Business is changing all the time. You have to pay attention to the trends, your audience and all the vehicles at your fingertips to help expand your reach. Thanks to social media, you have the same reach today that only small newspapers and magazines had a decade ago.
There are so many different things that require a little attention. Yet, many of you have chosen to ignore some of the easiest things to change. While some of the Friday specials are short easy things to fix, today's blue-plate special is a little more complicated and a topic that's ongoing all year long.
This is number fourteen in this series, and I want to give you some ideas on target marketing. As a professional photographer, you have to know your audience!
It's Time to Define Your Target Audience!
So, let's come up with some ideas to help you get more targeted with your promotions:
- Do you know your target audience? I've written so much about demographics and the importance to have promotions that excite your potential client base. If it's a dud and you're not excited about it - then don't launch it! It has to appeal to your audience.
- Use your blog to create more excitement. Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart. Use your blog to help build a stronger relationship with your readership, which should be your target audience. For most of you, that means Mom! Remember, women make 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social specialties.
- Pay attention to where you're spending your advertising dollars. Advertising isn't just about print media but includes you being everywhere your targeted client goes. That means websites, email, direct mail, events in the community and publicity. When you do pay for print advertising, pay attention to the demographics of the publication. Advertising your photography business in Guns and Ammo magazine, for example, would be a waste of money. While plenty of women are gun owners, it's still a minority. You need to pick communication vehicles relevant to your audience.
- I keep writing this, and some of you just don't get it! Stop discounting. Develop programs with added value rather than a discount. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you honestly get excited about any discount today that’s 20% or less? We’re so conditioned to discount programs. We automatically assume the retail price was originally too high, to begin with! However, the added value of an additional album, framed print or an extra hour or two of coverage at an event can have powerful appeal. Pick up the phone and call your lab for a start. They're constantly developing new products and programs to help you create stronger reach with your audience. All it takes is a phone call to ask, "So, what's new?"
- Most important of all – Pay attention to the big picture and look at your promotional calendar for the entire year. Don't look at any one promotion as a single entity. All of your promotions together need to have continuity from one event to the next. You don’t want to be reactionary all the time but have a planned out series of activities and programs. This will give you the time to align yourself with the appropriate partners, advertising and publicity elements you need for success.
There’s no such thing as knowing too much about your target audience. There’s a great line I’ve used for years, thanks to Ed Foreman, a motivational speaker from Texas:
“If I can see the world through my client’s eyes, then I can sell my client what my client buys.”
You've got to see the world through your client's eyes and understand what they're looking for. I heard Jerry Ghionis once talk about the secret to creating incredible images. The key is to photograph your subjects as if you were looking through the eyes of one of their loved ones.
Well, marketing is no different - you've got to know your client and see the world through their eyes!
There are now fourteen specials in the series and lots more coming. If you missed any of them, just click on the menu to the right and take a scroll through the complete series. Some of them are more time-consuming than others, but each one will help you develop a more effective approach to a different aspect of your business.
Let's make 2018 your best year yet!