It's an experience

When I started college...well technically when I started my marketing and business classes for my major I had an amazing marketing professor that made me really  think, seriously think about how businesses sell their products - it is really about the experience and perceived notion of the business/product and not necessarily the product itself.
Take Starbucks for example (it is a staple in a photographer's life after all) they really make the best coffee and treats or do they just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and just down right special?!
Well, I do think their pumpkin spice latte is the best thing since sliced bread ♥
Aside from that, let's see how the 'experience' breaks down.
When you go in or drive in you are greeted with a "Hi! I'm John what can I get created for you today?"
What...really they just told me their name and make me feel like I'm a creative genius - awesome!
So then you place your order and what do they do? They ask for YOUR NAME and they write it on the cup - so cool.  When your order is ready, they don't say "Order number 235" they say "Morgan your order is ready" with a smile!
So that is pretty awesome right - but then they go even further! If you go there enough you get a customized gold card, pretty special, and other freebies and perks.
If you go inside you're greeted with an 'at-home' feel with cozy couches and chairs and it just reeks of 'worth it' for what they charge.

Let's put this into photography world speak.
Make your clients feel special - make them feel like you went above and beyond everything to make their experience the best you could!
Bring water along for during the session - the client won't think of that!
Bring tissues, a towel or anything else for wiping sweat or yuckiness off.
If they have small children bring an age appropriate toy or an assortment for their good behavior during the shoot.
If it's the older crowd bring something special that pertains to them as a unit or individuals - something small that lets them know you care.
Learn their names before you ever meet them! Yes, I am serious, learn all the names. If you don't personally know them get the ages and names and match them up.
So the session is complete - let them know how much you enjoyed them, yes they are paying you - thank them!
During the session get to know little things that make them special and set them apart from everyone else - that way when you do your sneak preview on your blog you can show them that you did listen and you do care.
Once your clients have completed their order and you are presenting it to them make it beautiful!  Have your packaging reek of 'worth it' make it like a special present and include a thank you note, a personalized thank you note.

The session is over, so no more contact with your clients? NO WAY!
When they fill out forms for you - have them put birthdays, anniversary etc. and send them cards for the special occasions in their lives. When you're mailing out Holiday cards - send your clients one from your business.

Offer repeat clients perks. Show your clients that you do care, they are your bread and butter and allow you to continue to do what you love.



  1. Awesome advice Morgan! I totally agree and I feel the same way, you need to be prepared and show others that you put thought into your work, not just that you showed up camera in hand. :)

  2. I'm just starting out and I think this is super awesome advice. I have my first real shoot this weekend (5 year old birthday girl) and I'm quite nervous. I will definitely be bringing snacks water and a little gift for the birthday girl :)


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