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The A&V Experience 101 – You Had Me At Hello

August 1, 2016

We are so excited that you can join us! A lot of people ask us how, in just the 3rd year of our business are we booking 30 weddings a year, averaging 5-7K per wedding and already only have 10 spots left for next year! 1st we believe that we have the literally THE BEST clients in the world, and second we believe that our client experience has a lot to do with it! That being said, we are just starting our new series on giving your client the best experience possible from the moment they first see your work on your website to even months and years after their wedding. Word of mouth is THE BEST way to get those ideal clients that you will love just as much as they will love you and giving the best client experience possible helps to ensure you take your clients from just ordinary to Raving fans! So follow along as we go over things like your website, email correspondence, client gifts and more!

Part 1 – You Had me at Hello (Your Website)
Part 2 – Sweet Talking Winning the First impression with Your Emails!
Part 3 – Wine & Dinning – Winning Your Client During the Consultation!
Part 4 – Giving Immediate Value – Growing your business exponentially with Client Gifts!

What is the A&V client experience?

The A&V experience, to put it plainly, is not just the experience one gets when they receive a gift from us or their final product from their wedding day. It goes much, much deeper than that and it starts way earlier. A brave cI ill rights activist and author, Maya Angelou once said

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Those are words by which we run our business by. Sure you can be the best photographer in the world but if you are a complete jerk or don’t make your client feel valued you will ultimately run your business into the ground. This is something that happens from the beginning, before you even get to the email or a face-to-face meeting. You may be asking, well then where? The answer is simple, your website. This is where the true “Hello” takes place. Today we are going to cover the ins and outs of making the best first impression as possible from the website to the first email!

Dressed to Impress

It’s said that you have less than 15 seconds to make an impression on someone before they leave your website. To say that making a good first impression is important is an understatement. Now how do you make them stay and look around? How do you get their attention and how do you make them say “You had me at Hello?” Here are some ways that we have found to be really useful for us. We use Showit5 Sites and they are EXTREMELY easy to use in order to make a beautiful website! We HIGHLY suggest it! They also help with SEO but we will talk about that another time 😉

  1. Make an immediate impact. 
    • This can be in a bunch of different ways but the best way we have found has been our main splash page. If you notice it is a massive black and white image that doesn’t have a bride and grooms face in it, instead it’s bold and tells a story. That is our style! Our style is Bold and intimate, telling a story that leaves you asking questions and wanting more. You have no idea how many people have told us that our splash page picture sold them on us immediately.
  2. Put up your best foot forward.
    • If you are going to do a splash page you need to put a lot of thought into it because that is the image in which they will judge ALL of your work on. That has to be the image that is your very best and most indicative of YOUR STYLE. What we see too often with websites is people use a splash page filled with flowers or details or even a picture of a bride and groom that doesn’t speak to who you are as a photographer. That isn’t selling you, all you are doing is looking like everyone else and acting as a lemming, walking off of the same cliff with everyone else. Now, I’m not saying that those are bad things to have one your website but if you literally have less than 15 seconds to catch someone’s attention, how are you going to separate yourself from everyone else? You have to hook them in and make them want more of YOU and what YOU have to offer. Leave them wanting more!
  3. CURATION IS KING.
    • Now, you can’t end at the splash page, you have to keep going. Just as important as the splash page is the rest of the website because you have hooked them and they are looking for more. One of the best things you can do is continue to leave them wanting picture after picture. It is  EXTREMELY important to curate all of your images really well. One of the best way to do this is completely disconnected your personal emotions of your pictures in your portfolio.  Just becuase you love a picture doesn’t mean that a bride going through your website deciding if she wants to book you will. It’s good to have an outside perspective on the pictures on your website because some pictures just aren’t strong enough to be a main image on your website or portfolio. Your only selling point for a bride can’t and shouldn’t be your price! You have to make them resonate with your work and HAVE to have you! You have to bring your voice out in your work.

groom looking into window with reflection

Make It Easy

We can not stress this enough! If your website is cluttered or complicated then that is an easy way to keep a client from looking further into your site.

