Segment 7 - Educating Your Potential & Current Clients
I think of it as building a relationship with your clients because, like I said earlier, you know, maybe we all can take good photos. But what is going to take you a step above Thea other photographers in town? Or make those clients come to you? And not only will you attract them with your brand and your portfolio and all the things we've talked about so far, but by giving them an ultimate senior portrait experience, you are going to stand out. You are going to give them something that nobody else can give them, especially maybe not the yearbook photos. So that helps you stand out against that is really how you can explain to people why. Maybe they do book a separate session other than that yearbook photo sessions, because it's an experience it is going to capture a moment in time. It's going to tell people who you are. You're gonna be able to reflect on it. You're going to be able to remember the experience, which also makes those photographs even more memorable. We all want to look b...
ack on that time in your life when you're a senior and you remember how fun it was in. Part of that is something you can give them. You can give them an ultimate senior portrait experience that they can look back on, you know, think about how beautiful they felt or think about how you know, you captured them perfectly. So that's kind of what the senior portrait experience is all about and why you would need Teoh. Give them that. It's so that you can stand out and attract that clientele and really give them something to remember. So we're gonna talk about how to do that. Basically, a senior portrait experiences anything from inquiry all the way to ordering session and beyond. To every little aspect is inclusive in that experience. So you want to remember that because from the very first phone call our email that you get all the way tool communicating with girls after you've already done their photos and they've graduated. It's all part of that experience and building that relationship is how you can start to give them that that wonderful senior portrait experience. Like I said earlier, when my girls come home from college, I still meet him for coffee. You know, they text me and asking questions things like that because I built that relationship and wanted Teoh continue it. Even I didn't want to be the photographer and took their photos, and they never talked to again. So that is part of my senior portrait experience. Excuse me, Did you say your girls air in college? No. No girls, as in my clients now, going to college, I No way. My girls part of that relationship. I feel like there, you know, I feel like their mind. I feel like I built this relationship with them that I just That's what I call up my girls. My girls in any of my clients become my girls because I've become friends with him. And I created that that relationship with them, so yeah. No, I don't personally have girls. Have two boys, 10 a jacket, probably football practice. But anyway, so the elements of the senior portrait experience communication is key. That's the first element of it. We're gonna go through all the elements that we're going to take a bit that bit. So communication is key. Unique sessions that you offer offer something different that can give your senior portrait experience a different element on make it stand out. Get to know your seniors. That helps get them a great experience because the more you know about them, the more you can really create a senior portrait experience that is specifically to them. Then the mind also planned sessions. With that experience in mind, you want to plan sessions, you know, according to your client. But you also want to keep that experience what it is you want your clients to feel. Think about it that way. We talked about that a little bit earlier. What you want them to feel needs to be a part of that experience. And so you need to keep that in mind when you're talking about anything that has to do with senior portrait experience. So plan their sessions to make sure they have a great experience, and then where the mouth becomes great and they want to tell their friends about you because they had such a great time or you did this extra for them or whatever it is. Plan your sessions with that experience in mind, and we'll get into that in person, ordering sessions and actresses to shoot and beyond. All of these things are part of that experience right now. We're gonna go over the first couple of items. I think maybe another day we do ordering sessions. So know that that is part of the experience. But that we will get to that will do a live ordering session, so you'll get to see how it actually plays out. Um, and, you know, see all that and part of the experience leads up to that portion. If you do the experience the right way, you don't really even have to sell at that point. So we'll talk about that, too. So right now, we're going to talk about the first items here. But we're gonna save that for the for the actual ordering session. OK, so let's start with communication with your potential clients. Okay, Um, and current clients be proactive instead of reactive. I think this is very important because I think I used to wait till that phone rang on. Just would on the fly, answer whatever they threw at me. Not having really anything prepared. Not only did it make me seem a little more like a hobbyist unless, like a professional, but also I wasn't really I was reacting to whatever they happened to say, as opposed to be being in control and really being proactive and being prepared. So I think in communication that is key. You want to make sure you try to anticipate whatever questions they might ask you, So you're prepared to answer them and you answer them correctly. You don't ever want to be put on the spot because you might give away something that you really didn't mean to. But you felt on the spot and you had to make sure that with communication, you give them as much communication as possible before him again. It goes back to not wanting to waste your time, not wanting to waste their time. Um, I know when I first started, I would sort of, like, talk to him on the phone and maybe not give all the pricing because it was so scared that if I gave it, they might not book. And, you know, I really want them to book. And now you know, after you've done it a little