Building Relationships with your Photography Business Clients
Many of us may know it costs less to maintain a client than to find a new client. Building a multimedia business based on developing strong client relationships and delivering client-centric solutions will always allow for a stronger business foundation. There is nothing better than a return client or a happy client that refers you.
I’m asked, how do I market Indermaur Media. And the #1 Marketing tool for finding multimedia clients is building relationships with my clients. Whenever I meet a potential client, I am always looking at a long term business relationship. I do that with a few critical tasks in mind:
Friendly. Yes, be friendly, open and understanding to your client. You begin by creating a relationship that leaves them feeling comfortable working with you as the expert, and a being a partner with the goals they have.
Stay in Relationship. Once the project is complete, don’t “ghost" your client. Send them a thank you and even call them to see how the project is turning out. Over the next year or two send them a simple note to say hello. Call them up for a brief conversation about how everything is going with them. Sometimes I may ask if they have any projects coming up and other times I focus on connecting with the client as a friendly call. I’m not one for hard sales request.
Stay positive. Remember when they don’t come back, it may not be because you disappointed them. Don’t focus on the drama that your brain may create. Sometimes it is just because they don’t have a project that matches up with you. Even if they are disappointed with a recent project, stay friendly with them. You never know when a new photography production project will come up they want to try you again, or they will give you a referral. I have gone 10-years without hearing from a client, only to receive a surprise phone call for a new project.
Vision. Have your ideas for the project and respect the client’s vision. As a photographer working with many types of clients, I have heard numerous stories about how an art director wanted a specific style and the photographer focused only on their vision. As multimedia artists, we may feel a pull to follow our dream to feed our heart and soul. What I have done over the years is share my vision with the client but focus on their preferred vision. If it’s different than mine, I always complete their ideas first, and if there’s time, I take my photos to share later.
Social Media. Yes, post on the social media platform where your clientele are most active. In my case, my LinkedIn company and personal page is my most popular social media marketing platform. I post interesting articles about photography, video, art, social media and design and also post my photography and blogs. This way I’m continually reminding potential clients that they should contact me with a new project. Yes, I post other photographers work, and that also leads to interesting dialogue with clients and other connections.
Exceed expectations. I always attempt to exceed expectations. That may not only be visually. It can be a simple gesture like offering a coffee during break time, or making the extra effort to help with finding a great location or helping them sort out their budget. Treating your client with five-star customer service is always the right thing to do.
Remember that building a relationship with photography clients takes some time and connecting with them from time-to-time will keep you fresh in their mind. Take one idea from above and integrate it this week. Maybe it’s time to call a few clients to say hello.