Trying to market a photography business without having a very specific “Target Market” is like trying to play football without a goal line. How will you ever make a touchdown, or know which direction you should be going?
I’m amazed at how many photographers just try to “get their name out there.” I hate that statement! It says nothing and means even less. What’s important to your success is WHO you go after in the market place.
Why? Because you have a limited budget – both in time and money. So you must pick very carefully who you want to work with, and then go after them with a passion. You can not be all things to all people, and expect to be truly successful in your photography business. You’re going to have to pick and choose.
Honestly, good photography marketing is more about “picking who” than it is about just trying to blindly “get your name out there” to everyone.
What I’m saying is that success in photography marketing is all about the “Target Market.” Let me explain:
Your “Target Market” is that group of folks who you want to invest time and money into convincing them to contact and work with you. It’s where you put all your efforts.
Let me give you an example: There are three major attributes which describe my “Target Market” for my portrait and wedding photography business:
Attribute #1 of my Target Market: I go after Females 25 – 65: Why is this important? Because I have found that as a basic guideline, men do not invest in the type and style of photography I create. So why bother trying to reach them and motivate them to call me? It’s a waste of time and money.
Attribute #2 of my Target Market: I go after “Warm Fuzzies”: This is a term I use to refer to a person who is sensitive and emotional. She cries at movies. She is “right brain dominant” – meaning that she lives most of her life in “right brain” – the emotional, creative side of the brain, and only a small part of her life in “left brain” (the logical, analytical side of the brain.) Why is this desirable? Because we know people invest in photography for emotional reasons – not logical reasons.
Attribute #3 of my Target Market: I go after those folks who value what I do: Why is this important? Because I learned a long time ago that it really hurts to put all the work into creating beautiful portraits or wedding photography for someone who really doesn’t value what I do. I put all that time and effort into it only to have them not like the images, and not invest much in them either.
Can you see how having this “Target Market” in the front of my mind at all times really helps my business be more successful? Why? Because I know exactly who I want to reach with my photography marketing efforst. So I can carefully figure out where these people live, work, shop, eat, etc. and then go after them – and only them.
Once you have defined your Target Market, then you start asking yourself what are the best ways to become a “big fish” in that small “pond.” You basically don’t waste your time going after anyone else. You just stay focused on your Target Market and work hard on reaching them.
For example, once you know one of the characteristics of your Target Market is that they are “Warm Fuzzies”, you start showing only really warm and fuzzie images on your displays and exhibits all over town. The “Cold Pricklies” (the other side of the human coin) won’t like those images, and won’t call you. But the “Warm Fuzzies” will love them, and therefore call you. See how it works?
Defining your Target Market, in as much detail as possible, will greatly improve the effectiveness of your marketing for your photography business, whether you are marketing online or offline, or both.