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Ideal Clients and Marketing

ideal client marketing

Ever wondered why you feel like your marketing is falling flat? You’re blogging, you’ve got your photo editing on point. But something is missing. OH YEAH, it’s your ideal client. Let’s dive into a little bit about ideal clients and marketing.

st joseph engagement portraits

There is absolutely no need to invest anymore into gear, presets, or software until you know exactly who your perfect client is.

Thankfully, my friend Victoria Rayburn and I have figured out how to figure it all out. (Go figure!)

Ideal clients and marketing go hand in hand

It might feel like I’m Captain Obvious, but I have to reiterate this time and time again. If we don’t know who we are marketing to, we might as well not market.

There are thousands, if not millions, of photographers available to photograph almost ANYTHING you can dream up. When you post a few photos on your social media and share that you’re available to be hired or “now booking…” you’re not resonating with anyone. That’s because you’re not directing your marketing at anyone.

We have to direct our efforts toward someone. This person is our ideal client and they make our marketing efforts so much better and fruitful.

What should I be looking for when marketing to an ideal client?

We should, as photographers, know who we are marketing towards. Here are a few areas of examination that helped me figure out who my ideal client was.

  • Finances
  • Age
  • Beliefs
  • Interests
  • Level of education
  • Hobbies
  • Lifestyle preferences
  • Activity level
  • Aesthetic preferences

These are general but when we ask ourselves the question, “how does this apply to my ideal client” we then are heading in correct direction.

For instance.

My ideal client is late 20s/early 30s. They are moderately liberal and have a college education from a local university. They’ve since moved to another, most likely, larger city and love traveling. In their spare time, they take their dog and their partner on road trips where they enjoy finding new and local cafes. They’re regulars at the local farmer’s market because they have such a strong belief that we should support local. They are active but aren’t about to hike a 14er in Colorado. They love craft beer and wine and are totally down to get together with their friends on the weekends for backyard cookouts, wine drinking, and laughter.

big sur engagement

This just begins to dive into who my ideal client is and how I am marketing toward them. However, it gives you an idea of how we need to be specific when marketing toward that person.

Don’t be afraid to polarize when marketing

joshua tree engagement

It might seem scary to begin polarizing with your marketing. But the more you do it, the stronger the attraction to your most ideal clients will be and the less attraction you’ll get from unideal clients.

For instance. I do not showcase family portraits on my social media. Not because I hate families. But because I want to photograph elopements. If you were a family seeking someone to take your portraits you’d probably not inquire with me because my feed appears to revolve around weddings and destination elopements.

Everything you share is somehow an attempt to reach your ideal audience. Everything you share in your stories, feed, your website, and your blog, should be resonating and attracting those best people.

Polarizing your marketing does NOT mean you hate or are discriminating against your unideal clients. It just means that you know the people you market to will work better with you.

Victoria and I have very different ideal clients. She typically photographs a ceremony that happens at a more traditional venue or a church. I prefer to not photograph in churches or to shoot religious weddings anymore. It’s not that I’m not religious, it’s just that I don’t care for the aesthetic in my images or for the way the day typically plays out with the timeline. I prefer more secular weddings and destination elopements.

Ideal clients, marketing, and branding

cannon beach engagement

All three of these things go hand-in-hand. By knowing who you are marketing to (your most ideal client) you can build a brand around their interests. Or you can build your ideal client around the branding that you’ve already built. Either way, we are creating a business model that speaks to who we want to work with based around our (or their) interests.

If you’re still feeling confused about your ideal client consider making an ideal client avatar for your marketing.

What is an ideal client avatar for marketing? It’s your most perfect best client ever on a piece of paper, with all the best features of every perfect client you’ve ever had or ever could think to work alongside. You begin by defining who they are, what they are looking for, and then dive even deeper into things like “what types of media do they consume, when are they online, do they have a pet dog or cat, are they into crystals” etc etc etc. Then from there, you find out what their hangups are with booking and what their problems are that they have.

By knowing what your ideal clients problems are (EVEN BEFORE THEY ASK) you LITERALLY become their favorite person and turn into a shoe-in for bookings because you’re providing so much value already!

Here’s a little worksheet from Digital Marketer you can use to find out exactly who your ideal client is.

Be sure to tune into our ideal client marketing podcast

Victoria and I spent a few hours awhile back creating a new episode on her podcast, The Priority Pursuit, about ideal clients.

Tune in and check out all that we go over to learn even more about your most ideal client in order to up your marketing!

Happy creating your ideal client! Be sure to check out more of our “For Photographer” blogs here!

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New Adventure Productions is owned by Nate Dale, a Lafayette, Indiana wedding and elopement photographer. We travel nation and worldwide to capture beautiful and intimate weddings and elopements while providing a guidance, love, help along the way. 
He is married to the love of his life, Felicia with their two doggies, Pika and Princess.