Client Meeting Q&A
So this is kind of a specific question but do you have clients where you don't actually have any interaction with them? I've had a couple of instances where either the mother is booking me or planner is booking me and how do you handle how do you handle maintaining that kind of experience? Do you have any tips for that? Yeah that's a great great great question so if I get contacted initially from happens a bride's maid are like the maid of honor or the mom I will send them that email to request information but the only email I have is say the mom's email so all right because when I respond I know the bride's name any new groom's in great so all response saying hi billy hi laura in parentheses hi martha because I want teo indicate that I want to talk to laura and billy I'm not wanting to talk so much to martha so mark is not her mom's name. I would talk to laura's mom any day but we're just going to use this as an example. So I would say it would be great for me to have the opportunity ...
to have a conversation with laura and billy so I confined out there need specifically I will send you over information but it's going to be important that so they can feel comfortable with my services is if we have the opportunity to communicate I've had mom's email and take my daughter is in medical school, and she met her fiance in medical school. I'm planning the entirety of the wedding, she's just showing up in that case, I'm going to say, okay, I just need to request that they have seen my work, that they have at least read my bio section, and I send them specific links once I have that. Okay there, getting married at montage it's in the montage winnings into multiple montage winning's what kind of style sent him a link to a wedding with that particular style? Like making sure they have so much information that martha, laura and billy can make a decision about me, and sometimes, you know, it is a hit or miss, but when it comes to a coordinator, I asked this coordinator to please have the client contact me. I'll send according to all my information, I don't want everyone turn a wedding away, but I tell the coordinator I think it would be good in everyone's best interest if I had the opportunity just to kind of talk to the bride deceive we're on the same page, but I would still book a wedding if you know, I didn't have the opportunity to speak to write I booked a client just for april, and she just sent me everything. Like, I really don't know her, but I'm going to meet her during the engagement session. We'll try to make the best of it so and that's a good thing. If you have an engagement session, neuter collections hopefully would be able to meet those clients and establish that relationship I said, help it all. Okay, way. Have another question. Hi. Hi, neighbor. So joining, you know, we have a partnership and we have a clue, you know, defined roles within our partnership. So at a client meeting, I mean, not to overwhelm the bribe, but should we both meet together because on a day to day basis, he enjoyed handles the emails and kind of the client enquiries, so should it be, you know, joy and, you know, through the client meeting in that process, and then we're both introduced on the wedding day? Or do you think as a partnership, we're just both in it together for that's, okay? I mean that's like a really, really, really good question. I think it's going to heavily depend on the type of brand you want to build. If the key component is that you do everything together, well, then it would be good for the both of you to meet together in my current in my situation, I'm not branding jasmine and j d and bringing jasmine. And then I could talk about jd if it's important component to your brand, it might be it might be important for the both of you to be at the meeting at least initially. And then just say, you know what? I will handle at least ten first him and how he do guys meet joy will be there with the guys and sometimes we'll switch. You guys talk about that, and then you guys can maybe have, like, a little like vaudeville, like routine fifteen minutes into it. You know it joy's gonna go work on albums. I will handle the rest of the meeting, but we wanted to make sure that you guys connected. We think she's amazing, but I'm stronger she stronger album designed. So if we booked, you know, if we work together, joy will be working with your album design and all the handling communication. So if you guys are okay with that she's going to skedaddled and I'll handle the rest well, that's good at all. That's weird, but whatever she's going to go on. So you guys just doing that in tradition, an introduction together because I personally feel that profitability, I'm less profitable. With j if j d comes to the meeting with me, because if jd is not at the meeting with me he's handling other divisions of the business, that we could potentially be making a profit or I can come home to a meal, right? I mean, these are benefits, these other, different kinds of benefits to not having both people present. All right, let's, go back to the phones and then well, and then we'll send it back over to our studio audience question from mw photo as well as cager scene and a number of other people. Jasmine could you elaborate again on what the conversation map is that you've been talking about? And it's okay that you sell or oh, oh, my gosh, I'm going to sketch a map is like x marks the spot we booked the wedding s o a conversation, I just I make up terms, so I will clarify ah, conversation app is what I referred teo as where the conversation is in the beginning, where it is in the middle and where it is in the end. So what we spoke about was in the beginning, right, which was make them comfortable put them at ease, that's the start of the map now it will look different for you if you are meeting at starbucks. Having them choose their seat probably not a good idea you should arrive twenty to thirty minutes early and choose your seat so that you're not right in the middle where everybody's like waiting for their espresso he's important things to take into consideration but the