We are so lucky! We get to be present for the most memorable and special days in people’s lives. In fact, most of the time our pictures end up being the memory people keep from the day, the image in their mind is one of the photos we made. This is true for weddings, reunions, birthday parties and even funerals. But you can do a little more for your clients and subjects. You can remind them to make pictures on the anniversary of those days, and offer to do it for them.
B-days and Anniversaries
Birthdays and anniversaries are the simplest to work with, especially if you use Facebook. Facebook will remind you every day which of your friends is having a birthday and you can use this to keep in contact with your clients. When you see it’s your client’s birthday, drop them a line and offer a complimentary birthday portrait. This is much more powerful than simply leaving a note on Facebook wishing a happy birthday — it offers something of true value and is a good excuse to make contact. Now, few of your clients will actually have the opportunity to come for a quick portrait on their birthday, but those that do will further spread the word about your services.
The same thing goes for anniversaries. You made pictures for a couple’s wedding last year, so why not make a new portrait on the anniversary (or nearly the anniversary). They’ll love to share a new portrait and you’ll keep in contact with them and remind them that you are their photographer for life. I had the opportunity to do just that the other day while I was working in Florida. It was fun to catch up with this couple and have fun making pictures again.
Making portraits for birthdays and anniversaries is a powerful way to keep in touch with your clients. I’d like to point out, however, that you should do it for its own sake. Yes, as I stated above, your clients will probably share your pictures and help refer others to you, but I don’t think you should make the portraits with that end in mind. I think you should make the portraits because it makes you glad to share with your clients again on their special day, and that’s reason enough. If you do something nice expecting something in return (a referral) then you’ll be disappointed when they don’t refer your services. But if you do for the sake of doing something good and fun, then you’ll never be disappointed and the referrals will just be a pleasant bonus. You should definitely seek referrals, but don’t confuse that process with doing something generous.
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