Referal Fees

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    • #42580

      Does anyone offer a referal fee to their freinds, past clients, etc?

      I have been in sales (currently Insurance) for about seven years (only the past year have I ventured into videography) and my peers have always provided an incentive to their current clinents to provide referals. If they booked one of those referals they would pay a referal fee. Maybe $20 or $50. I have never done this with my video business nor have I seen anyone else in the area, photographers or videographers, do it either. So I was wondering if anyone does it and what are your thoughts. It seems to work in othe types of sales business.

    • #178715

      I’ve been planning to start offering a fee. It seems it would be a great way to get previous clients to show your stuff around.

    • #178716

      Sure do, and it’s been a great thing for me.

      Sure, you make a little less on a job, but you also get some work out of it. For the fairly inexpensive cost of it, it’s better than advertising in local media.

    • #178717

      I should add that while I do extend the offer to brides and grooms, I really set the referral system up for other vendors. I’ve got a few photographer friends who have practically been on my payroll in the past from sending me clients. It makes them happy, and keeps me in business.

      From my perspective, if someone offers me $50 to send them their way, I’d do it in a heartbeat. It seems to work for others, too πŸ™‚

    • #178718


      I agree entirely.

      My policy is usually not to bring it up, but if a couple asks, I’ll let them know we do a referral program.

      I prefer to have people refer others to me because we do good work. But vendors are another breed altogether.

    • #178719

      I’ll agree to that as well. I couldn’t put my finger on it but, there was something about the idea of offering money to my clients that just did not sit right. It was like saying they would not refer me if I did not pay them. But, as On a Role said, if they did ask $50 bucks would be money well spent. And offer it to vendors is a good idea too. Thanks for the input everyone.

    • #178720

      Yeah, I have a lot of couples who’ve sent me work and never been paid a dime for it. Those make you feel good. I think it would be cheapened for me personally if none of my work was genuine word of mouth because we’re good at what we do. It’s just nice to know that someone out there loved your work enough to trust their friends with you.

      Anyway, I’ve always told vendors about it upfront though. They don’t get to experience my work, and plus, they bump into several brides themselves. And it works both ways sometimes. Up here, videography is the last thing brides seem to book, but in the rare time when they’ve got us before the photographer, etc, I have a few names that I like to work with.

      Getting to know and develop relationships with other vendors can be beneficial, especially photographers. People seem to think from time to time that they don’t need video if they have photos. But if that photographer says that they should get a videographer, and happens to send them to me, well then, that kills two birds with one stone.

    • #178721

      LOL! I love the revenge tactic. Our nazi-photographer made every effort to destroy our own wedding day.

      If I were a photographer I would not want to refer for videography, but rather try to upsell them on a better photo package. I’m even worse, as I sell videography by showing the limitations of photography. I can’t imagine that photographers like that.

      IMO, referral fees are a bad idea with all venders but photographers. With the competition for those media budget dollars, photographers need an extra incentive. In addition, if I pay a photographer for the referral, they will likely be more pleasant to work with on the wedding day.

    • #178722

      compusolver Wrote:

      Vendors are one thing, but clients..well, that’s something altogether different.

      I think you risk looking cheezy if you offer clients a referral fee. After all, who are they going to refer to you? Their friends, right? Well, wouldn’t you expect them to refer the best service they know of to their friends? Of course. And they already know about your work, right? So, by offering them a reward, it’s like saying "I know you don’t think I’m the best, but refer your friends to me anyway and I’ll pay you a bounty on each one who signs up."

      If they liked your work, they’ll refer their friends to you. If you offer a kickback, that could sound offensive and cheezy.

      I’ve been uncomfortable with the thought of referral fees and you have a gift of explaining things so well. Thanks.

    • #178723


      I’m sure that alliances with photogs would work in the "big cities", but out here in the financially depressed boonies, photograhers are offering "wedding video" services along with photos, for a couple hundred bucks.

      Photographers out here are smarter than that. They understand that we know where they live X-D

      Many of them further aggravate me by wearing hats, loud clothing (which makes them stick out in the video) and constantly sticking their gum-chewing faces (or back of their heads) in front of our camcorders.

      Yeah, sometimes I wonder how some brides pick these guys. One of the guys I worked with before (I think it was Mr. Bees or something like that) was this big, flamboyant guy who dressed as loud as he spoke. I still remember him taking pictures of the bride and her father, and trying to get them to smile by asking "Who’s feeling naughty?". There are some interesting ones out there.

      I’ve taken "revenge" by offering a $199 photo package with our video services!

      Nice! X-D

      I’d never had a referral from a photog, but we ARE booking photo packages with our video services! And that means, no photogs to compete with during the reception!!

      Awesome. We’re really fortunate, in that my wife’s cousin is one of the better wedding photographers in the region, so we try to work together a lot. She actually got us a wedding this November, of all months.

      Have you ever gotten those kinds that lead the bride and groom around like Barbie dolls? They (photog) are right in font of the cake and every other event, directing it as though people were puppets. Grrrrrr!

      I hate those guys. Going back a few comments, I’m trying to edit one wedding right now where during the WHOLE processional AND recessional, the cameraman’s assitant was standing completely in front of our unmanned camera in the back. The whole shot is useless during the times when I use those shots the most! So, there are a few minutes where I literally just don’t have any good shot durin the event, which very much sucks. It’s so bad that my wife was worried about being asked for a partial refund. I told her that it’s the photographer’s fault, not ours. His assistant should be smart enough to know not to stand in front of a camera during a wedding. If anyone needs to compensate for the problem, it should be the photographer. But I think I have enough fill footage that I can make up for it. I suppose we’ll see what happens when I finish editing on Monday.

    • #178724

      That’s why I have a taser mounted on my tripod camera w/ remote. }:-)

      Seriously that is really frustrating.

    • #178725

      I agree that offering money to your clients doesn’t feel right. A proactive method is to give your client extra copies of their DVD as ‘gift’ from you to give all their friends. Most likely many of their friends are not married and you get similiar results if you were paying them to go out and advertise for you.

      One thing that has helped me with photographers is to give them my demo before we shoot together so they can see that I do a great job and my time is well spent at the wedding and that the client is expecting an incredible video. And then when the wedding is over I send them a copy of the final DVD. I’ve been amazed at how many photographers will show that DVD to future clients that come into their studio. Of course, you are going to get wackos no matter what you do!

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