How to generate and retain client loyalty as a photographer ?
Whether you are an established professional photographer or just starting out, finding new contracts is not always easy. The market is big and clients face many options.
Today we are going to look at various ways of building client loyalty.
Having regular clients is indeed the best way to generate a stable revenue stream. This makes your photography business viable without spending hours and tons of money in prospecting and advertising.
Keeping in touch with a regular client costs you 5 times less money than finding a new one.
If you spend 100€ in marketing in order to book a new client, pampering and building one of your client loyalty only costs you 20€. Having a regular client basis brings you business during off-peak season, securing your revenue throughout the year.
Last but not least, it is a real pleasure to regularly meet such clients and build a trust relationship with them. By getting to know them better, you feel more comfortable and familiar with their tastes and needs.
Photographer’s branding : tip n°1
Your branding is key : indeed, creating a strong visual identity and your own identity, that we feel through your communication, will get you closer to your clients.
Establishing a quality branding requires many steps. It sometimes seems fastidious but it surely helps clients to trust you and your services.
Branding is your visual brand identity, meaning : your logo, your website style guide, your photographs look and personnalisation of all your workflow steps. Speaking about loyalty, branding also includes the way you talk and interact with your clients. A successful branding in both style and substance boost your clients trust and professional image.
Social media : tip n°2
Social networks are powerful tools to build loyalty. Most of your clients visit them. Seeing your posts simply reminds them of your existence !
Make sure to publish content making them want to book a new photo shoot with you.
For example, if you shoot lots of new-borns, also share family sessions and show the importance of souvenirs for children growing so fast.
Facebook VIP group : tip n°3
If you own a facebook page, you can create a linked facebook group and use it to your advantage.
It will help you recruit new clients, through a common interest group for example, where you will promote your activity on a regular basis.
You can also create a group for clients who already had a photo shoot with you.
In this case, you can share exclusive content, such as photos, lives of your current work or exclusive offers. Also share external links interesting for your audience. Feel free to share personal bits of your daily life in order to build a connection.
Social media also allows you to share non photographic content, but interesting for your audience.
As a photographer, most of your clients are locals. Why not share nice events taking place near your studio ?
Talking about a subject interesting to your clients also brings them a different and customized service. Consider yourself as an influencer and stick to your values shared by your clients.
Don’t neglect tools such as stories and reels on Instagram.
They create a real connection with your followers, meaning your current and potential clients. Ask them questions, invite them to interact with you and never leave a message or comment without an answer.
Prints and frames : tip n°4
Offering prints to your clients vos clients brings life to their photos and provides them with high-end quality products. Prints proudly displayed by your clients means free advertising for your photography business.
Indeed, their family and friends visiting them will want to know who photographed these beautiful portraits.
Your clients themselves will see their pictures everyday, making them want to renew their experience with you.
Coupons : tip n°5
Offering discount (or free gift) vouchers is an efficient way to motivate clients to book a new session with you.
Don’t hesitate to add a voucher for a future session when you deliver your client’s prints.
This makes your clients quickly book a new session. Make sure to include an expiry date on those vouchers, to create a feeling of rarity.
You can also send a voucher for a coming child’s birthday, for example babies that you photographed as newborns and soon turning 1.
You can easily schedule such emails with Fotostudio CRM.
Mini-sessions and loyalty : tip n°6
Mini-sessions with specific themes are also a very good way to build customer loyalty.
Some clients look forward to these sessions year after year! Outside of mini-sessions, any special offer can boost your customer loyalty.
If you don’t own a studio, think about seasonal minis such as fall or sunflower sessions.
Referrals : tip n°7
You can set up a referral system for your customers. For example, for each shooting booked through a client referral, you can assign a point system or directly discount vouchers for the main client.
Setting this up might seem tedious, but it brings you amazing long-term results. You can also simply provide discount coupons to offer to the relatives of your customers. This method plays on two tables at once: the acquisition of new customers, and the loyalty of your existing customers.
Goodies : tip n°8
People love goodies. Be creative by offering personalized objects according to your branding: a pen with your logo, stickers, magnets, mugs, t-shirts, why not a nice baby bodysuit?
You can even go even further by offering personalized goodies per client.
For instance, a Christmas tree decoration featuring a photo of your client's last session and your logo.
All these ideas must be budgeted and taken into account when calculating your session prices.
Exclusive contests : tip n°9
Contests open to everyone mainly attracts opportunist people not valuing your work. Instead of launching such game, think about offering a contest exclusively for your clients, through your facebook VIP group for example.
Editor's note : BE VERY CAREFUL with contests on social networks, these are procedures that are highly regulated by platforms like Facebook, but also by the regulations of each country.
Satisfaction survey and Google reviews : tip n°10
Finally, customer loyalty depends on their satisfaction. The easiest way to know if he liked his experience with you is to ask him!
A CRM such as Fotostudio is a great tool to get such reviews : you can schedule and automate the sending of satisfaction questionnaires after each session. Such questionnaires aim at improving the client's experience, and improving yourself in the future.
Take the opportunity to gently ask your customers to leave you a review on Google or Facebook.
As you will have understood, building customer loyalty is a process that takes a little time but it ensures you a regular income without effort. It helps you fill your off-peak season and is only limited by your creativity.
Pay particular attention to maintaining a good relationship with your happy customers in order to keep them coming back to you. If you have other ideas for building customer loyalty, you can share them in the comments!