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The Client Guide

Lesson 7 from: Balancing Work, Family, and Photography

Rachel Brenke

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Lesson Info

7. The Client Guide

Lesson Info

The Client Guide

Don't get all crazy thing you have to run out and make it all formalized basically it is a guy that includes informations that information to give your clients enough knowledge such as confidence, knowledge and everything in order to book you and to understand your business aa lot of times our enquiries come to us through the website but we should be maintaining and logging on and we need to go to provide the information and I'm going to talk about how to use it in a minute but remember it's the results of how we use it that makes us efficient so you could create one of these and then you're going look rachel, I'm efficient no, no, no no it's not the mere creation is how you're going to use it. I want to show you guys in a second and I recommend a have a digital and then you can translate it to printed remember one action multiple benefits let me show you guys that here in a second so the three to one benefit formula for a client god let me preface this by saying that a guy doesn't hav...

e to be ah formalized fantastic thing it could be a one page sheet but the goal with it issues to make sure they're providing your clients with hold the information they need to be confident in the decision to book you if I had to play five hundred questions with a company in order to be able to book you, I'm not going to book you. I'm not going to take your services if I have to find out from you how to pay. You didn't tell me all this and tell me what I need to do what front I'm going elsewhere because you're wasting my time. You're wasting your client's time and it started to reduce their confidence nine and reduce but you're not being able to build up the confidence in them to book you and a lot of times they're not wanting to pay. Your price is not because of the price, but because they don't have the confidence behind it. They may have the value that they have the money, but they don't have the confidence in you because how you present yourself, you're having to play five hundred questions if you're doing that in the enquiring process, what are you going to do when it's time to custom design your album? What are you gonna do when it's time for delivery of the products or at the session? Are you actually gonna listen to me? Are you going to guide me through this, are you leaving to me on my own devices as a client, it's a huge variable? Ok'ing that people don't provide this information front aa lot of people just slapping on the website starting at price and then kind of go from there you know how many times I hear photographers to end up with angry clients because they didn't fully informed their client ahead of time about pricing products that they provide and how to book and everything where's if you do it all at once, you're going to keep doing it again this is one of those things by having the creation of this that I could do on the go once it's done it's done I don't have to keep retyping what you need to do what the next step is in all that story stuff it's all on here okay? Questions that's all right, so the goal is to reduce barriers to having your client's book you don't provide the information so the benefit so one of these is a less barrier to booking you can print it, you could make it a pdf or you can embedded on your web site on the show you guys how to in a second. But I do kind of want to talk about this and we touched on this at lunch that the students I'm not necessarily anti pds but there's a lot of reasons that I don't recommend when you create a guide having it as a pdf not everyone is tech savvy send a pdf! They may not a know how to open it. They may not have adobe acrobat whatever you need on your computer toe open it. They also their email maybe too full and it bounces and then you're having to try to keep resending and may go to spam. I'm just not a fan of the pdf. Another reason for this too is I like to take the good digital client guy. Once I've created, we're going to talk about what to put in it and everything here in a second. But the reason I like to have it as digital is that I can embedded on the site and keep it and pull them back into my little corner of the way on my website have it right there that if I need to make any changes to it any time I can, that tool hasn't left my grasp. Where is if I had sent a pdf in january to a inquiry that never booked? When they come back to me in july, they're probably going to come back to me with the thought of the pricing in the staff ingenious, it doesn't matter if I put a disclaimer on there that my prices are subject to change great, I mean that's kind of assumed, I think, in all businesses, prices. May change, but if they come back to me in july and they pull up that old pdf, what do you think they're gonna want? If you have changed your prices, they're gonna want the initial prices from january and who knows what may be required? A studio in that time you had a baby maybe wanted to go on a vacation to the bahamas, you'll see like I'm thrown these hits out, my husband watching like I heart curl on a vacation, but they so you may have has some stuff circumstances change in your life that you needed increase prices if they had the pdf that's, what they're going to be looking at more than likely you may get the clients remember what your pricing was in january, but more than likely, they're either a not even gonna look back at it more than likely that's what's going to happen or be if they do, go back to when you send the link to the client guy, they're going to see the new updated version, and they're not gonna have a problem with it. Because then that old numbers are so far removed by, like six or seven months at this point and other would we reduced another barrier to them booking and confidence. Because I think a lot of people are like the prices keep going up well yeah that's kind of common sense and business prices go up everywhere you know you just don't need to advertise this is kind of a way to not advertised increase in pricing and tips efficient so it has all