Tip – Your Client List Is Your Business
October 21, 2013
Recently I saw a post on Facebook that made me sad for two different reasons. The post was from a photographer who had been in business for 15 years and he made a general post about going out of business and if clients wanted to purchase their high-res photos. If clients did not contact this photographer by the beginning of October the files would be destroyed. I hope that the photographer was also contacting the client directly, but it seems that he was not.
Sad for Two Reasons
First of all I’m sad for all the past clients that didn’t see his post on Facebook. Secondly, I’m sad for the photographer. Being in business for 15 years, I’m sure that he has come in contact with a ton of clients and potential clients. This all could have been solved by keeping a list of emails of past and potential clients and keeping in regular contact with them.
As a business person, your list of past clients and past potential clients is the core of your business. Constantly reaching out to people who don’t know you is the most expensive way to market a business. Marketing through your past and present client base is the cheapest way to market a business.
© images copyright Spinaker Graphics
What Past Clients Can Bring You
Past clients can bring you two types of business. The first and foremost is repeat business. After people get married, they have kids. They want photos of their kids. Ten years after a high school senior has her senior pictures taken, she might get married. Or her younger brother might need senior portraits. Or her cousin might be getting married. Five years after people get married, their other friends might be getting married.
And you know what? These past clients won’t remember to refer you if you don’t keep in regular contact with them.
This is actually a story that I’ve heard from many different people. The photographer in the story runs into a past client, someone they shot a wedding for 5-6 years ago. They do all of their cordial hellos, etc. Then the past client asks them, “are you still doing weddings?”
“Um, yeah,” replies the photographer.
“Oh man, I’m so sorry, I’ve had two friends this last summer get married. I should have referred them to you.”
So this is just one chance meeting. How many clients have been lost because past clients didn’t think to refer them or lost contact, etc. People have busy lives. If business owners don’t keep in contact with them, they won’t get the referrals.
I Beg You
So I beg you, please keep in contact with your past clients. Even if it’s just a once a month email saying what you’ve been up to. Get an account at Constant Contact, MadMimi, Mail Chimp, etc., and get all of your past and present client and contact emails in there. If you don’t have the emails lying around in a list, hire a high school student to spend a few days gathering them and getting them in a list.
Once a month, do a promo on sessions or product and pad your income.
If you don’t know what to email about, try using our Kismet email templates. But if you don’t, no problem. Please, for your business’s sake and for the sake of your clients, keep your client list up to date and keep in regular contact with them.