Client Gifts Will Make You A More Valuable Photographer

Client experience is the most important aspect of growing your business. If you want people to pay you for what you do, you need to show them the value of investing in you. An amazing way to communicate this value is through the business-elevating magic of client gifting. Gifts are my love language. Having something physical to open and then remind me of the sentiment in my life is such a great experience for me, so I want to pass that on to my wedding couples. Client gifts are such a great way to make your couples feel good and let them know that you are excited to be working together! 

Are you thinking about adding a client gift to your wedding workflow? It can seem overwhelming to even know where to begin, from choosing gifts, to mailing them and when, so today I’m going to go over my experiences with client gifts and what I’ve discovered to work best! FIrst, let’s go over the benefits of adding gift-giving to your workflow. 

Reasons you should be gifting your clients:

  1. It reinforces that they made a good choice investing in you.
  2. It makes them feel good!
  3. It creates a physical reminder of you when they see it.
  4. They’ll gush about you to their friends.
  5. It makes you look professional and caring.
  6. It’s a chance to show off the things you care about, such as eco-friendly packaging, or local coffee, or a special journal you use in your own life.

Okay, you know it’s a good idea, but how do you start the process? In my experience, this is what I’ve found to be the most difficult hurdle. Here are my experiences with what works best in terms of ease and time. 

Where I get my gifts from: Currently, I order my welcome gifts from Foxblossom, a gifting service with a wide variety of item and price options, and have my orders shipped straight to my clients. I am putting this option first in this section because honestly, I have tried sourcing my own gifts, keeping inventory in my home, and attempting to remember to send them out or bring them to engagement sessions, and it just never was consistent enough to be reliable. Repeatability in business creates growth, and by trying to remember to go to the post office but always failing, I was just spinning my wheels. 

How much it costs: As a general rule, I choose/create gift boxes that cost between 3-5% of what a couple’s collection costs. So, on a $4000 package, you would deliver a gift that is valued at $105-$175, or somewhere in there. I don’t think it needs to be exact, but it should reflect the value that they invested in you. Not stingy, but not excessive.

Side notes on cost and pricing:

  1. As far as business deductions go, according to the IRS, “If you give business gifts in the course of your trade or business, you can deduct all or part of the costs subject to the following limitations: You deduct no more than $25 of the cost of business gifts you give directly or indirectly to each person during your tax year.”
  2. Remember to factor in the cost of your client gifts into your collection pricing! This is so important because these gifts shouldn’t cut into what you need to be making from a booking. Increasing the price of the package to cover these costs is imperative to creating a workflow that well, works!

When To Give Them: As long as you are consistently gifting each couple with the same approach, I think you can give “welcome” or “thank you” gifts. I choose welcome gifts because I want to reinforce that my couples made a great decision to work with me, and show them that I really value their investment. It creates trust and reassurance for their wedding day, and allows me to show them a peek of what I think matters in an engagement. 

Sending a “Thank You” gift is also a wonderful idea because it can include photographs from their wedding day and is encompassed by the newlywed magic, which is such a great atmosphere to receive reminders of such a special day in. A photo box with prints can be a perfect option if you choose this timing.

What I send: My typical welcome gift box includes a journal to reflect how much I care about remembering moments, a candle because it is something they can use again and again to create a warm atmosphere, chocolate of some kind to enjoy together as a treat, and an air plant because of my natural, earthy brand. 

This season, I will also be implementing the “Thank You” print box addition to my workflow, and I’m excited to see how that works out! 

Are you ready to wow your couples by adding client gifting to your experience workflow? Elevate your brand, serve at a higher price point, and create connection, all by sending one thoughtful gift box! 

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 I am living proof that anything is possible with hard work and a positive mindset. In just two wedding seasons, I transformed my life from feeling overworked and underpaid at a 50 hour/week job to becoming a full-time wedding and elopement photographer, setting my own hours and living life on my own terms.

Now, I am the proud owner of a successful six-figure wedding photography business where I have the privilege of capturing the most beautiful moments of kind and creative couples

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