by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, M.Artist, CPP What is your reason…
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Recently, while reading a blog post by my good friend, Chamira Young, she talked about the difficulty photographers have keeping in touch with clients after the job is done. That got me thinking about the importance of relationship-building as the key to not only growing your business but sustaining it.
Everyone talks about the importance of building relationships with clients, usually on the front end. They use things like their blog and community involvement, for example, but rarely is the topic of staying in touch AFTER the session or event.
Here are few ideas to keep you on every client’s radar after you’ve delivered their prints or video:
- Remember birthdays! Facebook is great for that with their daily listing of every FB friend’s birthday. It’s easy to scan the list each day.
- Know their anniversary dates – As one of the finest wedding photographers in the country, David Ziser used to call past brides on their first anniversary and wish them well, but he didn’t stop there. Imagine the reaction of the bride when he offered to do a free anniversary portrait as his gift to celebrate. The younger the bride, the more friends she has – all of them future potential clients.
- Pick up the phone! You don’t have to be in everyone’s face, but we’ve forgotten how to carry on a conversation. Check-in with past clients now and then, just to see what’s going on in their lives. You don’t need to act nosey, LOL, only interested.
- Do a mailing! Every year or two, do a hand-signed letter and talk about new things in your business. Maybe you started as a wedding photographer, but you’ve expanded to maternity and babies. Whatever the changes, share them with your database.
- Holiday parties and open houses – Even if you work out of your home, that doesn’t prevent you from hosting a small get together in your community. Set it up like an intimate gallery opening with wine and cheese. Have some of your images on display on easels. Make it a point to keep your past clients and potential future ones up to date on everything you’re doing. And, remind them how much you appreciate them.
And I’m back to the beginning. Your greatest marketing tool is relationship building, and it doesn’t stop just because you got the job!
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