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Client Systems: Communication Tracking

Lesson 23 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

Client Systems: Communication Tracking

Lesson 23 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

23. Client Systems: Communication Tracking

Next Lesson: File Management


Class Trailer



Class Introduction


What is a Baby Plan?


7 Steps to Baby Plan Success


Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"


4-5 Month Olds: Tummy Time and Headshots


4-5 Month Olds: Basket Shot


The Baby Plan Structure


Lesson Info

Client Systems: Communication Tracking

Okay so we talked about the database way talked about the workflow we talked about session tracking okay let's talk about communications tracking how many of you are email only to your clients yep I have your telephone only for a mix I made you a mix of both okay john what do you do? You might ask if we also sent stuff in the actual male so I do it in the mail and email and telephone you bring an excellent point. All three are critical but if you stick with this one you go screw yourself okay? If you stick with just one you seem unapproachable there's nothing more irritating to me than on lee being able to communicate with a company by email or support ticket does that tribe you crazy when you have to send in a support ticket and you can't let get somebody on the phone drives me nuts okay? Your clients feel exactly the same way and I know this is hard dana I know it's hard to talk on the phone to people you will get more practiced at it and if it's hard at first but I encourage you to ...

do is to get there slowly so you're not so scared of and I'm not sure if that's the case with me or not but usually people only milk and they don't like to talk people on the phone or they're shy or they're uncomfortable with the process but I would encourage you to do is keep out of the way you're doing now knowing you're going to change but grow into it slowly so the initial conversation when you don't know somebody is usually the one that's the hardest to dio so maybe start transitioning over to the phone once a client at first so every single communication you do with them after they book is via telephone or sammael because then you know them, you've seen them, you've talked to them, you've done a session oh don't you call him up? Don't forget we're going to see you next week then you already know that they are you'll get more comfortable talking on the phone it'll grow into something mohr pleasurable for you then starting off with being on the phone right away no, but you have to go out you you need to graduate to being able to do all three phone on lee can be a little annoying too, because if you just want to say something quick to someone it's annoying to have toe like get stuck in a little conversation on the phone with um like don't waste my time, you know? I mean, so sometimes when I want to just tell a client that they can pick up their order, I just sent him a quick email your order's ready come pick up when you're ready because if I call him on the phone I may be dragged into a long drawn out conversation about something on the other hand, email can be so annoying when it's so much faster to pick up the phone and say ok, which frame did you want? It is just so much faster than typing out a long email because always an email I feel like I have to start off with something like oh how are you it's a great day but hey, did you tell me which frame you wanted? I just think you give you all the time love julia it's like it takes too much time to think about that seems crazy but it is annoying snail mail is just all about the brand snail mail is so fun to get and in my opinion snail mail should have that it should not be a sales pitch it shouldn't be an advertisement or a promo card. Now go get me wrong it works. It works for some photographers to do that. But to me I want snail mail too because most snail mail that you get is a bill or something annoying or junk so I want to differentiate my mail from the rest of my client's male to be something sweet touching loving encouraging welcoming grateful something like that so when they get milic oh something nice in the mail rather than a pushy marketing piece or whatever does that does that make sense? Such is my personal thought on it that's not to say that mailing pope promotional parts card does not work there's a lot of people out there who do do it and now a days now that email marketing has become such a huge thing and spam is like the bad word of the twenty first century snail mail promotion can be very effective different because it's not an e mail junk e mail in your inbox okay so communication really does start with the first phone call okay the first phone call or the first email how many of you let your aunt your phone go to voicemail d'oh d'oh e d'oh let's see the number I don't want to talk to you right now I can't deal with that client let it go to voicemail I do it all the time okay but I'm trying to be much better because I have found the difference to be so incredible answer you're flipping phone you know how many sessions I've booked because I answered on the other photographer didn't do you know how many clients I have taken away from other photographers just because I answered the phone it's incredible and the reason I'm telling us this because photographers don't answer the phone and if you do you'll decorated your rate yourself you really will okay and it's just about being kind and nice okay if you don't answer, make sure you do as soon as possible call them back, okay, you're gonna lose look at it as if you don't take that phone call. You're not going to get the client same with email if a client emails us and were too slow to respond. I'm like crap where we missed that session, we're not going to get it as soon as I get an inquiry male like if they didn't call me the email instead were on the phone call liam or within fifteen to twenty minutes if we see it come in, I don't want to seem to like you saw a little call. You know what it's like to eager it's like the desperate the desk for a guy who asks you on a date you know, get away because you don't want to be too pushy, but email response should be fast. I say twenty four hours here, I try to make it within an hour or two of the email if it's on the weekend I'll do it aura tonight I'll do it the following morning okay always ask for a phone number in your e mail system so that you can call them back and make it a required element