Nothing makes a business owner more anxious than having to deal with an angry—or frustrated—client. It’s a layer of stress on top of the million other tasks that need to be done daily that no one has time for. The good news is that most of the time, these situations can be avoided with some simple client education and expectation setting from the very beginning.
Here are three big questions and how to stay ahead of them.
The question: How much will this cost me? We get it. Talking about money makes people uncomfortable. It’s an anxiety that doesn’t seem to really go away. Outlining your price from the very beginning is critical, and it’s important to assume that a potential client has NOT read through pricing options with a fine-toothed comb. If you’ve ever had a client ask “What does the session fee include?” or “How many photos will I get?”, you are missing a prime opportunity to educate your clients.
The solution: Send your pricing information at the beginning of the booking process AND utilize a questionnaire in your workflow to understand what products a potential client may be interested in. Understanding if the client is interested in digital files, prints for the walls or a beautiful album can help you set a solid understanding of the pricing from the beginning. It also gives you the opportunity to talk them through their options and increase your sales.
The question: What should I wear? Matching. White. Shirts. Oh please…no. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a session and finding your clients in matching outfits. You’re the expert and you know what photographs well. We know what kind of outfits will make them look best, what might look best at their session site and some tips on how best to make colors and patterns work. If your clients show up in hard-to-photograph outfits, it’s something that can be easily avoided by educating them on the front end.
The solution: Create a “what to wear” document for each type of session you do and share it with your clients.. It will not only position you as an expert, but it will also work to establish trust with your clients. A list of best practices will make your clients feel confident and ready to go. It is easy to attach a document like this in a confirmation email that is automatically sent after your client has confirmed their session. They will thank you a million times over for helping set them up for success!
The question: Where are my photos? This is the question that no photographer ever wants to get. Clients don’t always understand what is involved in processing and editing images, and they may be confused about how quickly their photos will be in their hands. Whether your delivery time is a few days or a few weeks, it’s an easy client frustration to avoid by taking several opportunities along the way to talk to your clients about what the entire process looks like.
The solution: Take the time to talk to your clients about what they will get and when they will get it. Outlining your process and deliverables in your booking conversation is one way to set the expectation. Taking a moment at the end of the session to remind them when their images will be done is a good time to reiterate what they can expect next. Additionally, setting up an automated thank you email is a great way to remind them of next steps, including image delivery.
Bonus solution: Preparing a killer email to let your clients know that their gallery is finished is a fantastic way to give them instructions on how to download their images, order prints, schedule their IPS appointment or whatever next steps best flow with your process. It’s also a good time to give them a gentle nudge on best practices for sharing online, including tips on (not applying) filters, and giving photographer credit!