The art of getting people naked, and taking gorgeous images of them, is not for the faint of heart. To be a successful boudoir photographer you have to not only read people, but build a deep level of trust with them. How? Here are my insider tips to building genuine and lasting relationships with your boudoir clients.
1. Set Expectations and Be a Trusted Guide
Remember the last time a business or person let you down? As business owners, it’s our responsibility to set proper expectations and follow through on them. A great way to do this is to have in-person consultations with each client. When I book a client I always walk them through the entire experience, step-by-step, so they know exactly what to expect from their shoot.
Throughout this experience your clients are putting themselves in a very vulnerable position. They’re trusting you. In return for their trust, you need to confidently be their guide. Continue to tell them everything that will happen, even if you already explained it during their first consultation. The more they know, and feel confident about your expertise, the more comfortable everyone will feel. Which leads me to my next point…
2. Know Your Shit
When a client arrives, you should know exactly what’s going on. You shouldn’t be checking a posing guide or Pinterest, or messing around with your gear. Of course, I always take moments to pause and think, and to take test shots, but during these times I always let the client know what’s going on. Your goal is to make your client feel completely confident about your knowledge.
3. Be Genuine
When it comes down to it, the client is hiring you, as much as they’re hiring your work. So be your genuine self! If you’re trying to fake your way to your client’s heart, believe me, they’ll know.
4. Be Empathetic and a Good Listener
We do this every day, but our client’s don’t. It is important to be a good listener and show empathy. Recognize their fears and anxiety if they verbalize them. Let them know that it is totally normal to be nervous and their images will be totally gorgeous despite their nerves!
5. Have Many Touchpoints
I have 15-20 touchpoints with my clients from booking, to the time their products are delivered. I use a client relationship management software to help me accomplish this. It allows me to set email workflows with the click of a button. This helps my clients feel remembered and valued. I also make sure to respond as quickly as possible to text messages, calls or emails. My goal is to make each client feel like they are the most important part of my day.
Building relationships with clients starts the moment they set up a consultation, and extends past the photo shoot. You’re setting yourself up for success when you take the time to invest in building relationships with your clients. Successful relationship building not only leads to word of mouth referrals but clients who will return for your work time after time.