I love questionnaires, especially for mini-sessions clients!! Because minis are so short, sending a mini-sessions questionnaire is a great way to get to know your client a little better before your session so you can spend your time shooting instead of socializing.
When I first started mini-sessions, I wasn’t sending my clients a questionnaire. My sessions still went ok for the most part, but not as smoothly as they could have gone.
Questionnaires are common in the wedding industry, but I hadn’t heard of many family photographers sending them. I was looking for ways to serve my clients better, so I figured I’d try a questionnaire and see if it was helpful. And OH MY GOODNESS it was!!
If you’ve never sent a questionnaire to your clients, I bet you will after reading why I love them!
Every once in a while I’d have a foot-in-mouth moment. I typically refer to the parents as “Mom” and “Dad.” One time I was posing a family and I said, “Let’s do some shots with just Mom and the kids.” Imagine my embarrassment when one of the kids then referred to the mom by her first name. *Face palm* They were a blended family and I had no idea!
Talk about awkward! They brushed it off, but I (being the self-conscious introvert that I am) replayed that moment over and over for the rest of the day. It was the worst!
On my questionnaire, one of the questions asks if there’s anything special they’d like me to know about their family. I give examples, and a blended family is one of the things I list. Families are typically pretty open about sharing that with me, and it really helps me to avoid potentially uncomfortable situations like I mentioned above.
I ask several very intentional questions so I can serve my families better. Questions like…
If I know going in that the kids are really shy, I’m able to adapt the way I interact with them when we first start so I don’t overwhelm them and give them a chance to ease into things.
If there’s a toddler that typically doesn’t follow directions well, I can get shots of them first, knowing their attention span may not make it until the end.
It’s much better to know these things up front so you can plan and tailor your time to fit each family’s needs, rather than trying to cookie-cut each session and then realize half-way through that a different approach may work better.
Having an excellent client experience is VITAL if you want your business to continue to grow and flourish. Happy clients that loved their time with you will tell their friends about you.
By sending a mini-sessions questionnaire, you’re telling your clients that you care about THEM. Not as just another session on your calendar, but as individuals who have names and unique family attributes. It only takes clients a few minutes to fill out, and it really does wonders to elevate the experience for them.
PLUS, you can automate this email!! I use Dubsado to manage my clients. All contracts, invoices, and emails go through that system. I went with Dubsado over other competitors because their automations are un-matched! I love it because I can create an email template with the questionnaire attached one time, then just add it into my client workflow and every client will get it 2 weeks before their session! (To learn more about Dubsado, read “5 Reasons to Use Dubsado to Manage Your Clients”)
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