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Photography Marketing When Your Ideal Client Changes

Here are some things to consider for photography marketing when your ideal client changes and you need to update!

How do you market when you are no longer the ideal client? With John Mansfield, we’ll cover how you can still effectively market when you’re no longer your ideal client, what it entails in terms of marketing plan and strategy, we’ll provide valuable insights on how to navigate this scenario. Our lives change and we grow, so does our business too, so we need to learn how to navigate these times effectively.

Being your own ideal client

When starting a business, many entrepreneurs often find themselves initially targeting clients who are quite similar to themselves. This is because, in the early stages, marketing can be challenging, and one may not have a clear understanding of their ideal client. As a result, you may end up putting out messages and content that you personally find appealing, assuming others will feel the same way.

Initially marketing to yourself can be somewhat effective, especially if your target audience shares similarities with you. However, as your business expands and evolves, so does your target client or market. Their needs, preferences, and demographics may change over time. If you continue solely marketing to your own preferences, you risk missing out on reaching and connecting with your actual target audience.

As your business grows, try to regularly reassess and refine your understanding of your ideal client. Carry out market research, gather data, and analyze feedback to identify the evolving needs and desires of your target audience. By staying attentive and adapting your marketing strategies accordingly, you can ensure that your efforts are directed effectively toward the right audience, increasing your chances of success and growth.

Reevaluating your ideal client

We’re at a point where it’s easy to be multi-passionate and you don’t have to niche down as much. So how often should you reevaluate your ideal client in this current market?

Taking time annually or on your business anniversary or every quarter of the year to evaluate your progress and plans for the future can be helpful. January, being the start of a new year, offers an ideal opportunity to reflect on your business’s past performance and identify areas for improvement. This introspective process helps you discern what strategies were successful and what needs adjustment. Embracing this practice ensures that you maintain a clear vision for your business’s growth.

One essential aspect of this yearly assessment is understanding your target client. Your target client is the specific audience your products or services cater to. As your business evolves, so can your target client. This may be influenced by changes in industry trends, customer preferences, or even the evolution of your own business model.

For some entrepreneurs, like those who started their businesses in a particular month like April, it makes sense to evaluate their progress around the same time each year. Reflecting on how your business has grown since its inception can provide valuable insights into your target client’s shifting needs and preferences.

Identifying that target client

However, identifying your target client is not a one-time task. External factors, such as attending workshops, hiring coaches, or consuming educational content, can bring various creative changes to your business. When implementing new strategies, it becomes important for you to question whether your current target client aligns with these changes. If your marketing efforts are not yielding the desired results, it may be an indication that you need to reassess your target audience.

Collaborating with others, such as a business coach, can be immensely helpful in this process. By engaging in deep conversations and analyzing your marketing strategies, you can gain fresh perspectives and discover if your current approach effectively communicates with your intended audience.

In the process of marketing, many beginners tend to adopt a “throw spaghetti at the wall” approach, hoping that their ideal clients will miraculously find them. However, it’s important to recognize that potential clients hold the power to choose whom they want to engage with before even considering your services. So, relying on a passive approach won’t yield desirable results. Be proactive and seek opportunities actively. Understanding your ideal client plays a pivotal role in this process.

Different marketing to your ideal client

When figuring out your ideal client, you have a lot of different factors that go into that and understanding your ideal client, these several factors play a crucial role as well. While some experts recommend going into great detail by creating an avatar complete with a name, age range, gender, and a detailed backstory, this approach may be overwhelming and overly specific for some. Instead, you can use a more practical method that involves identifying your target client based on their preferred style of photography, relevant age range, and understanding their desires and pain points.

For example, if you are a wedding photographer, your target clients are likely to fall within a certain age range but know that they won’t all fit into a single age group. Find the balance between targeting a specific audience and casting too narrow. Understand what motivates and excites your potential clients, as it enables you to tailor your marketing efforts to address their needs effectively.

Value alignment is a powerful consideration when identifying your ideal client. Beyond superficial characteristics, such as extroverted or introverted personalities, what truly matters is whether your approach to photography and your values align with those of your potential clients. Shared values bring about stronger connections and trust, making them more likely to choose you as their photographer.

Avoid confining your ideal client to a rigid, predetermined box. Appreciate the diversity in potential clients and focus on the common values and aspirations that transcend these differences. This inclusive perspective allows for a broader and more dynamic understanding of your target audience, paving the way for a more successful and fulfilling client-photographer relationship.

A broader client perspective

As a wedding photographer you may be focused mainly on brides addressing them with phrases like “Hey girl” or “Hey bride.” However,  this approach excludes potential clients who might be grooms or people involved in the wedding planning. After receiving inquiries from men looking for photography services, you can understand the importance of speaking to a broader audience.

