The Business of Boudoir: Repeat Clients with Ayla Quellhorst
For many studios, repeat clients are a significant asset. Every year, they come in to work with the photographer they love and update their images as their kids and family grow. Family sessions can then lead to senior sessions, weddings, and then additional family sessions. You and your business can work with those clients for generations to come.
For boudoir, there is often an idea that clients don’t have a reason to come back. Many boudoir photographers even mention their shoots being a “once in a lifetime experience.” This puts the idea into clients’ heads that they only need one boudoir shoot and there is no reason to come back.
Yet, that is not true. Our studio has several clients who come in every year for shoots. They also tend to be our clients who spend the most and hype us up to their friends. These are the clients we love to work with. These clients allow us to be creative and force us to get outside of our comfort zones. They are the clients who come to our studio for one primary reason: our experience.
There are a few easy things you can do to change your boudoir studio to get clients to come back for more sessions.
Create a fun and unique experience
A fun and unique experience is the most critical thing to get clients to return to you. No one wants to come back to a session that was boring or stressful. So, you want to make sure you rock their first session. Please don’t leave them hanging with anything. In November of 2020, Shutter Magazine published an article on building a connection with your boudoir client. See that article for more details on how to create an experience.
It would help if you went one step further to get Repeat Clients. You need to make sure their next shoot will have something different. We have so many sets and looks that we can create for clients. They’re simple things, but it’s impossible to do all of them in one session. If you did, the album wouldn’t flow right and the client would be exhausted.
We’re also constantly adding new sets and ideas to our offerings. Sometimes this is as simple as getting a new luxury robe and offering that. Some boudoir photographers offer gorgeous wings or after-hours shoots. Whatever set you can come up with needs to be fresh, different and out of the box.
One of the biggest things our clients come back to us for is a destination shoot. You can offer shoots at a beach an hour away from you. You can create a retreat session or rent a unique space to shoot in. The only way a client gets access to that particular area for their shoot is if they are a returning client. You want to make sure whatever you do allows you to create images that are nothing like their last session.
You must step up your game each time your client comes in! All the different elements that go into creating a new session are what make returning clients so much fun. Often, they are eager to help you try new concepts and they trust you enough to let you try things you haven’t done before. The push to do something new gets us away from doing the same thing repeatedly. It gets our creative juices flowing.