There are about a million reasons I love being a Marine wife. I could go on and on about how much fun it is. But there is always a flipside to the coin, right? The worst part…ok wait…one of the worst parts of being married to someone in the military is the moving around. Sure it sounds like fun, getting to see different parts of the world and learning different areas. But each time you move, you end up leaving behind the friends and the family you’ve made.
Moving means moving EVERYTHING. And that includes relocating your business. I’ve researched and asked around and had a hard time finding advice or suggestions to help me with this part of the business. It makes sense though. Once you have established a business in an area, why move? But there are those of us that have no choice. So I’m putting it all together for you. I’ll cover different lessons I have learned over the course of the next few weeks and share with you everything I have. Please feel free to email with specific questions if you’d like.
The first tip is the importance of taking care of your clients you are leaving behind. When we moved from North Carolina, it broke my heart to no longer have the chance to photograph all of those special people. I had photographed children from the time they were in their moms’ bellies to those children growing up. I had photographed weddings and anniversaries; families and noted the growth of their children; and military homecomings for so many. Sure I was excited to move with my family (Chuck = husband, Anna = daughter. You’ll hear their names more than once). But it was bittersweet to know that I wouldn’t get to photograph these families and couples anymore.
I adore each of those clients. And I still do and always will. Because of that, I wanted to be sure they were well taken care of. They were going to need another photographer. I’m not going to lie. I really don’t like that part. I don’t enjoy seeing someone else photograph what I considered “my friends”. One of the benefits of the being a photographer is meeting such amazing people all of whom I now call my friends.
Caring for those past clients is drastically important. If you don’t care, you are definitely in the wrong business. I’m sure they mean as much to you as they do to me. In caring for them, I needed to make sure they had a photographer who I could refer all of them to. So I did my research, found a fabulous one, and sent her all my business.
Part of finding a photographer to send your referrals is not only making sure they do amazing work, but also to find someone who has a similar style to yours. When we moved I needed to find someone that photographed like I do. I couldn’t refer my past clients to someone who does all in studio work with off camera lighting. That’s not my style. And that’s not why people hire me. Each photographer is hired for his/her specific style. So I found someone who has a similar style.
Something that worked in my favor was also that I had met and knew the photographer I would be referring people to. I knew that she was a hard worker and wouldn’t let my clients down. How embarrassing would it be to send a client to another photographer, only to have that photographer not return a call or fail to show up to a shoot or worse, do a horrible job?
It seems backwards to talk about clients you’re leaving behind when I’m talking about how to relocate your business. But word of mouth is everything. And I personally believe in caring for your clients, INCLUDING those that I won’t have the privilege of photographing any longer. The business benefit of this is that you remind each of those clients how much you want to take care of them.
Step One: Take care of past clients. If you are a photographer and would like to connect with others, please feel free to link your information at the bottom of this blog. You never know when someone might need to send you a referral!
Next up in the series is Step Two: The business and legal cr…I mean…stuff. Get your forms right!
Please take note of my amazing map and pretty lines.