The most important marketing thing you need to do this month
Marketing. I can hear the sound of your skin crawling.
This is the month where people start freaking out. “I only have a few bookings for next year” “What if I can’t meet my booking goal for next year” “What if my pricing is too high?” “Is everyone deciding that marriage is for the birds and our industry is sunk??”
If that’s what you’re feeling, I have a good feeling you’ve been missing this one essential piece of the marketing puzzle.
If you ask most photographers where the bulk of their business comes from, they’ll say referrals, but very few people actually have a set referral strategy! One of the most important pieces of having a solid referral strategy, is having a plan to ASK.
When we give our clients a wonderful experience, they WANT to tell the world about us. The problem is, sometimes they forget or they don’t know exactly how to go about doing that.
We need to learn the art of asking and view our business as a COLLABORATION with our clients instead of just a service.
“It's hard enough to give fearlessly, and it's even harder to receive fearlessly. But within that exchange lies the hardest thing of all: To ask. Without shame. And to accept the help that people offer. Not to force them.Just to let them.” ― Amanda Palmer in ‘The Art of Asking’
Here are some of the steps I take to get great referrals consistently:
- Provide a unique and wonderful experience for your clients. Beyond delivering a great product, I want to make sure my clients enjoy the process of working with me. I also want it to feel more like a collaboration than a power play. Think: “We are working together to create a beautiful wedding day” instead of “I am going to make their day so beautiful.” Approach it with humility!
- Ask your clients for referrals! I was always afraid to ask- never wanted to annoy anyone, but online and personal referrals are so important and valuable to your business and your clients WANT to help you!
- Show gratefulness! Thank your clients for every referral they send your way! Not just the ones that book. Sending a short email or hand written note expressing your gratitude for the ways they are continuing to partner with you will go a long way in your relationship!
- Be specific. When asking for referrals, be very specific about why you loved working with this client, and what types of couples you love working with. List 3-4 characteristics of people you love to work with. For instance, “We love working with kind and genuine couples.” or “We are hoping to work with more couples in these cities: North Pole, South Pole, etc.” The more specific you can get, the better our dedicated clients will know who to refer to us!
- Stay in touch. Find a way to touch base with your previous clients at least once a year, give them and update, say happy anniversary or happy birthday, and ask for their help and collaboration. Your clients want to feel appreciated, respected, and that they are a piece of your continuing story. Find ways to support and include them!