We are sure you love it when you hear potential clients say, “You shot my friend’s wedding, and we love your photos. Would you be available for mine?” - not only because it’s another potential booking, but this means you must have done a great job too. In your wedding photography business, referrals are one of the things that could guarantee longevity and success. When you deliver a wedding photography experience that is unmatched and your clients get exactly what they were seeking, that’s when they suggest your name to others searching for wedding photographers. How can you make sure your clients have an unforgettable experience with your brand every time? We connected with Darren of Reality Photography to discover his tips on how to get photography clients through excellent customer service. Plus, we added another section with additional tips to help you get more wedding photography clients.
How To Get Photography Clients
1. Master Customer Service
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto
You cannot survive on great images and marketing alone. Without conscientious customer service, those referrals won’t come knocking. As a wedding photographer, your job also entails making people “feel”. How can you make couples feel positive if they are chasing you because you are late for a promised deadline, or if you have spoken out of tone to a member of their family during the wedding shoot? So, you provided some award-winning portraits of the bride and groom. Great. But, are they going to remember you by those photos or will they remember all the times they had to email or call you? You can hear it now: “Oh our photographs are amazing, but our photographer was such a pain to get hold of.” Get your customers talking about how great you were, not just your work. “People recommend people.”
2. Set Expectations From The Start
Try not to make any silly promises. Ever waited for a delivery and it didn’t arrive on the day the website promised? Whose fault is it? How can I complain? And where are my damn batman socks? (Okay, the socks might just be me). But, you get the point. Now, compare the importance of the socks you ordered to the photos of one of the biggest days of your couple’s life. That referral is dead in the water. Things happen and with all good intentions, you may miss a deadline. That’s fine. Your clients love and trust you. So, when you tell them about the delay (because you will tell them!), they’ll be a lot more understanding and their frustration is avoided.
3. Perfect Your Listening Skills
Let’s go back to the beginning. After all, that’s where the first impressions are made. You can get referrals from clients who haven’t even paid their deposit yet. Be prompt, be polite, and be consistent. The clients already love your work, so now you need to get them to love you too! Listen to them. People want to be heard. They do not care how many weddings you’ve shot, they only need to know that you care about theirs. Don’t let your own prejudices stand in the way. If your couple ends up giving you a list of group shots that are as long as your arm, don’t reject it right away. Thank them for the list, and share some ideas that work around how you shoot and let them know your reason for offering these ideas.
4. Be Transparent
Assumption makes an… well, you know the phrase. Does your client know that unless they actually spend time with Uncle Roger during the wedding shoot, there won’t be any photos of them together? Does your client know you’re completely unreachable when you’re shooting a wedding? Give your clients an FAQ pdf when they book you or make everything clear when you meet them. Better yet, do both. The idea is to set your client’s expectations right at the outset and communicate well.
5. Make Genuine Connections
A few months ago, I was shooting a wedding and the couple was just about to cut their cake, a guest dived in front of me and positioned himself right at the end of my lens, so I kicked them (OK it was more of a tap with my foot, but it’s still a kick right?). How on earth is that good customer service? Well, I’d made time throughout the day to chat with almost everyone and let them get to know me personally, so when I kicked this guy, he knew it wasn’t at all aggressive; he laughed and moved, then I got the shot. Of course, there are some weddings where I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing this, but I understood the crowd. Compliment dresses, tell the guys how smart they look, say anything that starts a small conversation.
6. Exceed Expectations
One of the best compliments I’ve ever had was when I was handing a bride her USB box, she said, “I already know these are going to be amazing!” Yeah, she’s seen my work before but other than a handful of previews I sent to her, she really had no idea what she was going to find. She trusted me, I’d kept my promises, replied promptly, and done everything I could to go above and beyond her expectations. She already loved her photos without even seeing them.
7. Eliminate Issues From The Start
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @photography_by_orlando
“Urgh, she’s a total bridezilla!” No, she isn’t. She’s a bride who’s been let down. “I could tell from the start that she was going to be a pain.” So why didn’t you do anything about it? Why have you given her reason to complain? “She’s saying the images are terrible and she looks bad.” So why haven’t you built enough trust with her yet? Complaints start with one small objection, and if it’s left, it will continue growing until you defuse it. Stop complaints the moment they start. Don’t wait around thinking about it, reply and listen straight away. You’ve not done your job, whether the photos are really good or not doesn’t matter if she’s frustrated and it falls solely to you to fix it. “I’m sorry to hear that, I pride myself on giving my clients beautiful images so to hear the opposite is really upsetting. How can we fix this?” This reply will work perfectly if they trust you. After all, you’ve been amazing up until now. Take enough action to kill the complaint and remove it from their opinion of you.
Suggested Read: Wedding Photography Tips: How To Build Trust With Clients
Quick Tips For Getting Photography Clients
Figuring out how to get photography clients doesn’t mean you have to work with just anyone who will book you. Getting photography clients who are ideal for you and your business can become a reality in just a few simple steps.
