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Build a referral program
 

Build a referral program

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Weekly Friday Business Challenge for photographers

Weekly Friday Business Challenge for photographers

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    Build a referral program Build a referral program Presentation Transcript

    • week #5
      7 steps to
      creating a
      referral
      program
      Friday Business Challenge (for photographers)
    • take the challenge!
      Your challenge this week is to follow these quick, easy and practical steps to build a referral program for your photography business.
      So grab a coffee (or your beverage of choice) and off we go…
    • week #5: referral programs
      A referral program is a way to thank your happy clients for recommending you to their friends
    • the best way to get new clients
      The best way to get new clients is through old clients…
      While you might get bookings from someone coming across your website, or seeing your ad in a magazine, you’ll probably get the most of your work from other people spreading the word about you and for you.
      Choosing a photographer often has a lot to do with comfort and trust. And when you need a recommendation you can trust, who do you go to? Your friends and family - the people you already trust. This is Word of Mouth and it can be your most powerful marketing tactic.
      WoM marketing happens naturally by one happy customer recommending you to their friends and family. But how can you actively encourage and maximize WoM? This is where a referral program comes in.
    • why a referral program?
      You probably have hundreds of past clients in your database that already know you, trust you, have seen your work, have paid you money, and have already had a great (or even better, remarkable) experience with you. Take advantage of that hard-earned trust by asking for referrals.
      These clients probably chose you because you fit well with their style. Their friends will likely have a similar style, and will most likely be a great fit with you as well. This is one of the best things about referral programs; they automatically find you more of your “right” clients.
      Clients who are referred also typically spend more money, are generally happier and come to you, at least partially, sold.
    • but I already have a referral program
      You may already tell your existing clients “If you recommend me to a friend I’ll give you (insert free 8x10 or 15% off or a $25 print or session credit or other incentive here)”. This is common practice and is done by many photographers. But is this enough?
      In this challenge we will cover 7 steps to create your own referral  program or a checklist to review yours if you already have one.
      program [proh-gram] – noun
      1. a plan of action to accomplish a specified end
      2. a plan or schedule of activities, procedures, etc., to be followed
    • be remarkable
      connections
      ask
      thank you
      partner
      spread the word
      work out the finer details
      7 steps
    • be remarkable
      Have you done Friday Business Challenge #2 How Remarkable is Your Photography Business?If not go back and have a flick through it before you start
      1
      The only way a referral program will work is if you have happy clients, loyal clients, delighted clients... and give them something to talk about.
      Remember:
      “Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. Interesting”. Seth Godin
    • connections
      The absolute best way to kick start your referral program is to focus on genuine connections with your clients.
      put in that little extra effort to make them feel special
      make sure they know they’re important to you
      add a personal touch
      2
      You’re not just a photographer, you’re MY photographer…I want my friends to have this experience too…I want to help you succeed!
    • ask
      Your clients say nice things to you about your photography, your service and you. So why don’t they other tell people? Your customers are busy people. They don’t think about your business day in and day out like you do. And you don’t ask!
      You would be surprised how often we all miss opportunities simply because we don’t ask for them.
      Don’t make referrals a one-off task that you do when you happen to think of it. Schedule "the ask" just like you would any other business activity. Develop a checklist of items that you complete for each client and then add "asking for referrals" to the list. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results!
      3
    • thank you
      4
      Make sure your referral program includes a way to show your clients that you appreciate it when they recommend you.
      This usually means giving them a small token of your appreciation for their support and trust.
      Remember, this is about thanking them. Not bribing them.
    • how to say thank you
      This is totally up to you — there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s simply a matter of how you’d like to thank your clients in a way that fits with your business.
      A popular option is a print credit. It has the added benefit of getting more of your photos up on their walls!
      You could give credit towards another session as well. This is especially great for portrait photographers, who often have clients who come back every year. Repeat customers rock!
      OR, even better, find something unique and remarkable that is going to say “thank you” and get you talked about even more!!!
      4
    • partner
      5
      To develop a steady stream of referrals, look out for companies that may make ideal strategic partners…
      develop or join a referral network.
    • You may be pleasantly surprised at just how nice some of your competitors actually are
      (other photographers)
      You’re already booked or you don’t provide the style or service that the caller wants. What do you do? Pass the lead to your Referral Network. This requires some good research and actually meeting and building relationship and trust with your competitors - but with the right people in your network you can all help each other’s businesses flourish.
      (other businesses)
      Develop a referral agreement with complimentary businesses who also do remarkable work and who share your target audience.
      Besides being an excellent source of referrals, they can also be partners in cross-promotions
    • spread the word
      Be a remarkable marketer. Have you ever referred a friend to another business because you received a post card in the mail? Unlikely! Create marketing that evokes an emotion or prompts a response.
      How will you tell past clients about the program?If you have a newsletter list, that’s one way. Or you can send them each an email. You can post details on Facebook. A blog post is nice, but they might not check your blog regularly.ORcan you think of something more unique and more remarkable?
      How will you tell new clients about the program? Referral Cards are one way. Once you’ve made the connections and asked for referrals give your customers some tools to make it easy for them to refer you. OR can you think of something more unique and more remarkable?
      6
    • work out the finer details
      When will the reward be given? Generally this happens after a session is booked.
      Will you allow them to get multiple rewards? If someone is sending you 10 new clients, will you give them 10 rewards? Think about this one carefully - they are really helping your business grow!
      Will there be an expiry date for the rewards? Maybe that’s a good idea. Be generous here — a year is probably a good amount of time to get prints or book another session.
      7
    • work out the finer details
      How will you keep track of this? It need not be overly complicated, so a simple spreadsheet should do the job.
      How will you find out who referred whom? You could give out cards that need to be turned in. Or get into the habit of always asking new clients how they found you. (That’s super important information, referral program or not). And if they give the name of a past client, you give that client the reward. Easy.
      7
    • what’s next?
      Your clients are recommending you. But they can’t book the jobs for you.
      Remember that getting a referral is only the first part of the whole booking process.
      With a referred client you have a head start but you still need to build on that trust, show value and demonstrate to the client that you’re worth the investment.
      Once they’re booked, produce your best work and be remarkable and then they may recommend you to their friends too…
    • Friday Business Challenge
      Business Challenge for photographers is brought to you by:
      Robyn Mayne, Sydney, Australia Today is Different
      Today is Different for photography courses, workshops, retreats and networking…
      for inspiration, strategy and practical how-to tactics…
      for business skills, photography skills and life skills...