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 female branding client...

Her Name is "Olivia"—

Olivia is a hard worker with strong values and lots of ideas. She has many long-standing relationships and she makes sure she carves out time for friends and family despite long hours owning her own interior design business. Having worked in the marketing department for the corporate office of a local roofing conglomerate, she knows being her own boss comes with its share of stresses but she wakes up every morning ready to take on the challenges. She’s bold and she’s rarely flustered by orders that don’t arrive on time, wallpaper that refuses to stick to the wall, or beaded chandeliers that come unstrung.

A trendy dresser, Olivia hunts far and wide for the treasures in her closet. She dresses modestly but loves sleeveless tops to show off her shapely arms and cute dresses that are client-appropriate. To round out her wardrobe from Anthropologie, Anne Taylor and LuluLemon, she loves to shop at some of the high-end consignment shops in town.

Outside of work, Olivia spends time caring for herself and her family. She works out daily, eats healthy and a good spray-tan is her biggest guilty pleasure. She’s married and has a husband and a few school-age kids—they’re her priority. Dinner is sometimes an after-thought and at least once or twice a week she grabs something from a trendy, healthy (“clean”) restaurant or they eat out. She always has fresh flowers in her home—that she purchases from Trader Joe’s.

Olivia is in her 30’s and lives in an old two story brick home with a pool and detached garage that is the envy of her neighbors. They just finished a pricey renovation that took longer than planned but the end result was worth it: they now have a great space to entertain and throw large parties. Olivia has a heart for families and she desires to give them beautiful spaces to live in.

Think about your ideal client in terms of who she is, what her struggles are, where she shops, what makes her 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!