Before establishing an effective wedding photography business, you have to know who you are trying to attract, and most importantly, who your ideal clients are. Ideal clients are your dream clients – they are your target audience, most preferred consumers, and your biggest fans.
In our recent Discovering Your Ideal Client Webinar, wedding photographers Jeff and Erin Youngren discussed how ideal clients bring joy and satisfaction to your business and become the reason behind why you love what you do. Here are 5 helpful tips on how to discover your ideal clients.
1. Profile Yourself
Profiling yourself will help you identify similar interests that your ideal client shares. Since you have your wedding photo editing outsourced to a specialist, you have more free time to start thinking about yourself what’s important to you. Do you value creativity or simplicity? What are the reasons behind your decisions? How do you spend your money and free time? When profiling yourself, you are figuring out what your core values and beliefs are. Writing down these qualities about yourself will make your profiling process much easier. Chances are, some of your same values, hobbies and beliefs will be the same as your ideal clients.
Tip: Find out what your hobbies and interests are – these are important details to know about yourself! This way, when you come across an ideal client who shares similar interests, you can connect with them in ways that nobody else can.
2. Profile Your Current Clients
As your client list grows, it is important to know who your target audience is. Discovering your ideal client becomes much easier when you know who you are marketing your services to. The best way to do this is to profile your current clients. The Youngrens call this process P.R.C.
- Profitable – Look through your list of clients. Who was the most profitable and paid you the amount that you asked for your services?
- Referable – Which of your clients referred you the most to their network of friends and family? Who talks about you and your services the most?
- Connection – Determine which clients you had the strongest connection with. This connection could be stemmed from you having similar interests or values.
Tip: Write down all of your favorite clients that qualify with the 3 points above. These clients are likely to have great networks filled with other qualifying clients.
3. Profile Your Ideal Client Anatomy
Creating a profile for your ideal client will help you identify them when they present themselves to you. A great way to do this is to design what the Youngrens call your “ideal client anatomy.” When you create an anatomy, your goal is to successfully describe your ideal client in one complete sentence.
When designing anatomies, take your time and understand that not all ideal clients are the same. Write down the specific details that compose your ideal client. These details can range from their background to the neighborhood they grew up in to their views on money. Most importantly, what do you desire to be their commonalities and values?
4. Know Your Ideal Client’s Economy of Weird
Jeff and Erin’s reference to Seth Godin’s book, “We’re All Weird” is a great tool for discovering ideal clients for your wedding photography business. Godin shares the importance of a person’s “weird” and their level of “rich,” which can directly be applied to your potential clients.
A client’s “weird” is what specific place or market they like to spend their money on, and it can consist of specific habits, likes, or styles. It is your job to uncover how your client likes to spend their time and money, and most importantly, WHY. Learning what your ideal client’s “weird” is will help you attract them to your wedding photography services.
The term “rich” means more than just the amount of money your clients have or their economical status. When a client is “rich,” they have all of their basic needs met and have the ability to make decisions about how they want to live their life. When it comes to weddings, “rich” clients decide what photographer they want based on the photographer’s Signature Style and personality, rather than being driven by price.
As a wedding photographer, find out what your client’s “rich” and “weird” are. Ask yourself how “rich” your ideal client is, and what qualities contribute to their “weird?” When your ideal clients are rich, they are likely in the position to spend their money on their “weird” preferences. When this is the case, they will select your services because you relate to their “weird.”
5. Increase Your Client’s ROH
Where ROI (return on investment) relates you as a business owner, ROH is what the Youngrens call “return on happiness,” which relates to your clients. Your clients operate on how they feel about you and your products, along with whether or not your wedding photography will bring them happiness. In order to increase your client’s ROH, you must understand their picture of happiness. How can you and your service make your clients happiest in return?
Your goal as a wedding photographer is to intersect your ideal client’s picture of happiness with the quality of your services. This will elevate your wedding photography business as well as your search for ideal clients.
Tip: Once you determine what your client’s picture of happiness is, show your clients that you are their ideal wedding photographer. Take their photos at selected vendors and posts specific images on your blog and website that will attract your ideal clients etc.
Every photographer has a specific client that fits into their idea of a perfect world. When working with your ideal clients on a consistent basis, you are on the road to professional fulfillment and happiness. When your goal is to discover clients that are as close to your ideal as possible, your clients will notice how passionate you are about them. In turn, you are more likely to provide them with the best photography they will ever experience. Discover how to create a clear and unique brand message to share with ideal clients with our Guide, 7 Branding Mistakes Wedding Photographers Make (and How to Fix Them)!