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Building Relationships For Lifetime Clients – The Importance of Being Human

by Dylan Goldby
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I grew up in a small town outside of Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is known for its hospitality. It’s the kind of place that if you go back to a cafe more than once you’ll be on a first name basis and they’ll know your order. “Good morning, John. The usual, is it?” is standard at any respectable place. As such, I grew up valuing this experience greatly. When I set out to start my own business, I knew I wanted it to be the same way. My clients would be people first, clients second.

How to do it

You’d think it would be second nature, but sometimes it’s not. Especially when you have the business side of things to deal with as well. It’s easy to forget to be a human being when you have to deal with contracts, payments, editing, and deliveries, as well. You have to make all this stuff into a routine so you can focus on the building of a meaningful relationship with your clients.

Building client relationships


Want to learn how to build client relationships from a master? RSVPs now to join Internationally acclaimed wedding photographer, Yervant on August 8th for Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business.

Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business


My goal is to turn every single client that walks through my door into a friend. I can only do that by being friendly and honest. By being upfront about all of the business details about working with me, I can then focus on the human relationship. I like people. That helps. I’m curious about what makes them tick and I want to provide a product that fits who they are. That’s the part I feel matters the most.

For example, when I have a family session, I always try to have a meeting with the whole family a few days before the session. The goal of this is to get to know everyone. I try to visit them in their home at a convenient time so I can meet the parents and play with the children for a while. It really helps to gauge what the parents are looking for out of the session and how to best keep the children interested for the hour or two I have them. I leave the formalities until just before I leave, and I keep them quick. I then reiterate everything in an email to make sure we’re on the same page. By the time the session day rolls around, we’re old friends and we have no misconceptions about what will happen.

On the session day, I know how to address everyone and what the children like. This helps to get great photos and make sure everyone is having fun for the duration of the session. I try to make sure I end my sessions on a high, as well. When the family gets home, the children will be in a good mood and tell their parents what a great time they had. It’s not uncommon to get an email the night after a session with a thank you from the parents for making their session so much fun and letting me know that the kids are asking when they’ll get to hang out again. That’s the perfect session for me.

building client relationships


Want to learn how to build client relationships from a master? RSVPs now to join Internationally acclaimed wedding photographer, Yervant on August 8th for Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business.

Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business


Why It’s Important

When was the last time you recommended the grumpy mechanic who did the bare minimum and told you nothing of how your car is running? Did you ever go back there? That is why it’s important. Having clients that come back to you time and time again is great for business. Having clients that recommend you to a friend is the best form of advertising there is. Human relationships are what our world is built on, and you shouldn’t forget that in your business.

Lamb used to be so hard to come by in Korea. The locals simply didn’t eat it, so there wasn’t much around. For the first 18 years of my life, that was Sunday lunch. Then it was gone. Imagine my excitement when a barbecue restaurant opened up in my little town in Seoul selling lamb chops. I went down on their opening night and the meat was gorgeous. It was the kind of lamb that just falls off the bone. But, the staff were inattentive and rude. I had a horrible experience. I never went back. Such is the power of human emotion.

Especially when it comes to luxuries like lamb in Korea or the photographs of your family you want, you’re willing to go out of your way to make sure that experience is a good one. As a service provider, you need to create that experience for your customers. Not only does it make the time they spend with you more memorable, but it gives them a reason to come back. Then all you have to do is make great photographs for them. This is also easier if they like you!

In Short

Just to recap, we’re aiming to make lasting relationships that will benefit your business over time. This is not something that can be forced; it needs to come from within. You’ll need to have a genuine interest in the people you work with. From this, you can build a relationship that works both ways. By getting to know them, you’ll provide a better experience and get deeper photographs. This in turn creates happy clients who are more than willing to recommend you and would love to come back next time they want photos. All you have to do is be a genuinely good person. Not too hard, right?

building client relationships


Want to learn how to build client relationships from a master? RSVPs now to join Internationally acclaimed wedding photographer, Yervant on August 8th for Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business.

Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business


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Dylan Goldby

Dylan Goldby is an Aussie photographer based out of Seoul, South Korea. His primary business is family portraiture, but he frequently travels to add to his ongoing Tattoos of Asia project.