them – you’ll be setting yourself up for growth and success.
When it comes to getting clients in the door, one of the most important ways to do this is to keep your online content fresh and updated. If you aren’t keeping up with your business Facebook page, blogging consistently, and adding new images to your website… odds are people are going to think that you aren’t being hired or aren’t working anymore.
Here’s what you should be doing to maintain and build your online presence:
- You need to be posting to Facebook and your other social media platforms a minimum of 2-3 times a week.
- Blog consistently! Whether that’s every day or once a week, pick a number that works for you and commit to blogging at least that amount.
- Review your website once every 6 months to a year to update your pricing, bio, and images.
By doing these simple things, potential clients will know that you are staying busy and you will look more desirable as someone to hire.
What if you aren’t busy yet or are going through a slump?
Find ways to create content for your customers! Blog about your favorite what to wear tips, 5 things you shouldn’t forget for your wedding day, favorite kinds of locations to shoot in, products you’re offering and why you love them… there are so many topics out there! Put yourself in your client’s shoes and think about what you would love to know before a session. This is a great way to educate clients and have blog posts to point back to when you get emailed questions.
Or you can offer to photograph a couple/family/individual for a stylized session. This way you’ll have creative freedom and a chance to push yourself by trying something new. (Make sure you are communicating what the person will be receiving from the session ahead of time, and that this is a chance for you to build your portfolio.) You’ll be able to create content and attract your ideal client by showing what you want to shoot!
Creating Happy Clients
It’s also important to put yourself in your client’s shoes and decide what type of experience you want them to have with you once they decide to book. Map out how you can make their interaction with you better or different than everyone else. Did you know that 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated during the process? The whole process with your clients, not just during the session, has a huge impact on your bottom line!
The best way to do this is to create a workflow, which is outlining every step your client will have with you from booking through product delivery with when you would like that to happen before or after the session. By putting this in place, you are setting yourself up to be consistent with every client that comes to you. Every photographer’s process will be a little different, but here are a few things that should be included in every workflow:
- Contract to book the date. This helps keep all expectations outlined for your clients.
- Thank you for booking email with a welcome packet to educate them from the start.
- Questionnaire to be sent out a few weeks before the session. This gets them invested in their session and start thinking about how they want to display their images.
- Session reminder a couple days before confirming location and time and providing last-minute tips.
- A post session thank you email for a great time and outlining the timeline of when they will receive their photos. This should already be addressed in your contract and welcome packet, but it provides a gentle reminder so they won’t be asking for them.
- An email after their photos have been delivered thanking them again for their business, asking them for referrals, and providing either a survey asking how their experience was or links to where they can leave their reviews.
- Various due dates throughout with tasks that you as the photographer need to stay on task with and check off. This can be setting up a phone consult, deciding a location, editing completion, etc.
The upside is that when you have a studio management program like Iris Works, you can automate a lot of these items to save you time! This way your clients are taken care of and you don’t have to worry about whether you dropped the ball sending something to your client. It’s already taken care of for you!
If you don’t have a workflow in place, you NEED one for your business now. By putting this in place, you are setting yourself and your clients up for success by educating them every step of the way. They will be much happier and in the end will be helping your business grow by telling their friends what an awesome experience they had with you.
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