If client communication is something that is overwhelming for you, especially during the busy season, then this episode is for you. We’re talking about 3 simple yet powerful ways to start improving your client communication. Client communication is just one small piece of giving a great client experience as a whole.
If you struggle with knowing what to say, have clients emailing you wondering what’s next, have clients confused about why they aren’t hearing from you, or if you’re simply just lost on the client experience journey and how to be an organized business owner, then you are about to learn many golden nuggets with tangible examples.
So, let’s get started on the 3 ways you can start improving your client communication today.
If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know that I love talking about client experience and organization. Client communication is only one small piece of giving a great client experience, but I feel like it’s something that many of us lack as creative entrepreneurs. We are great at doing our job of photographing beautiful images that clients want to hang on their walls, but the client experience and organization piece can easily fall behind which can leave you feeling overwhelmed and disorganized with unhappy clients.
These 3 ways that I’m going to give you to start improving your client communication, especially during the busy season, are going to be really helpful for you.
This is the first step I give to my students inside of Book It of just really mapping out exactly what they want their journey to look like. Furthermore, I want you to think about simply the client journey even before you. This goes back to your marketing, to your website, to what you are saying in those initial inquiry responses, and to what’s in your pricing guide.
What questions are you answering there? How are you solving their pain points that maybe they didn’t even know they had? What attention to detail are you going above and beyond with? How are you making them feel empowered in a decision to want to inquire with you in the first place and then spend time on a discovery call with you before they even decide that they’re going to book with you?
These are all things that you have to think about for your client’s journey and how you can best support them in that journey to then gain more bookings.
One example I want to give you to get you thinking about what this may look like is clients that may get an overload of information with all the different photographers they are inquiring with. For example, maybe it’s choosing a package. Many couples have no idea what package to pick between 6, 8, or 10 hours. One thing I started implementing after I had this question was taking the time to give real timeline examples and a gallery as well to supplement that so they can actually see what is photographed on a normal 6-hour, 8-hour, or 10-hour wedding or elopement day and what coverage they can expect.
If you want me to be completely honest, this has resulted in more clients wanting the higher package because they want more full coverage of their day, and for me, this results in being able to book less because they’re booking those higher packages. So, if this is one way you can go above and beyond in that attention to detail and understanding a common struggle that many couples have, it’s going to make them feel more empowered to get on that discovery call with you because you’ve already supplied way more information than most photographers do.
The first thing you should do is open a Google Doc and braindump what your client’s journey looks like before and after booking. What are the questions you’re frequently asked throughout the entire process? How can you solve that question or a problem many of your clients are facing? How can you go above and beyond?
A huge part of your client’s journey is actually started whenever you are responding to their inquiry, so go snag my FREE inquiry email templates! There are 4 tried and true emails in there, including 3 follow-ups that will help you get ghosted less. I use these exact email templates in my own business, so this is your permission slip to customize them. They are so powerful and they will help you connect with your clients!
I cannot tell you how many times I see photographers using their Instagram stories to share that they’re behind on gallery deliveries, need a day off and can’t get to things, or they’re out of office and unable to respond to inquiries and emails. My friend, I say this with full love in my heart for you, but let’s stop doing that. All this does is create a negative perception of you, your ability to do your job, and to get your job done in the amount of time you promised.
If you need a day off, by all means, take that day off. If that means something is going to be delayed, then that’s where you need to get on an email and directly email that specific client or clients that are going to be impacted by that. Share openly and honestly with them when they can expect XYZ to be done.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to have clear boundaries and organization around your to-do list and what actually needs to be done, and this includes getting your work done. However, it also includes being able to take a day off without that impacting any kind of client work or their experience or communication with you.
You can go back to episode 6 of All Angles where I teach you about email productivity, responding to emails, office hours, and even setting an out-of-office responder. That is one way you are going above and beyond to communicate clearly and directly to your clients versus posting a cute graphic that you created in Canva on your Instagram story which your couples may not see. If they send you an email, they will definitely see that out-of-office responder.
You will want to include in all of your email templates when your clients can expect to hear from you next and what the next step is specifically in your process. This is where opening up that Google Doc and brain-dumping what that looks like before and after booking is going to help you understand whenever you do implement some email templates into a CRM, what that next step is. And do not be scared to repeat yourself, especially when it comes to gallery delivery or your normal response times, even if you have this in a guide or it’s in your contract. Put it in multiple places so it’s always top of mind for your clients.
