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Customer Service Part 2

Lesson 4 from: Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

4. Customer Service Part 2


Class Trailer

Free Bootcamp Introduction


Introduction to Studio Systems Bootcamp Part 1


Introduction to Studio Systems Bootcamp Part 2


Photography Studio Customer Service


Customer Service Part 1


Customer Service Part 2


Customer Service Best Practices: On–Location


The Customer Experience: Client P.O.V. Studio Walk-Through & Session: On–Location


Photo Session Systems & Image Workflow Systems


Photography Session Systems


The Studio as a System to Success: On–Location


Image Workflow—From Camera to Client


Post-Processing Systems


Back-Up Systems


Sales & Ordering Workflow Systems


Overview of Successful Selling: The 6 Ps of Selling Part 1


The 6 Ps of Selling Part 2


The 6 Ps of Selling Part 3


Real Life Sales Consult: On–Location


Tracking and Packing an Order: On–Location


Dealing With Client Objections & Problem Personalities, with Consistency


Pricing & Financial Systems


Financial Tracking—The Power of Knowing Your Numbers


The Science of Pricing-—A System for Your Products


Building Packages That Work


Your First Outsource: Accounting: On–Location


Marketing, Branding & Promotional Systems


The Importance of a Solid Brand System


Living Your Brand: Inside the Studio: On–Location


Researching Your Market


Marketing Systems


Understanding Buying "triggers" and Using them in Your System of Promotion


What We've Covered: Getting Systems Right


Why Systems Are Important - and How They Help


What's Your Plan - Let's Talk 5 Years Ahead


What's Important - Let's Prioritize


Where do you start? - Dealing with the Demon Inside


Looking In the Mirror: Finding Success


The Power of Never Giving Up


Getting Back to Your Purpose - Why Do You Do What You Do?


Introducing the BIG WINNER!


Lesson Info

Customer Service Part 2

We are of course in the throes of customer service right now so we're going to continue on with that on I'm very excited to talk about part two of this where we're really going to take it inside the back end and we talked yesterday about how doing customer service from the front end means presenting a good picture to the client right? We want them to feel like they're the most important person in the world they're the only client we have and now we're going to talk about system izing that so that when you take a customer through that plane experience it is step by step for you and makes it easy on yourself so just to review we've done the thirty days overview we've talked about customer service from an external point of view the way the client sees it now we're going to be discussing those internal customer service system okay and how you as a business owner can take the external experience that the client sees and make it a systemized process from your perspective does that make sense...

