This is a special guest post from Rachel LaCour Niesen from ShootProof! ShootProof creates high quality content that helps photographers focus on what matters most. And they also know a thing or two about finding a great client gift:
The most memorable gifts are often the unexpected ones.
Growing up, my grandmother was the queen of spontaneous gifting. She’d show up with something small for me – a few flowers from her garden, a sparkling snow globe, a handful of Hershey’s minis, a roll of dimes or a tin of homemade butter cookies. I never knew what she’d bring, which was exactly why I loved getting gifts from her! She didn’t even call these tokens of affection gifts; she called them “happies.” And that’s exactly what they were – happiness in my hands.
My grandmother knew how to unlock the secrets of great gift givers, one happy surprise at a time. A few decades later, here’s how I tap into my grandmother’s gifting wisdom as a small business owner.
Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are conventional gift-giving moments. Everyone expects gifts during those times. But how do you feel when you get a perfectly-personalized gift on a random Tuesday? Happy? Hell yeah! (See, grandma knew best.)
Getting a pretty package in the mail can make anyone’s day brighter, no matter how modest the gift inside may be. As a small business owner, staying at the top of your client’s mind is imperative to getting their endorsements and referrals. So think outside the box and send a gift when your clients least expect it.
As a professional photographer, there are lots of fun opportunities to send gifts to clients. Some wedding photographers send a personalized gift a few months before a couple’s wedding day. In the midst of wedding planning and to-do lists, clients will be delighted to receive some self-care or pampering goodies! (Like this or this!)
Some photographers use their invoicing schedule as a reminder to send gifts. As a small business owner, one of the toughest things to do is ask clients for money. Soften the experience (for you too) by sending a lighthearted gift a few days before or after an invoice is scheduled to be sent to a client. (If you’re using ShootProof for client invoicing, this will be super simple because all of your upcoming invoices will be clearly visible.)
Personalization over cost.
My grandmother knew how much I loved silver, and she often managed to sneak some silvery sparkle into the gifts she brought me. She taught me that personalized gifts matter more than costly gifts. You can’t put a price tag on thoughtfulness.
Sometimes the simplest –or silliest– gifts mean the most. They’re the ones that we’re inspired to post on Instagram!
If you want to make your client’s day? Find a gift that reminds you of them, like one of these fun little gems:
- Cup of tea
- A credit card sized all-in-one tool for their purse or wallet
Client appreciation doesn’t have to break a small business’s budget.
Investing a little creativity into your gift selections can save you a lot of money. Maybe your recent family photo session featured a beloved pet? Then consider using this Greetabl design.
Or maybe a toddler tantrum turned your latest family portrait session into a total $%&*show?!
Find two separate gifts that will make mom and dad cry in a good way, and let them know how much they deserve it. Add a little joke in your note about the struggles of parenting!
Remember, laughter is priceless.
Give them something to talk about.
Good things come in small packages.
Make sure you send a gift that’s beautiful and personal, so that your clients will not only be delighted by what’s inside the box, but with the box itself! Basically, the goal is to send a gift that someone would want to put on their Instagram story.
A recent Nielsen-Harris Poll, two thousand Americans were surveyed about word-of-mouth and referrals. The results showed that the vast majority (over 80%) sought recommendations when making a purchase. Additionally, the survey concluded that when someone shares or talks about a brand on social media, there’s a significant correlation to purchasing behavior.
Now that you’ve unlocked the secrets of great gift givers, you can start delighting your clients, one bright little box at a time.
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About the Author:
Rachel LaCour Niesen is a Yankee by birth but a Southern storyteller at heart. When a much-loved uncle gifted her with her first SLR camera, Rachel found her calling in photography. In pursuit of her passion, she headed to the University of Missouri, where she studied Photojournalism and Art History. She’s currently a Business Development Strategist at ShootProof.
ShootProof is made up of a group of photographers, designers and other creatives who believe in you and the art that you create. They help photographers grow quickly with expert content, tutorials and exclusive access to their galleries and apps.