Think about how many people are in your town or city. Think about having a conversation with each of them. Even if you live in a town with few hundred people, imagining having a conversation with every single one of those people is still something that might seem daunting.
Here’s the deal though. Over the course of your photography career, no matter what niche you are in, you will probably talk to hundreds, if no thousands, of people. Yes, it might seem overwhelming, but that’s actually the best news for you! The more people you talk to, either in person or on the phone, the more likely they are to being future customers.
Here are four easy steps you can use to secure more clients, and that will enable you to not only find paying customers but to build relationships with those customers creating trust and most likely recommendations in the future. Think of each customer as a snowball. You have to mold it and shape it just right to get it rolling, but as it rolls it grabs more snow to go along for the ride.
1. Seek & Find
The first step comes when a client seeks you out. This will most likely be done through your website. Make sure your site is curated, professional, and a good representation of what you do and what you are capable of creating for your clients.
This step, even though it is the first, is still just as important. Start the relationship off on the right now. Make your site easy to navigate, your email easy to find, try to create a personalized contact form to set the tone. It is all part of the rapport you are building with someone who is obviously interested in your work.
2. Email Exchange
The next step is the email exchange. Ideally, the sooner you can get them on the phone, the better, but you have to also make sure they are the right clients. Let them know the important and most basic details in an email response within 48 hours of initial contact, but let them know if they want further information that you want to talk with them on the phone.
This does two really good things. It gives the potential customer a reason to speak with you, which gives you a much better chance of securing a client once you get them on the phone. It’s so much easier to show someone how much you love your business with your voice rather than in an email.
3. The Phone Call
Yes, you need to talk about pricing. The conversation topic most of us dread, but you need to have that conversation, and you need to have it over the phone if at all possible. People want to hear the passion and emotion in your voice when you talk about your art. This also will help you gauge how interested this client might be.
If they are hesitant on the phone, they might still need some more convincing. Don’t worry that will come next, but talking on the phone is not an art that’s lost.
It’s so much more personal when you can hear someone laughing, get to know someone, ask them about their experience and talk to each other like friends and not business parties.
4. Face-to-Face Contact
Sit down with them if you can. After that initial phone call, find a time to sit and talk with them. Grab them a coffee or something light to eat and use this time to get to know them. Even though it is about your business, drive the conversation toward their needs. Bring a slideshow on your laptop to show them what you are capable of and what you would like to do for them.
Now is your chance to shine and to shine a light on them. No matter if they are getting something simple and traditional or something customized and elaborate, they deserve to have a photographer who cares about them and how they plan to deliver those needs. They get the chance to ask some questions, hear some stories, and loosen up that nervous feeling about meeting someone who runs a business.
Photography is beautiful and unlike any other business out there. It’s an equal desire for art to be given and to be preserved by both parties. Using these four steps will help you not only find clients that are right for you but also have a better probability of securing the clients that reach out to you in the first place.