Best Practices for Photographers & Clients
The Sky is falling “Chicken Little”
Yes it appears that the sky is falling for the event industry as well as many other primary and secondary industries. Covid-19 is truly very scary. To be 100 percent clear, I am personally not worried about getting sick, I am worried about the financial damage to our industry and those who work in it and those who have hired us for their events. But let me tell you, WE ARE NOT ALONE! This is a global pandemic that we have to deal with. So It is time to pivot!
With any virus that hits our home we do some house keeping. Clean the counters, wash the floors, change and clean bedding, and so on. There is no difference now with our business. We need to do some house keeping.
1- The most important part is talk with your clients, send an email out! COMMUNICATE. As upset as you are, your clients are just as upset. Talk to the clients about what’s going on and your plans. Get creative with ideas with your clients to help.
2- Be Flex-able! Typically we have a change date clause and a fee. To the event industries, dates have value and they are limited. Our income to support our business, our family, and our lives come from maximizing income on very limited date availabilities. But this is a national emergency. Be creative with your clients, understand they are losing just as you are too. So you both need to plan on how to win together. As a company we are waving our move date policy. Our clients are not canceling for reasons they can control. It would be immoral to charge a business loss to them. Just my opinion.
3- What was is done! Now is a good time to review your contracts with clients. Set expectations as well as set new ones for the future. Contracts are in place for mutual protections. They protect you as a business, and they protect the clients investment with you. As a client, remember most vendors are small, living from job to job “Time is Money.” Clients be understanding that vendors, have already put time into managing your account, your event, even put money out to secure products and services.
4- Understand that we may be in this a lot longer than expected. Plan 4-7 months. Available dates are going to be a premium. Plan EARLY.
5- Great time to build up your network. This goes both ways. As the industry recovers we will have multiple events on dates. Serve your client first. I say this with this thought… You normally have the ability to pick and choose what dates and events you want. We will lose that ability. It is almost a sure fact that you will have conflicting dates. As a business owner you need to put a referral list together to out source and have help ready to over come those issues. As a client, please be understanding that none of this is fair. And you might have wanted a specific vendor, but please be open in trusting the vendor to find a proper replacement.
6- It’s a great time to be honest with your clients. We are all looking at massive losses of income. The reality is most of us are now wondering how we will keep our offices open, lights on, bring home money to our family. Especially if your are a full time photographer. I suggest lean on your clients for referral’s. Adopt and pivot your business model. Utilize zoom and digital conferences. Ask your clients to help keep your name relevant.
7- Start to look at old but good content to re-post. Share your experiences and great stories with the social world. More than ever, people are going to be looking at home and on social media. It’s an opportunity to drive engagement.
8- Great time to go back to open clients and sell products. Prints, Albums, and more. It is another line of income.
I hope that you found some of this information helpful and if you have any other great ideas I would love to hear them.