We are starting a “Make More Money with Photography” series this week with How to Create a High-Touch Experience for Your Clients to Get More Referrals. Here are the following podcasts to watch out for:
- Ways to Get a Cash Boost in Your Business
- How to Get Money-making Testimonials from Your Clients
If you’re here, I know you’re a business owner with integrity. You don’t want to do whatever whenever to make money, but you’re focused on serving people well and getting paid well to do it. So we’re going to start this money making series talking in detail about how to create a high-touch experience for our clients.
In my photography business, we actually have a lot of families who book us for birth or newborn, join the baby plan, get pregnant again in that time, and start the whole thing over again. I can actually think of one family in particular who hired me for a newborn session in 2016 for their first baby. They now have four kids and I’ve seen them every six months for literally five years now! THIS is the core of what we’re talking about today. When you create this amazing experience for your clients, they keep coming back and referring their friends, which is the core of any successful business! This is the goal.
When we look at the client journey there are really 3 phases—before they book, when they book, and after they’re done with the session. We talk A LOT about what to do before they book like:
- How to get the client
- How to show up on social
- How to get those vendor referrals
- How to price yourself
…all those things to sort of wine and dine the client with the goal of getting them to book you.
But what REALLY matters is how you treat them after they’ve paid you money. They trust you, they’ve handed over their hard-earned cash and now you’re performing the service. Most people are used to mediocre or bad or decent service. When something GREAT comes along, they can’t help but talk about it!
My goal for my clients and my students is for them to have such a great experience that:
- They spontaneously post on social or leave me a review without me asking – when clients are doing this, it means that from the bottom of their souls, they loved what happened with you and they want to share it with their family and friends.
- They refer their friends – easy and different experiences than the normal things clients go through make them tell their friends about it!
- They sign up to keep working with me (either on a baby plan or hire us again for their next baby) – having repeat customers is the ultimate goal! When clients continue to work with me, it shows me that what I am doing is working and that I am serving them well.
Before we get into it, I want to put on my tough love hat and remind you that you have 2 choices listening to this: You can either halfway-listen to it while multitasking and think, “Yeah, I should do this. There are good ideas,” and then never do it, or you can listen with the intention of NOT getting overwhelmed but instead choosing ONE (not all) of these things to start implementing THIS WEEK! That’s always my hope and my goal with this podcast is not just have it on in the background, but for you to actually take action on something that you’ve heard here today.
How to Create a High-Touch, ‘holy-crap-I-can’t-wait-to-refer-you’ Type of Experience for Your Clients:
1. Validate them right after they purchased
What happens after your clients pay an invoice to book you? Do they go a day or two or a week (or never) before they hear from you? How long is it before you are touching base with them? This is so important, you guys, when you are investing in something big and you press that PAY, PURCHASE, or SUBMIT, and then you don’t here anything from anybody for days, weeks, or even months–this is NOT the type of experience that we want for our clients to have.
How have YOU felt when you invested in something big? Chances are you were thinking, “Did I make the right choice? I hope this will be worth it!” or maybe even, “I’m so excited, I wish it was happening now! I want to begin planning!”
Some ideas to validate your clients right after they purchase to affirm that they make the right decision hiring you:
- Sending an immediate CONGRATS e-mail after the booking is complete
- Sending a small Thank You gift within 24 hours
- Posting about it on social (with their permission, of course!)
- Redirecting the “Thank You” page with “Next Steps” after they’re finished booking
- Some Next Step Ideas!
- Include a badge or graphic that they can share on social (especially for a client who loves planning!)
- Schedule a consultation so you could talk about all the details that have to do with birth photography like what are they thinking and feeling in that moment and how can you serve them right then
- Some Next Step Ideas!
2. Hold their hand along the way
Sometimes that time period between after they book and when their birth or session is actually happening can be a long time—can be weeks or months! To hold their hand along the way and answer their questions before they have them:
- Send a timeline showing them what to expect in the next 3-4 months
- Schedule workflow e-mails. We send very intentional series of e-mails after someone books to give them the information that they need about working with us without bombarding them in one e-mail. (Check out this episode to learn more about 4 E-mail Workflows that You Need in Your Business)
- Share other sessions they might like to book with you and the info for them (this is not salesy, it’s service)
- DM them something that made you think of them! Follow them on social and build that relationship on a friend level.
I had a client, who is also a business owner, who asked if I helped other businesses set up their CRM because she was so impressed with their experience after they booked. That was the impact that we made on her.
Just to let you know, I use HoneyBook to set-up the workflows that we are talking about here today. If you want more info on HoneyBook, you may go to this link and get 50% off if you want to jump into a trial and check it out yourself.
