A few years back I sacked some of my clients. Bit drastic right? Yeah but, no but…
All right, how then?
I asked for a booking fee… ie a non refundable 25% deposit for bookings. Seems sensible right, because then the client who kept ‘losing’ her teenage daughter at shoot time (three times) and then re-booking would stop doing that and those that decided I was way down their list when it came to paying their invoice would be ok about it because I’d have cash flow to survive their stunning business prowess.
Those clients that understood a booking fee would free up cash flow in my business and would mean a better service for them were totally fine with it. After all, it wasn’t like they were paying any more. The booking fee just came off the end invoice. It was more helpful to the client because it spread the cost for them. A win win situation right?
Wrong. Some clients were offended that I might ask for ‘payment before I’d ‘done any work’ and they were never heard of again. Amusingly one was a real estate agent and I’m pretty sure most real estate agents charge you for breathing the same air as them. 😉
Those that fell away were my C and D clients. And I kept the A and B clients. Ta Da!
You can spend 85% of your energy servicing your C and D clients. Once you get rid of them, you have all this energy to spend on the wonderful A and B clients and cultivate the great relationship with them.
Humans naturally avoid pain, yet we put up with terrible clients. Why spend 85% of your time in pain? Life is too short.
I have several A clients I love …
A is for Amanda Foxton-Hill of ‘Realize Beauty‘. I book extra time into my day because I know we’re going to end up having a really fascinating chat before we shoot.
Knowing my client makes such a huge difference to me in the way I shoot them. Photography is intimate or should be, I think, but it doesn’t always work out that way. I’d hate to come away disappointed with a shoot because I hadn’t ‘nailed it’.
Amanda is a cosmetic chemist, which means she spends her time mixing up pretty commonplace creations for her clients who want a bespoke service for their products. She’s also a straight shooter, eclectic and fascinating. We always spend more time talking than shooting.
Oh and say hello to Amanda. She wanted to look ‘like herself’ and get across her slightly ‘mad scientist‘ demeanour. Her words, not mine. She’s not really a mad scientist… just A for Awesome.