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!
Manali is a wedding photographer & educator based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or teaching other photographers how to save time & grow their business, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand with her friends & fam!
My 5 Tips for A Great Photography Client Experience
February 17, 2020
A Stellar Photography Client Experience
Providing a great photography client experience is one of my FAVORITE parts of being a wedding photographer and just a creative business owner in general! I truly believe that personal referrals are the strongest and best source of business that you can get. So, I’m constantly working on how to provide an incredible experience that helps me stand out from the crowd and keep my clients referring their friends and family back to me. I love my clients and getting to work with their friends that are like them is such a gift and makes my job super enjoyable!
Here are 5 simple tips for creating a great photography experience for your clients!
1. Under promise, over deliver
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but I challenge you to apply this rule to your client experience in multiple ways. Some of my favorite ways to do this are to go above and beyond on things like prepping them well for their photography session, overdelivering on the number of images that I provide, and providing their images in a super quick turnaround time! This is doable when you have a system and clear workflow in place to make these all possible.
A lot of people wonder if it’s not the most honest option to underpromise in the first place. However, I believe that while under-promising allows you to deliver really great results it also protects you in the case that you AREN’T able to go above and beyond. Extenuating circumstances happen, you can never predict them but having a bit of margin in what you’re guaranteeing to deliver can help ensure that you don’t have unhappy customers.
Some other ideas for over-delivering are to include or cover costs of travel, to gift a little something to your clients as an added celebration (see the point below), give them more of your time, or going out of your way to meet a request that they have!
2. Client gifting
Sending small but meaningful gifts to your clients throughout their experience with you can be a great way to enhance their overall experience! I love that it really shows your appreciation and how much you care about them and that you don’t see themselves as just money in the bank.
I do think that this is a category that people can tend to go overboard with! I recommend setting aside 3-5% of their package price to reinvest in your couple. A couple of great points in which to gift something is right after they’ve booked with you and towards the end of their experience. There naturally tends to be a hiccup of worry right after people have made a payment where they’re hoping that the payment was worth it. Finding a thoughtful gift on their doorstep can help affirm that they did indeed make the right decision! And sending something along towards the end of their experience can be a little bow to wrap up an experience they thoroughly enjoyed.
My last tip for client gifts is to ensure that they’re memorable gifts and not something filler. Everyone has enough stuff in their life already, if you’re adding something to their home you want to make sure that it’s something of value to them. I try to stick with gifts that would make it through a spring cleaning and that are memorable and something that adds to my couples’ homes and would be something that they would show off to their friends. Bonus points for gifts that are personalized to the couple and their wedding day or date!
3. Highlight your clients!
Something that does take some additional time that I think is totally worth it is highlighting my couples! This means that for each wedding that I shoot, I do a blog post within hundreds of images from their wedding day the WEEK after it! I try to stay within the window of 36-72 hours after as well while people are still excited to relive the big day. I pick out things from their wedding day that stood out to me, heartfelt details that made them unique and I write about their day and what my couple is like. It’s heartwarming to see someone’s outside perspective on beautiful wedding day moments, especially since my couples are in the middle of it all and the day goes by in a blur. I also try to make them feel loved for birthdays and throughout their entire experience with me and even after I have photographed their wedding! Watching their marriage grow is such a privilege and always a reminder to me of what love looks like, day in and day out, not just on a wedding day.
4. Communicate effectively & anticipate questions they might have
I try to communicate effectively throughout the entire process and one of the best ways to do that is to answer any questions that they might have before they bring it up! When you can anticipate questions and any pain points that they might have, it helps establish yourself as an expert in your field and helps build their trust in you to take care of them throughout the entire time. This means that my emails are lengthy at time but always full of useful & valuable information. My clients are paying me not only for my skills behind a camera but also for being able to guide them gracefully through the entire experience from start to end. Having great customer service, especially if anything goes wrong, is also a really great way to enhance their experience with you!
5. Posing well so they’re comfortable in front of the camera
How people FEEL while they’re having their picture taken can often help inform how they feel about what the images look like in the end! If they felt like they were awkward during an image, they’re more likely to not love the end result. So I think as photographers it’s our JOB to be able to put people at ease in front of the camera so that they love how they feel & they love how they look!
I let my couples know beforehand that it’s not their job to know how to pose or act in front of the camera and that’s all on me! I then make sure to be really specific while posing and will often demonstrate myself so they don’t have to guess at what I mean! This is ESPECIALLY important at the beginning of the session and I like to start out with simple poses that are quick wins to build their confidence right at the start!
These are just five ways to get started on crafting the perfect photography client experience! There’s so many parts that go into your entire experience from start to end but I truly do think that building one that centers around service & your strengths as an entrepreneur can help set you apart in a saturated market. If you want help or guidance in ensuring that you’re providing the best possible experience for your clients, check out the mentoring sessions below! This is one incredible topic that we can dive in deep on together on, you’re not meant to do it all alone 🙂
READY TO START PUTTING SYSTEMS IN PLACE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
If you’re wondering what the inside of a successful & streamlined photography business that focuses heavily on creating an incredible client experience, then the Resources Vault is for you! It includes everything from email templates, client questionnaires, workflows for portraits & questionnaires, a breakdown of a profitable marketing strategy & how to streamline and organize each and every part of your business to grow it quickly through happy clients. More of a visual learner? Be sure to watch the totally-free masterclass on how to uplevel your client experience!
If you’re looking for a personalized plan of action to takes you from overwhelmed & stressed for time to running a systemized business that you love & allows time for what matters most, feel free to hop on the waitlist below!
This is for photographers who are looking for a customized one-on-one photography mentoring session that includes a two-hour video call or in-person coffee date to work through a pain point or build a sustainable business strategy for 2020.
Each mentoring session will come with a personalized blueprint of action items to help solve your biggest pain point and time during our session to start implementing these strategies to help take you from stressed for inquiries to completely booked in 2020!
Topics that can be covered during these personalized one-on-one intensives are:
photographing & editing
client workflows & communication
organizing the backend of your business
your marketing strategy
or a fully customized session to best fit your business!
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com to see if this would be a good fit for you at this time!