The 3 simple reasons people will (or won’t) refer you

I’ve been a wedding photographer for ten years. My brand is simple – relaxed, genuine and natural. Not only does my photographic style reflect this, but the way I interact with people reflects this. Take a wedding day, for example. I am casual, but not sloppy. Professional, but not uptight. Fun, but not goofy. Personable, but not intrusive.

profile-bryan-4

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a wedding reception when a bridesmaid, groomsmen, family member or another guest would come up to me and say “you did a great job today”, and then inquire about booking me themselves.

You know the funny thing about it? They complemented me on how great of a job I did, yet they hadn’t even seen any of the photos yet. How can they say I did a great job? Isn’t that like complementing a chef before trying the food?

Many photographers think it’s all about the photography, and if it were, then the chef argument would hold up. But it’s not. I’m not saying photography itself isn’t important (more on that in a bit), but it’s only a small piece of the bigger picture. Your success as a photographer has more to do with you and your personality than anything else.

[icegram messages=”14297″]

In continuing our conversation about how to get guaranteed referrals as a wedding photographer, in this article, I want to explore the question “why do people refer”. I believe there are three contributing factors to the why people refer. Below, I’ve tried to give them each a “weight” as to how important they are in affecting whether or not a client will refer you.

  • 50% because of you
  • 35% because of the experience you provide
  • 15% because of your photography

The greatest emphasis is on you, the person. If people enjoy spending time with you, connect with you as a person and can relate to you, have a great experience and feel comfortable with the atmosphere you create, then they’re more likely to love their photos. It’s called cognitive bias – we see what we want to see, and when we have a great experience, we’re more likely to enjoy the results.

[quoteright]If people enjoy spending time with you, connect with you and can relate to you, they’re more likely to refer you[/quoteright]

Photography has a transformative effect. Like an old song from your younger years, an image can take you back to the moment it was taken. If a client remembers having fun, enjoying themselves, laughing and being relaxed, they’ll love the image that much more. If they remember being stressed, overwhelmed, bored or upset, they’ll love the photo less, even if it is a technically perfect image.

If you want to increase referrals, you have to simply optimize the motivations to refer – you, the experience you provide, and your photography.

Be the best version of yourself

Much has been written on the topic of personal development, and it’s a field that every photographer should study.

The best book you can read that has nothing to do with photography is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Since you and your personality have such a huge impact on the likelihood that a client will refer you, it’s clear to see the benefit in being the best version of yourself. Here are ten quick tips to quickly “level up” your personality so you can be the best version of yourself:

  1. Be trustworthy, likable, valuable and dependable
  2. Do what you’ll say you’ll do
  3. Be genuine
  4. Smile often
  5. Use people’s names
  6. Have a positive attitude
  7. Always be helpful
  8. Care about the relationship
  9. Become interested in other people
  10. Be a good listener

Create a remarkable experience

Maya Angelou is famous for saying “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The experience you provide for your clients will greatly affect their likelihood of referring you.

The customer experience doesn’t happen by accident, and I believe that the most successful photographers design their customer experience with intent. In the next few days, we’ll be diving into this topic very specifically, and I’ll even show you a sample ideal customer experience for a wedding.

Be a great photographer

The last part of the equation – the product – again, cannot be avoided.

I assume that you are a great photographer. You must master your craft, always give your best, never stop learning and invest in the best products.

Now that we understand why people refer, we can fine-tune all the moving parts to optimize for referrals. In the next article, I’ll be going deeper into the customer experience – what it is and how you can set and exceed expectations.

The “Guaranteed Referrals” Series

This article is the 2nd article in the “Guaranteed Referrals” series. To read the first article, check out this article.

 

 

Written by <br>Bryan Caporicci
Written by
Bryan Caporicci

Bryan Caporicci is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer based out of Fonthill, Canada. In 2014, he was awarded his Masters of Photographic Arts (MPA) designation by the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC), making him one of the youngest Canadian photographers to receive this level of achievement.

Bryan has been leading and educating photographers on the "business side" of photography for the last 12+ years. He is the author of 'Pricing for Profit' and the host of the 'Business of Photography podcast. He teaches at workshops across North America, including industry-leading conventions and conferences such as WPPI, Shutterfest and Canada Photo Convention. Bryan is also the CEO and Founder of Sprout Studio.

Written by <br>Bryan Caporicci
Written by
Bryan Caporicci

Bryan Caporicci is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer based out of Fonthill, Canada. In 2014, he was awarded his Masters of Photographic Arts (MPA) designation by the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC), making him one of the youngest Canadian photographers to receive this level of achievement.

Bryan has been leading and educating photographers on the "business side" of photography for the last 12+ years. He is the author of 'Pricing for Profit' and the host of the 'Business of Photography podcast. He teaches at workshops across North America, including industry-leading conventions and conferences such as WPPI, Shutterfest and Canada Photo Convention. Bryan is also the CEO and Founder of Sprout Studio.

