Have you ever sent a gallery you are super proud of to your client and you hear crickets? Then you start to doubt how much you actually loved the photos and start to nitpick the white balance, exposure, poses… and you go on a downward spiral because you think all your photos just suck?
Especially when you are starting out, you won’t know that most clients won’t get back to you after you send the gallery. (It’s true!)
Most of us photographers have been there. Not hearing positive feedback from clients can be nerve-wracking! The truth is, most clients won’t think to write to tell you “I LOVE IT!” even if they do unless you invite feedback and communication. Most clients love the photos – but they either get distracted (busy ordering those prints/cards!) or simply assume that you already know the photos are great and your job is done. When all else fails, I always tell myself, “No news is good news!” However, I also implement these steps in my client communication and I have been receiving way more emails, mentions, reviews, and DMs about how much they love the photos!
Here are some tips for how you will invite feedback from clients – so you don’t have to wonder and go eat a gallon of ice cream or check your email a million times hoping for a “Thank you! I love them!” email. (As I was writing this, I received an email from a wedding client I did 4 months ago telling me how much they love them! I was so worried they hated them this entire time!)
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Step 1: It all starts at responding to inquiries the right way
It’s not like dating where you want to wait to respond so you don’t seem desperate. When you get an inquiry, respond right away! I am sure even in your own experience looking for any service, whether it’s a cleaner or plumber (those are just a couple of people I’ve looked for recently), you tend to just go with whoever was responsive, and seemed professional.
As much as we hope that clients are booking for YOU and your style of photography, they are also looking for someone who’s there for them, quickly and with just a style of photography that they like.
So, how do you respond and how does this relate to getting amazing client feedback after you send them your photos?
First – create a comfortable environment where clients are free to communicate with you anytime. I promise, not many people are going to be in your business all the time. Most people still won’t take you up on your offer of unlimited consultations or to have them text anytime. If they do – it’s fun for me! I love getting to know my clients before a session.
So – invite them from the very beginning and let it be known that you’d love to hear from them about anything. If they know you love to hear from them, then they will be more inclined to at least send you a quick email or text saying “Thank you so much!” because they will be used to communicating with you.
Step 2: Ask for thoughts when you send the gallery
Ok, I know this doesn’t seem like rocket science, but every time that I email clients their gallery, I finish it off with “Please do let me know what you think about your photos!” My gallery send email is pretty long since I include all the info they need as to how to navigate the galleries and what to do with the photos. In addition to that, I also mention throughout “let me know if there is anything else I can do”. Again, opening up the communication for them to let me know.
Usually, these two things give me a pretty good percentage rate of “thank you, we love it!” But, if all else fails, I like the next 3 tips.
Step 3: Use Galleries with a “Favorites” Feature
I call this the silent approval. I use Pixieset to deliver my galleries. Again, when I send my gallery send email, I mention that they should create a favorites list so they can go back to it easily. This is true, since I tend to over-deliver in the number of images, but this is also a way for me to know that they actually had favorites. Lol Some people, who never give me feedback have favorited about 70 photos. That’s all the confirmation I need that they loved their gallery! So, find yourself a gallery delivery system that allows clients to favorite photos, and let them give you the “silent” approval!
Another slightly related way that I know they loved their photos through the gallery is because they share their gallery! I know they are super happy when I get notifications on Pixieset that many people register to view their galleries. I like to require email at registration so I can keep track of who’s viewed the photos and it’s an extra added security for the galleries. But, this feature also shows that they are sharing away their photos – which is a great sign!
Step 4: Follow up the right way
If you are still curious and you haven’t heard anything, just email them and ask! It won’t hurt. If there is something that they weren’t happy with, they will be so happy you opened up the conversation rather than them dwelling on all the time and money they spent on photos they weren’t satisfied with.
If you don’t want to simply ask, but want a more gentle way of approaching the client for feedback, then email them with a light-hearted topic. Say something like “I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to check in to see if there is anything else I can do for you. It was so great to meet you all. Please let me know if you ever need a photographer for [your occasion]! I will be happy to see you all again!”
This isn’t being pushy. It’s being helpful, and if they were happy with your services, they might even say “it was nice to meet you also! Looking forward to the next session.” Or something like that. That’s all you need!
Step 5: Send a Feedback Questionnaire
Unless I hear back from them, I usually like to send a feedback request questionnaire. In this questionnaire, I ask a lot of questions to not only better serve them in the future, but a series of questions about how they liked the photos. Again, not everyone fills this out, but it’s super helpful when people do and I find out how much they liked their photos!
How To Take Action!
Step 1: Open communication from the beginning by telling your clients that you’d love to hear from them and respond right away!
Step 2: Ask clients to respond to their gallery and let you know their thoughts!
Step 3: Get a gallery with a “favorites” button and ask clients to use it when you send them their gallery.
Step 4: Create a follow-up email to send out after you send the gallery.
Step 5: Create a feedback questionnaire and send it to clients!
There You Have it!
I know this seems like a lot of steps to take just to hear that your clients loved their photos. But if having happy clients is what makes your job fulfilling, then these steps are totally worth it!!
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