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Establishing your ideal client

By Hannah Freeland

 

Let’s talk about what we mean by ‘ideal client’

This is the ONE client we all hope knocks on our door, calls us in the studio or pings us an email saying, “I have seen your work and cannot wait to get a photo shoot booked in with you, when is your next free date?” 

This client will be educated in the way you work and see value in the finished product.  

So, who is going to educate them…? 

 

YOU 

 

First of all, we need to establish who your ideal client is. We want you to start creating a profile of this client and we have even included a blueprint for creating this profile.  

 

Here’s an example profile:

  • Female in her 40’s – 50’s 
  • Fairly glamourous 
  • Lives in a big house 
  • Has a disposable income 
  • Drives a 4×4 
  • Has a second home in London 
  • Has 2 children with ponies 
  • Stables the horses and ponies at home 
  • Employs a groom/yard worker 
  • Values photography and art 
  • Values and respects my time and skills 

 

Now that you have the outline of the client, we need to think about what they do on a day to day basis. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:  

  • What magazines do they read? 
  • Do they go to equestrian events? 
  • Do they eat out a lot?
  • Are they part of a professional body? 
  • Do they attend any pony club events? 
  • Who are they likely to be friends with? 
  • What do they do in their spare time to relax? 
  • What would a perfect birthday present look like for them? 

 

Now it’s time for you to fill in your own ‘Building A Profile’ blueprint. 

 

After you have built your profiles…

Reaching out to this client 

So, we now have our dream client.  

Going back through our list now- have a look at the places they are hanging out. 

Do they attend Badminton and Burghley? Will they be at the Nationals? The Polo? The Bath and West? The local pub? An art exhibition?  

 

When you have created this list, think about what they might be doing in this place and how you can get in front of them…  

 

For example: Your local high end pub attracts disposable-income-types that are happy to spend over £100 for a Wednesday evening dinner. So, what do these people do while they are there? Maybe they sit in front of the fire and read the free magazines that are in there. Which magazines are these? Can you afford to advertise in them? Maybe you could supply the lounge area with a couple of beautiful framed portraits and ask the pub if they could have your card or brochure on the side. 

 

The client may see the framed image and pick up your card. 

 

Now they will go home and look at your website and your social media. If you are posting regularly with posts that are informative and interesting to them (because you share content that is attractive to this ideal client!!) then they follow you. They may not BUY today, but you are on top of your marketing game which keeps you in front them again and again. 

 

Maybe they see you in a second location? A trade stand at a local event. They remember you from the beautiful portrait in the pub. All these previous baby steps lead to them wanting to talk to you about your process. You have connected with them in a place they feel good and comfortable- bingo! 

 

We need to make sure our general tone ‘speaks’ to our ideal client. Now here’s a golden nugget… 

 

In speaking only to our ideal client, not only do we entice and encourage them, but we also weed out clients that won’t be a good fit for us!  

 

There are many opportunities to market to your client. Through social media, website, blog, newsletters, networking, advertising in yards, advertising in tack shops, trade stand at shows/events, collaborations… the list goes on and on. Through these outlets you need to have one strong voice that speaks only to your ideal client. 

For example: 

If you know that your ideal client will be on a livery yard, create a package that will entice livery yards to contact you. Advertise in livery yards. Network with yard owners. By targeting a group, you become the go to photographer for livery yard photo shoots.  

 

Your ideal client needs to connect with you on a personal level, too. Your passion is also theirs. Your client must like you and be intrigued by your work and life.  

We have found that through marketing, we’ve allowed potential clients to see inside our working lives. They love to see behind the scenes and feel like they are getting to know us on another level.  

 

All of this allows the client to fall for our business and photography. 

Step by Step: 

  1. Download and print out Training Barns ‘Building your Profile’ blueprint
  2. Fill in as much as possible
  3. Repeat to build more than one profile
  4. Review these profiles and start planning your marketing strategy to target ONLY these profiles 
  5. Review this process as often as you feel your target market is changing (We suggest at least once a year).