Keeping In Touch – Utilise Your Clients

It has been said before on many episodes of The Ready Steady Pro Podcast that you should be keeping a database of your past clients. Having the contact information of all of your previous clients (or, current clients rather) allows you to reach out and contact them directly. After all, you’ve worked with them already and you are now a known quantity to them – You already have that relationship with them and they will be more open and receptive to you than they would be to a generic marketing email from some other photographer. Just because you’ve shot their wedding and it’s been and gone doesn’t mean the door is closed to opportunities. There are so many ways and chances to reach out to those clients once again and leverage more business and continue the relationship.

Keeping In Touch

A good example of this is what I do around New Years: I would usually reach out to clients via email – a personalised message written specifically for them, referring to their wedding day, containing a few images and basically thanking them for allowing me to photograph their wedding or event that past year. I would tell them how much fun it was to be their photographer and how much I enjoyed it. In previous years I have also included a 10% referral discount at the bottom of the email (usually a code for them to pass on to a friend or family member) and also a discount for them if they would like some other photography doing (family shoot, lifestyle, portrait etc). There would be relevant links to the website for each of these services as well. The email of course makes it as easy for them to get in touch as possible – email, telephone numbers, links etc are all included everywhere within the email it’s appropriate.

Some photographers and business go as far as to send chocolates or flowers and gifts at Christmas time too. If you think this is more appropriate then go for it! Whatever you feel works for you and would most successfully achieve the goal of getting more business.

It all sounds like a lot of effort though…

It may sound like a lot of work having to type out personalised and individual emails for each client that past year, particularly if you’re already fortunate enough to have had a fair few clients, but this year was slightly different for me…

I was so unwell over Christmas and New Year recovering from Pneumonia and then having to put up with a condition called Pleurisy that I was just drained of energy. I didn’t have the get up and go to type over 20 individual emails to clients. So instead, from my sick-bed, I simply sent them all text messages. Nice and simple.

I wished them a wonderful New Years, told them to have fun if they were out celebrating, stay warm, stay safe and all the best for 2015. The messages were very short and sweet (it was a text after all). It didn’t need to be much – just enough to let them know I was around and thinking of them at this time of year and sending them a pleasant little message. I’m sure none of them expected it.

So, when one client told me her sister was getting married and that she will pass on my details I was very pleased. Then another client replied to say that she would be getting in touch in the new year about making an album.

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Bonus!

Extra Tip

Remember – when adding links to emails etc use Bitly. You can create custom links for each email (if you want) and track the clicks to see if your campaign is actually working. It’s well worth doing and having some visibility over the success of your efforts.

Now It’s Down To Me

Now, the ball is back in my court of course – I have to chase these up and see them through, but for 15 – 20 minutes work (from bed!) I’ve got 2 solid leads that could make the business some money in 2015.

It was an exercise well worth my time if you ask me.

And hey, even neither of these leads come off – I’m still the nice guy who wished them well and reminded them I still exist. It’s a win/win.

It’s a Timely Exercise

This sort of exercise is timely though. If you’re going to reach out to clients and wish them well for the new year you’re going to want to do it soon. It’d be odd if they received a message late in January as it may seem like an after thought. Just do this now. If their numbers are in your phones just take some time to message them. If you store details in files sit down on the sofa tonight and get in touch with them. Better still if you’re making use of a system such as LightBlue all of the contact details you need should be to hand

Join The Conversation On Social Media

Come and join the Ready Steady Pro community over on Facebook. It’s thriving and all of these topics and more are discussed in great detail by the almost 400-strong group.

Happy New Year!

So, happy new year from all of us here at Ready Steady Pro. May 2015 be a successful one and if you’re aiming to transition to full-time, may 2015 be the year you do it successfully! Good luck everyone!

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FREE Webinar: 6 Secrets to a Profitable Wedding and Portrait Business

Join Steve Saporito, Bryan Caporicci and Jeff Jochum as they share with you their 6 Secrets to a profitable Wedding and Portrait Business in this absolutely FREE Webinar on Tuesday 25th @ 9PM (if you’re UK based).

These three guys have an absolute wealth of knowledge between them when it comes to this industry which can often feel like a minefield. So, let them help you navigate it! In this Webinar they promise to teach you:

  1. 6 Strategies to implement that will transform your photography business
  2. The biggest mistakes you are making when dealing with your clients
  3. Why clients are saying you’re “Expensive”

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2015 will see me transition from the day job into full time photography and some of the most sage advice I’ve been given came from Steve Saporito himself. Steve taught me perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt as a photographer so far. It sounds like a simple one, but I’ll tell you for free that it’s the most powerful tool I have when it comes to booking clients. Steve told me: “You just have to care”. I instantly adopted this approach even more, taking on board the other things that Steve said and really listened to my clients. I asked them questions about them, how they felt about one another, how they met and really showed a genuine interest in their answers. I started to connect with my clients on a new level and through that I was able to start booking more clients AND at higher averages than before. It’s not a jedi mind trick, it’s not neuro linguistic programming: as Steve says – You just have to care! If, in that one nugget of information Steve has helped me to book more clients and increase my average from £650 per client to over £1,000, then that tells me that this is a Webinar that I must tune into. And so should you!

You may remember our very own interview with Steve from Episode 17 of the Ready Steady Pro Podcast – which has proven to be the most popular download to date with well over 1,000 downloads more than the second most popular episode. If you liked what you heard in that interview, then you’re going to love what Steve has to say in this Webinar. (Did I mention it’s free?)

So, sign up to the webinar now – places are limited so be sure to book your place.

Podcast 17 – An Interview with Steve Saporito

After moving my office into it’s new home (again) I’m back with Episode 17 – an Interview with the one and only Steve Saporito.

I don’t want to say too much about this episode here, because I honestly won’t do it justice. All I can say is that as someone who gives a lot of thought to photography and the business of photography, I thought I was pretty well placed to offer guidance and support to others – Steve showed me how big a gap in my own knowledge and thinking there actually is.

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In this episode we cover the idea that common sense in not common. If you don’t want to sell a certain product, don’t display it! If you care more, you’ll be successful. Don’t write people off (like I do, all too often). We also touch on the subject of pricing too, which is a real eye opener!

Notepads to hand! Open your minds and let Steve Saporito on in to help you out!

Sit back and enjoy this episode of Ready, Steady Pro! Click the link below to listen / download the podcast.


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This weeks Topic

An Interview with Steve Saporito


Today’s Little Gems

http://stevesaporito.com/ 


Show Notes / Links

The Portrait Doctor
SquareSpace


This weeks Hosts

Michael Rammell
Steve Saporito