Photo Tips

3 Steps to Finding Your Ideal Client

March 19, 2020

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When it comes to your ideal client, does it ever feel like this elusive idea that seems unattainable to figure out?! Like it sounds great to talk about, but how does this actually look in action, and how in the world are you supposed to figure this out?

Today I’m sharing three steps to finding out WHO your ideal client is. Once you know who you’re serving, your marketing and everything you do in your business becomes like a clear picture of what to do next.

Your ideal client goes WAY beyond just where they shop and what colors they like… we’re going to start with TWO other things first before we get to anything aesthetically. I think it can be really tempting for photographers to just focus on the aesthetic, but ultimately, if the PEOPLE you’re working with aren’t clients you love, you’ll eventually feel burnt out and not connecting with your clients on a deeper level. So let’s jump right in!

STEP 1: Think about what kinds of VALUES you want your clients to have. The values you want your clients to have should align with your OWN values. This will allow you to attract people who are similar to what you love and treasure and you’ll just GET them on a different level because you value similar things on a deeper level.

For example, one of my values is really treasuring marriage and how amazing it is. I make this SUCH a focus in my business and share about it on my website, Instagram, Facebook, investment guide, literally everywhere! I want couples to know that this is something I value on a deeper level and I tend to attract couples who also value this in the wedding planning process.

STEP 2: What strengths do you have that could serve your clients really well? What things are you NATURALLY good at that can be such a gift in the way you serve other people?

For example, I am very organized and detail-oriented. These are strengths of mine that tend to come naturally to me. I share all the time about these strengths and how it’s really a vital part of the process of working with me! My couples not only get a photographer, but someone who is their go-to girl to help them organize their timeline, family formals, and on the day of, I’m going to be there to help them through the logistics of all the things happening that day! In no way am I also a wedding planner, but on the photography end of things, I can be their guide and help them along the way.

Another strength of mine I was able to put words to after taking the Strengths Finder test (highly recommend!) is individualization. Essentially, it’s very easy for me to remember little details about people or things they say. In my business, this translates into an experience where I genuinely CARE about them and it’s easy for me to show that. This is why I talk about a genuine wedding photography experience all over my marketing and words on my website!

Essentially, you want to answer THIS QUESTION: How can I fix my couple’s “problems” (beyond just having good photos)? What can I do to alleviate any stresses they have during their experience with me?

Because I’ve narrowed in on these strengths of mine, my brides even have started to SAY that I am organized, detail oriented, etc.! It’s crazy!!! They truly feel SO loved by their experience with me, because I was able to effectively market these things. I “get” them on a deeper level that they truly appreciate!

STEP 3: What kinds of weddings do you want to shoot? Now we’re getting into the aesthetics of things! After VALUES and using your STRENGTHS to fix PROBLEMS, what do you want to photograph? There is a HUGE difference between an adventurous elopement on the top of a mountain and a classic ballroom wedding with 200 guests.

With the images you put anywhere, you want to ask this question: Can my ideal bride & groom envision themselves in this photo? When a couple is on your website, you want them to think, “YES, this is the kind of wedding I want to plan!” The kinds of dresses they wear, the style of venues they choose (even narrowing down to specific venues in your area and “showcasing” these!), the shoes they wear, the details they choose, the colors they have. All of this should be taken into consideration when choosing images! Not only choosing images that are your best work, but ALSO where your couple can see themselves in the photo and, ideally, that you have experience working at their venue.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: Once you’ve pieced these three things together, you want to filter EVERYTHING you put out through these three things. The images you put out, the words you say, the things you emphasize about your wedding experience. Use these three rings as a filter and whether they align with your personal brand.

Bonus tip: I know it can be overwhelming to think about all of this, especially when you’re starting out! I will say, the more clients you work with, the CLEARER understanding you have of your ideal client. The better you can envision them and KNOW the kinds of people you love working with. Your ideal client can (and SHOULD) always be evolving and changing as your business grows!

The ultimate goal is to attract clients that want you because you’re using your strengths to give them experience that they LOVE, you get them on a deeper level because you have the same values, and you shoot their “kind” of wedding all the time! This allows you to stand out in your market, grow your business, raise your prices, and stop the comparison game with other photographers because you are confident in YOU.

Which of these three steps was the most helpful you? Comment below and let me know! I’d love to know how this post helped you!

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