Written by: Clare Breheny
When I worked in a corporate environment we would have literally hundreds of company-specific terms and acronyms that we used in meetings and emails to describe processes, systems, customers, products etc etc.
When someone new joined the company we’d forget and spout out all these three letter acronyms, and we would see their face glaze over as if we were speaking a foreign language. For us, that was how things worked and what things were called. It was our day-to-day language and modus operandi. It would take a new person joining to remind us that other companies might actually (shock horror) do things another way.
Likewise, as photographers we can easily forget what it's like to be a consumer embarking on their first encounter with a professional photographer.
We can mistakenly assume that everyone knows how long a shoot is, what they should wear, what happens at a viewing session, etc. We can also forget that maybe they've been to another photographer previously, and perhaps that photographer worked differently.
We all know customer experience is everything. How we make a customer feel is paramount to how they will feel about their images, and whether they will come back to us, or refer us. It’s often the very first encounter that moulds that experience the most, and that is the make or break as to whether they book. And often, that encounter is not with us on the phone, or face to face…
As a boudoir photographer, gaining trust and reassuring potential clients that every little detail has been taken care of is really important. Researching what they are concerned about (and what might ultimately prevent them from booking a shoot) and then ensuring they have the correct information, is really important. Here are two examples:
Many women have watched TV modeling shows and feel nervous that they will need to walk into a room and ‘perform’. They think that they need to turn up with 20 practised poses. Intimidating eh! So they need to know that, actually, my job is to guide and coach them into those flattering poses.
More specific to some of the work I do, I realised that clients were concerned that their shoot would be in front of a room full of other women, rather than in private. There’s a big difference there! I know I’d be put off by the thought of an audience!!!
So I set about writing my FAQs and prep guide…
But what if our detailed websites, pre-shoot guides and price lists still might not do the job? How do we know if they even get read? As much as I hate being in front of the camera, I realised that potential clients needed to see ME, and see me at work.
We are visual artists, creating a real life, interactive experience, so turning to video seemed a good option to introduce myself...
Here is my behind the scenes video…