Show of hands, or rather show of comments below – how many of you have had a portrait client cancel on you? Everyone, right? And how many of you who had that client cancel didn’t collect a retainer? Unfortunately we hear too often that photographers aren’t collecting retainers for their portrait sessions. And when a cancelation happens, frustration and annoyance ensues.
There are a thousand reasons why you should be collecting a retainer (note, not a deposit, but a non refundable retainer – there is a difference), but we’ll stick to just the top three. We asked industry expert, photographer and lawyer, Rachel Brenke – aka The LawTog, for her input here.
- Using a retainer starts your client relationship off on the right foot. Rachel recommends the retainer, along with a contract to set the stage for the professional relationship very early on. “Retainers paired with contract signing demonstrate an act manifesting the intent to enter into a legal relationship.” – TheLawTog
- Collecting retainers not only firms up your confidence that you won’t get bailed on, but your client will also be more likely to hold up their end of the bargain when money is involved. “Both parties having money on the line helps to put skin in the game.” – TheLawTog
- You’ll be more likely to attract your ideal clients when you request a retainer. Those who aren’t really serious or appreciative of your work aren’t going to be interested in paying a retainer. “Retainers act to prevent flaky or irresponsible clients from abusing your resources (time, money, and energy!)” – TheLawTog
Are you ready to get started collecting retainers for your sessions? Do yourself a favor and begin incorporating retainers into your business. You’ll no longer feel that frustration when a cancelation happens, instead you’ll be happy that your time had already been compensated.