I’ve been self-employed since my twenties and quickly learned the value of a client-centric business approach. Being empathetic to the prospects’ needs is essential to convert them into happy clients. They want a no-hassle experience as well as great images. Not only have I spent a career honing my portraiture skills, but I’ve also spent just as long improving every interaction. I strive to be efficient with my busy clients’ time, answering their questions and solving their problems before they are aware of them.

I didn’t develop this overnight. It has been through years and years of experience doing it repeatedly. You start hearing the same questions coming up again and again. Now, I answer them early. It is also learned through confused or unhappy customers. After taking ownership of the mistake and correcting it, I immediately ensure it doesn’t happen to the next client. This is how you can convert challenges into opportunities. Reviewing all my 5-star testimonials gives me an insight into how to repeat and lean into what clients appreciate even further. This ensures everyone is on the same page and prepared, which is where dissatisfaction creeps in.

A system that covers all this can only be done through automatization to ensure nothing is missed. Also, having scripted conversations to make sure I don’t miss a point. Surprisingly, this also allows me to personalize my client’s specific preferences because I only have to focus on the differences instead of everything similar to other shoots. Keeping up with Industry trends keeps me open to new ways to communicate and match what clients need today instead of in the past.

The graphic above is one of the recent additions to creating transparent and easy client interactions. I had a few clients in a row ask me about what the next steps were. I had given an overview at the initial conversation, but they forgot as we got deeper into the process. It seemed apparent to me as I do shoots all the time. So, to solve client confusion, I created this infographic outlining all the steps my client can expect. This is now in all the follow-up emails at every step of the process. This is just one little thing on top of years of others. A seamless process doesn’t come out of a void; it comes from attentive experience.