How to Get Glowing Testimonials From Your Photography Clients

How to Get Glowing Testimonials From Your Photography ClientsOne question that we get fairly often from our readers is “how can I get my clients to give me (glowing) testimonials?”

I added the word “glowing” because average-middle-of-the-road reviews are not going to do much to help bring you clients. Testimonials go a long way towards helping you book more clients and grow your business.

The last time you looked for a new restaurant to try or a new plumber to hire, did you scroll through their reviews to make sure that your peers had a good experience with them? It’s only natural for us to hire people who have been reviewed positively, so it’s our job as business people to ensure that reviews are easy to find for our own potential customers.

First off, if you are giving your clients the red carpet treatment, there shouldn’t be any reason for them to be less than thrilled and happy to provide you with a glowing quote! But if you are getting feedback from clients on an area that left them wanting for more, you will want to take that advice and make whatever improvements are needed.

Here are some suggestions for how to easily gain more excellent testimonials to use for growing your business.

Asking for a testimonial face-to-face

Many times when we deliver our finished portraits, we will have clients that go on and on about how wonderful their portraits are, how happy they are that they finally got the family together for that portrait that they have been putting off for years, or how they left nervous that they spent too much money but now realize it was worth every penny.

Of course, not every client is so vocal; some are pleased but more reserved about it, and some just don’t ever express much emotion. But when you get the ones that are almost moved to tears and praising the day they met you- you want to ask them for a testimonial or review-right then and there.

Ask and ye shall receive

Getting great reviews from your best clients is easy- all you have to do is ask! Sure, it might feel a little awkward at first but once you start doing it, it will become second nature. When you have clients excited to be receiving their portraits in front of you is the best time to ask them to help you out.

Many times when you are the new photographer in town, your clients like to feel like they discovered you… like they are helping to make you a success.

Everyone loves being the first person in their circle of friends to discover a great new restaurant or hot spot and sharing it with everyone – the same goes for photographers! Most will be excited to give you a quote and have the opportunity to help build you up so that others can discover you as well.

Everyone loves being the first to discover a new restaurant & share it with their circle – the… Click To Tweet

The follow through

The hard part with asking for a testimonial is that people have good intentions, but they get busy and don’t always follow through. They meant to pop on Facebook and give you that stellar review, but they got home from work late, the kids are sick, etc. etc. Life gets in the way.

At our studio, Barbara, my wife and our saleswoman, will ask all clients when they pick up their order if they wouldn’t mind going to our Facebook page and leaving a review.

I would estimate that 95% of clients say ”absolutely,” but only around 10% actually do. That means only about one out of every ten people you ask will remember to actually right the review for you.

We are established so we don’t sweat it that much, but when you are just starting out, you want to see the number of Facebook reviews multiply or at least gain a handful of great quotes to include on your website.

So, here’s the solution to bringing that percentage of clients who provide a review way up:

Get the review in writing

Instead of just asking a client for a testimonial and hoping that they follow through at some point when they get home, have a piece of nice note paper and a pen nearby at the time of the portrait pickup and simply ask them right then and there if they wouldn’t mind putting something in writing so that you can include it on your website. You might be putting them a little on the spot, but at least you will secure that vital quote!

And if you ask after you’ve given them a few minutes to inspect the final portraits and rave about them to you, it will feel like a fairly natural transition – like it’s just a part of the check-out process.

“That’s too pushy for me!”

Ok, so you’re a little shy and feel that’s a little too forward. No problem, try this instead. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind taking two minutes to fill out a quick survey of their experience with you. You can accomplish this two different ways:

  1. Old school style– Have a printed sheet with your survey questions and include a pre-addressed and stamped envelope so that they can drop it in a mail box- no excuses about not having postage. You can either give that to them before they leave or mail it to their home. If mailing it to their home it’s also nice to include a Thank You note.
  2. Email- If you haven’t already (and you really should have in the consultation phase,) get their email address and send them a Thank You email along with the survey.

Pro Tip- At the bottom of the survey, be sure to ask if it’s okay to use their comments in your advertising.

Talk is cheap – in a good way!

Collecting quotes from your clients doesn’t cost you (or them) a cent- yet it is priceless.

Positive word of mouth and moving testimonials can be some of the most effective advertising available to you.

Be sure to make this a part of your marketing arsenal- don’t let the fear of being turned down (which won’t happen if they are happy) or feeling pushy stop you from acquiring feedback from your clients.

Put yourself in their shoes… if you are happy with a business that you just worked with, would you be insulted if they asked you for a quote? Of course not, and neither will your clients!

A glowing testimonials can be the most effective advertising. Here's why: Click To Tweet

Your Assignment!

Be sure to ask your very next client when you deliver their order for a testimonial. Use whatever method feels the most natural for you but remember just coming out and asking them in person usually is the most effective.

Let us know in the comments below how you’ve been most successful when it comes to getting more reviews from your clients.