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Keeping Clients Happy

Lesson 7 from: The Business of Wedding Photography

Vanessa Joy

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Lesson Info

7. Keeping Clients Happy

Lesson Info

Keeping Clients Happy

I love gift giving. It's just me, it's my love language. If you guys are familiar with, there's a book called The Five Love Languages, I think it's called, and gifting is one of mine and not just receiving gifts, I'm not like giving gifts. I love to give them, and I love to give meaningful ones as well, so the first one that I give to 'em is a booking gift that's called Ten Great Dates Before You Say I Do, and it's a really cute book on marriage. It's adorable, even if you don't wanna read the part about marriage, just go on to the dates. It's cute, everyone loves it. But I will tell you a story about this because if you're going to give gifts, make sure that you are giving them tactfully, I guess is the way you wanna do it. I actually recently had, this is a good failure story of mine. I had a high-end bride decide to fire me over giving that book. Yes, sent in the deposit, I send the book. I sent it with a cute little note that talks about my husband and I getting marriage, and we lo...

ved this book when we got married. And we are so excited to be apart of your wedding, and we want you to have a great wedding, but we want you to have a wonderful marriage as well, and I give this book. And they didn't like that there was too much religious connotation in it. And I specifically picked that book because there wasn't as much in there, and a lot of marriage books, it's really hard to find one that's benign in my experience. So I found that one, and I thought it was the lowest, and it pulled from a lot of different religions and kind of put it all in there. But they decided no, and they fired me over it. And when they did that, I'm like, "Crap, should I stop giving this gift?" And I was like, "You know what, no. "I'm not going to because out of the ten years "I've been giving the gift, "there's one bad thing that happened." And while that can be easily the one that I concentrate on, certainly the one that probably affected me the most, there's been hundreds of brides that have loved that gift and gotten something from it. So when you decide if you're going to gift, or you decide the tips that you're giving them, the ways that you are different, make sure it's true to you because you wanna stand by it. And you want to do these things for a reason. Not just to do them, I give that gift because I want them to know that I'm not just interested in your wedding day and the money you're paying me to be there. I am interested in your marriage, and I think that says a lot more in a good way than a bad way. Even though, it was taken very horribly that one day. Feel free to Google it and get it for yourself. I think it's a great book, by the way, still recommend it, still send it. Pre-wedding, I give them a cute burlap beach bag. So about a month before the wedding, it's just a little surprise gift that I send them, and it's a honeymoon bag. I say, "Hope you're having a great time on your honeymoon. "Here's a little bag that helps you tote around "all of your things, especially if you're going to a beach." The day of the wedding, I'm giving them a same-day surprise. I do try to give them a mini-album. If you're not familiar with this, there is a course here in CreativeLive called Behind the Same Day Edit where I went through and showed you exactly how I make that mini-album so check that out. It's actually not as hard as you would think. But besides that, I try to do a slide show, same-day slide show, and they just eat that up. And it's another form of entertainment at the wedding too. The guests see it, there's always a little crowd around the slide show, and I'm not doing like a huge projection, like, "Hey, look at me," thing. I don't like that, I like doing just this little picture frame. 16 by 20 picture frame on the cocktail table, and it's just playing no audio in a row. So it's great because then, I'm also teaching other people to talk about me because they go over to it, and they're like, "This is so great," and then they go and tell somebody else about it and tell somebody else and tell somebody else. Rather than if I just have the DJ play it once with audio. Yeah, it looks great, but everyone saw it so no one's really gonna talk about it. It's much better when clients think they've discovered you and that they don't think they were being marketed to, and that's just a marketing tactic. I love doing it, I love giving that as a value add for my clients, but if your clients think they've discovered you, they feel like they've stumbled across this secret and they wanna share that secret because they wanna tell everyone that they've discovered you. So this gift right here, this is my goodbye gift, and I love this gift. This gift goes back to what I was talking to you about. Your service, it has to reflect you and what it is that you're trying to give to your clients. The