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Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Review Websites and Your Dog Photography Business

With cellphones, computers, and the Internet, information exchanges happen instantly. If someone’s had a great experience with your dog photography business, he’s likely to turn right around and brag to his friends. On the other hand, if the experience wasn’t so good, you could be the subject of some not-so-great marketing.

Keep in mind that whenever an individual hires you, you’re really serving the world. And with review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, it’s easier than ever for people to broadcast their opinion to the world — sometimes before you even leave their house!

Seeing as how you’d never do anything for anyone to complain about, you want to encourage your clients to post reviews for you. Yelp is definitely the industry leader here, so make sure you set up an account for people to use. Some cardinal rules when using review sites include

  • Don’t badger your clients for their reviews. Ask them once and that’s it. If they do it, great. If not, maybe they will someday.

  • Don’t ask your friends and family to “stuff the ballot box” with positive reviews. If you’ve photographed their dogs, then it’s legit. But if not, don’t even think about it.

  • Negative reviews may happen. You can’t please everyone all the time. Sites don’t allow you to edit or remove the bad ones, but even if they did, you shouldn’t. Transparency and honesty are key. Instead, contact the unhappy client and try to remedy the problem. If you do this successfully, the client may end up going back to update the review.

  • Thank people for posting reviews. They’re taking time out of their day to review you, after all. You can do this with a quick thank-you over the phone or by e-mail.

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