When I moved to Sioux Falls 7 years ago, I brought with me an itty-bitty baby wedding photography business. The poor thing. It didn’t stand a chance.
If you’ve ever moved your business, you know the scenario. New in town. Zero connections. Zero clients.
I remember scrolling through websites of wedding photographers who were already here and seriously wanting to cry at my desk! They were ridiculously talented, and there were a lot of them. I knew in my gut that my newbie-ish portfolio was not going to outshine these other established wedding photographers.
Maybe you’ve felt that way too? Like, “How am I going to find clients in a saturated market? Who would want to work with me over them?”
Realizing that when it came to connections and portfolio pieces I was probably not going to be a couple’s top choice, I decided to focus on the one area I could compete in: My client experience.
A lot was out of my control. But I could make my clients feel incredibly cared for, comfortable hanging out with me, and excited for their wedding day! From the moment they reached out to me to their gallery delivery, I knew I could create an experience that was second-to-none.
Not by giving expensive gifts or killing myself doing work outside of our contract…..
But by putting myself in my client’s shoes, understanding how they’d feel at every step in my work process, and then filling in the gaps where I could build even more trust and connection with them.
Couples often book their wedding photographer anywhere from 6-18 months in advance.
I imagined my couples paying me their deposit, and then not hearing from me again until almost a year later!! That felt weird. Someone just paid me four figures, agreed to let me document the most important day of their life, and then I ghost them?
I decided to fill in this gap by setting up a series of email automations that went out at specific times between when a couple booked with me and their actual wedding day. These emails answered common questions that came up, helped couples plan and gather ideas for their shoot, and invited them to ask questions and chat with me beyond our ‘official’ consults.
Almost all of these emails led to content I had already created, so it wasn’t a ton of extra work for me.
The coolest part?
After I filled in this gap and created more touchpoints along my client journey, I noticed that my couples were so much more comfortable with me when it came time to plan and shoot their wedding! We just vibed on a higher level, like old friends. Because they trusted me and felt like they could be fully themselves around me, we were able to capture the most beautiful photos of their day. And I was finally delivering the kind of client experience I wanted to be known for.
The itty-bitty wedding photography business made it after all. 💪
Business is personal.
How you make people feel is everything.
No amount of experience, connections, or big names on a portfolio can beat it.