The client experience is the most important aspect of your wedding photography business.
There are a lot of things that I had to do to take my business from a side gig to full time – there’s no doubt that building a business is hard work, and the hardest part is getting people who actually want to pay for what you do. If I could tell you to focus on one thing and one thing only, I would say focus on the client experience. There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that I love – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And when it comes to wedding photography, client gifts are an amazing way to make your clients feel loved, and to make your brand stand out.
(Almost) anyone can lean how to use a camera, can learn how to edit, can learn how to photography weddings. So what really makes you stand out is you, and the way you make your clients feel. For me, I’m not so good with words, but my love language is gifts!
Clients are willing to pay more for an amazing experience.
People are willing to pay more for the experience, as long as it’s a good one. And especially if it’s one they won’t get just anywhere. Photos are no different. If you take beautiful photos, but your clients feel awkward and uncomfortable during the shoot, they’ll probably just remember that feeling when they look at the photos. The best way to make sure clients absolutely love their photos, is to make sure they have a good time with you and with each other – and that will be what they’ll remember forever.
I believe that the client experience should start right when they contact you – from the initial email to after you send them their photos, if you go above and beyond and make sure that they know you care about them and not just about their money, you’re more likely to book more, and your past clients are more likely to recommend you to their friends.
Make your client experience unique.
The client experience looks different for everybody – some people hang out with their clients or take them on a coffee date occasionally, which is awesome! I don’t personally do this (most of the time), just because I’m often traveling and it’s a little harder for me to maintain those in person connections. I am also more of an introvert, so it doesn’t feel super natural for me to become best friends with everybody. I’ve tried, and I kind of think people can tell when you’re trying too hard, haha. In general, being yourself just works out better. There have been past clients that I’ve really clicked with though, that I have gone hiking with and still consider my good friends! So it all depends. Anyway, I’m getting a bit off track, but the point is, be yourself and make your clients feel valued!
How I do my wedding photography client gifts.
Back to wedding photography client gifts: I love giving them (it’s definitely my love language), and almost everyone I know loves receiving them. It’s just a cute little way to let your clients know you’re thinking about them, and when they get their gifts they often post them on Instagram stories or rave to their friends.
I send my clients a gift right after they book me for their wedding, kind of as a “Welcome aboard!” thing. Buyer’s remorse is bound to be at its peak right after someone drops a few grand, so this also is a nice way to say, “Don’t worry, you’ve made the right decision.” I ask for my clients’ mailing addresses when they sign their contract, and that way I can send the package and have it be a total surprise, which I think makes it way more fun! Little tip though: I do put the address into Google Maps, just to make sure it’s real and that there wasn’t a typo or anything. If I see that it’s an apartment building, I check that the client included an apartment number. I do ask them to clarify or confirm their address if I notice anything that might be an issue with shipping :). Keep reading, and I’ll give you the details of what I include in each gift and where you can get each item! Disclaimer: a few of these links go to Amazon, and I get a small kickback if you purchase the items, at no extra cost to you.
You can get a pack of 50 boxes on Amazon for $43.85 – or less depending on the size. So each box is less than $1! I buy the 9” x 5” x 3” boxes, which works perfectly for me. There are a ton of different size options though! I got a stamp on Zazzle and customized it with my logo – and it was only $15 You can get one here and customize it to match your brand. I stamp each box with it!
As for what I put inside the box, it’s different for each client. I try to make each gift personalized, so that they know I thought of them when I was putting it together, rather than just doing the same gift for everyone.
In this one, I have these Pup-peroni treats because this couple has a little Chihuahua that they adore, so I know they’ll appreciate the chance to spoil her! Their dog is also going to be in the wedding, so I got that little doggy bow tie for her too. I can’t wait to see it on her, I just know it’s going to be adorable :’).
I also included a gift card to a local coffee shop (it’s hiding behind the snacks). Most of the time I just do a Starbucks gift card, becauseI know that everyone has one near them, and that there’s gotta be something there for everyone, even non coffee drinkers. If I know more about their coffee preferences though, I’ll go a little more unique – this couple lives in Seattle and I know they like cute, local coffee shops so I got them a gift card to one of my favorite ones here.
The snacks are a kind of random assortment – I’ll usually pick them up from Starbucks while I’m getting the gift card. In general I try to keep them all/mostly vegan if I don’t know the couple’s dietary restrictions, just to make sure that it’s something everyone can eat.
I always include a handwritten note too – in there I just write about how excited I am for their day, and let them know that I’m here to answer questions. Just like with the whole gift, the point of the note is to let them know that I care about them!
The one thing that’s always the same in each of my welcome gifts is the wedding guide.
This is a guide that I put together myself – it’s 32 pages long, and has information that will help couples with planning their day. I include tips and tricks for getting better photos (for example, having windows in the getting ready space), and advice on how long each part of the wedding day takes and how much time to set aside for photos! Couples have told me that they find it super helpful, and it’s just another way to let them know they don’t have to worry – you know what you’re doing, and you’ve got their back :).
If you’re interested in learning more about my Wedding Guide, and see what’s inside, you can see that here! I also have a template available of this exact Wedding Guide! Check it out here – your time is valuable, so I did all the heavy lifting. All you have to do is upload your photos and personalize the copy!
Thank you guys for reading! I’d love to see what you do for wedding photography client gifts, or if this post inspired you to start sending out gifts to your clients! Shoot me a DM on instagram, and ask me questions or just share your ideas!