Joe Gosen, a Visual Journalism Instructor at Brooks Institute, is…
This is the final blog post from a new series to help you create a business plan in 2014 using our guide The 2014 Photo Business Plan Workbook. Download it here.
Step #9: Follow Up with Old Clients
The easiest sale should, in theory, be with your old clients. But for some reason, human behavior creates strange obstacles and barriers that prevent many of us from conducting simple follow up with old clients. (So no, you weren’t the only one who wishes they were better at this.) Assuming you provide high quality work with a smile, your old clients should be eager to hire or refer you to friends and colleagues. And because these clients are pre-qualified, you can feel more confident about spending more money marketing to them.
Go back to the well. Your old clients are already familiar with you, and if you haven’t been in contact with them for a while, you likely have a lot of great reasons to reach out and let them know about new projects, products, and services.
Most photo buyers and editors we spoke to encourage regular communication (usually no more than once per month). This might be too frequent for regular consumers, but this shouldn’t dissuade you from still making contact once or twice a year.
- Editorial photographers: Send a tear sheet of your latest work to remind photo editors of who you are and the type of work you do.
- Wedding photographers: Send a print from the wedding to the couple (doublecheck that they are still married!), thank them for their patronage, and kindly ask them to pass your name along if they have friends who are looking for a photographer.
- Travel photographers: Notify photo editors of where you are traveling to in advance. You never know when they might need a photographer in a specific area. Consider creating a small booklet shot in your neighborhood as an example of your capabilities.
If you’ve published a book recently, you might consider signing and sending it to your best clients for the holidays. We like photo-related reminders because they are relevant to the products and services you provide.
Although we’ve never met a client who would turn down a goodie basket of delicious food, it’s less memorable because it doesn’t reinforce your core service.
Want all 9 steps in an easy to reach place? Download the Workbook which includes additional resources, and easy to follow to-do lists for each step.
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