How to guarantee referrals in your photography business

You want more clients. Everyone does. There are many ways to get new clients, such as advertising, networking, social media, tradeshows, and so on. You’ve probably heard that the best way to get new clients is through referrals. But how do you get referrals? This is the first article in a 7-day series, where I'll be providing a framework for you to guarantee referrals in your photography business!

You want more clients. Everyone does.

There are many ways to get new clients, such as advertising, networking, social media, tradeshows, and so on. You’ve probably heard that the best way to get new clients is through referrals.

Referrals are 4 times more likely to buy, and spend 200% more than the average customer.

But how do you get referrals? First, let’s look at why they’re so important in the first place:

  • 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust referrals from family, colleagues, and friends. Link
  • Referrals are 4 times more likely to buy. Link
  • Referrals spend 200% more than the average customer.
  • A referred customer is 18% more loyal than a customer acquired elsewhere.
  • Referred customer are 4 times more likely to refer.

So, in short, when someone is referred, they:

  • Trust you right from the beginning
  • Cost less to acquire
  • Are more likely to buy from you
  • Spend more with you
  • Have greater loyalty to you
  • Are more likely to refer others

They save you money, make you more money, are better clients, and will send more people like them your way. If that doesn’t convince you of the importance of referrals, I don’t know what will!

That is exactly why referrals must be a deliberate pursuit in your business; it cannot be something that happens by accident. I believe success is designed, and those who succeed are those who act with intention.

How can you be more intentional about it, then? Most photographers think of it this way:

“How do I get my customers to refer me?”

This question is where it all begins, and where it also ends. This question starts you off on the wrong foot. You shouldn’t be asking how your customers can refer you – it’s way too “me-focused.” Remember – people don’t care about you, they care about what you can do for them. We need to stop talking about ourselves and being self-centered, and start being more client-centered. Thinking this way will revolutionize the way you look at referrals, the customer experience, sales, marketing, and almost every other part of your business.

Therefore, the better question to ask is:

“How can I provide such a remarkable experience, deliver the highest quality products, and exceed expectations in a way that my clients can’t help but talk about me?”

This isn’t a new concept, and I’m not breaking ground here. This is common sense, but sometimes common sense isn’t so common. There have been countless books on this topic – Purple Cow by Seth Godin and Blue Ocean Strategy to name a couple. They all stand for the same things – be remarkable, do something different and stand out. Make a difference in your clients’ lives and they will want to talk about you. They will want to refer to you.

You must be remarkable, do something different, and stand out. Make a difference in your clients’ lives and they will want to refer you.

So – the onus is on you! It’s not about how you can get your customers to refer you. It’s about how you can provide such a remarkable experience so that they can’t help but refer you!

The “Get More Referrals” Series

Over the next 5 days, I’ll be sharing a framework for you to get more referrals in your photography business. I’ll be doing a Facebook Live video every morning at 11:00am EST over on the SproutingPhotographer Facebook Page, and later in the afternoon, I’ll publish an article here on SproutingPhotographer.com sharing the written version of what we discussed in the live video.

We’re gearing up for a huge update to Sprout Studio. In fact, we’ve changed so much; we thought it deserved a title – we’re calling it v1.5. It’s an update all about your clients. It encourages repeat clients, enables you to provide an amazing customer experience, helps you organize your clients better and has built-in, easy-to-use, advanced automation so you can spend less time in the nitty-gritty, and more time doing what you love.

Maybe you’re already a Sprout Studio user, maybe you tried it and found that it wasn’t a good fit at the time, or maybe you haven’t even given it a try yet. Sprout Studio v1.5 will be revolutionary. If you’re not using Sprout Studio, now is the time. This update marks a huge milestone in the software and how you can relate to your clients.

Over a client’s lifecycle, they may inquire for several different kinds of shoots. They may end up booking several of them with you, and they will likely place several different orders with you over that time. And at the core of it all is your client; they’re the common thread. The person is the hub to the relationship and everything they book you for. That’s exactly how we’ve restructured Sprout Studio in v1.5, it mimics real-life and the basics of human interaction.

new-portal

One of your past brides may inquire to book a maternity session and order a book. She may have had an engagement session with a print order. She has her wedding package and all the details for her wedding. It’s all connected to the bride – the person. Now, with Sprout Studio v1.5, when she visits her Client Portal in Sprout Studio, she can see her entire photographic experience with you – past and present. She can easily navigate around and reference everything. While she’s browsing her Gallery, she can look at her contract. When she’s reviewing an Album Proof, she can view her Gallery. When she books her Maternity session with you, she can go back and recall all the details from her Wedding.

With Sprout Studio, it’s all in one place. You keep her organized, so you can come off as being the hero!

Visit www.GetSproutStudio.com to sign up for a 21-day free trial. Sprout Studio v1.5 will be released on September 20th, and you’ll automatically get the upgrade once it is out. See you over there!

To complement this “Guaranteed Referrals” educational series, we’re also doing a Facebook Live video over on the Sprouting Photographer Facebook Page every morning this week at 11:00am EST. Come join us there to join in on the conversation! Here’s the video from the Facebook Live chat that corresponds to this article, below. Join us tomorrow at 11:00am EST for another video!

2 Comments

  • Sarah says:

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Mike says:

    Thanks Bryan, fantastic points. This really hit home – “This question is where it all begins, and where it also ends. This question starts you off on the wrong foot. You shouldn’t be asking how your customers can refer you – it’s way too “me-focused.” Remember – people don’t care about you, they care about what you can do for them. “

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