Article by Melissa Weinberg from Perfect Glow Sunless | www.perfectglowsunless.com
I am sure that you have all heard the old saying, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” Well that being said I am going to discuss tips on how to build a client portfolio. This blog is geared towards sunless tanning but my principles can be applied to many different industries.
Especially for spray tanning, having good client pictures is crucial and will help potential clients take that step to book a session. Let’s face it, a common fear for new spray tan clients is that you are going to turn them orange. If I had a dollar for every time I get asked that question I could probably retire. (Just kidding. Well maybe I could book a luxury cruise).
So that being said, beautiful pictures of your work can help alleviate that fear. I cannot stress enough that a beautiful portfolio showcasing your flawless tans will help bring in business. I always ask new clients how they heard about me. Most say from my website and that they loved the pictures I had posted (along with reviews, but that topic is for another blog).
I see all sides of the spectrum. I get contacted by many new beauty professionals expressing frustration that they have difficulty getting client photos. Then I see many with tons of photos.
Spray tanning is a little different compared to makeup or hair. Those professionals in many cases can fortunately snap a pic of the finished face or hair, whereas a spray tan needs to have time to develop in order to see “true” results. Also being that many spray tan clients are in a bikini, undies or even their birthday suit at their appointment, many are shy to have their picture taken at the actual session. Even though many clients say they will send a picture once the tan has developed, the fact is that life gets in the way and many forget.
So here are some helpful tips to help you build your portfolio;
Many clients think that you want a bikini pic. I always stress that I would love to see any pic and it of course does not have to be a bikini pic. Even if it is a picture of them at the dinner table I would love to see it!
- Let’s face it, if you have a busy day or night sometimes you just feel tired and worn out. When backtracking you may honestly forget the reason why your client came in for the spray tan (wedding, graduation, trip, birthday) and you can get so busy that you forget to follow up. So to help with this, I recommend having a good old fashioned pad and paper close by (or many times I make notes next to my client on my iPhone calendar at their session). When they come in I notate the occasion for them getting their spray tan! This is so simple and makes such a big difference.
- The next day when I plan my day, I set up a follow up task in the future to contact those clients when I know they should have some pictures. I like to email them but you do what you are most comfortable with (phone, text etc).
- Are you Facebook friends? Ask them if they wouldn’t mind if you took some pictures that they are going to post on their page. (Many say yes and it takes the burden off of them for having to remember to send it to you).
- If the tan was for an event like a wedding many clients think that you just want the professional photos. I always let them know that in the meantime it would be truly appreciated if they can send you some good ones that they took before the pro ones come in.
- If it is a wedding or formal event ask them who the MUA and photographer is. Many photographers post the pics quick in their blog and if you have the client permission you can always contact the photographer or MUA directly asking if you can share them. (Remember as a professional courtesy never remove the other professionals watermark).
Ok! So you applied these principles and now you are rocking and rolling and the pics are flowing in looking great! But…what’s going on with those that have a filter on?
When a client sends you a pic ask them to please not use a filter! In tanning many times a filter can make the tan look orange or yellow when it really wasn’t. If they use a filter and it is altered it is not worth posting. Remember…a bad pic can do more harm than no pic in this case.
Another important element is lighting. I see many spray tan professionals use a camera or cell phone where the flash makes the tan look brassy etc. Always make sure that you are taking your pics in good lighting. If your salon has colored walls (pink for example) that can throw off the lighting. Try to have an area where you can have a neutral backdrop to help the photos look as good as possible.
When you do get the pictures in, before you post it is always a good idea to watermark them whenever possible – and I can’t stress this enough! Unfortunately I have seen many people on instagram stealing other salons’ work (and it has happened to me as well – totally NOT COOL btw). For the iPhone an app that I recommend is Ezy Watermark but there are plenty of other ones as well.
I hope these tips can help you, and your portfolio continues to grow.
Happy Tanning – xo Melissa
Melissa Weinberg is the creator of Perfect Glow Sunless and Melissa Weinberg Tanning & Beauty, a premium luxury line of professional spray tan solution and self-tanning products. Her products are used by professional salons and spas all over the world.
She is also a South Florida spray tan expert and offers spray tan training.