This is a guest blog is by Robyn Mayne, based in Sydney, Australia. She is a children’s portrait photographer, workshop facilitator and customer experience fanatic! Robyn owns Today is Different and provides photography courses, workshops, retreats and networking events for photographers. Follow Robyn on Twitter.
Who are your customers?
One of the basic elements of any good marketing strategy is a narrowly defined target market – a niche. In fact, a great approach is to start by defining your ideal or perfect customer – Your “right” customer!
Many photographers try to be all things to all people and find it hard to really focus their activity on appealing to their right customers.
Often this happens because someone is on the phone asking for help in an area that’s not really your thing. What tends to kick in here is a fear of saying no to the “wrong” customers. “What if I don’t get any calls from my right customers?”
While it may seem like growth to take on a new customer, if that customer isn’t a good fit, it can actually take your focus away from real growth and may even create dissatisfied customers that expected something other than what you were able to provide. Dissatisfied customers WILL tell their friends. Do you have a well-defined target market? Or, is it something like…”anyone that we think will pay us”.
So how do you identify your ideal target client?
a) Take a good hard look at your past clients. Look for types of clients that you would love to do more with?
b) Which are your most profitable clients? Are there types of work or types of clients that traditionally produce profitable or unprofitable sales?
c) Do they “want” what you do? If they do not want it for one reason or another, then you are sunk. If you have to convince them of a need, then they are not a good target market.
d) Do they value what you do? Price shoppers will always be prices shoppers. Look for those who appreciate the extra they get from you.
Create a picture of your ideal client
One useful trick is to discover what that ideal client looks like in the most specific way possible and then go about building your entire marketing strategy around attracting more of them. The idea here is that you create a picture of your ideal customer. Give her, or him, a name and a set of characteristics. Consider things like: age; sex; occupation; geography; family; income; beliefs; values; interests; challenges etc.
Now whenever you are reviewing your business, think of a new idea or try a different approach you can ask yourself “Would this appeal to Fiona/Fred?”
What do you think? Have you defined your target market? Do you operate within a niche? Tell us. Discuss. Share. This is the place to do it.