Creating a Memorable Client Experience
You might be noticing there's a couple of couches here. We actually, we love these so much from this shoot earlier on that we brought them back with us. And, we're actually gonna use these because this, what we're gonna be talking about right now is the client experience. And, we wanna have that real environment of actually bringing in our couple from our shoot and doing an actual wedding interview. And really showing you through what we do day in day out to be able to book clients and get them through the door. And hopefully transition them into a wedding booking.
Absolutely, and we're gonna go through things like the pair of language and how to make people feel important I guess, which is what it's all about.
Absolutely, so we should get right into it I reckon.
Absolutely Ryan, absolutely. Okay, so let's go. So today as Ryan mentioned it is all about the client experience. The image making process doesn't really begin with a camera or light or anything like that. In earlier ses...
sions, we explored what can be done with light, what can be done with composition, exposure, et cetera, et cetera. However, it really begins way before that. It actually begins the minute your clients walk in through your studio. There are certain seeds that we need to plant in order to make the entire journey a pleasant experience for our clients and you know, a great success as far as making a profit as well.
Absolutely because, I mean, that's why we're all here, right? We all wanna make money, yeah.
It's great taking pretty pictures but at the end of the day, we gotta make a living, so yeah.
Yeah, okay so the first thing we're gonna look at is really this tough subject of attracting clients. Okay, how do we get clients coming through our doors? How does Ryan do it, how does Rocco do it? How do we become successful wedding business owners, which is very important? I mean with the previous sessions it was about the photography side of being a wedding photographer but now, today guys, it's all about the business of wedding photography. So here's a few things. Essentially, it's really about identifying your market. Are you gonna be a high volume business that you're gonna run your pricing at a cheaper rate? Or, are you gonna be an exclusive boutique style geared around service and experience? We choose the latter.
We do and there's good reason for that. We like, as we said, we like it being very personal with our clients and getting to know them is really a big part about that whole process that we take them through from beginning, you know, sometimes we see people 18 months, two years before there wedding. So, we want to take them through that process and it extends further than that, obviously, when you go into building wedding albums and reprints and everything that goes along with the whole entire experience. So we wanna really be personal with them. We wanna make sure we know them and they know us. And really at the end of the day, what we're trying to do is build a lot of trust with them.
What we do in terms of attracting clients to us and you know, I'll probably preempt this sort of segment as that we're not marketing experts. We know what works for us but it may not work for everyone and you've got to find your own sort of niche in what you're doing. But, the way we're attracting clients now is very different from the way we're attracting clients even up to about two years ago. Things like, having a great website and branding and advertising in magazines is all sort of, it's changed a lot in this last sort of two years. So, yes having a good website is an absolute must. And having images on that website that are gonna attract people and get them engaged with your website is really a key to it all. But, further than that we've changed our sort of marketing road a lot when it comes to magazines and online advertisement and everything that goes along with that. I think probably up until about five years ago we were doing a lot of magazine advertising. I think we were spending upwards of about $100,000 on magazine ads in one year, which is a lot of money for anyone. But basically what we used to do was cover every single magazine, their back cover basically. We used to buy their back covers out and that was the best form of advertising for us. Because if you think about how people actually hold magazines when they're walking around, they usually hold it like this. And we used to have pretty well our branding everywhere we went so it was great. But that whole space has changed. That whole mentality of buying magazines has changed. And what we're finding now is that a lot of our referrals and a lot of our business is actually coming just through social media or referrals through social media. And one of which has been Instagram. Instagram's been a great success and I know for me personally, it's been huge and what we've been doing with Instagram is quite interesting. We've, we started this whole Instagram road together. We used to be out on weddings, taking pictures of the back of our cameras actually. And so we'd get the little picture up on the back of the camera and on our iPhone we would shoot the back of the camera. And it was a game that actually Roc and I just used to play together. We'd call it the SOC Challenge. Straight Out of Camera Challenge. And so I'd Instagram a shot and I'd tag Rocco. I'd say, "Roc, take a look at what I just did." You know, like muahaha. And then I'd get this notification come up, it's Rocco. Oh, okay here we go, what's he got? He'd come up and it'd be, oh my God. Rocco's absolutely killed me. He's got the most amazing shot and it kept going all day but it kept spurring us on. What we found that clients are actually engaging with this process as well, which was crazy. Absolutely crazy. So we went a step further and we actually started downloading shots from our cameras properly and posting them online. So we might flip through a few. So these are still straight out of the camera but downloaded straight to my iPhone and then I have a little app on there called Over which places my logo on the things now which I didn't do before. Which is really important to place my logo on all of my pictures, 'cause I've found they got re-posted and re-posted and people wouldn't tag me and all that sort of thing. So it's got my logo, I'm safe. I've got that there. So, I'll flick through a few of these actually, but Instagram would you agree, Instagram's got that instant gratification thing about it hasn't it? Yeah, it's that real like take me into that moment straight away. So I started playing around with what shots I actually started to share on Instagram because before doing this, I would post the images that would appeal to the photographer in me. Those wow shots, those unbelievable wow, award winning shots. I started doing a little bit more. I started shooting and sharing things that I wouldn't necessarily used to share. Like shoes, right. Who really cares about shoes? But you know who really cares about shoes? Brides really care about shoes.
