Hey gang, sorry for the late post yesterday - I was in "slow-motion" most of the day. It's also kind of weird sitting here and NOT typing ...."We had a crowd.... and we are heading to....". What's happening instead - writer's block - just kidding.
LaDawn and I are going to go over our DWUC notes and see if we can put even more polish on the program for the fall. The most important thing that needs to happen over the next few days is to select our second DWUC GRAND Prize winner. Since we have a little time off I'll get everyone caught up on our first winner, Judy from PA, so stay tuned. Keep your fingers crossed if you were in attendance, you might be selected as the second GRAND Prize Winner
OK, now on with the good stuff. I'm announcing a new contest today for all my Digital ProTalk readers. The prize is a $50 gift certificate from B&H Photo and Video - WOW! Want to find out what's it all about? Then hit the "Read More..." link below for the rest of the story. Today's Business Day Thursday is really a good one - you're going to love it!
Here we go.
12 Ways To Keep Your Clients Coming Back For More
At my Master Class a few weeks ago, one of the attendees, Frank Wilson, shared with us a great business building idea. It has to do with gift cards. We all receive them, many of us give them, but most of us never consider them as a business building tool for our businesses. It turns out, it could be one of the best tools we could utilize in today's economy.
Here is how Frank uses the "Gift Card" concept in his business. A potential wedding client comes into Frank's studio and meets with him about the possibility of his studio shooting the wedding. As we all know, many times the client will book on the spot. But, many more will not and say they have to go home and think about it before making a final decision.
OK, sounds like the same situation many of us face every week. How does Frank make it different and "up the odds" of the client calling him back? He gives a $50 to $100 gift card to every client that interviews with him - whether they book with him that day or decide to think about it.
I asked him, "So, how many come back and book their wedding with you?" Frank's reply, "About all of them." And why shouldn't they? He put a $100 bill in their back pocket that they can only spend at his studio. The $100 gift card is good towards a portrait session - outdoors, indoors, bridal, engagement, family, etc.
Folks, what a strong incentive this must be for Frank's clients to come back to his studio. It's an invitation for them to do business with him. Thumbs up on a great idea Frank!!
Now let's take the concept even further. What else can we use these gift cards for increasing business?
Here is a quick list of 12 possibilities:
1. Booking bonuses - If the client books with you within say 3 days, they will receive a $100 gift card. This could work great for photogs displaying at the annual wedding shows.
2. Give it as a "Thank You" for doing business with you. Make it good for any future portrait sessions for that client.
3. Offer it to the client that they can give as a gift to additional family members and/or friends. We you deliver the wedding album, family portraits, high school senior pics - why not include
3 $50 gift cards they can give to their friends. Now your client becomes your envoy to even more business.
4. At silent auctions where we offer a family portrait to help raise funds for a charity event, why not give the top 5 bidders a $100 gift card. Heck, they placed a bid, showed interest in your work, now they too have an incentive to give you a call.
5. Ever been asked to contribute to a fund raising event - why not make the donation a gift card or two.
6. Why not carry a few on you at all times (like at weddings) - you never know when the occasion will arise when you could offer it to a prospective client.
Where can you get these gift cards? Glad you asked. Just head over to my buddies at Marathon Press to find out how to design and order your own personal gift cards. Here is the link.
Here are 6 more ideas I picked up over at Marathon Press:
7. Send a $100 gift card to new parents to spend on the "first chapter" of their child's portrait history.
8. Enroll clients in a "lifetime portrait program," for which no session fees are charged as long as they present the card.
9. Send a birthday or anniversary greeting and enclose a gift card.
10. Send high school senior prospects a gift card to spend on their senior portraits.
11. And one of my favorites - During the holiday season advertise a "gift card sale" that allows your clients to purchase a $100 gift card for only $80; a $200 gift card for only $160 . . . and so on.
12. Announce the sale by sending a gift card to your own client list.
You get the idea. What are some of your ideas for increasing business using a gift card? If we get more than 20 different ideas in the comments section below, I'll give the winner of the best idea a $50 gift card from B&H Photo and Video.
I'll let the contest run 2 weeks and post our winner in an upcoming Business day Thursday post. Put on those "thinking caps" and crank them up to "high". I can't wait to see what you view your ideas and marketing suggestions.
OK,gang, I'm out of here. I'll plan to see everybody tomorrow for another episode of "You Light Up My Life Friday" - See ya' then. -David