Given a choice, most photographers would opt to attract high-end clients, or at least add high-end clients to their clientele. Assuming you’ve built up your skillset for creating a quality, professional product, it’s easier than you might think to transition your marketing to attract high-end clients. In fact, we’re going to show you how to do capitalize on your skills in five simple steps.
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Video: 5 Steps You Can Use Today to Attract High-End Clients
Step 1. Identify Your Ideal Client
You can’t effectively target a client if you don’t know who they are. Therefore, it’s imperative that you start by identifying your ideal client. You’ll need to know more about your potential clients than their income. For example, are you hoping to serve South Asian Brides? Or maybe actors who want headshots? What about mothers looking for fine art newborn portraits? Each of these clients is uniquely different, though all might fall under the high-end clientele umbrella. Before we can design a website or other marketing touchpoints to appeal to these clients, we need to know who they are.
Step 2. Identify Your Ideal Client’s Tastes
Once you’ve identified your ideal clients, you need to understand their tastes in imagery. If you identified actors who want headshots as your ideal clients, for instance, you’ll need to gather samples of imagery that these actors would present online. If you identified Jewish brides, you’ll want to hop onto a high-end blog or magazine and study high-end Jewish weddings. Look for the types of images that these clients are posting, pinning, and sharing online. The images you find will serve as examples of the type of imagery you’ll likely need to create for these clients.
Step 3. Identify Your Ideal Client’s Brand Preferences
In order to attract your ideal clients, you’ll need to brand your business in a way that aligns with their brand preferences. The easiest way to do this is to look to other brands to recreate the experience and feeling that luxury brands create for their clients. Think about how car brands like BMW, Mercedes, or Acura market to their clients, or the approach that brands like Coach, Louis Vuitton, or Guess take. All of these brands have already done the leg work when it comes to how a luxury brand should look. From colors to typography, website design, and more, you want your brand to match the look and feel that other high-end brands offer. This will help your photography business build trust by looking and feeling familiar.
Step 4. Create an Ideal Client Persona
At this point, you should have a solid picture of who your client is. We’re now going to take the concept of our ideal clients a step further, documenting all of their typical, demographic details into a persona. This allows us to humanize them with our messaging and concept. Personas should include a name as well as a typical age range, occupation, household income, taste, and brand preferences. We want to develop a clear picture of exactly who it is that we’re trying to reach.
We’re going to create two to three of these personas for our business. If you’re planning to focus on photographing weddings, then all of your personas should be wedding clients, and so on.
Step 5. Build Messaging Around Your Ideal Client’s Persona
Using all of the information we’ve gathered and developed thus far, we need to build messaging to draw in our ideal clients. Keep the client personas you’ve created in front of you as you begin crafting your message.
You’ll begin with a short, one-line clarified message that defines who you are and what you do, and then you’ll work your way out. Place your clarified message on your homepage banner so that it’s the first thing your clients see. If your ideal client is adventure-seeking wedding couples, then your clarified message might sound something like this: “I document love for adventurous couples.” If your ideal client is an actor seeking headshots to use for getting gigs, your clarified message might sound more like this: “I create headshots that get you hired.”
Again, once you have a clarified message, you’ll work your way out through website copy, resources, and product design, and you’re going to speak to your ideal client personas. I often get asked to consult with photographers, to look at their website design, copy, portfolio, etc., and the first question I always respond with is this: “Who are you trying to market to?” The answer, which rides on the five steps outlined above, dictates the entire message and determines how successful the marketing assets will be.
[Related Reading: 7 Steps for Building a Unique Brand for Your Photography Business]
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