It’s October. And while it’s not the end of the year yet, many companies are already seriously thinking about and making plans for 2019. Most companies start their budget process for the next year in October and some do even earlier, so now is the perfect time to get in front of your clients. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Highlight a fall or winter promotion
In your regular communication with clients, it might be a good idea to come up with a fall promotion you can offer them. For instance, I offered $50 off corporate headshots for the fall months but I only sent this out to my current clientele. You might also have promotions for mini sessions, holiday parties, or whatever your services you offer.
What I do recommend here is that you put a deadline on how long people can book at the promotional price. This will be an urgency to book their session promptly.
Even if you don’t get jobs from all your current clients, they’ll remember promotions like this and it’ll get them thinking about you when they’re ready to book something.
Send out postcards
Fall is a crazy time for all of us and for businesses too. So when I see a personal note come in the mail, it grabs my attention. It sticks out amongst the bills and junk mail I get every single day. You can do this too, by going up to your local shopping center and picking up some postcards. But it’s definitely worth it to put forth the extra effort and come up with something custom. Moo.com has some great postcard templates (or you can design your own) where you can feature one of your photographs. They start at $21.00 for 25. It personalizes the experience for your client, and it gives them a small piece of art to put up in their cubicle, too.
Send an e-mail newsletter
This is a must — send an e-mail newsletter. In the fall, highlight the clients you’ve worked with recently and talk about any promotions you have going on. But also include a short letter to your clients, thanking them for the work they’ve sent your way recently.
Setup a meeting
No, I’m not talking about a shirt and tie meeting here. Instead, invite your client out for coffee, lunch or for Happy Hour. It’ll help them see you as more than “just a photographer,” and it’ll help to create a memory for them. Work will undoubtedly come up, but try to keep relaxed about it. Don’t make that the entire conversation. Talk about holiday plans, vacation plans or anything else that might be relevant in their lives. While this meeting is your way of hoping to get hired and booked by them for next year, don’t let that be known. And always pay the bill for both of you.
If nothing else, keep communication open and get face time
Even if you can’t do all four of the ideas I suggested above, it’s important to get face time with your clients in some capacity. A simple phone call would suffice, or even a personalized e-mail. But all four of the ideas above cost you very little. It’s a small price to pay for what could end up being some really big client work.