Intro by Skip Cohen
Photofocus.com joins Marathon’s blog content this month. There’s so much great information in their archives and being published fresh every day! From podcasts to info about new gear, techniques, and everything in between, I’m excited to be sharing this post from their archives.
As I’ve written so many times, relationship building is your very best marketing tool! Unless you literally launched your business within the last few days, all of you have a database of clients. What’s ironic is how many of you put serious time into finding new clients while ignoring past customers!
So, take a look at all the tools available to you and keep in touch! From following Facebook’s listing of birthdays and anniversaries to hand-written notes and picking up the phone now and then – your past clients are your greatest resource for more business. Plus, unless you really behaved badly and were a hockey-puck working with them in the past – they’re your best ambassadors to help build your brand!
In the financial world, banks spend upwards of $300 acquiring new customers. This takes into consideration marketing, phone centers, customer service, banking center staff, pens/paper/ink, etc. Keeping in mind that some of us own a photography studio/small business, our costs aren’t nearly as high; but every customer counts.
In the photography world, our clients are our customers. We spend lots of hours on social media, Google Adwords, word-of-mouth advertising and hundred of dollars on flyers, postcards, business cards trying to market our services and acquire new clients. Logically, we should do everything we can to make sure our clients are happy, and educate them to keep coming back year after year.
A few days ago I spoke to a photographer at a local meetup who specialized in photographing newborns. She’s been working hard on her photography skills, getting better and better over the last five years, but she’s excellent at marketing.
One of the first shoots she does with the expecting family involves photographing the mother in her pregnancy. She’ll then follow up in six months to one year and see how the couple is doing, and if they have an expected birth date. When the child is born, she’ll photograph the baby within a month, then follow up and photograph again around three months, nine months, one year, and 18 months. Each time, she’s selling the parents prints to share with their extended family and document their child’s growth. From newborns, she’ll then shoot family portraits, children portraits, senior portraits, and maybe even make it to engagement portraits and beyond, all by earning the trust of this one client.
I’ve had the same experience myself, editing a series of instruction videos for an automotive performance company. Over a year ago, I was hired to produce and shoot a product launch video. After educating the client on how they should be producing videos, their marketing team purchased some equipment and has been slowly creating their own content. Every three months or so, I check in with them to see their progress. About two months ago, they were ready to launch another product that had to be professionally produced. I was just a phone call away and got hired with pretty much a blank check to produce their next set of videos.
One of the best phrases in business has always been under promise, over deliver and I think that’s a great way to build a great relationship with your clients. You’ve spent so much time, effort, and money reaching new clients that it only makes sense to keep them. Once they’ve experienced how great you are, they’ll keep coming back for more. You’ll always catch a fish in a barrel, but you won’t always catch a fish in the ocean.
Written by Nick Minore with permission from Photofocus.com