After running my photography business for over 25 years now, there are some things that I am chill about when it comes to a session with a client, and yet there are some things that I do not leave to chance.
If you find yourself obsessing over all the things before a session, today’s episode is for you.
With these 4 tips you can stop panicking and be just fine.
For me, a session is kind of like raising toddlers.
People always say when you’re raising little kids, pick your battles.
The same thing goes for sessions when it comes to running a business.
There are some things we can be flexible on or even slack off a little with.
But then, there are some things that we must be strict about, or we’re going to have a hot mess and inevitably lose money.
Here are four things I obsess on before every client session.
1. Always confirm that the client will show up to the session
I value my time more than I value much else.
So if I clear a time, clean the camera room and set up for a session, it is so frustrating to have a no-show.
I can’t remember the last time we had a no-show because we’re meticulous about confirming every single appointment.
Once we started charging a creation fee, we haven’t had a no-show.
2. Setup for the session in advance of the client showing up
I am a child photographer and my window to get the image that I need is very, very small.
I can’t be looking for things or setting up backgrounds as they’re walking in.
So before they walk in, everything is ready.
From the camera having a fully charged battery, an sd card, reflectors, extra lenses and props.
3. Have the session ideas and plan ready
Before the client comes in for their session, I have to review my notes from the consultation and I make a checklist of the images I need to get.
The consultation is where we plan the session, that’s where the selling happens because that’s where I’m finding out what they want.
I have a studio manager, Andria, who I’ll talk through the flow of this session.
We don’t just start and just start clicking away. We are directing everything that happens.
4. Set expectations for the next step
A lot of people skip this since the session’s done, they think they can figure out the rest later.
We set expectations for the next step.
For our system to be as flawless as possible the responsibility is on me to make sure that the client knows what will happen next.
The next step is to educate them that in about two weeks they will come back for an hour at the most, and I will personally sit with them and present their images and make recommendations.
What I love about being an entrepreneur is that I have so much freedom and flexibility.
When a client wants to move the appointment, no worries, we can move it.
Or if I want to dress really casually one day or if I want to leave my office a mess because nobody’s coming in, it doesn’t matter.
But with being an entrepreneur, it also means that I can’t run my business loosey-goosey.
It comes off unprofessional.
If you implement these strong policies then you will get the respect of your clients and you’ll get large orders from your clients.
But you have to obsess over the right things.