Marketing: Word of mouth

Your clients hired you - thank them.  When you have your own business that is when you want people to talk about ALL.THE.TIME.  So give them a good reason to.

Let’s start by making the clients you already have feel special.  When you deliver your client’s prints/products they should be beautifully presented.  They will already be anxious to see their digital items in tangible form, so amp up that anticipation by making them unwrap their amazing new prints/products.
In addition to your standard packaging add some fun surprise for them that they may be able to use later (to keep as a reminder).  Keep it a part of your product delivery, but do not tell them that it is standard.  When your client doesn’t know that something is part of the package, any extras make it seem like you went out of your way to make them feel special - thus increasing the positive aspect of their experience with you.

A few ideas that are easy and will keep your cost of goods down:
  •     Custom key chain with image from session
  •     Custom charm to wear
  •     Mug with place for image to be placed
  •     Other items that they will keep with them most of the time
This may seem silly at first but by giving your clients tangible gifts they will equate that item with a positive experience and they will be able to brag any time they have it with them.  How many times have you been in the store sporting your adorable necklace and have someone ask you where you got it from?  How about when you go out with your girls and have a new trendy key-fob and they want to know where you ordered it from?  Same concept, give them a gift that is beneficial to both client and business.  One thing I cannot express enough - DO NOT BRAND IT.  You want it to be a gift, and you do not want them to feel like you are using them for marketing.  It is a little bit easier to brag about a product when they are able to show special treatment and great products first hand.

In addition to a special gift you should always include a 'thank you' note for each client, be sure to include something from the session that brings back a smile and let’s your client know that you care (ex. Jack's silly face was hilarious!).  It is a good idea to bring back some of the most fun parts of the session, as this is what you want to equate to your product when they are opening up their product/prints.

With each client order I like to do two things that may seem a little boring at first, but they play a key part in how my clients feel about my product when it is delivered.
  •     Chocolates
  •     Next step business card
While my clients are looking through their images - they are snacking on their creamy chocolates (which enhance endorphins, the happy feeling hormone) to help enhance their overall mood.  I like to give an even dozen in a clear bag tied up with what I call a 'next step' business card.

Ex. Let's say I just had a maternity session and planned on presenting my client with her products, the next step will be a newborn session - so I choose the business card accordingly.  I do this for a few reasons, one being that if she hasn't scheduled the next session yet this will likely push her over the edge (along with the chocolates) to schedule that within just a few days.  If she has already scheduled it, she will begin to look forward and actively help with the planning by getting her excited for the next step session.

If there isn't a 'next step' and you happen to have a business card with an image of that family, attach it instead!

The last thing that will keep you at the forefront of your client’s mind when it comes to scheduling their next session, aside from presenting them with breathtaking images is to make sure to get information such as birthdays (if you photograph children) and/or anniversaries (if you photograph engagements/weddings) and send a card at that time.  Just a little something extra, that makes all the difference.

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