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You’ve honed your photography into an art worthy of pride, you’ve networked with other photographers, and you even learned to professionally navigate Instagram. The client requests are practically pouring into your inbox, it’s a beautiful thing! But how do you keep the flow of clientele from slowing? How do you truly reel them in?
The easiest way to accomplish this is to create a welcome guide: a little book of your work.
Every photographer knows that you need a client’s trust in order to work well together. In reality, that’s a requirement in every business… but especially so in photography! If a client trusts in your ability and personality, they’ll feel comfortable in front of the camera. Without that trust, portraits can seem contrived and awkward. Trust doesn’t come easily in this industry, however, so your “little book” will have to do a little work of its own.
A welcome guide should apply the practicality of a restaurant’s menu with the flair of personalized discussion.
It should have a(n):
- Cover page
- Introduction page
- List of your favorite photography locations
- List of prices for your services
- Page dedicated to session instructions
- Final word from you
Your cover page needs to look professional. Unless you’re gifted with a talent for photography and graphic design, try Canva. Canva is a website that provides templates, layouts, fonts, and any images you need to create the perfect welcome guide. You can utilize the free icons or pay for more exclusive ones. However you choose to design it, make the cover page unique, stylish, and professional. This is your welcome guide’s first impression so make it good!
Remember, the goal of a welcome guide is to establish trust and that takes some relational material. Begin with an “about me” page. Talk about your favorite things to photograph and what makes your sessions better than those other guys’. Discuss your incredible dog-whisperer-talent which allows you to capture heartwarming pet photos. Keep in mind that there is a fine line between “professional-personal” and “personal-personal.” Establishing trust is different than telling a client your life story.
Don’t forget to show off! It’s likely that your client is already considering your work but it doesn’t hurt to include a few appetizers. Imagine driving all around town looking for lunch, you finally pick a restaurant, and then while perusing the menu a mouthwatering photo of a queso-drenched taco totally confirms your choice… Your clients have undoubtedly shopped around for the perfect photographer because they want their money’s worth. Your welcome guide needs to instantly confirm the client’s choice in you.
List of your favorite Photography locations
The next step: show the client where their future portraits could be taken. You should have a few favorite locations already picked out; these places should be diverse to serve a variety of clients. It’s nice to encourage your subjects to choose their own locations but always have a spot in your back pocket, just in case.
List of prices for your services
Now that they’ve come this far, let them know how much you charge. Include everything: session costs, editing, printing, mailing, and any expenses in between. No customer likes to be financially surprised so lay it out in a simple and informative way.
Speaking of surprises, dedicate some space to your session instructions.
How should the client book your services?
What should they wear?
Should they bring props?
What should they expect during the session?
Can they post your photos to social media without credit to you?
Can they sell the photos?
How and when should they pay you?
If you don’t answer these questions publicly, the client is blind to your policies. Be upfront but warm. Let the client know that you are always available to answer any lingering questions.
Your Final Word
End your welcome guide with a look into the future. Show your printed products and demonstrate what the client can do with them. Show them how beautiful their living room will look with your photography hanging on the wall above the couch. Tell them that you’re very excited to work with them soon!
Use a welcome guide to introduce yourself, establish trust with your clients, and sell your work.
Include your contact information on multiple pages.