Blue Ridge Wedding Photography. The Lifetime Client Part II
What goes into making your clients lifetime clients?
One question we have been asked multiple times is how is it we have clients who become repeat customers? I am a big believer that there are multiple areas that must be supported to create and maintain the Blue Ridge wedding photography lifetime client.
- Relationships. This is the very first and most critical area to building, creating and maintaining the lifetime client. We have all read about going to extra mile, making sure your clients are receiving more than they are contractually signed for. Yes you can and should throw in the little extras, go the extra mile etc. All of these things should be done but it still is not “it”. It still is not what makes your clients WANT to be lifetime clients. So here is the absolute number ONE secret to building and creating a lifetime client..LOVE THEM. Let them know this relationship is based on you caring about them, their family, their future. And here is where I will tell you absolutely 100% this CANNOT be faked! If you do not really care and/or only see your clients as a source of income they will smell it a mile away and it WILL NOT WORK! So you’re asking by now that is awesome, but how do I get clients that I love and that love me back. This will be more difficult to create in our experience with an on-line only interface. Ask for the face to face meeting. Sit down. Get to know one another. Make contact frequently. Understand their unique story because every person and couple has one! Understanding their story and understanding them builds the empathy and empathy along with perfecting your skill-set equals terrific timing on the day of the shoot! You can check out more on client relationships by clicking HERE:
- Education. Educating your clients is a very important pillar of creating the lifetime client. Let’s consider the following scenario; A potential client visits you in your studio and is inquiring about your wedding photography services. At some point in the meeting your client makes the statement that they really just need or want the digital files and that they do not need anything else. This is an opportune time to ask, if they had the digitals, what would they do with them? In our studio this is often met by blank stares as the truth is they have NO idea what to really do with the files, they have just been poorly educated elsewhere that having the files is important. In our studio this is where we show them produced wedding albums and wall art and we explain that the digital files are but a step in what we produce and that without a finished product all they have is incomplete material. I often use the analogy of hiring someone to build your deck. They produce the raw materials, cut it into the specified dimensions then without assembling it dump it in your backyard. Can the project be completed? Yes, but likely not as would be done by an expert. Digital files were never intended to be a deliverable product. That is not to say there should not be a response to the digital world we live in, as there certainly should but it should NOT be a replacement for tangible finished artwork. Educating your clients on the difference is critical. You can learn more about the print movement HERE:
- Products. What do your clients get when they hire you? If it is only a USB drive with files on it or images to download you are doing your clients a disservice. It is very difficult to build and maintain a sustainable business when your are showing your clients how YOU value your work bu providing only digital files. Heirloom quality wall art and albums is a very different product than just a digital file. Providing products that are either not available to the general public and/or are a several quality steps above what is available is how your business needs to operate. Doing otherwise is doing a real disservice to your clients in terms of relationship, education and deliverable products.
In closing love your clients enough to produce and provide only the very best. They will thank you for it and return again and again.