There is no entrepreneur in the art of photography that doesn’t dream big – that is to enjoy a steady stream of clients who value their artistic vision, product, or service and are happy to pay profitable prices. It is at that height that you introduce new concepts and ideas because your clients know you are a professional and worth the price. This gives you the freedom as a photographer to deliver the type of pictures and events you enjoy most and not just any job that is around. But before you get to that level, there is an important aspect of any business even in photography that you must know, and that is leaving your potential clients with a great first impression. You must understand that your initial meeting with a potential client whether it is a phone call, video call, or in-person meeting, is where you have to make the right impact. Most times, you will have only one chance to make a first impression, and if this first meeting would win a new client to your business, then your presentation must count. You will also have to put some things in place that shows how ready you are when a client walks through the door. Such standards are what gives you confidence as a photographer and also shows your level of professionalism and interest in your client’s concerns. Therefore, you don’t have to struggle to get new clients because there are specific things you can do to build immediate trust and great first impression with a client which will cause you to get hired at the end of a meeting.
HAVE A MENTAL UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
As a photographer, it is much easier to make a good impression and get hired if you have a clear understanding of what they want. You may need to find out what their interest and hobbies are, where they shop, and the website that interests them. Do you have an online form that potential clients fill out so you can understand their needs and how to best serve them? A clear understanding of these things will help you create an effective marketing strategy when you meet with them. Of course, the strategy you use for newborn photography will be different from marketing headshots for a CEO because they are different types of clients. If you can succeed in understanding your potential client in and out as regards to meeting their needs, you will soon be having someone book you for a contract.
UNDERSTANDING THE PATTERN OF DECISION-MAKING OF ANY CLIENT IS IMPORTANT
A photographer, who doesn’t take time to study and understand how or what determines the decision-making pattern of a potential client, maybe unintentionally turning away clients that would have loved to hire you at your first meeting. Don’t ever think that the client you are looking for isn’t creative or informed; hence if there is a scheduled video call or business meeting, you should be ready to give out current information that will beat the expectations of your client. Your level of creativity and information will always affect how your client sees you. For example, most clients will look at you as a professional and authority if you can educate them on what to check in a photographer. This alone will guide their decision as they will choose to work with you.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN UPDATED WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE
This is what most forms an impression a potential client has about you even before meeting with you. Photography and the social media cannot be separated because your social media profile portrays your professional image. Clients often research you, and it is an updated social media profile that will speak to you first before a meeting. Also, the information found on your website should not misrepresent you but rather affirms who you are and what you stand for. It is the perfect agreement between the information a potential client gathers about you and what you say during a phone call or in-person meeting that will get hired for a job. Again, customers look for reviews, and it does help when your business has an online review. If potential clients read the positive comments that customers say about your jobs as a photographer, it has a way of creating a good impression about your business to them before they meet you. Therefore, as a business owner, seek for reviews and have it posted on your social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Also, have such reviews on your website and places like Google search to boost your online presence.
ARRIVE ON TIME
Do not let anything delay your appointment or meeting with a potential client. Photography is a professional job, and punctuality shows how you take your job. Plan to leave early to beat the traffic – it is more honorable to arrive much earlier and be the one waiting for your client. Always remember that arriving early shows that you take every job seriously and will deliver on time, while lateness leaves your potential client wondering how you will handle appointments and jobs given to you. In a case where you might need to reschedule, be the first to contact your potential client rather than keeping him waiting and confirm your availability on another agreed date. It shows you understand the ethics of business.
YOU NEED TO DRESS APPROPRIATELY
Ensure you are presentable during your first meeting. As a photographer, your job portrays organization, cleanliness and absolute beauty. Therefore your dressing must be consistent with your job and this shows your client that you are a detailed businessman just as photography requires.
MIND YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
At your first meeting, make sure you smile, make eye contact, and give a firm handshake. Sit erect and show enthusiasm about your client and your career as a photographer. Don’t ever give your potential client the room to think you are bored or disinterested with the discussion. Your awe, body language, and friendliness are very important if you must win a new client.
CREATE THE RIGHT MEETING ENVIRONMENT
What a prospective client sees in your office leaves an impression too. The way you arrange your things, your picture gallery, stylish glassware, all play a huge role in determining if your client base will increase. In the case where you do not have an office, there is nothing wrong with meeting a potential client publically in either a nice coffee shop, restaurant, or in a mall where you can sit and discuss business. However, make sure you mind the environment you are creating or any place you want to use so that your reputation will not be jeopardized.
LEARN TO FOLLOW UP AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN
It is a good business move to follow up with your potential client when he has gone. You can send an appreciative email or summary of what was discussed. The impression that leaves is that of care and attentiveness to detail.
Lastly, as an entrepreneur, your ability to win clients who trust your abilities as a photographer will give you an edge in a competitive market. Making a great first impression each time you have an opportunity will set you apart and bring in dividends for your business over time.
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