Setting The Tone For A Great Client Meeting
The other day I had a few meetings with new potential wedding clients and it really got me thinking about how much I have learned over the past 12 years. One thing that I never learned in Art school was how to present myself and my work really well. It was all about composition, lighting and how to create a great image but not much at all on the marketing end of things. So I learned things over a number of years the hard way, by simple trial and error. Here are some things I have learned along the way to really set the right tone for a new client meeting and make it so you can start to book most of the people you meet with.
Top tips to having a great photography consultation meeting
Your meeting space is key – When I started meeting with clients I would meet them at a local coffee shop and get to know them over coffee. It worked out alright but there were a few pretty big negatives about doing this. One was that I had no control over the atmosphere. Sometimes it was really loud, busy and just plain crazy. When you don’t have control over the environment you really loose a huge advantage compared to having it in your own space. Even if you don’t have your own studio or office space meeting with your clients at your home can have many benefits. One is you totally control the environment. You can customize your setting to fit your style and brand which is extremely important. You also give your clients a little glimpse into who you are which is something they want to know. Since you spend most of the day with them brides always want to know who you really are just as much as how well you take photos. They need to be comfortable with you to hire you so meeting with them on your own turf has many advantages.
Show only amazing things – Truth is every bride you meet is going to be meeting with a few other photographers. No matter how much they love you and your work you need to not only connect with them but show them awesome examples of your work. I show big and over the top things that only reflect the best of the best in my work. Everything I have that’s on the walls are not the standard image but things that really stick out and are different. I change out the work on my walls often and now am hanging lots of cool things like canvas and metal prints. One of the albums that I show with clients is a huge 12×16 magazine style album. When you open it up the album is a whopping 16×24! I never sell albums this big but it is a conversation starter and really makes an impact on brides.
Be yourself! – Most important of all is to relax and be yourself. I am a coffee lover and have a little espresso bar in my client meeting area. I love to make them a Latte or any coffee drink and get to know them a little more with coffee in hand. I also have a cheetah print lounge for people to sit on. It might not be the type of chaise that I would normally be chilling on in my living room but its something people notice and will remember. Be a little bold and remember to make an impression.
Remember to follow up – Nothing makes people remember you more than awesome service. The follow up is an important part of the entire process. Remember to send your clients a thank you note that is handwritten or even a little gift. If you really were able to connect with them and learn about them incorporate something you learned into the thank you card or gift so they understand that you really are interested in them and their unique personalities. It’s all about relationships and connecting with people so you have to act like you are trying to gain a new best friend.
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