Author and specialism guru Jeff Jochum says in his book Work Happily Ever-After: “Anyone can copy what you do; no one can copy who you are. In truth, it’s not magic, though to outsiders it probably looks like it. The essence of making specialism work for your business is that you must stand for something other than ‘making money’ to make this happen. Your WHO becomes your primary differentiator, and the real value of your business. We call this ‘YOUniqueness.'” If you love the outdoors and love shooting adventurous clients - use this for how to find photography clients.
If you are an editorial city-lover, focus on that clientele. Avoid thinking of specializing as limiting yourself. Think of it as channeling your passion into what you do best. Doing so allows you the best opportunity to work with people and in places you love. When you enjoy what you are shooting, your wedding clients will notice and refer you to their like-minded friends and family. When thinking about how to get photography clients for your wedding photography business, this one is worth considering.
2. Use Social Media
Show the kinds of images you want to shoot anywhere and everywhere. Becoming known as an expert in your niche will attract like-minded people into your life, making the process of getting photography clients much easier. Although social media should not replace face-to-face communication, it can be helpful to quickly answer a client’s questions or thank them for their comments. Showcasing your brand on social media as much as possible allows you to be front and center with your clients. But remember, social media marketing is a long-term plan. It’s unlikely that you will see results overnight or become a social media sensation, but consistency in terms of your posts and content could ensure that your followers recognize your brand. This way, you will also be able to build a unique brand identity.
3. Update Your Galleries
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @dannydong
Because the wedding photography industry changes so often, updating your galleries is a crucial part of staying relevant and an important step in learning how to get photography clients. Who you are today as a photographer may not necessarily be who you were when you first started. Choose a few photos from recent weddings that represent who you are today and tell your clients what they can expect by choosing you as their wedding photographer. Place those photos in your galleries on your website and blog, and ensure you have the best images on your homepage. When clients see the beautiful photos you have on your homepage, they are more likely to continue looking through your website.
4. Offer Clarity On Your Pricing
As visitors view your website, they might want to take a look at your prices. Your pricing page is one of the most important pages on your website and can make a potential client’s decision a quick one. Simplifying the pricing for your photography business assists you in creating clarity for your clients, meaning they will be more likely to learn more about your services. Using specific pricing models, such as A La Carte or packages, will help you showcase your products and services in a more organized way to your ideal clients as well.
5. Optimize Your Blogs And Website
As a photographer, blogging is an ideal way to inform, educate, and perhaps even entertain your potential and existing clients. Don’t worry, you don’t have to write huge essays. Through your blogs, you could simply talk about the weddings and engagements you photograph. You could add small funny anecdotes or even talk about your couple’s love story or anything unique that happened during their wedding or engagement shoot. This writing, accompanied by stunning images, could also help potential clients visualize what their day could look like with you as their wedding photographer.
Since much of the initial interaction a client will have with you is likely to be online, you must pay close attention to search engine optimization (SEO) for your website and blog. When a potential client searches for a wedding photographer, the goal is to have the search engine share your business on the first page. Place focus on properly using keywords for your website, blog, and images by researching what a potential client types in the search bar. This is a great way to learn how to get photography clients fast.
6. Stay In Touch With Past Clients
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @kellyiswilde
Just as you made your clients feel special during their wedding day, treat them the same way even after the wedding. Reach out to your clients when it is their anniversary, birthday, or when you find a photo you really love from their special day and share it with them. If it is a holiday or special occasion, you can send a card or gift that reminds them of their strong connection with you. When you keep in touch and remind your past clients of the experience they had with you, you stay top of mind for them when it comes to referring a photographer to their friends and family.
Suggested Read: IPS Photography Business Tips For Wedding Photographers
7. Network With Vendors & Photographers
While maintaining relationships with your current vendors is important, take an opportunity to reach out and meet new vendors who you have yet to work with. Perhaps there is a local wedding coordinator who you have yet to work with for the wedding day or a venue you have always wanted to shoot, but have not. Establishing connections with new vendors could help you expand your reach in your community, which also helps with your goal of learning how to get clients for photography.
Although other wedding photographers in your market might reach out to the same clients as you, it could still be beneficial for you to form relationships with them. You can learn a lot from other photographers in the industry who have different experiences than you, which can help you grow and improve your skills. Not only can another photographer help teach you more about your business and shooting style, but they can also be valuable referral sources. If a photographer is overbooked or knows a client is a perfect fit for you, they may refer the clients to you, and that’s also another way to get more clients.
Try Out Different Strategies
There are plenty of things you can do to get more photography clients, but the most important thing to remember when learning how to get photography clients is to adopt different techniques and remain patient. It’s unlikely that any of the tips we’ve mentioned above will get you 10 bookings the next day, but as you continue to work on your social media, maintain a website that’s informational and visually stunning, and build a unique brand that strives to offer an unforgettable experience to each client, then you are more likely to add happy couples to your client list. And when you have happy clients, it’s more likely that they refer your name to their friends or family members looking for photographers too. So, while you are building your brand, remember to also master customer service, make your clients feel heard, and build genuine relationships with them. Instead of treating it as just another business deal, think of ways that you could help your clients feel special by choosing you.
At ShootDotEdit, we are committed to helping you grow your wedding photography business. In order to help you dedicate more time to the business side of things, we lessen your post-production workload with our photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help, check out our pricing plans.