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Being clear on your ideal photography client will increase your revenues.
With this blog post, you will not only know why that is the case, but you will also learn how to discover and describe your ideal client and how to find them.[/thrive_custom_box]
First up, let’s start with why.
Why your ideal client will increase your revenues
1. When you work with your ideal client, you will have more fun.
Duh. That one is simple right? Your ideal client gets you, understands what you want because you are on the same plane.
Also, your ideal client hired you because they admire your artistic vision. They don’t come to the shoot with a list of requirements, they love your work and trust you will create your best work with them.
Moreover, your ideal client wants you and no one else since they have come to desire your specific personal vision and skill. They will save up to be able to afford you and happily pay for the shoot and prints.
And best of all, your ideal client raves about you to all their friends online and offline.
2. When you know your ideal client and speak their language it’s easier to get them to book you. You probably have noticed this yourself. Sometimes you can’t resist buying something because the seller told such a compelling story in your own words that you recognized yourself in, that you just had to buy.
3. You will be getting better referrals since your ideal client knows exactly who you would like to serve (and is usually friends with similar people).
4. You will save time performing your marketing in the right spots and at the right times. Knowing where your ideal client hangs out, you don’t have to waste time with marketing in different channels. For example, if your couples are absolutely Pinterest and Wedding blog fans, it’s no use advertising in a local bridal shop or magazine.
So now that we got that covered, let’s start, shall we?
How to discover your ideal photography client
Start with you
You naturally attract people who share the same values as you do. Probably not all but usually you will have a click with your clients based on common traits or characteristics, hobbies or values. Therefore it’s important to look at yourself before you describe your ideal client.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=””]We are who we surround ourselves with, and this rings true for our clients as well. How much do you truly believe in what you do and what you sell?
Even if you may not be able to afford the type of custom photography you sell, do you still believe in the importance of beautiful family photography? Hopefully, you do!
And guess what, your ideal client believes the same! On the contrary, if you’re not quite sure of yourself and believe that most people will not pay for what you provide then that is the type of client you will attract…and I don’t think you want that! –
Kristin Milito – Chicago newborn and family photographer on How to find your ideal client and speak their language.[/pullquote]
A couple of questions to get you started:
1. Who are you, in terms of your photography work.
2. What are your values, hobbies, loves?
3. What is the dominating trend in your journey? When you look at your past to present, what were your biggest mistakes and aha’s? This is unique to you and important to communicate.
This might sound easy and quick, but don’t skimp over this. Take at least an hour to write everything down as an answer to the above questions and see the pattern show up.
When you don’t have clients yet
If you don’t have these clients yet, create a perfect dream client in your head and do the exercise with that client. Or, even better, create a survey and ask your audience a couple of questions. James Wedmore taught me to always survey my audience before I created anything.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=””]Are you marketing yourself online and feel like your message is falling flat? Maybe people aren’t getting your offer and you’re looking for a way to connect with your audience? When you are going to start with surveys, it feels like cheating! –
James Wedmore in his episode on Surveys where he shares the right questions to ask, how to ask them so you’ll get people to actually fill out your survey, the software he recommends and most importantly, how to properly interpret the answers you receive.[/pullquote]
Tweaked for photography your questions could be:
- Have you ever tried [insert your photography specialty here]? If No, why not?
- What is your #1 biggest problem right now related to [insert your photography specialty here]?
- What effect do these problems have on you?
- What would be your dream scenario?
- If you had the chance to ask me one question, what would it be?
Look at your previous clients
List your 5 all-time favorite clients
When you look at your all-time favorite clients see if you can find any common characteristics. And don’t stop at the standard things as hobbies and places where they shop and stuff, but look back in time and see if you can recall why and how they hired you.
Here are some questions you can answer. Answer them in their own words, with their language where you can!
1. What was important to them in the photography? Why did they hire you?
2. Were they profitable? Did they pay you the amount you asked without hesitation?
3. Did they refer clients to you?
4. What do they value?
5. What were their fears and dreams when they hired you?
6. What did they need? What was their pain?
7. What is their biggest frustration?
8. Were they people that came to you 1 year before the wedding or 1 month?
9. Did they follow you for a while and were they determined to book you or did they shop around first and made appointments with various photographers?
10. How did they decide to hire you? Through referrals? Reviews online? A hunge?
11. Why did they hire you? Yes, this question is double. It’s that important. Ask yourself at least 6 times why and see what answers you come up with.
12. Beyond their dreams, what do you think is possible for them when they hired you and got the dream outcome? Something they are not even seeing themselves yet.
Now I know this exercise can feel overwhelming. Where to start and who has the time for that anyway?? Well, I know you want to build a successful photography business that allows you to work on your terms with the ideal clients that appreciate and want to book a professional.
I’ve made it easy for you and created a workbook that will get you started. Simply enter your email address and book some time in your calendar to get this done! Your future business depends on it!
How to book your ideal client
Infuse your communication with your ideal client’s profile
You now know who they are, what they like, what values they have, their fears and dreams and how they decide.
Now you want to make sure that every time you write a blog post or social media update you put your ideal client’s profile in sight.
Ask yourself if your writing will attract them if your writing will positively take away their fears or inspire them or make them laugh.
Make sure that you tell them exactly how you can help them in your unique way using your unique tools or processes.
Use their language so they immediately recognize themselves in your messages.
Be where they are
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=””]Figure out where your ideal client spends their time online. Is it reading Business Insider? Is it on a forum talking about video games? Is it on a blog for runners? Figure it out and go there. –
Hanssie – Southern California-based photographer on Tips on finding and booking your ideal client[/pullquote]
You know who your ideal client is, now hang out where they hang out. What social media platforms do they use most? What vendors do they like? Maybe you can collaborate. This is also a good source for getting to know their pains and struggles if you don’t have clients yet.
Make your portfolio reflect the type of weddings or images you want to shoot
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=””]Now that you have an overall picture of who you want to work with, you need to figure out how to communicate that in your portfolio. The images that we showcase on our blog and website are not only edited to enhance our specific style (documentary) and brand but also to attract the kinds of people we want to work with. –
Alison Yin – Oakland, California on Finding your Ideal Clients[/pullquote]
In the worksheet, you will find a simple process that will help you easily define your style. It’s really cool and enlightening.
So this is a big chapter on your ideal photography client. It is super important and I hope you will treat it as such.
If your marketing efforts are not generating the desired results, start with the basics here.
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