Once we have acquired a few regular clients, it’s common to “expect” them to reach out to us when they need photography services. But by relying on the client to contact us, instead of us prompting them, we may lose the opportunity to serve them in different and unique ways.
For instance, I work with several local companies shooting different events throughout the year. And every once in a while I’m asked about things like headshots, team photos, board member photographs–the list goes on.
When it comes to prompting clients, there are a few key things I’ve found to help fulfill the client’s needs, and thus getting me more work.
Reach Out Quarterly
It’s important to contact your clients on a regular basis, especially if you haven’t heard from them in a while. For me, this recently came to fruition when I reached out to a client about their annual festival. By doing so, it triggered the client’s mindset to ask about staff headshots, which I was then hired for.
By reaching out on a regular basis, you get the client thinking about your services, and what other needs they might have. And by personalizing your communication, you show that you’re putting the effort in to thinking about them, rather than just sending out a bulk email to all your clients.
That being said, you might not get clients who think about “other” opportunities for photography, like in this case.
It might be worthwhile to suggest some photography opportunities to your client. Recommend things like a “Headshot Day,” on-location at their office, or in-studio. Reach out to see if they have any big promotions that are going to be announced soon, to get some lifestyle photos of that person.
These are things that companies might not think about, but for archival and marketing purposes, they might really benefit from.
I regularly photograph promotion parties for a local accounting firm, and it’s a huge party. They make a big deal out of it — newspaper articles come from it, TV coverage, you name it. It’s cool to be a part of that process, and it gets you in the door for other, similar opportunities down the road.
What if They Say No?
Not everyone will say they need photography services at the moment. And that’s OK — continue to reach out to them. The key is to suggest, instead of being pushy.
By saying things like, “I’d love to photograph any new headshots you might need,” instead of “Do you need new headshots? How about photos for an office party?” you make it known to them you’re interested in photographing for them, instead of just making money.
Just like following-up for a proposal, communication is key when marketing to current clients. By keeping the lines of communication open with clients, and reaching out to them on a regular basis, you increase your chances of booking more gigs and maintaining a solid relationship.
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