Building Lasting Relationships: Tips to Keep Your Clients Returning

Tips to Keep Your Clients Returning


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

When you are a new photographer, getting photography clients is a vital and time-consuming part of the job. It is not enough to simply take amazing photographs; you must maintain an online portfolio, learn how to advertise your photography business, and focus on client outreach to attract the people who wish to work with you.

However, one very effective way to see your business grow is by turning new photography clients into returning clients. By building a relationship with your clients, educating them about when they need more portraits, and providing excellent service that wows clients, you will convince them to return for repeat sessions. This extra effort can be easier, cheaper, and more effective than marketing to new clients.

Building a photography business may feel overwhelming if you do not have a business degree. Let’s look at some ways to encourage client loyalty and retention.

Why Client Retention Matters

Keeping clients coming back is part of an effective marketing plan. Finding photography clients can use up a large chunk of your marketing budget, whether it’s time or money you’re investing. Repeat sessions will increase your income without extra marketing costs.

A family or individual that has hired you once before has already shown interest in investing in your work. Successful retention strategies can strengthen loyalty and help you make clients for life.

Bringing People Back

The key is to build lasting relationships with your clients. Here are four tips to do that and encourage your photography clients to return for more sessions:

1. Make Clients Happy

Happy clients will often turn into repeat clients. Meeting and exceeding your clients’ expectations should be a top priority. Client satisfaction depends not only on the final photographs you deliver, but also on the experience during the photography session, client communication, and your business practices.

Going above and beyond with customer service before, during, and after a photography session can significantly impact whether a client returns. Customer service can include sharing all the relevant information and helpful tips before the photography session, being available to answer any questions your clients have, providing a comfortable and enjoyable experience during the session, and continuing with communication and updates afterward.

Be upfront before every session about your process, capabilities, and what your clients can expect after. Mutual understanding and clarification can help build successful relationships. It is also always a good idea to underpromise and overdeliver. If you know how long it usually takes you to edit a session, add time to the estimate, and you’ll have delighted clients when you reach out to schedule their in-person ordering appointment early. Overestimating the time needed will also give you a little cushion in case something causes a delay.

2. Provide a Personal Touch

Avoid generic form letters, and always use your client’s name in communication. It may seem small, but using someone’s name goes a long way in creating warm feelings and establishing trust. When a potential client first reaches out to you, don’t just send back a standard response, but instead, schedule a time to connect with that person over the phone. Letting a client know the person behind the business helps to establish a relationship right from the start.

There are other ways to create that personal connection as well. Gratitude and appreciation go a long way in business. You can follow up the session with a personal message or a handwritten note. Personal touches can add perceived value, encouraging clients to reach out to you again when they are ready for their next photography session.

3. Keep Up Communication

You don’t want your clients to forget about you after their session. Keeping up communication, whether with an active social media presence or through personal check-ins on their order status, can ensure clients keep your business in mind. Don’t forget to send a personal text to a client directly if you have a new product or opportunity you think they would love.

You can use social media to make new connections through friends and past clients. It’s also a great educational tool. You can use social accounts to teach clients what to expect during a photoshoot, educate them about your photography style, provide tips on what to wear, ways to frame and display their photographs, etc. Offering educational content adds value to your photography services and can make you seem like more of an authority in the industry.

4. Ask Clients for Feedback

A fantastic way to improve in anything you do is through feedback. Asking questions of past clients can help you adjust how you run your photography business. Getting client feedback is another essential level of customer service. A satisfied client will promote your company to friends and family and bring in more clients.

Including client reviews on your website, social media, and promotional materials is another valuable tool for how to grow your photography business. Be sure to personally thank your clients when they take the time to write a review.

Turning new clients into returning clients is an excellent and easy way to grow your photography business. Keeping your clients happy, keeping up with communication, and being responsive to feedback are essential for creating client loyalty and building relationships for life.

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