SEEDS TO SUCCESS

Weekly actionable business tips for photographers

Workflows

Sick of drowning in admin tasks?

admin tasks

Sick of drowning in admin tasks?

reports & analytics

Time to stop guessing and start growing.

galleries

Elevate your photography with stunning galleries.

ambassadors

Earn as a photography ambassador.

scheduler

Streamline your photography schedule.

INDUSTRY REPORT

The Photographer's 2024 Industry Report. Out now.

SPROUT AI

Create questionnaires for clients in seconds.

SPROUT AI

Stop wasting your time writing emails.

Sprout AI: Questionnaires

Create questionnaires for clients in seconds.

Effortlessly design tailored client questionnaires with Sprout AI, the world’s first AI questionnaire builder for photographers. Say goodbye to the hours spent drafting and revising what to say – transform your client interactions now!

Sprout AI: EMAILS

Stop wasting your time writing emails.

Elevate your communication game with Sprout AI. Craft compelling emails in your unique brand voice, effortlessly and efficiently! With a click of a button, you can spend more time doing what you love – photography.

INDUSTRY REPORT

The Photographer's 2024 Industry Report. Out now.

We sent out a survey to thousands of professional photographers to better understand how the first half of 2023 was looking for them and what they were thinking about, worried about and excited about moving into 2024. See what they had to say.

2024 Industry Report print out for Professional Photographers
SEEDS TO SUCCESS

Weekly actionable business tips for photographers

Success in photography is 80% business and 20% photography. Easier said than done, right? It’s ok – you just haven’t had the right systems, habits and strategies. That’s about to change. Join Seeds to Success and every Thursday morning, I’ll email you with 1 specific business tip to help you move the needle in your business.

Workflows

Sick of drowning in admin tasks?

Photographers, don’t let admin tasks dim your creativity. Sprout Studio’s automation and customizable workflows can set you free. Let Sprout Studio take care of the heavy lifting. Sign up for our free trial and rediscover the joy of photography.

Sprout Studio Professional Photography All-in-one CRM
ADMIN TASKS

Sick of drowning in admin tasks?

Photographers, don’t let admin tasks dim your creativity. Sprout Studio’s automation and customizable workflows can set you free. Let Sprout Studio take care of the heavy lifting. Sign up for our free trial and rediscover the joy of photography.

Sprout Studio Professional Photography CRM
Reports & Analytics

Time to stop guessing and start growing.

Sprout Studio’s analytics, email marketing, and automation can elevate your photography business. Sign up for our free trial and take the first step towards success.

Sprout Studio Professional Photography Business Insights
Galleries

Elevate your photography with stunning galleries.

Present your work in the best light with our advanced gallery software. Showcase your creativity and connect with your audience like never before. Experience the power of visual storytelling today.

Sprout Studio Professional Photography Proofing Galleries
Scheduler

Streamline your photography schedule.

Tired of juggling appointments and bookings? Our scheduler features are designed to simplify your life. Spend less time managing schedules and more time capturing moments. Try our scheduler today and take control of your time.

Sprout Studio Professional Photography Scheduler
Ambassadors

Spread the love and earn as a photography ambassador.

Calling all photographers! Want to turn your passion into earnings? Join our ambassador program and share your love for photography. Not only do you get to be a part of an inspiring community, but you also have the chance to make money doing what you love.

Sprout Studio Professional Photography Client Portal
Share this article
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Related Posts

14-days of awesomeness, on us!

14-days of awesomeness, on us!

#1 SIGNUP
#2 CONFIRMATION

Let's create your free trial account

Sprout users make double the money and get back 28 hours each week. See the difference for yourself…

Already have an account? Log in

This site is protected by SSL. Privacy policy and terms of service apply.

#1 SIGNUP
#2 CONFIRMATION
Black Friday Exclusive

Let's create your free trial account

And during Black Friday week, sign up for an annual plan and save 25%. Learn more.

Already have an account? Log in

This site is protected by SSL. Privacy policy and terms of service apply.

See how Sprout looks and feels

Book a complimentary 1-on-1 demo call with our team or watch a pre-recorded demo now!

Select “Sprout Studio Demo Call” to start.

Prefer not to wait?

#1 WELCOME
#2 SIGN-UP
#3 CONFIRMATION

Save 20% with your friend's coupon!

Hey there! When you sign-up now, you receive 20% off all annual and monthly plans in Sprout Studio – a studio management suite built for photographers by photographers.

With Sprout Studio, you can stay organized, give your clients a seamless experience, get more done, and now SAVE BIG because of your friend!

Get started

or

Already have an account? Log in

This site is protected by SSL. Privacy policy and terms of service apply.

Step 1 of 8