Getting a good review for your photography business is important.
You’ve booked a dream family, aced your session and delivered an amazing gallery full of stunning photos. You may be doing a little celebratory dance but the fun isn’t over yet – it’s time to ask that family to write you a review.
Does the thought of asking for a review make you cringe?
Sure, soliciting for reviews can feel a bit awkward or self-serving but it’s not at all. Reviews are invaluable to your business and worth the trouble.
Why Reviews Mean So Much for Your Business
As a small business owner, first hand reviews of your business from actual customers is extremely important for so many ways.
- A 5-star review tells Google you are active and liked, which is great for SEO!
While we aren’t necessarily algorithm experts, we know of a few things that make Google happy. When Google sees that a website is active and well liked, it is happy to boost us up the search rankings a bit more than a page that isn’t doing anything.
More reviews = better search ranking = helps our small business succeed!
- It highlights what your strengths are.
When asking for a review, you want to emphasize and encourage your clients to highlight what they loved the most about their experience. This will help you clarify what you are doing best and what matters the most to your clients.
If you pride yourself in a fast turnaround time but all your clients rave about your communication – this feedback should be noted. Take what your clients rave about and weave it into your marketing as a benefit to working with you. It is likely that others will value this too.
- It gives you amazing quotes to market with.
You can spend all the time in the world creating catchy copy and showcasing beautiful photos but there is nothing more moving that a direct quote from a client.
If you were in the market for a newborn photographer, what would be more influential?
Option A: As a newborn photographer, I help document the moments that will one day fade in your memory, giving you keepsakes to be enjoyed for years to come.
Option B: “Every time I watch our newborn film, I relive those moments of bringing home our daughter and being a new Mom. A feeling I’ll never forget! Thank you for this PRICELESS gift!”
Can you feel the emotional influence of hearing directly from a mom that loved her film? It doesn’t come across as salesy and is much more relatable.
- It gives you credibility.
Similar to above, your credibility is boosted when others see clients raving about your work. Word of mouth marketing is powerful for photographers but it doesn’t always have to be from a first-hand account. Share the experience with others on your website, on social media and in your marketing guides.
- It opens up the discussion in the event of an uphappy client.
It is important to not only ask for a review but also highlight the importance of constructive criticism as well. Ask for any constructive criticism to be sent privately and stress how you value any feedback that will help you improve the experience you offer.
If you do get negative feedback – check out “How to Handle an Unhappy Photography Client“
How to Get a Great Review for Your Photography Business
Now that we know how valuable a review is for your photography business, how do you do it?
- Introduce the idea early, mentioning it early in your work flow.
Asking for a review shouldn’t come as a surprise to your clients. Dropping a little hint in your timeline will at least soften them to the idea that you might come back and nudge them for some feedback.
I include mine in my Prep Guide that goes out to all families when they book. At the end of the Prep Guide, I include a timeline of what to expect after the session. I note that one week from gallery delivery, I will check in and ask for some feedback.
- Make it easy by providing links.
Nobody is usually excited to write a review, myself included. The easier you can make it to do so, the more likely it will get done. Period.
- Time it perfectly.
You want the review to be done when the excitement of the session is still there and the details are still memorable. Do not wait until the season slows down and you are “playing catch up” in the winter months.
I send a Check In email one week from gallery delivery. At the end of the email I ask them to leave a review and I provide links to both Google and Facebook where I’m wanting the reviews posted.
- Be specific in what you are looking for in the review.
This might sound harsh – but not all reviews are equal.
What you do not want is a generic review that simply states something like this… We had a great experience. The photos are beautiful. We highly recommend her.” Blah blah blah. This is boring, right? And not terribly helpful.
Encourage your clients to provide a unique review with specifics about why they chose you and what they loved most about working with you. Ask them to be specific with examples.
Want to make this really easy for them? Write a blog post that helps them write a meaningful review or simply give them a few questions to consider in their review.
Here is a blog post I created for my clients (eerily similar to this one 😉) “How to Write a Review Your Family and Newborn Photographer”
- Automate it so that it gets done every single time consistently.
Bogged down with sessions, editing and client communication? I’m there with you! But I consistently check in with my clients and ask for their feedback every single time because I have automated this important email!
Automate your business where you can so that stuff like this doesn’t get lost in the chaos of running your business.
- Add a little incentive for their time.
While I certainly do not encourage you to buy your reviews with bribes, I don’t contest the idea of sweetening the offer with a little gift if needed. Getting some great reviews, especially early in your business, is important.
People are busy and sometimes need a little incentive for their time. Totally understandable. If you feel that the client is truly happy with your work and their experience, feel free to offer a small gift in exchange for their time and honest feedback.
Another great idea is to run a small contest for any reviews posted by a certain date gets entered into a raffle for a free gift card to a local spot. Who doesn’t love to try to win something?
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