Yeah and how cool are those shoes, I mean they're amazing yeah. So it started to evolve and it made me wanna look to share different things. I guess that was the point of it. I wanted to engage my brides more and show them different things. More than that is that when I would start doing this, the face of my clients, I could see them. They'd get to their reception and they'd literally have their phone in their hand and start scrolling through, looking through for the image that I've uploaded. So the face, their face on the day when they see their images live is kind of, it's really, really cool. I did this one wedding, we might go through a couple more. I think I've got one more after that. So I did this one wedding though, a few, well it's almost a year ago actually, where the wedding planner, she's quite a well known wedding planner in Australia. The wedding planner had said to me the day of the wedding she said, "Look can you feed me images on the day "that I can put out on my Instagram feed? "We'll get heaps of wedding blogs talking "about it and everything else." And I was very hesitant to it. I was really, really hesitant. I said look, I don't know if I can do it. My camera doesn't have wifi. I'm gonna have to sit there, download to my laptop then get it to you. It's gonna take to long. Well, I found this little cord or actually my assistant Tom found this little cord that connects to my iPhone to USB that I can connect straight to my camera so I can drag the jpeg preview straight from the camera to my iPhone and I can post them out straight away. The key to all of this, let me remind you, was getting things right in camera. Because I didn't have the luxury of downloading to Lightroom, fixing per se, and then sending out. It was straight to my phone as a jpeg preview and then sending it on to the wedding planner. This did something really cool though. Now this wedding, I'm gonna show you a few shots that we took from this wedding. Show you what the wedding was about because it was a pretty, it was a pretty cool wedding I have to admit. The dress was stunning, absolutely stunning. But I looked for different things that I could be shooting and I did things from the bride's home and as we were doing the bride's home, my assistant was literally connecting my camera to my phone, downloading, and she was posting out before she walked down the aisle basically. So it was live fed all day. We must of done about 16 posts throughout the day live fed. And it was getting re-picked up by wedding blogs and wedding planners and dress designers. And I'll show you the reception in a second 'cause it's quite cool. So, it was kind of a special wedding. It was good. Something very cool happened. Something very, very cool happened is that we started getting tagged in all these pictures obviously because they were coming from us. And they got picked up by two people in particular. So, if we move on, we'll bring up the next one. There's a place called Wedded Wonderland back home and they're a huge wedding blog basically. They picked up on this live feed and started re-posting everything that the wedding planner had started posting out herself. The wedding planner has quite a few followers. The wedding blog has quite a few followers. So, that translates into a couple of things. It translated first into, 4,000 Instagram followers for us in 12 hours, which was awesome, amazing. Now, I'm not the hugest believer in if you have that many Instagram followers that's gonna directly translate into money. I don't think that exists because you can bluff your way through those things as well. You can buy followers and all sorts of stuff. So not the biggest believer in that. Here's what I'm a believer in. I had 62 wedding inquiries that week. Now, when you have 62 wedding inquiries in a week, a couple of things happen. You can't see them all that week, so it took us about a month to get through them all. But we ended up booking about 40 weddings that directly translated from live feeding that wedding. So what do you think I do now? I live feed pretty well every wedding that I can. So you have to get permission for this stuff to happen obviously, but if you can then fantastic.
I mean the days, I remember the days of print media where we advertised in magazines, that was the norm because brides bought Bridal Magazine. But you can imagine in today's busy corporate environment if you're getting married and you're a bride, what's your first stop? The Internet, yeah? So you're gonna go on the Internet and if you're on Instagram, you're gonna look on Instagram. And you're gonna start searching hashtags and that really works. So good SCO number one on your website and of course, you know, the thing that we do with Instagram, great success. They both worked incredibly well.
Yeah, we get asked a lot about SCO and trust me we are not the people to talk about SCO. There are many more great people to talk about with SCO and websites.
One of our friends, our great friends, Rob Green, he's amazing at SCO and websites and his company Good Gallery, they look after what we do there. So if you need any help with it, please go to Rob 'cause he know what he's talking about in that market for sure.