How to Leverage Reviews and Testimonials to Book More Clients
According to the 2020 State of the Wedding Photography Industry report, over 60% of our successful inquiries come via word-of-mouth referrals. This statistic proves how valuable reviews, testimonials, and referrals are when it comes to finding new clients for our photography businesses. In the past, we've discussed how to get more referrals, and prompting your clients to leave glowing reviews, but once you've received an amazing view, how do you leverage that to increase your number of inquiries and bookings?
A well-placed review can help address clients' concerns and hesitations before they even realize they exist. It's a powerful tactic and one that allows you to be incredibly strategic.
Imagine a client who's comparing several photographers for their wedding — they weigh up prices, perhaps they're wondering if you're worth the cost compared to cheaper photographers. Then they see a strategically placed review on your pricing guide, something along these lines:
"Imaginarium Photographers were one of the best investments we made in the lead up to our wedding. Every time we look at the images they captured, we're taken right back to one of the best days of our lives, and we're so glad we chose them to capture our special moments."
With one review, you've addressed your client's concerns and hesitations — it's compelling, persuasive, and gently assures them that you are the best choice.
We've listed our favorite places to feature your reviews to help your clients move further along their journey, ultimately booking your photography services.
Including testimonials on your photography website seems like a no-brainer, but carefully considered placement can significantly increase their effectiveness. While it's common to have a page dedicated specifically to testimonials, including them in locations where clients may have hesitations can help clients take the next step in their journey with you. You're actively addressing their concerns before they realize they have them, which makes your business a more compelling choice in their minds.
On your home page
Your home page is where most of your web traffic will land, and is a crucial opportunity to share testimonials that reveal why clients wanted to work with you. When a potential client visits your website for the first time, they're still getting to know your work — your homepage is the perfect place to reveal why other clients have chosen to work with you. Select testimonials that discuss your work: how beautiful your images are, or how you perfectly captured their wedding day.
Melbourne based wedding photographer Jai Long utilizes a testimonial on his home page, alongside a stunning image, to paint a picture of what it's like to work with him from the minute potential clients visit his website.
Among the images in your portfolio
Very early on, clients will be deciding if you are the right photographer for them — is your style compatible with their needs?
Your potential clients have probably seen something they like already, perhaps a referral sent them in your direction, or maybe they spotted a post on social media. Either way, your portfolio is where they'll go next to familiarize themselves with your style.
Consider incorporating a couple of testimonials alongside stunning images from the same clients. You don't need to include a lot — your photos should still be the main focus.
Choose testimonials where clients discuss how they loved every photo you took, or how your images were exactly what they wanted. Most people recognize that a portfolio is a cherry-picked selection of your best images. A common concern among clients is that you may only provide a handful of good photos among hundreds of mediocre ones. Accompany your portfolio images with testimonials that discuss how happy your clients were with every picture — this will help assure potential clients that all of your photos are beautiful, not just the ones you've chosen to display in your portfolio.
Luxury destination wedding photographer, KT Merry, uses testimonials alongside her portfolio images to reinforce how happy her clients are with her work.
On your contact page
There are two schools of thought on what you should and shouldn't include on your contact page. The first is to keep your contact page as clean as possible to avoid distracting from the main action you want potential clients to take: to get in touch. The other is to include information that will help convince clients to reach out. If you fall into the latter category, you might want to consider including a testimonial or two on your contact page.
Pick testimonials that emphasize how great you are to work with and how your experience is second-to-none from the first email to the last photo. If clients are hesitant about initiating that first contact, emphasizing how approachable and easy you are to work with through your testimonials can encourage them to contact you.
Whether your pricing guide is on your website or not, the inclusion of an appropriate testimonial alongside your prices can convince clients that your services are a worthwhile investment.
After seeing your prices, clients may be on the fence about whether you are within their budget — or whether they want to stretch their budget to include you. Choose a testimonial where past clients talk about how your images were the best investment of their wedding day — it's the perfect way to assure potential clients that they won't have any regrets.
For many of us, email is our primary form of communication with potential clients. Every time you reply to a query, a price request, or respond to a question, you can address your client's hesitations before they've even thought of them. Try including a short testimonial within your email signature to reinforce the quality of your service. Select a review where a past client discusses how you went above and beyond for them, or how they were blown away with how easy you made everything.
When clients reach out to you for more information, they're also subconsciously making mental notes about what you were like to deal with. In conjunction with a prompt, thorough, and professional reply, a carefully selected testimonial can go a long way towards helping you secure these potential clients.
You don't need to use this email signature on every single email to your clients, stick to just using it in the first instance of communication.
Social media is another logical place to include testimonials and quotes from reviews — but how you incorporate them can make a massive difference to their effectiveness. When a potential client is scrolling through your Instagram feed, make it easy for them to find your reviews by creating a beautiful graphic from their words. These graphics stand out from the rest of your images and help clients pinpoint testimonials in a sea of beautiful photos.
The Film House Weddings utilize graphic versions of their testimonials among their social media images to help the reviews stand out to new followers.
When you consider that 82% of clients will check your reviews before deciding whether to book your photography services, it makes sense to get ahead of the game and address their concerns and hesitations with well-placed testimonials. Utilizing your testimonials across multiple contact points is so much more powerful than having them tucked away on a separate page where they'll get far less traffic. In the right place, a carefully chosen testimonial can make a big difference when it comes to generating more inquiries, then turning those inquiries into bookings.
If you're looking for more ways to increase inquiries and bookings for your photography business, try reading our other blogs: 6 Tips for a Photography Website that Books Clients, or Should You Be Using Email Marketing to Grow Your Photography Business?