With over 6,500 languages spoken all around the world, there is one language we all speak. No matter where you are from, no matter how old or young you are, or what type of job you have.
We all speak, a Love Language!
I’m not talking only about cheesy love letters or a box full of chocolates on Valentines Day to your sweetie pie, but the way in which we naturally express our love or care for others and maybe even our clients.
Gary Chapman author of The 5 Love Languages suggests we each have a language of love that we primarily use. He says it’s helpful to know ours and then learn others, so that we can learn to speak it to others so they can feel love from us.
What if we all knew our love language and applied it within our photography businesses? What if we were able to meet the needs or “love language” of each of our clients, leaving every experience with our “love tank” fulfilled. I’m not here to tell you to believe in the love language theory or not.
However, aren’t we all looking to better our businesses or client experiences?
I’m mean, what have you got to lose?
You’re giving out love here people…
Think of which one of these questions describes you best:
Are you a gift giver?
Do you think actions speak louder than words?
Will just a hug make your day that much better?
Do you love telling clients how amazing they are?
Is your heart full just being around others and spend time together?
If your curious about YOUR actual love language you can find out here. The 5 love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Gifts and Quality Time.
For me, Acts of Service was my priority love language, hence why I’m writing (serving up) this post for you to hopefully be enlighten and feel love! With Valentine’s Day around the corner and everyone talking about L.O.V.E, I thought it would be fun to take the 5 Love Languages and show you how you can implement them into your business and client interactions. You may be already doing some of these and not even realizing your speaking yours or your clients same love language. You may be better at one than the other and that’s ok.
Think of the possibilities we’ll create if we balance a little bit of each into our businesses. That “tough or crazy” client just might not be that crazy after all, when you shower them with love.
So here we go… adding more love within your business so you and your clients are speaking the same language.
“This language uses words to affirm other people.”
During a session, tell your clients how wonderful they are looking. Most people are vulnerable getting their picture taken. By expressing with your words of how lovely they look, their choice of wardrobe for the family or how incredible their connection with their kids is shinning through the images, will fill their love tank over and yours. Don’t just resort to “good job” and “perfect” when talking to clients, be expressive with details!! For your clients, have dad whisper to mom in her ear or have the siblings tell each other a silly word, use words to help with fun and natural interactions.
“To this person nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.”
When greeting clients, shake hands and if you are a hugger…HUG! Don’t be afraid to be who you are. I’m a HUGE hugger and usually the clients I attract that hire me are too. Sometimes clients just need a physical touch to take the pressure off when meeting the photographer who is going to photograph their most precious moments. If you are a family photographer, play with the kiddos, tickle, give high fives or hip bumps! Most kids love physical touch interaction, plus playing with kids will give you the best authentic smiles during a session. For clients, I always tell them that there are two rules during a session, #1 have fun and #2 everyone has to be touching, somehow, someway. They are family, they want to be close, by having everyone touching it eliminates gaps or holes that can hurt your composition and it creates a mood that will be captured and bottled up forever.
“For these people, actions speak louder than words.”
When a client inquires with you, do you email them back or give them a phone call? Most of us resort to email, its quick and convenient. I used to email as well too, however this past year I was thinking of a way to increase my bookings and turn more inquiries to booking clients. My thought and goal was to call each inquiry that came through, spend 5-10 minutes in genuine converastion. Guess what? My bookings went up and my inquiries started turning into bookings. I asked my clients, why and they said they loved my personalization and customer service when they contact me…. aka… they liked the phone call. I’m not saying that you have to call every client however, think about how your customer service is within your business, do you have a great response time, do you call clients, do you send thank you notes or first birthday cards, just because. I correlate acts of service to customer service, clients are begging for customer service. It shows you care, which you do. It shows they are important, which they are. Think about small ways you can give more customer service to your clients. Acts of service can be reciprocated to you with your clients as well. I’m talking client referral programs, clients are doing you a service by referring you to their friends and family. In return you might send them an extra print, a gift card or just a sweet hand-written thank you. It’s a win, win.
“For some people, what makes them feel most loved is receiving a gift.”
Have you ever gotten a small something in the mail that you weren’t expecting or maybe the person in front of you at the Starbucks drive thru paid for your coffee ? This is receiving gifts and I bet if this is your love language or your clients they are over the moon when they receive or send a gift. Two things come to mind in implementing the love language of gifts into your business, first is obvious, sending clients sweet thoughtful gifts maybe at holiday mini sessions, or an anniversary or birthday treat. The second is clients with this love language not only love to receive gifts but love to give them. What about setting up a gift registry on your website where clients can be gifted sessions or just specified dollar amounts to be used toward session. Custom photography isn’t affordable for everyone but by having a registry set up to help, friends an family can make their dream come true.
“This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.”
The world is so busy and so is our photography businesses, but by creating time for clients, whether it’s during a session, an in-person sales appointment or just providing a pre-consutlation prior to a session, shows how you’ll go above and beyond. When I started offering pre-consuttions prior to sessions, you wouldn’t believe how much that short amount of time gave me the opportunity to be a better photographer for my clients. I was able to ask them more personal and deeper questions about their session vision, see what their hopes, desires and dream were. Then use that information to create the experience of their dreams. For clients, before a session encourage parents or couples to JUST give you 1-2 hours of their time, where the world disappears and they are to only think of spending time together connecting, loving and knowing they are surrounded by the most important people in their lives and memories are being made from that. The wonderful thing about quality is we give it all the time in our sessions, we just have to remember to cherish it and remind our clients to as well.
So that it!
The 5 Love Languages and how to speak the same ones as your clients and have them speak them back to you, pretty cool huh?
I hope some of these ideas get your wheels spinning in incorporating these element into your business and client interactions. If you take the love language test, comment below we’d love to hear what language you are. If you don’t take the test then tell us if you already implement some of these elements already and what works or what doesn’t, we’d love to hear that too!
With LOVE (& Acts of Service),
As a former school teacher, and now a full time newborn portrait photographer, Malia has combined her love of children and teaching to help others spark their passion in their own newborn photography journey. She believes emotional connection makes for influential newborn portraiture and that anyone seeking that, can find it. Malia lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her most supportive husband and her 3 fun-loving children. As the owner of Malia B Photography, she photographs the cutest babies in the Valley of the Sun.
It’s an honor to be photographing the world’s newest little human beings. It takes that special touch, patience and a pure love. She believes emotional connection makes for influential newborn portraiture and that anyone seeking that, can find it.
Malia lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her most supportive husband and her 3 fun-loving children. As the owner of Malia B Photography, she photographs the cutest babies in the Valley of the Sun.
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