Most creatives are always chasing the next client, whether that is spending so much time on marketing that they forget how important it is to communicate with their current clients and how effective communication with your clients and potential clients can not only secure you the ‘deal’ but also leave a lasting impression on your clients.
We do need to pre-warn you that we wouldn’t be able to have as effective of a strategy surrounding communication as we do, if it wasn’t for Honeybook. We are all about automating and making things easier in our life so using Honeybook was an easy investment however if you don’t have the desire or funds to invest in Honeybook, you can still use all the same principles when communicating with your clients- it just might take a bit longer and more effort.
We have a client communication workflow that lends itself as an effective strategy for both potential and existing clients that we absolutely love. I’m going to walk you through it from the moment someone fills out your inquiry/contact form.
The moment someone fills out your contact form, they should be immediately responded to. If this potential client is spending some time researching and getting in touch with a few different creatives, chances are that they will most likely form a relationship with one of the first people to respond back to them. Let’s say Suzy inquires with 10 different creatives and you’re the 10th person to respond. It is a pretty safe assumption that by that point Suzy has already forgotten all about you and is meeting with, chatting with and getting to know the first 9 people. Of course, responding to emails immediately without a CRM like HOneybook is a bit hard to do but to make it easier, we have an email typed out in our notes on our phone and a canned email saved in our inbox so that as soon as someone inquires, we can copy/paste and send something out right away acknowledging the receipt of the email wishing them a good day. If you use a program like Honeybook, you can actually set up a contact form that is embedded on your website and the moment someone inquires they are sent a response. This initial response is typically something short and sweet, acknowledging them and letting them know what to expect next.
Hi First Name,
Thank you so much for your email and I hope that you’re having an amazing day!
I just wanted to acknowledge your email and tell you that I’m really looking forward to connecting and that you will get a more detailed response from me within 48 hours. I’m really looking forward to chatting and getting to know you more.
The next step is a more personalized response to their inquiry. We have played around with a few different options for responding to inquiries and have in the past, just sent one automated response that was pretty generic and most of the time didn’t even answer the questions that were asked in the initial lead email. For example, someone writes us asking if we are available in Feb 2020 and our automated response just sends them our pricing but as it turns out, we aren’t even available in February! The automated responses are great for streamlining your workflow, but do they really lend to great communication and customer service? Not likely. After an entire year of trying the automated response thing, we found that we just had to extra emails to answer all their questions and that our lead to booking ratio was looking a little bleak. Once we decided to first send a friendly automated response followed by a more personal one, our bookings went up drastically and the overall response has been much better. We also just felt a lot better knowing we were answering all our potential clients emails, addressing them immediately and providing top not quick responses.
The Follow Up Emails
You craft the perfectly personalized inquiry response and you don’t get a reply back….now what? I know it can be incredibly frustrating and down right discouraging to not get a response back proclaiming how excited they are to take the next step with you but have no fear, there is still time to secure this. We always send a follow up email and half of the time,it works, or at the very least, you will hear back at this point and get clarity on why this client has decided to go a different route. The no’s are just as amazing as the yes’s and let me explain why, when you get a no, you’re going to ask them why they decided to go a different route.
Yep, you heard me… the no’s are more valuable than the yes’s because you can get constructive feedback that can help you to improve your communication, website, pricing structure and more. Now, I’m not asking you to lower your prices if you get a no along with pricing as the reasoning but this might give you clarity on who you’re attracting. If you get 10 no’s in a two week period, and all of them are saying pricing, are you really doing your best job to attract the type of clients that can afford your rates? Something to think about…
Ok, back to the email.
After 7 days, we want you to send a friendly follow up email that may look like this:
Hi First Name,
I wanted to take a few moments to follow up with you and see if you have had a few moments to look over my pricing and see if I can help by answering any lingering questions you may have..
P.S. if you have decided to go a different route, I would love to still hear from you and understand what it was about me and my pricing that left you blah blah
Remember, don’t get discouraged by no’s. They are an opportunity to gain insight, learn from and if necessary, change something about your workflow for the better. Also, remember that not every potential client is your ideal client. There are a lot of people out there that simply can’t afford you right now but if you send them a response that is professional and quick, they will never forget you and one day, they may have the means to book you!