Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every wedding you shot was with clients that you felt you had known forever? If each of these events could have been taken right out of your dreams? Building a successful photography business doesn’t mean you have to work with just anyone who will book you. Engaging with your dream clients can become a reality in just a few easy steps.
It may sound strange, but before you can find the perfect client, you need to know who you are and what kind of photographer you want to be. Reflect on your passions, on the things that you truly love. Imagine your perfect work day. Really think about the details of what you love to do. Identify what you do and don’t want to do. Think critically about who you want to work with and why.
Photographer Kellie Coughlin shares:
“I’ve found that I have to BE my dream client in order to attract my dream client. Whenever I am in the position as “consumer” or “client,” I make every effort to treat that vendor exactly how I want my dream client to treat me. And when I have a client who I find less than dreamy, I take time after our interaction to really meditate on what made that client someone who I didn’t want to work with.”
“Anyone can copy what you do; no one can copy who you are. In truth, it’s not magic, though to outsiders it probably looks like it. The essence to making Specialism work for your business is that you must stand for something other than ‘making money’ to make this happen. Your WHO becomes your primary differentiator, and the real value of your business. We call this ‘YOUniqueness.'”
If you love the outdoors and love shooting outdoor ceremonies—go after it. If you’re an editorial city-lover, focus on that clientele. Don’t think of specializing as limiting yourself—think of it as channeling your passion into what you do best. Doing so allows you the best opportunity to work with people and places that you love. When you enjoy what you are shooting, your clients will notice and refer you to their like-minded friends and family.
Once you’ve identified who you are and what you want to photograph, make sure to advertise the point. Have an “About me” section on your website that discusses your passions. Talk about them on your blog. Reach out to other related sites to network. If you love weddings that feature a dog as the ring bearer, perhaps do a guest spot on an animal shelter blog about how to structure the day to be best for the dog. Most importantly, show the kinds of images that you want to shoot in all of your marketing. Becoming known as an expert in your particular niche will attract like-minded people into your life.
Sarah Roshan, a wedding photographer based in Colorado shared how she has used these steps to book her dream clients:
“Booking the perfect clients started becoming a priority for me for about a year and a half ago. I was booking great clients but not at the price point that I wanted.
Specialism was key for me. I declared on my website that I only photograph romantic mountain weddings for carefree couples. Sounds great, but it was real and authentic to who I was. I am a mountain girl who sees the world through rose colored romantic glasses. I changed my bio to state only what I stand for and who I am instead of what I do, and something amazing started happening. It started bringing me exactly the type of clients I want.
The game changer for me was understanding that the only thing that makes me different than every other photographer in the world was that I am me. No one can be me. People generally want to work with people that are similar to themselves, so by putting myself out there authentically to the world, the absolute right people began to call me and book me, most of them in a twenty minute conversation over the phone.
I was attracting such a specific client that I ended up with 2 brides that had the same tattoo within the same year. The tattoo: the directions to Neverland—a perfect example of my ideal, romantic, carefree client. Both couples paid my fee with no questions or push back, and I had an absolutely wonderful time working with them.
Declaring who I am on my website has been life-changing. I have become more of who I want to be, and my clients help make me more of who I want to be too. I am working happier, with amazing people who appreciate me and my work.”
Following these key concepts will help you to identify and attract the perfect client for you and your business. Are you ready to get started? We’ve compiled some questions that will help send you in the right direction.
- Identify five features or traits that exist within your Dream Client.
- Determine three areas that are essential to who YOU are, the elements that construct your YOUniqueness.
- List three action steps that you can start working on immediately to personalize your brand and begin booking your Dream Client.
Booking clients to your wedding photography business is the best way to grow your business! To learn more marketing tips and tricks that will intrigue your clients, download our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers!