Stop saying “no” and start saying “not yet”.
It is okay to have a waitlist for your clients, and having one can help you grow your business.
As website designers and photographers, it's easy to feel like you’re always racing against the clock. There's so much to do and so little time to do it. But then, in other months, it feels like there’s not enough work to go around. Classic feast or famine.
Wouldn’t it be easier to stagger work throughout the weeks and months based on your time availability rather than work around your client’s deadlines?
Many creatives shy away from having a waiting list for client projects.
But what if I told you that having a waiting list could actually be a good thing for your business? In this blog, I’ll show you why having a waiting list is a positive thing and how it can help you grow your business. And how to keep your clients engaged while they’re waiting their turn.
FOUR REASONS WHY HAVING A WAITLIST IS A GOOD THING
A waitlist shows you can be trusted.
A waitlist is a great way to build your reputation and show potential clients that you're the go-to person for your area of expertise.
It’s social proof to your clients that other people trust you. In fact, they trust you enough that they’re willing to wait for your services! People want to work with you.
Pro-Tip: Make sure you have an announcement banner on your website showing when you’re booking clients for.
A waitlist taps into powerful psychological triggers.
As well as showing that others trust you enough to wait for your web design or photography talents, having a waiting list takes advantage of a powerful psychological trigger - scarcity.
Scarcity is basically FOMO - the fear of missing out. If your client doesn’t sign up with you now, they might miss out in the future.
You can’t take on that size of the project now, or you can, BUT you’ll become overwhelmed and stressed.
But your client is happy to hop on your waiting list and get their project scheduled for the future.
A waiting list allows you to pick and choose your clients.
When you're not running on tight deadlines or scrambling to book clients, you can take the time to get to know your clients and make sure you're the right fit for each other.
You can ensure that you're working with clients who share your values and are excited about the work you'll be doing together.
Pro-Tip: Keep a “red-flag” list handy. Not every client is going to be right for you. Make sure you know who your dream clients are (and aren’t).
Additionally, having a waiting list gives you the opportunity to be selective about the clients you work with.
A waitlist allows you to manage your workload better.
By having a set number of clients at any given time, you can make sure that you're not overloading yourself with work.
This gives you the time and space you need to do really great work and produce high-quality websites, designs and photography for your clients.
Pro-tip: Make sure you know how long each stage of your project will take. This allows you to book the right time in your calendar for each project. So you’re not overloading yourself with projects. This gives you the flexibility to book a reduced number of projects over busy times like school holidays.
THREE IDEAS ON HOW TO MANAGE CLIENTS ON YOUR WAITLIST
But what about those who are waiting on your list? How can you make the waiting process more enjoyable for them?
This will depend on how long they’re on your waiting list, but try to keep your clients informed and involved throughout the process.
Is there anything they could be getting on with while they’re waiting? I have my clients complete an in-depth questionnaire about their business and clients which we go through together at the first Zoom meeting. Can you get them to add inspiration to a Pinterest board?
You could send them emails to build anticipation. Anticipation is another powerful psychological trigger. Tapping into it will help keep them engaged and excited about working with you, and it will also help build trust and rapport. Show them what you’ve been working on. Share results that clients have had from your work.
Send them reminders about what else they need to do to get the project completed on time. For example, do they need to be working on website copy or getting photography done?
Finally, it's important to remember that having a waiting list is not only good for your business, but it's also good for your clients.
For website designers and photographers, having a waiting list, you can ensure that you're providing a high-quality product and experience for your clients and that you're not overextending yourself or sacrificing quality in order to meet tight deadlines.
It shows that you're in demand, gives you the opportunity to be selective about the clients you work with, helps you better manage your workload, and offers the chance to make the waiting process more enjoyable for your clients.
So if you're feeling overwhelmed by the fast-paced world of website design and photography, take a step back and remember the benefits of having a waiting list.
Your business (and your clients) will thank you for it!
Just Last One Thing -
While your clients are on a waiting list, they can get the copy ready for their website. Read this blog about how to get website copy from your clients, and make sure you’re getting great copy that doesn’t cause delays.