Marketing your business – Are you hitting the dart board or the bullseye?

6.30.16-ee

For the new professional photographer who wants nothing more than to just get out there and get paid to do what they love, marketing can be a really scary proposition. I still regularly find myself doing everything I can to stay busy except marketing. So I’m going to give you a little tip today: save your time and find the bulls eye.

In week 4 of my class ‘Shooting Kids’ over on Rock the Shot, I make the following statement:

You have to find your target market before you can get the business. ‘Children’ is not a target market, it’s a niche. ‘Maternity’ isn’t a target market, it’s a niche.

So if you know what/who you want to shoot, you’ve already completed a very big first step in establishing your business. Sometimes, that’s a journey of discovery that can take years alone! But it’s not a market, it’s your niche.

{What is a target market?}

So when you know that you want to shoot child portraits, for example, what is your target market? Their parents. This is the dart board (you’re getting close!) But it doesn’t end there. You can narrow it right down to who your ideal client is: where they shop, the brands they love, their income, stay-at-home-mom or full time working mom. Knowing these things about your ideal client will then help you know how to market to them (what brands do they already love and how do those companies get their money?), what kind of packaging they will respond to, how to price your products and services and -most importantly- where to find these people! Where do their kids go to school (you can get into their world by working in partnership with the school), where do they go to church, where do they spend their leisure time, what doctor’s offices do they frequent?

Knowing who they are is the dartboard – finding where they are is the bullseye. Narrowing down all of these things will help paint a picture of the ideal client for your business and where to go to find them.

{Further Reading}

I highly recommend that all photographers hoping to make money from their trade read Alicia Caine’s ‘Happy Place’ and ‘Easy as Pie’ eBooks. If I was running a school, they would be in the essential reading. Her new eBook Lux Undercover is priceless, but unfortunately it’s only available at special times of the year so the next time it is, flippin’ BUY IT!

 

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Elizabeth Halford

Elizabeth Halford

ELIZABETH HALFORD IS A PORTRAIT AND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND.

She blogs about photography and business with her unique plain English approach. Elizabeth has been-there-done-that with running a photography business that doesn’t profit a penny and loves teaching photographers how to get away from the starving artist model of running a creative business.
Elizabeth Halford
  • Kevin Mayfield - That is great marketing advice not just for photographers but for any type of business. Thanks.

  • Rayleigh Leavitt - It seem backwards to think that narrowing down your target market will make you more successful rather than marketing to everybody!  But all the experts agree that it’s true!

  • Gina Young - Thank you for the marketing tips…they have confirmed that I am on the right track.

  • Anonymous - We have found this to be true as well. Once you have a specific client in mind, you can begin to partner with other business that are also a match for your target client  (for weddings that would be venues, planners, etc). Your branding, font choices, image selection, album and product style can all be tailored to that type of client.  

  • Shannon - That’s exactly what I’ve been learning in my business class in college.  To learn everything about your target market; where they shop, what magazines they read, etc.  Then you can market specifically to them.  My professor keeps saying – You can’t be all things to all people.  You need to find your market and your niche and what your competitive advantages are and you will be more successful.

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