Main image for the current blog post

Turn your present clients into repeat clients by giving them the gold star treatment.

While it’s wonderful to acquire new customers and expand your clientele, it’s a lot easier to work with repeat clients. They’re easier to sell to and coordinate with.  It also costs less time, effort, and money to work with repeat clients because you already understand their needs and preferences.

Client retention is highly valuable for your business. In your efforts to get more business, don’t forget to nurture the clients you already have. 

Read on for our best tips for getting repeat clients in your photography business. 

Photographer is speaking to his clients.

Talk About the Next Shoot NOW

Here’s a simple one:  At the photoshoot, start looking ahead to the next one. Talk about the locations you already have in mind for the next shoot or ideas for the next session you have. 

You can also communicate urgency. For instance, mention that you’re only going to have X number of sessions for next fall, so it’s a good idea to book now. 

Similarly, send email follow-ups to the clients you already had a shoot with this year. Say that you’re booking for 2022 now. Again, ask if they would like to schedule the same date for next year. Include a button or link to instantly and easily book ahead. The easier you make it for clients to book a shoot with you, the more likely they are to do it.

Create a VIP Facebook Group

Giving your clients the VIP treatment is a great way to retain their business. Create an exclusive VIP Facebook group for current clients only. Let them know that as your most valued customers, they will get first access to new shoot dates.  

Start posting about future bookings for the remainder of the year now. Use messaging that communicates you’re giving exclusive early access to your available dates before promoting them to the public. 

Keep energy circulating in your Facebook group around offers like exclusive sessions, referral early access bookings, and any other things you want to offer your repeat clients to keep them coming back.

Direct mail marketing sign on desk.

Communicate Regularly Through a Mailing List

An active and engaged email list is vital to your photography business. Once you have clients on your email list, you can send updates, newsletters, and more directly to their personal email. This is a valuable tool to communicate reminders of your work and new services. 

Email also allows you to send personalized offers to existing clients. For example, send special offers or info about newborn shoots to people who previously booked pregnancy shoots. Parents who booked homecoming or prom sessions may be interested in the graduation mini sessions you offer.

Like the Facebook group, you can use email to inform clients they are on your VIP list. As VIPs, they get first dibs on new dates before they are released to the public. 

Run A Special Offer For Repeat Clients

Give your VIP clients the opportunity to pre-purchase a special offer, ideally for your slow season. This way, you can get repeat business and fill your calendar for the slowest time of year. 

For example, encourage clients to book their Valentine’s Day, Spring, or Easter shoots now. Include an exclusive offer for a small discount or a free add-on (like a framed photo) for clients who book now. Of course, make sure it’s still profitable for you and won’t cost you much. 

Keep Track of Birthdays and Anniversaries

Make a note of your clients’ birthdays and anniversaries when possible. Simplify gathering this information by asking for it on one of your client information sheets. Send a “happy birthday” or “happy anniversary” email or a card with an image from their session. If you have special sessions coming up, mention those but truly simply remembering special dates in your client’s life is a great way to strengthen your relationship with them. 

Set Up a Referral Program that encourages repeat clients

Create a referral program for your VIP clients. If they refer you to someone who books a shoot, they receive something special. 

This “something special” should require their future business, like a discount on their next shoot or extra prints from their next session. Referral programs are genius because they bring in new clients while making sure your existing clients come back. 

Photographer in her studio.

Provide Superior Customer Service

So what is the number one way to get more repeat clients?  Always provide exemplary customer service. Do your best work and always continue learning. Use feedback as an opportunity for growth. Underpromise and overdeliver, ensuring you never miss a deadline.

Treat your clients with genuine respect, friendliness, and kindness. Listen when they talk and inquire about their hobbies or children in the future. Being a good person who cares goes a very long way in securing repeat business. When you invest in your clients in this personal way,  you become a person your clients connect with, not just a brand or a business.

If you really want to go above and beyond with your clients, try the following:

  • Send handwritten thank-you notes after shoots.
  • Occasionally include small surprise gifts with the delivery of prints.
  • Consider thoughtful gestures, like sending a framed photo from a newborn shoot on the baby’s first birthday, or a framed photo from an engagement shoot as a wedding gift or first-anniversary present.

If you treat your current clients like the VIPs they are, you’ll end up with a full calendar in no time!

Image of an ebook preview

Say Hello to Picsello

Tell me more!