How to Follow Up With Buyers After Jobs
Question: What kind of follow-up do buyers appreciate after a job? Is it common to follow-up with a phone call after a job is complete?
Whether it’s common or not, for everything from prospecting to post-project follow-up, having a system in place will solidify your client relationships. The trick is knowing how to follow up with each person. Your system must be flexible enough to adjust to each client’s preferences and needs.
Fortunately, because they’re clients, you don’t have to guess. You can just ask.
For example, experienced photo buyers tend not to need or want much follow-up, while inexperienced photo buyers sometimes need as much help as they can get, preparing images for a range of uses within a campaign. They may need tips on profiling images for print and web, resizing images or finishing images for print. (These are all good ideas for content for your email marketing campaign, by the way.)
Critical Confirmation Calls
Take Brett Gilmour, an advertising photographer based in Calgary whose business is up 33% so far in 2012. It could be thanks, in part, to his follow-up system, which involves a phone call a few hours after file delivery and an email a couple of days later.
© Brett Gilmour
The confirmation phone call is especially important because it’s not safe to assume email messages, files or anything electronic was received. The goal of the email is to confirm that all went well with file transfers to printers, web designers and image implementation into the campaign.
“I welcome every opportunity to contact clients because it strengthens relationships, builds trust and allows me to find opportunities to shoot more jobs,” Gilmour says. “In fact, recently the photo editor at a national magazine wanted to see more proofs because she was changing the direction of the cover. We then confirmed via email that I had uploaded more proofs to my online ImageVault and she confirmed that she had accessed the images and was making a new selection for the cover.
“Good communication usually leads to a better understanding of what a photo buyer wants,” he adds, “and allows me to create photos that visually communicate my client’s message in the best possible way.”
Ilise Benun is an author, consultant and national speaker, the founder of Marketing Mentor.com and the co-producer of the Creative Freelancer Conference. Her books include "The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing (HOW Books), “Stop Pushing Me Around: A Workplace Guide for the Timid, Shy and Less Assertive” (Career Press), and her latest, The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money (HOW Books 2011). Marketing Mentor
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2. Follow-Up – Without Being Boring
3. Keeping Up With Clients, Without Breaking the Bank