It’s being said everywhere, nothing has more value to you then referrals coming from your clients! There is a new blog on the block that you may want to take a minute and check out! I’ve been asked to write for mobile fotographer every Friday, this post was published there first and I am reposting it here…
What makes a strong referral program? I can tell you what doesn’t… Free 8×10. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a nice incentive but that’s not (in any way shape or form) going to give you a solid base of referred clients. Why? Because there is no connection to an 8×10. It’s a distant thing that they may or may not remember to even ask for. If handing a stack of referral cards is your referral program, it may be time to restrategize!
Here are 3 ideas for a solid Referral Program:
1. Emotions! The absolute best referral program is simply connecting with your clients. When I put in that little extra effort or make them feel that I’ve gone a little further for them I help them know they are important to me. Add to that a personal touch and a genuine connection is made! When I accomplish that, I’m no longer a photographer, I’m their photographer.
2. Give them something to talk about! This is such a crucial step that I think too many photographers aren’t thinking about. Your clients may not be so overly eager for a stack of 8×10 that they want to hand them out like smut cards on Las Vegas Blvd but if you give them something personal… they will share it. The two best opportunities I’ve found for that is the mini books (find free templates in the shop). It’s like your own personal mini billboard. And the iPhone cases!
The iPhone cases have been my best form of advertisement ever! And that’s exactly how I look at them too! I don’t mark them up at all, first because I want to get them in the hand of every client that owns an iPhone and second because if they go to the uncommon website and see the price I don’t want them to have any negative feeling toward the one they have in their hand.
3. Referral Cards. Last of all are the referral cards. Once I’ve made the connections and given the tools to talk about me then I think about the referral cards. I give each client only 8 cards. I don’t want them to take a stack of 50 and set them aside somewhere with the stack of mail they need to get through and have them be forgotten. Instead, I want them to feel like these are special, like there is a dollar value credit on each of these little babies, because really — there is!
So there are a few ideas that I’ve come up with and used for my business, what ideas are working for you?