? So today is kind of getting the nitty gritty as a business owner of how we're going to do this step by step to create something that is systematic and repeatable every single time with each client ok we talked about this yesterday we're going to do it again because I know it's so important what do you sell service thank you. Are you retail? No, you are not a retail business, okay? You know, I have inventory. You have not bought a bunch of stuff from a wholesale company and then are turning around and selling it for retail prices. You may think that because you've you know, ordered stuff from the lab for your clients and your up charging for it. But you you can't sell a portrait of susie to joey's mommy. Okay, it's not gonna work she's not gonna want that. So you are a service and the same thing goes with wedding photography. You're not goingto shoot so and so's wedding and sell it to soc joe down the street. Okay, it's just she's not gonna want that. So you are individual service provider, a custom service teo, each client that you help or provide provide your services to. So customer service is fifty percent of your product line and I say that number with a caveat you know what? Not an exact representation, but I really want you to understand the reason I say that fifty percent cause it's such a huge chunk of what we provide teo to our customers. So what we're gonna do today is look at it from the studio owners perspective, okay, so let's start, get start er in here are we organized first of all, when it comes to customer service, do you have a step by step process for booking? And I literally mean, when someone calls to book, do you have a sheet and a phone script in front of you as you're talking to them, that allows you to outline what you need to cover with them that allows you to, uh, you connect with them and help kind of hash out different conversation scenarios? Do you have that in front of you that you can refer to to help you maximize what you're trying to do on that phone call? You have that? No, and I know that seems like a tall order to do like, wow, that's kind of well overkill. Julia well, it may seem that way, but in the beginning, when you're really trying to nail this kind of stuff down, having that script in front of you is going to help you so much, and then eventually, as you get good at it, you won't need the script anymore. But I want to make sure in the beginning when we're creating the systems that you have, things really laid out on paper so that you can learn it and it will come naturally after that two things fall through the cracks in your studio when it comes to service, does every client get the same experience? And do you get frazzled or inconsistent when someone calls to book when someone when you're trying to send information out to somebody, do things fall through the cracks? Are you not doing it in a day timely manner? You know, somebody books and you send them information immediately or is that, you know, three days down the road, how is it working your studio? And are you doing it the same every single time with every single client? Okay, so we're going to create a system for that today coming up and of course, in the homework assignments with our vp is the workflow board. It is a customer service board that you can create that will give you a step by step process for all this stuff and will help you kind of lay it all out on paper and be able to check it off with each client. So we're going to look at that further down in the class and if further into the class this morning, and then also it is in those homework assignments who cares about this kind of stuff? Ultimately, every client experiences your brand, okay. Every time a client experiences your brand, they experience your customer service so and you will know that it's consistent with every single client, and that is such a kind of relief, isn't it it's like okay, I know everybody's going to get the same thing, everybody is going to happen the same way every time, and it becomes routine, and then you're not panicked and distracted. Do you know that feeling when you when your things aren't quite systematic and you get distracted by stuff and then you feel flustered in your life? Did I? Did I? Did I send them their stuff? Did I send them what they need and that's a really uncomfortable situation to be in? And then you have to find out if you did or not, and if you can't find out, you have to ask them, and then that makes you look awkward, right? So I'm saying that a system will keep you sane, and it will make you confident in what you're doing and always remember this system's run the business, people run the systems, okay, so how can we make customer service a system? We talked a little bit in the beginning about this client cycle and how customer services the is the gasoline that keeps all the engine parts moving, and that is completely true and what it happens, especially when we start into the booking area of customer service, when we're just bringing someone on board, when we're trying to get them to book over the phone, that's, really, where customer service starts to become very, very important because first the client experiences your brand through your website a little bit maybe through advertising and marketing that you've done when they actually come into the studio of course they're going to appreciate your brand even mohr okay or work with you on on location in a session but that booking phone call they're also going to start not only to appreciate the brand and who you are but that customer service cycle really starts to crank once we begin with looking okay? So it's really all about a step by step process okay and it's about making it about them and their needs and what problem they have so really any business has any business basically all we're doing as business owners is solving a problem for our clients, right? That problem in the photographic industry is oh, I want to make sure I don't forget this moment I need to get a picture taken in its most elemental second grade form correct that's the problem that our clients have and they need to find a solution to that problem and you want to be the solution to it okay, so when you make it all about them and their problem and solving that problem, you are more likely to book them correct, so we're going to start with the first phone call, okay? I want to talk about phone call versus email most the time and most of my clients inquire via email okay how about you guys how are your clients contacting you that first time is it email most of time okay facebook message I've gotta hate that you know you have so many resource is you're like okay uh did you come in my face and you can't keep track of it it drives me crazy I'm like just email me with the contact for him it'll make life so much easier I've almost actually thought about taking messages off the facebook page because you you do you lose track of people and so then when I when I feel that happening I'm like okay I need a system for this and I'm still figuring that one out like how to system eyes that into I'm almost even thought about copying and pasting they're there facebook message putting it into an email and responding b a via e mail if they gave me an email address so yes a most people these days inquire via email correct there's so many schools of thought on this but the phone is where you can connect and relate to your customer email you know how when people die sometimes I get questions from photographers from clients whatever and you just don't know the tone of une mail and some things they sound really study you're like what but then you called and you're like wow you're really it's it's totally different okay and sometimes people are really fake and happy in the veil of the internet wall makes him sound all hunky door and then you calm and they're like super quiet on the phone and well, this person is totally different than anticipated so email tends to do that it tends to like kind of prepped the wall of emotion and not show you the persons personality but just by simply adding the voice to the conversation adds a lot and then the body language to adds a lot when someone comes into your studio not only talking to them but you're also relating to them on a one to one basis that body language tells you a huge amount about whether or not they're open and receptive to what you're saying okay, so that phone conversation is it how many of you struggle with the phone conversation? Why mike provan where is it? I want to hear why that phone conversation freaks you out for lack of a better word I'm afraid of the objection from price okay you're afraid of the objection from price? Okay, understandable fear what else the I have people anxieties of the awkward silence makes me panic oh yeah you want to fill the space? Oh yeah in journalism used to call that the seven second rule so like when you're interviewing someone and it's particularly awkward when there's a camera like right here and you're like it's on molly and I'm sitting here being quiet like this little cameras recording you it's the most uncomfortable feeling in the world but in journalism we would use it against people so which is have manipulative but we would use it teo, for example, we were interviewing somebody controversial or somebody who had done something wrong or somebody who was kind of a a smarmy person, you know? And you'd like just go, oh, and sometimes they would just global word vomit on you and you're like, yes, somebody you know got it so that seven second rule if you know it and understand it and apply it in a good situation clearly with planes it's a little different, we're not talking to smarmy people, but it helps to get the conversing you have to be comfortable with silence, you have to be okay, especially with when we talk I think it's next week about the client objections and the difficult personalities that we come across. There are some techniques you can use that are very powerful to mirror and fill the silence, so especially the silent type the person who's just naturally quiet and doesn't say a lot marrying them is sometimes the most powerful thing you do because they don't see that very often because most people try to fill the silence and just chat so when you're silent to them they are either very, very comfortable with it and we'll just, you know, hang out and actually start to like you a lot what helps in your sales process or they get uncomfortable with it because nobody else does it and then they'll start chatting and talking so there's a fine line you have to it's is all people skills as a matter of fact, vanessa van edwards has a wonderful class here on creative live about body language and peoples skills and conversational stuff and I'm actually going to buy her class because I'm like that I want to learn more about that stuff because it's so powerful in our customer service communication this is all strategy and technique that helps you get what you need out of the process this the session but it also helps the customer believe it or not be comfortable with you it helps the customer like you better and appreciate your brand more. Okay, so what else about the phone conversation makes you go? I don't want to pick up my phone because I know that happens I do it too, you know especially the client, you know, you know and you know they're kind of hard to work with and you see the color I'd come up on your right and we'll just let it go to voice mail letter going marcel, what else makes you uncomfortable call my number and the first seven seconds is kids you need to be quiet I'm on the phone home office I have little's in the background making noise yes so I will answer that call right away but maybe we relate with you know like they have busy kids too and mommy's working but I they sometimes feel unprofessional yeah about having kids in my office I could understand that I can understand that and I'm trying to think about what I would what I would do if my son was like screaming it honestly I'd probably try to own it you know and just be like, oh, I'm working from home today my kids in the background so sorry but I'd love to chat with you a little bit more if you're okay with that we can continue on if not, why don't we make arrangements to talk again when I can fully develop my attention to you and you don't have the distraction of my child in the background? You know that acknowledges the problem talks about the elephant in the room while at the same time sounding professional so if it does continue to make you feel awkward, you can do you can still answer the phones who sound professional you've had them right away because let me tell you guys so many photographers do not answer the phone so if you do you're already leave some bounds ahead so maybe approaching it from that angle might might help and, like just acknowledging that there's an issue and that you are professional and you can make arrangements to talk with him later, but you didn't want to leave him hanging, you know that kind of thing. Other other comments and concerns about the phone script in the phone conversation, anyone, anyone does someone else? I thought I saw you you were just drinking your coffee, the coffee's black on the bike in front of him like, oh, she's putting something or molly, most people are shocked when I do call them