Photography Client Guide | The Photographer’s Cheat Sheet For Defining Target Markets
Photography Client Guide | Last week we shared some of our favorite marketing tips for photographers and we briefly discussed the importance of clearly defining your ideal client. However, considering the fact that this is one of the most important elements of your business and marketing plan, it deserves a lot more attention. After all, one of the most common mistakes most new photographers make when starting out is trying to appeal to everyone. There’s simply no need to try and please absolutely everyone when you can spend your time, energy, and money more efficiently.
From the equipment you invest in and the way you brand your photography business, to your fees and the way you promote your services, pretty much every aspect of your business will be heavily affected by your ideal client, and the better job you do defining them, easier it will be for you to minimize the costs and maximize sales. So, to help you get started on the right track, we’ll go through the most important tips each photographer should know about! Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Know Your Place In Your Market | Photography Client Guide
Before you start promoting your photography business, you should take a look at your market or your particular niche and find an opening for something new. What problem can you solve for your clients that no one else can? For example, if your area is packed with newborn photographers with only a few wedding photographers, you would have a much better chance of standing out if you consider doing wedding photography. Then, consider the benefits your service will bring to the table, as you’ll need to be able to effectively communicate those later on! And lastly, check your competitors! Who are they targeting? Is there a particular niche they left out?
Zero In On The Right Demographic | Photography Client Guide
There are many factors that will determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. First, you’ll want to start with age, location, and gender, the three most obvious characteristics. After all, you’ll approach marketing a lot differently if you’re targeting high-school seniors than you would if you were targeting high-end brides-to-be. The goal here is to define the demographic you’re targeting as clearly as possible, so you’ll be able to determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle and hot to communicate this more effectively.
A good way to do this is to take a look at the clients you worked with so far in terms of age, location, gender, education, finances and group them accordingly. As you do this, a pattern will start emerging, and you’ll have a better idea of what type of clients are prevalent and more likely to hire you down the road. This is the group of people you want to base your marketing efforts on.
You Can’t Be Everything To Everyone | Photography Client Guide
There will be times when you get approached by potential clients that are out of your target audience. Does this mean you should turn them down? Absolutely not! The goal here is to focus your marketing efforts on the people that are most likely to respond, and if people outside your target group notice you, great! If you’re specializing in newborn photography, for example, and a magazine editor approaches you about doing an editorial shoot, there’s no reason to turn them down if you’re interested and you have the right skills and equipment.
It’s worth noting that in some cases you can have more than one niche market. If so, consider if your marketing message should be different for each niche. If you can reach both groups with the same marketing message, by all means, carry on! However, if your marketing message isn’t able to engage both sides, keep in mind that you’ll need to create different messages, which in turn means you’ll pretty much double the amount of time and effort you need to invest in marketing to keep your strategies effective.
Identify Potential Tools | Photography Client Guide
Your work is only beginning when you define your ideal client. The next step is identifying the tools you’ll be using to promote the services and products you’re providing. One thing is certain – you’ll need a website! However, your website is yet another thing that will depend on the preferences of your target audience. For example, you might be the biggest fan of everything pink, but if you’re targeting agency owners, you’ll get better results with a more neutral color scheme. Even the selection of the images you upload will depend on your audience – don’t upload every picture you ever took; instead, upload only the examples that showcase your skills and area of expertise.
Social media is another thing that’s absolutely vital for the success of your business. After all, even the world’s most appealing website will not do you any good if no one ever visits, and building a solid social media presence is a great way of getting more visitors. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin, so start with 2-3 social networks and build your following. Choosing the right networks should be easy depending on your target audience. Did you know that business owners prefer LinkedIn and Google+, while the average consumers are more likely to be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest? Do your research, because the last thing you want is to spend weeks and months on building your presence on a network your ideal client has never heard of.