conversation map is where you are in the process and mapping out and it will look different for you but mapping out where you are in the conversation if you are talking about their college if you are talking about their line of profession if you are talking about what they want you know where you are and it's totally okay for you to write down what an ideal meeting looks like for you you start off by saying hi you asked how they met you ask for pertinent details you asked her winning playing is going you ask ask ask that you get into your approach find your sales pitch I think that when people ask what do you do or even more important how did you get into photography? I want to ask petar how for talking about photography and I had a twenty five minute conversation or I heard a monologue about how they got photography which is beautiful but sometimes well don't want to hear that they want to hear the thesis if you can get your quote unquote sales pitch how you got into photography what is your inspiration and less than five minutes that's really what's going to move people because people are interested but they're only interested to a certain extent my quote unquote pitch I should really change the names of the sound like the pitch, but we'll find something else the tagline I don't know when I'm meeting with a client they asked how did you get into photography? It boils down to a couple of points I talk about how I was in law school and I was very unhappy unfortunately my mom fell ill, but the good news is that she's still here with us the experience caused me to reevaluate my life I left law school and I quickly got married because I wasn't sure if my mom was they're at the wedding with me against all odds she walked me down the aisle with my father and it's a memory I'll never forget bye wedding photographs change the structure of my life and really pointing me in the direction I wanted to go. Once I had my camera, I felt liberated I felt freedom, my husband said if I could fail what I love then succeed at something I hate I had a year to do so my first year about thirty eight weddings and I'm a proud I'm standing here proud because six years later my husband and I work in the business together that's okay? I think it's important right? Because what we just sold you was this beginning, middle and end? Because west, we do care that your grandfather develop film in the basement. Maybe it's a part of the story, but it can't start when you're five, you're going to drown people out. So that's going to be a really important thing and I don't even know how it got there because I don't know how we got there, but I hope that that kind of really holmes how we are of handling meetings, so can it if we have another question. Yes, I'm sorry. Hi, I'm jamie. Hi, jamie. Hi, I was wondering if you've ever refused business because you've identified it's just not the right fit for you and how you've ever come out of you ask. Yes, I have I have it's a very difficult conversation to navigate because I am not necessarily turning away a bride because I don't think she's a good fit for me. I'm turning way of ride because I don't think I'm a good fit for her, and in the beginning it was such a difficult conversation to have. The first time I turned away a bride, she wrote back, I rate and she said that she was going burn my business to the ground and scorn every forum and talk. And say the worst things about me and I was just, like, petrified jd was getting ready for work and he ran into the room and I was like, I'm ruined, I'll never shoot a wedding again. She was really popular on really popular wedding for him, it was like she didn't say the worst things about me and he's just so calm, so level headed, and I'm like all over the place and he says, what's, the worst that can happen, but she's gonna go online shouldn't talk how awful and because I turned away her wedding, you turned her wedding away. Do you think she's going to go online and tell people that you turned her away? And if she does do that, it makes her look that doesn't make you look bad. I wanted every form for the next two weeks. I didn't see a thing about it and what my response was, because I felt based on our conversations that she was, and it was also from a personal perspective she was emailing me like by the time you three days into our conversation, she'd emailed me probably almost twenty times. I'm thinking if it's this early in the relationship and your email me this much it's going to get so much worse as we get closer to the wedding and so I basically told her I felt that she was looking for a different type of photographer a photographer who was going to hone in on family candids and family portrait and I gave her a list of photographers who I thought were better at it than I was and fortunately I wasn't able to I'm not able to shoot your wedding in a way that you think I wish you all the best so yeah he did it was uncomfortable it's hard right now a question from a me and a couple other people had asked about wedding planners amy says jasmine in your client meetings is the wedding planner ever present and how do you handle that if the planner is there too? She's from atlanta georgia greet um sometimes I meet with wedding coordinators and their clients and when they're there I think it's awesome I absolutely love it because I'm pitching essentially to the wedding coordinator too because what I think happens early on is the wedding coordinator will come with early on if the wedding coordinator is not familiar with me she'll come along to the meeting to kind of smell me out and once she's confident that that she can turn her clients over to me without her having to be there he's going to be a great thing so I don't meet so much with pre existing coordinators have already worked with because they know that they they trust the way I conduct a meeting if I am meeting with the new coordinator I think it's a golden egg opportunity I handle the handle the conversation the exact same way I'm going to talk to the bride as if the coordinator isn't there because I'm not selling the coordinator I'm selling the bride