back because the email form has a spot for their phone number and they're pleasantly shocked, aren't they? And they they put their message in the email what they what they're looking for, yeah, I could respond back to them, but I usually try to call them first and they're like, oh, you're calling me yeah, yeah it's funny how that nowadays is a novelty in the old days it's like that's all we had was the phone, you know, but nowadays I grew I have run into the same thing where we call someone emails and we try to call the same day I mean that's pretty much my rule of thumb is the same day, if not a few hours with at the soonest moment that we can get back to them sometimes that's right away I mean, people send in emails and sometimes I see the email for going pick up the phone oh, hi I just saw that you sent an email in critic whoa, you're called me that yeah, I'm going to call you that fast because I know if I don't call you that fast you're e mailing a bunch of other enquiries and if I get to first you're going to be impressed if I get to you first, I'm chances of booking our higher right? Okay, so I have hot seated someone again today. Well, for the first time, I should say and it's miss amanda back there she is going to help us out we're gonna make a phone script and we're gonna hash this out. So do we have another chair? Can you bring another chair? And and I need a couple of iphones, so basically, amanda amanda is my fake preg o girl she's not really pregnant, but we got to get her and mode you're such a good sport this's her little fake baby okay, okay, you're such a good thank you see serious keep pregnant though don't you think I like you so have a seat, my dear, okay and I'm going to give you a phone we're doing this we're faking it but I kind of want you guys to see and I'm gonna go ahead and go on the other side of the table so that we're a little bit farther away from each other and in fact I'm gonna bring you closer to the camera's khun cameras can see you fairly well here so alex can get a good shot okay so have a seat and go ahead into well sorry one more time turn your chair away from me so yeah I like that I have to like I don't want you to see me I don't want to see you I don't want teo so I have to get in like client mode here she's going to pretend to be a pregnant client okay? And she is calling the studio and I am going to answer if you forgive me I'm going to kind of tune out from you guys because you're distracting and you know, both amy and I are stuck me a man and I feel like we're being watched so it's it's going to be a little bit awkward but I wanted to try to simulate what I would dio on a phone conversation now she's promised not to be mean to me, right? Yes very nice and I just really asked her I go be a typical client she knows who, how people will talk to her and what they say and so when you're ready my dear let's hear the phone ring okay one re needing me teo drinking okay, I'm answering juillet mrs porter design this is julia how may I help you? Hi, julia. I am calling to find out some information about booking a newborn session a wonderful are you having a baby or someone you know having a baby? I am oh that's fantastic. Is it a first time baby or is it isthe oh, my goodness. What are you do, my dear? In about three weeks? Three weeks? Uh oh my goodness! And you know if you're having a boy or a girl or no it's our christmas present we want to be surprised like so few people do that these days and it's like the last surprise out there and it's always so exciting for us when we get teo here the surprise along with you guys so first, baby, you're doing three weeks you don't quite know what it is. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about kind of what you're hoping for for a session? Oh, please. Yes, well, first things first I kind of wanted to discuss with you a little bit about you know what you're looking for, what your plans are for the images, what your goals are, you know, have you thought about that at all oh my gosh no I just assume we just get the digitals and could just print what we needed like let's announce mintz maybe for family jeff innately and that's that's possible all of our clients who book with us definitely go home with their digital images we are what we call a hybrid studio so several of our clients go home with some kind of art piece and digital files so we always ask folks to really be considering you know how they want to see the images five ten years from now you know it's one thing to kind of hire a professional but that is another thing to actually to actually do something with the images may I ask if you've had a chance to look at our website it all I did yeah friend referred me to you and I looked in there just beautiful and your work is gorgeous oh thank you thank you that means a lot thank you so much have you so I'm sorry you said someone referred you who was that my friend julie your friend oh she's so good oh my goodness her her son jonathan was such a great addition to our to our client list and he was such a sweetheart and his images turned out great I hope she's happy with them very much so good good okay so how it works around here is since you're you know three weeks to your due date we typically only book to do dates a week to ensure session availability so folks who do book their due date in advance it's a first priority for sessions so and you know we do that because some women deliver early some women deliver late so if you buy booking just to do dates a week we can ensure that we get everyone in on time and what I mean by that is we'd like to be photographing your baby anywhere from five to ten days old so we wantto time schedule so we want to make sure that we we get everyone in on time and those folks who book book us after the baby is born we typically just get them in as as we can and as we have availability so is it easy to I mean after I've just had the baby to really get around early you should be okay. You know yeah more like a month old is that well, not what most people d'oh. You know, we most people actually come in around five to ten days and the reason for that is because babies are still sleeping very soundly they still curl up in those cute little womb like positions that were so well known for and please we have photographed over, you know, almost five hundred babies and are in our career the whole studio is set up for, you know handling newborns we have a nursery in a changing room everything here is provided all we ask is that you get here I mean I know it's a challenge and you're gonna be exhausted and not getting a lot of sleep overnight and we take that into concern and there are two sofas here in the studio for a reason and it's it's it's really cute because parents were often just lie down and take a nap and we want you to because really when you get here you hand the baby over to us and we're going to take care of you from start to finish make sure that you have snacks and breakfast here on hand there's diapers and receiving blankets and wifes and everything that you could possibly need so if you forget something don't worry about it of course we're going to provide a complete instruction sheet for you so that you will be fully prepared when you come in on we try to make it as easy as possible and on top of that I always have an assistant working with me so that's for baby safety of course and then each one of us has vaccinated for childhood illnesses we basically treat ourselves like nick you nurses so yes your child's immune system will be somewhat fragile at that time but we a lot of experience with that and we're going to make sure that everything is taken care of and safe okay okay, so and then, as faras clothing goes, we can kind of give you ideas about that. When you decide to book, I'm definitely going to be asking you lots of questions about your home decor about what your goals are, so we really want you to be thinking about your goals and final plans for the images and how it basically works is we have two types of sessions we have our platinum session, which is for family and baby, so we'd be photographing and doing a complete portrait study of baby alone and then with you and your significant other or spouse as well. So we'll be doing family images as well as individual images. But then we also have our gem session, which is just for baby it's, a shorter, more abbreviated session for folks who are on a limited budget or perhaps don't want to be photographed themselves that's kind of what the gem session is for, and I always try to encourage folks to go for platinum because, you know, when babies in your arms and so small, they just grow so fast. It's it's amazing how when you come back to view your images just just two weeks later, you'll notice that. Here she just won't fit in your arms the way the way we've placed them in there so it gives you that scale of reference so you can actually see how tiny they are so that's a decision you'll be needing to be think about and and trying to make so do you want to do whole family or do you want to do just baby? Have you thought about that at all? How how what's the price difference between bull shura platinum session is to twenty five and a gem session is ninety five and of course prince and products are additional so this session fee covers the pre consultation the session itself and then we spend several hours pros processing enhancing the image is to make sure each and every one of them is an individual art piece and then it also includes the appointment to return to the studio where you'll be viewing the images on our big projection screen we set it to music we have it's kind of fun we do a little pop corrine party and have cocktails and things and you get to see your image is larger than life it's really really fun and of course then a dish products are our additional from there so how if we were just maybe just looking because we are kind of on a budget so if we were just looking at maybe just having the baby photographed what but would you anticipate that cost total? Sure. Well, I think it depends on what your ultimate goals are, but of course the sessions he would be ninety five dollars, and then when you return to the studio to see your images on a projection screen, you have two options. You can either purchase digital files, allah card where you kind of pick your top files and you get them in smaller resolution for three, ninety five. But most people do with us as they do something called create a collection which is basically creating ah, custom portrait package, and that would involve choosing an art product of some kind that we would print for you. And then the the reason most folks go with created collection is because you get all your images on disk it's, just a matter of whether or not you want large files or small files and create a collection starts at around six hundred fifty dollars, but that would get you pretty much the whole enchilada. You would get him the art piece and all the digital files from your session, so that sound like something that might fit within your budget. Um, I would have to talk to my husband about it. I'm not sure yet, of course, and we fully expect that and understand so what I'm going to do is go ahead and take down your contact information and get some you get some details from you and then go ahead and have a chat with your husband and let us know, and if we don't hear from you, we'll go ahead and check back within with you by the end of the week, and then of course, I just want to hear how everything is going with your pregnancy, so and regardless, if you decide to go with us or not to go with us, I'm just so excited that you're deciding to get this time photograph because it's, just an incredible moment when my son was born, it's just changed changes your life, and I know you probably don't even know that now, because it's just so different being pregnant versus having a child, but it truly is a life changing, and I'm just I'm thrilled for you doesn't really foreign q, you are so welcome, my dear, and we look forward to hearing from you soon, okay, but by that is a typical phone conversation, okay? She did not book and that's actually quite typical, thank you, rock, yeah have that baby so we could photograph, right? I know what I'm having for you. She was such a good sport. That is a very, very typical phone coming. What do you say, belinda? That was a typical jazz she's, not her head back there. Yes, you that's really typical? Some call back some don't do I care? No, a lot of people would freak out about the money conversation, and then they would freak out that she's got to go think about it course, she's got to think about it. That's a big investment I don't want her in some folks just book right away. You know, we're getting to the point now are were some folks say, oh, yeah, I want to go ahead and do it and they are great I asked her to that sound like something with you, but yeah, let's see if she had said yes, I think that'll work for us like, great. Well, let's, go ahead and get you on our calendar and book with the session fee and then I would take her credit card of the phone, get all the information which we're going to talk about here in the next hour and I would proceed to get her officially in our system, okay, but that is a classic phone conversation now, you'll notice