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ROH: The Secret to Truly Effective Marketing

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We’re continuing our 4-part series with Jeff and Erin Youngren. In their second post, they dive into how you can effectively market your business and brand to attract your ideal client! If you missed out on the the first blog of this series, access that here. Happy reading!

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Businesses and corporations make decisions based on ROI – Return on Investment. They ask themselves questions like, ‘How much return will I receive if I invest some money in more equipment? If I build a new factory? If I hire a new employee?’

Consumers, on the other hand, make decisions based on what I like to call ROH or ‘Return on Happiness.’ If you are a wedding photographer, then your clients are consumers – not businesses or corporations – so they don’t make decisions the same way that corporations do.

As a consumer, I don’t walk into an Anthropologie store to buy a dress because I will receive a bigger financial return on my investment than if I bought a dress elsewhere. No, I buy the relatively expensive dress from Anthropologie because I believe that it will make me happier than other dresses. Are they quality? Yes. Do they look fantastic? Yep. Are there other less expensive dresses in the world that will look just as nice? Of course.

When I shop at Anthropologie, I have a picture in my head of what will make me happy, and through their branding, marketing, and email campaigns, Anthropologie has inserted themselves into my ‘picture of happiness’ and helped me feel that their clothes are the solution.

Anthropologie is an example of an effective marketing machine (as least as it applies to me), and I believe this to be true: Truly effective marketing is when your clients’ picture of happiness and your services intersect.

Related: 5 Ways to Create a Win with Client Referrals

Fulfill your Ideal Client’s Picture of Happiness

Guess what? As a wedding photographer, your ideal clients are consumers, and consumers have pictures of happiness in their heads that they are trying to fulfill with ideal vendors. Your goal, then, is to actively insert your services into your clients’ pictures of happiness. But you don’t want to intersect with just any picture of happiness out there. The ultimate WIN for your marketing strategy is for your business to fulfill the picture of happiness for your ideal client.

You do this through your website, your blog, your images, your social media feeds, and your customer service by not only connecting with your target audience on their likes and dislikes, but by connecting with them on their deeper values.

Yes, you should post images on your Instagram feed that your ideal clients will enjoy (and hopefully turn potential not-so-ideal clients off), but in order to effectively fulfill a picture of happiness, you want your ideal clients to believe that you not only understand their values, you actually have similar values, too.

Related: 5 Tips for Using Instagram for your Business

You do this by writing captions for those Instagram images that speak to value statements instead of just surface qualities. Instead of saying, “I love this beach ceremony from my destination wedding last month”, think about a caption that says, “Beach+10 friends+marrying the man of your dreams in Costa Rica=perfection.” This second caption speaks to intimacy and romance and adventure which might be strong values of your ideal client.

Focus and Connect on Values

Find as many ways as you can to connect with your ideal clients on their values instead of just superficial characteristics through well-crafted copy, focused imagery, and thoughtful content, and you will find that your business will start intersecting with your ideal clients on the right levels.

In this way, you will begin to realize profitable returns on your marketing investments, because your ideal clients will begin realizing returns on their investments in happiness by hiring YOU.

One last note that I must mention: Master marketers go even farther than this. Master marketers are the ones that don’t just insert themselves into the pictures of happiness that their customers have created. They are ones that are actively creating the pictures of happiness FOR them. These are the trendsetters and the dreamers.

Someday, when I grow up, I want that to be me. It isn’t me yet, but I still have some years left in my photographer self to make it happen.

Jeff and I believe in discovering your ideal client so much, that we are developing a online video course, so that all of you out there can find your target audience, too. That course is coming to our photographer site soon, so sign up for our newsletter to be notified when it launches.

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Spending time creating desirable products and services allows you to attract more ideal clients that will help you grow your business. For you spend an adequate amount of time on your specialized services, it’s important to have more free time in your busy schedule. To achieve this, partner with a specialist for your wedding photo editing services to eliminate hours of post production work.

For more information on how to effectively market your wedding photography business, download our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers!

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