Building and maintaining relationships with your clients isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here are a few sure-fire ways to gain that extra “something” that separates you from your competition:
Google their name to see if they have any awards or personal information you can use to develop a profile.
Identify their needs to what you have to offer. For example, if you are a food photographer and you are sending your marketing to Grey Advertising, you need to focus in on your target audience and see what food brands they represent. You can look under specialties on the Agency Access website or go directly to their site.
Understanding what people want and why they want it allows you to relate to their needs and ultimately build a relationship.
Clients notice when you take the time out to go above and beyond to understand their needs, and the greater your knowledge of the client is, the more likely you will be able to meet their needs.
For example, when I was working in publishing, I met with a media buyer who, during our discussions, revealed that he loved Play-Doh®. After our meeting, I sent him some Play-Doh with a note: “Please think of American Photo and Popular Photography as you begin to mold your media plan for 2000.”
Keep note of birthdays, children’s names, etc. If you have worked with the client, keep production notes as to their likes and dislikes – catering preferences, food allergies, beverage choices, and any other details that you can use to create the most comfortable production set.
This reinforces the success of the job – it reminds the client of the shoot and what a fun time it was and the great imagery they got out of it.
Pitch your ideas when you can. If time allows for it, always try to shoot something that you feel will go above and beyond the client’s vision.
Is it your personality? Resources? Creativity? Equipment? Location?
Is this you?
Jennifer Kilberg’s unique insight into the photo industry is a result of her extensive experience and understanding of all aspects of photography since joining the industry in 1996. In 2004, Jennifer started FluidVision Inc. and has worked with a diverse international client base of photographers and illustrators of all styles and specialties. As a strong communicator, Jennifer enjoys working with all types of personalities, and her loyal client base is a testament to her ability to build long-term relationships. Jennifer has worked with Agency Access clients since 2009 in both Campaign Manager programs and other types of consultations.
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