that I took the initiative and said I'd like to get your contact information and attempt to contact you just in case you forget to call us or so we could just check in with you so I definitely left the ball in her court, but I also made that initial attempt and I took the initiative to say, hey, I'm a professional I care about you I will be calling you back to check in to see if it worked out or not and it's ok from that conversation it's okay if she says no and she got that sense that it's okay if she says no okay and oftentimes this will happen and a client will agonize and they'll be like, oh my god, I really want to thank you your work's gorgeous you know, what can we do? And and they rally and get it together? I mean, there are some clients who are on budget I mean like six hundred dollars budget that's all they've got and I'll take him I'll take him because I know how special it is I know what I'm doing for them and it's hard not to when someone loves your work so much, you know? Yeah, question let's get the microphone over for those people that are on a very, very tight budget do you offer payment plans? Do they ask you know I to offer but only at the very very very end of the entire process so the booking fee the session fee is required to book the session there is only one time that I did not take a session fee it was from a mother who was purchasing it for her son she was very broke and she was paying in cash and on lee half the session he had been paid by the time the sun arrived with his wife and their new baby girl turns out that he was this was divine intervention because uh it turns out that the father of the child was the main head person at the local hospital in town and in charge of writing all contracts and that's how I end up getting my hospital display which gets me like ninety percent of my business and has paid back in full so some reason I took that session which I have never done in my life that was kind of divine in from intervention but session fees are required you know it's such a minimal of front investment that I really make sure that that's because they commit if you don't take a session fee then there were no shows and then that's going to happen what a waste of my time and then session fees are also non refundable so if they cancel then I'm sorry I couldn't fill that slot with somebody else so you tough lock your session fees history so it really helps kind of get that commitment from the client as faras payment plans the payment plans occur later at the organ appointment and we're going to talk about that a ton we get into the week where we do pricing and in person sales and all that so I'm going to address payment plans then but there are times but yeah it's it's interest tree but it's only it's more like a layaway plan than it is ah then it is a a payment plan where there's interest and because I want to make sure I've got something for leverage you know I want to make sure I've got their product in case they don't pay because like sending things to collections and all that it is a major pain in the booty so I try to avoid that it'll cost answer question so how long do you wait to call them back if they haven't called you and what would you say to them when you call them back? So she called me on a tuesday probably color friday uh give her a couple days or maybe thursday um and usually for people who aren't gonna book too expensive voicemail because they know my number and you already so ill typically say you know hi amanda I just wanted to check in with you we had a conversation on tuesday I I really enjoyed our talk, and I'd like to just check in with you see how you're doing and see how you're feeling if you have any updates on what your doctor says about when you might be giving birth and if you'd like to go ahead and book the session and work with us, we'd be honored to help you out simple as that if they don't, I don't want them if they can't afford me, I'm not going to force him into it and I want to be up front, so but what I'm the biggest thing I want you to note in that conversation was mean, making connection with her and, you know, she's on the spot I'm on the spot so it's not quite as warm and cozy as it normally is on the phone because normally I'm like I'm and she they kind of giggle, they're so excited that I am warm and friendly and that I'm not just going to say, oh, it's six hundred fifty dollars for digital files, you know, like most people, how much of your digitals oh, there's six hundred dollars okay, thanks. Click if you just answer like that right away that's all you're gonna get is click thanks click so and you also should notice that I sold the experience that I tried to tell her we're going to take everything were fully trained in this room. We are experts with newborn babies, and we've been around this block a few times and we're going to take care of you. That was my goal in telling her all that and in turn, selling the experience and triggering the buying triggers, which are actually going to talk about in a very last day, second to last day of this course, we'll be discussing what makes people buy or book and it's those buying triggers, I was trying to go get her to like me. I was showing that I was an authority in my field, I was communicating to her scarcity that we only booked two day to do dates a week, and you know, if I really wanted to add some scarcity in there, I would say we well, you're due dates on such as we only have one more slot during that due date, so I'm adding the scarcity triggers and all kinds of other triggers in there to get her to go my should I? Maybe I should book this and get it. If it's if she's at that purchasing point the point in her purchasing decision where aiken sway her with a little bit of a trigger, I'm going to try to apply that does that make sense? So that's why I'm saying those things and while at the same time trying to connect to her question so if you don't have an assistant all the time with you how do you I guess how do you do deal with that because they're sometimes where for safety reasons the mom or the dad or the significant other will need thio help out a little bit to be there tio make sure the baby doesn't start out while I'm in back of the camera so I want to be totally professional and say I want to take care of you and this and that but at the same time I don't have a steady assistant or are the funds to pay one I understand and I worked for years by myself ok so spin it marketing spinning right be a spinster okay so this is a wonderful experience that safety is our paramount concern of course we want you to be involved with this whole process so we're going to be asking you to assist us since do you know your baby best spin it ok spin it into something that beneficial to them and they get excited about the whole process and itself the experience okay so even if you don't have an assistant you can still say where safety is our paramount cern I'm vaccinated yeah everything in the studio is set up for the newborn and their comfort and your comfort of course we are I want you to help out with a session and you know your baby best, so we're going to be asking you to hang out with us while we shoot so that we can ensure everything goes smoothly that what you're saying okay, I want you to help me. I don't want you to have any creative decisions, but I need some help and parents love helping if they're being if they're asked to do it, follow that's probably would do okay. Any other questions? Yes, donna here. So if somebody calls you, you don't get an email inquiry and you ask them, have you had a chance to look at our website? Will you obviously have all of your pricing upon your website, and they say, no, I haven't. Does the conversation take a different direction at that point? Sometimes sometimes I go oh, great, they're not booking. I mean, I know I tells me a lot if they've seen the website if they haven't, it tells me I've got some work to do. I'm going to have a harder phone conversation also, keep in mind most people find us to the hospital, so our brochures of the hospital in the brochures have pricing in them so that's the next question, alas, oh, if you haven't had a chance to take it r looks like website I really encourage you to go there, because that has our complete pricing structure on it as well. A support fully of our works, you'll get a better idea of what we dio. How did you find out about us? Oh, I saw you at the hospital. Oh, that means you may have picked up one of our shirts to do to have a chance to look at that. Oh, yeah, I saw and I see what you do or yes or no or whatever they say no to that. Then I've got even more work to do. So yeah, sometimes the conversation will take a different turn, and I'm going to try to sell that experience a little bit more and find out if they've been referred from somebody. Because if they've been referred from somebody, chances are that person will have told them how much I cost. Okay, so if they say no to all those things, yes, I have my work very much cut out for me, and I usually get little negative. Nearly georgia, my head going this's a walmart customer. Don't even bother you. Get him off the phone as quick as you can. And there are customers who you can feel that with. You will learn as you talk to more and more people, you'll be like this person is so not my customer, like you can sense it, and just by the word they're using, we just want one or two images, we don't need a whole thing, and I'm sitting there going well, you should know that I he'd make a profit on every single session it comes to women, one or two images ain't going to make me know, stick and profits so you know, okay, yeah, question we in microphone. So is there ever a time where you get an email inquiry and do too, uh, misspelled words and bad grammar? You skipped the phone call and just send a quick email back? Or do you actually call every single in for oh, my god, that's so funny, I would be so tempted, like, if somebody didn't really awful spelling errors and it's like, you know that your email account or mail account puts a red dotted line underneath it when it's got bad spelling. So why would you even know our is not spelled u r? Oh, yeah, you're yeah, the old good point and she's absolutely right, you have to give the customer the benefit of the doubt, and, um, thank you, I didn't even and you have some people type and as matter of fact, I have had that happen where a phone call and it's an automated voice and I automatically think its a sales call like you know, how the automated systems but I for some reason something told me to stay on the phone and it was one of those deaf services providers translating the phone call conversation and it was an inquiry and it was very challenging to communicate with them because it was through the yeah what do you know what the name of it what's what it's called teach you what you make me sorry I didn't I didn't realize that you guys were trying to help me out here tt why? And it's it's very challenging so but yeah she makes an excellent point you have to give your customers about it for the doubt. So yes, even though initially I may be judgmental, which is not the thing to dio I do call him and talk to them now if they sound that same way in the phone, then I'm really going to get judgmental be like god, not my client or whatever, but and then we're going to talk about this a lot when it comes to client objections, you do have to give your client the benefit of the doubt um something may be going on that you do don't know about health issues whatever and you need to be very cognizant of that and it's about customer service be kind and I joke around with you guys about you know they're not my client and you can tell when they're not and the wal mart thing and whatever but truly good customer service means being kind and having integrity and being authentic too being a good person. So um any other questions before I before I yeah please microphone over there awesome thanks you guys for passing around appreciate it. How do you handle it if someone who knows you personally is known you for a long time loves your work but you know they can't afford you asks you to photograph for them uh yeah, this is hard um it depends on how well I know him but if it's a really good from well for me I'm I'm a softie. So if I have a really good friend I'm gonna photograph for free I mean, I just I love them they're dear near to me I'm going to do that my girlfriend sarah kellogg and her daughter kenley can lease the one you've seen in my she's you'll see her again I think I think I just showed her to you um dean's little best friend and she's in my competition prince I photograph are all the gorgeous woman and I uh she's so sweet I'm giving for her thirtieth birthday we're flying down a napa to photograph her family and on her on her family's property in front of this big old red barn and I'm doing as her birthday present so I kind of give it away very good friends for free now what's been awkward for me is the client who's become a friend? So I have a client who's become a friend and she won't but she still several of them they still want a book and what's beautiful is they respect my business they're okay with continuing to pay for it if mine security is me it's george not her and I think it's important to step back out of that and try