How Can You Get More Returning Clients?

Filed in Photographers — November 1, 2023


Most photographers focus on marketing to new clients in order to increase their overall revenue, but did you know that inviting your existing clients to return should be a huge focus in your business? Constant Contact tells us that returning clients spend 67% more than new clients, are easier to sell to, are less expensive to market to, and actually promote your business themselves.

I LOVE returning clients because:

  • they already know the process of working with me
  • they already know my pricing
  • I already know I like working with them.

Elizabeth is one of my very favorite clients. This is the fourth photoshoot she has done with me. She actually lives in the Seattle area, but she flew to me in Michigan to do her shoot this time. Elizabeth is an incredibly smart entrepreneur who started blogging way back when blogging wasn’t even a thing yet. 

Elizabeth started out with a health food blog, and while that is definitely still going strong, she also teaches others how to have online businesses. It was really fun to scroll through her website and see so many of the photos I’ve taken of her over the years! You can check it out HERE

I asked Elizabeth what keeps her coming back to me for photos. She said:

  • the photos…she knows she is going to get the high quality, beautiful portraits she needs for her online business
  • we get along so well
  • she said that I’m always very confident during the shoot with how I pose her and how I shoot overall.

So what’s my advice on how to get your clients to want to come back? Here’s my top recommendations:

  • Understand their needs, preferences and expectations. This is the basis for establishing trust between you and your client and can be achieved through your consultation process. This is also the perfect time to ask them whether there is something specific they’ll be using the photos for, because they’ll buy more if the resulting photos meet a need, especially with personal branding!
  • Consistently create high-quality, professional photos with great lighting, proper posing, and connection. These photos should always exceed your client’s expectations.
  • Connect with your client and make sure they enjoy the process.
  • You must be comfortable and confident in directing your clients. They need to borrow your confidence throughout the shoot because they’re nervous and vulnerable — think about how you feel when you’re in front of the camera!
  • Maintain clear communication throughout the entire process. Usually disappointment is a result of unmet expectations, so avoid that through great communication!
  • Request feedback during the session and ask if there’s anything else they want that you haven’t gotten yet. Let them be a part of the collaborative process.
  • Stay in touch. Keep in touch with your clients through periodic emails, as well as through social media. Share your recent work, photography tips, and special offers. Staying on their radar can remind them to return for another session.

Here are a few of my favorites from Elizabeth’s shoot!

Returning client Elizabeth in a pinkish tan ribbed shirt with a square neck sitting at a white desk with an apple macbook pro open, iphone, airpods, and a copper coffee mug.

I would love to hear some of the things you do to encourage returning clients in your studio. If you aren’t doing anything yet, what’s an idea you now have to encourage returning clients? Drop it in the comments below!

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