Photography Marketing Tip of the Week

One of the ten commandments of marketing is “Know Thy Customer.”  Without having a thorough understanding of who you are trying to attract, you are not very likely to capture many ideal clients.  Yes, you might still find some, much like a blind archer with an unlimited amount of arrows will sometimes find the target…but it’s not something you want to bank your career, family, and lifestyle on.

As you know, this is something that I talk about a lot.  Mostly because so many photographers fail miserably when it comes to this.

Today, I wanted to share 10 questions that will help you gain a deeper understanding about those specific people that you are trying to attract.  (You can download the .pdf here)

Now, obviously I don’t have the time to go into each of these 10 questions but I would like to discuss 2 of them.

1. What keeps them up at night, indigestion boiling up in their esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling? 

This is a POWERFUL question to be able to ask and answer for your ideal clients because it allows you to address their most painful concerns head on.  And when you do that, you automatically gain their attention and establish instant credibility. All of a sudden, these potential clients want to hear from you, want to know what you have to say, are eager to engage in a conversation.

For example, let’s say you are trying to book a commercial gig with a large corporation and you’ve been working with the event coordinator in their marketing department.  After conversations and study you discover that one of things that’s really eating her up is how much work (and consequently stress) she is under to organize, execute, and manage the follow up that goes along with each event.

How would this knowledge help you in your ability to market to this person? Such insight now gives you an insider’s edge on solutions that you can propose to help make the event go more smoothly, relieve the responsibility and stress that she is under, and establish trust in your abilities as a photographer and event partner. In other words, it gives you effective ammunition to combat those late-night worries and make her feel better and more confident about working with you.

6. What do they secretly, ardently desire the most?

This question focuses on the outcomes and transformations that you clients are desperately hoping for. Sticking with the above example, our event coordinator might be wishing not only that the event might go off smoothly, but more importantly that she gets recognized for how seamless everything was, and that all of her hard work gets validated.

Now, as a photographer, you might be thinking that you only play a small part in that end result. But what if you came up with a way to play a more instrumental role in accomplishing that objective?

For example, what if you decided to go above and beyond your contracted agreement and provided a photo print of some of the highlights of the event to the top executives (basically the boss(es) of the event coordinator) and provided a rave review of the coordinator you worked with, detailing all of her great qualities.

How would that change the perception that the event coordinator has of you? It would be a MASSIVE change.  She would see that not only did you address her immediate need of stellar photography but more importantly, you addressed her long-term goals of company recognition and personal validation….All because of YOU.

Next time an event comes up, who do you think she is going to reach out to? Yep, your face is going to instantly pop up the moment she starts thinking about her next event.

Go deep with your customers. Always be on the lookout for more information about them…in meetings, in conversations, via industry articles. Then apply what you learn to create a more effective, more appealing, more personalized marketing message that speaks directly to them.

Again, you can download the entire .pdf of all 10 profiling questions here. 

Love to hear your comments and insights below!