How can I create client loyalty? How can I get those clients that I loved to book time and time again? Million-dollar questions right there! These are probably questions you have asked time and time again. I know I have!
Remember how you felt when you booked a client you adored who then returned to hire you again and again?
Maybe we need to take a second and think about a place you frequent regularly.
Maybe it’s a coffee shop. Maybe it’s your hairdresser. Why do you return again and again?
Because the person you’ve hired or the place you’ve visited has given you an experience you love.
They’ve served you and delighted you in a way that resonates and keeps you coming back for more!
That’s what client loyalty is.
Your customers are loyal to you because you’ve created something special for them (a branded experience) that no one else can create in the same way.
When your brand gives your clients something to love (and you display the loveable aspects of your brand and business), they’re unable to stop talking about you or sharing about what you do with their friends and family.
Sparking client loyalty starts way back at the beginning. When they first come in contact with your brand – are they falling in love at first sight (or conversation?) Your brand is the framework that builds your one-of-a-kind client experience. By providing the right branded materials at each step you can make your client experience truly transformative so they have no question about hiring you – again and again. Branding it with the right messaging, professional designs, and consistent visuals – that is where the magic happens.
So, how can your brand create client loyalty? You…
Serve them with integrity and transparency
All healthy relationships are built on truth and transparency. From your brand messaging to your client agreements to your photoshoot interactions and what you promise to deliver when you infuse integrity into everything you do, your customers will feel a strong sense of trustworthiness from you. It’s like a warm hug from Olaf – 🙂
Delight them with your experience and how you present yourself
This is it! This is so important! If you are wining it at every interaction with potential clients, or when you tick the basics of an underdeveloped workflow checklist, they’re going to feel it and take note. If you’re “tackling their project,” it gives off a different feeling and sentiment than when you’re creating an intentional, and heart-felt experience for them.
Think through every touchpoint that you have in your business – from your inquiry email to your welcome guide to your final feedback survey and thank you gift. How are you delighting your clients?
Let’s play the comparison game for just a second. A potential client has reached out to you and another local photographer. She is the exact type of client you have been dying to work with so you really want to land this booking. You carefully pull up your email templates and send out a thoughtful well-planned response including a beautifully designed pricing guide to tell more about your services and paint the picture of what it will look like to work with you. The other photographer hastily responds with a quick but excited message that was typed on their phone and doesn’t provide any further details or what the next steps are.
My question to you is… Who would you want to book and work with? I would definitely choose the photographer that had it all together from the start! This sets the tone of how the rest of the experience with them will go and when I am making an investment – I want to be wowed!
Show you are truly a professional and not just some hobby photographer. Present a brand and a client that is put together, thoughtful, and let’s them know they have no other choice than to work with you!
When we want to create client loyalty we have to listen to our customers – not just when you are welcoming them into your business, but during the experience AND when you wrap up their project. Ask for honest feedback, this can be via a form where you ask specific questions or it can be an informal conversation. Your clients will provide you the information you need to make the experience of working with you even better, they will know that you deeply care, and it will also result in a testimonial you can share on your website or social media. Take all of their suggestions and insights to heart, and if there are any things you need to alter based off of their feedback, do it as soon as you can. Don’t be too proud or stubborn to really listen, when we make changes based on the client’s feedback they will be sure to come back again because they know you are invested in making them happy!
Create a Strong Connection
Create a connection with your client. When building your brand you need to be intentional about sharing who you are at the core. Let potential clients get to know you – not some phony website version of you trying to sound smarter or more elegant – but the REAL YOU! When you are sharing your true personality in your brand and your messaging, potential clients can easily find something in common with you and feel like a friend before even reaching out! Be sure to create this connection in the copy of your website AND in your marketing materials. I always suggest adding in a small bio to your welcome packet that you send out when someone inquires. This gives the potential client a glimpse into who you are and builds the know like and trust factor in a professional manner!
Then once they book your services you can easily find that one thing that you have in common or that you can speak to that you know they’re interested in. Do both of your husbands like to fish? Do you both have toddlers?
Build relationships that are genuine and truly get to know your customers – not just their events or what they want to see in their photos, but who they really are. This is something you likely already do in order to capture images that truly represent your subject. But, it never hurts to think of ways you can strengthen your connection beyond just the initial consultation and photoshoot. “Friends” don’t book sessions with other photographers – they come back to you every time!
Go beyond their expectations and desires
If your clients are expecting something from you on Wednesday, send it on Monday. If you communicated you’d send out proofs on Monday, but you got them done the Friday before, send them early.
You can exceed expectations by being able to schedule a client sooner than anticipated, sending an extra special welcome gift or thank you gift, or by delivering something extra (or early) on a project. There are so many ways to exceed expectations.
When you build these characteristics into your business and focus on delighting your customers and genuinely being interested in them, you’ll build customer loyalty that results in repeat clients and sold out sessions upon release.
If you want to get serious and create client loyalty with the experience you provide, to be sure to check out The Brand Shop for Photographers. You will find off the shelf brand collections, welcome packets, email templates, and more!
If you are wanting to really get going the best place to start is your welcome packet. Gotta start that relationship off with a bang!
Hearts and Hoorays friends!