The holidays are the PERFECT time to create loyalty and get referrals from your best clients!
I recently had an experience where I got treated like a VIP and it gave me some ideas for how you can do this in your photography business, too!
Now, my kiddos always ask me, “Who’s your favorite?”
Which is so silly because I don’t have a favorite!!
As parents, we want to treat all of our kids the same!
But when it comes to business, we don’t have to do that.
We don’t have to treat all of our clients equally.
Some are better.
Some are worth more in our hearts, some are worth more in our wallets, and some are worth more of both.
I know when I started, I had some clients who were with me when I was underpriced and I treasured them.
But, when I had to change my prices so that I could be profitable, many of them left and we parted ways.
I still have a warm spot in my heart for them, but I know I can’t make it in business with those clients.
I was recently at my mentor’s event, Funnel Hacking Live, and there were at least 5,000 people there.
Yet he treated us better.
Let me share who “us” is…
We are the students who pay between $50,000- $150,000 a year to be in his high-ticket coaching program.
People could purchase a ticket to Funnel Hacking Live for $795, but they can’t be VIPs unless they’re one of his students.
Being a great marketer and businessperson, he wanted to take care of the people who were giving him more money!
He knew that we’d paid him more.
And if we pay again, year after year, what’s the lifetime value of us?
Some people have paid him over a million dollars to get his advice.
So he wants to treat us better.
He did things for us that were above and beyond because we are so valuable to him.
At registration, we got a special room with a short line.
They had more people there to help us than there were even people in the line…
There were people making our lanyards, getting our t-shirt sizes, packing our swag bags, and putting all kinds of goodies in it.
They were there calling us by name, saying hello, and giving us hugs.
We felt so welcomed and important!
We got a special name tag and wristband that identified us as VIPs because we got special early access.
There was even a room that we got to go in before the early access to the big room where we could network with each other!
We also had a special private party at SeaWorld before the event started (last year he rented out Harry Potter World for us, which was amazing).
Throughout the event, everybody knows who the VIPs are, they get more attention and get taken better care of.
Now for me, as a boutique photographer, I’m always looking at how I can treat my clients better.
How can I make my photography clients happier and love what I’m doing?
So I’m going to give you some tried and true tips you can use to treat your best clients even better.
If you take care of your best clients, they will take care of you and you won’t need hundreds of clients!
1. Give your best clients your cool new opportunities first
If you have a new product, a new session idea, new props, or some cool new experience, go to your best clients first!
Give them the first opportunity to take advantage of what you are offering.
2. Gift your best clients at unexpected times
This one is really huge!
If someone gives you attention at different times when it’s less expected, it’s more memorable.
When you throw the gift in with something that they’re already getting (like wallet-sized portraits along with their big order) and they’re already excited, so you’re taking away from that second opportunity for excitement.
During the holidays, we always gift our best clients.
We’ve done those chubby canvases from White House Custom Colour and even custom ornaments.
We don’t sell either of those.
We really try to do something different than what they can purchase to really surprise them.
3. Feature your best clients more in your marketing and in your social media
Over the years, we’ve had our high school senior clients featured in all kinds of cool things.
We’ve had them be models for huge displays at local clothing stores and featured in our next marketing piece.
It makes them so giddy!
Another cool opportunity to really love on your best clients is to feature your images of them on your website.
You can put it on social media or blog.
You can make it a really big deal and give them love so they get some fame and stardom!
They can tag all of their friends, which everybody loves.
4. Go above and beyond what you normally do for your best clients
One year, we took clients out into the country and had them jump on my daughter’s bed outside.
We cut the feather pillow and let the kids throw the feathers everywhere.
How cool is that?
They were the coolest portraits for them, too.
Those are the things we do for our best clients!
5. Support causes that my best clients are passionate about
It took me a few years to figure out how to actually monetize donations to auctions.
I just thought I was giving to charity.
And then I realized this is a marketing activity and I’m doing it all wrong!!
Now I show up to support the causes that my best clients are passionate about and I end up getting even more right-fit clients.
Remember, relationships are the key to your business!
I am always wanting to nurture my best clients and make them feel amazing so they refer me and so that I get more clients like them.
I want to build from the top of my client base because again, they’re not all created equally.
I love them all, but I can love some even more.
I hope this has inspired you to really treat your best clients better, even if you just have a few of them!
How can you let them know that they are super valuable to you and stay at the top of their mind?
We call it top-of-mind awareness.
How can you just stay out there in front of them because it’s going to help them refer you more and come back to you more?
And it not only elevates your business for the short and long term, but it elevates how people feel about you and the quality of the clients that you have.
So if you just make it a habit to take better care of your best clients, they are going to take the best care of you.
I believe in you, and I know you can do this for the long term!!