5 Ways to Keep Your Photography Clients Coming Back for More

July 26, 2021

Let me share a funny story with you. Well, maybe not so funny. It’s about aging. Aging?? Most definitely. But aging me not you. So don’t worry.

Hmmmm. Wait a second. Maybe it’s more like a blast from the past and some validation on the impact and relationships that you can make along the way in your photography business.

Yep. That’s it. Let’s go with a double dose of Validation. We can all use a little bit of that.

I got an email the other week right before Father’s Day from someone whose name was… let’s say…. Andrea the Best Wife Ever. She was just inquiring about some family pics for her husband. The story goes that she asked her husband days before the monumental “day of dads” (the one and only day that they get celebrated all year long) how he wanted to celebrate his awesomeness for that one and only day, because we as parents know that kids are only going to make you a barely edible breakfast and some heirloom crayon stick figure portrayals of your clan. And sometimes us parents, as much as we love our kids, want a real present!

Now this king of the castle responded by saying of all the things in the kingdom that he could rightfully request, he deemed the best to be FAMILY PORTRAITS. Here! Here! Brilliant man. I feel like he should be celebrated at least twice a year for this brilliance.

It turns out as we connected and I got more of this fantastical story that I had actually captured their wedding photography 17 years ago on Hilton Head Island in the Sea Pines Resort at the beautiful Sea Pines Beach Club! Gasp! I know. It’s hard to believe that I could be that old. This was a destination wedding that I shot seventeen years ago and they were coming back into town and staying at the ever-gorgeous Palmetto Bluff  Resort and were in need of some family photography to appease the request of dad.

But let’s just discuss something that is as equally important.

They remembered little ole me 17 years later. Let’s say it again …. SEVENTEEN YEARS LATER. 

So how do we make that happen in our business as wedding photographers, family portrait photographers, engagement photographers, and senior photographers?

How do we make an impression? A good impression. We never really know how we can make a difference in people’s lives and it can be surprising when you hear that you were more than a blip in their life. We as photographers help to create and capture moments that are remembered and reflected on and shared for generations to come. That’s some heavy stuff. So how do we do it right?

1. Make a Lasting Impact

Make a lasting impact.

Somehow the Universe seems to gift us and connect us with the people that bring our talent to life and that we can reciprocate to them. But don’t let your ego get in the way. You may be doing photoshoots every single day but these clients of yours aren’t. Don’t get blazé about how many clients you’ve shot or the fact that they may not be super comfy getting their photos taken. That’s why they are coming to you. They are investing in you and giving you the privilege of documenting their lives. If done right, you can develop a relationship with these clients that is more than just a one-off “client”. Go the extra mile and hear them and see them and create an experience for them from start to finish that shows themselves in the light that they may never have seen. Give them the big picture perspective of how awesome they are as only you can. It’s kinda a big deal. And they will appreciate that gift.

2. Keep in Contact

Keep in contact. Anniversaries. Birthdays. Whatever you can make happen. Let them know that they aren’t just a one-off shoot. That they are part of your “family” now and not just a number.

3. Don’t Be Tardy

Don’t be tardy

Respond in a timely manner. Clients are only going to reach out to you so many times without a response before they go elsewhere with their business. That’s what we both would do in that same situation. We just figure that person is too busy for your business or too disorganized so we just move on to the next vendor on the list. 

4. Get a CRM

Get a CRM

We know that it is hard being an entrepreneur and sometimes you are wearing all of the hats. But here is the truth. Your customers don’t care how busy you are. Even if you are the best photographer within a thousand-mile radius. They care about the quality of service that they are going to receive from you. That means prompt and courteous attention and answers to their questions and helpful insights and tips to make their experience a 5 star Google rating. And we all know how much we want those 5 stars across the board. 

One of the best tools that I have implemented to help me balance all of the things to make my customer experience worthy of the good reviews is implementing a CRM (customer relationship manager). I’ve been using Honeybook for the last two years and it has been a game-changer for… 

1. Saving time

2. Never missing an inquiry or a follow-up. Because, honestly, sometimes those can get lost in the plethora of other things in your inbox

3.  Organization

4. Automatically onboarding clients from the second that they send an inquiry. Because let’s face it, we aren’t always just sitting at our computer when an inquiry comes in and sometimes if you don’t respond right away, that client goes onto the next on their list, as hurtful as that seems.

5. Taking a client through the whole client nurturing

6. Seamlessly providing brochures, proposals, contracts, questionnaires, billing,  payments, and organizing all correspondence and information in one easy peasy location. 

It’s up-leveled my business skills, organization and customer experience. If you don’t have a CRM get one! I tried a few before Honeybook and now I’m looking no further. It has been by far the easiest for me to use and grow with and intuitively knows how to flow with my business. I recommend it to all of my entrepreneur and solopreneur colleges.

5. Newsletters


Keep them up to date and entertained with what you do and share value so that they don’t hit that sometimes hidden unsubscribe button in your newsletter

Figure out what you (or shall we say in a much more business-ey way) or your ICA ( that’s professional superior talk for “ideal client avatar”) want to read in a newsletter. 

What is it that you like getting in your inbox? Let’s face it, we all are inundated with a million salesy emails each day. What do you ditch and what do you give some of your valuable time to open? Think of your clients. You have connected and created a relationship in a way that has already opened the door for further conversation. They are going to be interested and entertained potentially in the same way that you are. Share some fun, entertaining, thoughtful, beautiful, engaging, and unique visuals and storytelling snippets in your newsletters. Don’t be that irritating, Spamalot newsletter. Keep it short and leave them always looking forward to the next one.

I, as well as my team, use Flodesk. It’s been an easy way to create those same gorgeous emails that you get from those big fancy pants companies that you covet and look forward to opening. Now that’s you creating these beautiful, on-brand newsletters to your clients that make you look uber professional and are easy as pie to create. I’m a visual person and love the plethora of ways that I can personalize my own newsletter as well for the clients that we create original on-brand newsletters for.

It’s also got the cool ability to set up workflows and campaigns to speak to all of the segments of your clientele which is a great way to provide service to them. 

Click on this link to get the discount code and try them out.

Cheers to you all putting the systems in place and creating the relationships that will have your clients coming back for at least 17 years!

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