Identifying Your Ideal Client...

Part of running a successful business is identifying your ideal client—which is "easier said than done." There are several ways to do this, but one of my favorite ways is through a creative writing exercise. I’ve done this several times, mainly because my ideal client changes depending on the type of photography I’m doing. It should come as no surprise that the profile for a family portrait client may look very different from that of a branding client. But there can be overlap—and, of course, I have some clients that span both worlds :). I thought you might enjoy reading my “ideal client” profile I put together for a male branding client...

His Name is Dexter

Dexter, affectionately known as “Dex,” is an entrepreneur who owns his own financial advising firm. Honest and hard-working, his personable approach to life and business resonates with his clients. He loves trendy clothing and dresses likes he’s a Brooks brother client, (although he doesn’t always shop there). When meeting with his clients, he dresses for success—a sharp-looking, slim-cut, freshly pressed dress shirt, slacks and snazzy shoes and belt.

Outside the office, Dex likes to be active and is in good shape. He eats out or grabs takeout 1-2 times a week at local restaurants and bars in Richmond—there’s so many good options he rarely hits a chain restaurant unless he’s out with his parents. He’s done being a Nike-wearer and has moved to running shoes that are well-designed from an up-and-coming, trend-setting company like On Cloud. For casual wear, he owns a few items from LuluLemon, but cares more about look than label. Dexter’s closet reveals a few trendy designer items but it divulges style and fit above all else.

He’s young, in his 30s or early 40s and is just starting his family. He dated his girlfriend a couple years before taking the plunge (it’s a monumental decision!) and has never once regretted his choice. He and his wife just moved into their first home: an adorable little 2-story, all brick, with a slate roof and a yard for the kiddos-to-come and maybe even a laid-back mutt they’ll rescue from the pound. This charming residence is located in one of the trendier neighborhoods in Richmond. Tristan considers himself conservative on most topics and he cares deeply about his family, his business, and his community.

Dex truly enjoys his clients and his greatest sense of satisfaction comes when he sees his clients use their resources to care for their families, their future, and splurge on epic memory-making vacations.

Think about your ideal client in terms of who he is, what his struggles are, where he shops, what makes him tick, and more. Once you do that, the tone of your marketing materials, website, and social posts should all be written with that ideal client in mind. The strategic part of branding photography is building imagery that appeals to your client... and that, my friends, is where the fun begins!