As a boudoir photographer, your main focus is on boosting confidence and body positivity for women with beautiful keepsake photography. To help with this, you clearly want to create a safe and comfortable environment for your clients. At the same time, you want to give them an empowering and memorable experience, after all, that's why they're there. One of the ways you can add to this experience is through a good client onboarding setup. In fact, client onboarding is essential with all businesses that provide a service. What is client onboarding, I hear you ask? It's a way of welcoming a new client into your business after they have signed up to receive whatever service they have purchased from you.
So let's examine why a good, mindful client onboarding process is so important for boudoir photographers and how it can positively impact your business.
Building Trust and Comfort
As discussed above, you want to make your clients feel safe and comfortable with you and trust is a major factor in that. Not only for making the client feel safe when you are photographing them, but for what comes before and after the photography session too. You can use the onboarding process to connect with your clients, actively listen to their needs, and address any concerns they may have. Remember, boudoir is quite intimate and your clients are likely to be feeling vulnerable during the session so by having open communication right from the beginning, you build that trust and your clients feel valued and supported.
Pro tip – Put your clients at ease by asking them some likes and dislikes before the session. For example, is there any specific music they would like to listen to? Are there any parts of their body that they would rather not have photographed? Are they happy for you to share their pictures in your marketing, or would they rather their photos were kept private?
How do you manage expectations? With clear communication of course! It's so important to discuss everything with your boudoir client when they book with you and before the session. Things such as concepts, outfit choices, props, session duration, what is and isn't acceptable, etc all need to be out on the table and understood by all parties. For example, do you allow children or spouses in the session? How about things that could be construed as weapons? Are there some themes that you just will not do? All these things must be clearly conveyed. Don't forget to let them know what they can expect from you as a professional boudoir photographer also. Ensure you give them information about what a typical boudoir session with you is like.
Pro tip – put together a welcome packet with suggestions for outfits and themes but also with a list of dos and don'ts.
Personalizing the Experience
Every client is special and unique. Therefore, their boudoir experience should reflect that. Also remember, they are a person. Don't just assume that you know what kind of shoot they want. Try and do all you can to find out about their personality, style, and comfort levels. You can use this information to truly tailor the session to their individual preferences, resulting in stunning images that truly capture their personality!
Pro tip – Arrange a call with the client pre-shoot and discuss with them their style, their likes and dislikes, ask them questions to try and to gauge their personality.
Providing Guidance and Support
Many clients feel nervous or unsure about posing for boudoir photos. It is up to you, the photographer to guide and support them through it from the beginning. By sharing tips on the process, what to expect, wardrobe selection, posing techniques, and ways to enhance their confidence, you can empower your clients to feel more comfortable and express themselves authentically during the session.
Pro tip – Set up an email campaign to send out regularly during the run up to your client's session and share little tips and anecdotes. Keep things light and positive, don't scare them!
Ensuring Privacy and Confidentiality
This is a big one. Briefly mentioned above, some clients may not want their photographs shared within marketing. Some clients may not even want to share their photographs with their family, choosing just to keep them for themselves. Privacy is a major factor in boudoir photography. Make sure you discuss your commitment to safeguarding your clients' images and personal information. By clearly communicating your privacy policies and addressing any concerns from the offset, you can reassure clients that their privacy will be respected throughout the entire process and after.
Pro tip – Ensure you discuss your client's privacy preferences. It is then a good idea to put them in your contract and have your client agree and sign.
Cultivating Client Relationships and Referrals
Going back to that note about open communication. It is so good for developing a great relationship with your client. So what does a good client relationship bring? A fantastic experience for the client and the possibility of some great referrals for you. When clients feel valued, respected, and empowered, they are more likely to recommend your services to their friends and acquaintances. This can definitely mean a boost to the growth and success of your business.
Pro tip – Develop a referral type program for your clients so that if they do refer you, they get a little something back too. Think money off a further shoot, credit towards current products with you or even cash back. Everyone loves that!!
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