service, the experience you're trying to give to your clients besides the photography itself. I painstakingly put this box together with a various amount of vendors on Etsy. This is actually a box that's similar to the album boxes that Miller's have, but I got a clear cover for it that you can kinda see as catty-corner on there. But it's two mugs, and it has both coffee and tea, little sugar cubes, and a candle there. And the reason I gave this to them is because someone had given this to me when my first daughter, my only daughter, my first kid was born. They just came over, and you have people like give you food and help you out, but my friend came over and he gave my husband and I these mugs, and they have our initials on them. He said, "These are for you." I'm like, "Oh, cute, great mugs, yay." I have a hundred, right, doesn't everyone have that awful mug collection? Anyway, so he gave me these mugs, and he said, "Here's the deal, you're only allowed "to drink from these mugs when you and Rob are together. "No one else is there, not even your phones, "and you are speaking to each other." And these mugs were meant to basically remind my husband and I that we need to intentionally create time for each other and spend quality time together. So now, this is what I do, I send them these mugs, mister and missus, and I send them a note. And I explain that story to them, and I tell them it's the same thing, you are not allowed to use these mugs unless you're using them together, free of distractions. And I suggest that you put these mugs somewhere visible, so not in your mug cabinet, put them above the kitchen sink. Put them on the window sill, someplace that you can see them so it's a constant reminder to you. Have I made time for my spouse today or recently? This week, this month because life happens after you get married. And you wanna make sure that you have a constant reminder to keep the important things at the forefront of your mind. So I send that to them, and the first time I sent it, I got this letter back from my bride that just almost made me cry, and I'm not a crier. And she sent it to me, I have goosebumps even thinking about it right now. Her name is Crystal, and she sent me this note. She said, "This is the best wedding gift we got. "Out of all the wedding gifts and bridal shower gifts, "this is the best one." So that's what I want, that's exactly what I want. So I summed up that experience for her from start to finish with the gifting. And I again, that's my love language, but you can do even services. We talked about this before, creating a timeline for them. That's a service that I offer to them. I create, either myself or my office manager, we create their family photo list for them, and I tell them that ahead of time. "Hey, I'm gonna help you create that family photo list "'cause it'll take you five hours, "but it takes me five minutes." I've done them before, doing the bridal tip e-mails. Things that are just custom services that you offer, which you guys already explained a lot of them so that was perfect that you did that. So show them that you give more than just pictures, and all these things are great reasons to brag about you, especially on social media. You give 'em gifts, they're tangible. They photograph them, they put them online. Alright, and then these are all very generous. Whenever you go to a luxury service, they offer to give you extra things for free. Actually, when I bought these shoes, I was in New York City. We went into Sacks Fifth Avenue. I had a gift card, actually, truth and honesty. I use my credit card points to get gift cards to buy like cute shoes like this 'cause I can't spend the 900 dollars that they cost. So, but I go in there, and I go buy these shoes, and I'm in the city and I just happened to go there beforehand, have my gift card, and I was about to carry this darn shoe bag around everywhere, and I had only just like mentioned that to the friend I was with. I was like, "I don't wanna carry this to the comedy cellar "that we're going to later," and the shoe salesmen heard me. He's like, "Oh, I'll ship them to your house." I was like, "Oh, how much is that," free. Uh, yeah, alright, so what a value add, right? And that, that's all the experience, that's all the types of different things that you can give to your clients that's not just photos, not just photography.

Ratings and Reviews

Célia Gomes

I loved this class! So inspirational and useful tips! Congratulations Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And thank you Creative Live for opportunity of watch the class for free. Célia Gomes, Portugal.

angela warmington

Great course. Full of great business tips and practices that are adaptable to your own personal style of business. She has such a passion and love for her work and it comes across very clearly as she teaches. I am new to wedding photography and am so glad I purchased this course!!


I loved this class and got some great new ideas and insights thanks to Vanessa, thank you so much! Love from Holland

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