The best way that we as photographers can grow our business is by getting our happy clients talking about us! So many businesses can attribute their growth and success to one thing – word of mouth. It’s an incredibly powerful tool if you give your clients a way to start sharing your name! Here are few ways you can create a referral program and help them start spreading the word about your business:
- Happy Clients: First things first, you need to make sure that you are going above and beyond for your clients to make them happy. Unhappy clients won’t be referring you. So take extra steps to make sure that they enjoy their session, you are prepared, and over delivering to them by getting their photos back to them early to throwing in more images than they expected with their gallery.
- ASK FOR REFERRALS: This is a huge way that many photographers miss out on referrals! Just by simply asking your clients for a referral. This can be at the end of a session, once the images are delivered, etc. You are putting yourself at the front of their mind and getting them to think about which of their friends need new photos.
- Make it Win-Win: Figure out what kind of gift you are going to give them for sending clients your way. It can be something small like a $25 credit towards their next session. The smallest incentive can go a long way! Create a way for you to keep track of where your referrals are coming from. It’s as simple as adding it in as a question to your new client questionnaire (in Iris of course!) and making note in the client profile that sent the referral.
- Create referral cards: Have a way for your clients to hand out your info to their friends! You can give them a small stack of your business cards, customize referral cards with their own images, or create a Facebook profile header with a collage of their images that has your logo in the corner. Find a way to get your name in their hands.
- Top Referrers Gift: If you have a few people that go above and beyond talking about you, find a way to treat those top referring clients to something special each year. Give them a free mini session with a few prints, a custom card design at Christmas time, a canvas with one of their favorite images, a gift card for a massage…. There are so many ways you can treat them! give back to them! You’re showing them how much you appreciate them as part of your tribe, and they’ll continue to spread the word about you!
Remember that you are providing a service to your clients, so the littlest ways that you can go above and beyond for your clients is going to make a big impact on your business.
What are some ways that referral programs have worked for you? Any special gifts you’ve given to clients?
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