You could have the most amazing photography portfolio in the world but if clients don’t trust your brand, it amounts to nothing.
When buying new products, 59% of shoppers prefer to buy from the brands they trust. When asked which brand attributes matter the most, 31% stated ‘trustworthiness’ over creativeness, intelligence, authenticity, and confidence.
Think about it – if you’re a wedding photographer, most of your clients have probably never worked with a professional photographer before. They don’t know what to expect, they’re relying on you to be their guide.
Brand trust measures the level of confidence clients have in your business. From consistently delivering on your promises to staying true to your core values, it’s the experience you create for your clients. Whether it’s your products, services, or behaviour, it’s when their expectations match your promises.
With every client interaction, you should be building or protecting your brand trust to secure your clients’ confidence.
This trust and confidence then turns into brand loyalty and advocacy, leading clients to become your biggest fans and FREE marketing sources. Ultimately, brand trust, loyalty and advocacy work together to drive new business.
Before jumping into your branding and marketing strategies, you should focus on who your target audience is. Your clients are unique so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. By understanding their needs and pain points, and speaking their language, you can tailor all your communications to create more impact. This allows you to proactively solve their problems and deliver added value.
If you’re going to play a major part in their wedding day, your potential clients want to know who you are and what you’re about. They want to know the human who’s behind the business. Don’t hide behind a screen or a long list of accolades – your ‘about’ page isn’t a boring resume! Have fun with it, invite them into your world and write a meaningful story that your dream clients can emotionally connect with.
Honesty and transparency are core values that every business should have. You should only make promises that you can consistently deliver on otherwise it comes across as misleading. In your clients’ best interests, always be upfront about your pricing and packages. Be clear about standard package inclusions versus extras that come at an additional cost. This helps to set your clients’ expectations so they can make informed decisions and also prevents any misunderstanding.
One of the most important ways to gain clients’ trust is by committing to next-level customer service throughout every interaction. Value your clients’ time by being personable, professional and efficient. When you focus on listening to their concerns, you can then provide the best solutions.
Real clients’ experiences and word-of-mouth referrals will always add a higher level of legitimacy to your marketing claims. Often, clients don’t have an agenda when they’re writing a review which makes their feedback more credible. Client reviews and testimonials form a huge part of the decision-making process.
It’s so important that you’re easily accessible. Whether it’s sticking to a 24-hour response time or a 2 business days’ timeframe, consistent customer service is key to building trust. It shows you care and minimises any potential friction. State your expected response times clearly on your contact page and consider adding alternative means of contact, such as an email address or phone number.
Aside from reading your 5-star reviews, you should always consider asking for feedback. A relationship goes both ways. By allowing your past clients to contribute their feedback and listening to what they’ve got to say, you’re showing how much you genuinely value them. If enough clients are raising similar issues or insights, you’ll have a clear idea of which areas can be further improved on.
Rather than serving your clients with a slab of text, consider recording and uploading a video where you introduce yourself and talk through your offerings. Much more compelling and engaging, a personalised video is a powerful way of building an authentic and memorable connection from the get-go. Depending on the context, you can add this video to your ‘about’ page or on your form’s post-submission ‘thank you’ page.
No matter how long you’ve been in the game, trust and loyalty will always be the building blocks of a successful long-term business. Remember: Every client you book is a privilege, not an entitlement.
“Overall, because branding is about creating and sustaining trust it means delivering on promises. The best and most successful brands are completely coherent. Every aspect of what they do and what they are reinforces everything else.” – Wally Olins
When in doubt, always:
Commit to serving and delighting your clients across all interactions and allow reciprocity to work its magic.