on your inquiry form if somebody puts in five, five, five, one, two, one two, they're not seriously a client I usually don't even call him back or email them back so somebody fills out our inquiry form and put their name and puts a stupid phone number and their like one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and then just says case any pricing ignore my won't even send it to him. I know they're not my client because that tells me if you don't want to talk on the phone with me, that tells me that you're really not that interested that you just you're fishing around, and I'm gonna have a hard time connecting with you. Granted, I am at the point my business where I can afford to do that, and don and I were talking the other day and she was asking me about you know what? How do you determine whether or not you should put your pricing on your website? If you want people to enquire and call because you're trying to get more clients, those kind of along the lines, your question, wasn't it? She was debating whether to put our pricing on our website, just like if I don't put it on there that I'm going to get more increase because people are gonna want to know how much I charge, and then that gives me the opportunity connect with them or and spending that time with those clients is worth it to me. To try to get them to be a customer well when you get to the point we have so many increase that it's wasting your time that you could be doing on some some other marketing projects that that is more fruitful than it's time to make you know, pre qualify your client so if they've seen your pricing on your website and they know they can't afford you, then they're not even gonna bother to call okay? The other thing that keeping your pricing off your website can do in the client's mind is say, oh, I don't want to bother calling because I just want the information now so there's two schools of thought on that so it's really about balancing time to cost value ratio and what's important to you okay, what do you need time or do you need clients? What are you willing to do when you're not willing to do and that's a personal choice? Okay um yeah before moving on to the next topic there's a conversation going on in the chat room and questions command about facebook and people are saying that their clients are facebook messaging them. I don't know if you guys see some nodding heads here do you have a strict policy about that or what would you recommend for heat facebook? Email it's so annoying I totally understand what you guys are at um when I get a facebook email inquiry I will usually if they've left a phone number, obviously I would call them if they don't, then I would say, you know, we'd be happy to talk to you more about this. You're welcome to come in for a complimentary visit. The best way to do this is via telephone, because we have a lot of information to tell you about and it's just easier for us to communicate and we prefer, and I feel we provide better customer service when we can talk to people on the phone, so if you're willing to give us your number, if you want to give this studio call, we'll have a happy to chat with you more about this kind of in that light. If you have a canned email that you could just kind of copy and paste to pop into facebook whenever you need it, that's the most efficient way to do it. The other thing you can do is on your about us page and not that this would help a ton. But on your about paige on your facebook you can say, you know, please email we don't check our facebook very often for messages. If you would like information, please visit our website or email us at such and such or colace even kind of plaster that marketing message all over your all over your social media accounts. I think that would help, but yeah, it's really hard to keep track of all that, and what I would do is if they if they did do that and you have a decent corresponds with them and facebook, I would copy and paste that and put it in the notes section of studio cloud, so I make sure I have that communication logged in studio cloud. Does that make sense, cousin actually, jennifer, who wrote that was clarifying she was actually talking about after their client, are they messaging to communicate interesting? Yeah, I would point blank say, please don't communicate with us on facebook as we have a system in place that make sure our communication with you it's consistent and if we have to go to multiple places to find information it's really challenging for us, so if you wouldn't mind, it would be so much easier for us. If you could communicate to us through this email address or call us on the phone, you're more likely to get more instantaneous responses and better customer service from us if you can do that, that's what I would say and, um, nicely when you could do it nicely and in an email like if they message you on facebook, I probably respond the email and go hey, I got your message on facebook. If you could go ahead and respond here it would be so much easier for us that way we can keep track of our correspondence with you and provide better service to you it's probably how I would handle that that's great I love learning things from folks online and somebody is telling us that you connect actually disable the messaging okay you're really facebook oh my god you got to do that and you can add a tab on that says you know that says contact us and links to your website oh thank you for sharing a oh I need to know I'm sure my social media girl knows how to do that but that is good to know because that's huge information right there would be much much easier thank you h edwards thank you h edward that's awesome um okay so if you're stuck with an e mail because they don't give you a number and you do want to respond to them send a personalized but canned response you know I kind of have a canned response that I send out people and again it's all part of our newborn session booking system but you can personalize it by just putting their name in or the baby's name in or whatever or you know a pricing kind of general pricing information brochure and send that off to them as a canned response in that way you're not spending time every single time writing something new yeah so I noticed that you said but an email email follow I guess upholder email follow up for the new wing enquiries that you get to you because I tend to get this a lot and you goes back to facebook but sometimes all email them alcohol asked for their email and then I start the conversation that way that