to recognize that if if it's truly a good friend, they're gonna want to support your business and continue being a good client. I have always found that when I patronize a business and become friends with the owner or whatever and then I start to get things for free, the service starts to fade down like I'm no longer a customer so it's like I'm put on the back burner do you know what I mean? And sometimes I don't want that I want the full experience from my friend who owns this business and so I try to think about it from that perspective and I I a lot of my clients, my friends with I patronize their businesses because bend is like a town built on small businesses. And so, like my son's dentist, is one of my best client, stephanie she's in crushed custody twice a year, she's she's got triplets and twins and it's just incredible, and I've been photographing the triplets since they were newborn at the time she had two year old, so I mean it's, incredible family and she's, my son's pediatric dentist and I don't expect to pay her any less than she does to me there's a mutual respect thing going on now, sometimes for friends who are having babies just like that, I will give a gift card. So, um, for the baby shower, I will provide, like a three hundred dollar gift card to the studio space that I just gave her cash to come back and work with me and you may think that's a cop out like, oh my gosh, that three hundred dollars you gave her your really only spending and paying your cost of sales on right, which ends up being like thirty to forty dollars. So you basically just gave her thirty to forty bucks in your mind, but in her mind you gave her three hundred dollars to come spend money with you and if she challenged me and said, well, why can't even hold the whole thing? And it was kind of brought about it, which I hope to goodness my friends wouldn't do that to me, but if they said that, I would say, well, you know, I love you dearly, but I'm running a business and I've got atleast cover my costs when I'm when I'm doing your images so that's kind of how I approach that. Does that answer your question? To get into detail enough? Okay, it helps. Ok, yes. What about past clients that booked when you were cheaper on now are having another baby and one pictures again? You guys were challenging me today. I love it. Yes, I'm, uh, it's a good question. Excellent question. So be it. Prices are higher and and you're gonna lose some clients when you raise prices, you're gonna lose some clients it's just the way it goes. And I struggle so much with photographers who start cheap and have to raise our prices because you're basically rebuilding your business again from scratch. Because you're bree marketing to a whole new different client segment. Ah, whole different target, target, ideal client and those two women are completely different and you're going to fall off the other target clients they're going to go away when you raise your prices it's just it's it's a quality perceived value type of thing and so yes it has happened to me in the past not heavily because I was pretty high to start with I started pretty well as faras pricing goes but the other thing about that is the portfolio building so you know you even if you set your prices a specific amount and then say okay fifty percent off profile building those people during that time period at least you've told them that the portfolios segments calendar is going to end and but they always come back and go yeah but you were so you know what happened what you what you so much for expensive sometimes the truth hurts well, I kind of got smart and realized that cops doing business was really big and I was actually paying my clients to photograph them so I had to raise prices the north survive and if you say things like that they go okay they say things like well, but you're so expensive you got to be making a ton of money would you like to come see my books happy show them to you uh but seriously and people like that are just kind of mean I mean, I would never say that to someone, so I really question whether either my friend or not or they're my client but if they somebody did say that to me I would probably say that yeah, it may seem like I'm expensive and that there's a large investment but we've certainly matched the brand of the customer service in the quality to that price and since we're so in demand we can command these kind of prices now so that's the way it's gonna have to be and I want to make a living for my family demand and supply they can't argue with that, you know? And even if you're not that much in demand you can still fudge a little bit and say yeah, I'm in demand so I raised my prices you know? And then they go oh, ok so there's just little art to conversation okay, can I move on? You guys get all right? So we amanda helped us out. I kind of helped you hash out a little mini phone script, especially for a newborn client obviously completely different for a family session. We're talking about different things and talk about locations are gonna be talking about sentimentality if there's a place in ben that they love that's that's attached their family I want to know more about their children and who they are, what kind of characters they're into movies all that kind of stuff we're going to be hashing those kinds of conversations out in that initial booking script that's good what's going toe connect her to me. Okay, I'm going to relate to her and say, oh, I have a four year old. I can't wait till he's eight it's going so excited, then she'll say, don't rush it, you know, she'll prob try to be a mommy to me, and I love that that means she's connecting with me and engaging with me. So what I want you to do is try to write out a response to any kind of objection that spends it in the direction you want it to go. Okay, even if you just have notes on a piece of paper, if you see the objection or hear it on the phone, you're going to know what to say to it, okay? And then ultimately, as you go, your language is going to get more refined and well refined, and as you practice practice practice, you're going to end up getting really good at this. Guys, this is a practice thing you have to practice, okay? So getting them to book means using the right language, connection and communication, making sure they get all the information they need law the same time you're getting the information that you need, and you're accomplishing the goal of relating to them. Okay, service and inquisitiveness. You wantto tell them about your service, what you're going to be providing. You want to be inquisitive about who they are, what they do, how they enjoy their life and what they think of pregnancy, family, all that good stuff. Okay? You're basically courting them. You're trying to be interested in them as people in order to get them to like you. People love talking about themselves. So connection, language, connection, affirmation, sincerity, authenticity. You must be authentic. And granted. Amanda and I were a little awkward because they like being watched on tv. So it's a little bit like somewhat unauthentic, but I tried to be as authentic with her as possible. Open, relaxed, calm and collected. If you are reactionary to your clients, uh, or or we'll, uh, defensive just that sale. Goodbye. Kiss that booking. Goodbye. Okay, so language is extremely important in getting it right. So that's why? I always that's my boy by the lake this's, the first grade of life that I put my kid in the images. Well, a lot of them. And every time I look at my eyes. Okay. Connection showing interest in them and empathy. For who they are in their situation especially with pregnancy oftentimes belinda will say on the phone for like three weeks to her due date oh my gosh are you done? Are you at that point where you just want the baby to come out I remember being like that and they'll say yes or no and you move on so showing that empathy reassuring them that things are going to go well they are completely unknown to this process and uncomfortable with it you heard her say it should should he come in that early should do we bring the baby in that early you need to give them that every assurance that everything is going to be okay fixing those problems that they bring up having a solution for them addressing their knees and relating with personal experience and for their situation really guys all this comes down to being a good person that's really what it comes down to and I'm trying to break it down for you and explain it in a way that's that's actionable and systemized able but really it's about just being a good person and being genuinely interested in who someone is okay so when it comes to selling the service I wasn't really selling the service to her was I I was just describing the process more than anything I was reassuring her that we will take care of it all and that we are experienced to do it I explained the benefits of going with us. Why it's better to choose us? I don't say over someone else. I don't want to bash the competition, but I do want them if they've talked to anybody else to realize that we know our stuff a heck of a lot better than they do in the competition does okay? So affirming your expertise does that and confirm what the client will get out of the process. You know, when I talked about the platinum session and the family image, is she's going to get the experience of knowing exactly how small her baby wass those kinds of things she's going to get all the digital files in creative collection, which is what she wants, right? That's what every client wants for the most part, not every but ninety nine percent of them want the digital because that's the control that's the control over their images and that's what they desire most of all. So reiterate, what's, important purpose, and I did. I touched on that a little bit during the conversation when I was talking to her about how life changes, and this is an amazing experience and she hasn't felt it yet, but I'm so excited and thrilled for her that, you know, she's going, she wants toe. Memorize this experience, you know, she wants to take photographs of it, and she wants to keep it in her memory. But I also sold it on the fact that it's an art service, that it's an art piece that would be creating for you. Okay. All right. Well into next year, standing them ask about things like their needs and what they've been experiencing throughout their pregnancy or as their children are growing up, or what their wedding planning has been like, you know, ask about those, especially with women it's so easy. They want to talk about this stuff, especially girls were getting married and planning a wedding there more than excited to talk about, and you can ask them questions have they done this? So they have done that suggests things to make the wedding planning easier. Those kinds of things are it's like being a good friend. Okay, I always ask what they hope for in the session with our goals are for display and I often ask what they don't want, okay? Sometimes asking what they don't want gets a lot more than what they d'oh. Okay, so that's those were really good kind of things to address throughout the throughout the conversation, yes, I know. It's a lot to think about it's a lot of topics, but I think if you if you take your typical client and what they typically ask and what I encourage you to do is just brainstorm the things they say that's first and foremost on a piece of paper in the workbook will help you with this brainstorm the things that they say to you oh, I just want the digitals we only want one picture oh what's the process to really bring my kid in at five days old or oh, I've got crazy kids how do you deal with him? You know, make a list of all those things they want to know about and then develop answers in responses for every single one. Now would you read from your script every time a client calls? No, but once you write this stuff down, you're going to commit it remember memory remember you've gotta see it, hear it and do it to get it. That goes for you too, right a student so if you hear it, write it down and see it, you're going to commit it to memory through natural make sense now if you have to email which sometimes ugo is what I hate the most and in the email that contact form and they go hache hache hache zero zero zero zero on their phone number they don't want to talk to me on the phone or they'll say prefer to contact the email and that's better I mean I'd rather than do that that just put hash tags on the phone number part but it does happen some people are very uncomfortable on the phone so again like we discussed earlier give him the benefit of the doubt you just don't know why they want to do email so we write out we have a canned response that we send people okay this is our canned response and it talks about our basic pricing you know where things start type of thing and it sells the experience and it talks about how experienced we are and we just change their name at the top. Dear jessica great and off it goes it's a very quick and dirty e mail we all at the bottom it asked for the phone number worth it at the top to the bottom way asked for the phone number that says please give us a call if you'd like to book a session we do need to discuss some things with you so a phone call's the best way to do that okay, so