Why is it important I know who my ideal client is?
Why is it so important that I know who my ideal client is? Your ideal client is the cornerstone of your whole business. Without them you are literally peeing in the wind. You need to know who you are talking to and how they like to be marketed to. Without this knowledge everything you do is guesswork.
Earlier today I was chatting to a wedding photographer (the amazing Maddie Farris – check out her work here). She came round to chat about SEO and how we can get her website to rank for the type of clients she wants. As we were looking through she showed me the website of another amazing wedding photographer Rachel Joyce. I was looking through the site and I found this blog.
Instantly intrigued I read it and agreed with every word. Rachel had had a bad experience with a client because the client didn’t understand Rachel and Rachel didn’t understand her. Knowing your ideal client can stop this from happening.
How do I find my ideal client – who is she?
Despite of what I read in a lot of photography forums your ideal client isn’t necessarily the person who will spend the most money with you. I know that may sound odd, after all regardardless how much we love what we do we still need to make a profit to stay in business and we absolutely need to value our profession but…. Sometimes our ideal clients are those that value us but don’t necessarily have a million pounds to spend. There I said it. Throughout business no matter what area of commerce you trade in there are different business models, different budgets and different clients. Let’s take clothing stores as an example.
So Primark has a very targeted business plan. They sell low priced clothes in bulk. They don’t spend millions on their stores and they buy cheap products. Primarks ideal customer is someone who likes fashion but doesn’t have or want to spend a lot of money on it. They market to that client and are very successful. They don’t do online stores and keep their costs down. You can go in there with £50 and come out with 3 outfits!
Emporio Armani is also very good at targeting it’s ideal client. It spends money on it’s stores. The shop assistants look stylish and polished. Their stores are not packed with clothes – instead they showcase their pieces with limited stock on the shop floor. They target customers who value the work that has gone into each piece. Someone who likes to look stylish but understated and who has the money to spend.
Now of course both of these stores will have some crossover clients. You will get people who buy a few expensive pieces from Armarni and then compliment them with cheaper items and vice versa but on the whole these stores know were the bulk of their customers come from. They know who they are. They speak to them in a way they will understand.
If one of these stores changed their business plan they would have to change their whole marketing plans as well. This is why I get a little frustrated when people just say ‘up your prices’, ‘double your prices’ etc but are not told that if they do that they have to come up with a new marketing plan. If Primark suddenly started selling t-shirts for £50 each their clients would desert them. They would need to change their whole approach and this applies to photography as well. If you are a photographer that started out selling all your images on a disc for £50 and were so busy you couldn’t keep up you can’t just start charging £500 without changing who you are marketing to. Know your client, know your business.
Make a list!
So sit down and think about a client who you have enjoyed working with. Someone who recommended you to all their friends and who keeps coming back. If you are just starting out and haven’t had this client yet you will have to use your imagination. Your ideal client is someone who values you and your business.
Write down how old they are, their job, what car they drive, shoes they wear, handbags they buy and magazines they read. Once you have done this look at the brands they like that you have listed and compare. You will notice a theme and this will help you. It will help in your website design, how you speak to them, how you communicate with them. Trust me it will change your business for the better.
I’m going to write some more blogs about Ideal Client because of how important it is so if there is anything specific you want to know pop me a message over:)