As a photographer, your photography client experience should be on the top of your list for improvement. Your client experience is one of the main reasons your photography clients will want to book you, come back to you, and recommend you to their friends. The way you make your clients feel with every step of your process is what will stick with them for years to come. It is also the easiest way to continue to increase your prices with the least amount of resistance. Here are my top 3 tips for how to level up your photography client experience and cut down on unsatisfied photography clients.
This one usually takes a while for photographers to start to understand, but it is my top tip for improving your client experience. Imagine you are told you will receive photos in 4 weeks for your elopement, but really your photographer needed (and takes) 8 weeks. This is super disappointing to the client and immediately tanks your client’s experience. If you know you need about 8 weeks during your busy season to edit and deliver photos, tell your client it will take you 6-10 weeks. Since it really only takes you 8 weeks, you’ll deliver their gallery earlier than they expected. They will be so excited and feel like you worked super hard to deliver their gallery before the deadline.
Here are a few other ideas for how you can underpromise and over-deliver: the number of photos they receive, the help that you offer with planning, and meet a need they will have before they have it or even knew you would do for them. I, personally, love bringing a crochet hook for when it’s time to bustle the dress! This saves time and I’ve over-delivered/over-prepared as their photographer.
In the photography mentor sessions I have had, many of my mentees haven’t had workflows set up to automate and deliver the same client experience for every single photography client. I cannot tell you how important having a workflow is! If you are starting from scratch, I highly recommend opening up a Google Doc and listing out every step of your process and when you want it to take place. From there, you should write the bones of every canned email and create every form or questionnaire you need in your process. You will personalize these to your clients when the time comes, but it’s super helpful to have the bones written out ahead of time.
Whenever you have a workflow like this in place for each type of inquiry, you will immediately improve your photography client experience. Having your workflow mapped out will take the weight off of you trying to remember everything on your own. The CRM helps you automate it and reminds you where each client is in the process. Once you have more than 5 clients, I recommend setting up workflows and having a CRM software.
I personally use Dubsado as my CRM and this link (or the code clairehuntphoto) will give you 20% off your first month or year! I used Honeybook prior, but I learned that Dubsado is much more personalized, branded, and has robust workflow options that made sense for my process. If you have questions about Dubsado, reach out and I’d be happy to answer! If you are feeling way too overwhelmed thinking about setting this up, reach out and I could also hook you up with a CRM expert to set all your workflows up for you!
Another way I recommend leveling up your photography client experience is to answer their questions before they even ask them. Deliver your potential clients well-thought-out emails, guides for wedding or elopement planning, an outfit guide, Instagram captions, educational blog posts, and more. You may be thinking… “Claire, how do I know what questions they’ll have?” Think about questions you are frequently asked. If even one client has asked the question before, then there is at least one other potential client who will have that same question!
In my first email to couples responding to their inquiry, I send a few wedding galleries that I’ve documented. I used to be asked to see full galleries every now and then by inquiring couples just wanting to see a more full approach to a wedding day (instead of the highlight photos we all post on Instagram). Instead of the couple having to respond to my email asking for that information prior to booking a call with me, I’ve chosen to include it right away. It may have been a question they have OR it may have shone a light in an area they didn’t know they should check out before hiring a photographer.
When it comes to photography client experience, the best thing you can do is to put yourself in the shoes of your client. How would you want to be communicated with? Would you want to feel well taken care of? Would you want to invest a lot of money and trust into someone if they don’t showcase their trustworthiness right off the bat?
I am rooting for you! This year, I know you are ready to improve your client experience and be more successful than ever before.