How to Create an Elite Pre-Session Client Experience

Using educational resources to become a super hero in your clients’ eyes.

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How to give your photography client an amazing session experience

When’s the last time YOU were the subject of a portrait session? Do you remember how nervous you were? Did the photographer help prepare you with education or did you just guess your way through preparing for the session due to a lack of resources? 

I’ve experienced the latter and let me tell you… IT SUCKS. It makes you so much more nervous and it’s completely unnecessary when it comes down to it. 

Want to know how to be a super hero in your clients’ eyes? HELP THEM. Give them resources to help them prepare for their session. Help them understand how to put a well curated outfit together, how to complement their kids without being too matchy-matchy, how to get their face ready for airbrush makeup, what to do & what not to do, etc. Allllllll of that information can help your clients breathe a HUGE sigh of relief & even be more prepared for their session – which results in a calmer subject!

Here are a few things I include in my photography client prep resources:

  1. Welcome Letter
  2. What to Wear Guide
  3. Face Prep Guide
  4. Nail Prep Guide
  5. Session Checklist
  6. Date & Time Reminder
  7. Senior Session Style Survey
  8. Fashion Consult

Wanna kick it up a notch? Brand the resources. Don’t just send them a link to an article they could have found on Google or a random Pinterest board you’ve curated with broken links and outdated information. Send your clients to a beautiful client hub on your site, send a digital PDF magazine, or even a tangible welcome packet in the mail. These branded resources can really add a ton of value to the experience for your clients at a minimum cost to you.

Now, if you’re not ready to go all in on a tangible welcome packet, that’s totally ok! I didn’t start out offering a tangible packet either! I then offered a full size printed packet for several years, then moved to an online client hub and am now considering sending out a smaller tangible packet instead! I’ve done it all friends! As your target market evolves, so will your means of pre-session prep education. Reach them where they are.

Wanna know the pros & cons of each client resource? Read on!

Tangible welcome packets are the creme de la creme when it comes to pre-session education. They’re big and beautiful and clients LOVE THEM. Like… will post them holding the packets on their social media accounts kinda love (hello free marketing)! Now, while they are gorgeous and get a ton of attention (and actually get clients to read the education), they can also be very expensive (depending on how much content you include in them) – especially if you’re buying the content materials from a lab that will only produce each piece of content in sets of 25. You also have to keep inventory on them and reorder pieces when stock is low.

Digital session prep guides & client hubs can house the exact same information as a tangible welcome packet but can be a lot less expensive. You can basically buy a template, customize it with your brand colors, fonts, and images, and send it out to the masses – only for the cost of the original template. While this is definitely a plus, one downside can be since it is digital, your client doesn’t view it as important because it’s not something they can hold in their hands. You’re also competing with all things digital to try and get your content consumed aside from everything else your client is consuming digitally.

One other interesting thing, that my past workshop students noticed, is that when they switched from tangible welcome packets to digital guides, their sales shifted from product heavy orders, to digital image orders only. WOAH. Go back and read that again, friends. Consumer psychology actually supports this finding because your business actually primes your clients by teaching them what is valuable in the way you provide your client experience. So, when you send them tangible prep packets that they can hold in their hands, they’re getting to experience that emotional response when they get to touch and feel a part of your brand… they learn to value that. By sending a digital guide or a link to a client hub, they’re experience a digital only medium of your brand. Definitely something to think about!

I totally geeked out right there, didn’t I? It happens.

If any of this sounds a bit overwhelming to you, I want to let you know about a course I will be opening NEXT WEEK that could totally transform that feeling of stress into pure confidence! It’s called the Pre-Session Prep course and it literally has EVERY.SINGLE.THING you need to get started with a streamlined pre-session prep system for your clients & your business. E-mail workflows, survey questions, what to send to help your clients prepare, how to run a fashion consult (even if you don’t have a closet or studio), how to work with a makeup artist & hairstylist… EVERYTHING! To get a notification when the doors open, make sure you’re on the A-List (newsletter, that is) and you’ll be the first to know!

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