I used to do it all wrong when it came to client communication. 🙈 I responded to all of my inquiries with the typical “photographer response” that went a little something like,
“ Hi [name!]
I’m SO excited you reached out, and am beyond honored you’re considering me as your photographer!
I’ve attached my investment information below, let me know if you have any questions at all. I look forward to hearing from you, and am so excited to potentially work with you! 🙂
– Jess “
Then I’d attach my pricing as a .PDF, and wonder why I was getting ghosted half the time.
Oh, you’re doin’ that too? I figured. Don’t worry, if ya stick around; we’ll getcha away from that basic response in a jif. 😉
WHY YOUR CLIENT COMMUNICATION IS HURTING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
Digging deep into the roots of our business isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do. Am I right? We’d much rather be shooting, editing, or location scouting; you know, the fun stuff.
But we won’t be able to get more of the fun stuff on the books if we don’t pay attention to the not-so-fun stuff. That made sense, right?
Client communication is hands down THE most important part of your business.
YOUR CLIENT COMMUNICATION WORKFLOW IS THE BACKBONE OF YOUR BUSINESS – AND THE HEARTBEAT OF YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY.
Since you’re still reading, I’m going to “pre-diagnose” a few areas of your business that may be putting you up a creek with no paddle. But don’t worry, they’re all totally fixable!
1. You’re responding to inquiries with pricing first.
- Chances are, you’re probably responding with something similar to the example at the beginning of this post. And that’s okay, but we can definitely get you hooked up with some better communication skills straight outta the gate. 👏🏼
- Instead of responding with a generic response that basically just includes your pricing, then sends the client on their way to make the decision; take some time to get to know the customer, (especially before you shove a pricing menu in their face.)
Seriously! Think about how this conversation would ACTUALLY go in public. If someone walked up to you and inquired about booking, would you just immediately respond the way you do in your emails? I’d hope not!
We want this to be a conversation, not an interruption.
2. You’re not taking time to listen to the customer.
- People need to feel seen, heard and understood. Would you believe me if I said that alone mattered way more than you showing them your pricing?
“Most people think ‘selling’ is the same as ‘talking’. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” – Roy Bartell
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey
- This is the exact reason I suggest not sending your pricing right off the bat. It’s not that you’re hiding it, it’s that you’re warming the lead up to receive it.
3. The method of your communication is unprofessional.
- Chances are, you’re responding to inquiries however you get ’em. Whether it’s through Instagram DM’s or Facebook messages, you name it – you’re taking it. Not only does that complicate your workflow and exhaust you, but it also devalues the experience of your brand. Now, I’m not saying you can’t chat with people through those mediums, you totally can! But when it comes down to business, (i.e. you discussing pricing and contracts) you better get your butt off social media.
- We want our customer’s undivided attention when they’re browsing our services, right? How rude would it be if we were about to chat about the most exciting part of the whole sha-bang (actually doing a shoot together, payment, etc.) and they just immediately turned around and started talking to someone else? That’d crush us… right? Well, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen on social media; because it’s a platform you don’t own and it’s fast-paced. Think attention-span of a goldfish fast. So get them off and onto your website, in your emails, etc.! 😉
Curious how I handle all of my client communication? Straight through Honeybook, 100% of the time. Honeybook has allowed me to increase the number of clients I book, speed up my workflow, and triple my bookings because of its professionalism and ease-of-use. I recommend it to 110% of the photographer’s I meet because it’s truly changed my work/life balance and made me actually LOVE doing all parts of my job. Time-saver, world-changer. 💃🏻
If you want 50% off of your first year, totally use my link! There’s a free 7-day trial, so there’s nothing to lose. Try it, and you’ll see why I rave about it. Here’s to landing your next dream client! 😍🎉
4. You’re focusing on what they can do for you (and your bank account,) and not what you can do for them.
- It’s not actually about us, and the moment we make it about us is the moment we lose the strongest part of our sale. Get back to why you do this, and if it’s just for the money – please re-evaluate.
- What is the value you bring to your sessions? What about your services actually changes the quality of someone’s life? (Because yes, our sessions totally have the power to do such!)
“Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.” ― Brian Tracy
“Engaging people is about meeting their needs – not yours.” – Tony Robbins
5. You’re putting the focus on price, not value.
- Responding to your inquiries with a price immediately… is a surefire way to get price-shopped. That’s what every other photographer around you is doing. I mean think about it… you walk into a car dealership and as soon as you walk up to the car a little closer, upon first glance, is the price on a big sticker. So it only makes sense that since you’ve got what you need from that car, you’re gonna head on to the next one and check it out, and so on and so on until you’ve looked at as many as you need. Then, it’s tempting to choose the “best deal.” Right…?
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- “How can I make my inquiry responses different? How can I strengthen my communication about the value of the service I provide, and not just the service itself?”
- Ask yourself the following questions:
‘Once you understand that selling is an educational process for the buyer, and closing represents Graduate School for you, your career will move into high gear.’ ― Zig Ziglar
“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” – Zig Ziglar
These are the very things I WISH I would’ve known so much earlier on in my photography business. I pray they not only strengthen your client communication – but help you dig deeper into why you chose to do this in the first place. One of the things I value most about my job is doing it with intention, and these points help me to do so, while keepin’ me supa-fired up in my calling. 😉
Want some motivation to actually do the work here? Check out the FB message Markay sent me after implementing what I taught her in her 1-1 mentorship with me! I’m all about that results life. 😉
Now, do ya believe me…?
So before you go, make sure you do the following before you respond to your next inquiry:
1. Respond to inquiries in a more personal way, and wait to touch on pricing.
2. Take time to listen to your potential client. (We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.)
3. Communicate professionally, route all of your inquiries to one place. (Again, I use Honeybook!)
4. Focus on what you can do for them, not the other way around. Be intentional.
5. Put the focus on the value you can give them, not the price.
*Disclaimer: This post includes an affiliate link, and I’d so appreciate it if you used it! Affiliate links help me continue to show up and serve you guys for free each week; so you win too! Plus, I’d never promote anything I wasn’t a HUGE fan of – duh. 😉
Did the tips above just rock your world? Do you know you need more of where that came from? (The education and the money-makin’ potential?)
Hop on a call with me to see how I can help transform your photography business, ’cause I’ll bet my bottom dollar I can! 😉
If you’re struggling with your client communication, download the freebie below! (It’s my entire communication workflow!) 👇🏼
Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉
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Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