The other day I wrote a very different email to help a client prepare for their family photos. Very, very different. Almost the opposite of what I used to write. And it made all the difference in helping them to prepare for their photos, to the point where they thanked me repeatedly for it. It wasn’t challenging to do. In fact, it was easier than usual. It just involved one subtle, but critical, change in thinking.
Here’s what I did. Before I wrote the email, I put myself in my clients shoes and thought about how they would be feeling coming up to the photo shoot. And I specifically tried to consider what they would be nervous about. Then I wrote the email based on what they needed to hear to ease those worries. Easy.
Now what about all the stuff that I needed? The things they had to do for me to make the shoot go better? I included those points, but always with the understanding that their needs came first.
See, I used to just tell them what I needed. What would help me. What they had to do for me. That sounds pretty selfish, doesn’t it?
Empathy Is The Key
What happened that changed my perspective? Simple: I became a client. I had a baby and experienced what it was like to get a newborn ready for a photo session. What if he cried the whole time? What if he wouldn’t sleep? What if I had to feed him? I discovered firsthand how scary, stressful, and nerve-wracking it is to have your photos taken.
So when I sat down to email my client, I did it from a place of empathy. I thought about how they would be feeling in that situation, and did everything I could to anticipate their fears, and address them so they could be excited about the shoot, rather than being nervous.
So What Are Your Clients Scared Of?
Now, here’s what I think is the biggest worry. They’re scared that their photos won’t turn out. There are a bunch of side worries, like their kids won’t behave, or it will rain, or they don’t know where to shoot, or what to wear. But in the end, it all boils down to a fear that they won’t get good photos.
You’re probably sitting there saying “But I know how to get kids interested in the session! And I know what to do if it rains! And I know tons of great places to shoot!”
And that’s awesome! But do your clients know that you know?
Here’s How To Help Them Feel Better
Take a second, right now, and put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What are all of the things might they be worried about when it comes to their photos? (This exercise is equally valuable for both potential and current clients, by the way!)
At every point of contact with your clients, from what they read on your website, to the emails you send right before and after a session, you should be assuring them that you will take care of them. That they don’t need to worry. That the reason they hired you is because you know how to handle all those situations, and ensure that they will still get good photos.
And the more fears you can anticipate, and get rid of? The better you clients will feel, the more relaxed they’ll be, and the more they’ll enjoy working with you. That leads to repeat clients, and awesome word of mouth referrals!
So take a moment now and figure out all the things you’re clients might be scared about. Then think of ways you can tell them directly how you’ll take care of things and why they don’t need to worry. I think you’ll find that they are very, very appreciative.
We all want someone to take away the fear. Be that person for your clients.