I've written a number of posts about the importance of knowing your demographics, but there are still so many of you who just don't get it!
For many of you "demographics" is a twenty dollar word, but it's only because you've ignored the obvious question. You've failed to ask yourself, "Who's my target audience?" This is a marketing snippet, not a full blown market analysis. There's only so much you can do in a blog post. However, I want to give you some short easy to remember ideas to help you raise the bar on your business.
- 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social category are made by women.
I've probably referenced this fifty times in posts over the last few years. But you're still missing the point:
Think about how this applies to the look and feel of your website; what topics you write about on your blog and what images you show in your galleries. So many of you have masculine looking sites, when you need to soften the approach and be more appealing to your target audience, women, and in most cases "Mom!"
- The average age of the American bride is around 28 based on a variety of sources searching in Google.
- What's the average income in your community?
So many of you dream about having a client base in those wealthy suburbs around you. However, just because the revenue is there, doesn't mean the audience is ready to automatically raise the bar on how much they spend with you. A wealthier community will also mean a better educated audience. You're still going to have to develop marketing plans that support an investment in your work as an artist.
- What's the average age in your community? You can find this data searching Google and looking through some of the US Census reports.
Why worry about age? Well, if you're a children's photographer and you're opening in Bay Harbor Island, just outside Miami where the average age is probably close to 80, you're not going to find your target audience very easily.
- When a publication or website approaches you about advertising, ask for their demographics. Who's going to be seeing your ad?
I learned a valuable lesson on this one in my Hasselblad days. At the time, Popular Photography Magazine had the largest circulation in the US. I wanted to get our ads out in front of lots of people and felt that even though it was a hobbyist magazine, it still had great potential. It definitely had reach, but in the end I felt like we heard from every high school kid in America who hoped to some day own a Hasselblad - they had the enthusiasm, but not the finances and as a result created absolutely NO sales.
- One last one for you wedding photographers out there. Check out the Wedding Report. As far as I know, it's one of the only resources for you to get customized data by zip code on wedding demographics.
Knowing how much is being spent on weddings, food, flowers etc. can absolutely help you understand where your pricing needs to be as well as defining different partners for direct mail campaigns.
You're working so hard to build a business and your brand. Doesn't it make sense to at least make sure you're hitting the right target?