way I don't have to deal with facebook but do you ever obviously you send the can email and they get some response and alison that just kind of dropped off and you do you follow up constantly with those air what? Because sometimes no studio crowd is brilliant because I can put studio crowd has something called cloud forms where I could take a form as my contact page and put that on my wordpress website so every time someone fills out my contact us form on our website it auto populates as a prospective client in studio so it puts all their information into studio crowd I have a running list of prospective clients studio cloud that I can then take notes on and say, oh, I need to get back to the person or whatever it keeps the system in place does that make sense if you don't have something like that keep an inquiry folder in your mail system and if I didn't have to do found I would be printing out emails from every single client as backup and pointing it in their folder so I know which communication I've had with them because if you guys are like me at all, I mean, if you've seen my desktop, he would cringe a total nightmare math, my email is just they're laughing at me because we have this facebook group where I'm in we continue the education on facebook, and I'm in there all the time. And so when I was prepping for this class, I just kind of as a joke, put a screenshot of my a desktop on there, and I was prepping the class. It was a freegan nightmare. I mean, it looked like a tornado had gone through and attacked my desktop. It was so bad, but yes, it's, are you the same way? No, I was just wondering since you mentioned it how oh, how you always think you it's quite the good segway. If you download the freebie by our speed, peeing to the class and giving your email to me, I promise not to be obnoxious in spam, you can get access to the facebook group and join and continue the conversation of this class afterwards, and I do. I'm in there probably at least once a week popping in and answering questions and liking stuff it's a great place to continue the learning so that's that but anyway, my desktop is extremely disorder. So is my email inbox. I've probably two thousand emails in my inbox and it's ridiculous, and I go out maybe every six months and clean it out, and I'm usually searching for stuff. But that's, why I love sukhavich keeps me organized of my client. Everything else can be a little bit mishmash with my clients it's all nice and succinct and organized in a nice little package with notes and logs and all that that's. Why that contact form with perspective planning is so valuable, but if I didn't have that, what I'd probably do is make folders in my e mail system and bring over perspective clients to one folder, and then, you know, papa populate them in there by name, and then when they became a client, I would move them from from the perspective folder to the client folder and keep things organized. Okay, but really wants you discover studio management software and trust me, it's a pain in the booty to set up it is it's just it's a lot of data that you got to put in it's a lot of numbers and it's a lot of stuff, but once you start using it on a daily basis, it's your best friend, and it wants you have that database you have so much power in your studio to see what kind of clients are coming through the door how many newborn sessions you're doing how many baby plan sessions you're doing when you're doing them if you have a busy time of year or not you can really analyze data that data is so valuable okay so that's why I love a studio management software system like I said there's a ton out there that are that are useful and justus good so the other thing that I suggest if you don't have a along the lines of your question carmen is if you don't have a electronic system do an analog system I mean hello the three ring binder is so old school but it works have a sheet in there that you can write down your client information and have different files for professor perspective clients versus current clients and archived clients so clients who are out of your system now but you still want to keep a folder file holder of so that that way you have a working system for all your clients anytime anyone calls to win choir you fill out the ink reform and pop it in your brewing biter ok not what you know you could go back and once a week track through and see who's inquired call them back follow up with them you know how you call and leave a message then they never call you you might want to call him again but if you don't remember that they're there it kind of throws you off do you mean okay clearly this is something city management software will do for you as well so they've booked now what well welcome then we have a thank you sweating appreciate it this is my packaging by the way for our studios this help clients get little gets there but this is that it's that time postcards a little postcard with blank stuff on the back we can right in the little message it's kind of cute I'll hold stuff up still sorry like all get their fair with funds like christmas okay so this is what we welcome them with this is arby's you baby welcome kit okay they uh this is the promo card they get this little welcome kit when they book okay, we either give it to them in person or mail it to them nine times out of ten I'm actually giving it to them because they're at the newborn session they booked the newborn session and so we send them home with this from the newborn session. Okay um this is a little custom this if they're going home with it we give this to them at the session if they were giving this to the book you were booking ordering downloading sorry downloading if we looked them at the newborn according appointment they just get this part then, at the next session or in the mail, we will send this little custom, uh, diaper bag tag. All it is is two images from the newborn session, one on the front, one on the back, and it says their name molly's things and it's run through a laminate er I'm eliminator at work, and we just run it through the laminate er, ok, if found, please call and the client's phone number so it's a little diaper bag tag that they can tie onto their diaper bag, which is super cute, just kind of adorable on this is obviously a girl, one because the fonts are more girly, but just a fun little gift e thing that the client can really enjoy. Okay, then the collateral kit that we send them has just fun stuff in here is, and this is if you get if you buy the class, you get this