Giving thoughtful client gifts is a great way of going above and beyond, and delivering a service that seriously wows.
It can also lead to some pretty great business outcomes, too:
- Your reputation will soar 🚀
- You could earn more clients on the back of it 🙏
- You’ll boost your perceived value (and be able to charge more, as a result!) 💸
- And you’ll rack up an expense bill that’ll make you smile on Tax Day 🤑
But get it wrong, and your client gifting strategy could do more harm than good.
That’s why it’s so important to pick the right gifts and at the right price.
But how do you do that, exactly?
Well, keep on reading — because today, we’re going to break down our favorite client gift ideas from the beginning of their time with you right to the end, and share our top tips on how to treat your clients without breaking the bank.
So, let’s get started 🎉
Gifts for before the big day
To get things off to a flying start, a custom welcome box is a really great idea to show your clients you care right from the offset. It also gives you a great opportunity to show off your work and try your hand at a little bit of upselling, too — which is totally fine!
Your welcome box can come in any form depending on your budget.
A wooden box, for example, is going to be a little bit more expensive, whilst a branded cardboard box won’t cost a lot of money at all… especially if you make a bulk order with a local supplier.
Ultimately, your pricing strategy should influence how you approach your welcome package — as should your decision to offer one in the first place.
After all, if your margins don’t allow for it, you shouldn’t feel pressured to offer something you can’t afford… a lesson we’ll be revisiting a little later.
Let’s assume, though, that you *can* afford to go that extra mile (which is a sign of a good pricing strategy, by the way!) — what should you include in your welcome box, exactly?
Well, a few of our favorite ideas include:
A branded wedding guide 📖
A beautifully presented, branded wedding guide is a great way of supporting your clients throughout the wedding planning process.
Your guide could include:
- A checklist for wedding planning 📝
- Supplier recommendations (and discounts?) 💸
- Wedding day advice 💒
- Top tips on how to get the most out of their wedding shoot 📸
You could also — and here comes the upselling part — include a little section on additional services you offer, such as wedding planning support or extra products, like t-shirt and mug prints.
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with trying to sell your services, and doing so with a free gift is a really clever and unobtrusive strategy.
To design your branded wedding guide, check out our customizable wedding guide template for just $199. You can fill it with whatever you like, and download it in two styles (playful or minimalistic) to match your brand.
Get in touch if you end up using it — we’d love to see the results! 😍
A branded notebook 📓
There’s a whole lot of work that goes into planning a wedding, and a notebook to keep everything organized certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
It would also be a great way of encouraging your couples to jot down any ideas they have for their wedding shoot. On the big day (or just before) you could take a look at their notes, to make sure you’re all on the same page.
The notebook doesn’t necessarily have to be branded with your logo, but if you can afford the extra cost, it’ll be a really clever way of getting your clients to do your marketing for you in the future! 🙏
A vow book 🕊
Vow books are a really cute and romantic way of couples writing down their vows and making them last forever.
You can buy vow books in all kinds of different styles to match whatever theme your clients are going for, and they’re usually really inexpensive. Again, buying them in bulk would be a great way of keeping your costs down, too.
Little wedding treats ☕️
To complete your welcome box, it would be a really sweet idea to include a few ‘token’ gifts that your clients could use on their wedding day.
Treats like little wax melts, bouquet charms, confetti and wedding tea, for example, will add a really thoughtful and personal touch to your welcome boxes without costing an arm and a leg.
Gifts for after the wedding
Now comes the really fun part.
Once your couples are married, you’ll know them really well by this point, and will have a whole lot of material to play around with and turn into some fun and sentimental surprises.
Again, you could present these in a cute little gift box that you send off to your clients a few weeks after their big day — possibly even alongside their printed photo albums, to bring things to a close in a really special way.
Your gift box could include:
A USB stick with wedding photos 📸
Instead of just emailing your clients their full photoset… why not do things a little differently and send them their very own USB stick as a physical reminder of their special day?
You could even buy a set of branded USB sticks if your budget allows for it.