3. Do something unexpected–surprise and delight your clients
I actually hired a law firm, probably a year ago, to help me get my trademark set up for The Beauty in Birth and they sent me a super fun thank-you gift. If I was hiring a photographer or some other high-level coaching, I don’t expect those gifts, but when I get them, I’m not that surprised and delighted. But when I hired the law firm, I definitely was not expecting a fun, confetti-filled gift like that with treats inside!
Some unexpected ways that you can surprise and delight your clients:
- Send them a DM/shoutout/behind the scenes video on their social media
- Take short video clips for their session and put together a really short and simple little film
4. Understand what they really want and then blow them away with it
“Why are they hiring a photographer?”
Do you ask your clients this? (we do, in their birth consultation and their questionnaire) and it is really insightful in a marketing perspective of why they wanted these sessions, but also on a personal level to hear their personal stories and their personal journeys.
And so if I say, “Hey, why do you want to hire a photographer,” and they talk to me about how their dad passed away and he couldn’t be there for their son’s birth and they wish they had all these photos. Now she has this special tattoo that represents her dad or something along those lines…and then you know. This tattoo is significant to her. So in your photos, you can reflect that in creative and unique ways. You might not have known that the tattoo is important if she hadn’t shared that with you.
When you ask your clients, “what made you decide to hire a birth or a newborn photographer” or “what are you looking forward to,” you can start to understand why they hired you and really over-deliver on that promise.
An easy way to over-deliver as a photographer is to deliver images earlier than expected, deliver more images than expected, and/or post a peek on social earlier than expected. For a lot of our clients, we set the expectation that if they are okay with a sneak peek, we will post one within 48 hours on social media. But when you posted it within 48 minutes on social media or the same day…they are not expecting that and that is such a fun, cool way to over-deliver on their expectations.
Another thing that we do on Newborn Sessions (or births) is if baby smiles, I don’t say anything right then. It makes it a fun surprise when they see their images.
So understanding what they really want and then blowing them away with it and really blowing it up big.
5. After their session(s) are finished—what happens?
Are you continuing to check-in with them? Are you continuing to DM them and send them of fun things that remind you of them? Are you offering a baby plan (remember: selling is serving) so that you guys can continue working together?
And this is an important piece of this: What do you do if they hire someone else? Do you assume that they will never hire you again and kinda write them off in your mind? I hope not! We have a lot of clients who come to us for the big milestones like birth, newborn, and cake smash, but they use other photographers for other sessions. There’s nothing wrong with this! It doesn’t mean they hate me! So don’t let it get in your head that if a client, after they are done with you, hires somebody else, that does not mean that they are never going to hire you again or that they hated the experience with you. After their session, after everything’s done, how can you continue to grow, nurture, and foster that relationship?
Bonus Tip: Now how can this be streamlined?
Now that you’ve learned these ways to create a high touch experience for your clients—how can this be streamlined? How can you put this into your existing process so you don’t forget anything and each client has the same amazing experience?
Right now I want you to pause this and jot down 1-2 ideas you want to implement from this episode! I hope that you will and if you do, will you write them down and tag me on Instagram? I would love to see what your big takeaways were from this episode and share them out on social media as well.
If you’re enjoying this podcast, please hit SUBSCRIBE wherever you’re listening and thank you so much for leaving the show a review on iTunes! I read each and every one and it helps this podcast reach more people, so thank you!
My friend, if you have a passion – it’s not an accident. Not everyone loves photography, or event planning, or real estate… whatever your passion is, it’s there for a REASON. What are you going to do with that passion? Get out there and make it happen! Have a great week y’all!
MAKE MORE MONEY WITH PHOTOGRAPHY PODCAST SERIES
The Beauty in Birth Certification Course for Birth Photographers
If you know that you are supposed to be a birth photographer, but you get tripped up with all the ‘what ifs’ that come along with photographing such a big day, The Beauty in Birth Certification Course for Birth Photographers is currently open for enrollment!
Inside the certification, you are going to learn:
- How to set up your business to become the go-to professional birth photographer
- To master your birth photography camera skills
- How to fearlessly conquer any lighting situation
- Confidently know when to arrive at the birth each and every time
- Learn how to craft stunning birth images
- Learn how to post-process images to give your clients the best results
PLUS, $2000-worth of bonuses including The Beauty in Birth’s Birth Photography Model Call Process so that you can book up to 5 photography clients in 30 days.
To know more about the course, go to certifiedbirthphotographer.com
Questions, Comments, and Reviews
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