Did you know that it's much easier to keep an existing client than it is to try and constantly gain new ones? That's why I'm such a big advocate for nurturing the relationships that you have with your current clients! Far too many people spend far too much time seeking new clients, and forget about the people who are already there.
Today I want to chat to you about making the experience for your current clients, and any future clients who come your way, incredible. Because if you can make their experience of working with you flawless, easy and enjoyable, guess what... they'll be far more likely to book you again!
Wouldn't that be great?!
There are three stages of all your client relationships: the start, the middle and the end. Your goal is to make the experience for your clients flawless at every one of those stages. Let's face it, we've all been on the receiving end of "not so great" client experience. Maybe someone didn't reply to your emails on time, or didn't tell you how things were going. Or maybe they delivered what you wanted late. How does that make you feel? My guess is that you don't love working with them that much.
You don't want your clients to feel like that. You want them to love working with you, to feel cared for and looked after. So how do you do that?
1. Clearly Communicate
It's so important that your clients know when they can expect for everything to happen. When I first speak to a brand about doing a photoshoot, I give them a breakdown of how I work. I explain when I'm available, how many hours of photography I can do per day, how long it will take me to edit the images, etc. I make sure to end every email by letting them know when they can next expect to hear from me as well, or what they should expect to happen next (ie. "You'll receive a Dropbox link with your low res images to download within 4 weeks").
2. Send Sneak Peeks
After every shoot I do for a client, I make sure to send them a sneak peek from the photoshoot within 24h of our shoot finishing. Think about it, they've spent money, they're excited about the result and now they have to *potentially* wait weeks before they can receive their images. I love to surprise my clients by sending them a photo as soon as our shoot is done so that they can get excited!
3. Follow Them On Social Media
Whether you've got a shoot you're working on with a client or not, you definitely want to be following the brand you're working with on social media. I follow every single brand that I work with on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, and it allows me to not only stay up to date with what they're doing, but also support them! I share posts I find interesting, comment and like, support them, etc. LinkedIn is a great place to follow brands you work with, because they often share about big company wins. Maybe they've had a record amount of sales for the summer season! If you see that, you can email your contact, or comment on the post and say congratulations. Small gestures like this go a really long way in keeping you front of mind.
4. Send Small Gifts
Each year at Christmas time, I send my clients surprise gifts. They don't know that they're coming, and its always something very small, but they are always adored. Something likes this can go a long way to showing your appreciation to a client, so don't underestimate it.
5. Map Out The Experience From Start To Finish
One exercise that I think can be really helpful is to grab a pen and paper, and begin to map out every single touch point that you have with your clients. Look at them all, and think to yourself: "how can I make this experience even more amazing?" Maybe you need to add in a few touch points, send a few more emails, or add in something new. Mapping it out really helps you to see it as a big picture though.
There you go! I hope that this has been helpful, or at least sparked a new idea in you. If you have any questions about client experiences, then feel free to hit reply and ask me anything :)