these benefits to it as well but I'm just not a big fan of sending and as a pdf guy but if that's what you have to start with is away one page pdf so is like super small start there with the pertinent information that we're going to talk about and then go to a more elaborate process and then let me go forward and having on here too that you can also print it yeah, you can use that for in person consultations and cells as well. So once it's done there's another benefit I've created at once for online then I can also translate it if I've done the right set up in template to print out to take with me to fairs precession consultations, sales whatever it is I have a copy of mine that I can show you guys from a couple of years ago you all can pass around if you want to take a look look, I mean it consistently provides information across the board it's reducing the amount of questions that come in and it's also making sure that I I always tell them how to book and all those sorts of things because I may in my mind think oh, I know what to tell them well if I'm sitting in that car line who knows how long I was sitting there or if he's getting ready to climb in the car and I quickly e mailing I don't want to leave out something very key like a non refundable retainer or really key that I'm not I can't hold this spot until you pay all of that could already be included in the guide to tell them for me and that way I don't have to waste my ten minutes I get in the car five minutes of it typing the email and formulating that response and this is going to pair to something we're going to talk about in a little bit it in a little bit as well on then inefficiently delivery of information so that was identified we've identified actually before I go on anybody any questions on the methods of the benefits that I talked about for a client guides anybody we dio and lindsey says I love the idea of a digital client guide is this a productive source for being able to be viewed on a phone it seems today's day and age that most people are viewing things from their phones and their ipads as well are there yeah I actually let me go ahead and go forward um this is when you and when you digitally embed it on these air on the resource on the website as well, when you digitally embedded. This is one of the flip snack for the other ones. You dot com, it can be viewed on web like this. It could also be being on phone oren tablets, but the thing is, they change, too. So just like with the sales tax, you always got to keep up to see if there's any changes. All technology. You always need to be running checks so they may change because technology phones changes and there's may change you to make sure it is readable right now from both of those. And I know I ss you issue has an actual app that you can utilize for people to view it. Do you link them to it and it will open up? I'm gonna ask my client and all of the ap. Probably not, but never know. People may thank you. All right, let me back up real quick. All right, so we went over the benefits of having it. I mean, there's. So many benefits. Another good thing, too. And I didn't list on here is that you can also show more. Portfolio examples because some people don't search your website, they may have gone to facebook to look at any images which you would think it's crazy if they're trying to book you write, but they may look at none of your albums they simply go to the contact for must submit to you here's another way to also put your images in front of them because you come in dead the information around all these beautiful images that you've done to get your branding message across, to show who you are and what you d'oh, and it provides an expectation there as well ok, and also were created so we should be creatively delivering information, not just blindly typing an email it's going be more receptive? They found with studies that when images are paired with text, people are more likely to remember. And reese see that and that's a big thing, because, like I said earlier, you know clients, don't they? They don't read contracts, will this pricing information stuff by including the guy that's probably just is more important because I want them to remember that I don't want any shocks that sales time. I don't want any barriers for them to give me their money at that point. I don't want it to be a surprise, so they're more likely to look a bit something fun to look at and fun to flip. I mean, all my clients like, oh, it flips it's so cool, I'm like you. Technology is amazing, so decide you have the skills everybody has the skills to do this, you can do it and photo shop, you can do it in a word document and print it to a pdf. Like I said, I'm really not a fan of pdf, but if that's how you have to start, that is a fantastic way to start that is better than retyping the information over and over and over again, there's templates available out there on that you can to fit your aesthetic in colors and branding and all that fun stuff that makes it a little bit more fun to do this kind of work for us. When it is already halfway done, it saves time, or you could outsource the creation of it, including the contact on there's. A lot of people out there who will provide content creation as well as the design aesthetic, and they can write it so because some people don't like writing there about mies. When all the content we talk about a second, they don't like right in there about me and other people can do it better on that, we can have also objective eyes taking a look at it to make sure that is portraying the message and all the complete information across all right, and so that's the digital aspect when you can take it for its printed and here's the copy that I have, I don't have one necessarily to give every single client I stay with the digital first, but then I always have copies to take with me the consultations to cells, meetings, exposing affairs great thing to take what I'm going to reach out to vendors because they can have all of this and see all the information has got my policies has got my collections and everything in there for them to look at. I'm really like having it for in person ordering because again reduction, reducing the barriers for people to be able to give your money