It’s no secret that having a good relationship with your clients can result in repeat business, and as a solo-entrepreneur, investing in client gifts is more likely to bring you a return than any other form of marketing. No brainer, right?
But how do you know what kind of gifts to give to your clients? Should you give them a welcome gift before the wedding or a gift after the wedding? (or both?) Should you incorporate your brand into the gifts that you send? How much should you spend on a gift? What should you put into a wedding photographer gift box?
All are great questions! We’ve noticed that many wedding photographers have different fail-proof systems in place that contribute to their solid reputation — while others seem to spend a whole lot of moola on gifts that don’t give them great results at all.
Whether you are just starting out as a beginning photographer, or you are a seasoned pro, the right client gifts can make all the difference for your business. When it comes to successful gift-giving, we’ve broken down the truth about what works and what doesn’t.
We’re about to drop a big ‘ole truth bomb (because we want you to do well, and that’s how we roll). The best client gifts will only complement your business if you already do everything else to the highest standard possible. A client gift is a great way to remind your clients of their amazing experience with you, from start to finish. It’s a nudge to keep you (and your gorgeous photographs) top of mind.
5 Important Tips (Before Giving a Client Gift):
#1. Do Good Work.
This may seem like, duh. But here’s the thing: you can be the sweetest person in the whole world, care sincerely about your clients, deliver in record time, and offer competitive prices. But if the product that you produce isn’t up to par, it’s going to be hard for your clients to recommend you to their friends. We get it. Running a business is not easy. Every aspect of the work you do needs to be close to flawless. Most importantly, the product you produce must match your good intentions. And, here’s probably the best advice we can give to ensure your success: you must be willing to improve. If you sense that your work is not sufficient, you must be okay with receiving constructive criticism, learn how to be better, and then apply it to your work. On that note, if you are a beginning photographer, it will only serve you to ask your clients to tell you where you might improve. (And then send them a little gift to say thank you for their honesty!)
#2. Be a Team Player.
At the same time, you could take the most incredible photographs of anyone for miles. But if you don’t have a good rapport with the bride and groom, or you pressure them in an icky salesy kind of way to spend more than they wanted, or show up with a blasé attitude about their special day like you are so. over. it. (like you would EVER do that!) they will likely only remember how you made them feel during the wedding planning process. There goes your chance to be recommended to their friends.
#3. Underpromise and Over-Deliver.
In addition to your gorgeous and captivating pictures, make sure that your clients have an experience with you that feels effortless. Invest in a digital system that allows them to see all the pictures you took within a few days of their event. Educate yourself in the world of Adobe Photoshop, pick out a few of your favorite images, and send them a beautiful taste of what’s to come. Over-communicate at every juncture so they feel like they are the most important client you have. The idea is to keep the excitement of their day going as long as you can. When the thrill of the event has worn off for their friends and family, you will make sure that exhilaration lasts. Like the energizer bunny. When it comes time for them to order extra prints or packages— your product will sell itself.
#4. Give from your heart.
To be brutally honest, if you are giving from any other place, the insincerity of it will most definitely be felt by the recipient and could almost hurt your cause. This is why some experts say not to brand your gifts with your logo. If your logo is prominently displayed on your gift, it’s not really a gift. It’s an obvious marketing ploy. Don’t insult your clients with that stuff. There will be more appropriate times to network and sell your brand. But when you give a gift, it should be a gift for them. From the heart.
#5. Be their friend.
You may have heard that you should never mix business with pleasure. Hogwash. Old School. If someone ever gives you that advice, smile and back away very slowly (then run!). The reality is that people love to support the businesses of their friends and family, so it will only benefit you if you feel like an extended part of the family. And this shouldn’t be hard when you just shared one of the most intimate days of their lives with them. If anyone is going to keep the enthusiasm for their wedding alive, it’s you. You’re the one who captured it forever. With that said, pay attention to what’s going on in their lives (thank you social media!) and send them congratulatory gifts (like when they announce new pregnancy!). You can be sure that when they are ready to capture another special event, you’ll be their go-to photographer every time.
Let’s Give Gifts
Now comes the fun part. Since we’ve given you a lesson in small business 101- let’s talk about what you REALLY want to know. The topic? How to give the perfect client gifts — (that won’t break the bank!)–to your wedding clients, and every other kind of client. (Why not? Let’s make your little business BOOM!)
Now that your client has booked you, this is a terrific time to keep that enthusiasm going. If they ever questioned their decision to hire you, this will set them straight. We’ve put together a few gift ideas for you for all the” getting married” festivities and beyond.
Gifts for Engagement (pre-wedding)
What it will set you back: $22
What it will set you back: $18.50
What it will set you back: $19
At Wedding Gifts
It’s not unheard of to bring an actual wedding gift when you are hired to shoot their wedding, and because it’s not expected, it’s a sweet gesture that will not go unnoticed. You don’t have to spend a lot, or even pick something out from the couple’s registry, but something lovely and thoughtful will set you apart from other photographers. Here are some ideas:
- An engraved picture frame -perfect for a future photograph! Or if you already shot their engagement, you may already have one to put in it.
- An engraved serving dish
- A good bottle of wine and maybe a couple of wine glasses
- A book on their interests (a great way to show you were listening!)
Thank You Gifts (post-wedding)
What it will set you back: $21.50
What it will set you back: $24
What it will set you back: $29
1st Anniversary Gifts
What it will set you back: $25
What it will set you back: $20
What it will set you back: $24
New Life Event Gifts
What it will set you back: $18
What it will set you back: $26
What it will set you back: $17
Some More Good News!
If you know you will be sending out a dozen or more gifts to clients as a resident photographer, it truly pays to become a Greetabl Insider. For only $39 a year, you’ll get unlimited free first-class shipping (plus the discounted priority and Canada shipping) plus exclusive gifts and prints, priority customer support, custom-design colors, and one-day turnaround. Can’t beat that. (Seriously, we’d like to see you try).