The Fortune Is In The Follow Up
What would you do when you have a successful business that’s rocking it and it slows down? Gustavo Fernandez learned a valuable lesson about this last week and took action that completely flipped around and jumpstarted in one day. I will tell you how. Gustavo was a headshot and an event photographer based on San Francisco California. A lot of talk I hear all the time about how photography is dying. They’re just not working it. It’s all being taken away by the amateur. It’s all being taken by the cheap ones. Gustavo prove that that’s not the case. Gustavo cleared multiple six-figure last year in 2018 and he kind of made it all seem so easy.
Gustavo is part of total life freedom mastermind and last year just kept rolling and rolling and rolling, but this year things change a little bit. He has some really big clients and had a lot of travel going on. He is planning to move to Miami. He was going back and forth between West Coast and East Coast looking at places. Work keeps rolling in. He’s got good connections and he felt it, but it didn’t do that much to jumpstart it because a lot of times the work just keeps coming back. But about halfway through the year, he noticed that he is down $50,000 than that last year and it woke him up. We talked a lot about following up, about connecting, about reaching out always, about different methods in terms of building your network, in terms of building the relationships around your business, top of mind word-of-mouth type of business. We hold each other accountable to this and _______ mentioned to Gustavo about his method of following up with past clients. I have told him some of my methods as well. We went through some conversation and Gustavo realized I’ve got a wealth of connections that I have not kept in touch with. The work kept rolling and he failed to keep the connection going, the ongoing connection with certain clients.
So, he finally said I’ve had it, I been complacent on this for too long and he reached out to 11 of his top clients. And the reach out is basically things that they had mentioned in the past that need to get done. Things that they wanted to work with him on but just never were solidified. But he realizes as he looks back on this to be had never followed back up with them. So, in one day, one day he spent just to reconnect with clients that he hadn’t reached out to in a while. Some of them are by phone. Some of them by email and a majority of them were just simple message that he sent out as a follow-up. Then he came back to us to report that he got a $13,000 job booked from one law firm, a $2,000 job for another law firm. He got confirmation to another conference to work and he got confirmation on yet another job from a high-end client which is $5000, and he has a lunch set up with another venue that has a high potential volume of work in the future.
So, in taking action one day of follow-ups. He confirmed over $20,000 of future work as well as a handful of conferences, meetings that has the potential to grow that even more. It is in one day of follow-up and so often we fail to do this because there are so many different reasons why we failed to this. We failed to do this because we think we’re bugging people. Yet the case of Gustavo and many other of us, these are people we’ve talked to already about possibly doing the work but were hesitant on pulling the trigger. It’s not like these are cold calls. Following up is following-up with people you’ve already connected with and have talked about the possibility of stuff that you’re just dragging your feet in terms of finalizing it. so, Gustavo had a bunch of huge takeaways from this, very simple but very powerful. We have to get ourselves the consistent habit of following up. The other thing to realize is when you’re doing this, when you’re following up with people, they’re often quite busy. They’re not meaning to even forget about you. They’re not meaning to blow you off. What happens a lot of times, they appreciate the fact that you follow-up because what you’re doing is, you’re making their job easier. Because if it is a mutual thing, if it is something that you both need and you both want, both sides are being complacent in that.
So, when you take the time to reach out when there’s already a relationship built, you’re actually making their life easier because you’re helping them do the work that they’re not going to have to do. So, there’s so many great lessons that come from this one story that just kick started his success back up. He’s already doing great this year. He is doing better than most photographers are doing, but we set standards for ourselves and when we get to a certain level, we don’t want to stop or slowdowns. He saw that and kudos to Gustavo for immediately taking action, immediately realizing where a lot of this comes from and he has a good grasp on customer service on how to do that right. And sometimes we just need the reminder. He has such a grasp on it is that he’s writing a book about this for the future, which I’m really excited about. It is about the art of customer service. But it just goes to show, it takes follow-up. The fortune is in the follow-up. It is so easy to get complacent and to get somewhat lazy and think the work will come because it is going really well and it is really nice to get that jolt, the kick in the pants every once in a while and realized that really comes down to us doing that work to keep things moving. Because he gives us a great story, because it’s an awesome individual I will give a plug to GustavoFernandez.com, if you are looking for an event photographer. If you’re looking for an awesome headshot photographer, reach out to Gustavo. He is the man. And if you are interested, as a gift to you, Gustavo has a list that he has written out, the top 10 things he has done to elevate and grow his event and photography business. I will put that in the show notes for you if you like to get that. And remember go out today. If you have people to follow up with, people you’ve neglected, go out and do the follow-up because the fortune truly is in the follow-up. I’ll talk to you tomorrow