How to Lose a Client in 10 DaysMay 25, 2016
What’s the single-most needed element in any successful photographer’s business? Clients. Without them, there’s no work, and without work – you guessed it – there’s no money. Below are ten ways that photographers alienate their clients in the days leading up to, during, and after their session. Avoid these mistakes and take note of the following advice in order to ensure that your clients stick around for good!
Day 1: Don’t respond to their enquiries
The fastest way to lose a client is to simply not respond to any of their enquiries, whether it be via email, social media, or via the phone. The client reasonably assumes that your lack of care, reliability, and professionalism will only carry-through to all areas of your work, plus it shows a disinterest in wanting to work with them in the first place.
Day 2: Don’t care about what your client wants
You need to understand what mood and look they desire from the images – show them examples, put together mood boards and have the client show you examples of what they’re after. Don’t just make an assumption or give the client the images YOU had in mind.
Day 3: Don’t worry about your client and how they’re feeling during the shoot
It can be easy to assume that the day of the shoot should be all about you – you’re the photographer after all and the one who is putting in all of the hard work! This is the wrong way to look at things, however, and a photographer should do everything they can to ensure that the experience is as enjoyable and stress-free for their client as possible.
Day 4: When the photoshoot isn’t running smoothly, freak out
If the images aren’t exactly going to plan, outwardly focusing on this will really mess up the session. Rather than telling your client “these images are looking horrible”, tell them they look great whilst you internally try to figure out what you can do to get excellent results. A photographer who can’t handle the pressure and think on his or her feet will certainly lose that client…for good.
Day 5: Just give your client what they want and move on
A photographer who doesn’t aim above and beyond simply won’t be memorable, nor will they have that client seek out their services again, especially when other photographers are willing to go the extra mile. Try and capture some additional images that they might not expect. Often these are the ones they end up treasuring the most.
Day 6: Don’t share or promote the photos:
Once the photo shoot or session is over, a photographer who simply puts that work to the back of their mind won’t win back their clients. If you don’t share at least one of the images on your social media (providing you’re allowed to), then it prevents the client from getting excited about the work. Social media is also the perfect tool for engagement beyond the shoot, plus it encourages the client to share your photography with their own followers. Not utilizing such a powerful tool will make you a lot less memorable.
Day 7: Don’t deliver your images until your client calls you repeatedly:
If your client has to call you because they expected their images before you had them ready, then you’ve dropped the ball. This is one sure-fire way to annoy and stress-out your client, and be warned, you could even expect a not-so-happy review once the experience is over. It’s always best to tell your client you’ll have the images ready within a week’s time, and then to deliver them in just three days. Disappoint them, however, and you’ll lose that client faster than you can say goodbye.
Day 8: Don’t worry about engaging with your client once the project is over:
Some photographers may be of the opinion that if a client wants to work with them again, they’ll get in touch. Once the work is over, if you don’t continue to connect with that client (whether it be via social media, email, phone etc.) then you’ll quickly become not-so-favorable in that client’s eyes. Want to avoid this dilemma? Be sure to follow the client on their social media platforms and check-in with them every 3 months with a friendly comment or share of one of their images. Perhaps the most important advice to satisfy this client and keep them coming back for more is to send them a thank you email once the work is over. If you don’t let them know how much you enjoyed working with them, then they may just assume that they weren’t appreciated.
Day 9: Don’t send a follow-up thank you gift to your client:
Just captured a high-paying campaign for an advertising agency or worked with a bride and groom on their big day? Now it’s time to send them a thank you gift. Photographers who take their clients for granted are way more likely to lose the client than those who show appreciation for the work and try to over-deliver. Let’s face it, the client could have chosen from any number of photographers to work with for this important project, but thankfully, they chose you. A nice bouquet of flowers and a handwritten note goes a long way, as does something as simple as a box of chocolates.
Day 10: Whine about your client on social media or to others in the industry:
As a photographer, you can probably expect that not all photo shoots or projects will run smoothly and sometimes this will even be the client’s fault. As a professional, however, it’s your job to try and make it work and to produce images that both parties will be happy with once the job is done. Is the client often late? Perhaps they find it hard to act naturally in front of the camera or they simply don’t like your ideas? Whine about this client on social media or to your friends in the industry and you’re sure to ruffle more than a few feathers (whilst looking extremely unprofessional in the process).
Those were ten ways that photographers can expect to lose a client in ten days. By being aware of these issues and taking care not to go down the road of unprofessional behavior, you can expect your clients to be over-joyed with your work (and to keep coming back for more!).