How to Book more Clients with 3 Simple Questions
HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR CLIENTS HAPPY?
The first conversation with a client is probably the most important of many discussions that will happen before the photo shoot. How can you make your clients happy? How can you book more photography clients? I will show you how.
When I first sit down with a photography client, I ask a few questions that will determine the exact path we take as a production team, as client/production and me personally as an artist. Finding their intentions is the number one way to make everyone happy, because without the intentions in place there is no order and no structure.
Find their intentions and you will find your path to a successful shoot and a career in photography. Keep reading and I will tell you how I speak with photo clients and how I have been booked for about a decade now and captured some of the most iconic names like Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Courtney Love and more.
HOW CAN USING YOUR TIME WISELY MEAN MORE BUSINESS?
It seems like a lot of work to ask them a series of questions and plan everything ahead, it’s quite a hassle but lets not think of it that way. For every step you take before you pickup a camera, there are 2 steps you’re saving once the shoot is over. Trust me on this, I speak of personal experience. Front load your work, and you will save many moments of pain later on.
Keep reading and I will tell you the 3 questions that I ask every client. It’s a lifesaver for all and it’s how I built a photography business.
THIS IS HOW YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL PHOTO PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS (STEP BY STEP)
Repeat this after me: THEIR intentions lead to YOUR goals. Your goals lead to the team's direction. The team's direction lead to a win for EVERYONE.
You cannot have a win without a solid creative direction. How the photographer gets the direction depends on the goals of the project. The goals are determined by the intent of the client. The intent of the client comes from the initial questions asked on the first meeting.
Memorize this please. Leave a comment if you don’t understand and I will comeback to answer them.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK MY CLIENTS?
I ask each photography and video client the same questions. When I ask the questions, they often pause and it’s obvious that many don’t expect it. It’s quite simple but simple works. Also lets assume you’ve already asked budget questions and that is cleared out of the way, or they will be addressed right afterwards. I want you in the meantime to find the intention of the client. Without the intention, you are done. I will say it again, without the client’s intentions you have no path to success.
Question 1: WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?
When you ask what their goal is, they pause. That is fine. They’re forced to put their thoughts into words. For example, if I was to ask a recording artist the first questions they might answer a series of ways. Watch the video for great detail on this. Many record labels will answer this by saying they want to bring attention to the new artist. They want to use the images for all promo.
Question 2: WHAT SHOULD THE VIEWER FEEL WHILE SEEING THE PHOTOGRAPH?
This is important and this question really separates you from the rest of the photographers. What do I want the viewer to feel once they see the picture!? Well that’s putting a lot of thought into their product. How can anyone not respect you after that question? They also will answer it. Pay attention please and write everything down. In the case of the record label, they might say that they want the person to become a heartthrob so let the viewers feel attraction and attachment to the artist. Great! We are now closer to the intention of the shoot. Now lets wrap it up with another question…
Question 3: WHAT DO YOU WANT THE VIEWER TO REMEMBER AFTER THE SHOOT?
Think they loved you after question 2? Now ask them the long lasting effect of the photography. Yeah you’re telling them you’re a creative mind, a marketing mind, and someone that take their product seriously. BOOM! You’ve also now forced them to answer this question, and this might be your biggest pause. Let them think, don’t talk! Just listen and let them start to throw words out, and write them down.
Write down all their scattered thoughts, and you guys can whittle that list down after they’re done answering the questions. From that comes the INTENTION of the photo shoot.
So what did you end up with? What is their intention?
WRITE IT DOWN!
What ever the intentions are, you found them by asking those 3 questions and you have started to build your photography business unlike anyone else. Lets just pretend that the intention of the client is as follows:
“We want a promo shoot for a new recording artist that gets the attention of many in the blogs, and really introduces the singers’ mysterious good looks. We also want them to remember this person and feel inspired to further research them on other social links.”
GREAT JOB! You now have the intention of the client. You have THEIR intentions down! Consider this a win on your part. After you have the intention, it’s time to develop YOUR goals. Your goal is to figure out a photo shoot that will align itself with the client’s intentions.
Write that goal down!
Once you have that, write at the top of EVERY SINGLE INTERNAL PAPER. Why? Because once you have the intentions set, you can weigh every idea against it. Do you like an idea and does it contribute to the overall goal? If yes, put it aside. If no, toss it away.
By doing this, every single thing you do will help you get closer to the goal. Now you have a direction!
Remember that intentions, lead to goals which give you direction. Now you have your goals in place, and you have to figure out the direction of how you get there. But you know where you’re doing so the direction is easy! Try to follow along, it will make sense.
With the direction, you can now speak to your hair & makeup artist. You can now speak to your location scout and wardrobe stylist. You can pick your lighting, angles, and even post production process because now you have a direction. You can now have the mood board according to their needs/wants. This is a solid win for you and everyone else!
Quick Review: We asked the client what their intentions were. We got their intentions by asking those 3 main questions. We took their intentions and made that our GOAL to accomplish. By having our goal, we now know which direction to head. Great we have a DIRECTION! Which direction are we headed? We are headed to the winning direction. That’s how you do it!
ARE ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS ADOING THIS TO GET CLIENTS?
That’s the beauty of this. Not all photographers are asking these questions and that sets you ahead of the herd. Take advantage and get to know your clients. By asking these questions, you are setting yourself as creative powerhouse and a photographer. This is a bridge to doing more with photography, like creative producing and creative direction.
Take the opportunity every time. Every single time you should ask these questions. You should ask yourself these questions also even if it’s a test shoot or art project. This is your new template!
Again, THEIR INTENTIONS lead to YOUR GOALS. Your goals give THE TEAM THEIR DIRECTION. A solid direction gives EVERYONE THE WIN.
HOW CAN YOU BECOME A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?
Making money from photography is easier than you believe, IF you follow the right steps. At the top of 2019, I am taking everything that I’ve learned over the years and teaching you EVERY SINGLE STEP needed to have a career in photography.
I know there are many courses out there, but none offer this path and I’m taking my experiences of photographing Usher around the world, capturing Kanye West, documenting the tours of JLO and Ricky Martin, photographing iconic Courtney love and working with the biggest legend of all, Madonna. I am taking everything I learned from creating for VW Motors, Target, beauty brands and many magazines.
The courses are a monthly subscription, where we work on one new topic each month. Want to learn how to retouch? I got you! Want to learn lighting and contracts? Got you there also. What about marketing and promotions? You know that I got you there also.
Here’s how to sign up, I am keeping spaces limited. The first announcement will come from my newsletter. By the way, all newsletter fans get the insider-rate and will have that reserved for them for the extent of their membership. SIGN UP FOR THE FREE NEWSLETTER.