We all know we need great client testimonials. But how do we get them? It’s not as daunting a task as you might think. There are a few key factors at play here though. Let’s talk through some great strategy for getting testimonials and Google reviews from your photography clients.
Give clients an amazing session experience.
From their first inquiry to the canvases on their walls, your clients should be completed wowed. When we give our clients a wonderful senior session experience they can’t help but want to share about it.
Surprise & delight your clients along the way. How? I’m glad you asked ;)
Have their favorite candy in the studio. Create a welcome sign up with your senior’s name on it. Send your senior client a handwritten note telling them how excited you are about their upcoming session. Send them a little text telling them how well their session went and that you can’t wait for them to see the images. Little unexpected moments like these are the ones that keep your client talking . . . in a good way :)
Over communicate. The goal at our studio is that a client should never have a question. We go out of our way to over educate and communicate so that they feel fully prepared and excited about their session.
Ask for the testimonial! And do it right away.
Do not be shy about asking for the testimonial. At the end of every session we give our clients a big hug and tell them what to expect next . . . their sneak peek on Instagram and Facebook and the email asking for a review of their session experience with us. Let them know it’s coming while emotions are high! They will love sharing about how much fun they had with you. Google reviews and word of mouth are key to a small business being successful. Be bold and ask for the review!
Because life is crazy, and we know we can’t remember everything, our testimonial request email template is built right into our senior client workflow in Honeybook, our studio management software. This way we don’t forget to ask for it!
Guide them through the testimonial.
It’s perfectly fine to ask your clients leading questions to jog their memory or give them writing prompts.
Most of your clients won’t really know how to right a nice review. It’s ok to help them out here.
When it comes to photography sessions it’s all about the emotions. How did they “feel” during their session? What did it “feel” like working with you. Ask these type of questions.
Some questions you could ask . . .
Leading up to the session how did you feel? (nervous, excited, not sure what to expect)
Describe how the experience actually made you feel during the session.
Did you know what to expect before your session? Did we provide the information you needed to prepare for a successful session?
What was your favorite part of the session? What did you love?
What about help with posing? Putting outfits together at your different locations?
How did you feel when you saw some of your images on the back of the camera?
What surprised you most about this experience?
What advice would you give to a friend who is looking for a senior photographer? And what would you tell a friend who is considering our company for their senior portraits?
Basically, was it a great EXPERIENCE? Most importantly, did you have fun?!!
Give them an incentive to write a review.
The best incentive we have found is a sneak peek from the portrait session. At the end of each session we tell our clients what to expect next and to be on the lookout for our testimonial request email. We explain that if they will post a review then they’ll get an extra sneak peek. This little trick works like a charm because everyone is on an emotional high from the session anddddd back to giving them a great experience . . . they want to tell the world! :)
Ask your clients to share their testimonial on Google and your Facebook Business Page.
Instead of just asking them for a testimonial that only you will see, give your clients the link to your Google listing and ask them to post it there. We’ve even hinted that copying and pasting to our Facebook Business Page would be extra nice. Some will go the extra step. Some won’t, but that’s ok. Getting the review on Google is the most important because these are the ones your next clients will be searching for. Be sure you always respond on Google and thank your clients when they do take the time to write and leave a review. An unanswered one doesn’t look so great.
Create testimonials on your website and social media.
Once the testimonials are on Google you can also add them to your website. Create a page just for this purpose. I’ve seen them called Raves and Reviews, Kind Words, What Your Friends Are Saying. Get creative, but be sure it’s clear. Testimonials (in part or whole) can be added next to your client’s image to your website and social media. You can create really cute testimonial graphics to share on your Instagram feed and story too. No need to post them all. The will live forever on Google, but posting a few key ones each year is great for keeping your website fresh for new senior clients to see.