Today’s topic is one that I think a lot of photographers find a little bit scary, and it can feel really overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with marketing. I want to unpackage the idea of relationship marketing by making it simple and fun. So what exactly is relationship marketing? Relationship marketing focuses more on long-term customer relationships i.e. client retention rather than just getting new clients all the time.
Here are some interesting statistics that show how powerful relationship marketing is for your business:
- It’s 7x easier to retain an existing client than it is to find a new one.
- 80% of your revenue will likely come from 20% of your clients
- 92% of consumers say that they trust word of mouth recommendations from friends and family above all advertising.
Relationship Marketing can also extend to networking and creating relationships with complimentary businesses. It’s not just about who you know, it’s about who you know and who they know. As you create these relationships, you are growing your network and growing your reach.
So here are some practical tips and strategies on how to use relationship marketing to build or retain your clientele and increase your revenues.
Client Relationships and Client Retention
- Provide an Outstanding Client Experience – You’re focused on improving this experience all the time. It can be overwhelming when you’re just starting to plan out the client experience as a step-by-step workflow. Take the time to map out what this client experience journey will look like. Be one step ahead of the client, ensuring that they are never left wondering, what’s next. Always over prepare and over communicate with your client.
- Develop an Affiliate Program – This can be something very simple. If a past client refers you to a friend, family member, or someone they saw in a random Facebook group, and they end up booking you and uses that past client’s name as a referral, then you can give that past client a 5% referral bonus as a thank you. If you go above and beyond for your client to show them how valued they are, they can still continue to be that referral source for you.
- Create Exclusive Opportunities for Repeat Clients – It’s nice for your repeat clients to feel like there’s some sort of perk for them that new clients don’t get. This could be a What to Wear Guide or it could be an added value to their session where they get extras on top of their original order as a thank you for being a repeat client.
- Staying in Touch with Past Clients – This strategy is so underutilized. You could stay in touch by following them on Facebook or on Instagram and just popping in occasionally whenever you see something they’ve posted and genuinely leave comments. Just randomly every few months, send them a DM or a message and just say, Hey, how are you? I’m thinking of you. You want to stay relevant and stay top of mind if they’re looking for a photographer in the future, or if they know somebody who is.
Relationship Marketing + Networking
- Cultivating Relationships with other Photographers – Think about creating and cultivating relationships with other photographers who might not be in the same specialty that you are. It’s very important that you have those connections with photographers as you can get referrals from them and vice versa.
- Looking at Complementary Industries – Before you do this next step, check out Episode 73 which talks about identifying and attracting your ideal client. Once you identify the ideal client, think about what they do right before they hire you. Let’s say someone wants to redo their website. You could connect with local website designers who would be a perfect collab opportunity for you to get referrals. Think about your specialty and how you can leverage your network. Collaborating with other industries so that they can refer you as the next step in the process.
- Think about Natural Networkers – These are the people you think of when you need a recommendation for anything, they just know everyone- they are connectors! It is important to get to know these connectors and create genuine relationships with them as they can send referrals your way.
Tips for Generating Relationships with Clients
- Use Instagram – Search local hashtags and identify business accounts that could benefit from your services. Select businesses that you are interested in, businesses that have a mission that resonates with you or even a business that doesn’t show their face often on social media. You can use canned messages (quick replies) to generate conversations with these businesses. Save these potential clients and continue to cultivate a relationship with them by messaging them on their DMs when they post on their stories or comment on their posts. This helps to generate that relationship and then when they’re ready to hire a photographer, hopefully they will think of you first.
- Join Facebook Groups – Facebook is a great opportunity for you to leverage your local network and stay top of mind. Be a part of some local Facebook groups in your community and actually use those groups to provide value. You can still strike up conversation with people that are in your local groups and provide value, even if it’s not photography value. Your name will become familiar to these people because they constantly see you posting value.
- DM a Client Directly – This is key if you’re responding to a post with several comments. In order to stand out, send a potential client at DM. Just make sure it doesn’t go against the post author’s instructions. Send them a DM that is very thoughtful, provides value and is not super pitchy. Include a link to your website and details that will set you apart from everybody else.
All right, mama, that was a lot of information that I threw at you right now. If you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed and you’re not sure what the next step is, join us inside the Side Hustler to CEO Program. It officially launches August 1st. For listeners of the podcast, you are getting a sneak peek as I have an incredible introductory rate for the first four people who join before the official launch. So for more information, and to grab one of those introductory spots, head on over to thepurposegathering.com/coaching.
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it with other mamas and tag me on Instagram @thepurposegathering! I’d love to get to know you better.
And as always mama, I am here rooting for you, and you are not alone on this journey.