This question seems straightforward, but it is actually loaded with many other smaller questions. Your ideal client is someone you should know very well – you need to know what they are looking for, their motivations and their personal taste or brand. Knowing this also helps to define who you are as a business and the type of service you want to provide.
Profiling your ideal client will be helpful to your business. Like many personal services, photography is one where a lot of trust needs to be developed between photographer and client. The more you know about your client the better you can tailor your service and possibly establish a connection more efficiently.
Think about your own relationships and the small details that you know about your friends and family when you’re shopping for a gift. You take into consideration what they need, what they would appreciate and why they would like it.
Perhaps you are a wedding photographer trying to get more wedding photography clients. You want to reach women between the ages of 28 and 39, who are in long term relationships or are engaged and have a certain level of income. How do these women spend their social or recreational time? Where do they shop? Where do they hang out? What kind of research do they do when they’re looking for a wedding photographer? Maybe they frequent certain salons or yoga studios. All these details are important to find out when creating a profile of your ideal client.
Once you have a clear picture of who your ideal client is you should now be able to know where to start your search. There are many avenues you might look into, and almost everyone will go online for their initial search, but it is also worthwhile to look at what’s around you.
Word of Mouth Referrals
The best place to start is with the clients you already have, especially those clients you’ve worked with in the past that fit your ideal clientele. Make sure you have a referral program in place so you can start getting leads. Offer incentives if they send business your way. They are also great sources of information for questions you might have posed for identifying your ideal client.
Is there a particular neighborhood where there are many young couples who are possibly engaged or are in long term relationships? Or maybe young families who are interested in getting some shots of their newborn baby or children? Where do they socialize? Who do they know? It might be possible to advertise and even network with local businesses where your target audience is likely to gather.
Social Media Platforms
Aside from launching your own Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram accounts you might like to look into existing ones to see who is following them. Have a look at what posts are most popular, the types of hash tags used and the types of interest groups that exist where your target audience might interact. Following certain pages could also attract a following to your own sites.
Creating a compelling blog is another way to attract an audience. It’s a great way to showcase your photos, create a community around your brand and connect with your audience without it feeling like you are directly advertising your photography business. Keep in mind that this will be like a marathon, not a sprint. You will reap the rewards over time. Plus, it will be great for your SEO and helping your business get found in Google.
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