Getting referrals as a photographer is one of the most powerful ways to build your business quickly, without having to spend any money on advertising…
Yet, most photographers totally neglect this aspect of client generation in their photography marketing plans because they simply assume that if they take great photos, the referrals will come without even having to ask.
This is totally wrong!
Sure, if you’re an amazing photographer it will be easier to have clients recommend you, but you must remember that you’re still asking someone to do something for you that has no benefit to them at all…
People will typically only do something like give a referral when they feel like they owe something or they’re indebted to you. Since your clients will have all paid for your services, they really owe you nothing. If they give you a referral, in their eyes you now owe them something.
Asking for a referral is almost like asking a stranger (who obviously owes you nothing) to walk your dog for free. They simply won’t do it.
Ask for referral right at the peak of satisfaction… Right when you deliver the edited photos and your clients is thrilled with the result.
You would explain what you they get for every successful referral they send you, and it should be something that is actually worthy of a referral. So if their friend books a $3000 wedding package and you give them a $10 coffee gift card, that’s not really a great bonus for them.
You can simply use a typical referral card, with a few lines for names and contact details… but you’d include a headline that said something like “FREE XYZ for every successful booking!”, and ensure that you fully explain what the referrer gets.
These are just a few simple tips that will increase the number of names people write down, and decrease the number of times you hear things like “no, I don’t know anyone sorry”.
My final tip is to ensure that you explain that you won’t harass or annoy the people who are referred! People are scared that if they refer a friend, you’ll start to pester them on the phone everyday trying to get a booking.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll boost your referral rate up, often by double or even triple what you’re already getting!
Leave your comments below if you’ve got questions, or if you’ve already tried a few of these tips and would like to let everyone know how they’re going. We’d love to hear from you!