while, you realize that your time is work money and as much as you do want to do it because we all start with photography, probably from a passion of photography. But then it becomes a business, and you've got to protect that. So, you know, eventually you learn that. Okay? I only want the clients that are coming to me they're willing to pay. So that my time away from my family, You know, whatever the case may be is worth it. So by giving more information and really educating your client and communicating with them up front will help you in that regard. Um, again, Answer the questions before they ask. Don't wait until they say, Well, wait a minute. Would you offer this Be prepared. Think of every scenario. Um, can my mom come? Can, you know? Can I bring a friend would about a BFF procession? All of these things singers are gonna ask. And to be honest with you, they're pretty resourceful, so they may try to get something that you know, you're not prepared to answer or offer. So think about every aspect of what they might could asking. Write it all down and be firm on what your answer is going to be, so that when they throw that question at you, you can answer it correctly. and, you know, stick to your policies and procedures. Personal phone call. This is key. So with teens, there's a lot of texting Facebook messaging, instagram messaging, all of that stuff. But I really feel the key to giving a good experience is taking the time to call them. It's super. I mean, doing wrong. It's much more easy toe text him or send him an email because then you don't have to get on the phone and talk to him. But how much better would you feel? Assembly picked up the phone and called you some. I just sent you a blanket email blanket emails come in handy, but after you've made that initial phone call, so make that initial phone call and talk to them, it not only gives them a chance to hear your voice, get a feel for your personality. You get a feel for the years you make that initial call and you start to make that initial connection. You've already connected them, you know, connected to them by them looking at your website and getting in a the visual that way, and they maybe get a sense of who you are. Maybe they read a couple of block posts and they get a sense of who you are. But when you pick up that phone call and you actually talk to them, that's when they really know who you are so immediately that starts the relationship that starts the friendship. To be honest with you, I talked to him about, you know? OK, so where you going to school and you chit chat with them? Don't necessarily be all business e, but you want to get to that part to on Ben, You say, You know, Do you have any questions? When are you thinking about booking? You wanna fall? Session? Do you wanna spring session? You know, start to talk to him, Have a conversation with Now. If it's the mother, do it with the mother. If that's who's enquiring now, we'll say a side note is no matter who. Enquires, make sure the mom is on board or the dad is on board because I can't tell you how many times a girl is booked and didn't tell their mom. You know how much it calls or whatever, and then the mom shocked because she didn't She didn't know. Make sure you do that. So, you know, in general, if the girl calls me, if the senior girl calls me or you know in other people's cases, if it's a guy, I do reach out to that person. But then I make sure to get the mom's email address as well and copy them on any correspondence, any information that I think, because that way, no. Granted, I can't control whether the mom open the email or whatever, but at least I know I've done everything I could. Now we'll say, For the most part, it's the moms calling me every now and then I do have seniors calling me. But regardless whether they've called me whether they Facebook message me, you know, sent me an email, I'm gonna call them, if at all possible first just to make that initial connection. So I think that is very important. Then you can go to your standard emails, and again, it all comes with experience. When I first started, I didn't you know, I kind of sent random stuff out, and I tried that. I tried to answer their questions, but it wasn't concise. So maybe sometimes that answer part of it and other emails. I might not because I didn't have that standard email. So when I'm talking on the phone with them, I make sure to get their email address, and I tell them about the experience and about what they can expect that. Then I let them know that I'm also going to be sending them an actual guide that details everything we've talked about so they can see it. They can share it with their parents. They can do whatever they have something tangible that they can read themselves in addition to what I've told him on the phone. So you know, that is in a standard email, and that helps me make sure that with every client I'm consistent. I know that, you know, with every client of made that phone call, then with every client I've sent that welcome guide. Then with every client I've followed up and gotten a date, you know, whatever your process is having that standard email after you made that initial phone call is important because that would, you know, you've done. You've given them every information. You haven't forgotten anything. I think a lot of times when you're trying to email on the fly. You may forget something, or you may not mention this that or the other. So if you have a standard way to communicate with them, then you are making sure that you're staying consistent, Which is part of your brand. Uh, yeah. You have a question. If someone e mails you and then they don't give you the phone number, you know, I have a friend of birth, and then you just call them, okay? And then I'm not going to say that I've never just emailed somebody I have, because sometimes I don't get a response. And, you know, you can only do so much, but yes, my first initial thing is to try to get their phone phone number. If they don't send it back, then maybe I have to go the route of email in which I don't love today. So, yeah, my initial thing would be the emailing back and say, I love to chat with you about this in certain questions you might have, and I feel like a phone call is the best way to do that. If you don't mind. Just in the year, your phone call and maybe a good time for me to talk to you because a lot of