Photographers are often perplexed by the variety of clients they encounter each day. Even with a target market identified, it seems that no two patrons are the same. Though with time and patience, photographers can begin to categorize clients. By understanding different client types, photographers can not only reflect upon their current marketing strategies, but can understand how to market to a wider range of consumers.
Loyal clients are few and far between. It is likely that they are only a small part of your total client base. But these devoted clients are incredibly valuable to your business. Once a steadfast customer, Larrys will remain by your side and will promote your photography business. Loyal clients want to share their experience with family, friends, and business associates. But chatting about you isn’t where their role as a promoter stops. Loyal Larrys extend your reach on their social networks, generating large amounts of referrals. Photographers looking to reap the biggest return on their marketing investment should devote much of their effort towards their loyal clients.
How Can You Market to Loyal Clients?
Loyal customers need to feel taken care of. By offering individual attention and personal service, photographers can continue to strengthen the bonds with their already loyal clients. Handwritten thank you notes, follow-up emails, and even holiday cards can go a long way. But, hard work and a genuine personal disposition remain central to gaining trust and will keep that client loyal for years to come.
Photographers are all too familiar with budget-minded clients. These consumers will do everything in their power to get industry professionals to bend on their pricing. Discount-seekers, much like loyal customers, typically frequent the same businesses and remain dutiful to certain brands. Yet, discount seekers generally make their purchases when a product or service is marked down in price. With a cost that is in line with the client’s perceived value of your service, they are ready to secure a date on your calendar.
How to Market to Discount Clients?
The word "discount" makes most photographers cringe. But to market to the massive segment of discount clients, you will need to offer some sort of special promotion. If there is a sale on, let the discount-seekers know. It is always a good idea to utilize your social media channels when sharing your sales and promotions. Additionally, using a marketing calendar can tremendously help you prepare for your promotional push.
Mind you, promotions don’t necessarily take money out of your wallet. Remember that discount clients need to feel like there is a tremendous savings. This feeling is what urges them to purchase. The way photographers strategically present their promotion can either make or break your discount consumer marketing campaign.
Impulsive clients are hard to identify and tricky to market to. Irenes don’t often look for specific products or services. They care little about brands and even less about brand loyalty. Irenes seems to purchase without rhyme or reason. Still, impulsive clients book photography services when something about a photographer’s work strikes their fancy. Impulse buying, by nature, is emotionally driven and often defies logic. Therefore, Irenes are the opposite of discount consumers who desire to save dollars and loyal customers who are driven by brand loyalty.
How to Market to Impulsive Clients
It would seem that a marketing effort towards impulsive clients is too much work since this client’s nature is whimsical. But tailoring marketing efforts for impulsive clients is still necessary because the majority of all purchases are impulse buys. The key to marketing to impulsive clients is to tap into their mindset. Begin to think like a consumer instead of a producer. What is it that makes a client want to book you?
In a recent article, I detailed how the concept of scarcity heavily influences clients and their willingness to open their wallets. Scarcity is a principle that boosts a photographer's apparent value and calls impulsive clients into action. Irenes will more readily book your photography services if they feel that your time is in limited supply.
Another way to market to an impulsive client is with a beautiful website that showcases your best work. Your style as a photographer of course plays a large part in hooking an impulsive client. But, you have to thoughtfully showcase your work. Whether you are using a Squarespace template or have built your own elaborate platform, ensure that that your presentation is top notch and that you have an assortment of portfolios that prove you can handle jobs from a variety of photographic genres.
A great example of marketing towards impulsive clients can been seen in Jessica Marie Berggrun's new promo short. In ten seconds, Jessica uses her social media channel to convey scarcity and to feature her stunning work. It is this type of hybrid that hooks impulsive clients.
I’ve had some space open up in November before my trip stateside! Book me now before the 15th for a personalised shoot. :)Posted by Jessica Marie Berggrun on Wednesday, October 19, 2016
As the name suggests, Normans have specific needs and search for a photographer who can effectively deliver a quality product. There are need-based clients for every niche of photography. The new restaurant in town will always need their menu shot just like commercial brands will always be in need of photographers who can help create campaign imagery. But, it isn’t just the business sector that is need of outstanding imagery. Portrait clients tend to book sessions when they are celebrating milestones in their lives. Seniors will always need yearbook photos and the newly divorced will need boudoir portraits to make their Tinder profiles pop.
How to Market to a Need-Based Client
What is great about Normans is that they actively work to fulfill their own needs. Right now, there are clients searching for a photographer who can deliver exactly what they are seeking. So, in order to market to a need-based client, you need to meet them in the middle. Your marketing strategy should anticipate your target market’s needs.
Segment your clients by need, and craft a marketing strategy tailored specifically to address the client’s anticipated problem. Clearly define how you can help them. Because you are considering the utility of your photographic product, you should consider marketing across several channels: print, online, and social media should all come into play.
As professional photographers, we frequently encounter each of these client types. Being able to categorize client types is useful in transforming all of your clientele into the loyal customers that will sustain your professional photography business. Once you understand who is buying, you are on your way to creating wider, richer marketing campaigns that will earn a larger share of your current market.
Do you have other client-specific marketing strategies to share with the FStoppers community? If so, we would love to hear your approaches in the comments section.