little card it's, a welcome card, and it has recipe for happy mommy's on there. One cup packed with passionate photographer, two cups creativity, half a cup talent sifted with originality, three corners cup dedication, one tablespoon of timelessness and a dash of the unexpected. Because it happens, it gets people excited about the baby plan and how committed we are to producing. A beautiful product for them and something fun, okay? It says mix ingredients together in a well prep studio season with a charming baby and shake in a little humor, sir, for the client with a smile. Okay, just find little thing that gets the client excited about the process to come in way also list our year end incentives and our signature baby products that we do it individual sessions also in here is a postcard on the free family session and you're too okay, so it says, oh, free family session and you're too this is what you get to look forward to at the end of the entire process. Okay, also in here has tips for a successful session, no tips for propping your baby and what the ages and stages are about what the two major ages and stages in the first year compromise and then there's also just a little this is more decorative, just a welcome card in the front so the clients get this and it gets them excited about the process of the baby plan. This is our snail mail playing education, communication okay, to get them ready for the process and of course, there's like this you get in the freebie as well if you purchased the class it's the little promo card, I put this in all my newborn session digital file kits so when they walk out of the studio with their digital files on the day of the ordering appointment for the newborn session this card is in there and it says uh, bees you baby joined for only two hundred fifty dollars this is what you get the two sessions the free family session, exclusive products to be your baby but then the little tag doctor says newborn clients get to join for only one hundred dollars. Yeah, how exciting. So that's in the newborn digital kit when they leave with their newborn images ok that's kind of a promo and then this is just a just thinking of you card it's just this way after the sessions all over we send this to them that says we're hoping everything's going well everyone excuse to contact them this is what we used to just say hello, okay, so it sets the tone for the experience with us. It gets your client excited about the process. It makes baby plan more exclusive to do some kind of collateral welcome kit. Okay, so if you master this communication skills, you will put yourself head and shoulders above other photographers you can make or break a session with just the lack of one phone call. The lack of one phone call can make or break a session, so show your professionalism, make a phone script okay if you have trouble with this do a phone script think about all the possibilities of what the client could say and come up with a response for it that's kind loving yes but know what I mean you're saying yes but you're really saying though ask those who what where why quite questions and make sure you cover every point that you need to cover in that initial phone call all right very few photographers pick up the phone you will differentiate yourself if you do so email should be a last resort plus it takes too much time in my opinion I mean sometimes you need to send e mail but it does take up a lot of time handwritten correspondence does take time too but you're not doing it that much you know I mean I want you to treat email the same way just make sure that your hand written correspondence is systemized so that every client gets the same experience hand written notes are awesome clients love them especially you say thank you with a beautiful card by the way if you sign up for us to be a policies on our website give you that for three not also anyway I love free so okay we talked about database we talked about workflow we talked about session tracking we talked about communications tracking order tracking okay, the client's order labs do make mistakes make sure you know where everything is note the date ordered and lab order number on the invoice. So this is a classic invoice that I will have for a session. I write down the date that I ordered it. You can see over here on the top, it says white house custom color five five fifteen I ord that stand out from white house on may fifth, two thousand fifteen. So it's just hand written the general files large. I note that the files have been received by the client. I also know that the ruby book we ordered was ordered from pro d b I on five, five fifteen as well, the day of their order, an appointment. It was ordered on their sheet. When you mark that it was sent to the lab. Note the date. Note the order number through white house, white house kid or every lab gives you an order number, so write down the order number on their invoices. Well, that you sent it to the lab so you'll know and contract their order when you need teo. Okay, very important.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Customizable BP Postcard Templates
Customizable Recipe Tag Templates
Customizable Stat Card Templates
Baby Plan Images
How The Baby Plan Works
Baby Plan Resource Guide
Baby Plan Success Checklist

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

I just finished to watch this course. And I confess: I've been struggled all the time during the viewing to say already: I LOVE IT! So, I LOVE this course! Julia is so nice teacher, and photographer, and person. And she is so incredible organizator of whole child's photography business. She is amazing, so meticulous, so persuasive trough all and each one of the important points of this business. And she is just great in the part of studio´s shooting examples with the babies. This is one of the best and most valuable courses I found in Creative Live, thanks!

Dawn Potter

I've been so fortunate to be able to be a part of the Live audience experience with Julia. She is an amazing person, photographer and teacher. She does a fantastic job of explaining in detail, the steps she has taken that have helped her success as well as the steps that have set her back. We are so lucky to be able to learn from her experiences and to have someone who is willing to put herself out there to teach us and help us to grow as photographers. For anyone considering adding a Baby Plan to their portrait offerings, this class is a MUST have. Julia, you are #awesomesauce !! xoxo - Dawn Potter

Student Work