and make decisions. It is already a very overwhelming event taking pictures in general. I mean, how many of us take pictures and absolutely are like, oh my god, I don't like being that side of the camera it's a very vulnerable type of situation, so we're already having to work from the ground up with clients to instill confidence in them, and we don't want to break down any confidence and waste their time and waste our time over and over on. And so by having these for improvement within person ordering, you can have it online and ipad right there for you. You can print it out for them when they're going through looking at their images with few, you're also able to utilize it. They can keep glancing at the pricing and the collection process is because it's so much are spewing out. Let me give this example, okay? I went to a book a couple of years ago. A photographer and I totally get it. I'm a little bit more vigilant in critical when I am in transactions with people. It's what? I d'oh if I always try to back off a little bit but they listen so there's multiple things they sent me, uh, their client guide and pdf so I could easily look at it. And I had to end up going and downloading and looking at it was a huge file. Hold on process. I had update adobe acrobat how to do all this by then, my client probably wouldn't move on the next person who responded to, you know, the other photographer, they also I didn't when I was on the phone with them before they even sent that let me back up for a second when I had my initial consultation with this photographer for thing they're disputing all these collections at me and all these pricing and I'm trying to like sweep the floor and get the kids study the dog food and I'm trying to like write things down and I've got these numbers all over the place and I couldn't even discern what was what my confidence in the photographer despite the fact that I loved their work, I loved their products that they were going to provide and everything when we got to the end of that phone call I didn't know how much I was going to pay I didn't know how to book them I was going to have to send a whole long email to basically recap what he just said where is if I had gotten a guide front toe look at while we talked not just physical, it could been digital while we talked I could have soaked in in a little bit more and made a better decision even still at session time I didn't know what I was paying I didn't know what was gonna happen, I just kind of went with it and hope for the best s o I didn't stills that confidence as well and that was the digital one that I talked about the way that I utilize the's is that if I haven't inquiry, I will send them the guy that I still want to talk to them on the phone, I think that's where the downfall of a lot of people use these as a crutch, that they just send it off and hope that clients are going to book them when you do that that's, when clients start focusing in on price and not the value what you have to provide, they start counting the benjamins that they're gonna have to put out to you instead of looking at what they're actually going to receive, so by sending it ahead of time and I do this before cell sessions and also for enquiries, when I send it to them, we're going talk about the inquire response it's in a little while, I asked them was a good time to call, and I asked them, can you be near a computer to pull it out so they can go through? And they can ask me questions right then? Because I've already carved out time to talk to the client. I've already made it so there's not kids screaming in the background or the dog yakking on the floor or whatever it is, I'm able to focus on that client I want as many questions in that short amount of time on the phone as possible and if I'm on ly leading the conversation on the phone there would be extra information the client has no idea about but it was in the guy and that they had the guy they could have asked me right then and so it's going to end up being an entire time of trying to hide in the closet in order to talk to a a client said of the kids screaming in the background I like to take like I said in bed these on a private page on the website eh so that they can go to it on that exact same pages an entire checklist of how to book me you don't have to have five hundred different links and ways to do it literally says we're booking x months out whatever it is at the time I am so excited to have you yeah yada yada you need to do one two, three and out into that right here in this all on one page now we only have one link to send they only have one link that they have to go to this includes like my digital my digital guide embedded the way that they can pay me the way they can sign the contract so the entire booking process is confined to one area and also sufficient for me is when I'm setting it up and have to edit something on we have to go to one page right there. I mean, these are different ways that you can do it minds through flip, snack, the free, and I meant to say this, both of them are free options up to a certain amount of pages because I don't remember what it is for each of them, they're different, and they change all the time. This is that the individual when you open up the guy, this is what it looks like. They can flip it. They can see the thumbnails at the bottom make it bigger on the concern. This sound often makes a cool a little flip sound. I always turn it off, and then they're or if you have multiple guides like I have my beauty guide, which complete includes like hair, makeup and stuff, those prices are completely different than my regular guide for my couples. So I have two different guides, so when they go in the note to them explains what the two guides are in which one to look at. And then when we get on the phone, I can also direct them, and then I don't have to go. Oh, you you know, maybe the client inquired for a couple of sessions. Well, then you know the husband's gonna be deployed or he doesn't know when r and r is going to be I work on military or what it's going to be so she decides to do a beauty session? Well, if I hadn't sent both at one time I gotta go hold on, let me go get the beauty guide and I'll send it to you then I got to go back recently