New client referrals and existing clients who always come back to you are the best evidence that you are handling your business right. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your client base and establish an exceptionally good reputation as a professional photographer.
1. Always be on time to your shoots.
This seems simple enough. However, you would be surprised that there are photographers who show up late. Being on time says volumes about your professionalism and accountability. This simple but important discipline tells your clients that you are dependable, and you will always be in their mind for future shoots.
2. Allocate enough time for the shoot.
Clients love it when they feel special. They love and appreciate the feeling that you are spending a lot of time with them. Thus, make sure you give yourself sufficient time to finish the job. By doing so, you won’t look like you are in a hurry.
3. Don’t accidentally overbook.
Carefully check your calendar, especially during peak and busy seasons, to prevent accidental double bookings. You don’t want to cancel one appointment over the other. And having given your word previously, you may be branded negatively in the industry.
If you do overbook yourself (everyone makes mistakes after all), always make sure to give your client plenty of warning if you have to cancel the shoot or if you will be sending a second shooter in your place.
4. Set expectations.
Ensure that you let your client know your capabilities and the limitations of your service. Explain, then put in writing (or email) your cancellation policy, shoot schedule, deliverable time frame, rates, and other important information. Mutual understanding is important in any transaction, and clarifying issues and expectations is the foundation of a successful business relationship.
5. Make your services simple to understand.
Avoid complexities and confusion by adding too many variables in your packages. By making your services and prices easy to understand, your clients can make a quick and educated decision when choosing your photography services.
6. Consistently deliver high-quality images.
You may have gotten new clients through referrals or your satisfied clients may keep coming back to you. Whatever the case, they are expecting the same quality of photos that initially (or continuously) impressed them. Thus, each shoot you deliver should be consistently outstanding. Your shooting style may change, but it should always be moving in the direction of improved quality.
7. Let the experts help.
No one is a master of everything. Thus, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. For example, if you find yourself racing against time to edit those photos or if you are not confident of your photo retouching skills, get the services of a professional photography editing company like PhotoUp. These professional editors can take a huge load off your back. Also, because they work daily with advanced photo editing techniques and software, they can produce very impressive photos and deliver a consistent result that is sure to please your clients.
8. Manage your client’s expectations.
The photography industry is often time sensitive. Realtors, especially, want to have their properties listed right away, so they need photos delivered to them as soon as possible. Therefore, make sure you keep your word when it comes to turnaround times. If you tell your clients you are going to deliver the photos after 24 hours, you better give it to them within that period. Part of delivering photos on time is setting the proper expectations. If you won’t be able to deliver in one week, don’t promise that you will. It’s always best to underpromise and overdeliver.
9. Listen to your clients.
Accommodate reasonable client requests; these extras will provide more value to your clients. Shooting extra photos, labeling them, or rendering a bit of overtime in your shoots will definitely make clients happy and keep them coming back. However, be careful that these requests won’t take too much of your time and effort while giving minuscule returns. This can be a delicate balance, but knowing how to please your clients and understanding your limitations is essential to running a successful and efficient business.
These simple but useful practices will cement your name as a dependable and professional photographer. With such a positive reputation, clients are more inclined to use your services or refer you to others who need your services.