Libby Neder doesn't rely on cheesiness or fakeness to get her points across–she relies on good communication. You may remember from a few episodes back, (Libby's first appearance on the Photo Business Help Podcast,) that she's the queen of photographer-client communication. Relying on her background in sociology, and her more than a decade of experience as a photographer, Libby has solutions for all of your client communication needs.
She came on the show to tell everyone about her newest project, a Client Communication Course especially for photographers. Learn more about it here.
“I've kind of turned it into a comprehensive plan for both fixing those problems when they come up, but also preventing them beforehand”
Libby was sparked to create the course when she noticed an information need. Photographers she knows and works with often ask questions like “My client has unreasonable expectations of me, what do I say?” or, “How do I set clear boundaries with clients?” The appetite for help in this realm from independent photography business owners is strong, so Libby set out to fix the problem.
The course is sort of a shortcut to good client communication. It's the kind of stuff you'd eventually learn after 10+ years in the business like Libby and I, but without all of those uncomfortable situations. Libby doesn't focus on cutting out clients if they don't fit your “ideal client” archetype. Instead, she sees the ideal client as a marketing concept, not a representation of real human beings–because real human beings have moods, and unique personalities, and are, well, unpredictable! By learning to set expectations, go with the flow, and deal with tough situations, you can be comfortable with a wide range of situations, no matter your client.
“We're building out this framework of like, what do you care about? And then, how are we ready to prevent the negative client interactions and promote the positive client interactions and then resolve the ones that get a little bit sideways? The course is about building your own set of scripts and practices and ways of saying things, so at the end of the course, you never feel like there's anything that you can't handle.”
The course will have four modules, meant to be completed over the course of 4 weeks that covers everything from unrealistic client expectations, to preventing miscommunications, to dealing with refunds. It's not a list of go-to-phrases or a script full of good talking points. Instead, it's a guide to clarifying your own priorities and then using those values to inform your client relationships.
The course will be perfect for lifestyle photographers, wedding photographers, newborn photographers, or anyone who deals directly with their clients without a middleman. It comes in a video format, so it will work for visual learners, auditory learners, or those who like to read to learn. You'll be able to take the course at your own pace, so you can go back and rewatch any of the videos at any time. Whether you've run into a big conflict or miscommunication yet, or you're just looking to be more clear, Libby's a firm believer that there's no situation that you can't turn around with good communication.
“I've only got a couple of touchstones in my career that I can fall back on and go, “That was unpleasant.” But what I do know is that when it happens, your brain goes directly into fight or flight and it's horrible. And in order to say anything effective, that's not defensive, you have to get yourself out of lizard brain. And so I've got a whole lesson just devoted to that.”
I really do believe that good communication is fundamental to life and to a successful business. Good communication is a step towards building that community that I talk about so much, and having a positive relationship to your clients is hugely important when it comes to success in this industry. I can't recommend Libby's course enough, and I'm excited to check it out myself.
Info for Libby's Course:
To learn about the course: www.libbyneder.com/course
To get $100 off of $447 for listeners: use code PHOTOBIZHELP at checkout
Freebie “Wedding Consultation Cheat Sheet” Libby mentioned in episode 2: www.libbyneder.com/cheatsheet
You can also join the Client Communication Facebook Group, a community of photographers and solopreneurs who are working together to help solve client conundrums at facebook.com/groups/communicatewithclients
Libby Neder (NEED-er) is a social science nerd who finds nothing more enjoyable studying analyzing and explaining the parts of human interaction that most of us take for granted. She has been a full-time wedding and portrait photographer since shooting her first wedding in 2009. Before that, she earned her degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado. She is the author and instructor of the brand new online course “The Client Communication Course for Photographers.” Libby calls both Denver, CO and Houston TX home.