One example of this is before the engagement session, I always send an email about 10 days out and give some final tips and reminders for the session day and what they can expect. At the very end of it, I remind them that within 4 days from their session, they will receive a sneak peek of about 10-20 photos. Even though it’s in my guide and contract and I’ve told them before, it’s just nice to give them a reminder in the specific points of the process where they’re actually at so you’re not having to worry about them sending you emails and wondering, and this is one of the biggest ways you can improve your client communication.
I want to be clear on what a CRM is just in case you aren’t familiar with it. A CRM is a client relations management system. If you’ve ever heard of Dubsado or HoneyBook, that is what I’m talking about. It’s a place where you host all of your questionnaires, contracts, email templates, invoices, all of the things you need to run a business successfully in an organized way.
Now, how do you use it to your max capacity? For that, I want to encourage you to go back to episode 23 with How to Maximize Dubsado to Save You Time, Energy, and Overwhelm because I can guarantee that a CRM is going to save you so much overwhelm. It’s going to give you a better work-life balance and you will know for a fact that your clients are being communicated with so well.
If you ever get an email with a question, you have a template already up and ready to go. You can just customize it a tiny bit to that client, but then you can send it off and you’re not spending too much time in your inbox or in that client communication journey yourself because you already have it set up.
Finally, to unpack what I meant by how using a CRM to its max capacity will help you with your own productivity and getting things done whenever you say they’re going to be done, it’s because you’ve got that accountability. If you’re constantly sharing with your clients over and over again when they can expect to hear from you, then there’s accountability that you need to step up to.
Also, if you use your CRM to its max capacity, you have workflows set up, you have questionnaires, and email templates, it’s going to take so much of the overwhelm out of it for you because it’s already set up and it’s constantly serving your clients without you actually having to do the legwork.
Beyond just being able to communicate those expectations and deadlines clearly and having your workflows loaded in with all of your questionnaires, one way you can use your CRM in the initial process of a client trying to book with you is if you do that that discovery call, using the CRM scheduling function is going to make it easier on your clients to be able to pull up your calendar and book a time for themselves when they are available versus going back and forth on emails. This is one way you can improve that client communication, improve their experience with you, and just make it easier on them to be able to get into your world and book that call with you and hopefully book you as their photographer.
What’s the next action step for utilizing a CRM to its max capacity? Get a CRM if you don’t have one. Even if you have only 3 clients or 30 clients, a CRM is an invaluable investment in your business. I highly recommend Dubsado and I do have a 20% off discount for you for your first month or year.
If you already have a CRM, then start implementing your email templates, questionnaires, and workflows. Any question you’ve been asked more than once needs to be an email template response.
Those are the 3 ways that I want you to start trying to improve your client communication, and if all of this feels a little bit overwhelming to you, then my friend, I have a secret I’m announcing right here right now! As a podcast listener, you get the first deets on everything in my world because I just love and adore you. I don’t care if you’re here just for the free education or if you’re interested in one of my paid offers, I’m so glad you’re here and you’re having actual things to take away from all of these episodes to implement in your business.
So, let’s get to the announcement: On July 18th, I am launching my Client Experience Bundle. You can expect all of my email templates, questionnaires, and workflows for both weddings and elopements. In the email templates, there is an email for every step in the process as well as some harder situations and questions you may be asked.
I also have questionnaires for location scouting and figuring out what exactly your client is hoping for with their engagement session or their elopement day, as well as just getting to know them more and know their relationship and story so you can accurately photograph that.
There is also the timeline questionnaire, which goes way deeper than just figuring out the timeline. It’s understanding more of what your client is hoping for on their wedding or elopement day, and what means the most to them on that day.
The workflows will be for both your inquiry process, your booking to wedding workflow, or the booking to elopement workflow. Even after the event is over, how can you continue to serve your client really well and go above and beyond with continuing to give them a great client experience and communicate with them so they don’t feel forgotten about?
All of these things will be launching together on July 18th and I cannot wait for you to have access to it! If this feels like something that is aligned with you and what you’re needing, I would love nothing more than to bless you with it and save you some time.
I am so excited and cannot wait to hear how the Client Experience Bundle will change your business and your organization!
Episode 6 – Inbox Overwhelm? 4 Ways to Better Your Productivity
Episode 23 – How to Maximize Dubsado to Save You Time, Energy, and Overwhelm