I am so excited to be here with you today to chat about ideal clients and also how repel clients we don’t want to work with. Let’s be real, as you continue your photography journey, there will come a point when you want to start declining certain clients. You don’t want to work with everyone, and you definitely don’t want to be the photographer for everyone. If you are ready to unpackage this idea today, let’s jump right into it.
Identifying your Ideal Client
There may be some of you out there that are still stuck in that phase where you’re experimenting and shooting all different types of photography, and you’re still not sure who you want to serve. Or maybe you’ve shot a few different things and you’ve decided that this is really what you’re interested in. I want you to walk through this exercise of identifying your ideal client.
This may sound cliché, but I think a lot of people think they know who their ideal client is, but they really haven’t taken the time to sit down and work through a process like this. So the first step is:
1. Identify the Demographic of your Ideal Client: Think big! Really think about who your ideal target client is. Think about their gender, age, income status. All of these are very important when you are trying to figure out how you’re going to attract these clients.
2. Identify Their Pain Points: Think from the client’s perspective and identify what their biggest pain points are. It’s much easier for you to direct your messaging to them, because you’re addressing their biggest pain points.
3. Find Where They Hangout On Social Media: This is a huge part of your attract strategy. Let’s say you’re niche is wedding photography and you are targeting brides. The millennial bride is probably hanging out on Tik-Tok and Instagram. The bride that’s a little older, in her mid-thirties to early forties, may still be on Facebook.
4. Identify their Favorite Shops or Venues: Identify the stores a potential bride would shop at or their favorite venues. Think about the relationships that you can start to cultivate with some of these vendors and venues and then network and collaborate with them
5. Do Market Research and Interview your ideal client: This could be someone that you’ve worked with previously who was a dream client. Or maybe you found someone on Instagram who seems like your dream client and fits the criteria (right age, likes to have a lot of fun or they’re quirky or edgy). Talk to them and ask them a series of pointed questions. Here are some questions you could use if your niche is wedding photography:
- Where do you look for wedding inspiration?
- When you are thinking about hiring a vendor, what is most important to you?
- What are some of the wedding vendor websites that you have visited and why do they kind of draw your attention? Or are there any that you visited that you were just like absolutely no?
- Where do you go for recommendations or referrals?
Customize your questions to fit the actual things and information that you need to find out from your ideal clients. No matter how awkward it may feel in doing this interview, it’s really important to get this information as you will know where you should be focusing your time and energy on
6. Show What You Want To Shoot: We don’t think about the value and importance of only showing what we want to shoot. Remember, you don’t have to share photos of shoots you don’t like. If you’re afraid about making that client feel bad that you didn’t share it on their Instagram or anything like that, don’t feel bad. It’s your business, you show what you want to shoot.
For example, only show weddings on your website and Instagram if you’re a wedding photographer. You can do styled shoots and collaborate with vendors or wedding dress companies. These companies will loan out dresses in exchange for photos that they can use for their social media. It’s a win-win for both you and the company as you both will have amazing photos to post on your website and social media.
You can also to talk with a photographer who you admire and already have a connection with, or create a connection with this person. Ask them if you can tag along on a session with them and give them value by assisting them on the job and taking behind the scenes photos of them at work. This is another way you can build your portfolio for your website
7. Have A Clear & Concise Brand Position: This brand position must instantly convey who you serve and how you serve them. On your website, go into detail about your brand position and what sets you apart from the competition. With Instagram you only get so many characters, so definitely use them wisely. If Instagram is an area you are still struggling with, I have a free masterclass about Instagram planning so check it out right away.
8. Blogging to Attract Clients: Blogging is powerful in helping to attract new clients. Once you have a blog and once you learn SEO, you can really start to get those Google inquiries. Don’t assume everything will come from social media and word of mouth, people may actually find you on Google and the inquiries may turn into actual bookings
9. Using Hashtags On Instagram: Use different hashtags for different types of photos. For example, when you’re doing wedding photos, use some wedding hashtags as well as some local and global hashtags as well. Also think about what you will be saying in the caption and use hashtags for that.
Do your hashtag research and ensure that it’s not an oversaturated hashtag. Don’t use hashtags that have over 500,000 posts as your post will be lost in a sea of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of posts. On the flip side, you want to make sure that your hashtags are not too micro, meaning that there’s less than 50,000 posts.
Please understand that you’re not the photographer for everyone, and you don’t want to be the photographer for everyone. You want to ensure that you are enjoying your job and the clients that you work with, and it’s just not possible to be the best at every type of photography. So consider these tips:
- Choose Your Niche: Get specific on what you want to do and who you want to serve. As you only show one type of photography, you’re going to start to repel people who don’t fit into that ideal niche.
- Messaging: On your website, state clearly who you serve, and who you don’t serve. It’s really important for people to know instantly when they come to your website, if they will be a good fit with you. Remember you are free to repel people who you don’t mesh with.
- Educating Your Clients On Your Process And Boundaries: Once you have informed them on how you operate, if they seem to push back on it, or you see red flags with a potential client, it’s okay to repel by saying no. It might feel hard as you are turning down money, but at the end of the day, you don’t want to spend your energy on a bad client when you could be much more happier serving your ideal client.
I hope that you have found value in this information. I hope that you are feeling encouraged to nail down that ideal target client and start to think through how are you going to attract and repel clients. If you’ve enjoyed today’s post, I would love for you share this with other mamas and tag me on Instagram @thepurposegathering, and even leave a review if you feel so inclined.
Until next time Mama, I am here rooting for you, and you are not alone on this journey.