Surprise Delights: Your Secret Photography Marketing Super Power

Photography Marketing Surprise Delights

Marketing can be a mystery, but I’m going to share one of my best secrets with you today.

So many places that tell you they can get you results, if only you spend the money to advertise with them or buy their cool marketing templates.

It’s hard to know what will work and what won’t. The last thing you want is to spend money and not see any return.

However, there’s one thing that is guaranteed to bring in new clients because it’s so very powerful, but so many people neglect this aspect of their marketing.

What is this secret photography marketing super power?

Get them talking!

The secret is to keep your current clients raving about you to their friends.

I’m not talking about a referral program where people gain benefits for sending you new clients. I’m talking about clients who are SO SATISFIED that they can’t help but to tell all their friends about you!
This is way more powerful than simply offering them free prints or a free session or something they have to work to get.

The hard part is, how do you do this?

Surprise Delights: Powerful Photography Marketing

The first step is to provide an experience working with you that is amazing. Good customer service, a great time shooting, and timely delivery. This is your base. If you don’t have this, the rest won’t matter.

Then, instead of spending several hundred dollars on an ad somewhere that may or may not yield results, spend that money on surprise delights for your current and past clients.

Surprise them, delight them, and they’ll talk about it to everyone who will listen.
People expect to have a good experience when they pay for something, but when you go above and beyond their expectations, it produces delight and unexpected delights get talked about.

Delightful idea: Metal Ornaments from ProDPI

There’s lots of different ways you could do this. In fact, I’d love to hear what you’ve done in the comments below. I thought I’d share one of the things I’m doing right now to give you a practical example.

I’ve decided to send all my wedding clients from 2012 these beautiful metal ornaments from ProDPI. Aren’t they pretty? (This is not an affiliate link and I don’t get anything for promoting it; I just think it’s an awesome product to offer your clients and I think everyone should use ProDPI as their pro lab).

Metal Ornaments from ProDPI
Photo via ProDPI

I’d much rather send them a surprise gift that brings delight than waste that money on some ad that likely won’t work.

We all love getting gifts, and surprise gifts are that much better.

Part of why I selected this product was because it’s something they will enjoy, keep, and likely see year after year.

On top of that, the holiday season brings lots of new couples getting engaged. I want to be fresh on the mind of my current couples so they tell their newly engaged friends who are looking for a wedding photographer how amazing we are.

Finally, I also want to provide them with something that they may want to purchase for family and friends. While that’s not my main reason for doing this, I want to provide this for my clients who really love it as a limited time product to gift to their family members. I’m sending it early so that they’ll still have time to order them if they like. It’s possible that it will completely pay for itself and not cost me anything if we get a few sales from people. However, even if we don’t get a single sale, that’s fine with me. My main goal is to provide them with delight from this surprise gift.

To Watermark or Not To Watermark (and other things to consider)

While you may be doing this to increase marketing and encourage word-of-mouth advertising, it will only work if you truly treat it like a gift and not a photography marketing ploy. People see through that and it won’t be very effective. To make the most of this type of gift, here’s a few things I highly recommend doing.

1. Do NOT watermark your gift

The last thing you want is for them to get a gift and feel like it was just a marketing ploy or feel any sort of disappointment with it at all. So if you give them something as a gift, treat it like a gift. While I do hope they tell their friends about it, my primary desire is for them to really love this and feel like it is a gift (because it is!). I don’t want them to get excited, look at it, then get disappointed even a little bit that there’s a logo on it. They’d prefer to have it non-watermarked. You know this as well as I do. So leave the watermark off. The delight will be even more powerful.

2. Make it personal
Write a hand-written note to go with it. Make it personal and all about them. If you will be providing the opportunity to buy the item you are sending, just put a very small note with a link to the information somewhere on your site where they can visit to learn all the details. It’s not about the sale – it’s about delighting them. Don’t ever forget that or you’ll lose the delight you’re going for.

3. Make it pretty
Wrap it up, present it as a gift, even if that means spending a bit more on postage to send it out. Gift giving is incredibly powerful and meaningful, so do the same thing you’d do as if you were sending it to a dear friend.

How do you surprise and delight your clients?

Would love to hear more ideas of things you do to surprise and delight your clients. Leave a comment below and share!

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23 Responses to Surprise Delights: Your Secret Photography Marketing Super Power

  1. Reading this, I got such a huge feeling of Deja vu!! As soon as PRODPI sent out their newsletter featuring these ornaments, I knew that I had to get some for my clients! Everyone who booked a session with me this year is getting one along with a Christmas card, and any of my clients that booked last year are getting Christmas cards from me as well! I think that you’re so right about the gift idea, I sure love getting things in the mail, and I know my clients will too! Great post Jamie! Thank you for sharing your wisdom! :)

  2. I love this idea. I am already working out the detials inspired by your last post to offer special seasonal snow princess/fairy sessions. An ornament would be perfect for that kind of thing. I plan on offering gifts for the children after a session in a treasure chest like a fairy wand, tiara, flower halo or sword. Got my gears turning again to come up with a photo-related gift.
    Thanks once again!

  3. What a wonderful idea! I am going to immediately start looking at it for my clients!

        • Yeah, it wouldn’t be THAT bad, but between time and money and everything, I think the impact will be just fine with a single ornament keepsake for them. :) I did consider doing a $10 starbucks card for each of them as well just as a nice bit of gift as well. Not sure if I will or not at this point.

  4. Always bringing the best ideas. Time for Santa to order some early christmas gifts!

    Thanks, I really love how you keep us informed on the newest products. Saves us all time and money scouring the web!