Going the Extra Mile with Heather Donlan
You guys probably want to get ignited so let me tell you about our first speaker heather darlin who's not nervous whatsoever she actually started her career here in seattle and worked for the famous nature starter for art wolf is that right and then she decided flummery she's gonna move to the other side of the country to florida where she started a boutique sports business photographing on the beach in the everglades with anacondas and alligators and she does all kinds of weird things with animals but she's an amazing photographer please whether welcome to the stage other darlin hi everyone I'm heather dahman and I'm going to talk to you today about what it means to go the extra mile for your clients and for yourself as an artist my philosophy is that customer service is equally as important as the great artwork we produced done right going the extra mile can really set you apart from your competition and really give your photography career a boost so uh real quick before I get starte...
d a couple of years ago my husband and I took a trip to thailand and I'm very very finicky drink order I have to have my cocktail just right and the bartender and the first hotel we stayed at I learned my secret and it was great and we left the first hotel we traveled overland to all day to the second hotel and to my surprise when I arrived at the reception desk, what was waiting but my teo so the bartender had called ahead to the second hotel to tell them how to make my drink, and this absolutely blew me away. I couldn't believe that they would invest and really go there extra mile for me like that. So this type of feeling that I really want to give all of my clients in the photography studio and there are many, many different ways that we can make our clients feel special. But for me, I found that there are three things that we do consistently that really help knock it out of the park each time with our clients and make him feel like like there that are vips. So first and foremost, we create an unforgettable experience for them. Each session is like a grand old party for them. We bring all sorts of trees and snacks for the kids. We bring wine and beer for the adults. We set the tone to make sure that they know that this is an enjoyable time together. I want my clients to feel like we're old friends that we've met for the first time, so we to really try to hammer home how important on dh just really have fun during the session. I even have a little parting gift that I send I sent my clients off with, and this is really just to thank you. We know that there's a ton of other studios that that they can select from, and it just it just really reinforces and is another layer to assure them that they they made the right choice when they selected us. Number two, we're always sincere and genuine with our clients from the very start we established a relationship of mutual trust and respect with each other, and I mean, this kind of goes without saying with any relationship that you have in your life, but it is really important to remember that with clients that these air, you know, this is relationships that you need to call, cultivate and really work on and for us, we find that this really comes in handy in later parts of our later parts of our communication, because if there is sticky dialogue that ever comes up about high resolution images, things that were just we don't offer through our studio, it then just becomes a much easier dialogue on dh, respectful communication that we have with each other when we explain our policies and it doesn't feel like so much of the demands that are our clients are demanding things from us. Andi lastly, and very simple deliver on what you promise. I feel like this is so important if you if you're gonna tell a client that they're gonna have artwork by a certain date, then make that promise and stick to what you say you're going to deliver, you've already put in all this time with this client cultivating this relationship, you really, really don't want it, tio sour by not delivering at the end. So this sort of goes without saying, but the greatest customer service in the war in the world really won't get you very far if your artwork isn't very good. So if you if you need tio, invest in workshops and classes, then do it really invest in yourself, and this takes me into my next portion of this incredibly fast chat that we're having here, but you have to take the time and invest in yourself and push yourself as an artist push that bar further, the the the benefits that you'll get from kind of pushing yourself will not only enhance yourself as an artist, but it'll enhance every other aspect of your business. So what do I what do I mean by this, or how do I do this? Well, one I'm always trying to create, I'm always keeping myself engaged, I absolutely step out of my comfort zone as often as I can case in point here it is not like I woke up one day and decided to wade into waist high water with the gators and snakes. But this is what happens to be in my backyard, and I really wanted to pursue my own personal project out there in the everglades, so I pushed myself to go farther. I really, really tried to stretch myself creatively, and what happened was that I gained all sorts of interest from my client base, so it was a win win for me. I stretched myself creatively, and I started drumming up all sorts of interest from my my client base. I gained more clients because I was doing something unique, so I leave you with this. Really, push yourself to go the extra mile for yourself as an artist and for your clients, and your business will thank you for it.