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Archive 2012 · How long for referrals
ricardovaste
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How long for referrals


I do feel I 'work' for referrals, and people say they'll recommend me, but I've had little so far. I am new though, 12 months in business, so I wonder whether I just need to be more patient, or whether I need to change something else.

I wonder how long it took for you to have a healthy percentage of your bookings through referrals of other brides, or people related to the B&G?



Sep 09, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Mitch W
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How long for referrals


What is the average age of your client and their guests? I think if your clients tend to be in the 'sweet spot' - meaning in their 20s and low 30s - you'd have a chance of getting a lot more referrals than if your clients are 40 and up. My first wedding was for a friends widowed Mom who was remarrying. Both were in their 60s. Guess how many referrals I got out of that wedding?

Are you 'friending' everyone - bride, groom, wedding party, etc - on Facebook?



Sep 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How long for referrals


There is quite a science behind what motivates a client to offer a referral. So it is hard to know whether "working" for referrals is accomplishing exactly what is necessary. Nevertheless any kind of networking or referrals take time to materialize so I'd recommend having more patience. The work you do in your first year may yield next to nothing in your overall career, so I wouldn't worry too much about it at this point.

- trr



Sep 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How long for referrals


I get practically zero referrals from my actual clients, my referrals are coming from venues/planners/photographers for the most part. It surprises me this is the case since all my clients are happy, but then again most of them are from out of town. I never thought I'd be the 'destination' guy, but apparently that's what I am, too bad it's local for me.


Sep 09, 2012 at 04:13 PM
lilyphoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How long for referrals


TTLKurtis wrote:
I get practically zero referrals from my actual clients, my referrals are coming from venues/planners/photographers for the most part. It surprises me this is the case since all my clients are happy, but then again most of them are from out of town. I never thought I'd be the 'destination' guy, but apparently that's what I am, too bad it's local for me.



It's kind of the same way for me. I am in Austin but most of my brides are from Dallas or Houston or Plano, etc. Nearly all my brides gush about how they will refer us, but I haven't really seen anything come of that yet...



Sep 09, 2012 at 05:03 PM
 

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amonline
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How long for referrals


TTLKurtis wrote:
I get practically zero referrals from my actual clients, my referrals are coming from venues/planners/photographers for the most part. It surprises me this is the case since all my clients are happy, but then again most of them are from out of town. I never thought I'd be the 'destination' guy, but apparently that's what I am, too bad it's local for me.


Saved me some typing too. That's pretty identical to my experiences.



Sep 09, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How long for referrals


In my experience, referrals from professionals take time and effort, while referrals from clients take motivated happiness.

Usually if a person can't get venue recommendations then they need to improve their professionalism and their ability to convey it to the people they need to.

Usually when a person can't get client referrals they need to improve their client experience. Everyone thinks they're making their clients happy. No photographer has ever thought that their clients weren't happy. It's in our nature. But client experience creates client referrals and a lot of photographers (myself included) have plenty of room for improvement here.



Sep 09, 2012 at 05:44 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How long for referrals


Tony I think you're operating on a different wavelength than most of us in how you interact with your couples, and that plays into branding as well. I agree with you that (what it sounds like you're saying) is that if your clients aren't over-the-moon-can't-stop-gushing-about-you then you're not going to see referrals... and there's a lot more to it than just being happy with the photos and the experience, they have to become personally invested in you. How to accomplish that, and whether it's a good fit for a particular brand, is another matter entirely. I'm working on that part still.


Sep 09, 2012 at 08:50 PM
amonline
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How long for referrals


Maybe I should move to Philadelphia. My tiny tourist town is holding me back.


Sep 09, 2012 at 10:54 PM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How long for referrals


Mitch W wrote:
What is the average age of your client and their guests?
Are you 'friending' everyone - bride, groom, wedding party, etc - on Facebook?


A good question. Most have been in their 20's-30's, but one a little older. Majority of these have came to me and said they'll recommend w/o me prompting anything like a testimonial or similar.

I have a facebook page, so cannot 'friend' anyone, they have to 'like' the page. I have a personal facebook account, but that is what it is. Some have liked it, but I don't really update it much (last time was July...)... so perhaps I can work on that...


TRReichman wrote:
There is quite a science behind what motivates a client to offer a referral. So it is hard to know whether "working" for referrals is accomplishing exactly what is necessary. Nevertheless any kind of networking or referrals take time to materialize so I'd recommend having more patience. The work you do in your first year may yield next to nothing in your overall career, so I wouldn't worry too much about it at this point.

- trr


Reassuring and demoralising . I understand your point, thanks for the advise. I guess so far I feel I've been steadily improving, and so have perhaps delivered better than what people expected when they booked me, and at the same time try to work in small touches that people didn't expect - I've had direct feedback that people appreciate that. But as time goes on, I guess improvements will be much smaller, not noticeable. So that element will be lost.


TTLKurtis wrote:
I get practically zero referrals from my actual clients, my referrals are coming from venues/planners/photographers for the most part. It surprises me this is the case since all my clients are happy, but then again most of them are from out of town. I never thought I'd be the 'destination' guy, but apparently that's what I am, too bad it's local for me.


Another very good point. I've kind of lost touch with a couple of venues for numerous reasons, so will try to be more proactive on that front. I've got a couple I want to focus on for next year and make some samples albums for, but just finding the time to do so and actually set up a meeting (to have them tell me to go away!) is the problem.


Tony Hoffer wrote:
In my experience, referrals from professionals take time and effort, while referrals from clients take motivated happiness.

Usually if a person can't get venue recommendations then they need to improve their professionalism and their ability to convey it to the people they need to.

Usually when a person can't get client referrals they need to improve their client experience. Everyone thinks they're making their clients happy. No photographer has ever thought that their clients weren't happy. It's in our nature. But client experience creates client referrals and a lot of photographers (myself included) have plenty of room for improvement here.


More great advise, I will keep this in mind for moving forward



Sep 10, 2012 at 03:50 PM





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