The often forgotten market is… your current bookings! We forget about them because, well, they have already booked! First off, congratulations on your booking! Was it “easy” to get that booking? After building your business, honing your craft, educating yourself for YEARS and spending countless hours on your business and marketing plans, I'd say not 😉 So once you already have that spectacular new client through the door why not turn her into a repeat client? A “regular” if you will.
The great part about marketing to your current clients is that you have already convinced them that you're an amazing photographer and they want a photo shoot with you. Also, I'm not talking about sending them mailings to their houses or cold calling them. I'm just going to be talking about ways to plant that seed, form a great relationship and get them to spread the word about your business and you.
What could be better?!
With that in mind, here are some tips on how to turn your currently booked clients into repeat clients:
PROVIDE A FRIENDLY SERVICE & REALLY CONNECT:
I know this goes without saying for any photo shoot. However, “doing a great job” means more then just producing great photographs. I want you to REALLY connect with that client and form a working relationship with them. When she first arrives introduce yourself and tell her how excited you are to photograph her. If she says she's nervous make sure to comfort her and give her reasons why you know she'll be fine and LOVE the experience. Perhaps tell her a story of a past client who was nervous and left feeling AMAZING. Give her some time in the makeup chair to relax. Once the makeup is almost done grab a couple shots of her getting her mascara done so she can get used to hearing the shutter click. Then once she's having her hair done use that as time to chat and really get to know her. The more you can connect with your client the more she's likely to come back.
I can really relate to this personally in terms of shopping/spending. I go out of my way to go to a certain grocery store JUST because I LOVE the people that work there. When I walk in I feel like I'm at home. It's an amazing feeling.
TREAT THEM LIKE A FRIEND:
Whether she brings her girlfriends with her to the shoot or not this IS the ultimate girls day out! So treat it like one! Offer to help her carry in her outfits from her car. Tell her before she goes to change if she needs help zipping anything or attaching garter to tights you're more then happy to help. Ask her about her favorite music station and play it on Pandora radio. Treat her like you would your best friend in the world. Share girly silly stories with each other.
Be sure not to get stuck in a shooting rut where you are just replicating your same work over and over again until it gets boring. Really listen to her needs and EXCEED them. Be sure to figure out your shooting plan before hand. If there are a few photos she's seen of your work that she much have you can go ahead and create those for her with a twist that will make them even better.
Often times my best shoots and best clients have come out of a collaboration shoot. I'm always sure to ask them in our questionnaire and through email if there is anything currently inspiring them, if there are certain photos in my work or others that they LOVE (not to replicate but to be inspired by), are there certain eras they love & to feel free to email me with any ideas or outfits they plan on bringing. DON'T get annoyed if they email you tons. REMEMBER that an invested client will spend more. Of course you might not LOVE all of her ideas but keep them in mind because this is what she is drawn to.
PLANT THE SEED FOR THE NEXT SHOOT:
Sometimes during our photo shoot she will say something along the lines of “Gosh I wish I would have remembered this or brought this certain top, etc.” I just reply with “Everything you brought it perfect, no worries! Just an excuse to do a second photo shoot. ;)” Also while I'm photographing her and getting to know her I will plant seeds for a return photo shoot. Perhaps if we get talking about how cold the weather is I might say “Ugh, yes, once it's warm out we could do a shoot down by the river!” You don't have to force what you're saying just work it into the conversation. The truth is she's already booked with you so you KNOW she wants to do a shoot(s). You're a photographer so you KNOW you love doing photo shoots. You're already a match made in heaven! 🙂 Just be careful not to overly mention. You don't want to come off annoying like a salesman. Just keep it casual and most of all real. If you're having a REAL conversation and really mean it, then it won't sound or be forced.
A referral incentive program between your current/past clients and booking new clients is always something great to have! You can read all about my referral program HERE.
PUT A GIFT CARD IN WITH THEIR ORDER:
*don't forget a call to action/expire date
This one has been HUGE for me. I have these post cards made up that talk about the shoot experience on the front and looks like a gift card on the back. They are also able to be shipped like post cards. With each client order I slip one of those in so that they can use it for a return photo shoot. If it was a wedding client I would slip it in and mention on it about doing boudoir for their anniversary. I also always include an invitation to book with a deadline and call to action. If it's a senior shoot I will include a card for a family photo session. If it's a boudoir shoot I will include a gift card for another boudoir shoot or a girls day out where she can bring her friends. If it's a family shoot I might gift the mom a glamour shoot.
With so many different ideas in this post to choose from, what is going to be your next step in turning your clients into repeat clients? Comment below! We love hearing from you!