  1. Keep it Clean
    • Just as much as curation is king, simplicity is supreme. What I have noticed about me and Kathryn is that clutter stresses her out. Imagine how many potential brides are coming to your website and immediately leaving because its too cluttered. One of the ways that Google actually ranks your website is on how close some of your elements on your website are to each other. Even Google knows that clutter is a BAD thing! Make sure that your site is clean and crisp. Aesthetically, the more pleasing your website is to look at, the better your clients FEEL about your work and the more likely that client is to reach out!
  2. Keep it to 2 Clicks
    • Ok, what I mean by this is: ANYONE should be able to go to where they want to go on your website with only 2 clicks. If it is hard to navigate your website then you are making it hard for your potential client to book you. One statistic says that approximately 96% of people come to your website not ready to buy. You want to make sure you eliminate as many barriers as possible to getting your potential client to book you. Here is one thing you can do to make sure your website is easy to navigate, ask your mom to look through your website! Now, your mom will most likely have a different style and vision than you so take her advice with a grain of salt but if she said that something was confusing or she couldn’t figure out how to make it work, listen. Don’t just assume that your client should be technologically savvy enough to navigate your website!
  3. Keep it Easy!
    • If you are trying to get your client to contact you then why would you just have one way for them to do it? You have to make it easy for your client to contact you. We have a way for our clients to contact us on every page. Even if it is something as small as saying “Like what you see?” or “Love what we love?”, linked to our contact page. Some people also do this by having a contact button on the tab but I think there is something to engaging someone with a question or something that is visually appealing. I am not saying put a large red “BOOK NOW” button on your page but there is something about those that still works. You want to engage your client emotionally so they are more excited to book you than before they came to you website!
  4. Keep it Personal.
    • You guys have no idea how many times we have been to a photographers website and literally have no idea what they look like. I think it is SOO important for you to at least have a picture or two of yourself. Its also really important to add things that make you, you. I have found that sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you are at photography if you can get someone to fall in love with you. We personally know photographers who are charging $10k+ for weddings, not just because they are good photographers, but because their service and client experience is out of this world. If you can make people fall in love with you on your website they will jump over the moon to have you! Here are a couple of ways to do that:
      1. Create a video
        • We have literally had people tell us they want to hire us because they fell in love with our video and just knew we would be a perfect fit. Don’t be generic in your video, have one that shows your personality, don’t be afraid to be you! If someone doesn’t like you because you are being authentic, they probably aren’t the best client for you anyway!
      2. Create a blog
        • We once heard it said that “Your website is your handshake and your blog is your voice.” Your blog is the best way for you to get your voice out there for people to hear and fall in love with. Don’t think that your blog posts need to be something really professional and pretentious, you can blog about anything! Seriously, anything that you love because although you think that no one is reading it, someone is or will and they will relate to you, and they will HAVE to have you!

bride and groom with incredible light between the palm trees foreheads together

Sweet Talking

Ok, so now that your potential client has made it to your contact page and sent you that inquiry, a lot of people get really excited but really insecure at the same time. Thoughts run through your head like “What if they don’t like what I have to say?” or “Should I send prices now or an interest email?” or “What if I’m too expensive?” or “What should my pricing sheet look like?” All of these are very natural feelings and thoughts, and in our next post we are going to cover all of these and more so that you can get the most out of that initial email and have them coming back for more!

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  1. Client Experience: How to win Wedding Client with your Email!

    August 8th, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    […] Part 1 – You Had me at Hello (Your Website) […]

  2. 5 Tips to Improve Your Booking Percentage with In-Person Consultations

    August 15th, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    […] Part 1 – You Had me at Hello (Your Website) Part 2 – Sweet Talking Winning the First impression with Your Emails! Part 3 – Wine & Dinning – Winning Your Client During the Consultation […]

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