Building and Sustaining a Customer Centric Professional Photography Business

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Understanding the needs of your professional photography clients and serving those needs completely is paramount to the success of your business. However, there’s just one little catch…clients don’t know what they need! Your clients look to you, their trusted professional and advisor, to educate them and show them how a once in a lifetime milestone event is done the right way when it comes to professional photography and ensuring that their memories last a lifetime.

Through our consumer research and relationships with some of the world’s most successful photographers we’ve learned that the formula for success is clear; nurture your client relationships with the education they need and free up some of your back office and post production workflow processes to create the time for client nurturing and education. Let’s break it down.

  • Educate. Begin the education process with your clients from day one, even before you’ve been hired! Educate your clients through your marketing materials, your sales pitches and sales processes. The more you educate them, the more they will understand the entire experience of the professional photography service you provide from capture to memories that last a lifetime. Educate your clients about the image permanence of prints and print products. Move them emotionally about the psychology of the physical print. Sprinkle your knowledge and educate your clients about how to preserve their memories the right way throughout every step of your sales cycle.
  • Use the right post production tools. The more quickly you can get through your post production process, the more time you have to educate and build relationships with your clients (and shoot more events). Invest in tools and services that help you cull and select your photos, consider post production services for your editing and retouching…don’t be afraid to ‘let go’ of some of your processes in the name of gaining valuable time to nurture your client relationships. Some of the most successfully photographers we know have shared that using automated culling tools like Kodak Professional Select and outsourcing their editing have contributed greatly to their overall revenue due to the increase in front facing, nurturing and educational opportunities with their clients.
  • Invest in the right business tools. From marketing your business and scheduling events, to blogging and maintaining your social media accounts, you wear many hats that can either keep bogged down and playing catch up (and away from your clients) or operating like a well organized and and well balanced successful business.
  • Use eCommerce solutions. There is always room for in person selling opportunities but you should always, as in each and every shoot, provide your clients with beautiful image galleries that will not just WOW them but engage and motivate them to share the event with friends and family and motivate print and print product purchases. Check with your favorite professional print lab to gain access to their eCommerce partners.
  • Educate. OK, we’ve already listed this success factor but we want to emphasize that education is the sweet spot of creating winning, long lasting, profitable relationships with your clients. We find that professional photographers are the best educators we know…educating fellow photographers about capture technologies and techniques, post production processes and all aspects of running a successful professional photography business. And ensuring that your clients are at the center of it all, with all sights set on serving their needs completely, you create a sustainable business built on helping your clients understand how to do it right.

Share your tips of how you nurture and educate your clients!

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