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Understanding a Client Referral: The Evangelist

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You just booked your dream couple, and you are ecstatic to photograph their wedding. In your business, one of your goals is to identify your target market and only shoot weddings that fall in that category. So once you book your ideal client, how do you get them to refer you to like-minded friends and family? You need to create memorable, unique experiences that move them up the client referral ladder! We have discussed how to create Advocates, the first tier of a client referral. The Evangelist is the second tier of client referrals can help share your message.

The main difference between an Advocate and an Evangelist is that the Evangelist will mention you without first being prompted. An Evangelist remembers the personal experience they had with you and your business, and will share that information with others. In order to move the client from the Advocate to the Evangelist level, you need to create great experiences for them. These experiences are unique to each client and something they will remember that you did personally for them. This creates a more powerful and passionate reason for referring you. Here are 3 ways to create Evangelists out of your clients!

#1. Coordinate a viewing party

Once the wedding is over and you complete the photography post production, a great way to create a connection is to invite your clients, as well as their friends and family, to a viewing party highlighting the photos taken from the special day! This is a personal gesture and is something that you are not required to do, which will be meaningful to your clients. Your clients will love all of the thought that went into planning this exclusive event and will be thrilled to see all of the vendors again that worked to make their day perfect. This will be a specific memory that couples remember about you that sets you apart from other photographers.

Tip: Invite vendors to the viewing party as well. This gives you an opportunity to network with individuals in your field, while making a memorable evening for your clients!

#2. Continuously Give to your clients

Throughout the wedding process (and even after), continuously give to your clients! Once couples book you as their wedding photographer, send them a bridal guide that shares tips and insights of the best ways to prep for the big day. Do your couples love a certain restaurant? Send them a gift card for a night on the town to their favorite place so they can have a relaxing night together! These small gestures will leave a big impression in the minds of your couples, and it will give them a reason to talk about you to their friends and family.

Related: Understanding Client Referrals: Creating True Believers

One year after their wedding, surprise them by sending a print of one of their favorite images on their anniversary! The cost of sending the image is minimal in comparison to the benefit you will receive after your clients open your gift. The idea that you thought of them one year after the wedding will be a story your clients will not be able to keep to themselves.

#3. Create Personal Connections

People share emotional connections for all different reasons. Impress your clients by remembering something outside of the wedding that they enjoy doing. You spent time getting to know your clients through meetings, emails, and the engagement session, so use that to your advantage to get to know them on a personal level. If you know that the bride is a seashell fanatic and you happen to come across a unique shell while shooting a beach wedding, send it to her with a personalized note explaining where you found it. This gesture will be very powerful and she will remember this unique experience you created for her.

Related: 6 Tips for Better Networking Connections

Creating experiences gives your clients a reason to talk about you. That reason is important and necessary – otherwise they have to wait for someone to ask them in order to talk about you. Experiences go above a product or service and touch on a different level, one that is above business. Stories are powerful and will create a significantly stronger pull to your business. Begin the process of developing Evangelists by pulling up your client list and reaching out to create lasting memories with your dedicated clients.

Find out how you can use content marketing to attract clients to your business with our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers!

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