my feeling is and you know, unless it's a strange situation like you know t t y or or deaf person or something like that or a very serious introverted person who's just not comfortable on the phone most clients who are serious about booking will want to discuss things with you on the phone. They really will, because to them it gives them confidence once they've talked to you, they know you there's there's. A certain level of comfort there. Okay, it's, just like you when you you know how mostly software sites these days have tech support. You gotta send some random contact foreman and there's. Absolutely no phone number on their website drives me up the wazoo wall drives me crazy. And then you put in that thing this support ticket thing and it's like his email conversation. Like seriously, this would be solved so much faster if I could get on the phone for a thirty second conversation and it's frustrating. And I am so in personal. But those sites that do have an eight hundred number and I called call and I get a real life person right away we saw my problem. I'm so happy with the company. I feel calm. I think I feel like the person's bright and intelligent that can help me out and it's. So I have so much higher favorability towards their brand. Then I would have otherwise if I just had to send in the contact for him do you guys feel the same way and it's customer service is dying dying and you saw from the statistics that I showed you earlier I was yeah yesterday you know, so many people cop out on a sale because the customer service is terrible in the company I've bailed on a sale before because customer service was awful I couldn't get any help I'm like screw this I'm out of here I'm not buy anything for the story can't get me help okay? So being able to talk to somebody on the person and a wonder one basis is so so important all right, the booking list the booking system so that was phone scripts and phone conversations from the internal point of view from the owner's perspective but what happens when you book a client? What is your course of action? Do you have a system in place to do that? You feel like you do know I'm saying lots of nose, not the nose, not the nose. You may have a system, but no, it needs to be refined, right? So you definitely doing something, so don't give yourself the benefit of doubt don't like don't want george crush you completely here you have a system, maybe it just needs a little bit of fine tuning to make it really work well to run the business, so we're gonna have you run your system sound good let's do it so what happens? I want to make a step by step list of everything you do to track your client both officially and personally so what's official main ok official means things like name phone number, address email all the conned all a little like kind of official stuff you need from him, right? So are you studio cloud to do all this and it keeps a full track of my clients I could put relationships in there I can birthdays in there. So a contract birthdays which we just started doing recently and the goal is to create a system with a little card that goes out for all the kids birthdays each month. So again, that brings new old old clients in for repeat sessions kinds of thing and customer service okay, so all that information can be garnered and captain and database inside studio cloud so you need their vitals you need their contact information need relationships so I'm booking amanda and baby unknown gender last name ju on such a such a date okay her husband's name any other siblings and children her phone number her address I want to know where she lives. I always get the address number one I get for my credit card swiping so I pay less fees on that but number two so I know where she lives so I can tell what kind of how she has I want to know how much her house cost. I will sometimes look up addresses and see where they are in town, so I get a feeling for what their personal income is. Is that always a good indicator know they could have inherited a bunch of money bought a house? Who knows? But I just like to like, I don't know what their lifestyle is what neighborhood are you living in if they're in broken top, which is like a gated community I know or jethro like, oh, okay, you're in a really nice area, you obviously have a nice lifestyle or you're living that life even if you don't have a high income makes sense, so they understand what it means to live amongst really wealthy people do that follow okay doesn't mean they're gonna spend money, but it gives me an indication occupation payment and then personal notes, so if they're, uh if we got further in the conversation with amanda, I would have asked her about her nursery and what how she's been decorating it and oh, how is pregnancy been going? And if she told me she's having issues or problems, I've had women say they have placenta previa or a detached placenta or their baby's breech or whatever, and I'm going to write all those things down in there so that when it comes time to work with her on a one on one basis in person I could say oh has baby turned yet without and she's like oh you remember that he's breach? Those little things are super important and that could be applied to any business to weddings to family you know a bride books you and talks about how she's having trouble with her venue in the cater or whatever and five months later you have a check in phone call with her you know? So how did end up going with the venue? Did you book it or you know that cater I can suggest somebody for still having trouble oh, you remember that you know that's the little things very, very important clients eat that stuff up and it endears you to them and that's what we want he has my little boy. Okay, so when it comes to booking system's do you create a digital copy of their database meeting in studio cloud or a computer or do you do ah hardcopy file like a file with all their paperwork inside? I do both. Okay, I suggest doing both because having a digital and an analog system will actually keep you more organized and if you do end up losing everything digitally used still have it in a file on an archaic analog you know, alphabetical file system which I know sounds a little cheesy but to me gives me the security of knowing plus, as you'll see when in the next two days when you see when we go into my studio and look at we talkto actually way interview with belinda and with lauren, my studio assistant at my studio and then on friday, if the customer service from the point of you perspective, you start to see how we use hard copy files throughout the studio for that physical assurance that we did things correctly. So, like lauren gets ahold of the file, their orders in there, she contracted package, the order based on the file, and then that file gets taken upstairs and put in the slot things marked off on the board it's very satisfying to, like, check things off on a whiteboard or cross things off a list. You guys list people, I'm totally list person, and it just feels so good and if there's empty spaces on the board that, like, makes me all night service like, oh my god, that space needs to be filled did we do that? Do we do that? Oh my gosh, checking off feels good, so we do both and then of course we have a filing system to handle that now we also do things digitally, the market materials are expensive and clients want to know that I'm high tech especially the target demographic that I'm working with these are young women having babies, you know I'm getting out of baby making age, so I'm slowly kind of going beyond the generation behind me who's having babies and their tech people they're very savvy those millennials and so they want to know that I'm tech savvy too because it helps improve my brand in their mind according to my target market so when we book them we sent we have to get information to them too right? Preparation guides digital file education all this kind of stuff needs to be sent to them so a lot of it is done electronically. We have set up a very private client website and we emailed to them along with a preparation pdf and tells them how to prepare their baby for the session we send things via snail mail we have a little welcome card that we sent via snail now this is the cute, pretty welcome card that's like a joy to get in the mail with a cute little baby on it. Okay, now someone asked me in the facebook group of the day do you send out that same card for families who book? Yes nothing like the cute little baby in the mail it's perfectly okay to own a knish and for your clients to know that you do newborns and that's what you market do I still do families? Of course I do do I still I mean, for goodness sake my newborn clients are growing up to one year they turned to their turn three their turn for that I'm not gonna not photograph him I want to be their photographer for life. So yes, they know that I focus on babies and that I don't advertise my family's but that's all that's all that's happening is I'm just not advertising families. I do them and they know that. But once that relationship is established that the newborn phase they don't care that I'm not advertising as a matter of fact, they like kit because to them they feel exclusive to me like they're part of the club that makes sense. So multiple sources of information are going to our clients not only elektronik lee, but also analog as a card is something like that. And I have found that this system to do a web site's incredibly helpful now how we set this up basically it's a wordpress site it's, a wordpress website with the elegant devi theme d I v I okay that's all it is and all the information is on there and then we went I went into my blue host server and set that file is password protected super easy go into your server hit the you know the I think the the website folder is called client info you could right click on that, I'll say set with password or security you set the password in the user name now and you guys try to go the site you want, but we'll get on its jewel dashing witches dot com forward slash client info try it. You won't be able to get there because it's password protected and that's my goal. I don't want every tom, dick or harry being able to access all the information I give to my clients because it's private personal information a little bit tm I we talk about breastfeeding and circumcision and all this stuff, I just don't want the whole world in there because, you know, people who are just potentially a client don't need to see that yet this is just information for my clients, but I also sell things a little bit it's fun, I say we do one hundred warrants here twelve years experience forty nine national international ward ninety seven thousand images shot, which I'm sure it's a lot more than that at this point it's kind of just kind of get them excited about the process. Okay, we tell him how, where to begin and first things first, right up top, it says fill out your questionnaire, we want them to fill out their priest consultation session questionnaire and sign for a studio policies in liability release and that is a required element they have to do it and we say that in the e mail we send them when we give them the site and the password information and all that. Okay, so the question is, what kind of info do they need? And this applies to wedding family and baby clients what they need what do you tell them? What's where what's aware everything you tell him everything right, it's just that they don't show with bright think pinger now follows? Yes. And I have nail polish remover at the studio for that reason you will find as you do these things that one of these problems you solve them yourself instead of expecting your client to do so for you. But that also provides customer service okay little things. Preparation guide. How to prepare for your session, right product information teasing with products do I show them everything I know but I want to get him excited about stuff so I tell him a little bit digital file education this is huge. All my clients go home a digital files so we have a whole electronic pamphlet and a analog in your hands pamphlet that we give them so we give this stuff to them multiple times, so we beat him over the head basically about how transitory and non archival incorruptible digital files are. We stare them rightfully so and saying digital files are crap you don't want him, they're going to ruin ruin get bruin anyway, why would you want something? That's not gonna last print will last? Okay, that's the whole point of the digital file education guide clothing guide what to wear to show you these things here in a second pricing guide, I don't give the full pricing guide our actual full studio pricing guy what you got going actually see in our shop if you want to have a look at it that is at the studio, so that stays as a big book or album at the studio, but we do have an abbreviated pricing guide that highlights credit collection, how it works, what the starting prices are, so they get an idea of what to be thinking about directions to the studio. Uh, but I don't know sometimes that stuff gets for gotten and of course, a contract in liability release, which is one of the most important things, so our prep sheet is just a simple pdf that's attached to the email we send to them, and it gives important