beauty guide wait for her to get it hope that she gets it then and then there also may be a conflict and her she'd already seen these prices, whereas if I had it all right here and guided her directly, she would've looked exactly what it is and can compare them also to see why there's different prices for different types of collections and set up yes question ali back was asking about that whether you had one guider or couples do it looks like that that guide on the right is for seniors, families and portrait yes, ok, because that's the way I that's the way I have a mindset because my pricing because it's evaluating the time in the products that I wantto investing give on obviously the boudoir and glamorous stuff a separate out hair makeup in different products I really strongly recommend not having more than two or three guides you've got this all filled out as a client I'm gonna go whoa like where do I go? I'm you really wanted not overwhelm clients as much as possible but give them enough information um yeah, you could break it out on and if you are specialized photographer super easy one guide done on another thing to that is you don't have to put them all on here for example I don't shoot families photograph families all year long I don't like it I have to convince my kids at home to do things for me. I want to come in somebody else's kids those who do photography for families oh you're amazing! I love it yeah, some was going, you know, so I get it but I reserve the right my freedom of choice to shoot it for the clients they already know because I kind already have a gauge of what their kids were like and what they're like. So for me, I only open up family sessions between in christmas card season in the fall and that's when I could tap into my old clients who have already come to me for couples or boudoir glamour and then I can convert them without having to do any extra marketing I just email them I couldn't convert them to that time, so I have a guide available for family I don't put it out here because I'm not advertising family I don't want them in july only want them in september october. You know, the most important times a year when people are really booking, so I have one. It may not be included here when that's what we're talking about enquiries and questionnaires, hearing a little bit it's going to be able to filter quickly, so I know which one to send them directly, so I have one hidden. They just don't see it because that's not the message I want to send, I wanted I know if I put it on there and I got the client from, you know where and I knew their kids were awful, or they're just I did not want to work with them again. If they saw that I offered families stuff, it takes away the exclusivity of the only certain time of year, so it takes off the that impulse want to get in there and get it done with you type of field, and then I've lost my choice too photograph them, I said, like a really bad person, don't I? By saying that a pickard shoes are clients, but I really think we should uncertain things, and but I want to reserve that right as much as possible, unlike the example I gave earlier with the contract on the archival fee deadline and all I reserve the right as the photographer and business owner toe way that if I want to, I don't advertise that to my clients, because then they were asking for it to seeing him saying, ok, that's a look at all these benefits, amazing questions tonight, yeah, hurry in july for a family system in d say we don't do that or to say wait till the fall or how do you deal with that? Well, it kind of depends on what's going on I mean, july's, you said july every joy is pretty hot, so I may not be doing a lot of sessions and I made like, ok, let's, go ahead and do it. It kind of depends on the circumstances typically I will put them in the queue. We're gonna talk about current management tomorrow, I will say, I don't typically do it outside of these times of the year in my previous clients get first dibs on it on dh, then I'll say I can contact you and you'll see how we're going to do all that contact compliant, enquiring management information, but if it's slow and they go ahead and do it because I I got bills to pay, I got goals and benchmarks that I need to do in order to be ableto sustain the business, yeah, choices, you know, you know, reserve the right but I was like, I don't put out there all the time hey, I don't do families all year it's kind of more of a subtle message and then I wanna one tell clients it's only this time of year that way I can specialize without completely eliminating that flow potential flow of cash in certain times of the year. I mean, another example is I just in january I had a fellow photographer she may be watching, she identified now she had a brain tumor, andi was past my family session time I wasn't going to do it. I never had her as a past clients for she said, I got to go in next week. Can you please do it and it being a phenomenal session? But I reserve the right to be able to do it in january even though in my mind my restrictions are, you know, through november is like august or november september through november for deadline for christmas, but I reserve the right to offer that essentially inquired us again is pretty good. All right? So moving on now, let's talk about what is included in this I mean, this may be where you find you don't have the skills to create something content wise for and that's okay on some of us are photographers, some of us are content creators summer both the about me is a very hard thing to talk about is very hard to talk about yourself. I was very uncomfortable explaining who I was the beginning of today. I feel ok now I know you all were like family, but it's very hard to talk about yourself. You want to approach the transat ction with your clients more than just a business transaction? I already said this. You want to create the emotional connection I don't need to create emotional connection with the repairman or the ups man, although he brings me packages of lenses and cameras, so maybe I do kind of need to keep it connection, but I don't need one with them, but I need an emotional connection with people that are doing my photographs, and so you need to be able to provide