There are a lot of factors that go into converting a first time client into one that gives you repeat work. Beyond the obvious – do good work – there is one strategy that gets thrown around a lot in the business world – under promise, over deliver. It makes perfect sense, if a client receives more than they were expecting, without having to pay more, they’ll be happier. While it sounds great, I struggled for a long time to figure out how to incorporate this into my real work. Rather than elaborate on this idea abstractly, I think it’s much more useful to look at some specific ideas of how to do this.
For Commercial Work
More Views – If you quote a client for five views (portrait setups, product variation, mock-ups, etc,) give them a couple more to choose from. Don’t give them a ridiculous amount more as that will overwhelm and confuse them, but a couple extra variations is great.
Faster Turnaround – If you say you’ll have a web gallery up within a week, have it to them in a couple of days. If you estimate that revisions on a project will take five days, try to give it to them in three. Even a day earlier is appreciated as they will get to see the image that much sooner and have more time to work with them. Think of the last time you ordered something online and it came early!
An Extra Final Image – If a client doesn’t end up selecting your final edit as part of the final edit, do the retouching anyways and give it to them for free. Who knows, once they see the final product they might like it more.
Web Sized Image – If your client has a blog that they will potentially post the images too, find out the dimensions they use for pictures. Create a duplicate set of ‘web’ images sized for their blog.
For Fine Art Work
Make Hanging Easy – Include a hanging diagram with all the dimensions of the work and throw in the necessary screws and anchors needed to hang it.
Free Delivery – If the buyer is within a reasonable distance, deliver the work yourself free of charge.
Free Small Print – Throw in a small sized print for free along with their main purchase.
Include All Info – Have a certificate that contains all of the information about the work (date, medium, title, etc.), also include the artist statement for the project.
Please let us know your strategies for winning over clients by over delivering!