When considering your photography style, understand your target clients. For example, your ideal couples are those who exude joy and love, and so they prefer warm, cozy images taken outdoors. This creates a unique clientele that differs significantly from someone like Chewy, a photographer known for dark, edgy, and moody shots, often featuring couples in unconventional poses.

Identifying your target client and understanding their preferences is essential. It allows you to effectively communicate with them on your website and blog posts. Your choice of words, tone, and overall messaging should resonate with the kind of clients you wish to attract. By doing this, you can build a stronger connection with your audience and draw in those who align with your photography style and vision.

Your target clients will differ from Chewy’s, and that’s perfectly fine. Knowing your ideal client helps you tailor your content to attract those who are genuinely interested in the type of photography you offer. So, take the time to define your target audience and use this understanding to create a compelling online presence that speaks directly to the right people.

Minor adjustments

Making minor adjustments to the way you speak about your business on your website or page can have a big impact on attracting the right people to your photography business. People tend to connect with those who share similar interests and personalities. For example, if you’re a fun-loving and joyful person who enjoys comedy shows, using your own voice on your website will attract like-minded individuals.

Identify your ideal client and tailor your communication to suit their preferences. If your target audience seeks a fun and lighthearted experience, your copy should reflect that. Imagine speaking directly to them, explaining how your photography will playfully capture their love, like a date night with a camera capturing their joyful moments.

Use compelling copy

Words play a significant role in marketing, even for visual artists like photographers. While some photographers excel at using words, many find it challenging since they tend to be more visually oriented. A well-crafted and compelling copy can have a powerful effect, helping you to convert potential clients into actual customers.

Focus on what your clients will gain from your photography services, instead of emphasizing yourself, emphasize the benefits they’ll experience. For instance, you might talk about how your photography will create lasting memories of their special moments. You might not necessarily be your own ideal client, so while speaking to people with similar personalities comes naturally, it can be more challenging to communicate with those who have different preferences. However, understand your target audience and tailor your approach to match their preferences and that will help you attract the right clients for your photography business.

In attracting and connecting with potential clients, it’s necessary to understand their preferences and communication style. For example, using Chewy as an example, his direct and assertive approach appeals to certain couples. This highlights the significance of tailoring your messaging to suit your target clients, even if they differ from your personal style. As your business grows and gains experience, your target audience might change. To reach them effectively, you need to adapt your marketing strategies. This includes utilizing social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, creating SEO-friendly blogs, and collaborating with other vendors to connect with your audience where they find value.

Most effective marketing strategies for ideal clients

The first one is focusing on your websites. Focusing on your website is extremely important for your business. While it may be tempting to rely solely on social media for instant gratification with likes, comments, and shares, your website serves as your online home where you can build a stronger connection with your audience.

Update your website regularly, even though it might require some effort, especially if web design is not your expertise. Think of your website as an invitation to your visitors. It’s like welcoming them into your home, where they can get to know you better and explore your portfolio. Keep your website’s images up-to-date and aligned with your marketing strategy, targeting your ideal clients. As you grow and evolve, your style may change, and your website should reflect that. Your website acts as a portfolio of your work, showcasing what you do best and what resonates with your target audience.

On social media, focus on speaking to your audience about their needs and experiences, rather than just promoting yourself. Understand what your clients want, and address how you can help them achieve it. This personalized approach will establish a deeper connection with your potential clients. Your website is where people can learn more about you, your services, and your expertise. It’s an opportunity to create a lasting impression and gain the trust of your visitors. So, invest time and effort in maintaining and updating your website to make it an effective tool for your business success.

Final advice

John is a huge community builder, he loves community, building people up, and making connections. He believes that this is monumental in the industry. Building a strong community is significant in photography. So create connections and friendships with fellow photographers, vendors, and various groups as this can be fulfilling and beneficial, bringing you numerous advantages as a photographer. 

Being a community builder involves supporting and uplifting others while forming meaningful relationships. By establishing strong bonds with fellow photographers, a network of mutual referrals can be developed. When you have clients that don’t match your target market, you can refer them to your photographer friends, and they can do the same for you. This collaboration ensures everyone’s chances of success and growth in the industry.

Building connections with vendors and different groups, like engaged couples on Facebook, expands your reach and potential clientele. These relationships are not merely transactional; they’re based on a genuine desire to see others succeed. When one photographer or vendor flourishes, it elevates the entire industry and encourages collective progress. Surprisingly, many people undervalue this powerful marketing strategy. Yet, creating a supportive community can lead to numerous opportunities and abundant work for all involved.  Approach this with a natural, fun, and authentic demeanor, rather than solely as a means to gain referrals.

Embrace and utilize different marketing platforms and strategies to attract the ideal client, especially during times of your transition. 

To connect with John Mansfield and explore his expertise further, you can find him on Instagram here! He’s there all time, all day, every day. He also has a podcast for creative entrepreneurs and photographers, find it here!

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