Approximately 82% of your clients will read your reviews and testimonials before deciding to book your photography services. We live in an age where we've become conditioned to check reviews and take into account other people's experiences before making any purchasing decisions. We all know how critical reviews, testimonials, and word-of-mouth referrals are to the growth of our photography businesses, but how do we get our clients to write descriptive and glowing summaries of their experiences with us?
According to the annual 'State to the Wedding Photography Industry' report, 60% of photographers stated that their clients were always "extremely satisfied" with their work. But too often, we struggle to get testimonials from our clients that match their satisfaction level. They're either frustratingly brief, or they don't submit one at all.
Your clients are thrilled, but they haven't left a review. Why?
You've photographed a beautiful wedding, delivered stunning shots to your clients, and taken every opportunity to go above and beyond to ensure their happiness. They're understandably thrilled — the photos are everything they wanted.
And then you ask them if they'll leave a review. Some will say "of course" and then never get around to it. Others won't even reply. And if you do get a testimonial from them, their words rarely capture how much effort went into delivering the best experience possible.
It can be a disheartening process.
But the real problem is that your clients don't know what to write. They don't know which information is helpful, they can't pinpoint where to start, and they can't put their finger on why they loved their experience so much. They feel as if their words are inadequate. They decide to 'sleep on it' and think about what to write. They believe that if they leave it until later, that the words will come to them. But the truth is that they quickly forget — your review is not a priority for your clients, and it becomes just another job on the to-do list.
That's why clients don't leave reviews — they don't know what to write.
Many of us follow the old strategy of continually pestering our clients until they remember to write that review. But you could be doing so much more to help your clients write fantastic reviews that help you generate more bookings.
How do you get clients to write an amazing testimonial?
When people set out to complete a task, it's helpful to have some guidance. Rather than leaving your clients to craft their testimonials from a blank slate, provide them with some prompts or questions to steer them in the right direction. It gives them a starting point, helps them focus their thoughts, and lets them know that they are on the right track.
By giving them some direction, the job seems easier and more manageable. It also gives your clients a starting point, allowing them to begin immediately. Lastly, by prompting your clients, you're more likely to receive a testimonial that truly encapsulates their experience and the hard work you put in.
Here are 8 prompts that you can use to help your clients write a glowing review:
We recommend picking 3-4 of these to help your clients focus on what to write — too many, and you'll overwhelm them with the amount of information you're asking for.
Try choosing different questions for each client to encourage variety in your reviews. You can handpick questions that prompt your clients to talk about the most memorable parts of their experience.
- Where did you start your search for a wedding photographer?
How long did you search for a wedding photographer before deciding on me?
By explaining their research process, they're painting a picture of a well-informed decision. This description makes it easier for potential clients to book you because they can relate to the amount of work involved in researching wedding photographers — they'll see you as a way to circumnavigate the hours of research because someone has already done the research for them.
- What made me stand out from other photographers?
There's no doubt that future clients will compare multiple photographers, weighing up the benefits of each. This question makes it clear what your X factor is. Since it forms part of a testimonial, clients will be more likely to trust these claims over traditional advertising.
- Were there any reasons you were hesitant about booking me?
Booking a wedding photographer is a big decision, which can make any concerns seem like enormous obstacles. If there are any reasons why clients are hesitant to book your services, others will likely share the same fears. By detailing their hesitations — and what changed their minds — you can address any issues that are preventing others from booking your services.
This question also gives you feedback on the client journey and how this can be improved through clearer marketing.
- What made you happy that you chose me?
Perhaps it was the way you made everyone feel at ease while you were taking their photos, or maybe it was the fast delivery of their preview images in a beautiful slideshow format. This question highlights the best aspect of working with you.
- How did I exceed your expectations?
Most photographers will look for ways to surprise and delight their clients along their customer journey — it's a sure-fire way to ensure your clients will refer you to their friends and family. Your clients will remember the times that you went above and beyond, and potential clients will want to hear these stories.
It's a lot easier to stand out from the competition when past clients talk about specific moments of excellence during their experience.
- Why would you recommend my work/service?
This question gets to the core of why any client would want to book your services. Potential clients are looking for honesty, and this question encourages open, candid recommendations for your photography services.
- What would you tell someone who's considering working with me?
When potential clients are considering working with you, testimonials are the perfect tool to convince them to take that next step and lock in a booking. 82% of clients will check reviews before making a decision. Having past clients advise your future bookings through testimonials will influence their decision to trust you.
- Is there anything else you'd like to comment on or share about your experience with me?
This last question opens the floor and lets your clients say what's on their mind. You've already got the words flowing by guiding them through some of their previous questions, and once they've started, they will be on a roll. This section is their opportunity to praise your work and the experience you offered them. By allowing them to speak freely, you'll obtain some unique feedback that you may not have considered before.
There's no doubt that testimonials are an influential deciding factor for many couples and families deciding between photographers. Whether they're on Google, social media, your website, or recorded as a video, a thrilled customer's glowing recommendation speaks volumes.
And it all comes down to how they tell the story, and these questions can draw out a story that will be the most convincing sales pitch your clients have ever read.