but it's really cool because the coordinator will then get a voyeuristic inside into how I conduct a meeting so I wholeheartedly endorse it I love it I think we have a question from the studio audience okay so stephanie yeah so whenever you go when you go on thes meetings do you ever bring any of your work so will you bring your laptop and show any of your work or do you just assume that no, they've already seen your work they've already gone over it so you don't really actually has something physical there to show them perfect I do I never make the assumption that my client that clients prospective clients are familiar with my work so I will bring there is a monitor in the studio and I'll have pictures playing I have sample albums and they also have an ipad so that I have both the traditional form of wedding photography represented and they also have the future form I believe that the future is digital photography and digital display of work, so I wanted to showcase how I'm doing that so I have a lot of work available didn't work okay that's one more follow up wedding coordinator questions yes is from ashley lucas what if the client doesn't have a wedding coordinator? Do you turn the job down? No, you take on the role of wedding coordinator if there is what? How many of you feel like a wedding coordinator on the day of the wedding corner is not there? Okay, let me see your hands. All of us. I ask if there's going to be a wedding coordinator coordinator because it incentivizes me to do the wedding if it's a good coordinator I don't have to worry about a thing I just have to show up and my job is just made infant testily easier it doesn't make or break a wedding for me but it just makes me that much more excited to know and also it is it's a reflection when you have a wedding coordinator they have luxury income and that's going to showcase the type of wedding that they're going to be planning if they have money to hire a wedding coordinator they probably have a slightly larger photography budget so it's an indicator to me right? Great, I have a question that goes back a little bit to the to the first section but it is a good one from jae miller photos on twitter and thank you we love seeing your questions confirmed to how do you handle potential clients that inquire via social media he over have that happen? Okay, this is kind of a slippery slope so facebook has become a behemoth in my in my business so I have put out on social media that I don't respond to facebook emails now if you're a new photographer I think it's think it's definitely anytime that you can get business you should get it but the problem is facebook is just so big right now and I don't know how to control all of it so occasionally I will try to go on but a lot of times on facebook I'm getting and hearing from photographers and not necessarily clients now one thing that I tried to do always is when I'm sharing a piece of a photograph via social media, facebook or twitter I'm linking back to where I want them to go which is my blawg which is my website and hopefully it's through that mechanism in which they are contacting me if I do get somebody shout out me on twitter to be like I'd love for you to be my wedding photographer can I get more info? I couldn't possibly send enough info on one hundred forty characters so I will respond to them and say email me and I'll get you the information you need if it's on facebook, I will never send any type of wedding information on facebook because I don't know the legal ramifications of how facebook is going to be perceived in the area of jurisdiction, so I know that email is legally admissible as conversation in court. I don't know how that is with facebook, so I need to make sure that all my correspondents even if I have a phone call with a client and she's like we want to add an extra hour, my perfect I'm going to shoot you an email if you could please confirm, so I followed the email and it said hi jenny, it was so great talking to you just to confirm you're gonna add an extra hour to your collection, which would bring your total to nine hours and the final payment will be due at the end, she responds, I'm good say that email, then I will re draft up things and then we center the final invoice it's reflected in that in that final payment, so email is the only way that you can come back or also will turn into. But you said on this or you said on that, which is why I also don't respond to my client's via text, I will give them my cell phone number as we're on an engagement shoots and if at a later point in time the clients like I was the text I was wondering if we can add an extra hour I respond back via email hi, I just got your text you want to add an extra hour? Let me know when we can handle it here email is how I communicate cause it's the only way have a record because if you're communicating in four different mechanisms could you imagine? Did you get that mia texted with twitter? Was it facebook like it's just too much for me I need to keep a streamlined and organized my question is I feel one of my weaknesses is drawing things to a natural conclusion and I want to avoid the awkwardness of wrapping up a meeting and not knowing exactly how to end it like okay, I guess we're done here okay that's great that's a great question. So following the conversation map you asked how they met you asked about wedding details you found ways to build trust. Then you talk about how you employ your services at an engagement session at a wedding day and then you talk about maybe the things that they need but they like an album with a like digital you talked to get on the same page was like this collection or this package were publicly a best fit for you do you have any questions for me if they're like, no, you answered it all. Perfect, thank you so much for a time, I just can't wait, like, feel free to keep me posted as things progress. I know you probably will be meeting with other photographers, but if possible, let me know how things fair. Even if we don't work together, I wish you all the best. I know your wedding at tell me. Ghost is going to be beautiful.