Let’s face it. We all want to land that dream client. We want that fantasy photo shoot. We think about what it would be like to be there, on set, camera in hand, shooting the photograph of our dreams.
When we ponder our photography marketing and wonder if it’s working for us, it’s critical to make sure our efforts are directly targeted at the type of work we dream of. How do we get from here to there?
Step One: Define the dream client’s persona
We cannot attain the shoot of our dreams if we haven’t formally and fully defined the persona of the decision maker we need to win over. In other words, we may have fantasized about what it would be like to be there. But do we know the exact person (or group of people) who will make the decision to hire us? Do we know where they hang out, what websites they read, what influencers they have, what things they dislike? If you don’t know, spend some time researching, talking to other similar individuals and determine all of the possible attributes that make up this decision maker’s persona.
For example, a sample decision maker’s persona might be described like this:
- eats on the go
- loves small dogs (she has two)
- lives and works in the city
- works late at night often
- goes to charity events (at least once per month) with coworkers
- collects vinyl records
- price of photography isn’t an issue / not reason for deciding
- works for her clients; she is the decision maker, but the client must love her choice
- her shoots are rapid and she needs someone who she can book quickly
Step Two: Be where they are
You might meet your coveted decision maker via an introduction from a friend or the hope of word-of-mouth about your work. But if you don’t want to bet the whole hand on either of those, you need to find a way to be where your decision maker hangs out. Here are some ideas on ways to do just that:
- write a guest blog post on the websites they frequent
- submit to speak at events they care about
- offer to do free photography at a charity event they’ll be at
- understand what they’re totally passionate about (tennis, knitting, art collecting, etc) and send them an introductory note, letter or email and include a comment about their passion (ideally you share the passion or can at least relate to it)
Step Three: Make sure your work looks like the work you want to get
This sounds so obvious, but it’s so important. Especially as we’re starting out, photographers shoot a lot of different styles and subjects. But if the work you are currently creating isn’t the work you want to be creating, you have to change that. You are empowered to shoot in a way that makes you happy. Every photographer has that right. At some point in all of our lives we starting “acting” and then that “act” becomes the reality called: our life. If you start shooting the type of work you want to shoot today you will gain experiences, gain images and gain craft that gets you one step closer to your dream client every day.