This, again, will be a clever way of getting your name out there, as well as impressing your clients with your thoughtfulness.
And the best part? These days, you can buy a USB stick for next to nothing… especially if you bulk buy!
A congratulations card 🎉
You can’t watch your clients get married, and not drop them a little congratulations — and a card is a great (and lasting) way to do just that.
They’re super cheap too, and you could even make them yourself if you’re feeling crafty!
A card is also the perfect opportunity to thank your clients for working with you and wish them all the best for the future. An attached business card will keep you at the forefront of their minds for the future, too!
Top tip: save a bit of wedding confetti from your clients’ wedding days, and enclose it in your cards. Your clients will be instantly taken back to their special days… all thanks to you! Talk about leaving a lasting impression 🙌
Surprise shots 👩❤️💋👨
If you’ve got a polaroid camera, it would be a really cute idea to snap a few secret shots of your couples on their wedding day and hand them over as a surprise, parting gift.
This would be a really fun and thoughtful way to end things, highlighting your close attention to detail and commitment to going above and beyond for one, final time.
The pictures don’t have to be framed, either — just putting them in a small envelope in your gift box will be more than enough. And if you don’t have a polaroid camera, getting a few unseen snaps printed out will have the same effect!
Wedding keepsakes 💐
To go that extra mile, why not drop in a few wedding keepsakes to complete your gift box?
This could be sentimental reminders of your clients’ wedding days, like a pouch of leftover confetti, petals from the brides’ bouquet or photos of their wedding venue, wedding cake and other details that are worth treasuring. Get creative with it!
To really stay at the forefront of your clients’ minds, it would be a great move to make some room in your budget for a yearly anniversary ‘gift’.
Fear not, though — this doesn’t have to be the expensive or logistical nightmare you might first think it to be.
In fact, you might not even have to spend a single (extra) cent!
If you’re already set up with email marketing for example, why not just send your clients an automatic photo reminder of their special day? This could be a shot you’re personally proud of, or even a digitized collage of your clients’ complete shoot.
Alongside the reminder, drop in an exclusive discount (redeemable by them or a friend) to generate new business.
This is a really great way of 1) marking your clients’ anniversaries, and 2) marketing your own services on the back of that.
Who knows — it could even bring in some new clients! 🙌
How NOT to break the bank with your client gifts
Giving gifts to your clients could be great for business — but only if you pay close attention to your margins and don’t spend what you can’t afford.
With that in mind, here’s four instant ways to build a gifting strategy that doesn’t break the bank:
Factor gifts into your price-point 🎁
If you want gifts to form a big part of your client experience — make room for them in your budget. This means positioning yourself as a higher-end photographer with a price strategy to match.
Buy in bulk 🛒
By buying your gifts in bulk, you’ll be bound to make some hefty savings — especially if you partner up with a local gift supplier or printer. The lesson here is to be prepared, have a pre-planned gift list and buy your gifts in advance to cut down the costs.
Get crafty 🎨
We’ve touched on this already but getting creative and creating your own client gifts will be a great way of not only saving money, but also adding a personal touch to what you offer. Remember, it really is the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts to your clients — not the ‘quality’ or how much you spend.
Only offer what you can 🧐
Although gifting can sometimes pay for itself, if you can’t afford to give a gift… then, don’t! Even the best reputation in town isn’t worth a damaged bottom line. Having a flexible pricing strategy should help to avoid this, but if there’s ever a time when money is low, client gifting probably shouldn’t be a priority. And remember — a personal note can sometimes mean the very most!
Now, go get wrapping!
Get it right, and client gifting might be just what your business needs to boost its reputation and impress its clients like never before. So, follow our top tips, watch your bottom line and go get wrapping — it could seriously pay off!
And don’t forget to head over to our blog for more advice on how to go that extra mile and ace it as a wedding photographer 💪
Connection is what it’s all about. Feel free to reach out to us with any comments or questions you might have, even if it’s only to say hello. If it wasn’t for our beautiful community, this place just wouldn’t feel the same.