First Byte: First Bytes are 1-2 minute summaries and suggestions that tie directly to a specific blog post. I'm hoping they're helpful in expanding the topic of the post itself.
Wandering through the archives of Marathon's blog, I found this post from a few years back. The concept is even more relevant today because of the noise in everyone's life. We're all bombarded with email, snail mail, social media, television/radio ads and the list goes on and on. We text while on the run as multi-tasking becomes a lifestyle. A hand-written note is virtually unheard of as we seem to move to a communication level that's more and more impersonal.
But there's also something very cool going on and new opportunities to make yourself different abound. For photographers who stay up close and personal, they're making themselves more memorable. They're building relationships, the key to success in marketing today and your chance to make yourself unique.
In this post, Marathon even writes the thank-you notes for you. It's all common sense and right back to exceeding client expectations and making yourself habit-forming. It's not rocket science. You just have to be nice and make people feel appreciated.
Marathon is loaded with products designed to help you build stronger relationships and keep creating top of mind awareness with your potential and active clients. Added to the effort are dozens of terrific articles on their blog every week. Just click the link below and start following Marathon, their staff and a pretty terrific group of industry educators and writers.
It’s the little things you do — some of them unexpected — that get clients buzzing about your business to their friends and family, and it’s more important than ever to be on top of your client-appreciation game. Here are some of those “little things” that pay big dividends in client satisfaction.
1. Make it easy for clients to find you. Send an attractive “welcome” card to clients which includes directions to your studio and the date and time of their session. Yes, you could accomplish the same thing by email, but it’s more impressive and easier for the client if you take this extra step to insure your effort doesn’t get caught in a spam filter.
2. Be welcoming. Let clients know you really are pleased to see them by getting up from whatever you are doing, walking toward them and extending your hand as you use warm, welcoming phrases such as “I’m so pleased to welcome you to our studio,” or “Welcome to our studio; we’re so glad you’re here!”
3. Offer appropriate refreshments such as coffee, tea, soda, or bottled water, as this gesture of hospitality helps to establish a relaxed atmosphere. Clients are more likely to say yes to refreshments if you ask “Would you like to join me in a cup of tea or coffee?”
4. Send hand-written thank you notes. It doesn’t take much time to pay attention to your client during the portrait or wedding process by saying:
- Just wanted to let you know that I am thrilled with the results of your session, and I can’t wait to show the portraits to you next Wednesday at 2:00!
- The images of Ashley are priceless! Can’t wait for you to see them next Wednesday at 2:00.
- It was great fun seeing you last Wednesday, and I’m so happy you are as pleased with Ashley’s portraits as I am. I’m certain that you will love them even more when the finishing touches are completed and they are on display in your home! Thank you again for allowing us to create these special portraits for you.
- As your big day approaches, I just wanted to let you and Rob know how much I’m looking forward to photographing your wedding! Rest assured that I’ll do everything I can to record the beauty and joy of your special day.
5. Provide a little “something extra.” When clients arrive to pick up their finished portraits or albums, it really pays to surprise and delight them with something unexpected. It can be an item as simple as an extra gift-size portrait or a set of wallets. Another possibility is to surprise clients with a set of personalized press-printed note cards or mini-calendars that include one or more images from the portrait session or event.