This article is by guest blogger Katie Humphreys. She's co-founder and Chief Action Officer of MatchStick Strategies. As a photographer herself, she loves working with other photographers to reach their business goals using content marketing.
No matter how long you’ve been in business, you rely on word of mouth and your marketing efforts to book enough jobs to sustain your business year after year. But it’s not enough to just book any client…you want to attract the right client!
Because when you spend more time strategically working to attract the right client, you end up spending less time (if any at all) dealing with the hassle that comes from the wrong clients and more time building relationships with clients you adore. It’s a win win.
So what’s the secret to attracting the right clients to your photography business?
Creating and distributing valuable free content for your ideal audience, also known as content marketing.
You may already be familiar with the term “content marketing” (or you may already be doing it without knowing it!) but just in case, here’s a quick definition of what content marketing actually is:
Content Marketing: Creating and freely sharing valuable content as a way to convert prospects into loyal customers.
In an age where your potential clients are likely being bombarded with ads and sales pitches, free content is the perfect tool for connecting with your ideal audience in a non-threatening way. Here are three tips for using a content marketing strategy to attract your ideal client:
Clearly define your ideal client.
The truth is, the prospective clients that you’re trying to reach are just looking for information that is relevant to them. When they’re looking for a photographer, they don’t really care about the long list of cool shoots you’ve done or what equipment you use. Ultimately, they care about whether you can make them happy. If they believe you can, they’ll hire you.
That’s where your content comes in. Clearly understanding who your target client is will help you choose what types of content you should share that will show your ideal client that you indeed understand their needs and desires. For instance, If you shoot portraits, think about who your target client is (ie: the person who is making a purchase decision.) Most likely, it’s the mom in the family. The type of content that will appeal to a mom of small children is different than the content that will appeal to a young, hip bride who’s getting married. Their pictures of happiness are different from each other, so if you want to create content that resonates with your ideal client, you need to know who you’re talking to!
If you’re still working on identifying your ideal client, check out this post for some specific questions to ask yourself.
Understand how to utilize your chosen social media channels.
The channels you use to share the great content you’re creating will completely depend on who your target audience is. Don’t make the mistake of simply utilizing the communication channels YOU spend time on. Think about where your target audience spends time. If they’re young couples getting married, are they on Facebook or Pinterest? If you have an older clientele, are they more likely to visit certain websites or prefer receiving information via email?
Once you know where your ideal audience spends time, you can choose what the most effective communication channels will be for reaching them. Each communication channel you choose needs to have a clearly defined purpose and the way you share information should be tailored to that particular channel. You can check out this quick reference guide for the basics of how to effectively use some of the most common social media channels.
Make it easy for a prospective client to take the next step.
When you’re using content to connect with your ideal audience, selling is no longer about convincing your audience to hire you. Instead, selling becomes a process of simply finding ways to make it easy for your prospective audience to take the next step of hiring you. This means that your content needs to be strategically crafted as a natural gateway that directs your prospective client to where you want them to go next. Do you want them to visit your pricing page? Your contact form? Call you? Whatever you’ve identified as your sales process, your content needs to make it easy for your prospective clients to take these next steps.
Think of the instances when you go to a store ready to purchase a product. You don’t need the sales person to convince you of the value; you’re already convinced and ready to buy. You just need the sales person to help you find the right size and take your credit card. In the same way, content marketing helps your potential clients determine that they want to hire you so that by the time they’re actually ready to book, they just need you to show them the next steps. If you want to take a closer look at how to effectively guide prospective clients to take the next step, you can check out these tips for making the most of your blog and website.
Want more? Check out this new ebook from Jenika of Psychology for Photographers that will show you how to attract your ideal clients by putting together a portfolio, website and marketing that will appeal and attract the type of clients you are looking for.