times they won't even feel that phone number out in a contact form. But then again, I try to at least get it so that that's how I would do that. Okay, so the next thing with that standard email is I'm not only given them, you know, possible dates and all the information maybe we covered on the phone call have also given them a welcome guy, which I mentioned. So it's is a chance to educate them on my process, you know, gives them an expectation. You know? What can they expect? It gives him the pricing, gives in the collections, shows products, everything. Because honestly, at this point, I don't want to waste any more time if they're not going to book. So I do it digitally. So I'm not wasting money on people that might not book. But at the same time, I'm giving the information so they can make an educated decision on whether they want a book or not. And there are some people I send it to, and they say I can't afford that. And I said, OK, well, great. You know, thanks for letting me know and I move all But at least I know I didn't do the session and then them say, I can't afford that, you know, domain. So I think a welcome guide is a good way. Teoh really communicate with your clients in a in a way that they can read through and see and understand fully in addition to what you said on the phone call. So there's a lot of stuff you can include and welcome, Guy. This is for you guys, you know, sort of put whatever you feel is the most important part of your session in there, you know, telling them about yourself, telling them, given them that chart that I should you guys earlier and telling them what the difference is explained to them. Why yours is different. Do an entire page about that. Just write it and just give them the details about why it's different. Why you can, you know, come to you as opposed to the yearbook photos that that's important. If you offer here makeup, you could showcase that and explain that process. When I first started, I didn't actually offer I didn't. I offered here make up. But it was a separate thing so they could choose it or they could not choose it. Now I got to wear of educated enough clients where they understand that it is a must. And now I've got it into my packages or in my session fees. I like to do things like that. I don't like toe. I don't have the personality. It says you will do this. So, you know I didn't make him if they didn't want it and I understood that. But the more and more educated them and explain the process, the more and more girls started doing that and then now I don't have a girl that wouldn't do it, so it is included, so I tend to do that. But that's something you can explain in what you send out. Showcase your your work. Obviously you want it. You want to hit him with those visual images, really captured their attention and, you know, so they can see. OK, this is what I'm gonna get maybe even include past clients and their quote, quotes about their experience. That's a great thing to include pricing and products are a great thing to include because, like I say, I want them to know ahead of time that they can afford it. Eso I've got all the card in there. I've got collections and their I've got the different type of sessions and the pricing for those you know, all of anything and everything. You can give them up front to help them make an educated decision is, you know, extremely important. Does anybody here in the audience send out a welcome God or PDF or anything like that? What can you tell me Some things that are, in years, pretty similar collections that has, like, a welcome from me. Right? Um, it talks about different location idea and that outfit ideas. And then I have, um my prices and my products. And then I have a frequently asked questions, and I just do like a magazine and e mail it so I don't usually give it. I have something separate. I email with prices. Okay, I actually it's just the pages from the magazine. I just email, though. And then I mail the pack where the magazine After they've book? Yeah, with mine. I email it to him through issue I you digital. And so it looked like on screen at flips like, But I don't print it because at this point they haven't booked. And so I don't want that extra cost that. Yeah, but there's there's nothing. You can do it that way too. So that's great. Tamayo, Did you have a question for you? Um, when you are given the differences between you, your photography in the yearbook? Would you also go as far asses say how you separate yourself from another photographer? I think that you can talk about the great things you have to offer, but not necessarily say this is more than another meeting today. Like without mentioning another photographer. You do it, word it in a way that's like I offer this and I pride myself in this and did it. You can expect this from me, and all of those things can be things that are different from some other photographer without saying I do this differently than that photographer, whatever. Not that you would ever call somebody out, but you know, to me, so I think keeping it in that way is probably the best way, and I do think that's great. I think you should point out the things that you know. Is it your passion? Seniors around passion in the middle middle high school student high school teacher. So the age group is my passion, and I really love to get to know them. Did that can all be in that first section that tells who you are and why you do what you do. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that's great. And then talk about what you offer that's different than the yearbook. What? You offer this just unique Teoh. You keep it in that in that round? Yeah. So anybody have anything they send out? Yeah, Yeah. I mean, to make it right. It's a lot of work to be in this business, right? There's a lot to dio Andi. Yes. Sometimes it would be easier just email, Right. But it looks much better this way, and it answers a lot of questions. And if you look if you load it on this, you it's always there. So you know, you just in the link and then they look at it on. Then, in addition to sending them this, I also send them available dates, so I'm letting them know these are the dates I have available and said that way. They're already thinking, you know, I'm not gonna book and if you know, she's only got three days left or whatever. So yeah, we have Erica in the chat rooms that are on the the ask A deck says I send welcome guide Link Lincoln issue like you have. And just for everybody, it's I s you you correct? If you want to look that up with pricing included and will have parents go ahead and book a session but still not truly be educated on the investment, how do you know that they have actually looked. I looked at Ariel, right? Well, OK, so there there is only so much you can dio. You can't be in the room with them, making sure they're looking at it. However, I make sure the word my email that says Please go over this with your parents, did it off course I can't control that, but you put that in there. So that's the first thing. Second thing is, is when they do book and they get the senior questionnaire at the bottom of my questionnaire, it says, Has your Mom, it's got a parent section. It says I have rid You're welcome guide pricing, etcetera so you can do it that way. Now granted again. It's Elektronik. So technically, I guess the senior could check the yes box. However, at least makes them think I really probably due to my mom. You know, Andan. At that point, there's really nothing else I can do. The mom shows up and didn't know it, you know? She still got Bassam. She's pretty much gonna pathum unit me. She's already had the process. Now maybe the orders and this big or whatever. But again, there's only so much I can control eso. I just have to do my best to get that out there. Make sure I tell the girls, you know, don't forget to give this to your mom or your dad or whoever is paying. When you when you talk to them about the ordering session, make sure you say to them, Don't forget you need to bring a mom or dad or whoever is paying for the session. I also make them pay for the session as soon as they book a date, so at least I feel like the mom knows they book something because they don't pay for it on the session. They pay for it when they book away. Don't worry about getting a check from the senior if the seniors only one that shows up. Because sometimes the moms don't come on the session. But the moms paying, you know, domain. So I just cut that out. I'm like, Look, you just book it right now. You pay for it right now, you're done, you know? So that helps, too, because usually Mom's writing checks. So at least they know they're paying for something, you know? Yeah. So that's how now, with the welcome packet, that is a separate thing I send out once they do book. So that's another aspect of communication. So they get the online thing. They see they make an educated decision. If they want a book or not, then they book, and I actually send the questionnaire outwits first before they get this and we'll talk about that. But I just wanted to show you this right now. So once I get that question, you're back. I have their address, I have things and who doesn't love getting something in the mail. I love it because you never do get anything but bills right, though, And seniors all get stuff electronically. So why not send them something nice in the mail? So I've got folders, stickers, you know, again, packaging important. So they see my branding, etcetera. And then this is what's inside of it. The what? To wear guy so they can prepare for their session. I team up with Fabric, which is a boutique in my town. They have them all over their franchise. But this is my boutique, and they give all of my finger clients and 20% off. So that's in there. So they wanted Teoh purchase something special for their senior session. They got that? So that's a fun little bonus gift. Obviously, my my business card. Ah, checklist. Things that they could do to prepare for their session. You know, make sure to iron your clothes. Go get a manicure pedicure. At least take your fingernail polish all you know where show chipped nails don't a flat iron your hair. Which is really important because if the hair makeup artist wants to curl it, but the girl has flat ironed it, there's no getting curls in that hair. So little things like that. Any tip, you might want to get something from your hair and makeup artists that you can put in here, maybe a note from her. You're working with the same person every time. You might put a little note from her saying, I can't wait to, you know, do your hair makeup or whatever, or you know something to prepare them for her, come fresh faced or, you know, whatever the makeup artists rules are about how she wants them to arrived. Another thing is, have them wear a button down shirt, something they don't have to pull over their head. That's a good tip, because that way, once the hair and makeup is done and then they have to go get dressed there just unbutton and go, you know, and they're not pulling stuff, often own and whatever. So that's a good thing on Ben. Like an order appointment reminder card, which isn't here, just making sure they know when, where, where to be, what time you know what day their sessions on etcetera so that that's in there so that I send them in the mail, which I think is yet another way to up that experience and to really, you know, give them something special. I mean, I know I would love it. I talked a little bit earlier about when I order something that me and my rights, me a thank you note, and it comes in my package. I love it. So who wouldn't love to get this? And now I've got some, you know, envelopes that this goes in. I've got my return address sticker That's part of my bringing in its got all my colors on it. You all having to do with my brand? I write their address in this bronze e pin that I have because again, you know, that gives a little element of my brand on, and then I send it to him in the mail. So anything you want to send them is gonna be extra special because you've taken the time to go out of your way to do something. So even if it's a hand written note saying I can't wait for your session, that is good. You don't have to do all this. You could just do that, you know, made or taken the time to call them and talk to them, you know, with wardrobe, or you could do a pre session consultation. I do wardrobe consultations instead of a precession and a wardrobe. I just do wardrobe because that kind of kills two birds with one stone type thing, so we'll get into that, too. But any little thing you can think of to make that client extra special, it's not gonna cost you a ton of money or a ton of time, but we'll go the extra mile for your senior.