that to your client by who are you? Because many times, if you're searching, not accusation, because you're blogging and it's working really well, you're going to get people that aren't referrals. You're going get organic people that stumble across and have no, they have no clue about you at all. You need to give them a little bit information and kind of connects I think the biggest thing for this is is that people on us. I have a tendency to either copy and paste with someone, else's wrote, which is bad because a lot of times there's nothing to do with you or we talk about how we love photography. I would hope that if your photographer you love photography, I want to know more about you, I want to know a little bit more like, what is it that you're really genuinely interested in me, my clients know I love my coffee, I talk about it, that is a talking point that I can use for multiple benefits I confined on a daylight coffee I can send them our random starbucks or dunkin donuts gift card later on is that thank you if I find out they like coffee, but when I start talking about my likes and who I am creates familiarity, and it also provides a be a marketing it's basically like a marketing information session, whatever like covert session to find out like what they're into. But talking about these different things on dso opens up the doors for a lot of different things, and if you are not putting it in your guide, you're missing a great opportunity. If you're just sending them pricing again, they're focused on the price and not in the value who you are and making that connection in that confidence. And the next is what to expect, I don't want to play again five hundred questions bearing out what to expect and how to book you let your clients know what you're going to provide for them and what they can expect. This is where you can really start showing the value and not the price difference value, not the price. So this would be things such as how how long are we gonna shoot for? Because when I'm going to book a family session, I don't want a three hour family session while that sounds great, I have four kids, they're going to be done after forty five minutes and a husband who's me down after forty five minutes, and so I need to know how long the shooting time's going to be another is proof turnaround time am I wanted those that waited till the weight before christmas or, you know, week before mother's day in order to do a session, I need to know what the turnaround time is going to be. Your clients need to know this information of what to expect another benefit under promise over to learn to say that, right? I was get backwards under promise, overdeliver so this is where I can say, you know, you're proves they're going to take four weeks, they have in their in box and forty eight hours again, you're gonna learn how to do that. We're gonna talk about that, not processing. We're not talking about voterstop running that scheduling wise, and then the locations like we talked about before things that they can choose from things they can do. I don't put the entire list out there, but I talk about customizing into the location aesthetic that they want, so they don't feel like they have to fit into a box, what everyone else is doing. Oh, yeah, and this big thing about the process for me on this is the booking. I don't even put anybody on the calendar until I have your nonrefundable retainer. I have your contract and you've given me idea ofwhat collection that you're interested in buying into for multiple reasons. So one my benefit, my three to one, doug from it here, I won action, I said, this is the process even get you on the calendar. This is for me to even move forward here with us really being committed time to you, then I also I'm able to gather information that we're going to use in client management by doing all of this, and I also knows potential cells, tips and things that they're interested in later, they're not tied into a collection at that point, but I know kind of what they're interested in are not making a judgment that, based on the collection they say they're interested in, I'm not going all they picked the lowest I'm going to give crappy service that's not what it is, but if they went more toward the collection of had an album, I'm probably going to present the album first in the cells time I'm gonna talk about the album. We'll talk more about upgrades of albums, says spending all my time, all the products that I can provide you I'm able to target in heroin pipeline question that is in the process but what they have to do and that's on that checklist. So it's in here, units on the checklist of that one link that I send them. And so when we sit down, the very first thing is I make sure I set that album front and center you could see the nice pretty leather. Okay, look at it. I love albums. That's my thing. All right, let me before I back it. Let's. Just anybody. Any questions about the booking process? Maybe not actually what's, including the guide. But how to handle it? Anybody pretty solid on that. I mean, are you finding the clients are dropping off because of the booking process, or do you think is something completely different? No. They think, yeah, go ahead, do you raise your hand? No way we do most of our booking and stuff online, and so I guess this is a question we might have had a while ago that you've kind of touched on this. How do we ensure that they are actually reading through all of this stuff, too, like you can provide them with all the information, but, um and like the which collection that I'm glad you brought that up then and guarantees that they at least look to the pricing? Yeah, yeah, because then there's, not caches is so expensive now, one of the spouses may say that at the set at the pressing session or the ordering session, but at least one of them looked at it because I had you had to tell me, and I tell him you tied into this, I'm just going to feel get to know you and I explained to them, I'm transparent about it. I'm not telling him I'm gonna do it to sell you more stuff, but I say I'm wanting to know what you're interested in spinning everything around for my benefit, but it sounds like it's for them.

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