instructions, some of which are highlighted in red, like do not circumcise your baby boy before your session, that kind of thing I have had to turn away babies because the parents circumcised the kid the day before and they're like oh did you read the directions no happens ok? It will happen um but we try to keep things in a bell curve the digital file education it is a pamphlet for sure that we've made into electronic format and it's also in uprooted format it on our site so we really want people to understand how to print number one so important I would say that he ever tried to print your home pretend they go yet awful I know we're gonna help you print I tell them about the ordering site through san folio they don't know it's sinfully what looks like smells like us that's really not us it's jane folio we talk about how transitory digital files are we talk about how you know children how image printed images on the wall, raise children, self esteem all this stuff and forced the front of this has a cd on the wall that says, oh honey, that cd looks perfect said no one ever, which is a funny humor and can't really gets them thinking yes, I'm getting a digital files out of this and that's what I want but it's not the best product tohave so that ships their mindset and starts them thinking about oh, maybe something artistic if we're going to spend this money maybe we should do this right? That's exactly how I want them to think. Clothing guide we have a beautiful clothing. I'd that compares color schemes to home decor so we show an image, show the color scheme and show the room that that would fit in. That gets people thinking about where they're gonna hang a portrait, what that room looks like and how they can coordinate their dress and clothing to match the space. So we do a bunch of different color schemes and it's, so helpful because clients realize, oh, my gosh, this is being designed for a space we should probably wear something that'll look good so that when they look at the wall, they'll be so proud because it looks like it was created and designed for the space in which it hangs. They're in a red room, which is extreme, and they're all wearing like hot pink it's gonna look awful. So this document helps them see that and explain those things and buy by giving them all this information they feel loved. They feel like you are vested in this and that you're going to do an incredible job for them and that you're thinking of everything so they don't have to customer service, customer service, customer service. So if you create these kinds of things and send it off to them, you're going to end up better off in your system eyes customer service so you just keep it in a nice little folder death top or make a client site like we did and that gets sent to every single person so, you know, every single person is getting the same information every time now do they read it all? Not always sometimes it takes calling them especially if they haven't sent in their contract. It tells me they haven't read the information so we will call them a few days before their session will make sure you get on the site and fill out your questionnaire. We won't be able to photograph your session until you do that and it wastes time at the beginning of recession that we could be shooting your images so we appreciate you'll get that in before you come in so then they usually send it's once in a blue moon now that we forget or somebody hasn't sent in a contract, we actually have to do it on the computer while mama's breast feeding before we shoot the session, which is a total pita but it has happened okay, so don't beat yourself up if things don't quite go right all the time systems on the business people were on the systems and people are flawed, okay the pricing guide we do not actually send that to them, but it is in the studio and readily available for them to look at while the session is taking place. Okay, so if you're on location or don't have a studio I would suggest making yourself a nice cataloger pricing guide that you could bring with folks and while you're photographing the kids out in the field, you could say oh, I brought one of these for you guys I want to make sure you take a look at it we're gonna be shooting for the product that you're goingto ultimately aim for and so please look through this so we have an idea of what we'll what we'll be doing help me help you okay? They're booked now what? I need to make sure they get consistent stellar service don't put a hole in your boat okay? Very important it's one thing actually book them and send all the info it's another to keep the ball rolling consistently. Right? Okay, so here's where things internally happened like a client workflow board has been huge and instant mental to me and know what it's a very archaic it's not very fancy um before I get fully into this do you guys have any questions before we move on to the next topic here? I know I just like vomited in about ten of information on you I'm trying to let you absorb it all slowly when they stay on the phone that they want a book you have their credit card you have their session fee do you email them a link to your client website or do you send them individual links to say the questionnaire the preparation guide it is all on the website just a link to the website yes they we welcome them say hi and then we proceed to say please go onto our client information website here is the username and password and the user name and password is I can tell you what it is because obviously but it totally implies that they're going to be buying an art piece password is, um indicative teo purchasing art yeah which is funny I mean I did that on purpose and so they all go ok I have to type this word in it so psychological and it works I'm telling you but then they go on there and all the information is there okay now the newborn prep guide because we send this to families we sent it to everybody the newborn prep guide for actually preparing your baby is a pdf that's attached to the email you follow up with them when they send in the answers to the questionnaire or do you wait until right before the session follow up with them? Go over what they answered in the questionnaire like color schemes and things like bad d wait until closer to the session or do you follow up with them multiple times before we usually indicate that we've received their crushing there but then I don't follow up with them until they actually come into the session so when they come in you'll see you guys all see this when we dio client perspective and we actually shoot a newborn session at my studio but you will see that the quite like all pull I bring down the question erin that analog folder and I go over with them you know right before we start shooting so good question ok. Yeah. So let's talk about the client work full board you need a way to track your client throughout the custer entire customer experience. Okay, so this is what we have you can either do something like make this and print it out and have it in a three ring binder and just, you know, list all your clients for the month and then check things off or you could do what we do and put it on a whiteboard and we have all the processes that they'll be in the name of the child boy girl session due date files, welcome kits contracts cold backed up proofed or department usb online upload social media post autumn designs sent to a lab receive from lab framing package notified, okay yes it's thorough but it works and this is our client info board as you walk up the stairs to where we work there it is it's not very fancy but it works okay who says there has to be fancy? Nobody sees this except us and that's what's important to me but all and then of course the notes and then the second board here belinda designed because she sends all the follow up and thank you letters after they're done with their entire order so once they've been notifying thing's been picked up then their name moves over to here and her system for following up with them for repeat business thank you. Appreciation all that goes over there. Okay, I know it seems complicated you see how all this would really keep you organized right and keep you systemized and nothing falls through the cracks. Well, then they're hard client information. They're analog information. The files go in this little files thought holder that's loosely correlated to what's on the board. Okay, so it says sessions need proved proofed uh with a special items to order from the lab deliver followup file okay, so that kind of keeps everybody in in an order and the file falls along follows along with what's on the board okay, a system will you stick to will provide automatically provide the best customer service you can give to a client with customer service rules your client workflow will be foolproof so create that system from first inquiry to connection and phone scripts to a booking system how you book people with pertinent information and personal information how you deliver information in from the client and out to the client then create that client workflow board that keeps everything in place throughout the entire experience the client has with you do a filing system that's elektronik and a filing system that is paper step by step process of everything you do write it down into a customer service manual for not only yourself but any future employees that you all are going to hire some day you all are gonna hire somebody someday I know it because you're taking the time now to create systems that will run your business and you and your employees were run a systems and once you have those systems in place your time management will be better your profits will grow because you'll have more time to take your client's market from our clients then you'll need more help and you'll have the money to pay for them yeah I know it's gonna happen but it won't happen unless you create the system to do it imagine if you brought on employee now imagine trying to train employees now yeah you know like well that would be a challenge just training someone right now would be a challenge because there's no system and how on earth can employees come in and help you when there's no system to work on, they'd be so lost interviews mistakes would happen left and right wouldn't it don't let that be you okay? Customer service is fifty percent of what you offer booking is just the beginning, ok? And when you do well with the service and have it systemized book them, bring them through the experience of the product line, they're going to be like that was so easy they take care of everything and why does that mean they tell their friends so referrals will automatically happen should you get a good customer service system in place? Because that's part of your product line and everybody wants to rave about how good your product is? Wow, you know so and so photography, which they just took up everything we didn't have to lift a finger it was such a beautiful experience, I had such a lovely time and every time I look at those images, all I can think about is how great they are and oh, I'm selling both art and digital files therefore that our pieces in their home and every time they're friends coming to look at my god that's so cute you should have seen how fun it was to do that the experience is good, they associate the image with the experience and you're service cycle just goes like this and so do your referrals and then you could stop doing not stop but slow down that external marketing stuff because the snowball is rolling because where your clients are really coming from is over here and they are already pre qualified right sorry passionate about this stuff it's good stuff okay, so let's discuss your homework this is a big one it won't happen overnight okay set up your customer service system make a step by step looking checklist and by the way there is props and help with this in the worksheets okay make a step by step booking checklist hash out some sample phone scripts like what amanda and I did the typical scenarios for every client who calls you baby newborn family wedding whatever okay then make a step by step client workflow checklist of every step and process you do with a client so you can mark it off mohr is more in this situation like be obnoxious about it and then parrot down so bright now just brainstorm everything thatyou d'oh and then you can kind of parrot down to the list of things you actually want on your board that you'll be checking off okay, but when I belinda has improved my board she's one of the people who just organize lovett um my board had a lot fewer slots initially those always ask here what's the smith family baby name and the jones was a boy or a girl, and she's like julia, which is me to put this on the board. So she made slots for baby named due date siblings and sibling names, parent names so we can look up the board and go. Jones family. Susie and johnny siblings are ethan allen, and the baby's name is joey as a boy born on this state. So when they come walking through the door for their session and I've been last minute working on facebook, I can go over to the board and, oh, yeah, the jones family. Okay, it's, susan, dine and go downstairs. Hi, mrs that's. How I feel chilly doing this morning. Remember their names? Okay, simple as that, and it makes such a

