Good afternoon everybody,
This suggestion was the top vote getter from my Skribit widget to the right side of the page - so here we go. Just how do you build your client base when you are starting out? Many regular readers of this blog know that over the last several months I have covered many aspects of just that topic.
I discussed growing your business, building a strong set of portfolio images, working with vendors in you city, how to build a better press kit, and how to keep your clients coming back. Want a quick refresher on the subject and 11 more ideas that will help you grow your business, then just hit the "Read more..." link just below.
Here are the five articles that speak to the point directly with about 50 suggestions on how to do just that.
"HELP....I'm Brand New At This. What Do I Do To Grow My Business?"
Building Your Business - Part 1 - 11 Ways To Build Your Portfolio
Building Your Business - Part 2 - 15 Ways To Create "Vendor Referral Buzz" for Your Business
Building Your Business - Part 3 - 10 Ways To Blow Your Own Horn - Or How To Build A Better Press Kit
Building Your Business - Part 4 - 10 Ways To Keep Your Clients Coming Back
OK, now that you have read those articles thoroughly, committed them to memory, and can recite them backwards, then please read on for additional tips. The real secret is about staying connected with them. Here are 11 more very effective ways to stay connected with your clients and build your business.
1. Send anniversary cards or bouquets. Your clients will be really surprised with the bouquet and never will forget your name.
2. Send birthday cards to their kids asking mommy and daddy to bring them back to the studio. Hey, what better way to invite mom and dad than through the kids. Oh, don't forget to offer something special for the little tykes too when they come in. Off to Toys Are Us you go.
3. Send cards to your clients on the anniversary of their last session with you. Hey, it another reason to connect with them.
4. Make it studio policy for yourself or a staff member call at least two clients a week to thank them for their business over the year. My accountant does this in her office. She calls it "hugging" her clients, and in her office it's every employees responsibility to hug two clients a week.
5. Offer past clients specials on any regular studio promotions you might be running. Their family, give them a deal, and keep them coming back.
6. Send them notes/newsletters to make them aware of any special promotions happening at your studio. This could include the introduction of new employees, special milestones, awards won, etc.
7. Expand that to a bi-monthly newsletter - hard copy or e-newsletter.
8. Keep your blog up to date with your studio happenings - 1-2 posts a week will keep it fresh enough.
9. Leverage the blog in your newsletters to keep the clients checking back.
10. Get personal - when you give your referral cards out as mentioned in the Part 4 article above, be sure the referral cards have their photograph or their kids photograph on it. What better way for your client to show off your work and brag on you than to share their latest photograph when referring a friend.
11. Important - don't back down from this one. Do a client survey with every order delivered. You need to know what you are doing wrong so you can change it now! And, you need to know what you are doing right so you can continue to enhance the policy or procedure.
If you have any more ideas, why not share them in the comments section below.