Want to know how to get more referrals in your photography business? Invest your time wisely where it counts the most. Stop wasting your time on referral programs and instead focus on these 5 things to get more referrals and grow your photography business.
Forget about a referral program.
I don’t necessarily dislike referral programs but I do think there are better ways to spend your time to get more authentic, high quality referrals. Referral programs are designed to incentivize your clients to refer you in exchange for something. Although any referral is a good one, referral programs lack authenticity.
You want your business to be referred because you are an amazing, talented photographer and your clients can’t help but rave about you.
Invest your time wisely in word-of-mouth marketing.
Word-mouth-marketing is a photographers best friend, but it doesn’t always happen organically. To be referred, you need to be top of mind to your clients. How do you do that?
Get more referrals in your photography business with these 5 things.
1. Communicate with your clients year-round. You need to stay active with your clients even when they aren’t in an active buying phase. The majority of the time you connect with your clients, they are not actively searching for a photographer or needing photos. This is where you need to serve your clients and not sell to them.
Social media, blogging and email marketing can be leveraged year-round to nurture your relationships. Remaining active with your clients and positioning yourself as a resource to them will help keep you top of mind.
2. Friend your clients. Connect with your clients on social media by following them on Instagram and friending them on Facebook. This might not be for everyone but I truly enjoy my clients and consider many of them friends. I love watching their families grow and getting to know them outside of my business.
When you remain connected, you will be top of mind when they need a photographer and they will be quick to refer you when someone else asks.
3. Ask for the referral! Sometimes something obvious to you, isn’t always obvious to others. As a photographer, you know that referrals mean a lot to you and your business. If you want your clients to refer you, ask them!
When you complete a session, send your clients a simple but straightforward referral text. Tell them how much you loved working with them and that you would love to grow your network of families with ones just like them. Ask them if they have any friends that you could connect with. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but this quick mention usually helps spark referrals. If it doesn’t work right away, it let’s them know how much you appreciate referrals.
4. Impress your clients. Treat your clients with a world-class experience. This is undoubtedly one of the most powerful ways to get referrals. If your clients loved working with you, you will not only get their return business but they will refer you over and over again without hesitation.
5. Give your clients stuff they can’t help but share. And lastly, your clients are your biggest fans and source for referrals. Don’t forget to arm them with things they can’t help but share. Adding a sneak peek blog post to your workflow is one of my favorite things to do. It’s easy for clients to share and the response is always a good one. Treat them to fun prints, hand-written thank you cards, IG story highlights…etc. Do your best to showcase your client and they will naturally share these little gestures with their networks. Cue the referrals!
Don’t forget to express your gratitude.
As you know, I’m not keen on spending too much time on elaborate referral programs. I do however think it’s a nice gesture to reward clients that refer you with a small gift.
I like to think of this as a gift of thanks rather than an incentive. This gift is usually a surprise to my clients and further strengthens their experience.
This reminds me – don’t forget to ask your leads how they found you! You want to know what clients to thank when a lead comes your way.
Marketing can feel like a mystery but it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Your clients are your biggest fans and most valuable asset. If you can impress your clients and continue to do so well after the session ends, they will be your best source for referrals.
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