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Studio Systems Resource Guide
Interview: Social Media Guru Sarah Daily
Studio Systems Workbook and Homework Guide
Jewel Images: Sample Client Survey

Ratings and Reviews


I look at this course as a library of amazing and valuable content. Everything that any photographer ever needs to run their business and make it successful and profitable can find all in one place, this course. I always felt inspired by Julia's amazing business skills, she is one of the best in this industry. I have taken all of her previous classes before and never felt disappointed. Instead, I would feel more confident, educated, empowered and inspired. Every segment is packed with so much information and it feels overwhelming at first, but the workbook that this course comes with, gives you sanity and helps you to work through it. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone. You should decide if you want to spend 10 years to get all this knowledge that this course already has, or just spend $199 to get it all at once and not waste anymore time experimenting!? Your choice.

a Creativelive Student

We're only 1wk into this 5wk bootcamp and I have already gained so much valuable information {already worth every cent}. Julia shares so much about how to run a business, and do it in a way that's successful, profitable and enjoyable. Have already started working on a few new systems to help run my business better, and my customer service has already improved. Now to just spruce up my home studio to make it more visually appealing and comfortable for my clients :) Thank you so much Julia!


I am so incredibly happy to have taken the plunge this evening, as I bought this course! Today watching the course a lightbulb went off and I knew I had to have it! This is worth every cent, and I am so very excited to watch the rest and implement these teachings into my business. Its time to take charge and take my business back! I am so amazed after standing back and looking at my business from a distance, of how much i have been giving away. Not only of not only my pricing but myself. I have compromised for clients that aren't right for me. This is giving me the confidence and knowledge to say no, in a nice way, and to focus on the business I really WANT! Thank you Julia, you are an inspiration! An amazing women with impeccable business sense!

Student Work