Now, I already know you’re going to agree with me on this — that, as a photographer, you’re THE luckiest person in the whole dang world. I mean, in what other job do you get to capture people’s happiest moments, tell their stories, and help them present themselves to the world?
Ah, it’s the coolest. Really.
But, if you’re anything like I was, you probably got into photography (at first) thinking “oh, yeah. This is super fun and not that serious.”
Then, you started to grow your client list and realize that it was time to grow the way you did things too, huh?
See, as photographers we’re service providers. While, yes, it is our job to tell stories for our clients, it’s also our job and our responsibility to provide them a wonderful client experience. Photography is a high-ticket service for a lot of people, and that means that we need to put as much time and effort into our photography client experience as we do into our shoots.
From the initial reach-out all the way to final deliverables, your job as a photographer should be to make sure that you’re giving each photography client a memorable, exciting, organized, and luxurious-feeling experience. Here’s how to actually do it.
Wondering what I mean by a client experience?
If you’re not sure what a client experience actually means, I can promise that it’s more simple than you think. Really, a client experience is exactly what it sounds like — it’s the way your client experiences the service you’re providing. When you really think about it, you’ve gone through a zillion client experiences as a consumer. From the water that your hairstylist offers you when you sit down all the way to the conversation a waitress makes bringing you to your table, you’ve experienced good service and you’ve experienced bad service. Really, though, you’ve experienced good client experiences and bad client experiences.
Your mission? To make sure that you are giving each of your clients the incredible experience they deserve. This means that you’ll want to be intentional about every single step a client takes with you, whether that’s your first email back to them or the way you run a shoot the day-of. By really focusing in on that photography client experience, you can create a reputation as someone who is really, really wonderful at what they do — and what the heck is more valuable than that?!
How to create a fantastic photography client experience
To build a really fantastic photography client experience, you’ll want to start from the very beginning. By focusing on each and every step you and your client are going to take together, you can make sure you’re creating a client experience that doesn’t leave any stone unturned. These are my 5 favorite ways to build great client experiences:
Map out your client’s journey and build workflows from it: Grab a pen and a paper, and write down each and every step your client will need to take from you. From the second they log onto your site and message you allllll the way to the follow-up communication they’ll get after their images are delivered, write it all down. No step is too small! Now, ask yourself — how can I make each of these steps as streamlined, as personalized, and as special as possible? Then, you can build out a workflow that will keep you on track with consistency and make your clients feel valued like they are.
Go the extra mile whenever you can: Photography is expensive, and booking a photographer requires a lot of trust on the part of your client. If you can go the extra mile, whether it’s in small ways like day-of encouragement texts or it’s in bigger ways like free images with purchase, make it a point to go above and beyond. Even the smallest things go a really long way in making your client feel valued and making your client experience feel really memorable.
Communicate everything to the client: There is nothing more frustrating to a photography client than a photographer who isn’t communicative, and it’s such an easy thing you to make sure you *don’t* do! Make sure your client feels empowered with the information they have, like they know what’s happening (and why), and when they can expect things like final files. Making sure that you’re incredibly communicative isn’t just for a great photography client experience, either — it makes life easier on you, too.
Pay attention: This one might sound silly, but I can promise you that it’s so, so important — pay attention to your client’s needs. Be able to notice when they’re feeling uncomfortable or awkward, spend time making sure you can understand nonverbal cues, and keep their feelings first, always. That simple little action makes all the difference.
Deliver: The most important thing you can do for your photography clients? Deliver, deliver, deliver. Do good work. Do it on time. Do it well. It’s the easiest, most important, and most essential part of your client experience, and it is exactly how you can build trust, strengthen relationships, and create a really magical growing business.
Now that you know how to create a great photography client experience, go out and do it! You can create your experience little by little and piece by piece, and it’s okay if it consistently grows and betters itself as you do. The main point? To treat each and every client you have like they are the most important person in the world — because, at that moment, they are.
If you’re ready to completely transform your personal branding photography business, sign up for The 5 Keys to a Thriving Personal Branding Photography Business, my free workshop, and let’s make some moves together.