Business + Branding Education for Fearless Boss Ladies
This post is part of the series, The Ultimate Guide To Being A Wedding Photographer — advice for running a successful wedding photography biz. Click here to view a list of all the posts in this series.
Welcome back to this series! You may have noticed that I’ve been talking a lot about your Brand Experience — and that’s because it’s so ridiculously important! As in, make or break your business, important.
So today, I’m continuing with the idea of your brand experience, and how it can be incorporated into your business workflow and systems. This will allow you to stay organized and create a consistent brand experience for your clients.
Here is my list of five things you NEED to do immediately after you book your next client:
In my wedding photography biz (and still today with my branding business), I required two things from the client to book:
Once I had those two items — it was official!
But I had to sign the contract too. So the first thing I did after they booked was to sign the contract as well. As I mentioned before, I did all contracts online (still do!). But I also like to keep a “hard” copy in their client folder.
So, after signing was complete I’d print two copies (one for me, and one for the client).
You definitely don’t want to forget to show up on their wedding day (or double book yourself — I’ve seen it happen a lot!). So you need to make sure you have a calendar/planner for keeping track of everything.
I prefer iCal on my Mac. It syncs to all of my devices and I can set as many reminders as I need, I also color-code different entries depending on category (i.e. blue = wedding/photoshoot, red = meeting, purple = task, etc.)
So, the next step in my client “onboarding” process was to enter all important dates. These included the wedding day, engagement session, planning meeting, and when all other payments were due.
I also added their one year wedding anniversary, so I could be reminded to make a Facebook post, congratulating them on their first anniversary!
Whatever calendar or planner you choose — just make sure you come up with a system that works for you.
In the last post I told you all about my Client Welcome Kits that I would send to my brides and grooms. Step three in my client onboarding process was to assemble and mail that client’s kit.
As soon as I mailed the kit, I would send an email welcoming them as new clients. It would include some important information, including office policies, etc.
I’d also tell them that I’d sent a little surprise to them (the welcome kit) and to be on the lookout for it.
You might think this bit is redundant, but it’s actually not. I know so many photographers who send welcome packets, or expensive welcome gifts to their clients… and never hear back! It seems rude, but remember your clients are really busy. So give them a reason to reply to you.
Let them know to expect something in the mail, when it should arrive, and to reach out if they don’t see it.
That actually happened once — one of my welcome kits was lost in the mail and we were able to track it down. But if I hadn’t told the client to expect it, we never would have known it was lost.
Now this last step really comes down to your personal preference, and your own brand. I know a lot of photographers and creative entrepreneurs who prefer not to add their clients as friends on Facebook, etc. They see their social media as personal, private, and separate from their business.
And that’s fine — and awesome that they know that.
However, in my own business, I felt it was very important to develop personal relationships with all of my clients. So I chose to add them on my social media accounts.
This did mean that I had to be more “cautious” about the things I posted… because a client might see it!
But I loved adding clients on social media for two reasons:
So the last step in my client onboarding process was to add/follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
And there you have it — the top 5 things to do after a new client books!
Did I miss something? What do you include in your onboarding process?? Leave me a comment below — I’d LOVE to know!