The Client Questionnaire
Now, you guys, the thing is I do not shoot a client unless they've signed their contract, unless they've paid their initial invoice, or filled out the questionnaire. That is all critical and it has to happen before I shoot because I can't risk having a client book and then saying "Oh, I don't owe anything, it's your time." And you have to make sure that you're covered on that aspect and just with the contract. That's really, really important. Okay, the client questionnaire. This is critical to planning your session. I create my questionnaires in Iris and then I have a different questionnaire for each type of session. So I have a family questionnaire, I have newborn questionnaire, I have a studio questionnaire. There's a questionnaire for the studio newborn or the lifestyle newborn and they're all very different. So for the purpose of this workshop, let me pull it up. Okay, so this is what they look like in the back end. So, with the questionnaire, not only does it show everything about...
the client like logistical information, where they live, I put the kids names. Over here you can put if it's required or not for them to fill out. It looks different when they see it. This is our end of it and you can map it. So what mapping means is, will this information carry over to the front page of their client portal, essentially, right? So, I want that address to map, or whatever. We didn't set it up for this one but we'd want it to map and be on the front page for that. Okay, so the questionnaire, what do your children play with? Anything special that they love? We go over that. Do your children need time warming up? Very important to know because if they do, we're gunna plan our session a little bit differently. Do you want your shoot based around breakfast, lunch, afternoon? You know, it kinda gives you an idea what time of the day they wanna shoot at. Sometimes people like to do those breakfast shoots where we make pancakes, and jump on the bed, and put PJs on, so that's that question. Do your children nap? Also essential to know for timing purposes. Do you have pets and if so, what type, and do you want them to be a part of the session? I had a client bring in a fish to the studio. I'm not kidding, it's in here. You'll see it soon. So cute, I mean how cute is a little kid with a fish bowl right? You could always use any pet, hamster, bird, whatever. You have to think outside the dog-cat-box, okay? Everybody loves their pets no matter what it is. Lizard, get brave. I don't know about snakes. Okay, so what do the kids like to do with dad? Because as we know dads are tricky, so we need to make sure we have activities (laughs). We have to make sure we have activities that dad can do with the kids to keep dad occupied okay? What do the kids like to do with mom? Mom needs to be occupied too so she's not so nervous about the session. What do kids like to do together? What's your child's favorite colors? What style of home are you in? This is important. A lot of people are in more traditional homes or they're in a more modern home and your session's gunna be very different based upon what type of home they live in. Your recommendations for clothing choices are gunna be very different based upon what type of home they live in. So you need to know all of these things before you can adequately direct them for planning your session. Please describe the style of your family. Preppy, trendy, et cetera. In the Midwest, most of us are very J.Crew-ish type of people. West Coast, people are cooler out here, they just are. In the South they wear those dresses. What do you call those with the embroidery stuff? They're called something. I don't know, nobody's from the South. The styles are very different, right? And you could have implants into your city. We have some people from Baton Rouge that live in St. Louis and they love all those gowns, I don't even know what they're called, but she asked if she could use them in a session and I was like, "What's that?" She's like, "Really?" So these are things you need to know about your clients before you can help them plan because not everybody's gunna wear a T-shirt, and ripped jeans, and flip flops right? So, we need to know that. Do you like albums or just large prints? Also good to know. So, if you have a client that loves large prints, you're gunna wanna make sure to get a portrait-y-esque, type of photograph of the children during the lifestyle session. Remember earlier, I can scroll back. Oh, we're not on that thing right now. There was a picture of three girls in the bed and they were kind of all snuggling on their bed? That's a portrait-y shot and that's something that could be printed, right? Not just a fly on the wall-ish type of photo. So if you have somebody that wants some portrait-y shots, you can set up a situation that allows for a full frame shot for a beautiful print. Some families could care less about printing on their wall and they just want books. You may shoot that session a little bit differently, knowing what products they want, okay? You can add anything in here. You can just drag these over here. See text field, drag it, add a line. It's awesome. This thing's amazing. So they fill this out and it ends up in their client portal and the minute I get this questionnaire in, I'll read it over and I'll call them on the phone. "I got your information, it's amazing." And then we'll plan the session based upon what activities. Later, further in this workshop, we're gunna take the questionnaire and we're gunna show how to build activities around the questionnaire, okay?
From Karen Riviera, "What is the success rate that clients actually fill out the questionnaire? Was it successful from the first day that you asked them to start filling it out electronically?"
It was not as successful until we told them they had to do it. I said, "You don't get your spot unless you fill it out." (laughs) So you have to tell them because we need their address, we need their information, their phone number... So if you tell them it has to be done then they'll do it. You know that initial email, it's attached to the bottom and Kenny put on that initial email, "Hey, check the bottom of this email because there's a questionnaire there. Make sure you see that and fill it out. Once that's there we'll proceed with the booking process."