How to Determine Your Ideal Client

For Photographers

Quick! Can you tell me exactly who your ideal client is?

If not, don’t fret. You are NOT alone. In fact, so many photographers have no idea who their ideal client is.

Let me tell you something.

When I first started my business, I would have told you that my ideal client was anyone who wanted to pay me to take photos. It didn’t matter if it was photos of a horse or a newborn baby or a plate of pancakes. You were my ideal client because you had money.

Are you in this phase of your biz? If so, don’t worry! We all start there, but the faster you can get clear on who the heck you really want to work with, the quicker your work and business will seem like the perfect fit for your dream client.

Ok, so how are you going to figure this out?

Here are 4 ways to determine and get crystal clear on your dream client : 

1. Analyze past clients

Have you worked with a past client that you LOVED working with? If so, start here. Brainstorm why you liked working them.

What was this person like? Why did you like working with them? Was it because they had killer style and came dressed to the nines for their session or was it because they 100% trusted you at their photoshoot?

What does his/her weekends look like? What is his/her day-to-day?  Where do they shop? Where do they live – city / suburbs? Do they have a pet? Get as detailed as you can on all the things so that you get inside their head. 

2. Create a dream client 

Maybe you haven’t worked with your dream client yet, and that is totally ok. You will get there. But first you need to know who that person is so when they email you, you are ready to win them over.

You are going to get really creative here and you are going to make up a person. I know this sounds crazy, but trust me on this.

Make up a name for this person. And think of all the things you want to know about her/him. Get really specific. How old is this person? What do they do for work? What do they value? 

Maybe you even know someone who is your dream client but you haven’t worked with them. Brainstorm why you want to work with them and then put yourself in their shoes so you can totally understand them.

3. Take a closer look in your industry

Check out blog posts, social media comments and websites of other photographers and creatives. Who are they talking to? Are they talking to the same type of person you really want to work with or are they talking to someone completely different? Use this an inspiration on who might be your ideal person to work with.

4. Get to know this person like he/she is your BFF

Truth be told, I actually believe you should know your dream client even better than your BFF.

So how the heck do you do that? Answer these questions and then keep going.

  • What is this person’s age?
  • What is this person’s gender?
  • What is this person’s marital status?
  • What is this person’s level of education?
  • Where do they live? What’s their neighborhood like?
  • Where do they hang out both #IRL and on the internet? 
  • What is this person’s annual income?
  • What type of work does this person do?
  • Is this person self-employed or does he/she work for a company?
  • Does this person have children?
  • Does this person have any pets? If so, what type and how many?
  • What does this person like to do when they aren’t working? Tell me about their passions / hobbies?
  • What does he/she watch on TV / Netflix?
  • Where do they get information from? Social media, blogs, newspapers,
  • What brands do they like? 
  • Where does this person shop? (For clothes / groceries / quick errands)
  • What kind of car does their person drive?
  • Where does this person go on vacation?
  • What does their day-to-day look like?
  • Does this person belong to a country club, church, charity events, church?
  • What is important to them? What do he/she value?
  • What makes them happy?
  • What would people be surprised to find out about this person?
  • How does is person talk? What words do they use?
  • What are they struggling with or what keeps them up at night?
  • What are they looking for when it comes to the service / product you offer?
  • What recently happened that made this person search for information as it directly relates to what you offer?
  • What did this person already try that didn’t work and is the reason he or she is coming to you?

    Ok, so now … I want you to *really* take action on figuring this out.

    Before you click off this blog post, I want you to carve out one hour on your calendar (for real – jump over to it and schedule this task or better yet, stop and just do it now) to get SUPER clear on who your ideal client is.

    Open up a google document and list out all the different types of services and products you offer, and then answer these questions for each dream client you want to work with. If you offer more than one service or product, you will more than likely have more than one dream client.

    Overwhelmed? Start with figuring out who your ONE dream client is for the service or product you offer that makes up most of your business.

    For me, I focus a lot on my brides because weddings are more than half of my business. But because I photograph weddings, families and boudoir sessions, I have three different dream clients for each of these services. I make sure I communicate and serve differently. A lot of my wedding clients become boudoir clients and then family clients years later, but I still know exactly who that person is when they are in each phase of working with me.

    Interested in more FREE resources to kick-start your marketing and biz. Be sure to check out the 7 books I totally recommend to help you grow your business this year.

     

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