Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!

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3 Must-Know CogSci Principles for a Better Client Experience

May 4, 2021

A lot of people don’t know that I actually went to college for Computer Science. And during one of my first classes my first year, I fell in love with psychology – specifically Cognitive Science. That intro class actually led me to double major in Cognitive Science! It’s actually a subject I STILL like to keep up with years later by reading some slightly #nerdy material outside of work. I love that it’s so applicable to both life & business! So today I’m bringing you some of my favorite cogsci principles and how I’ve applied these to my business and grown it as a result of it!

1. Context Framing for Clients

Listen before you start talking about your service. This is a MUST if you’re doing consultations! I always ask my brides a ton of questions just to get to know them better and hear exactly what they’re looking for in their own terms so that I can make sure when I’m sharing about the photography process, I’m framing it in the context of what’s important TO THEM instead. People are mostly listening with the question “what’s in it for ME” so this is the perfect way to make sure that what you’re hitting points that are especially relevant to them when talking them through your services and help them figure out if you’re the exact perfect fit that they’re looking for!

2. The Reciprocity Principle

If you’ve ever heard of the idea of giving value through your posts, etc. that’s this principle at play! The Reciprocity Principle is a social psychology principle stating that “humans tend to return good deeds.” Essentially, in most social situations, if you’ve given something of value they feel obligated to give back something in return! I actually believe in giving my clients a lot of value & educating them upfront throughout their entire experience as a way of empowering them, making sure that they’re getting the most out of their photography and positioning myself as an expert but still allowing them to make their best-informed decisions when it comes to choosing locations, outfits, planning out the wedding day timeline, etc.

One specific way that I do use the reciprocity principle within my client experience falls specifically within my inquiry responses. When following up with a bride that had reached out, I send over a guide that is immensely packed with value, regardless of whether or not she decides to book!

3. Social Proof

I can talk as much about the whole photography experience but I know that as a consumer myself, I will almost ALWAYS read a review before purchasing a product! If you haven’t already, be sure to include testimonials from other clients on your website, in your client guides, and in email responses! One tactical way that I use this principle in my inquiry process is that I will share a gallery or blog post that was at the same venue or in the same city during the same season!

I hope you’re able to use these cogsci principles within your own business to elevate your client experience! As always, if you have any questions feel free to email me at manalisontakkephotography@gmail.com or shoot me a quick DM on Instagram!

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