There are businesses you like, right? Ones you feel ok handling certain parts of your life from where you buy food to where you find the most comfy pajamas.
But then there are businesses you LOVE. They are always overdeliver. Always friendly. You could imagine hanging out socially with the people that work there.
You are a raving fan!
This should be your goal for your portrait photography business. There are the obvious things like greeting them with a smile and asking about their lives. But there are few things you might overlook when life gets busy. Here are a few steps to create loyal, returning, raving fans!
One thing we always try to do in our studio is overdeliver. And no, I don’t mean provide too many images (that’s a disservice in my opinion.) We always tell our guests we will have their preview out in a few days, then try our hardest to deliver them that day! At the very latest, the next day. You know you have a few days if you really need the time. But we like to get their images out right away. And it’s fun for them to get that immediate satisfaction.
Same goes for retouching. Our standard turnaround for ordered digital images is 7 days. But often, we deliver them within 1 or 2 days. What are you waiting for? Set the expectation that it will take a week, but be amazing and send them early!
Set expectations, then reset expectations.
Sometimes you just can’t deliver on time. But you should never leave your client wondering where their images are. If life gets in the way, let them know as soon as possible exactly when you’ll deliver. And that date is a can’t miss!
Help them plan, but be less wordy.
Helping your guests plan outfits is important. Styling a whole family is no easy task so they’ll appreciate the help. Also providing a few tips for a successful session is good idea.
But avoid sending lengthy emails. Don’t your eyes glaze over when you open an email with paragraph after paragraph? It feels like homework!
When creating your prep guides (whether it’s an email or a pdf) use design rules to help guide them through the information visually. Bold title sections so they can find what they’re looking for easily. Bullet point your main ideas. And don’t be wordy.
Find something about your business that you can differentiate from all the other photographers.
There are a couple of locations here in Denver that swarm with portrait sessions in the fall. It’s hard to find parking, you have people in the back of your images, you have to fight to get the spot you want. These locations are pretty, but this is Colorado! There are lots of beautiful locations! So we sourced a handful of spots that we love and are unique to us. We rarely ever run into other photographers so I know we are one of the few offering these spots.
Your differentiator could be a hand-made product you offer, beautiful packaging, personal delivery of products. I don’t recommend your style as your differentiator. Most people outside our industry don’t see huge differences between photographers.
Make everything easy.
Or consider the opposite happens and working with you is difficult! Ick!
From booking to ordering your client should intuitively know how to do it and be able to do it easily. Consider the booking process. Do you want to text and email back and forth until you find a day that works? Or would it be easier to show all of your set availability right on your website?
At the end of the day,
you need to give you clients a reason to stay loyal and be excited about you and often times, that has nothing to do with your amazing photography skills.