Photography Tips: Defining Your Ideal Client
One of my top photography tips I like to teach to my mentees: figure out who your ideal client is.
Now, what is an “ideal client” you may ask?
Maybe you’ve heard the term before, or something similar – client avatar, target audience, etc.
The basic definition of an ideal client: the ideal person you want to be serving in your business. Pretty simple, right? It’s not as complicated as you might think!
As a business owner, you just can’t serve EVERYONE. You can try, but you won’t be able to successfully, no matter how much you might want to. Because let’s be real: you’re not the right photographer for everyone! Just like every client who inquires with you might not be the right client for you.
The Importance of Defining Your Ideal Client
Defining your ideal client is SO dang important for a few reasons.
- So that you know exactly who you’re targeting with your content.
- This could mean through Instagram stories, feed posts/captions, your website, etc. Stop talking to the masses and start talking directly to your ideal client!
- It’ll help you decide what to share/post – everything you share should be interesting or valuable to your ideal client in some way. It should be relatable, educational, shareable, etc.
- Speaking to your ideal client will not only attract the right clients, but repel those that might not be a good fit. If a client finds you that you don’t think you’re the best fit for, they should be able to recognize that and find someone who can best serve them!
What do you take into account when defining your ideal client?
- Values – is it important to you to work with clients who value the same things you do?
- Personality – do you mesh well with people who are more outgoing, or more quiet? Do you work better with introverts or extroverts, or does it matter to you?
- Beliefs – do you find it important to work with clients who share similar beliefs as you? Whether that means political, religious, or simple morals/ethics, determine whether that’s an important factor to you.
- Likes/dislikes – what is your ideal client interested in?
- Logistics – does your ideal client live in a certain location? Are they a certain age? Gender? In a relationship? Single? In a certain stage of life?
**Now pause real quick!**
Before you continue reading, I recommend you go read my recent post that talks about the Power of Finding Your Niche first! In order to determine who your ideal client is, you need to first niche down in your business and get specific with who you want to serve. This blog goes fully in depth on that topic – once you read that, then come back to this one and keep on readin’!
Why You Aren’t for Everyone
Now that you’ve learned all about the importance of niching down your business and focusing on one to two specialties, you know that your style and way of working is aligned with certain people, and NOT with others. And that is OKAY – it’s actually great and totally means you’re on the right track!
Let’s get into the nitty gritty —
If you’re booking tons of random jobs that don’t get you super excited to shoot, it could be that you & those clients aren’t the right fit. They might technically fall under your niche – e.g. you’re a wedding photographer, and you’re photographing their wedding! But just because they’re in need of the services you provide, does not mean you’re going to be a great fit.
Think about if you’re going to get a simple haircut: you could go to any hair salon, because they all can serve you and solve your problem – that you need your hair cut shorter.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll all fit exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re a woman, but you go to a salon that only serves men. You’re not their ideal client. Or maybe you go to a salon that is super outgoing and the stylists are talkative, but you’d rather sit quietly and get your haircut in peace. You might not be a perfect fit.
See what I mean? A client can fall under your niche, but at the same time, not be the right fit for you.
How to Define Your Ideal Client
In order to start defining your ideal client, you need to really get to know your brand and the kind of work you truly want to be doing.
What were some past weddings or sessions that lit your heart on fire? As in, you could not get home soon ENOUGH to edit some sneak peeks? Those clients are likely your ideal clients.
Take note of how you feel after certain jobs: do you feel fulfilled? Excited? Or just kinda . . . meh?
These feelings are important to take into account when starting to define your ideal client.
Now, let’s take it a step further: I’ve got an exercise for you to do to help you define your ideal client!
Here’s what I want you to do:
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen, or open up a Google Doc on your computer.
- Create a client avatar: fully break down the persona of your ideal client. You can create multiple avatars if you serve a few different types of clients, too!
- Include things such as their:
- Stage in life
- Income level
- Personal style/favorite places to shop
- Relationship status
- You can also do this in the form of a Pinterest board if you’d like!
This will help you fully visualize this person whenever you’re sharing content with the world.
- Would my ideal client enjoy this content?
- Does this content serve my ideal client & help them in some way/solve a problem for them?
- Would this content make my ideal client more likely to book me?
Put it Into Action
Now that you’ve started defining your ideal client, it’s time to put it into action!
- Share what you want to shoot – if your ideal client is engaged couples who need wedding photographers, stop posting newborn photos!
- Update your website copy as if you were just chatting with your ideal client – think of them as a friend!
- Talk directly to your ideal client on your Instagram stories – say “you” instead of “you guys.” It’ll make it so much more personal!
Whew, I know that was a lot of photography tips & information!! But it’s SO key to define who your ideal client is and to start serving them as best as you can. You’ll be much happier serving people who adore you, and your clients will be much happier knowing that you’re a perfect fit for them!