I’m so excited to to be sharing on this topic today! Mainly because a fellow photographer reached out to me and specifically asked me to answer this for her! She sent me a direct message on Instagram and asked how in world to go about attracting her ideal client. This is a hard one ya’ll! It’s hard because there is no one size fits all answer. I wish there were, but there’s not! Today I’m sharing some of the steps I took to start attracting my ideal clients…and then how to book them!
I should note here, before we go on, that it’s okay to have ideal clients and non-ideal clients. The best thing you can do as a wedding photographer is identify who you can serve best and serve them well.
How to Attract and Book Your Ideal Client
FIGURE OUT WHO YOUR IDEAL CLIENT IS
Go old school with this! Get out a piece of paper and colorful pens and write it all down. Throw all the thoughts, visions, ideas you have about your ideal client in your head onto paper. Make a list or get creative or messy with it. You can’t market to your ideal client without knowing who that ideal client is!
Some Questions to ask yourself (about the bride specifically):
- What does she do for a living?
- Where does she shop?
- What does she do for fun on the weekends?
- What does she care about while planning her wedding?
- Does she like to party or curl up on the couch and read a book?
These are just a sample of the questions you should answer about your ideal client. I have some friends who LOVE adventure & bright colors and couples who bring the party. They are going to have a completely different ideal client than me…and that is 100% okay! But how can you start targeting your ideal client if you don’t know who they are?
SHOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SHOOT
This is SO important!! I cannot stress this enough. Your ideal client wants to look at your work and see herself in your images. You have complete control over what you choose to share on your website, blog, and social media. You can choose to share as much or as little as you like, but you have to choose what your share with your ideal client in mind. In the below screenshot of my Instagram feed you can see who my ideal client is:
She loves bright images, film, wedding day details. Emotion and movement in photographs stand out to her – she wants to feel something. My ideal bride understands that I’m a human too so you see my face and my baby’s face. This section of my Instagram feed describes my work really well.
In this more recent selection from my Instagram feed, you can see even more who my ideal client is:
I’m sure right about now you’re thinking, “that’s great, Kathryn, but those clients ARE your ideal clients!” I hear ya loud and clear. This key is that while you may not be working with your ideal client right now, each client has something that is ideal for your brand. Even if it’s just a beautifully styled detail shot of shoes and jewelry.
For example, the below image from Alex & Jackson’s wedding day is an example of something I would share. They were my ideal clients in SO many ways. They are truly some of the best people I know. But if you look through my work, you don’t see a lot of warm or bright colors. It’s just not my thing! Alex’s flowers were beautiful but I knew that having bright pink out there would be a bit confusing for my ideal bride so I chose different photos to share from their day. It still shows her color palette, but it shows their love more. And the bright pink color is balanced by a photo of greenery.
Another way to go about getting images to “show what you want to shoot” is by doing a styled shoot. A styled shoot is one where you connect with vendors and create a mock wedding day. The styled shoot is a great way for you to practice and to make connections with other local vendors. You can also have a lot of control over the aesthetic of the shoot so it bends towards your ideal client.
These images of Ashley and Brandon is from a tiny styled shoot I planned. I contacted the person in charge at venue I wanted to shoot in and I made my best friend and her husband get into their wedding attire and let me take photos! Ashley wore her wedding dress from David’s Bridal and Brandon wore slacks, a blazer, and brown shoes with teal laces. I paid a friend of mine (and incredible florist, Amanda Burnette) to create a beautiful bouquet for the shoot. These series of images, shared thoughtfully and intentionally, helped me attract the brides who love: 1) lace gowns, 2) bright and creamy/soft photos, 3) have great taste in floral design, 4) love architecture. This entire shoot cost me $100.
An important thing to remember is that this takes time and patience. One of the best words of advice I got was to shoot every event as if they are your ideal client. If you do this, you’ll hone your skills, treat every single client as if they are the one and only, and come away with shareable images from every single event you photograph.
So the next question…once you’ve gotten inquiries from your ideal client, how do you book them? Next Wednesday, I’ll share 2 things to help you follow through with your inquiries and start booking those ideal clients!
Wednesday Workshop comes from my love of teaching (did you know I used to teach kindergarten?!) and genuine hope to build others up. When I first started my business I was hungry for information and I scoured the web to find it. I was so thankful every time I landed on a website or blog that shared the information I was grasping for. I hope this series is that for you. Please email me or DM me on Instagram with questions you want me to answer on a Wednesday Workshop – I’d love to answer them for you!
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